I'm a little late to the detainees party today, having been sidetracked by a local feature that's somewhat taken over my life. But the timing of yesterday's revelation that Canada secretly stopped handing over detainees to Afghan custody, coming as it did mere hours after the Manley panel sat before our board calling for more open communication surrounding the mission, is too good to pass up.
It's telling, as others have pointed out, that this government is now controlling its messaging so tightly that even the good news (or at least news that would play well) doesn't get out. In this instance, it's hurt the Tories as much as anyone else. But more broadly, the paucity of information coming out of Afghanistan is hurting our collective ability to make decisions about the future of the mission.
If you don't believe me, take it from Derek Burney. Presumably, the veteran Tory was appointed to the Manley panel because he was expected to be on-side with the government. Instead, he wound up as the panel's most vocal critic of its hush-hush communication strategy. And he's absolutely right.