After his remarks on Edward Snowden, it's hard to take John Baird seriously as a foreign minister

Comments9

The Harper government often comes under fire for its domestic policies, but where it really demonstrates its incompetence is in the international arena.

That was apparent once again when Canadian Press published an interview today with Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.

Among the gems that came out of Baird's mouth:

* Whistle blower Edward Snowden should turn himself over to the U.S. government and face the consequences of his actions.

* Snowden has "done significant damage to national security of the free world".

* "The United States has a free and fair justice system."

* It was "silly" of Amnesty International to call for the arrest of former U.S. president George W. Bush and former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney over allegations they aided and abetted torture.

Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia. He has offered convincing evidence that Canada has become a valuable source of espionage for the U.S. government.

Moreover, Snowden has provided reasonable grounds for believing that Canada also spied on the Brazilian mines ministry.

Meanwhile, U.S. security officials have been vacuuming up information through metadata surveillance that's without precedent. We know this thanks to Snowden's revelations. Even foreign leaders' phones have been hacked.

Baird still purports that Snowden would receive a fair trial in the United States. Keep in mind that the U.S. executed more prisoners between 2007 and 2012 than all other nations except for such democratic bastions as the People's Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq.

In Baird's eyes, those statistics probably can't be trusted because they came from Amnesty International.

But Amnesty International isn't alone in thinking that Bush and Cheney should face legal consequences for the U.S. government's decision to send suspected terrorists to countries where they can be waterboarded. 

In 2011, the U.S.-based Center for Constitutional Rights and the Canadian Centre for International Justice held a news conference in Vancouver. It was to announce that a 70-page indictment with more than 4,000 pages of supporting material had been sent to then-justice minister Rob Nicholson.

Another Canadian group, Lawyers Against the War, has also called for the prosecution of Bush and Cheney.

Canada's Criminal Code includes a maximum 14-year sentence for torture, which is also a crime under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act.

Anyone who steps on Canadian soil is subject to torture-related criminal sanctions, even if these offences occurred outside of the country.

Yet according to Baird, it's just silly for Amnesty International to ask the Conservative government to apply the law to a former U.S. president and vice president.

Baird and his boss, Stephen Harper, have turned Canada into little more than a client state of the U.S. government, much as Poland or Hungary were clients of the former Soviet Union.

It would be easy to write off Baird as a buffoon in light of his recent statements. But given his influential position overseeing Canada's foreign-policy apparatus, he still has to be taken seriously.

Comments (9) Add New Comment
Dave
Still take him seriously, yeah right never. The only place Canada's foreign service is active is were our elite corporate/private investors interests need them to be.

and that's it.(full stop)(period)
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Xtina
Baird's an "em-baird-esment"!
Ever see the slobbering adulation he has for all things Israel? And this past summer Canada's own, like, really high Commissioner to the U.K. had to ask Baird to exit Canada House as Baird had over-stayed his welcome. You know it's bad when even Gordon Campbell can't tolerate having Baird around.
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Snicker
IMO, this Baird 'error' is the comment that should be considered seriously

www(dot)youtube(dot)com/watch?v=isxADTDdRBY - April 2006

Attn: GS your new filter system is overzealous.
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MarkFornataro
True it's hard to take John Baird seriously, and the Cons in general. But we do have to take seriously their ability to win another election, with the anti-Con vote being split amongst the NDP, Libs and Green. I hope these parties can cooperate somehow so this Con nightmare does not continue.
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Thomas Folkestone
My coworker went to Queen's with Baird, apparently he has been a loud bulldog all his life, and never hesitates to share his off-the-mark opinions.

Sadly just another embarrassment of the current Conservative government, rooted as they are in Northern Foundation far-right mindsets.

I heard retiring Conservative Senator Hugh Segal on the radio the other day, and it is truly sad that the Red Tories have lost all of their voice. They were the reason the Joe Clarks and Brian Mulroneys could be elected, because they still operated with principle (I can't believe I'm writing this about Brian "Brown-Bag" Baloney, but history is a great teacher).

I hope the true conservatives take their party back from the greedy neocons who work in shortpants at the PMO!
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Tyler
Does anyone really think that any other party would say or act differently if in power? Baird is a moron, but he's just like every other politician to grace the halls or Parliament. It's impossible to take any of them seriously.
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Bull Pitt
Baird is and always has been Harper's lackey and pitbull.
But he is Bibi's bitch too.
I could not take this guy seriously when I was introduced to him a couple of years ago in Ottawa.
The only thing I am waiting for is him to come out of the closet.
Go ahead Johnny boy I dare ya
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ken miller
Baird ..... A true lackey of Crime minister Harper
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JackieG
Baird is "Bibi's boy"
Bibi says so.
Right here at the 18 second mark...."Good to see you again...BOY!"
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4197664,00.html
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