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.