Saturday, January 27, 2007

Harper really is an asshole

Right this minute, I'm watching Harper on Newsnet, reading the Official Apology to Maher Arar. Harper, the opportunistic scumbag, just couldn't resist adding a partisan shot: "Although these events occurred under the last government, please rest assured that this government will do everything in its power to ensure... " WTF! One of the reasons it took so long to resolve the Arar situation was that the Conservatives/Alliance didn't believe Arar was innocent and obstructed the government every step of the way. From Hansard, November 18, 2002:

Mrs. Diane Ablonczy (Calgary—Nose Hill, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, it is time the Liberals told the truth: that their system of screening and security checks is pathetic. Arar was given dual Syrian and Canadian citizenship by the government. It did not pick up on his terrorist links and the U.S. had to clue it in. How is it that the U.S. could uncover this man's background so quickly when the government's screening system failed to find his al-Qaeda links?

Harper's "New Government" even continued to impede Arar's settlement as recently as last September. So trying to foist the blame on the last Liberal government is disingenuous at best.

And another thing Harper said, regarding Arar's $10.5million settlement: "I know to some Canadians that would sound like an awful lot of money..." An awful lot of money? For getting tortured for a year? It's sweet fuck all. Apart from the torture, Arar will own this for the rest of his life. He'll never be able to totally clear his name; there are a lot of whackjobs that refuse to believe he's innocent because he's still on a US watchlist. Never mind that it's an obvious legal tactic designed to protect the government. Never mind that the US government has been known to lie "on occasion". But Harper knows his base, he knows how mean-spirited and hateful they are, and will appease them even if it means insulting the man he's apologizing to.