Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Dastardly Librulls! 

Oh, those dastardly Librulls! Singlehandedly stopping the urgent Air India investigation in its tracks -- a mere 22 years since it the disaster happened and a mere five years since the Anti-Terrorism Act was passed.
Why, it must be more Librull Corruption. Yeah, that's it. That'll be a winner theme.
And Harper lunged at it like a salmon to the spoon.
Vancouver Sun was following the Peggy Noonan Principle -- Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to! -- in their heavy-on-the-innuendo, light-on-the-facts article today, implying that Dion is opposed to extending some post-9/11 anti-terrorist legal provisions because he is trying to shield the father-in-law of a loyal MP from being questioned about the Air-India bombing. Here's the nut:

The Vancouver Sun has learned that [Mississauga-Brampton MP Navdeep Singh] Bains's father-in-law, Darshan Singh Saini, is on the RCMP's potential list of witnesses at investigative hearings designed to advance the Air India criminal probe.
But the ability to hold those hearings will be lost March 1 if parts of the Anti-Terrorism Act expire as expected, after the Liberals recently withdrew support for extending the provision being used to hold them.

Further down, the article passes lightly over the fact that the RCMP has been "preparing" for these investigative hearings since 2003 -- more than three years ago. And not even mentioned is the fact that they knew even in 2003 that the Anti-Terrorism Act was due to expire in 2007, so why didn't they get cracking on these hearings a little earlier? Of course, its always easier to blame politicians than it is to take responsibility for an inadequate investigation.
This Toronto Star article provides additional context:

Some Liberals have privately groused that Dion’s stance on the anti-terrorism provisions has been influenced by militant Sikh and Muslim groups, members of which helped secure the party leadership victory last December. Bains was instrumental in swinging the Sikh vote behind Dion.
But Liberals weren’t about to let Harper get away with linking Bains, however tenuously, to the Air India bombing. They repeatedly demanded an apology.
“The prime minister has just confirmed that to him, partisan advantage is everything — the truth does not matter, it is the allegation that counts,” bellowed an incensed Ralph Goodale, Liberal House leader.
“He just proved his devious and deceitful behaviour and he does not pay any attention to the consequences to any Canadian.” . . .
Dion said the fact that Saini’s name has been leaked to the media, when investigative hearings are supposed to be confidential, demonstrates why the anti-terrorism provisions shouldn’t be renewed.
“It’s an additional consideration that (confirms to) us that there is a problem with that because it’s smearing the reputation of somebody like this,” he told reporters.
That Bains has also been smeared demonstrates the “kind of guilt by association that this kind of provision may create.”
The issue appeared to help galvanize the Liberal caucus after a difficult caucus meeting earlier Wednesday. Sources said Dion appealed for a united front on the anti-terrorism measures, telling MPs it’s a crucial test of his leadership and warning that those who defy him may not be allowed to run for the party in the next election.

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