After much prodding by other bloggers, I set this up for my own writings. The name is in honour of the two women that mentored me throughout my life on politics and intelligence issues, as well as being wonderful family members, now alas deceased. I hope to live up to their standards at this site.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The "Day"light between Zacardelli and the "new" government of Canada

As I write this post I am listening to Stockwell Day testify regarding Zaccardelli and listening to him lecture the first Liberal questioner given Day's own track record of being one of the first opposition members to label Arar a terrorist back in 2002-03 is more than a little offensive to me. I well remember Day and other members of the Canadian Alliance branding the then unknown Canadian citizen the Americans deported to Syria as a terrorist and wondering why it took the Americans to deal with our terrorist problems like that citizen. I also find it interesting to note that Day refused to answer a question which is reasonable for Holland to ask, namely was there any political interference from the PM during the period between the release of the O'Connor report and the first testimony of Sept 28 06. I wonder why? I also wonder why Zaccardelli held the full confidence of the Harper government until last Tuesday when by the end of the questioning of Sept 28 06 there were grounds to have serious reservations, and then once it became public that Zaccardelli was contradicting his Sept 28 06 testimony and the Harper government *STILL* had full confidence in the man. What was it about this man, aside from his releasing during the last election the info about the income trust investigation of the Liberals (An investigation I have heard nothing since about, no charges or anything, I wonder why about that as well but I suppose it could still be being investigated but still, a year later with no further develoments? Sounds a little worrisome to me.) that Harper liked so much? Could Zaccardelli have been the conduit or authorizing force behind the leaked RCMP info the then Opposition Harper and Day MPs used to smear Arar as a terrorist in the House of Commons? Inquiring minds want to know, and I feel that Canadians have a right to know.

I have a real hard time listening to Day and Harper these days talk about the wrong done to Arar and his wife since they were among the loudest back then claiming they were terrorists and Arar deserved to be deported and that the Liberals weren't being hard enough on such folks. I find listening to Day testify painful, as well as his inability to understand that he testifies to the committee and not the committee testifies to him as he tried to pull with Holland. I also find it interesting how Day's speed of speech varies in proportion to how much he likes the question/questioner, a more than slightly obvious way of running out the clock on the hard questions while using the time for those he prefers to be answering. Now Day is talking about how he doesn't understand why the then Liberal government did not call in their officials when they knew something was wrong, well I recall when they started to that was one of the things that triggered Day and Harper calling Arar a terrorist since how dare the Liberal government question the inegrity, honesty and competence of our loyal police force.

Something about the way the CPC government stood four square behind Zaccardelli until the public political pressure and blatant contradictory testimony on such a serious matter as the Arar case forced the resignation of Zaccardelli this week really bothers me. I can't pin down exactly why this is raising the hairs on the back of my neck but it does and has been doing so since the end of September. I remember how carefully they kept him quiet until his testimony on Sept 28 06 nearly two weeks after the release of the O'Connor inquiry into the Arar case. Something about that relationship has a very disturbing feel to it for me and I think we have yet to hear and see the full story behind the unquestioning support of Harper's government on Zaccardelli until Harper questioned it earlier this week after the contradictory testimony was making too many political and media waves to be ignored. I mean Harper and Day still had full confidence in Zaccardelli as of last Monday after all, why? Why should anyone have had confidence in the man after the O'Connor report and his own testimony last Sept 28 06? Why did it take the opposition parties continuing to ask hard questions in the committee to get Canada and the "new" governnment of Canada to require Zaccardelli's resignation? Now Day is claiming that he never called Arar a terrorist while he was in opposition, I wonder how long it will be before the first quotes of Hansard and elsewhere start showing up to contradict him.

Update 3:27 PM Atlantic

I just watched Mark Holland twice put the simple yes or no question to Minister Day in Question Period and twice Day refused to answer it. The question being was there any attempt by Day to advise Harper to remove Zaccardelli prior to last Monday, yes or no? The fact this question is not being answered indicates to me the answering of it in the positive is politically damaging for obvious reasons, and saying no must be too risky because of some evidence to show that would be knowingly false he fears could catch up with him. Incidentally, Day made a big deal in his QP response about how Holland's "secret source" (to use Day's exact words) was a media report as if Holland ws hiding this, yet when I was watching the committee when the question was first raised Holland made clear that he was using a CP article as the basis of the question from the outset. The fact that Day felt the need to lie about this and to use it to try and deflect adds to my sense that there is something more going on here and that this really is a quesiton that needs to be followed up on.

Update 4:20 PM Atlantic

liberal catnip has an excellent post up here calling for Day's dismissal from his Minister's post regarding the Zaccardellie matter. She also goes into Zaccardelli's media scrum earlier today and raises some very good points regarding the questions surrounding the timeline dealing with Zaccardelli's shifting testimony on the Arar case.

Update 4:45 PM Atlantic

Thanks to my continuing to watch CPAC I was thanks to Marlene Jennings raising a point of order able to track down some of Day's and Harper's and other senior members of the CPC government judging Arar a terrorist, related to terrorists, etc according to the public record of Hansard.

Here are some links to Nov 18 2002 with Mr. Harper here and read down through the following two followups, Diane Ablonzky here and her followup. On Nov 19 2002 we have Stockwell Day here with his follow-ups. This shows that the idea that Day, Harper and other senior members of the CPC (Then still the Canadian Alliance) did not judge Arar guilty of terrorism instead of standing up for a Canadian citizen until actual evidence was provided to prove Arar is a terrorist is false as well as underscores their lack of committment to the principle of innocent until proven guilty among other things. Not to mention how little regard they have for the role of the federal government to defend the rights of its citizens instead of simply taking what their American buddies tell them as gospel, especially when it is used to try and attack a political opponent on the tortured back of a Canadian citizen betrayed by those that now constitute our government when it counted.


Blogger Karen said...

Something else bothers me here. Harper got up in the House the other day and said something like "unlike the opposition, the Government respects the RCMP".

Now, it seems to me that Harper used to accuse the Liberals of being too close to the RCMP, as they never seemed to be charged or investigated for anything.

On the surface, we know it's political posturing, but for someone who used to hold the RCMP in such contempt, I would agree, that something is odd here.

It will be interesting to see if Holland pulls something else out in QP.

Thu Dec 07, 02:34:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Karen said...

A couple of other things.

It seemed obvious to me that the conservatives were quite choreographed today. They literally grinned at Day while asking questions.

Also, during Zaccardelli's press conference, he said that he notified the government almost immediately after his testimony in September. His memo didn't come along until November, because that was procedure.

These are all small things in isolation I suppose, but it is adding up to something.

Thu Dec 07, 03:00:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Scotian said...


You raise some very good points in your comments here and I thank you for them. I agree, this mantra we hear from the CPC about how the Liberals hate the RCMP is in direct contradiction to their mantra while in Opposition about how they had too much control/sway over the RCMP. Yet another example of how the Harper CPC routinely wants to eat it's cake and have it.

As to the telegraphing by the CPC members on the committee, no shock there. I recall reading a few weeks back an article about how the CPC games out their committee appearances for that purpose, this came to light after Garth Turner was expelled from the CPC. Incidentally, ever notice how CPCers say you cannot believe anything Turner says about his former party yet everything Emerson had to say about the Liberal party he was a member of should be taken as gospel truth? Got to love just how blatant their inconsistency is and how obvious it depends solely on whether there is political gain or harm to the CPC involved.

I also agree there is something very disturbing about the inconsistencies regarding the timeline about when the government knew Zaccardelli was going to change/revise his testimony to the Commons committee of Sept 28 06. It appears the government either knew or should have know about this serious changing of testimony for a month given that Nov 2 06 dated document signed by Zaccardelli himself on this point. So why did the Harper CPC government profess such absolute trust and faith in him until it became obvious this was hurting the government politically and would if not replaced this issue with Zaccardelli harm them in the next election? Especially when one remembers all the lovely comments the Canadian Alliance especially Harper and Day had regarding the then unknown Canadian citizen deported to Syria being a terrorist and why the Liberals had to let the US deal with our home based terrorists like that.

The CPC leadership has no credibility on the Arar file with me for their willingness to toss a Canadian citizen under the bus when they thought they could wring political advantage out of it in the post 9/11/01 world and then once the man was found to be without any terrorist connections suddenly is a wronged man by the Liberals and that the CPC always believed this man was wronged. One of the main reasons I cannot understand how some support the CPC is based on their clear history of changing posti0ions for political expediency at any given time and then their banking on people forgetting this change. I hate having my intelligence insulted as do most people I have encountered and this government insults the intelligence of Canadians on a regular basis. I really hope that catches up with them next time out, I know I will certainly be working to that end.

Thu Dec 07, 03:26:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Karen said...

Scotian, I saw that too. Bill Graham was good, but Marlene Jennings was brilliant. Still, the government side was laughing as she was scrolling to find the quotes.

We know the Government lies, the key will be times like this when the opposition proves it, for Canadians to start seeing it.

The arrogance of Day, to stand in the house today and state that he never said these things and that there was not record...that the Liberals were lying. Mr. Day, you have been caught in your own web.

Thu Dec 07, 05:29:00 PM 2006  
Blogger catnip said...

I just read your comment at my place Scotian, just after I had finally finished transcribing Graham, Day and Jennings about the question of privilege. Here's the link.

Thu Dec 07, 06:23:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Red Tory said...

I found Day to be evasive, arrogant and completely unsatisfying. Sadly, I don't think this will get much play because it's so complicated and muddled.

Fri Dec 08, 12:54:00 AM 2006  

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