Responding to former prime minister Paul Martin’s call on Sunday’s edition of CTV’s Question Period that Canada should lobby to repatriate Omar Khadr, Stephen Harper’s new spokeshack, former CRFA lobbyist Kory Teneycke, had this to say:
“This is the process the Liberals chose, and we’re sticking with it,” Mr. Teneycke said in an interview Sunday. Accusing the opposition of ‘playing politics,’ he said recent public revelations about the Khadr file should have been known to the previous government. ‘This information was in their hands when they made these decisions,’ he said.”
Aside from the obvious fact that it’s Teneycke who’s actually “playing politics” here (for reasons clearly described by Impolitical), the assertion that “recent public revelations… should have been known” to the Liberals or that all the relevant facts surrounding Khadr’s case and the conditions of his detention were “in their hands” when the Liberals “chose” the process by which he will be tried before a military commission is nothing short of outright mendacity.
As pointed out by Canadian Cynic, revelations recently made public simply were not the sort of information that could possibly have been known to the previous government.
Regarding the “process” itself, the legal framework for the first military tribunal wasn’t formulated by the Bush administration until late 2005 and formal charges against Khadr weren’t even filed until November 2005 (one month before the election). It would be interesting to know how Teneycke thinks that the Liberal government should have known that the first tribunal process would eventually be struck down by the Supreme Court of the United States as being unconstitutional given this decision was made in June of 2006, six months after the Liberals were out of office. Despite what Teneycke would have people believe, the “legal process” now in effect at Guantanamo has absolutely nothing to do with the Liberals.