Who’s on first? (Khadr edition)


Lawrence Cannon, foreign affairs minister, yesterday in the House. “I would tell my honourable colleague that my associates in the department have been in regular contact with both Mr. Khadr’s defence representatives and the prosecutors in this case. We are continuing to hold these discussions and to make ourselves available.”

Lt.-Cmdr. Bill Kuebler, Omar Khadr’s counsel, in today’s StarForeign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon will not even return phone calls from lawyers for Canadian Omar Khadr, the last western prisoner in Guantanamo Bay, the attorneys say. U.S. Lt.-Cmdr. Bill Kuebler says attempts over the past year and a half to speak to senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Office or ministers in the departments of justice or public safety have met the same “closed doors.” “It’s been made very clear to us that very senior levels of government outside of the existing conduit we have (through foreign affairs consular officials) don’t want to talk to us,” said Kuebler, Khadr’s Pentagon-appointed lawyer.

Kuebler (New York Times profile here) also addressed the Prime Minister’s assertion that Omar Khadr does not qualify as a child soldier.

“All you can say is that he was very poorly briefed … There’s no basis in reality at all for the Prime Minister’s position.”


Who’s on first? (Khadr edition)

  1. Maybe Lt. Commander Kuebler is too liberally-biased to be worthy of a response from the Harpies? Maybe he said some unkind things about them, like when he quoted them or something?

  2. Both Cannon and Kuebler could be telling the truth here, if you read their statements.

    Cannon is Foreign Affairs and says people in his department have been in contact. Kuebler says he has not been able to talk to senior people at PMO, Justice or Public Safety. And it also depends on what ‘regular contact’ means.

    • That’s exactly how I imagined a wingn…er…right winger…would comment on this story. Parse everything and make assumptions. It’s so predictable.

      No wonder they can’t think too clearly. The substance of any issue is chased out of their brains by a surfeit of pointless thought.

  3. To be clear, was that final sentence a comment on the Khadr case *specifically,* or was it in reference to any one of a myriad of other positions this circus-act of a government takes?

  4. Let’s hope some journalist or parliamentarian is able to get Lawrence Cannon to explain this apparent inconsistency.

    • Don’t hold your breath. What’s most damning about the current government is the number of times Cabinet Ministers and even the PM have risen in the House and flat out lied. Not spun, demurred or digressed or even embellished … lied. They lied about Linda Keen, Navdeep Bains, fixed-election dates, prisoner transfers in a war zone, Maxime Bernier, the budget surplus, the budget deficit, defence spending, Senate reform (prorogation has killed their bills, twice, not the Liberals in the Senate), the legality of coalition governments, how Canadians vote, Chuck Cadman, the status of Omar Kadr … they have a near obsessive compunction to lie when it suits their political purpose.

      Parliament is a place where these issues should be debated, but the Conservatives routinely derail debate by tossing stink-bombs into the chamber. Journalists then have to decide: Do I write about the stink-bomb or the issue they’re dodging? Sadly, the opposition too often takes the bait and chases the diversionary lie.

      I’m sure some on this thread will think this is just astute political gamesmanship, but even Conservative ideas and policies (including some good ones) are being derailed by the dishonesty of this government’s senior ministers.

  5. What I don’t get is the timorousness of the media with respect to the accusation of lying when it comes to our politicians. Politicians don’t generally sue journalists or media conglomerates for defamation so there is obviously another major consideration they are taking into account when they demure, over and over again.

    In all likelihood, it’s a concern over losing access, which, as we’ve seen, doesn’t mean anything at all anymore, since any access they do get is simply an opportunity for official spokespeople to play the media like fiddles and get them to serve as a conduit for their propaganda, at no cost.

    In any event, I don’t understand why, with the passage of time, after which more evidence has come to light, more journalists don’t revisit what was reported in order to suggest, or in fact conclude, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a particular politician did indeed lie.

  6. So who’s lying, Cannon or Kuebler? This guy Kuebler is a very impressive individual. A Conservative born again Christian who unlike SH did not stop reading the good book at the pt where it confirmed his [ SH] opinion that thou must not tolerate a sinner. Kuebler evidently kept on reading til he came to the bit about loving thy neighbour.
    Kuebler, to his credit has been locked in combat with those whom he sees as dis-honouring the uniform he wears. Almost makes me want to become a believer, but then i remember the… er…example of our PM and a curious feeling of shame comes over me.

  7. From the NY Times last year, an interesting tidbit about Kuebler:

    Commander Kuebler (pronounced KEEB-ler) is the latest example of a lawyer in uniform attacking the Pentagon’s legal system.

    He is no natural agitator. At 37, he is in some ways deeply conventional. Married to the first girl he ever dated in high school, he is a self-described born-again Christian and conservative who has “never voted for a Democrat.” Tom Fleener, a former Guantánamo military defense lawyer, described Commander Kuebler, saying, “Take the average conservative guy in the street and multiply that by a million.”

    • Also from the NY Times profile (which Wherry linked to originally in his blog posting, and kc references above):

      If there is a trial, he said, he expects Mr. Khadr to be convicted. “I don’t believe it is a fair process,” Commander Kuebler said.

      I had assumed that Khadr’s repatriation was imminent, but now I’m starting to wonder if there are obstacles in the Pentagon that we don’t know about yet.

  8. What do the lawyers hope to acheive with this latest initiative…The same thing they tried to do with all the old pleadings>>>They hope to get Khadr a “get out of jail free” card ..The VERY,VERY, VERY,last thing these legal eagles want is for “POOR LIL” OMAR” to face trial ANYWHERE!!!! The direct evidence ,,ye witness accounts,taped evidence prove their client’s guilt! Now we have the three opposition parties led by BOOB RAE demanding that the Harper Gov’t. discuss Khadr’s fate with Pres. Obama when he visits on Feb.18th….AND they want the government to accept the half-assed plan that DENNIS EDNEY and LT. KUEBLER have drafted (his get out of jail free card) that would see Khadr paroled to some family in a sort of house arrest…I would like to see these politicians face SAMANTHA SPEER (he widow of the soldier Khadr alllegedly murdered) and explain Why they wish to see the CHILD TERRORIST OMAR KHADR FREED!!!

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