Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday blahs

I'm preparing for a trip to the Great White North next week, so blogging will be light for a while.

A few items of note:

  • Eric Posner, at The Volokh Conspiracy, eviscerates Sgt. James Crowley's arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates.

  • As noted yesterday, the Canadian Association of University Teachers has issued a harshly-worded denunciation of Carleton University's decision to breach its contract with Hassan Diab. This is all over the media this morning, and I'm glad to learn that my department Chair, Peter Gose, has been equally blunt: he called Diab's abrupt dismissal "appalling, a terrible injustice and fundamental breach of natural justice to terminate a contract without notice or consultation."

    CAUT is actively considering placing my school under censure. I hope that Carleton is able to recover from President Roseann Runte's disastrous leadership. Why not send her a polite note of protest?

  • Suaad Hagi Mohamud's ex-husband and son have now provided DNA samples to match against her own. Results are expected in ten working days. Remember, you read it here first: when the samples match, DFAIT will demand to know how the "impostor" has managed to switch places with the "real" Mohamud--for the second time!

  • The Security Intelligence Review Committee, which oversees CSIS, will conduct a full probe into CSIS' involvement in the Abousfian Abdelrazik affair. This follows its recent criticism of the agency for its interrogation of Omar Khadr, and stinging rebukes of CSIS by two federal justices for concealing exculpatory evidence in the cases of Mohamed Harkat and Hassan Almrei.

    High time: the agency is clearly out of control. But will SIRC follow up, or let CSIS lie--as it were? Have things changed that much from twelve years ago, when the following was written?

    [T]he current system of oversight does not work well. SIRC cannot and does not speak directly to Parliament regarding either CSIS or on intelligence matters more broadly. It simply does not have the mandate. As a result, a lack of trust has developed in the institution's ability to review and monitor the agency in its charge. Clearly this view is now shared widely among MP's of all parties, many in the media, and among the public at large. Trust is the crucial issue on which the success of institutions like SIRC rests. That SIRC is now demonstrating that it is a competent researcher should be a sine qua non, not a rationalization for its future existence. Without a broad level of trust, there will be calls for its abolition, which in the end may prove insurmountable.

    At present, one must observe that the relationship between SIRC and CSIS has, at least until the Khadr report, been rather...collegial.

  • André Picard dismantles the brazen performance of anti-medicare shill Shona Holmes, and reminds us--as if we needed reminding--that Canada has a health care system, while the US has health care for those who can afford to pay for it.

No comments: