Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Nothing Could Be Further From The Truth


We now know what the career staffers at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs thought of Stephen Harper and John Baird. Alexander Panetta writes in the Globe and Mail:

A U.S. official expressed amazement at how deeply detested Canada’s Conservative government was by some employees of the Foreign Affairs Department.

That impression was described in a note sent three years ago to Hillary Clinton, who was then the secretary of state and whose e-mails are now being publicly released.

It was contained in a message where a U.S. official described how his colleagues across the border pleaded for his help lobbying the Canadian government not to cut a program for Haiti.

“I was a little astonished at how openly the career folks at the foreign and assistance ministries disliked their new political masters and wanted us to convince them not to cut Haiti,” said Tom Adams, in a May 2012 e-mail forwarded to Clinton and released Monday.
“In my many years here I have never seen such open disloyalty with a change of administrations. Although the political appointees told me there was no need to have the Secretary talk to Baird about Haiti, the senior career folks, on the margins, implored me to have this done.”

Harper knew that the people who had devoted their lives to international relations were not on his side. And Washington also knew that Harper's spokesmen did not represent Canadian opinion. That became obvious in the the case of Omar Khadr. A recently released batch of Hilary Clinton's emails shows how delighted the Americans were when Khadr returned to Canada from Guantanamo Bay:

There was delight in Clinton’s office over news that Omar Khadr was being released from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and repatriated to a prison in his home country.

The newly released e-mails show the then-secretary of state’s response to news that the young man was being transferred to Canada: “Thank you for all you did to get this resolved.”

She was writing to the State Department’s legal adviser – who was ecstatic at the 2012 development.
“So glad we got this done,” said the adviser, Harold Koh. “After spending the last 10 years on GTMO, at least this young man finally has another chance.”

Stephen Harper always claimed that he was speaking for the majority of Canadians. Nothing could be further from the truth.


thwap said...

harper treated his own citizens worse than the US-Americans!

Toby said...

I'm not sure who Harper was speaking for other than himself. Like his American Republican buddies, Harper knows how to tap into old white guy grumbling but I don't think he really spoke for them. Judging by how quickly big business is accepting Trudeau I don't think that Harper speaks for business either. I have the funny feeling that it was all an act, that Harper did it all for his own twisted gratification.

Owen Gray said...

As time goes by, Toby, I suspect that it will become clear that Harper's opinion of himself -- like Mark Twain's first obituary -- was greatly exaggerated.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, thwap. Harper outdid the Tea Party types.

Rural said...

Some criticism has been mad of those government employees who cheered JT in a public meeting, who can blame them, when you have been s**t upon for almost a decade any breath of fresh air must feel like heaven!

Unknown said...

So glad he's gone Owen. The open arms embrace the international community has shown Trudeau is very revealing. I don't think it just Canadians who are glad to see Harper's gone.

Owen Gray said...

It's all about respect, Rural. In the end, Trudeau will have to earn the respect of civil servants.But just as a prime minister can earn the respect of the public service, he or she can also earn their disrespect.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Pam. Trudeau has a full plate. But I suspect that the international community holds out hope that Canada will once again be a supportive partner.

Mogs Moglio said...

So why are we bringing this up now? We all know Harper as the smell and stench of death across the planet he was Mr. bomb king for no ethical reason. He murdered many without just cause. Now let us keep him silent and the best of us try him and send him to jail for eternity for crimes against humanity.

Owen Gray said...

To date, Mogs, he has remained silent. It will be interesting to see and hear what he does as a mere member of the opposition.