Monday, March 30, 2009

The George Galloway Catch-22 two-step. Banjo music optional.

So British MP George Galloway was "banned" from entering Canada. Oh, wait ... actually, he wasn't:

Two weeks ago, allegations surfaced that he had financially supported Hamas, a group that Canada defines as a terrorist organization. On a preliminary basis, the Canada Border Services Agency decided to block Galloway from entering Canada.

"On a preliminary basis?" What exactly does that mean? Oh (emphasis leg-humpingly added):

Stephen Gold, a federal lawyer, told the judge that, notwithstanding the government’s letter, no one has barred Galloway from Canada yet, and therefore, the court cannot over-rule a determination that has not yet been made. Only after a border guard refused Galloway entry could he seek remedy from the court, Gold said.

“The designated power resides in the (Canada Border Services Agency) officer, notwithstanding that there was a preliminary assessment done,” Gold said.

Ah. So, if I read this correctly, Galloway was "banned" based on some government letter. Except that he wasn't really, which means that he can't appeal something that, technically, never happened, even though the government says it did. Unless it becomes legally inconvenient, at which point it didn't happen so there's nothing they can do about it. Until it, in fact, happens.

Oh, and there's no point in blaming Jason Kenney since, technically, he had nothing to do with it. Unless you count his spokesman saying something stupid like:

But Mr Kenney’s spokesman said: “George Galloway is not getting a permit — end of story."

But, remember, it's not Jason Kenney's decision. Unless it is.

P.S. I'm sure Canada's "free-speech" warriors will be all over this:

Supporters of British MP and outspoken antiwar crusader George Galloway say federal lawyers are now attempting to have their submissions in his case excluded from a federal court hearing in Toronto Sunday.

Yes, I'm sure the outrage over at Stephen Taylor's Blogging Tories regarding this hideous quashing of free speech will be palpable. Well, maybe not right away. Maybe after someone explains to them what "palpable" means.

: It's tres amusante to watch Canadian Minister of Hypocritical Double Standards Jason Kenney hang his argument on a very pedantic reading of legislation:

"It's not about words, it's about deeds. It's not about his opinions, it's about his financial, material support for an illegal terrorist organization," said Mr. Kenney, adding that Mr. Galloway is free to publish his views in Canada.

"The law is clear, and experts will tell you this, that anybody who provides material and financial support to an illegal terrorist organization is prima facie inadmissible to Canada."

Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, foreign nationals can be deemed inadmissible to Canada on national security grounds for "engaging in terrorism.

Quite so, Jason, sort of the same way Canadian law is fairly unambiguous about the admissibility of anyone involved in torture:

[George W.] Bush is scheduled to speak at the Telus Convention Centre March 17, but Vancouver lawyer Gail Davidson says that because Bush has been “credibly accused” of supporting torture in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Canada has a legal obligation to deny him entry under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The law says foreign nationals who have committed war crimes or crimes against humanity, including torture, are “inadmissible” to Canada.

”The test isn’t whether the person’s been convicted, but whether there’s reasonable grounds to think that they have been involved,” says Davidson, who’s with Lawyers Against the War (LAW). “…It’s now a matter of public record that Bush was in charge of setting up a regime of torture that spanned several parts of the globe and resulted in horrendous injuries and even death. Canada has a duty.”

Oddly enough, former President Chimpy McFlightsuit had no trouble whatsoever crossing the border, despite the blindingly clear Canadian legislation that suggested he should have been barred. Apparently, Canadian immigration legislation is exceedingly context dependent.

I'm sure you're shocked.

I'M CONFUSED: From this link, we read:

Justice Luc Martineau, who heard the case from his office in Ottawa via a video conference hook-up, promised a ruling by 2 p.m. ET Monday. The judge noted that as it stands, should Galloway show up at the border and ask for admission, “it would be an automatic detention.”

I have no idea what means. Is Martineau suggesting that, if Galloway shows up and asks for admission, he would be arrested? The last time I looked, the worst that could happen would be for the Canadian border services to simply refuse him entrance. How could they possibly "detain" him without admitting him first?

Can someone clarify this, because it sounds howlingly retarded.

AH, THE DISHONEST DOUCHEBAGITUDE: There's so much crippling stupid surrounding this case, and here's another example:

The federal government advised Galloway in a letter last week that he could not enter Canada because he violated two provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Those provisions say "engaging in terrorism" and "being a member of an organization" that engages in terrorism, are grounds for barring someone from Canada.

But no one is accusing Galloway of either of those two alleged violations. No one, including Canada's Retarded Government™, is suggesting that Galloway has either personally committed terrorist acts, or is a member of a terrorist organization (that would supposedly be Hamas). In short, the Harper government's legal basis for barring Galloway is pure and unadulterated horseshit. And I suspect they know it.


Scruffy Dan said...

This kind of reminds me when Maher Arar wanted to find out if he was on any US government watch lists.

The advice given to him by the Bush administration was to go to the boarder and see what happens.

sooey said...

All the hypocrites are busily fawning over Shakedown, Ezra Levant's anti-speech-he-doesn't-agree-with diatribe.

sooey said...

Oh wait, I mean "pro-speech-he-agrees-with" diatribe. He doesn't agree with Galloway, therefore, he's anti HIS free speech rights - with the lamest excuses, too.

What a phony.

BC WaterBoy said...

"In short, the Harper government's legal basis for barring Galloway is pure and unadulterated horseshit. And I suspect they know it."

That's the nail hitting the head of the most frustrating thing about that stupid Con Gov't. They know much of what they do and say is a lie, but seem to revel in the fact that they can get away with it. Economy anyone?

Boris said...

BCW, I used to think they knew they were lying but now I believe they actually believe their own bullshit, no matter how much it might contradict what they said 30 seconds before. Pointing out their lies results in 'disk unreadable' error messages.

Stimpson said...

Nice of Iggy to say he supports Galloway's right to speak in Canada even if Galloway is a "clown." Does Iggy mean the sort of clown who would support invading Iraq because friends from Iraq (including Chalabi?) told him that's what they wanted? And then, years later, write an essay only sort-of admitting to being wrong?
Yeah, Iggy, go ahead and call Galloway a clown. Takes one to know one, I guess.

Alison said...

So British MP George Galloway was "banned" from entering Canada. Oh, wait ... actually, he wasn't

Actually, yes, he was.
We have now officially become a silly people.
Perhaps we will be allowed to see Galloway on a big screen next time he visits Israel.