Friday, June 13, 2008

Movement on the Khadr file?

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling yesterday that has further embarrassed this Conservative government who has continued to bow to George W. Bush's Gitmo process, there's a possible sign that the Conservatives are flinching:
"Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai deflected questions about the U.S. court decision, saying the government would 'not comment on the judicial process of another country.'

But Obhrai, the parliamentary secretary to the foreign affairs minister, did stray from the government's previous media lines to raise the issue of international legal standards and human rights.

'The government of Canada strongly believes that the fight against terrorism must be carried out in compliance with international law including the established standard of human rights and due process,' he said.

Some believe the comment was significant and could signal the government is reviewing the legality of Khadr's imprisonment.

'I'm not sure that statement is not opening the door to a future argument that says, in review of the (international) conventions, that we find he can in fact come home and we could take care of him,' Liberal Senator Romeo Dallaire told the Toronto Star."
While Obhrai's statement is laughable given the government's failure to do anything to date in the face of prior rulings undermining Gitmo, they should be encouraged to review their policy. It's beyond the time that this repatriation effort should have been launched.

And in purely political terms, I'm sure it's become plenty uncomfortable to be hanging out there on that lonely limb with W. This Supreme Court ruling was a p.r. smack down of the highest order. They're on the wrong side of history and the law. The big problem, however, is that they may have waited too long given Khadr's trial being imminent. Not clear whether, politically, W and the gang would give up Khadr at this point.

And by the way, here's a thought...maybe Deepak should be Foreign Affairs Minister...