Wednesday, November 25, 2009

House of Commons debate on torture allegations (2007, video)



Came across this last night and thought it was worth re-circulating for a few reasons. It's a reminder that these issues having been in question for years now yet still remain unaddressed by this government.

Secondly, thought this video was notable for a look at the 2007 demeanour of the Prime Minister in addressing the issues. At about 1:25 in, there's a typical example of the Harper tactic at the time of characterizing the opposition as having more passion for Taliban prisoners than Canadian soldiers. Using Canadian soldiers to deflect from the issue, as he's done throughout, using them as a shield when he's questioned, even recently, about his knowledge of torture allegations in Afghanistan.

But back to the impression conveyed in the video...does this strike you as a Prime Minister taking the issue seriously at the time, interested in getting to the bottom of the issue? Or is it a Prime Minister more interested in deflecting the questions from the opposition and viewing the matter as some kind of a political game? It has some bearing on our present dealings with the issue as the Afghan committee proceeds and allegations of the Prime Minister's own micro-management of the issue have appeared. Did he think the opposition just wasn't strong enough to challenge whatever his government actions at the time may or may not have been? The video strikes me as the typical, unserious Conservative approach to the issue, that they've never really cared about it, just viewed it as a political problem to be managed.

Thirdly, Liberals might be interested in the Ignatieff present here. More of that would be a good thing, nothing wrong with unbridled enthusiasm in the pursuit of accountability on this human rights issue.