Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Trial Balloon

Norman Spector points the way for the Conservatives on the Khadr affair:
Sitting down with the Americans makes good sense. But suppose there’s no way at this time to reach a mutually acceptable framework to release Mr. Khadr into Canadian custody and control.

What then?

As the author of today’s Globe editorial correctly notes:

“The court refrained, wisely, from ordering Ottawa to try to bring Mr. Khadr, a citizen, home from the United States prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he has been for seven years. It was wise partly because the court lacks “institutional competence” in foreign affairs (as the court itself pointed out)… "

How would that incompetence disappear if the United States held to its position that Mr. Khadr will be tried by a military commission — notwithstanding knowing his age at the time he’s alleged to have committed the crime.

Answer? It wouldn’t in the least.

And why might we not be able to reach an agreement with the Americans at this time?

Consider President Barack Obama’s predicament in the wake of the Massachusetts surprise and upcoming mid-term elections in which the Democrats are likely to suffer huge losses.

Consider his vulnerability to Republican attacks on security matters: the underwear near-miss followed by additional errors in interrogating the alleged perpetrator; the terrorist attack allegedly carried out by Major Nidal Hassan at Fort Hood — which featured another series of huge errors by his Administration; the deteriorating situation in what candidate Obama had once called the good war; the mess he’s gotten himself into on his promise to close Guantanamo, including his recent decision to halt the repatriation of Yemeni prisoners back to their country for rehabilitation; today’s flip-flop on trying Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in Manhattan… I could go on.
In other words, the Conservatives should make a show of talking to the Obama administration, but only after fixing it with their Republican allies so that a Fox News shit storm errupts. Given the weak as piss occupant in the White House, the Conservatives are betting they can roll the President, just like their right-wing American cousins.
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  1. Dude, you're harsher on Obama than even I am...

  2. Told you I don't like the guy.