Friday, June 15, 2007

Junior MacKay: the dog ate my homework

Well, that's about the sum total of an explanation Junior has offered for the bumbling incompetence of the Conservatives' handling of the Afghanistan file and how they absolutely missed any concerns about human rights issues and detainee treatment in that country. A Globe report today quotes Junior, in full CYA mode, in written responses on the issue explaining that if he wasn't copied or briefed on it, he didn't know it. Do you think Junior could be more passive and disengaged?
According to written responses tabled in the House of Commons yesterday by Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay, his department has been producing reports on human rights, good governance and democratic development in the country since at least 2002.

But Mr. MacKay said that neither he nor his predecessor in the Foreign Affairs portfolio were made aware of the Afghanistan reports nor was Mr. Harper. In fact, "the human rights reports are not normally copied to the Prime Minister's Office," the response said.

Mr. MacKay said that until recently, he knew nothing of the reports either.

"The human rights reports are not normally copied to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, nor is the Minister briefed on their content," Mr. MacKay wrote in response to NDP defence critic Dawn Black. In a separate response, National Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor wrote that he and his predecessors had also not been made aware of the human rights reports.
How gallant of Junior to include the PMO and Harper in his weak excuse filled positioning here. After all, Harper's really been looking out for Junior lately, like he did on the Atlantic Accord file, right? Lol...

I guess this disengagement could be chalked up to incompetence. That is, these newbies just didn't know that yes, human rights issues might be something they want to be aware of in respect of a foreign country where our military is operating and handling prisoners. It's not all GI Joe fantasies and photo ops, guys.

Or it could be intentional ignorance to human rights issues that the Conservatives view as the misguided priorities of the Liberal horsey-set. This explanation fits well with the legal story line they've written thus far...cancelling the Court Challenges Programme, attempting to stack the deck for judicial appointments, denigrating the Charter...yep, intentional ignorance of human rights concerns would be a pretty valid explanation for their falling down here.

Neither explanation for their disinterest and incompetence in Afghan detainee issues really helps, does it?

Best get to work there, Junior...if you're not busy running Foreign Affairs, and it's running you instead, that's not a good look for a vulnerable MP...:)