The Iacobucci Inquiry’s report is very good news for Ahmad El Maati, Abdullah Almalki, and Muayyed Nureddin, and very bad news for the government, CSIS and the RCMP. It details how Canadian agencies’ allegations against the men were were “inaccurate,” “inflammatory,” and “without investigative foundation,” and the many ways in which these agencies were complicit in their torture.
While former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci uses the term “indirect” to describe Canadian officials’ responsibility for detention and torture in his report, he explains that by indirect, he means that he cannot rule out the possibility that someone else was involved. So Canadian officials were “indirectly” responsible for the men’s torture in Syria (ie., by supplying questions) they weren’t actually wielding the whips and cables used to torture them. To say they were “directly” complicit, or responsible, he says, he would have had to rule out any possibility that anyone else was involved.
The government did its best to minimize the damage yesterday, waiting until late Monday night to tell journalists, and the men and their counsel, when the report would be released, and giving everyone one hour to read it before responding. Then Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day toured every media studio in town, trying to revive allegations against the men by pointing to claims made by the Attorney General in closing submissions to the Inquiry. He neglected to mention that Justice Iacobucci did not accept those arguments.
Read the report, not the submissions, Minister Day, then issue a formal apology to these men.
More to come soon.