You're old enough that you'll be familiar with the line about getting your tits caught in the wringer. Well Frank that's the sort of predicament you've gotten yourself into right now.
You've got another highly esteemed legal mind, international credentials and everything, who has seen the same documents you're going to be reviewing. For all we know he's got copies of them. It seems the guys who are using you screwed up royally and let the smoking guns out long ago on a Freedom of Information enquiry.
Worse still, Frank, this esteemed legal mind has made accusations that take these documents right out of the 'national security' discussion and into the realm of criminal coverup. This guy, Ottawa U law professor Amir Attaran, says you'll be reading documents that make plain that the government was knowingly complicit in torture of Afghan detainees. Attaran says you're going to read that we handed detainees over to Afghan torturers so they could wring intelligence out of them.
And, Frank, the instant you read that and realize what it means, you're going to have to ask yourself if you've been set up to participate in a conspiracy to conceal war crimes. At that point all this 'national security' bullshit becomes just that - bullshit, neck deep.
You know Harper has no legal right to withhold these documents from Parliament. You know it's an abuse of the Canadian constitution to do that. You also know that if Harper had any genuine belief otherwise, he'd be arguing his point before real judges, the folks sitting just a block away, not an ex-judge.
Once you see evidence of a conspiracy to conceal war crimes, you're right between the rock and the hard place. Professor Attaran has given you a gentle reminder that Harper has let these documents slip through his fingers already. At this point you're being set up as Harper's political shill, his beard. You're not to determine fine points of national security and you're not even being asked to deal with the constitution. You're a prop and that's it, a public relations gimmick for the 30% of Canadians who haven't clued in to what a petty tyrant we have running this country.
You've had an impressive career Frank. You built a fine reputation. Too bad you're willing to let Harper throw all that off a cliff to save his political skin.
One of the best follow up posts I have ever read. You should link it as update to the one that is getting the traffic.
Gee Willy, thanks very much for the kind words. I'd take your advice about linking this as an update but that would mean having to learn the technical side of this stuff and I'm just too damned old to bother. Besides it's a glorious, sunny day here on the island and I'm pretty sure that's my motorcycle calling me.
What gets me, yes Iacobucci is highly esteemed, but legally he is an ordinary citizen, so how can the Conservatives let him see documents that could pose a threat to national security, and not 308 MPs who have currently sworn oaths to this country and their duties?
Well put, MoS.
Scott, I expect he'll be made a Privy Councillor if SCC judges aren't in any case (not sure of that). Also, bear in mind that FI won't be examining docs in his capacity as a judge, he's retired from the bench. However I understand he has returned to practice so it's conceivable he's been retained on a solicitor-client basis. That, in turn, opens another whole can of worms and ethical considerations.
Of course Mr. Harper could always put the core questions to the SCC on a reference but he won't because he already knows the answers and is furiously trying to avoid them.
As far as I can tell this is all a stunt to play to Harper's base and any Canadians gullible enough to buy Harper's wailing about national security.
It all makes you wonder. Brian Mulroney, already the subject of an inquiry investigating bribes distributed by a dubious arms dealer, appointed Iacobucci to the Supreme Court of Canada. Harper, deftly trying to avoid an embarassing and potentially fatal inquiry investigation, asks the now retired Iacobucci to conduct an "investigation" into providing documents that Iacobucci simply KNOWS Parliament has the legal right to see. If a former Supreme Court justice can be taken for a ride by Harper, is it any wonder that Harper can do whatever the hell he wants with the Canadian people?
Yes it does make one wonder. Then again is this really not to be expected from a schoolyard bully when no one stands up to him?
This post is making the rounds on facebook.
Hi BY and thanks. Not sure what to make of the Facebook thing. Is that good?
It can be a useful tool for mobilizing people, MoS.
This post certainly caught the attention of a few members of the group, Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament. The founder of that group was actually interviewed on CBC Radio when the group first started.
So it's all good :-)
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