Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Strength and Dignity

Suaad Mohamud appeared before committee today. Heretofore, I sensed a dignity about her, but to actually see her testify, brought that and many more qualities to the fore.

If you consider just how recent her ordeal was, to come before parliament now was a feat I'm not sure many of us could undertake. Her motives are clear. What was done to her was wrong and she does not want to see it happen to anyone again.

She clearly time-lined what happened to her and though I knew most of the story, I was still appalled. She maintained her composure until she mentioned her son. It was apparent to me that he was paramount in her thoughts all the while she was dealing with the abuse. Something I hadn't known was, early on, officials laid out some photos, one of which was her son's and she identified him immediately. They ignored that.

Her testimony was honest, moving and all at once frightening.

The Liberals apologised, the NDP apologised, not sure about the Bloc on that point, but they were clearly taken aback...the Cons? Well, they mostly attacked.

To be fair, they did not attack the witness, well not outright. Brian Jean at the end showed himself to be a completely classless individual, by trying to push Mohamud to commit that she'd sign a release (releasing herself from privacy) stating that ALL info from a government report could be made public. There were insinuations in his question (and Goldring's) that are beneath contempt, mostly relating to the fact that she was aware that agents were taking bribes and she would not succumb to that.

They didn't come out and say it, but it felt to me, (my sense only) that they might be trying to use that as a way to discredit her or at least defend themselves. I'd invite you all to watch for such a development.

Beyond that, it felt as if the Cons were seeking a commitment from Suaad, that could/would/potentially direct the government in terms of what they put in the report.

Con MP Galipeau, imho, is past his prime. He rambled, thought it appropriate to make a joke that really wasn't one and tended to dismiss all by saying 'sometimes things fall between the stools'. I'm hoping that's a French Canadian expression that I missed along the way, because it sounded bizarre.

The kicker though was MP Deepak Obhrai. If ever there was a reason to worry about travelling abroad, this man is it. Oh, he very sympathetically looked at Suaad and said he comes from, well, I'll have to go back and listen, but he made it sound as if he was from her village. That ridiculous comment aside, he then went on excoriate Lib MP Dan McTeague. Agree or disagree with McTeague, there is no question that he takes these cases seriously, has experience and has always fought for what is right on these issues. McTeague, while in government, was parliamentary secretary to the Foreign Affairs Minister, the same position that Obhrai holds.

That didn't stop Obhrai though. No siree! It in fact fueled him. He accused McTeague of calling civil servants racist. McTeague has never said anything of the sort, but facts are meaningless to this man. In fact, when asked to support his accusations, he pompously said he doesn't have to do that.

Excuse me? When did the Conservatives pass a law that said you can defame/libel without supporting evidence?

It was interesting really, watching Obhrai trying to twist all that has been said about the Conservative government and deflect it to the civil service. I still can't find the pretzel shape in my mind to describe what he was doing. Every single fact that has come out, the government is obviously not taking responsibility for. Obhrai suggests that the civil service is in charge of everything, which of course is antithetical to how the Conservatives operate.

And of course there was the old saw, the Liberals started this. Yawn. Galipeau even had the audacity to point out that a treaty mentioned earlier on, was signed by Trudeau.

Sigh, they still don't seem to realise that they have been in power for almost 4 years.

Perhaps by the time they do, they will be back where they are more comfortable, sitting in opposition, still fighting to keep certain people out of the country.

7 comments:

Cherniak_WTF said...

Typical of history rewriting xenophobic racist Conservatives to try and rewrite the past...

The Conservatives are racists. Full stop.

She is more of a real Canadian than any BT ( I wish we could cull the lot)

KNB said...

c_wtf, if you see a BT slagging this, especially the $ part, pls let me know.

I'll be watching too, but something felt odd about that whole line of questioning.

Gayle said...

Hey, Brian Jean was a college instructor. Doesn't that make him some elitist academic???
:)

Joseph said...

Great post, KNB. You cover this topic so well.

The most interesting part to me, since I've pondered it myself, is when she spoke of her son . . . wondering how her fate would have been different if he had gone with her to visit her mother. I've thought of that, and also how different it would have been if she hadn't had a son in Canada for DNA matching. Apparently all of her evidence, and the words of scores of neighbors, friends, and even an employer not being enough to straighten this out early on.

And Cannon's stepping in with his own commentary just days before the DNA testing still reeks. I've never understood why he spoke when he did and said what he did at that time when he had said nothing prior and then went into exile afterwards. It was just like tossing a dagger at her credibility. To me, that's the point where this government crossed the line and loses all credibility in trying to pass the buck.

It is not too much to ask for a bit of maturity in government, is it?

Young Liberal said...

Obhrai was the perfect example of a proper Conservative: instead of asking questions of witnesses, he sought a fight with McTeague.

Wonder when they will finally learn that not everything in government is about attacking the other parties.

penlan said...

"The Liberals apologised, the NDP apologised, not sure about the Bloc on that point, but they were clearly taken aback...the Cons? Well, they mostly attacked."

If the Liberals continue to prop up these Fascists then we get what we deserve - Hell. If Harper & goons are re-elected with either another minority, or a majority, then we get what we deserve - Hell.

Ignorance doesn't cut it anymore. It's up to the Libs to get all this crap out to the public, no matter what they have to do to get it across. Not just on this issue but many, many others. The public is only ignorant because none of the opposition are putting out ads, calling pressers, hammering non-stop, & forcefully, about everything etc., to ensure the truth is told so that in the next election Harper is turfed. If the Libs hit hard enough & non-stop the media will have no choice but to report it.

If that can't be done then we get what we deserve - a Fascist State.

"That didn't stop Obhrai though. No siree! It in fact fueled him. He accused McTeague of calling civil servants racist. McTeague has never said anything of the sort, but facts are meaningless to this man. In fact, when asked to support his accusations, he pompously said he doesn't have to do that."

Can't Obhrai be sued for that? Libel/slander or something? After all this wasn't said in HoC where he would have immunity.

sjw said...

Penlan is right. Acquiescence is no longer an option. As a matter of fact it is way past acceptable. Topple this government and let the electoral cards fall where they may. If Harper and his storm troopers once again form government, then this nation undoubtedly gets what it deserves.