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This is just a hunch..

..from seeing some of his responses in QP yesterday (that were also duly noted by media observers) but I’m going to bet that Harper will not comply with the Speakers ruling to turn over unredacted/uncensored documents to Parliament.

I predict he’ll put on a show of appearing to be reasonable, but in the end I suspect he’ll try to precipitate a crisis over this and hope he can cow the opposition parties into backing off, and failing that, will dissolve Parliament when his government is ruled in contempt of Parliament. It appears to me he’d rather take his chances with the electorate and try to fear-monger his way into getting a majority government so he can shut down the Parliamentary order and investigations – instead of turning these documents over to Parliament, no matter how many security safeguards are put in place.

Andrew Coyne summed it up nicely when he said this in his Maclean’s column on the Conservative government’s stance:

It is impossible to believe the government could be so reckless. The means of addressing its national security concerns have always been available to it. That it has refused to engage the opposition on these raises two distinct scenarios. Either it is simply too bloody-minded to give an inch to its political foes, on whatever matter, or the documents contain something truly awful, so scalding to the national conscience that it would be prepared to go to almost any length to suppress them. Either, that is, it is behaving completely irrationally, in a way that can only be harmful to its own best interests. Or it is behaving all too rationally.

In otherwards, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Right now, there’s a lot of smoke pouring from the Conservative government on this issue.

UPDATE @ 2:37 pm: And already, Harper’s half-hearted conciliatory tone in QP yesterday lasted all of 1 day. He’s threatening an election and hinting he wont turn over any documents. (H/T Warren)


39 comments to This is just a hunch..

  • Marie

    Hey scum Jenny,There you Liberals go again accusing our troops of war crimes. You would love to see documents get out that put our troops at risk of suicide bombings.

    You guys are the scum of the Canadian earth.

    Support the troops and stop making pointing fingers at them.

    The troops we support but Heir Harpie and yourself can take a friggin leap into the cess pools of big oil.Your not to swiftft girl with your big yap and your blinded spin.The only fingers pointing to our troops is the con government and his brain drained stringed puppets tangled in their own strings. You people are so pathetic it make one want to laugh right to your faces. BTW, you can quit the bulling because your making yourselves look like the pathetic cowards you really are. The only believers in Cons lies are those of you lost in space wwith no common sense or eduacation to brag about.

  • Fred from BC

    Edited by site administrator: Please keep your comments respectable when disagreeing) @Jenny, Jenny, it would be Harper, MacKay and Cannon answering questions at The Hague, not our troops.


    Or it could be Paul Martin, Bill Graham or other Liberals standing there. Don’t forget the timeline of this whole affair…who set up the current transfer system, and who later tried to fix it.

    • Jon Pertwee

      @Fred from BC, fix it yeah right. Thanks for the laughs Fred. Obfuscating obviously is a skill you need work on.

      Then again its like proving your argument. Good luck defending your lot. Seems like the Connies have way way more to hide.

      • Red Forever

        @Jon Pertwee,

        Fred obfuscate?

        Fred is just a right wing, talking point, gas bag.

      • Red Forever

        @Jon Pertwee,

        Fred is probably the same as Bubba.

        His lowlife con MP, bought him lunch.

        That sealed the deal in Fred’s mind.

        Fred is like Bubba, cheap and easy

        • Jon Pertwee

          @Red Forever, lol I’m curious if Fred knows the meaning of the word obfuscate.

          Did Fred also get a free lunch like Bubba? Bubba’s lunch adventures are pretty well documented online.

    • @Fred from BC,

      I think that’s possible. Martin and Graham owe us some explanations as well.

      Graham has said that he regrets not working harder to get Omar Khadr out of GTMO — not that his regrets are helping Khadr a lot right now, but it’s important to make those statements.

      Now we need to hear him explain why he didn’t rein in Hillier as soon as Hillier made that disgusting comment about “scumbags.” On three counts Hillier’s lip should have got him busted: the military do not make or comment on policy; a brutal comment like that from the CDS sets the tone for everyone serving under him; and it is a racist thing for a Canadian to say about Afghans in Afghanistan — it’s their country, not his.

      • Northern PoV

        Thanks skdadl

        Hillier surely owns a lot of whatever blame there will be to go around if/when this putrid mess-o-docs ever see the light of day.

      • Red Forever

        General scumbag, wants to be the next GG.

        What better way for Harper to shut him up permanently, about Afghan detainees, than appoint him GG.

        I could see Harper doing that.

  • Well, on the one hand, Jenny is right: she is referring to the so-called Nuremberg defence (“I was just following orders”), which is not supposed to work for anyone — ANYONE (self-defence excepted).

    On the other, she’s making that reference illogically. Yes, in theory the lowest-ranking soldiers could be prosecuted for any crimes they committed, but that was not, of course, where the major Nuremberg prosecutions started. They started at the top. The major Nuremberg trials (international) were of senior Nazi officials, and then the doctors and lawyers. Other prosecutions were left to the local German de-Nazification courts, which tended to focus on citizens who’d collaborated. Most soldiers spent some pretty miserable time as POWs (the Allies probably committed some crimes there), but they weren’t usually prosecuted unless there was evidence that they had committed specific war crimes.

    It wasn’t a perfect system, but it was a good first draft.

  • Jenny

    Bring on the election.

    The Tories can defend the troops while the Liberals can demonize them as “war criminals”. And no, it would not be Harper et al at the Hague. Read your war history and the Nuremberg trials. The troops have a legal duty to ignore any orders that are against international law.

    • Red Forever


      Oh get lost you useless troll.

      No one is interested in your drivel.

    • Jon Pertwee

      @Jenny, What planet are you on Jenny? The world is not nearly as black and white as you think it is and thankfully the majority of us dont view the world in such a simplistic fashion.

      A world of education would do you good Jenny. Or at least, get out of your town and meet other Canadians for a change.

      Read your war history and the Nuremberg trials? Wouldnt it just be more effective to read what the international law is?

      Education Jenny, you could use one.

    • Jon Pertwee

      @Jenny, you know that Hitler never made it to the Hague because he offed himself. So what was your point again?

    • Red Forever


      It’s obvious you are dead from the neck up.

      Why do I get the feeling that you spent most of your time at school, standing in the corner with a dunce cap on your head.

    • Big Winnie

      @Jenny: I’m still trying to find a reference where the military has been blamed, by the Liberals and other oppostion parties, for decisions made by Harper et al. Could you please enlighten us, or are you just spouting “talking points”?

    • TofKW


      Jenny – I am a Tory. You are a Reform Party nutjob.

      To give a recent example from the Balkans, it was Slobodan Milošević, Milan Babić (President of the Republika Srpska Krajina), Ramush Haradinaj (former Prime Minister of Kosovo), and other high-profile indictees who were before The Hague during the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

      Very few regular soldiers of any army or paramilitary were indicted, and of those who were most were acquitted.

      Soldiers simply do their duty and follow orders. The ones who give those orders are The Hague’s primary interest.

      Educate yourself before you attack Liberals, otherwise you are a fool.

    • ck

      “The troops have a legal duty to ignore any orders that are against international law.”

      Ever read what happens to soldiers who defy orders? Usually the consequences for them are quite hideous. Imagine, in a foreign country fighting off enemies…

      I think most of us know this problem

  • Big Winnie

    The CONs, prior to the ruling, have said they would not turn the docs over, even if the ruling went against them.

    I also agree with Anon ABC in that Iacabucci is the lawyer for the government and should no longer be part of any discussions regarding the viewing of the unredacted docs by the members of parliament.

  • Anon ABC

    Just a comment on Iacobucci as I heard yesterday that Iggy seems to like the idea of broadening his mandate to report to the House instead. As I have posted here several weeks ago, the use of Iacobucci is a non-starter.

    We elect our MPs to represent us, not retired Judges, even those with the highest integrity. Two days ago, the supremacy of Parliament was unequivocably reaffirmed, and by extension, the collective right of our elected MPs to be given the unredacted documents. Rightly or wrongly, our MPs, or a select group among them, should be the only ones to determine what information within these documents can or cannot be made public. Andrew Coyne, in addition to making the above insightful remarks, has also made the same point on Iacobucci.

    There is another reason. As the Speaker had correctly observed, and I had previously pointed out, Iacobucci’s client is the Govt of Canada (although taxpayers are can cheerfully thank Harper for sticking them with his bill). Because of solicitor-client priviledges, we will never know what he was instructed to look for in those documents. So to say that he is already doing the work so we might as well let him report to the House instead, is, sadly, not to have considered this most basic point. Hello Iggy?

  • Whatever is in those files is so bad, Harper will never let go. He is just playing the game for two weeks, at which point he will blame a failure to reach compromise on the opposition no matter what the truth is.

    With the EI negotiations last summer, the Conservatives deliberately misstated and leaked the Liberal’s proposal in order to discredit them.

    Equally revealing was the Liberals response: They asked Kevin Page to calculate the true cost, and were vindicated. But by that point, Harper had already moved on to fabricating another reality. the Liberals proved themselves right, and it didn’t matter.

    These negotiations are going to fail; or, the Liberals are going to turn tail.

    One can only hope that the opposition has learned to think ahead a few turns for a change.

  • I’ve thought for months that Coyne’s “or” has to be the case. If this had only been a case of incompetence and delay and ignorance, new government not quite up to speed, etc, then admitting that wouldn’t have been comfortable but it wouldn’t have been all that serious either.

    But the stonewalling — to the point where they tell lies and get caught telling lies — has been extraordinary. That has to mean that there is truly damning information in those docs.

    We already know that we’ve been handing over prisoners to the NDS, which in itself is bad enough. But there are strong suggestions that that has been done for the wrong reasons (to extract intel), and worse, that the NDS is a laundering operation, through which some prisoners are handed on to the U.S. black site at Bagram. If we’ve been involved in any such practices intentionally, then yes, some people should be going to jail for war crimes.

    Harper, MacKay, Cannon, and Hillier — the fish rots from the head down.

  • Northern PoV

    Thank you Scott
    Now the game is becoming clear for everyone, with Harper’s answers in QP yesterday.
    Unfortunately, it looks like a repeat of the “reasonable Iggy on the EI standoff” and with Goodale making positive comments just now about the inital meeting today it looks like they will play exactly the role Harper has cooked up for them.

    Here are a few of my comments yesterday (before QP) at MacLeans, G&M, Far n Wide.
    “Two weeks? What public disinformation campaign can Harper come up with in two weeks…. lots of mischief given past behavior. The speaker will learn that this is one miscreant that will always betray the hand that gives the benefit of the doubt.
    This would have been an appropriate ruling back on Dec 11, 2009. ”

    “Unfortunately in Harper’s universe “compromise” means
    “you give, I take” ….
    this two week reprieve (that should have started Dec. 11, 2009) will be used to spin the story that the cons were ready to compromise but that the Taliban lovers hated our troops too much ”

    “I hope you are correct, Steve, but more likely:
    They will twist 4 ways to Sunday to appear to be compromising. When the inevitable failure happens, they will contrast their reasonableness with the intransigence of the Taliban lovers that want to endanger our troops.
    Then, if that narrative polls well for them…. bingo, it is election time. (Or if Iggy sees similar poll results it is back down yet again time).”

    Of course this last comment doubled as unsubtle bait for Steve as I think his (otherwise good) blog spends way to much time tracking polling and I believe banning polling would mean real political leadership would emerge and today’s ugly predicament (in which Harper will prevail, likely w/o an election) would not happen.

  • Jenny

    There you Liberals go again accusing our troops of war crimes. You would love to see documents get out that put our troops at risk of suicide bombings.

    You guys are the scum of the Canadian earth.

    Support the troops and stop making pointing fingers at them.

    • Northern PoV

      Sarcasm alert? one can only hope

    • Harper the War Criminal

      (Edited by site administrator: Please keep your comments respectable when disagreeing)

      @Jenny, Jenny, it would be Harper, MacKay and Cannon answering questions at The Hague, not our troops. You are the scum of the earth for supporting war criminals.

    • Jon Pertwee

      @Jenny, geez Jenny, on the mind altering drugs this early in the day?

    • Red Forever


      Into the LSD again are we?

    • @Jenny, Andrew Coyne never accused them of war crimes (and he’ll be surprised to know he is a Liberal). I on the other hand am a Liberal supporter, but I didn’t accuse them (yet) of war crimes either.

      You should be able to break out of your parrot mode and admit their behaviour to date leads to suspicions they have something awful in those docs that they wish to hide.

    • ck

      I love how Jenny seems to reiterate every Harpercon talking point. She swallows any Harpercon kool-aid being served.

      What she fails to realize is that the soldiers are already at risk for suicide bombings, as you put it. In fact, many have already died due to suicide bombings. Somehow, I don’t think those documents are going to change that.

      I realize that folks like yourself would rather the torture go on without consequence, as that is the evidence you’re all showing these days, but we have something legally binding called the Geneva Conventions.

    • Marie

      Jenny Jenny Jenny,:There you Liberals go again accusing our troops of war crimes. You would love to see documents get out that put our troops at risk of suicide bombings.

      You guys are the scum of the Canadian earth.

      Support the troops and stop making pointing fingers at them.

      Open up that closed dim brain of your Jenny. The one and only party accusing the troops of war crimes are you pea brained ninnies supporters of the Cons. Nobobody but your beloved dictator is doing the finger pointing. Try and absorb a little truth when you read Jenny. It really isn’t that hard.

      As for the scum of the earth, try looking at the PM and his lame cabinet as well as his lame supporters. Include yourself in this.

  • Andrew P

    you mean QP yesterday? (assuming Hot Tub Time Machine isn’t based on you)

  • I think you, and Coyne, are right here. There must be something so devistating in these documents that it would not only bring down Harper’s government but open up him or a number of his ministers to genuine War Crimes charges. If not he surely would have released them already. He will make a show of cooperating and nothing will happen, and if the opposition pushes it to a contempt vote he will pull the plug and hope to get elected again. But it is a fairly dangerous, or at least unpredictable game. Unless he were to get a majority, which seems unlikely, he would probably be finished politically. Because another minority government would be open to the very same contempt charges and he would be unable to pull the plug again because at that point the GG would have to give the opposition a chance to form government. In which case the documents would all be at the Liberal Party’s disposal anyway. I really find it difficult to see a way for Harper to win here unless he would to release all the documents ant it turned out that they said nothing significant.

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