The state-run media’s man in Washington, the CBC’s Henry Champ, just informed Canadians that the reason that charges against Omar Khadr were dropped this morning, may be that the military tribunal law changed—was rewritten—in 2006. On that point he may be correct.
But he said that we should remember that the law changed because at the time, in 2006, the House was “more Democratic” by then, implying, I think, that the Democrats had already won the House—taken it from the Republicans—by that time in ‘06.
CBC Newsworld anchor Jacquie Wilson (gleefully): “So this will have some kind of an impact on the whole process of tribunals!”
Henry Champ: “There’s no question about that. This was a change in the law that originally held these detainees that was first put into place in 2004; subsequently in 2006, Congress —by this time a more Democratic Congress—had argued and re-written the particular charter… ”
In actual fact, the House was precisely as “Democratic” in 2006 when the law was re-written by the Republican-dominated House and Bush Administration, as it was in 2004 when the original law was written. This 2006 Bill was pushed by President Bush. Many Democrats were very vocally against the Bill. The House approved it 253 to 168 in September 2006. Most of the 168 were Democrats. The Congressional elections weren’t even held until November 2006, and the majority Democrats weren’t sworn into office until January of this year. Then the House became more Democratic.
Champ might have been confused—and thus he confused CBC viewers. Or he may be ignorant of the facts but I doubt that; or simply mendacious. I’m sure he’s just over-excited about this turn of events.