Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This is Canada?

Colour me completely unsurprised. The government waited until parliament wasn't sitting to appeal, yes appeal, the court order to get Omar Khadr out of Guantanamo.

You remember that don't you?

Federal Court Judge James O'Reilly ruled in April that the government's refusal to demand repatriation of Khadr offends fundamental justice. The government must ask the United States "as soon as practical" to send Khadr, 22, home, O'Reilly said.

Since that time, the government has avoided every question on the issue by putting up the bumbling, stumbling, parliamentary secretary Deepak Obhrai. Actually, both he and Nicholson have both said that they were awaiting the US process to take it's course. Obhrai said this as recently as June 18/2009:

Mr. Speaker, I have answered this question on many occasions and it is the same answer. Our position has not changed. Mr. Omar Khadr faces very serious charges.

We are waiting the outcome of the review that President Obama has requested to be conducted.

The lies just keep on coming don't they? They weren't waiting. They were planning to fight the court order and keep him there at any cost. But wait, it gets worse.

You would expect, in fighting to have this order overturned, the government would be presenting a pretty compelling case to not return Khadr to Canada. Right? Danger, terrorist, bad guy...something like that?

A federal lawyer conceded Tuesday that she cannot "point to any risks" if Omar Khadr were repatriated to Canada.
Doreen Mueller made the admission Tuesday under repeated grilling from Federal Court of Appeal judges on why the Canadian government refuses to seek the return of the Canadian terror suspect from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"If the government makes the request, is there a negative impact on its security interests?" asked Justice Karen Sharlow.
"If that were the conclusion . . . I can't point to any risks," said Mueller.

Isn't that unbelievable? Doesn't that just make the case that sane people have been making all along? That the Harper government is keeping that man in Guantanamo Bay for gawds sake, because of their ideology? Because it wouldn't go over well with their base? You know the base I mean. Those people who put such a high value on all life. Disgusting.

So their argument is not that Khadr is a risk, no their argument is that the judiciary has no place telling the government what to do. Are you getting the picture here? Does the term activist judiciary come to mind?

A federal government lawyer said the courts need to back off when it comes to the Omar Khadr case and leave foreign affairs decisions to the Prime Minister and his cabinet.

But I'm certain that Harper said that he'd be kept in line by the checks and balances of our system, if elected? Didn't he say that?

Without going into paranoia mode here, I do think we are getting into dangerous territory. Other rulings, decisions and issues also came out today that don't bode well.

The Harkat raid has been ruled illegal and mysteriously, a reporter was excluded from attending the Canadian China Business Council today. The Council is funded by the government. And finally, Democracy Watch is taking the government to court re' Harper breaking his fixed election law.

This is Canada?

Reference Khadr articles: here, here and here.


RuralSandi said...

He said we wouldn't recognize Canada when he finishes with it.

Notice, Harper always waits until parliament's out to do things - single securities regulatory issue - the Monday after parliament ends. It's not about if you are for or against it, but shouldn't this be taken up in parliament? Quebec will be very upset about this one.

It just keeps mounting up.

penlan said...

Here's some exclusive news from Global National on the cost of the war in Afghanistan. They got yhe info off the DoD site. This is a short video:


KNB said...

Good clip penlan. Thank you.

I've turned it into a link, here.

penlan said...

you're welcome. :)

Thanks for making it a link.

sjw said...

Say what you want about America and its politics, the men (and hopefully some day the women) they elevate to their highest office absolutely adore the country they serve. You just don't get that same feeling from Stephen Harper who on a good day shows indifference and on most others contempt for the nation he purports to love.

I sure wish we were having an election.

RuralSandi said...

Paul Wells said that it wasn't Harper that kept her out of the press conference/speech - it was the Chinese. She has spoken out against them apparently.

KNB said...

Me too sjw, but until some of this stuff sinks in with the public, we could end up right where we are...and frankly that would send me throught the roof!

Indeed Harper shows contempt for the nation and the institutions that make it so wonderful. Always has.

KNB said...

That may be true Sandi, I haven't read Wells yet...still, Baird and someone else was there and it is funded by the Government. I don't buy that nothing could have been done.

RuralSandi said...

Wells has been defending Harper a lot of late and putting down Ignatieff - I don't know if that has anything to do with it or not.

Wells responded on a blog post by Aaron Wherry

sjw said...

What was Joe Clark doing there? I thought he couldn't stand the Harperites?

KNB said...

Sandi thanks. I was just going to ask where you saw it, 'cause I couldn't find it anywhere!

KNB said...

Clark is a realist and I suspect he was there to see what opportunity lay ahead. I believe he's involved in some projects.

Say what you will about the man but, he's a gentleman and he has no time for this current fabrication of a party he once loved.

foottothtefire said...

Great post, LAM!!! And kudo's to Penlan for the further detail on Afghanisnam.

KNB said...

Which Wherry post sandi..I still can't find it.

I wonder how Wells would have reacted?

More than defending Harper, he's just so damned cynical about everything and let's things go. Too bubble oriented?

Gayle said...

I am a little confused about this, because normally you do not argue an appeal the day you file it. I believe you have to file an appeal 30 days after the decision, and then you make your arguments later. So, I suspect this had been filed a while ago and no one noticed.

As for the government lawyer, I wonder if she is making these arguments because she believes them or because her boss told her to. I bet Harper fires her! :)

KNB said...

Thanks Foot. Agreed, penlan made a great find.

KNB said...

Gayle, that is why I suggested they lied with every utterance in the House.

They were appealing and wouldn't admit it.

Given how flustered she reportedly got, I imagine your second conclusion is correct.

wilson said...

The appeal was filed in May, this is not new news:

Government appeals Khadr court ruling
Friday, May 8, 2009
CBC News

'The government is appealing a Federal Court judge's ruling that Canada must press the United States for the return of Omar Khadr from the Guantanamo Bay detention centre, officials confirmed Friday.

Federal officials have filed an appeal of Justice James O'Reilly's ruling that Canada must "present a request to the United States for Mr. Khadr's repatriation as soon as practicable."...'


KNB said...

Maybe not new wilson, but your cavalier dismissal of what is at stake here is telling.

Seriously, do you guys defend Harper at all costs? Someone's life? They have NOTHING!

You thought it was okay to keep Abdelrazik in limbo, you think it's okay to keep Khadr in a hell hole, I'm sure you'd prefer that Ronald Smith be executed.

What about Celil? What about the Newsweek reporter recently taken in Iran? I mean, just how choosy are you about who is worthy?

You know, I am sick to death with this ridiculous defense of a government, a flipping Canadian government that behaves like the worst thugs on the planet...and people like you defend them..sorry...him.

It's shameful.

Anonymous said...

Khadr should never be allowed back into Canada. Terrorist puke.

Oemissions said...

As a Canadian I feel no threat from Khadr.
He was a teenager when they took him, and his development has been arrested.
He needs family and healing from all that time in that horrendous environment.
Besides, they will be watching him if and when he does get here.

MD said...

I'm not a lawyer, but I can't make even remote sense of the government's argument that the court has overstepped its bounds. The government's position seems to be that Canadian citizens only enjoy rights when it suits the foreign policy objectives of the present cabinet. I think it would be ominous if the judges agreed.

wilson said...

''your cavalier dismissal of what is at stake here is telling''

ummm, I posted an article,
but I am not dismissive of the Kadhr situtation.

He is on trial for (alleged) killing an American soldier.
IMO, the US has a right to bring him to trial,
and Canada should allow Obama to proceed.
This is Obama's decision.

Didn't parliament just pass a new law, that would allow the wife of the soldier Kadhr (alleged) killed, to sue him...?

Gayle said...

"...the US has a right to bring him to trial..."

Says who - the US? If they really believed that they would bring him to trial in the US or treat him as a prisoner of war.

Instead they made up a brand new set of rules.

Canada should not be waiting for Obama to make up his mind - I am quite certain he would make up his mind right now if Canada would just do what they should be doing and bring him back home.

In any event, if the article about this appeal accurately describes what happened in the courtroom, something tells me Harper will lose this one.

No doubt he will try the SCC next. Hopefully the SCC will see through these little games and put that one on the fast track.

Anonymous said...

The courts have no business interferring in the government's handling of foreign affairs.Gitmo is no hell hole and the UN security council considers Adbelrazik a terrorist cell member.And yes,the U.S has the right to try Khadr.

Gayle said...

Silly little anon - if the US has that right, why are they making it up as they go along?

That right does not exist - they are just trying to create it.

FredfromBC said...

Says who - the US? If they really believed that they would bring him to trial in the US or treat him as a prisoner of war.

Instead they made up a brand new set of rules.


Hilarious as always, Gayle.

He can't be tried in the US because he committed no crime there. He can't be tried as a prisoner of war because he does not qualify as one under the Geneva Conventions (a fact that you Liberals seem to love ducking every time it is presented). He doesn't qualify as a soldier OR a "child soldier" under the existing regulations...what he does qualify for is the designation of TERRORIST. You don't have to like that fact, Gayle...you just have to accept it.

The Americans have every right to try him in any venue they please, since he left Canada and travelled to a foreign country for the sole purpose of killing Americans.

Gayle said...

What the Americans should be doing is trying him for a crime in the jurisdiction where he allegedly committed that crime - only they can't.

And, as you correctly point out, they have no jurisdiction to try him in any other venue.

In other words, they have no jurisdiction to try him. That is why they are making it up.

Get it now?