Friday, March 5, 2010

Rabble's Not Rex Murphy Contest and Lalo Espejo

So I already highlighted Muriel Wiens and her entry for Rabble's not Rex Murphy contest.

The above video is from Lalo Espejo. His bio says that he is a writer, monologist and political satirist whose work has appeared on CBC radio, campuses across Canada, and most recently as a regular contributor to the Vancouver Review.

He also has a great satirical blog that you can visit here. And be sure to go to Rabble to vote. They have the five finalists' videos all posted there.

Contests like this are a great way to get people engaged in the political process, and Mr. Espejo nicely summarizes the Afghan Detainee issue and Rex Murphy's ridiculous diatribe suggesting that Canadians have blown this entire thing out of proportion.

Chretien had a majority and prorogued when the legislative business was taken care, except once; when he wanted to give Paul Martin an opportunity to get his feet wet before the next election.

Of course, it meant that Martin had to wear the Sponsorship Scandal, while Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien were able to wash their hands of it.

And Espejo is right. The way the Reformers treated Richard Colvin was criminal. Now they are trying to claim that it's the lawyers who won't release the memos, like they couldn't have said that 2 1/2 months ago.

Of course the whole thing is bunk, and they really need to find a new line of defense, not that I believe there really is one.

Even before the Globe and Mail broke the story in 2007; Linda McQuaig wrote in her book "Holding the Bully's Coat", that:

...Amir Attaran, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, describes the Canadian arrangement as a "detainee laundering agreement" that "has no adequate safeguards to prevent torture from occurring. In an interview, Lieutenant Carole Brown, a spokesperson for Canada's Department of National Defence, acknowledged that Canada doesn't follow up on what happens to its detainees. "It would not be our mandate to track them in any way." She also refused to reveal any information about Canada's detainees, including even how many there have been.'In fact, Canada has left its detainees in a particularly dangerous situation.

Attaran notes that, by refusing to reveal any information about these people, Canada is actually making their situation even more perilous than those held by the U.S. at Guantanamo Bay. The Pentagon at least lists the names of Guantanamo prisoners on its website. By not revealing the names of those it hands over to Afghanistan, Ottawa makes it impossible for lawyers or human rights organizations to contact them or their relatives or to in any way take up their cause, thereby denying them any hope of access to the courts.

They simply disappear
into a black hole, beyond any possible legal protection. Says Attaran: -We are doing something [denying them access to the courts] that has not been done in the common law in centuries."This alone should make our involvement in Afghanistan intolerable.
(HOLDING THE BULLY'S COAT, Canada and the U.S. Empire, Linda McQuaig, Doubleday Canada, ISBN 978-0-385-66012-9, Pg. 20-21)


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