Peter Mackay -- or rather his spokesman -- crowed yesterday, after the Military Police Complaints Commission released its report:
“[It’s] one more investigation demonstrating that no credible evidence was found to support the allegations against our men and women in uniform,” said Josh Zanin, Mr. MacKay’s press secretary. “We are proud of their professionalism in the conduct of the work we ask them to do.
But that's not what the report was about. The Globe and Mail reports that most of the report was about government stonewalling:
The watchdog says Ottawa’s conduct during its long probe threatened its independence, and lamented the “overall attitude of antipathy” shown by a government that insisted it, not the commission, would determine what information should be disclosed.
The government fought the commission every step of the way:
The $3.4-million inquiry into Afghan prisoners lasted more than five years and four months, stretching back to when Canada was still fighting a bloody war in Kandahar, the heartland of Taliban insurgents.
Wednesday’s report describes how for 21 months the Harper government refused to provide records to the watchdog. “The doors were basically slammed shut on document disclosure,” commissioners say.
And the Harper government -- as always -- has learned nothing from experience:
The government offered more evidence Wednesday that it’s not about to change its approach. It resisted the watchdog group’s calls for its commissioners to be granted less restricted access to government records, saying it would prefer to decide on a “case-by-case basis.”
Peter Tinsley, former chair of the Military Police Complaints Commission, said this reluctance “sets the table for a repeat” of the stonewalling and delays that afflicted the Afghan detainee probe.
The Conservatives like to claim that the prime minister is the smartest guy in the room. What they don't say is that it's a small room and the people in it are dunces.