Canada’s National Post calls for Janet Napolitano to go

Posted: 01/04/2010 by Lynn Dartez in CFP

By Arthur Weinreb  Monday, January 4, 2010

What the United States does affects much of the world. This is especially so in Canada that is the U.S.’s major trading partner and by the fact that Canada and the United States share a long common border.

While it is not unusual for the Canadian media to criticize American policy or U.S. officials, especially when decisions made in the United States affect Canada, it is almost unheard of for a major Canadian publication to call for the resignation or removal of a high placed American official. But that is what happened late last week when the National Post, owned by media conglomerate CanWest, published an editorial with the headline, “Napolitano must go”.

Certainly there is no love between the National Post, Canada’s more right leaning national newspaper and the American Secretary of Homeland Security. Shortly after entering Barack Obama’s cabinet, Napolitano repeated the urban legend that some or all of the 9/11 hijackers entered the United States from Canada. This was a rumor that was making the rounds in the hours of the collapse of the twin tours and was helped along by some notable New York State politicians like Sen. Chuck Schumer and then- Sen. Hillary Clinton. Further investigation revealed that none of those who were in the United States and involved in the 9/11 attacks entered from Canada. They went to the United States from Asia, the Middle East and Europe, many under their own names and with valid U.S. visas.

On April 20, 2009, Napolitano was interviewed by Neil Macdonald of the CBC and the Secretary told him that the borders have to be further protected to prevent the entry of terrorists into the United States. When Macdonald asked her if she was referring to the 9/11 plotters, Napolitano replied, “Not just those but others as well”. She still thinks that some or all of those who were responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon came to the United States by crossing the Canadian-American border. It’s obvious that she wants to believe this.

Napolitano told Macdonald that the northern border should be treated in the same way and with the same level of security as the southern border is even after Macdonald pointed out to her that there are differences between Canada and Mexico. Canadians are not trying to enter and remain in the United States en masse and there is no major drug war on the Canadian border where thousands of people are murdered each year. Napolitano acknowledged that but stated that there was still no reason to treat Canada any differently than Mexico. Spoken like a true liberal; we must be fair, you know. The secretary’s answer to the problems that have been raised by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and others; that trade and tourism would come to a standstill if certain measures were implemented was “Well, I certainly hope that doesn’t come into play”.

The National Post took the opportunity of Napolitano’s ridiculous comments in the wake of the Christmas Day terrorist attack to re-iterate her ongoing belief that the 9/11 terrorists entered the U.S. from Canada and her failure to accept that Canada is not Mexico, to chastise her. Napolitano had initially said that the system worked in regards to the attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to blow up an aircraft. The National Post pointed out that they system only worked after some of the passengers on Flight 253 bailed it out.

As noted in the editorial, under a parliamentary system of democracy with the concept of ministerial responsibility, Napolitano would be under pressure to resign or be fired. There would be continued calls for her to step down after not only the failure of the system that allowed Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to carry explosives onto an American bound flight but for her comments that the system worked.

The editorial ended by saying, “There is every reason for Mr. Obama to push if she fails to jump”. But it’s extremely unlikely that there will be any pushing or jumping any time soon.

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