The furor over the handling of the case of Suaad Hagi Mohamud seems to be picking up strength and is now stretching into its second week. If news stories were classified like hurricanes this one would now be classified at least as a Category 2 based on the continued heat from the press.
Yesterday Rex Murphy weighed in (An ordeal that deserves our attention) calling Canadian officials Kafkaesque and eviscerating Lawrence Cannon for being so indecisive that you wonder how he manages to decide what he's going to wear every day (the blue suit or the grey suit?). Murphy feels that a "conclusive investigation" was not only warranted but a relatively easy task to accomplish:
"An individual Canadian citizen, caught up in error or in a petty attempt at bribery extortion at a foreign airport, found herself declared an 'impostor' on the basis of a 'conclusive investigation' by Canadian consular officials. The chain of events was limited. The number of people involved are small. What happened and what did not happen -- what was not done that might have been done -- these are easily determined and may be done so in a short time."
Today Gerald Caplan weighed in (Lawrence Cannon says the darndest things) stating that in this case both politicians and Consular officials "share the blame for their shameful treatment of a Canadian citizen", and have both "earned their place in hell."
But is it possible that we're all missing something here? On Saturday Ms. Mohamud announced that she was suing Ottawa for $2.5 million "saying she wants to get to the bottom of the bureaucratic screw-ups that left her stranded overseas for three months."
This follows Maher Arar's $10.5 million settlement with Ottawa following the Canadian Commission of Inquiry exonerated him and placed at least partial blame on his rendition to Canadian official's provision of inaccurate information to U.S. officials.
Now we've been told that PM Steve is one shrewd politician. And we know that there is nary a decision made that doesn't go through the PMO. So I think it's at least possible that Steve's goal is to actually get the immigrant vote through what on the surface appears to be incompetence, malevolence along with a touch of racism.
That's right. I think that Steve is actually starting a sort of Canadian version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire". After Slumdog Millionaire, this might just be a huge hit. Canadian immigrants can travel abroad to be jailed by corrupt foreign officials. If they have the strength and smarts to overcome a stonewalling Canadian government and the local corruption they get to come home to a big payday. Not only will it be great entertainment but it will introduce a new program to help immigrants establish themselves in their adopted homeland. It's a win, win situation (unless you're a Canadian taxpayer). That Steve, he's crazy like a fox.