Friday, June 24, 2005

Today's Ottawa Sun: June 24th

Michael, Michael, Michael (Harris that is, the Journalist not the former Premier), poor deluded Michael. In a move that would almost make Dick Durbin proud (although nowhere near as offensive) Harris smoothly connects the dots of Gitmo to Abu Ghraib to WWII War Crimes convicts to, and I'm still not sure how this is connected, the conviction of Mel Gibson's stalker.

I just don't get it. A group of 10 former soldiers who in the last days of WWII, slaughtered 560 men, women and children = a few prison guards who abused some inmates = a few prison guards who turned up the air conditioning. The only one let off in this piece was the stalker who Harris seems to think was unfairly convicted. After all, all he said was he wanted to 'Pray' with Mel, after going to Mel's house, his church, sending him harassing letter and violating a restraining order. But we all know celebrity stalkers who have spend time in mental institutions never do anything bad. Living in Ottawa you know better first hand.

Anyway, back to the 'real' crimes. I hate to break this to you Mike, but despite your claims to the contrary, every prisoner at Gitmo has been given a military trial to determine if they should stay or should be released (and several have only to be recaptured taking part in further actions against the US). They are not 'criminals' in the regular sense so civil criminal courts would make little or no sense; but the claims still make good press. And on the torture front, it seems several of these tortured souls are actually refusing to leave when they are being released. Why? Because they understand what real torture is and Gitmo is NOT it. Most gulags I've heard of didn't serve tandoori chicken breast and the like, a menu that cost on average approximately $12 a day per prisoner. That's 3-4 times the average for inmates in all other federal jails and prisons. And most torture tactics I've heard of don't include fattening them up, with the average detainee gaining between 5-13 lbs while being 'tortured'. Unless, "No please stop I couldn't eat another bite" is actually a plea for help, in which case I better have my mother arrested next Christmas lunch.

While I'll admit that the Abu Ghraib fiasco was a real case of abuse (and in some cases even rising to the level of torture), those involved were not following orders but were instead acting on their own motivations. As you may have noticed, several have already been formally punished (with up to 10 years in military prison), they were not given ticker tape parades on their return.

Just give it up already, even the polls in the states show that the vast majority of people, Democrat, Republican and Independent alike, believe that the Gitmo detainees are being treated better than they should be. When's the last time you saw that happen.

As for the Liberal's move last night to sneak in their budget, just how many dirty tricks do you have to pull out of your hat before you begin to realize that maybe, just maybe, you don't have the confidence of Parliament. You don't need a vote of non-confidence, which has technically already happened just they wouldn't recognize it as such (a major flaw in the Canadian system), to know when you don't have the moral authority to rule. Any legitimate leader would be willing to go to the polls if their government was in this much turmoil. The Liberals, on the other hand, are hoping that our Canadian short term memory affect continues working and that by the time an election is actually called they can convince everyone that in fact it is Harper's "secret agenda" than has led the country into the current sorry state of affairs. Captain's Quarters has more on Martin's move.

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