Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s Defence Minister has lied about his war record, and now he needs to go.
Sajjan did one of the worst things you can do in the military: He lied about his battlefield record — in public and on purpose.
Speaking before the Observer Research Foundation, a think tank in India, Sajjan (already known for his brave work in Afghanistan) actually claimed that he was THE one who'd designed "Operation Medusa," Canada’s biggest offensive during our time in Kandahar.
Note the language there. He didn’t say he was "one of the architects." He didn’t say he was "part of a team." He said he was "THE architect."
And this was no slip of the tongue. This was not an off the cuff remark that can be excused as a minor slip up. The words were included in his prepared remarks.
A written copy of his speech, posted on the government of Canada’s website shows that this was always the plan. What he said was slightly different than the text, but the text still claimed that he was "THE architect."
“On my first deployment to Kandahar in 2006, I was the architect of Operation Medua where we removed 1,500 Taliban fighters off the battlefield…and I was proudly on the main assault.”
Now as Matthew Fisher, who broke this story points out, Sajjan was simply a major in the reserves when Operation Medusa went down. He wasn’t high enough in the system to be the person doing the planning.
Fisher, Canada’s only real war correspondent that we have left wrote: “It would be highly unusual for majors from the reserves to be the architects of large combat operations. Such duties in Afghanistan were the responsibility of generals and colonels in staff positions at headquarters in Kandahar, Kabul and Ottawa and of battalion commanders in the field.”
Who was in charge of planning that battle? Not Sajjan, veterans that were there are calling his claim a bald-faced lie.
The man in charge of planning Operation Medusa was Brigadier-General David Fraser who that point was in charge of the Canadian Forces in the region. Sajjan worked under him, but so did lots of other officers.
Sajjan is now apologizing, he's acknowledging that he goofed up. But that's not enough.
Everyone had high hopes for Sajjan, the "bad ass" Defence Minister. We respect his service, and what he actually did in the war: his three tours of duty, and his commendations from Canadian and American military officers.
But Harjit Sajjan’s lie here is about honour. For the honour of those who did fight in Afghanistan, those who did plan Operation Medusa, and those who will fight in the future, Sajjan must resign.
If you agree, then please sign the petition below.
Harjit Sajjan must resign from his cabinet position.