Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ezra Levant is become Fear,...


... Destroyer of rationality and rule of law.

Here's Ezra's closing comments on failed-conservative-politician-turned-radical-right-wing-radio-talk-show-host-and-raving-George-Bush-fan John Gormley's show:

John Gormley: ..."Why do you want Omar Khadr home?"

Tony Navaneelan: "You know, I get very confused sometimes with people who say that they respect the rule of law, they respect liberty, they respect human rights, and then when you get a really clear case... when you get a case that involves a really egregious abuse of those rights and liberties, with the highest court telling you in no kinda unambiguous terms the government here breached our very constitution in how it's dealing with Omar Khadr, and then they tell the government you need a remedy, I don't understand why any citizen stands up and says "No. Deny him those rights. I think that the legal conduct is perfectly fine. That it's acceptable". When the Supreme Court tells you a unanimous 9-0 decision "This conduct is unacceptable. It violates the Constitution", who is to stand up against them and say "No, I think that the legal conduct is perfectly fine"?"

John Gormley: "Ezra Levant, I'll leave you the word with Tony Navaneelan."

Ezra Levant: "Sure, I guess, you know, at any one moment in time there's anywhere from 800 to 1000 Canadians trapped overseas in some prison or something, often on trumped up charges or even just drug smuggling or something, of all the people in the world for the media elites and our friend to go to bat for, they choose a terrorist whose whole family has sworn to destroy our country. There's something screwed up there. I mean, to start with the nastiest terrorist and then throw your efforts behind bringing him home, I think it says more about his supporters than it says about him. He's the terrorist. He admits it more or less. I don't know why we're pouring all this effort into bringing a terrorist home. I say he should have been left there on the battlefield."

Tony Navaneelan: "Well, there's a very simple answer to that question. The court said if you're trapped in a prison overseas, the governments are in no (unclear) to help you, you're overseas. That's not what Canada did. Canada did not ignore Omar Khadr. They decided to send the RCMP and CSIS down to interrogate Omar Khadr, while he was a teenager, when there was no lawyer, no parent present, when he was incredibly vulnerable, and to use those statements to incriminate him in the U.S. proceedings. They handed over that evidence directly to U.S. prosecutors."

(crosstalk)

Tony Navaneelan: "This activity is different. We didn't just leave him alone, we didn't just sit in the prison like maybe we do with those other thousands of Canadians, we went down there to participate in the prosecution. We went down there to interrogate him against his rights, and that engaged the charter."

(crosstalk)

Tony Navaneelan: "That makes his case separate from the thousands of other cases where you just have a Canadian overseas. The government decided that we are going to participate in this prosecution, and in this illegal process."

Ezra Levant: "No, you love this case because of who he is. He's an anti-Canadian, anti-western, anti-Semitic, anti-freedom terrorist. That's why you and the media elites champion him instead of some no-name schmuck stuck in some prison somewhere. You love him for who he is, and you have made him into a hero. He's not a hero, he's a piece of trash who should have been shot like a dog on the battlefield."
Ezra's argument has some interesting implications for all those lawyers who defend clients accused of horrendous crimes and the relationship said lawyers have to those crimes, to say nothing for its reflection of Mr. Levant's conceptualization of Western rule-of-law. In fact, I'd love to hear what Ezra's Bar association's position is on the conflation of legal counsel and "loving" suspects and their actions/beliefs.

It is unfortunate that Mr. Levant was unavailable to be asked whether or not he understands that standing up for what is right legally != endorsement of any action a suspect may or may not have taken, and how this distinction forms one of the bases of Western Law.

If Mr. Levant doesn't understand this, why is he practicing in a realm that that revolves around that construct? If he does understand it, why does his rhetoric disingenuously peddle a contrary concept? Caring about this isn't (as Mr. Levant would desperately have others believe) "daintyness", nor is it "loving" anti-Canadianism, anti-Semitism, terrorism, etc... Advancing the notion that it does is (ironically) about as "anti-Western", at least with respect to rule of law, as one can get.

When you become so afraid of terrorists that you are willing to cede core principles like rule of law, and you begin to assume that others who don't agree with your positions are terrorism lovers, you've successfully been terrorized, and you're no longer operating on rational thought. You're approaching issues from a state of panic and anger, which is precisely what we do not need to be guiding our policy decisions.


4 comments:

rob said...

I would think that a guy who fights on behalf of racists to propogate hate speech would have a more nuanced view of supporting the legal position of someone who you disagree with profoundly on other issues.

Sparky said...

You'd think.
Then again, as usual, IOKIYEZ

thwap said...

Ezra Levant is a cancer upon our political culture. Every day the twisted, frustrated sack o' crap comes up with new ways for us to loath him.

croghan27 said...

Levant on Khadr ... "....he's a piece of trash....." Is this view supported anywhere in jurisprudance in Canada? He is being asked a question on a legal matter and he is responding with 'trash talk' worthy of muggers and drug dealers ....

I think a lot of people are fools for doing what they do - those that signed up for Viet Nam (did anyone sign up for Iraq?), I have heard the Mac-Paps called dupes and fools .... but never 'pieces of trash' ..... Are there Canadians that deserve to be cast off for what they have done or do?

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