Friday, December 11, 2009

How People With Something To Hide Act

Goodness. Defying the will of Parliament, and in so doing offering the most flimsy of rationale, it all reads like a government desperate to HIDE information. I suppose the political argument, in going to the courts the government has a long reprieve (I'm sure we'll see every request for delay and obstruction imaginable). However, by presenting a long legal fight, the government willingly leaves the impression that there is more to this story, than they are willing to divulge. These optics hardly work in the government favor, because without all information on the table, the opposition is free to speculate and a cloud hangs over the Conservatives. In other words, the Conservatives might be able to delay release with this tactic, but they will lose the public relations battle. The appearance of HIDING, a lack of transparency, is never a net positive.

The government arguments for not releasing uncensored documents, borders on the absurd:
"We are not going to make information available just readily, about friend and foe alike, about specific items, about a security operation that could imperil our own troops and could imperil the citizens," Day said.

Information about when and how Canadian officials visit particular prisons, for instance, "would be of great value to the insurgents, and to the terrorists," said Justice Minister Rob Nicholson.

An affront to common sense. We are not talking about current operations or procedures, we are asking for outdated information, revolving around a process the government now brags, has been replaced by an entirely different regime. Explain to me how it benefits the "terrorists", if they knew what we did in 2006? Poppycock.

I particularly love this "imperiling our troops" nonsense, as the Conservatives try to put themselves up as the noble buffer protecting our brave men and women. The "security operation" Day mentions no longer exists, or else we are still engaged in the same process that had everybody so "alarmed". You can't have it both ways. You can't argue about all the strides you made, and in the same breathe offer up ancient news as though of crucial importance TODAY. Frankly, the government argument is embarrassing and shallow. It's even more amusing, when you consider that military brass has also recommended full disclosure. So, generals endorse a release which could undermine the whole mission, and cost people their lives? Exactly.


ottlib said...

Is this just bloody minded stubborness by a guy who is well known to be a pathological control freak?

After all, Mr. Day made today's statements but we all know the decision was taken in the PMO.

Or are these documents so explosive in nature that the Conservatives fear it would bring them down hard?

For the life of me I cannot see an upside for the Conservatives here.

As you say Steve the optics are terrible and it gives the Opposition Parties yet another line of attack on the government, just when the current ones were getting a little stale.

I think we are seeing a classic case of a political strategy getting out of control of the strategists. The Conservatives are so deep into the deny, deny, deny strategy that no matter what action they take now they do themselves serious political harm.

The only option in that case is to keep pursuing the current strategy and hope for the best.

Steve V said...

"For the life of me I cannot see an upside for the Conservatives here."

I find it hard to believe they see the upside. It makes me think there is actually some pretty telling information in the redacted documents, or at least enough to make the groundswell for an inquiry unstoppable.

RuralSandi said...

A friend of my husband's said it reminds him of the Bush/Cheney/ROVE tactic when hiding the truth about the WMD and Iraq war

Steve V said...

It has that flavor doesn't it Sandi.

Marx-A-Million said...

You are absolutely correct Sir! I love what you do. I couldn't do what I do if you did not do what you do.