Posts Tagged ‘Gitmo

Cabinet fighting over Khadr deal

- November 2nd, 2010

Prime Minister Harper was away when the Khadr deal was agreed to. Did Cannon keep him in the loop? PHOTO: Derek Ruttan

There’s an old saying that while the cat’s away the mice will play and that may very well be what happened in the Omar Khadr case.

Conservative cabinet ministers are not happy with the Khadr deal and the reality that he will be returned to Canada next year and free shortly thereafter. On Monday when cabinet gathered to prepare for question period tempers flared.

According to sources at the meeting and those close to cabinet ministers, there was yelling and accusations.

Top Conservatives are also not happy with the way the Khadr deal was handled.

The deal appears to have been sealed while Prime Minister Stephen Harper was travelling in Europe and there is the suggestion that foreign affairs officials used this time to offer and accept more than Harper was willing to. Diplomatic notes were exchanged with the Americans on October 23rd in the middle of Harper’s trip to Switzerland and the Ukraine. The question now is, was Harper fully aware?

Finally there is the way the communications were handled.

As noted here on the blog Sunday night, the government denied they offered Khadr any assurances he would come back to Canada. Then the deal became public showing they had put those assurances in writing.

Questioned about why the government acted the way it did, one senior official threw their hands up in disgust. The way the government denied a deal they clearly had signed off on has been called “bewildering” and “a lie by any other name” by people close to the government.