Wednesday, February 11, 2009

State Department brushing up on Khadr

Usually I'll only post Privy Council droppings by, when they're interesting, but this visit today was intriguing, perhaps prompted by the opposition's salvo on the Khadr file:

Interesting posts they're coming across! So somebody's doing some kind of homework? I'm sure blog posts weigh far down on their radar screens, yet still, interesting to note. Are they checking up on what kind of support there is in Canada for the Conservative government's Khadr position?
"Mr. Harper's spokesman told The Canadian Press he doesn't expect either leader to raise the issue of the Guantanamo Bay detainee."
Did you note the very particular and offensive communications from the spokesthingy today?
"We are not interested in what Mr. Khadr's lawyers have to say or opposition leaders or, frankly, the media," Kory Teneycke told the Canadian Press.

"We are not going to make decisions on this case on the basis of PR campaigns by his lawyer, by his media, or the opposition coalition." (emphasis added)
Really? That's a quote for the ages coming out of the PMO. Doesn't sound very democratic now, does it.

We'll see what happens on the visit. Perhaps as Teneycke assures us the Obama team is in fact totally disinterested in Khadr, the lone Canadian's fate at Guantanamo and won't make any connection to the fact that they're visiting, you know, Canada, and might achieve something fruitful to their ends. Maybe State is just brushing up on Canada's position on Khadr in preparation for the ultimate determination on Khadr's fate in connection with the Justice Department review. Today, they've got more important information to consider (click to enlarge, excerpt from page 1 of letter):
It's long past time for Mr. Harper to demonstrate some leadership here. After all, that's the line we've been fed for years now. He's supposedly all about the leadership. Yet when the circumstances change, when the lights are flashing that the facts are moving, swirling, the Harper leadership choice is to do nothing. He's frozen in time. For the entire tenure of his prime ministership on this issue. And spokesthingy says please, just all of you irritating people, go away and let the big dog handle it by passively waiting to be told what to do.

Teneycke's response is par for the course for the PMO these days. Lashing out at the opposition as "playing politics" and participating in "PR stunts." But they're clearly the ones who are not offering any substantive action here.