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More Grinch remarks from Conservative Cabinet Ministers/Appointees

I said a couple of days ago I thought these guys might clam up leading to the Christmas holidays after the James Moore debacle, but no, they just can’t seem to help showing themselves as the modern-day Ebenezer Scrooge/Grinch government. I obviously underestimated the foot-in-mouth disease, as its spread. I’m not surprised it would be Peter MacKay who would be the next one to show symptoms of it a couple of days ago…

Justice Minister Peter MacKay lash(ed) out at judges for circumventing new rules requiring them to impose financial penalties on people convicted of a crime: doubling of the fine for a summary offence to $100 and $200 for […]

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This poll and that poll – more summer bad news for the Conservatives

More polls to talk about today. First, two-thirds of Canadians who were polled disapprove of Prime Minister proroguing Parliament in Sept and waiting until late October to reconvene Parliament.

As I said in my blogpost just the other day, this is probably the most “conventional” use of proroguing Parliament (or intending to prorogue, as he hasnt formally asked for it yet) that Harper has done while in government, and it’s ironic that on the more conventional type of prorogue, Harper’s getting massive disapproval of his intent to use it again.. but I guess that’s what you get when you abuse it a couple of other times.

The other poll […]

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‘Accounting Difference’ – your latest F-35 defence by Pete MacKay

Apparently, a 10 billion $ discrepancy in what the F-35 was estimated to cost is now trying to be sold as no big deal – just a minor thing, according to Defense Minister MacKay:

Defence Minister Peter MacKay admits he knew that buying F-35 fighters could cost $25 billion — billions of dollars more than Ottawa publicly acknowledged — but insists there was never any effort to mislead Canadians. After days of fierce criticism that defence department officials intentionally kept Parliament in the dark about the cost of the F-35s, MacKay went on the offensive Sunday, insisting that a $10 billion gap in the fighter budget was an accounting difference.

[…]

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Good framing of the public inquiry demands by Layton

Layton’s summary is that if the Government of Canada refuses to start a judicial public inquiry into the Afghan Detainee Issue, then an international body (ie. The International Criminal Court) will potentially do it instead. We don’t want that:

“It’s very important that we take control of this here in Canada because if we do not, then we’re going to find that international bodies are going to start asking questions and conducting their own investigations if we don’t take hold of that responsibility here,” Layton told reporters in Ottawa on Thursday.

The 2nd part of the good framing tactic – playing down that the NDP will ask the ICC to […]

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Let's just repeat this: torture to detainees was known to have happenned.

This news report says it all:

In a major embarrassment for the government, Canada’s top soldier unexpectedly revealed on Wednesday that some Canadian troops had known detainees handed over to Afghan authorities could be abused. The announcement by General Walt Natynczyk effectively swept away the long-held official line that there was no credible evidence prisoners might be harmed. Legal experts say handing over detainees in the knowledge they could be abused is a war crime.

The key passage from these “just discovered” notes is the part I’ve highlighted, in my opinion:

A contrite Natynczyk said on Wednesday he had just received information about an incident in southern Afghanistan in June […]

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I wonder what Blatchford thinks of her own paper's editorial today.

This is a very blunt and brutal editorial by the Globe and Mail slamming the Conservatives today, titled, “The Record and the Falsehoods” – an excerpt of it here:

The record speaks for itself on what the Canadian government knows, or should have known, about the torture of Afghan detainees. It speaks far louder than the falsehoods from the government that have by now become routine. At every breach of the walls of secrecy that the diplomat Richard Colvin has alleged existed within government and the military, the government fires off untruths (the above list is by no means complete). But they are laughably weak armaments against the truth. As […]

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It's time to start asking for Peter MacKay's resignation.

I’m surprised, quite frankly, that the opposition parties haven’t already started demanding MacKay resign prior to the Globe’s latest revelations that proof does exist about detainee abuse, as accounted by Canadian soldiers/officials. All of MacKay’s claims in Parliament on this issue have so far been rebutted, and there are serious grounds for charging he hasn’t told Parliament what he and the government really knew or knows about this issue of Afghan detainees and whether there were grounds to suspect they would be tortured once turned over.

There are other Ministers all the way up to the Prime Minister that this could be said of, but MacKay has been the lead […]

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Another poll shows overwhelming support for Colvin; majority want public inquiry.

Hat tip to Steve V over at Far and Wide for seeing this poll, taken on November 24/25:

49% find Richard Colvin’s testimony credible; 10% side with federal government ministers.

As Steve said, that’s a ratio of 5-1 of people polled who believe Colvin’s testimony over the government’s official version of “no credible evidence”. That’s even higher then the 2-1 margin from the initial poll taken a few days ago on Canadians impressions of Colvin’s testimony.

We also see in the same polling that a majority of people want a public inquiry:

A majority of respondents (53%) support launching a public inquiry on what the government and the Canadian Forces […]

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Retired generals accessed secret government documents to prepare for testimony…

…and Peter MacKay has no idea how that happened. And pigs can fly.

Video supplied by CBC.

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Afghan agency reported 400 cases of torture - 47 of them in Kandahar.

I’m presuming that Peter MacKay and the rest of the Conservative government will claim since this agency didn’t actually, you know, see the torture first hand, it’s ‘not reliable’:

An Afghan agency, at one time entrusted to monitor Canadian-captured insurgents in Kandahar, says it has documented nearly 400 cases of torture across the war-ravaged country…The Conservative government has described Colvin’s allegation as hearsay, unsubstantiated and “simply not credible.” However, the Afghan commission said it uncovered 47 cases of abuse in Kandahar, which was ranked third in terms of the number of abuse claims in the country.

“Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment are common in the majority of […]

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