Friday, April 02, 2010

Nicholson Stonewalling On Afghan Detainee Abuse Documents

In almost every question period since Parliament has returned from prorogation Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has been grilled over the government withholding documents relating to the Afghan detainee abuse scandal. And though some would maintain Conservatives have nothing to hide, the fact that the Justice Minister so strictly stuck to talking points suggests otherwise.

Rob Nicholson's responses for nearly thirty days only varied in the order the talking points were arranged. Replies would consist of mentioning the appointment of Frank Iacobucci, the redactions and advice of non-partisan independent public servants, the independent comprehensive proper review to be undertaken by the former Justice of the Supreme Court, and then asking opposition members to support the process or asking them to let Iacobucci do his work.

The strict adherence to the fromulaic response suggests Nicholson and this Conservative government, more so than any other topic, have something they don't want to accidently say in substance or in style, either way Rob Nicholson's routine cannot continue without it becoming blatantly obvious he is merely reciting a script. A very short script.

The video below highlights Nicholson's common question period refrain.



Just a few examples of Nicholson sticking to Conservative talking points:

March 9
- "He'll undertake an independent comprehensive proper review of all the documents at issue Mr. Speaker."

March 10 - "And this is why we've asked Mr Justice Frank Iacobucci to undertake an independent comprehensive proper review of all the documents at issue, that should have the support of the honourable member."

March 11 - "We’re going to have Mr Justice Iacobucci undertake an independent comprehensive proper review of all the documents and this should have the complete support of the Official Opposition."

March 22 - "The government has undertaken a process headed up by justice frank iacobucci and this will be an independent comprehensive proper review of all documents and this should have the complete confidence of the honourable member and his party."

March 23 - "His will be an independent comprehensive proper review of all these documents."

March 25 - "Mr Justice Iacobucci is going to undertake an independent comprehensive review of all the documents."



March 5 - “With respect to the subject of redacting documents, these are done by non-partisan independent public servants,”

March 9 - "Any redactions, any advice with respect to these are given by non-partisan independent public servants."

March 10 - "In respect to the redactions and advice, with respect to these documents, these are reviewed by non-partisan public servants."

March 11 – "Any redactions, any advice with respect to these are given by non-partisan independent public servants."

March 25 - "With respect to the redactions these are done by non-partisan public servants."