Thursday, July 10, 2008

Purposely Missing the Point

As he does with all things when the heat is turned up, Harper blames the Liberals.

With new allegations coming out that Canada knew that Khadr was being tortured, Harper was once again being asked questions about his return to Canada. Steve pointed out that this torture happened under the previous government and everything has been peachy-keen since he took over. Really? He knows this because the American officials told our officials? These would be the same officials who condoned it in the first place?

First, let me say that if the officials under the previous government were aware and did nothing, I'm shocked and those responsible deserve to be brought to task.

That said, that is not what is at issue here. What is at issue is the fact that Khadr, a Canadian, is not being afforded the rights and protection that Canadians expect and deserve.

If Foreign Affairs knew this information then, they also knew it when Harper took office. Once again Harper is dangling a shiny object and some media are obediently looking in that direction, others thankfully are digging deeper.

It's clear that Khadr is not going to receive any justice from a court/system that has been discredited by all except the Bush White House. Harper and gang clearly don't care about that in fact, they likely embrace it. No they care about their ever loving base who ironically still wouldn't throw him overboard if he did bring Khadr back. Those who adore Harper manage to throw him kisses no matter what the heck he does.

Say what you will about Dion, he came out on this issue very early and took the unpopular stance, not the political one. When it comes to courage, it's becoming quite clear which of the two leaders possesses that quality.

The whole situation is disgusting, but what is really galling to me is Harper's arrogance. Is he so bloody sure of himself now that he feels he can outright lie to the press, saying:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says that his government has "no real alternative" to the U.S. legal system in the Omar Khadr case

Does he sincerely think that he's the smartest guy in the room and that no one is going to legitimately contradict him?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is playing fast with the facts when he says the Conservative government has "no real alternative" to the U.S. legal process in the Omar Khadr case, say the Canadian detainee's lawyers.
"This is a disingenuous comment from the prime minister," says Khadr's Canadian lawyer, Dennis Edney.

The prime minister could have Khadr released from Guantanamo Bay with a single phone call, says University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran.

"Without exception, every other leader of a Western country has got their citizens out of Guantanamo," Attaran said.

"What is being done to Omar Khadr right now rests squarely on the shoulders of Prime Minister Harper," added Navy Lt.-Cmdr. William Kuebler, Khadr's U.S. military attorney.

I wish someone would just use the appropriate words, Stephen Harper is lying.

I do not know what it is going to take for people to finally take the full measure of this man, but given that he's unlikely to drop the arrogance, maybe during the next election we really will see him choreograph his own demise.

In the meantime, keep the pressure on to bring Khadr home to face a fair trial here.

On another note, yay. Oh, didn't Harper and co. call him a terrorist?


Johnathon said...

Since when do Canadians get to commit crimes abroad and then come to Canada to face trial?

You're being an arrogant Canadian here.

Omar Khadr killed a Canadian medic and needs to be setenced to life in prison without parole.

If you don't like it, cry to yourself.

You little baby.

ottlib said...

Talk about someone purposely missing the point.


knb said...

Omar Khadr killed a Canadian medic

Are you really that illinformed? A Canadian medic?

Oh, and by your logic he should be facing trial in Afghanistan.

Canadians who employ logic are not arrogant johnathon, they are the majority.

Anonymous said...

These alleged abuses happened under the Chretien / Martin Regime. The policy being followed now is the same policy that was implemented by the Liberal Regime. This person was fighting allied soldiers including Canadians on a foreign soil...there are consequences for this type of action. Canadian law does not apply.
Keep in mind that Chretien was instrumental in getting his Father released from a Pakistani jail. The Father then joined Bin Laden in Afgahanistan prior to 911. This is a terrerost family that should not be welcome in this country.
AND, let this be a lesson for all Canadians, should you travel abroad and participate in terrorist activities in a foreign land...expect consequences from those whom you terrorize.

knb said...

anon, how shiny is that object?

No one is asking for Candian law to apply in America, we're asking for Canadian law and Human Rights to apply to all Canadian citizens.

You obviously missed the fact that he was just 15 years old at the time.

Anonymous said...

I really do hope that one day a Canadian Soldier or diplomat get taken and tortured (or is it rendition that they call it?) – because from what I’m been seeing the so called “terrorists” are much more humane than the butchers in Washington and our own government.
Since when is torture tolerated? It seems that the righties approve of it.
Retartothon can’t even get the basic facts straight in this story, he only deserved to be ridiculed for being an ignorant assmonkey. Omar Khadr was a child soldier and should be treated as such. I believe that the Canadian(s) who interviewed Khadr should be charged with war crimes.
Harper and Mackay are lying sacks of shit, but in this atmosphere of fear, sheeple are so gullible. It’s only human right abuses when it’s the Chinese or the scary mooslims. If anything, Canada should be telling the U.S. that they have crossed the line and are now international pariahs.

RuralSandi said...

Okay, so the Liberals knew about it in 2004 and there was an election/campaign 2006-2006 - ONE year

Harper's been PM for 2-1/2 years and he's done nothing - he's had a hell of a lot more time to do what should be done.

Also, more info has come out since Harper's been PM - about what the US was holding back, actually Harper had more reason to bring him back.

You know, Harper really is a sick man.

RuralSandi said...

Whoops - meant to say election/campaign 2005-2006...sorry.

Johnathon goes all over the blogosphere bashing, trashing and getting the facts TOTALLY wrong. Other sites are deleting him - perhaps you should too. He's just a vile, nasty piece of work.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind this alleged torture took place under the Liberal regime. The media and the Liblogs didn't have a problem with this when they were in power, their only concern then was secrecy... Now they want to bring it into the front burner with their anti-American and anti Harper rants.

Why were the Liblogs not worried about these Human Rights issues before. Instead they were freeing Khadr father from a Pakistani Jail.

ottlib said...

Remember knb that this is the same crowd who sat back and let Ms. Martin rot in a Mexican prison for two years without charge.

And when it finally came to light these very same Conservative supporters all said she must have been guilty so she should rot in jail. And certainly the Conservatives should not be blamed. Everybody else is responsible but certainly not the Conservatives.

I gave up long ago expecting the Conservative government to follow Canadian law and long established consular protocols if they believe it will not benefit them politically. They are that partisan and callous.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind this alleged torture took place under the Liberal regime.
So your argument is blame the Liberals?
It was not right under the Liberals and it's not okay today. Harper is being disingenuous and complicit.
If the Liberals knew, then they do have some explaining to do.

The media and the Liblogs didn't have a problem with this when they were in power, their only concern then was secrecy... Now they want to bring it into the front burner with their anti-American and anti Harper rants.
And what are you basing this on? Sounds like you are pulling "facts" out of your ass. You are just a fucking liar without any shred of proof. And again, Harper is doing nothing.
Funny how would like us to accept criminal and war crimes as being acceptable when American do it.
Make you a hypocrite and a fucking idiot.

Why were the Liblogs not worried about these Human Rights issues before. Instead they were freeing Khadr father from a Pakistani Jail.

The Liblogs freed Kahdr father? Do the Liblogs have some special opts team that went to Pakistan? Please explain coward anon.....

knb said...

ottlib, you prove my point that they'll follow him anywhere.

Gayle said...

"And when it finally came to light these very same Conservative supporters all said she must have been guilty so she should rot in jail."

Actually, from what I saw many of them were sympathtic towards her at first. It was only after she spoke out against Harper that they all decided she deserved to rot in jail.

Anonymous said...

Well...well..the truth finally comes out. This isn't about torture...these is about about supporting the terrorists.

Cherniak_WTF said...
I really do hope that one day a Canadian Soldier or diplomat get taken and tortured."

The angry tone and name calling is a normal tone from the "loonie left".and "anti" American crowd. It doesn't matter how you spin it...Chretien was very active in having this terrorist released. If this information was not avalable during the Liberal years, it was only because they chose to restrict and hide it.

Cherniak_WTF....just another angry left wing idealogue. When the facts don't support your cause...the loonie left resorts to name calling. Clearly you would be much happier if Khadr was home "plotting" against our Canadian soldiers....I guess your true colors have now come out.

Just to make it clear, I'm still on the side of democracy and support our military alomg the great work they are doing around the world to spread dmocracy and freedom to those in need.

Anonymous said...

The Liberal Party including Dion and Cotler have no leg to stand on when it comes to the Khadr case. From the moment he was captured when he was fifteen the Liberals should have demanded he be repatriated and treated as the child soldier he was. I heard Cotler being interviewed and he was trying to side step responsibility even though he was a renowned human rights lawyer/academic prior to his election. He said, although he was in cabinet, this wasn't HIS file and that somehow negates his moral responsibility. BULLSHIT! He knew - we all knew - it was morally reprehensible for the US to ignore UN conventions on child soldiers. If he couldn't convince Bill Graham and the rest of cabinet and the PMs (Chretien and Martin) then the only moral thing to do would have been to RESIGN. Now we know that the US case against Khadr has fallen apart. There is evidence that suggests that Khadr was too wounded to have thrown a grenade. We now know that Khadr was tortured and that Canadian officials were aware of it (officials who were supposed to be reporting to a Liberal government). We know that the US government is willing to make an already risible military tribunal even less credible by switching out a military judge that was not bowing to the demands of the government lawyers. This makes it worse but the very first element of this case (that Khadr was a child soldier) was all the Liberal government needed to demand Khadr's repatriation.

In the CBC radio interview Cotler even acknowledged that the Liberal government was willing to sacrifice individual rights in the name of the 'war on terror'. One might understand how our US neighbours went to that place given that they were the ones that were attacked and that it has taken them some time to question the approach. The Liberal government has no such excuse. Were Canadians concerned, yes. Were we demanding the abrogation of individual rights and freedoms out of panic, no. Their choices were based on political expediency. The Liberal Party is famous for tough domestic talk about the US and folding when directly dealing with the US administration (whatever the party in power down south).

The notion that Dion took an ethical stand on much less an EARLY stand on this issue is RIDICULOUS. He was in cabinet when the NDP were calling for the government live up to our international obligations in accordance with the UN conventions.

Enough with this revisionist history of the Liberal government on this and many other issues.

knb said...

Anon, I haven't heard the Cotler interview, so I will not comment, but I did make clear that if this information was known and ignored by the Lib's, I don't give them a pass.

As for the stand on rights, while I agree with you, I also concede that the mood and time was different then.

To suggest that the Lib's haven't reversed their view ignores the fact that they allowed provisions of the act to expire and put that expiration provision in, in the first place.

Anonymous said...

KNB: glad that you think that the libs have now done enough to atone for their part in Khadr and the experiences of those still in confinement (prison or home confinement) who are stuck with security certificates and no way to defend themselves given that they and their lawyers have limited access (if any) to the charges and testimony of those who have accused them.


Different times, we were scared - blah blah

I assume you were a liberal when the Liberal's were in government and doing these things. Did you know it was wrong for the US to indefinitely imprison a 15yr boy? Did you think what happened to Arar was okie dokie? Do you think that people accused of a crime have the right to confront their accusers and know the charges being leveled against them?

If you did, then so did the Liberal cabinet and caucus. It is this kind of governing by expediency that turns more and more progressives off the LPC. Politicians can and should be able to change their positions but their positions need to be based in principal. Great that the LPC has changed their tune (not enough when it comes to security certificates) but it has NOTHING to do with principal and all to do with running left so that if they get back in power they can continue their triangulating ways on the right of the political spectrum.

Anonymous said...

Cherniak_WTF....just another angry left wing idealogue. When the facts don't support your cause...
Anon - I've been very clear that I'm Libertarian.

It amusing to see you write about facts when the right has been wrong on just about everything.

What's becoming clear is that the right are worse than fascist and certainly are not the defenders of democracy.

American Muslim, not Muslim-American said...

Hypocrisy of the "Repatriate Omar Khadr to Canada" Movement

As soon as the Gitmo interrogation tape of Omar Khadr hit the Internet, the blogosphere was flooded with demands to repatriate him to Canada. This wave is reminiscent of a Soviet campaign to free Luis Corvalán from the "fascist regime" of Augusto Pinochet thirty five years ago. The scenario is strikingly similar. A "victim" held by "fascist regimes" this time run by Bush and Harper, and a public outcry for justice. Except for the fact that Luis Corvalán didn't kill anyone and didn't fight for a terrorist group that wants to impose Sharia.

The "repatriate Khadr" crowd describes him as "a child", "a kid", "a boy", and even "a torture victim", with no facts to substantiate the torture claims notwithstanding. They complain about Khadr being mistreated, again, without anything to back up their claims. Some of them are outraged about "child abuse." And they all scream for justice.

They want justice? OK, let's talk about JUSTICE. What about justice for Sgt. First Class Christopher J. Speer, who was (according to an eyewitness) murdered by this "child"? What about justice for Tabitha Speer, who is a widow because of this "kid"? What about justice for Taryn and Tanner Speer, who are left without a father by this "a boy"? And what about all those Afghani civilians and NATO troops who are a little bit safer because this "torture victim" is behind bars? How many of these "repatriate Khadr" hypocrites concern themselves with justice for real victims? In literally hundreds of posts, we couldn't find a single one.

One would ask, what is the reason for this idiocy? The answer is simple. Ignorance. Complete and utter ignorance. Let's forget for a second that Omar Khadr killed Christopher Speer. Let's forget that Khadr's father was an al Qaeda financier. Let's forget that Khadr's family is known for it being al Qaeda sympathizers. Let's just remember what this "child" was fighting for in Afghanistan.

This is what Taliban-imposed Sharia looks like in real life:

Why don't all of you, bleeding heart demagogues go to Afghanistan and spend a day in a Taliban-controlled territory? And let's talk about Khadr when you get back. If you get back.