Despite the fact that rizzn.com and our associated media outlets are sometimes lighthearted and occasionally tongue-in-cheek, sometimes an allegation is leveled or a fact is cited that will require clarification or even correction. Now is one of those times.
There has been much controversy regarding President Bush and the Iraqi action from the get go, and with the President scheduled to visit Halifax on Wednesday, it has caused liberals and anti-war protesters to fantasize [link] about the legality of the President’s action as well as the plausibility of George Bush being arrested under Canada’s Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act [link].
Last night, during the Mark and Darrell show, regular caller/heckler Richard called up and brought this controversy to our attention. During the discussion, Richard alleged the in addition to the story being in the news, the CSIS mentioned somewhere that they had plans to arrest President Bush during his visit to Canada. This sounded fantastic, and had to be investigated.
At the risk of having yet another intelligence file opened up on my person, I called the media relations department of the CSIS to have them confirm or deny these allegations. I was promptly transferred around 2:00 PM EST to the media relations department, but unfortunately they didn’t have a quick answer, nor apparently a ready knowlege of the allegation, or even the event (the person who preferred not to share her name, had no information on the President’s visit, not to mention the allegations I brought to her).
Around 3:00 PM EST, Nicole Currier at Media Relations for the CSIS returned my call with an official statement regarding the matter. They in fact were aware of President Bush’s arrival to Halifax, but were confused about the allegations I brought to them regarding the arrest. They were able to pull up the Thomas Walkom article from the Toronto Star regarding the feasibility of a Bush Arrest. I restated Richard’s allegation (which was backed up by a Fox News story) that if President Bush were to disembark from the plane on Wednesday with military escort, then he would be arrested on site.
Currier responded by saying “such an action, first of all, doesn’t fall under jurisdiction or mandate for our organisation.” She further stated that “there was no public statement regarding the matter nor an anonymous nor private statement they are aware of.”
The interesting part is not only that Canadians were and are under the impression that this would take place but that Fox News also reported yesterday that Bush would be arrested upon disembarking from Air Force One in Halifax. Rizzn.com researchers were unable to find a transcript of the televised report on their website, but more than one listener of the Mark and Darrell Show independantly confirmed via email that they also caught the report on FoxNews Television.
Further inquiries are being made today to other Canadian intelligence and law enforcement agencies regarding allegations, in the case that everyone mis-heard the agency mentioned in the various reports.
If in fact Fox News reported inaccurately that President Bush would be arrested on arrival to Canada, it would be yet another glaring inaccuracy caused by bias to mar the record of Old Media organisations in their news reporting abilities (ala the Halperin Memo [abc] or Memogate [cbs]).