Thursday, August 24, 2006

Duped

It would seem that Jason Kenney was duped into speaking at a rally organized by Iranian supporters of a banned terrorist group. The rally on Parliament Hill on April 6th appears to have been organized by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the political wing of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI). The PMOI is one of the names used by the MEK, or Mujahedin-e-Khalq, an Iranian rebel group formally designated as a terrorist organization by the governments of Canada in May 2005, the United States and the European Union.

By reading the above linked article from the Star, it is clear that Mr.Kenney had no idea that he was speaking with a group listed as a terrorist organization, and states "I guess I was stung."


The criticism has already begun and although I think the comparison between this and the recent comments by Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj are not really valid, it does cause me some concern.

Before anyone starts in on me for being an apologist, give it a rest as these 2 events are not the same, nor are the motives.

The MPs on the Hezbo-tour were fully aware of what they were saying and about which group/s they were speaking about. The supposed apology from BW was to and for the Liberal party for the damage he had caused, but he never repudiated his comments about Hezbollah or the one about Israel practicing 'state terrorism', showing that he still does not get it. Kenney on the other hand did something without knowing all of the facts.

Does this excuse Kenney? In my opinion it does not.

He has a responsibility to make damn sure that he knows who he is speaking to. A google search won't cut it, and asking a group representative if his buddies are bad people or good people is not the most accurate ways to get at the truth about the matter. In my opinion this is a case of poor judgement and not doing the work required to make sure something will not come back to bite you in the ass in the future. I hope he enjoys the teeth marks, and uses them to remember to exercise much better judgement in the future.


A bit off topic, but how was it that this group managed to set up on Parliament Hill anyway? Is some kind of permit not required for these types of things or is it a free for all? I am wondering because if the RCMP or who ever looks at security/permits etc allowed this 'banned' group to set up, how was Kenney to know?

Updates;

From where I sit the Star took some liberties with the truth on this one, as the links to any banned group were very thin indeed. This helps explain why the RCMP had no issues with the rally because the group was not on the list.

This didn't stop the Liberals from trying to make a story out of it and dropping Stockwell Day into the mix as well, but all would not be so clean cut as it turns out there are a few Liberals also knee deep in this mess. Here is a nice example of not standing behind what you say.

In the end this was a non story. I have received comment that I was too hard on Jason Kenney as he really did do nothing wrong, and I do agree he did nothing wrong. However I still stand by what I wrote above. When even non stories like this can be used by those who will do almost anything to see the CPC damaged, extra caution must be used to avoid placing yourself into these type of situations where doubt can be cast. It was poor judgement and I hope lessons were learned.

I also learned a few things as well, including not treating a Star article as real news.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Blaming the RCMP - is this the latest brain fart from the Sheikh Jason bin Kenney fan club?

His fat ass is toast.

Move on folks.

There are more important things to defend.

Firefly said...

Here's what I want to know:

#1. How did a PMOI/MEK guy get into a foreign affairs sub-committee on human rights?

#2. How come nothing came up when the staffer checked them out (anybody can google... surely they have better tools at their disposal?)

#3. How did these guys manage to set up a rally on Parliament Hill?

#4. How are people from a terrorist group able to operate in Canada in the light of day and how have they gained access to our politicians?

It isn't just Kenny that's been duped; it's a lot of people. If the photo hadn't shown up on the website, we would have no idea this had happened. They slipped through the cracks. That is very disturbing.

jeff said...

isn't it his job as the multi-cultural guy not to get duped? kenney's a twit.

Stephen said...

Of course, it's not just Jason Kenney.

Back in December 2005, during the election campaign, Stockwell Day and Paul Forseth (along with a couple of Liberal MPs) attended a Conference organized by the same people, and addressed the assembled crowd.

Conferences aren't demonstrations; they're well-organized, well-publicized events and invited speakers presumably know the nature of the Conference they're addressing. Paul Forseth in particular (now no longer an MP) has spoken on more than one occasion at pro PMOI/MEK events, twice in the US in fact.

Here's the link.

The Conference was addressed by video display by Maryam Rajavi, leader of the PMOI/MEK/NCRI (it goes by many names), as well as by open supporters of the PMOI/MEK like David Kilgour and American academic Raymond Tanter.

Stockwell Day cannot seriously claim to have been 'duped' into speaking at such an event.

Whether he should have spoken at the event is a separate question: what is clear is that people like him are in no position to criticize supporters of dialogue with officially labelled terrorist groups when they themselves have willingly attended and addressed a conference organized by supporters of just such a group.

Gabby in QC said...

Quote from the National Council of Resistance of Iran site:
«Among speakers to the rally was Mr. Jason Kenney, Conservative member of the House of Commons in Canada and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister»

Anyone know who the other speakers were? Were there any other MPs? It's not mentioned on the site.

Also, looking at the flag pictured on the website, it appears this organization, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, is using the Iranian flag used prior to the Islamic revolution and the Ayatollahs.
Cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Iran

Is this organization really a terrorist group like Hezbollah? Or is it much ado about nothing? Just wondering.

Ardvark said...

Yikes!!

anon; I am not trying to blame the RCMP, but the question has to be asked? If these guys are on the list how did this rally get approved? Kenney was asleep at the switch without a doubt, but I don't believe his motives were bad, just his judgement.

Firefly: it does make you wonder how, with all this government we have looking out for us, that no one had checked these guys out before the photo op/rally?

Jeff: I think its everyones job not to get duped, it happens to all of us and I hope lessons were learned.

Back later.

Ardvark said...

Stephen: Thanks for that link. The more I dig into this the more I think I will be adding an addition to my original post, but as you stated this is a seperate issue. I do believe the glass house analogy might apply here as well, and petty politics does not show well for anyone.


Gabby: I think this indeed might be a case of much ado about nothing, or an example of petty politics and perhaps taking liberties with the facts.