'Pro-Gitmo' - Macleans.ca



Lawrence Martin, who literally wrote the book on presidents and prime ministers, previews tomorrow’s meeting.

The one area where our PM could be embarrassed today is on the Omar Khadr file. Mr. Obama has moved to close the Guantanamo Bay prison and return America to the norms of international law and human rights.

Mr. Harper has shamefully backed away from supporting the rights of a Canadian locked up in that dungeon; he has almost come across as pro-Gitmo. Understandably, therefore, his team has been pressing to keep this issue off the agenda. It will be left to Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff to raise it in his brief session with the President.

What are the odds one of the four questions at tomorrow afternoon’s press conference is used to raise the subject of Mr. Khadr? 10-1? 100-1?



  1. I would say probably 10-to-1. Does anyone care to start a betting pool?

    • You think there’s only a 10-1 chance that 1 of the 4 questions will be Khadr-related? What else is there — GHG’s, Afghanistan, free trade and . . . well, hmm, I see, well, hmm. 10-to-1, eh? I’ll bet you two virtual steak knives at 5-1.

      • What’s your sample size and confidence interval? This is a Macleans blog, afterall.

        • Those terms apply to statistical measurements, not probability per se.

          In gambling, “confidence interval” refers to the emotions a gambler experiences between the time he makes the bet and the time he loses the bet.

          • Heads I’m right, tails you’re wrong.

  2. That depends who the reporters are that get the privilege of asking the 2 questions. If it’s Bob Fife and (insert National Post columnist), I’d highly doubt it.

    • Columnists tend not to ask the questions at these things. Usually, the questions get asked by reporters.

      If a CP reporter gets to ask a question, there is at least a slight chance that it will be Khadr-related.

  3. Dungeon is a pretty strong word – seems over the top. And I know that Khadr has been tortured etc.

  4. .1 to 1 – ie a lock

    • I wish, but I would bet against it at 1-1.

      I put my money on if it happens it is the French question.

  5. I won’t be in the room to ask the English language question (and I can tell you that the reporters who will be asking the questions do not work for my organization, the National Post, or CTV but their identity will have to be a mystery until 1445 tomorrow). But if I did get a chance to ask the new Prez a question, I might ignore Khadr and ask instead about Maher Arar. Our government, after all, paid Arar $10 million after a judicial inquiry established he did nothing wrong and suffered grievously because of the mistakes of our security services and those of the United States. Today, the New York Times says Obama ought to apologize to Arar [ http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/opinion/18wed2.html?_r=1&ref=opinion ]. If I were the reporter who won the question lottery, I just might invite President Obama to do just that from the Centre Block of the House of Commons. That’s not just a “Canada” question. The Times also reported today that though Obama’s administration may close Gitmo, it may continue the ethically dodgy practice of rendering — the very practice that led to Arar’s torture. [http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/us/politics/18policy.html?ref=us]

    • With crackerjack analysis like this, it’s no wonder Canwest stock trades so high!

  6. They won’t even take the bet in Vegas.