Thursday, August 24, 2006


The Cons run into the obvious problems of trying to present the world in black and white, as it turns out that by their own standards Jason Kenney is with the terrorists:
Conservative MP Jason Kenney, who likened Hezbollah to the Nazi party and condemned fellow MPs for urging dialogue with a terrorist organization, himself spoke to a rally organized by Iranian supporters of a banned terrorist group.

A photograph of Kenney, who is Prime Minister Stephen Harper's parliamentary secretary, appears on the website of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the political wing of the PMOI, or People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran.

The PMOI is one of the names used by the MEK, or Mujahedin-e-Khalq, an armed Iranian rebel group formally designated as a terrorist organization by the governments of Canada, the United States and the European Union. The Canadian government put the group on its official terror list in May 2005.

Kenney is shown addressing an April 6 rally on Parliament Hill, and the group says he welcomed participants "on his own behalf as well as the Prime Minister."
But for those wondering whether any response is forthcoming, Kenney is on top of this in the proud Con tradition of doing and knowing next to nothing while claiming to have done everything possible:
Kenney, MP for Calgary Southeast, said he "would be shocked" to hear his picture was posted on the group's political wing website.

Directed to the website, Kenney said he was "completely unaware of the context as it is presented here, even though we had done our due diligence."...

Kenney said he is well aware that the PMOI is also known as the MEK and is listed as a terrorist group. He then specifically recalled questioning the man who invited him — whose name he said he could not recall — at a meeting in Kenney's office after the parliamentary committee meeting. He asked if the man had any ties to "those radicals in the People's Mojahedin. And he laughed or denied it or something."

"I wanted to be sure there wasn't a connection," said Kenney. "I came away with the impression that there was no connection whatsoever."
Note the seamless transition from Kenney specifically remembering his own words in the alleged conversation, to taking wild guesses as to the anonymous invitor's response. Though I suppose if the same low standard of scrutiny were applied to Kenney's response that he seems to have granted to an anonymous person requesting Kenney's implicit endorsement of his group, that answer could well pass muster, as the issue would be declared closed following a Google search of "laughed or denied it or something".

Fortunately, the Cons can't avoid facing more attention than that, as the NDP's Peggy Nash nicely points out Kenney's hypocrisy (not to mention the folly of taking the Cons' actual black-and-white stance) within the article. But the laughable attempt at a defence by the PM's parliamentary secretary shouldn't pass without comment either, as it highlights the Cons' all-too-frequent habit of responding to controversy by spouting off as many exculpatory words as possible with no regard for consistency or plausibility. And if the Cons really do have this low a standard for due diligence, then those keeping an eye on the government will have to be doubly diligent to point out what are bound to be many other cases where the Cons have similarly failed to do their homework.

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