It’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that our entire political elite is ethically challenged. There are many examples but the one that persists in the public eye is the reaction of that elite to the torture scandal involving Canada’s handing over of Afghan prisoners of war to the psychopaths who run the Afghan secret police.
It seems that while mid-level bureaucrats like Richard Colvin were able to see what was happening, senior levels of the Canadian government and military were either completely incompetent in examining the issues involved, or so bereft of any sense of moral duty that they simply didn’t care – and didn’t get what all the fuss was about.
The military and the foreign affairs department under both the Liberals and the Harper Conservatives consistently ignored not only advice and expressions of alarm from their own people on the ground, but also the example set by their NATO allies, the British and the Dutch, who set up rigorous inspection regimes to deal with prisoners they turned over.
Did the politicians and the generals think the Geneva Convention was some kind of joke, not to be taken seriously? Did they think the Brits and the Dutch were simply soft-headed fools to be concerned about the treatment of so-called “terrorists” – a convenient misnomer that frames people fighting foreign invaders as a threat to the world?
This went on for years – up to and including last year when Canada promised to build a new prison for the prisoners of war, and help train people to run it. Nothing has come of that promise and it seems it was never made with the intention of following through.
Add to that the pathological lying of the current government and the cover up engaged in by the Liberals and you have to wonder if any of the people in these two corrupt political parties are fit to run anything beyond a corner grocery store (with apologies to those who do).
Lastly, we have yet another shameful chapter as demonstrated by the willingness of former Supreme Court of Canada justice Frank Iacobucci to serve as Stephen Harper’s lap dog in delaying the issue even further. Virtually all experts in Parliamentary procedure agree that the Harper government’s refusal to hand over un-censored documents – demanded by a vote in the House of Commons – is a classic case of contempt of parliament. There is no legitimate reason for refusing and Harper and his ministers could face serous consequences for doing so.
That Frank Iacobucci knows this is a virtual certainty. If he didn’t know if before he was asked to serve his master (virtually unbelievable) then it was his duty just as a citizen to find out. And as a former SCC judge he had a far greater duty, knowing that his status would make him almost immune from criticism from opposition politicians. And, of course, he had to know that this is precisely why Harper chose him, given that he has no expertise in determining what is or is not a threat to national security.
Yet he has allowed himself to be shamelessly used to thwart the will of Parliament. He knows that the argument regarding “national security” is a farce yet he is willing to play the game – for what? Money? Surely his pension and the money he saved making hundreds of thousands a year ought to look after the man.
Apparently not. Perhaps that’s the problem – pay these people too much and they come down with a case of moral dyslexia and are incapable of making a decision that doesn’t line their pockets regardless of the consequences for the country.
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