I don't want to parrot what Christie Blatchford wrote Saturday concerning the challenges to whistleblower Richard Colvin's testimony brought forward this week - challenges ignored by virtually all but the Globe and Mail. She is a much more able writer than I; and if you haven't read it, check it out.
Mr. Colvin, as we all know, has in some circles reached the status of national hero and purveyor of gospel truth. While Mr. Colvin is most certainly entitled to his perspective, that his arguments go unscrutinized - by many of the same media outlets who vested him with star power when presented with, as Ms. Blatchford pointed out, volumes of equally credible opposing views - is a disservice to the honest, open debate we all claim we want to have about Afghanistan.
Despite my conservative predilections, and flavour-of-the-week allegations of bias at certain media organizations, I think Ms. Blatchford is right to argue that the dearth of space given to testimony by former diplomat Gavin Buchan and retired general Tim Grant has to do with the brief attention spans at news organizations more than anything else.
I'd also posit we are a nation that from time to time seeks conspiracy and drama whether it's there or not. So when the agenda is set, as was the case when Mr. Colvin played Cassandra on detainees, it's a pattern that's hard to break.
But can someone tell me what makes Mr. Buchan's or Gen. Grant's testimony less valid than Mr. Colvin's? What is the rational explanation for Mr. Colvin's narrative being the guiding doctrine of our times? His assertions have been contested by many learned individuals. Ironically, a good portion of new criticism is coming through witness appearances at a parliamentary committee - itself an organ of the same House of Commons that apparently isn't able to have a fulsome discussion on Afghanistan.
Really? So much for suppression of the truth, but damn it sucks when it doesn't fit the storyline of the day.
(Photo: Richard Colvin waits to testify before the Military Police Complaints Commission in Ottawa on April 13, 2010. Reuters)