Sylvester: Was Jason Kenney's public outing of 30 wanted war criminals legitimate and/or effective?

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August 8, 2011

I was a little stunned that the same government who showed so little interest in the International Criminal Court, who struck out humanitarian from DFAIT documents referencing international humanitarian law and who decided to cancel the mandatory long-census form to address privacy concerns would feel compelled to publicly release the names of 30 suspected war criminals.

Jason Kenney did not provide information on the exact nature of the war crimes or the crimes against humanity the men in Canada are alleged to have perpetrated.  When CBC News asked for specific information on the allegations, a CBSA spokeswoman said the agency is "unable to divulge specific details in accordance with privacy laws."

So what message about Canadian values is Minister Kenney trying to project with this action?  Is vigilantism the new order of the day?  Where does the rule of law fit into this scenario? And how can the Canadian government determine if their labels of “war criminals” are accurate?