Conservative MP Laurie Hawn made an appearance on the CBC today, to discuss the release of all these Afghanistan documents. To put his comments into context, let’s remember that when it comes to the Afghan detainee documents, Hawn has argued for months that a full release would jeopardize the mission and put our troops are risk. Hawn used the safety of our troops to deflect the opposition demands, despite the fact that all fair observers acknowledged our detainee practices have changed, the information was dated, some of it years ago.
Today’s release of ninety thousand confidential documents on Afghanistan by Wikileaks was the subject of today’s appearance by Hawn. These documents are quite damaging, painting a bleak picture of the mission in Afghanistan. With that in mind, note Hawn’s comments, wherein he tries to fluff off the documents:
"A lot of them are dated, so it’s really information that might make a good story but isn’t that relevant to what is happening today. You know, it needs to be fairly immediate information to have a huge impact"
That’s right, like other mission defenders, Hawn suddenly argues that all these explosive documents are "dated", not terribly relevant to "today". Hawn also says, that in terms of the mission, unless it’s "immediate" information, it really has no strategic impact. Hawn has just undercut the entire line of argument he’s used on the detainee file, particularly when most of those documents are, in fact, much more out of "date" than those released today. So, when the mission is threatened by disclosure, documents are minimized, but if said documents have the capacity to embarrass the government politically, they are exaggerated and it becomes an issue of harming the troops.
9.8 from the Canadian judge.