The former commander of Canadian forces in Afghanistan delivered as expected yesterday, armed with an open microphone, before an assembled media horde.
It was a slightly queasy military tactic.
Mr. Stogran, a retired colonel, assembled a heartstrings-tugging entourage of physically disabled, mentally handicapped and disease-plagued veterans from Canadian missions going back decades. He then co-ordinated their attack based on the common view that fighting this government and the courts was more frustrating and painful than facing their actual combat enemies.
The veterans gave every appearance of being props in Stogran’s personal war.
No, no, no, he insisted several times. This was not about him. It was about the thousands of victims tangled up in a military bureaucracy that foot-drags, stonewalls and obstructs on ways to ease the plight of injured veterans and their families.
Perhaps, but only five days separates the retired colonel’s pink slip and his blast of condemnation over the slow pace of progress on issues that have been gathering political and legal dust for years. The only newsworthy development on this file? Pat Stogran is not getting his contract renewed for another three years.
I felt slightly queasy reading this column. Unfortunately, the National Post has decided to attack Stogran’s personality rather than investigate his complaints about Veteran’s Affairs, which are all too true. We can take this as a signal of how Harper plans to attack this problem…rather than actually taking care of our wounded soldiers, he’ll smear and besmirch the man his government appointed as their ombudsman.
Stay classy, National Post and Conservatives everywhere.
PS – I apologize for linking to the National Post here. Won’t happen again (until the next outrage, at least).