We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
Aesop (ca. 550 BC): Whitman William B. The Quotable Politician. Guilford, CT: Lyons Press, 2003.
Andre Ouellet has resigned before he could be fired -- or was he pushed?
I would like to dedicate the quote above to Andre Ouellet.
Andre Ouellet, has resigned--finally--as President of Canada Post, and expense account spender extraordinaire, whose $400,000 a year salary was greater than that of our Prime Minister. Ouellet "retired" in his words; he should have been fired. Canadians can now pay his large pension. This is a man who must have known where a great many bodies have been buried to warrant what, for Canada, is a stratospheric salary. Perhaps Canadians will be able to recover some of the $2,000,000 he racked up in expenses as President? Previously, as chairman of Canada Post, Ouelett's expenses had been in the neighbourhood of 1/3 million dollars; yet, his replacement cost Canadians approximately $26,000 in expense accounts--relatively modest by comparison to Ouelett--though many Canadians live for a year on that salary. (Diane Francis, Aug. 12, 04) I suppose, now that Ouellet has gone, the investigation will end?
* Delta Burned Through $744 Million Since Year Began -- And yet Canadian taxpayers' dollars are going to be loaned to Delta to buy planes from Bombardier? -- an update to an Aug. 8, 04 post
* Couple sued for stealing $107M -- Feds [DND, computers] and HP sue Paul and Stephanie-Anne Champagne, "who are now living in an oceanfront mansion in the Turks & Caicos". There is no respect for taxpayers dollars.
* IRAN'S BUSHEHR REACTOR IS 90% READY
* Oil: Yukos plunges amid rumours of Russia insider trading
* CBC: The Bombing of Air India Flight 182. There is much information on the CBC website.
* Microsoft Ups Security Level to SP2
* Rashomon in the Skies: The Tangled Tale of Flight 327
* Al-Zarqawi's group releases recruitment CD-ROM
* Occam's Carbuncle: Stirring the pot -- the notwithstanding clause
* LGF: Europe Astonished!
* LGF: Fourth Estate = Fifth Column
* Fantino: Book 'em, print 'em, swab 'em -- DNA
* Doing the right thing
* Village idiots ruin it for all -- shoplifting
* Bob MacDonald: Willie's as slick as ever -- Ugh!
* Leak Allowed al-Qaida Suspects to Escape
* China Rapidly Modernizes for War With U.S.
* Immigrants won't solve rural depopulation
* Letter: Web of justice -- The system and Svend
Delta Burned Through $744 Million Since Year Began -- And Canadian taxpayers' dollars are going to be loaned to Delta to buy from Bombardier? -- an update to an Aug. 8, 04 post
ATLANTA - Delta Air Lines Inc. said Monday it burned through $744 million in cash in the first six months of the year and again warned that it could be forced into bankruptcy without deep concessions from pilots.
The carrier said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had begun dipping into cash reserves due to high fuel prices and lower than expected passenger revenues, but that such spending was "unsustainable."
"If we cannot make substantial progress in the near term toward achieving a competitive cost structure that will permit us to regain sustained profitability and access the capital markets on acceptable terms, we will need to restructure our costs under Chapter 11," the filing said. [That means BANKRUPTCY!]
Delta reiterated the need to get $1 billion in concessions from pilots, who have offered up to $705 million.
At the current burn rate, the carrier would be left with slightly more than $1.2 billion in unrestricted cash by the end of the year. [. . . . ]
There is no respect for taxpayers dollars -- Couple sued for stealing $107M -- Feds [DND, computers] and HP sue Paul and Stephanie-Anne Champagne, "who are now living in an oceanfront mansion in the Turks & Caicos".
How could this have gone on undetected for years? What kinds of controls should have been, but were not, in place? The sponsorships aren't the only can of worms the public is late to find out about. Meanwhile, hundreds of top RCMP investigators have retired and the government has done nothing to replace them. Why not? If we do not fund our investigators, then, "While the cat's away the mice will play" and they've had a very fine time for the past ten years. Again, I ask, to whose benefit?
OTTAWA -- Computer giant Hewlett-Packard and the federal government have joined forces to sue a former Department of National Defence bureaucrat and his wife, alleging the couple stole at least $107 million in Canadian taxpayers' money using a phoney invoice scheme nobody detected for a decade.
Hewlett-Packard Canada Inc. and the Attorney-General of Canada made the allegation of theft in a lawsuit they have filed against Paul and Stephanie-Anne Champagne, who are now living in an oceanfront mansion in the Turks & Caicos.
In documents filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, H-P Canada and the federal government are suing to recover total losses exceeding $160 million, including the $107 million allegedly pocketed by the Champagnes and deposited into single and jointly controlled Bank of Nova Scotia accounts.
As well, the company and government are seeking $16 million in punitive damages from the couple, millions more to pay for the probe into the scheme and a court order to force the Champagnes to reveal how they spent the $107 million and help auditors trace assets they have bought since the scheme allegedly began in 1994. [. . . . ]
Let's see, now; the Liberals took the reigns of government in 1993 . . .
MOSCOW [MENL] -- Russia has completed more than 90 percent of the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran.
Russian officials said Moscow has accelerated work on the Bushehr power reactor. They said 1,500 Russian nationals and personnel from the former Soviet Union were sent to Iran to complete the $1 billion nuclear project.
So far, officials said, Russia has completed procurement for Bushehr. They said the remaining work includes the assembly of the equipment, systems integration and preparing for operations.
"By now, the first power unit of the Bushehr nuclear station is 90 percent ready," a Russian Atomic Agency official told the Moscow-based Tass news agency. "All heavy equipment, including the reactor, has been brought and assembled at the station building." [. . . . ]
Oil: Yukos plunges amid rumours of Russia insider trading
MOSCOW : Yukos stock crashed in early trading on news that it no longer has rights to shares in its main oil subsidiary amid growing speculation of insider trading.
There is also deep concern about how the turmoil surrounding the company, the biggest Russian oil producer, is affecting world oil prices.
The price of Yukos shares has risen or fallen by at least 10 percent daily over the past week and dragged along the markets with it against a background of concern that global supplies of oil are straining to match demand.
Yukos produces about 1.7 million barrels of oil per day, equivalent for example to about one fifth of Saudi Arabia's output and nearly as much as the maximum that Iraq has pumped recently of about 2.0 million barrels per day. [. . . . ]
Jean Chretien has, lately, flown off to Russia to help. The cynic in me asks what will that cost us.
CBC: The Bombing of Air India Flight 182. There is much information on the CBC website.
This week CBC's Milewski presented two programs aired on the National News on the Air India bombing.
June 22, 1985. Airlines agent Jeannie Adams checks in two pieces of luggage at Vancouver International Airport that will change the course of history.
Hours later, the first suitcase explodes inside the baggage terminal at the Tokyo's Narita airport while it was being transferred to an Air India flight. Two baggage handlers are killed. Exactly 55 minutes later, the other bag, a dark-brown hard-sided Samsonite suitcase, explodes in the forward cargo hold of Air India Flight 182 as it approaches the coast of Ireland.
Some passengers actually survive the 747's fall from 31,000 feet only to drown in the frigid waters of the Atlantic.
Three hundred and twenty-nine people are killed. Eighty-two of them are children. Most of the people onboard Air India Flight 182 are Canadian citizens. [. . . . ]
These videos can be accessed on the same webpage; there are others.
The National's Terry Milewski weaves through 16 years of paperwork surrounding Canada's most expensive crime investigation.
For the incredibly fast growing number of wireless network users, there are updates for key drivers and updated security support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Don't forget, those technologies are far more pervasive today than they were three years ago when Windows XP was first released. The wireless network interface has changed slightly - for the better - too.
Now that XPSP2 [Service Pack 2 for Windows XP] has been released to manufacturing (RTM), end users should see it appear on the Windows Update service by month end. Network administrators and members of the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) will be able to get it by August 16, 2004. About 100 million customers are expected to receive the automatic updates over the next two months and new PC's will begin shipping with it in September or October. By the way, to put this all in perspective, research firm IDC said in a recent on-line article that about 260 million copies of XP have been sold.
Microsoft indicated they have spent nearly (US) $1 billion on developing the update. It also includes significant updates for owners of Tablet and Media Center PC's which contain a slightly different version of the XP operating system.
So, the easiest way for current Windows XP users to make sure they receive Service Pack 2 when it releases in their language is to turn on the Automatic Updates feature in Windows XP. The automatic download and updated installation software that comes with it should make the upgrade relatively painless, albeit time consuming. If you haven't turned on Windows XP Automatic Updates, go to www.microsoft.com/protect/ for instructions. An XPSP2 CD will also be made available but CD's are so, well, so nineties. [. . . . ]
Rashomon in the Skies: The Tangled Tale of Flight 327, the flight where the Middle Eastern musicians behaved strangely, so some thought
No one yet has the full story on the infamous June 29 Northwest Airlines Flight #327 from Detroit to Los Angeles, on which thirteen Syrian musicians acted so suspiciously that passenger and WomensWallStreet.com writer Annie Jacobsen feared she was about to be killed by terrorists. The identity of the band remained unknown for a while until I identified them as the backup band for Canaanite crooner Nour Mehana, whom I dubbed the "Syrian Wayne Newton."
Regardless of the behavior of Nour Mehana's band, Ms. Jacobsen's story has focused international attention on the very serious issue of terrorists sizing up our commercial aviation for another strike. She has been getting the full Paula Jones treatment for her trouble.
Critics gleefully hang Ms. Jacobsen's fear on a moral defect: a hidden and unacknowledged racism. She felt fear, you see, because deep down, she is really a bad person. And also because she is "bigoted and paranoid" (per Salon.com's Patrick Smith), and a "sniveling little twit" (from leanleft.com), and because girls tend to get hysterical and overreact. It's their hormones. It's why they can't be president.
I told my wife that, and she overreacted.
But it's not just the amateurs on left-wing blogs gunning for Ms. Jacobsen. Anonymous "federal officials and sources" told Los Angeles radio station KFI that "[t]he lady was overreacting," More recently she tangled with the Syrian ambassador to the United States, who repeatedly called her a "paranoid racist." It's always reassuring when officials of Syria's government and of our own sing from the same hymn book. [. . . . ]
Who was the dude in 1-A, then? Sharp dresser, stood in front of the cockpit door, fluently chatted up the Arab contingent on the plane...my next guess would be this was an Air Marshal. Or maybe he was just a fan.
IN HER FIRST ARTICLE, ANNIE Jacobsen asked why, if terrorists can learn to fly airplanes, they cannot also learn to play musical instruments. This new information doesn't answer that entirely fair question. In fact, given potential ties between certain musical groups and terrorist groups, it makes the question all the more critical.
All of which begs the question of why Nour Mehana's entourage wasn't simply dealt with, firmly but politely, by the flight crew. They were scared enough to call the FBI to meet the plane, but apparently they were not permitted to enforce federal regulations in flight. "I expect that no one came up and asked them to sit down, so how would they know they were creating a problem?" wondered the former business partner. [. . . .]
KUWAIT CITY (AP) - The militant group of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has made a recruitment CD-ROM urging Muslims to join the holy war against the invaders of Iraq and their allies - including Iraqi police and the country's prime minister, whom it describes as one of the "symbols of evil."
In the 45-minute CD-ROM, Tawhid and Jihad claimed responsibility for attacks in Iraq and shows footage of bombings against U.S. forces and other targets in the violence-ravaged country.
A copy of the CD-ROM was obtained by The Associated Press from the local daily Al-Siyassah newspaper, which reported it on Friday. The daily said the CD was circulating among fundamentalist Muslims in this small oil-rich ally of Washington.
Its contents could not be independently authenticated.
Titled 'Winds of Victory,' the recruitment CD showed militant Muslims from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Kuwait, Algeria and Egypt bidding fellow fighters farewell before getting in explosive-laden vehicles; planning attacks on a carpeted floor; and joking around on what looked like a small boat, apparently one of those used in an attack on oil terminals in April.
On April 24, three small boats exploded near the Khor Al Amaya and the larger Al Basra terminals as U.S. Navy teams approached them. Al Basra was partly damaged, and exports were halted for a day.
Islamic Web sites and chat forums have been heavily promoting the release of the CD-ROM for the past two months. Some of the scenes were previously shown on television stations. [. . . . ]
Would their freedom of speech trump CHOI's in Canada?
Check out the Islamic websites listed in a previous article -- "Islamist Terror Via the American Internet -- Do you know about these websites? You should!", posted Aug. 10, 04.
Occam's Carbuncle: Stirring the pot -- an added twist to the notwithstanding clause
Note, if this link does not work and it is a new style to me, simply go to Occam's carbuncle (www.occamscarbuncle.blogspot.com) and check.
Among the many dull and silly debates during Canada's recent dejection campaign was the one surrounding the use of the so called "notwithstanding clause". Harper would use it, Martin would not, under any circumstances, blah blah blah. None of the discourse I heard even touched on the idea that there are, in point of fact, two such notwithstanding clauses in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Section 33 was put there for the provinces to play with. The feds can put their fingers in that pie too, if they feel the need. Section 33 states:
33. (1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15 of this Charter.
Like it or not, it's in there and it isn't going anywhere.
What a lot of people don't seem to realize is that the courts have their very own little notwithstanding clause, and guess what, they aren't that shy about using it.
It has become commonplace for Western wire services to publish pictures of masked mujahideen engaged in killing US and coalition soldiers, photographed in loving closeup: (Yahoo! News Photos - Iraq) .
What would have been the reaction in World War II, if American newspapers had run photographs of bravely posing Waffen SS stormtroopers firing their weapons at Allied soldiers, credited openly to German photographers?
But now, no one cares. No one even notices.
Why, today, the CRTC would welcome their photos to Canada and our print and online media -- we could call it the Al Waffen SS channel.
You would not think Value Village would need a sign on its front door saying "For Your Benefit -- Electronic Surveillance Equipment Used In This Store," but it does. [. . . . Link for the details.]
What kind of people are these who need to resort to thievery? Does Value Village, its old-fashioned trust in customers violated, need to resort to an array of huge cameras, sirens, and an army of stalking security guards?
Do these people not know who they are hurting with their pathetic stealing? Do they not know that Value Village International, with 200 stores in the U.S., Canada, and Australia, last year donated $130 million to 120 non-profit charities? And, from all its stores, donated some 220 million lbs. of clothing to Third World nations?
Do they not know that Value Villages in Ontario are partnered with the Diabetes Association of Canada and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation Of Canada, and that the stores pay these charities big money for the items that are donated to the charities through their fundraising drives, and that Value Village gives additional money to them from the sales of items that are individually dropped off by citizens at the stores? That the more money Value Village earns, the more it has to give to charity? [. . . . ]
SLICK WILLIE Clinton wowed the ladies and other avid fans in Toronto this past week while selling a ton of his fat, self-serving book called My Life.
But south of the border, there's still a swarm of unhappy women who had affairs or charged they'd been sexually accosted during his years as Arkansas governor and president.
In fact, singer Gennifer Flowers said last month she was considering legal action for what he wrote about her.
[. . . . ] Who can forget his 1998 TV testimony under oath: "I never had sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky." [I hated him for that!]
Ah, but just hours before he left office and gave up its protection from criminal prosecution, Clinton was careful to take steps to avoid perjury charges. He admitted that he had lied about the long-standing affair, paid a $25,000 fine and had his lawyer's licence lifted for five years. So there, all is forgiven.
Other notorious affairs received little or no mention in his bulky book. That includes Paula Jones, who charged him with sexual harassment and won a civil suit settlement. [. . . . ]
Leak Allowed al-Qaida Suspects to Escape
Have the media no sense? Some scoops are simply not worth it.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The disclosure to reporters of the arrest of an al-Qaida computer expert allowed several wanted suspects from Osama bin Laden's terror network to escape, government and security officials said Tuesday.
Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, a 25-year-old Pakistani computer engineer, was nabbed in a July 13 raid in the eastern city of Lahore. He then led Pakistani authorities to a key al-Qaida figure and cooperated secretly by sending e-mails to terrorists so investigators could trace their locations.
His arrest was first reported in American newspapers on Aug. 2 after it was disclosed to reporters by U.S. officials in Washington. Later, the Pakistan government also confirmed his capture but gave no other details.
Two senior Pakistani officials said the reports in "Western media" enabled other al-Qaida suspects to get away. [. . . . ]
Ghailani and Khan are still in the custody of Pakistan, a key ally of the United States in its war on terrorism.
Officials say Ghailani and Khan's computer contained photographs of potential targets in the United States and Britain, including London's Heathrow Airport and underpasses beneath London buildings. [. . . . ]
During the last several months, there have been numerous hints in the Chinese and Taiwanese media indicating that war is more likely than believed here in the West.
Some strategists suggest that the 2008 Olympics scheduled for Beijing constitute a key benchmark, after which a war may be possible.
However, it is clear that both nations are preparing for a conflict in the near term, and that 2008 may not be as pivotal as some experts believe.
In fact, China’s media have been repeating the mantra in their news reports that the People’s Liberation Army is preparing to gain a victory in this “internal military conflict in a high-tech environment.”
Chinese war planners have studied carefully the recent U.S.-Iraq War, a war that demonstrated to PLA strategists that U.S. military might is derived from its technological superiority.
China’s military experts conducted similar studies after America’s first Gulf War. One military study written by two Chinese colonels entitled “Unrestricted Warfare” suggested that China could not compete with America’s technological prowess.
Instead, China had to develop “asymmetrical” warfare to defeat the U.S. in any conflict. Interestingly, “Unrestricted Warfare” became an instant best seller in China after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In the 1998 book, the Chinese colonels suggested that a successful bombing by Osama bin Laden of the World Trade Center would be an example of this new “unrestricted warfare” concept.
Apparently, China feels much better positioned after the recent Iraq War and wants to challenge the U.S. on a technological level. [. . . . ]
The PLA has been following its “three-way policy” of advanced weapons acquisition.
This three-pronged strategy calls for China to gain technologically advanced weaponry through (1) imports, (2) joint (Chinese-foreign) weapons R&D, and (3) independent weapons R&D within China.
The details of this mechanism were given in the article “China’s military affairs in 2003,” published by the Taiwanese journal Zhonggong yanjiu (China Communism Research) in February 2004. [. . . . ]
They have already stolen nuclear reactor plans from Canada; now, with their network here they are well placed to . . . well, you figure it out.
Immigrants won't solve rural depopulation
There was a report in this morning's National Post about immigrants heading to the Yukon because they feel they will be less likely to be turfed out of Canada from an area needing citizens. Of course, there are diamonds and oil, among other "opportunities" in the north. Note from whence they come. Check for the article online; I have not had time.
[. . . . ] What we should be doing is managing declining population growth on the Prairies by developing appropriate policies, such as ensuring continued access to social programs, that will help persuade those who live there to remain.
The government, nevertheless, thinks increasing overall immigration intake -- already the highest per capita in the world -- is the answer. Yet, there are clear indications that most new arrivals have not fared well during the past two decades.
Their earnings, even when adjusted for the length of time they have been here, have been well below those of earlier cohorts of immigrants and Canadian-born alike, while their poverty levels have been much higher. This is having a severe impact on cities such as Toronto, where rapid population growth has been driven by immigration and has resulted in increased congestion, as well as strains on health, education and welfare resources -- at an immense cost to taxpayers.
Although there are shortages in some specific vocational areas that may require immigration in the short to medium term (such as the medical profession), research shows that there is no general shortage of skilled labour and, indeed, there will probably be a surplus until at least the end of the current decade. Under such circumstances, bringing in large numbers of newcomers to fill jobs that don't exist is unfair both to everybody. [. . . . ]
But remember, they vote; you know how. With this one, we know to whose advantage!
Even more important is that Svend has been spared a criminal record. That means, when he returns to some position of prominence, he'll be able to travel abroad with a Canadian passport -- on the taxpayers' dime as he did just lately, probably. Oh, yes, and now he is working for -- is it the BC government or some quasi-governmental agency? The pleasures--and perqs--of networking with the right people!
Re: Svend Spared Any Jail Time, Aug. 6.
So Svend walks. Two-tier justice has arrived.
Well, it's a great day for thieves and defence lawyers. Henceforth, presumably, pocketers of pricey baubles and trinkets in the $50,000 range, if caught in flagrante delicto, need only plead the "Svend Syndrome" of high stress, deep remorse and public embarrassment to beat the charge.
To replicate the syndrome precisely, pocketers would be advised to prove their mental stress by first checking out retail outlets that handle the object of their fancy. They should also have a mental list of blue-ribbon character references lest the pocketing is caught on camera.
Honore de Balzac had it right: "Laws are like spider webs: the big flies get through, while the little ones are caught."
* Update: MATT Stopford -- the Princess Pat's Warrant Officer who was being poisoned by his own troops in Croatia in 1993
* Canada's Criminal Gangs and How they operate, Our Severely Taxed Security Services--RCMP, CSIS, Customs and Immigration, Ports Police, the Military: Canadian Signals Establishment and JTF II -- and how our government's policies have contributed to this -- This is a "must read" article! -- "60 terrorist organizations present in Canada", according to a research report from the Mackenzie Institute. I suspect little has changed since this report was prepared.
Update: MATT Stopford -- the Princess Pat's warrant officer who was being poisoned by his own troops in Croatia in 1993
NCO POISONED BY OWN TROOPS GETS SHAFT AGAIN FROM DEFENCE, WRITES PETER WORTHINGTON
REMEMBER MATT Stopford -- the Princess Pat's warrant officer who was being poisoned by his own troops in Croatia in 1993 and is now blind in one eye and wracked with crippling internal injuries? When he was defence minister, John McCallum intervened and sent Stopford to the Mayo Clinic for analysis and treatment, and ordered department of national defence lawyers to settle the case to avoid Stopford's legal case.
The June 28 election changed everything. . . .
Canada's Criminal Gangs and How they operate, Our Severely Taxed Security Services--RCMP, CSIS, Customs and Immigration, Ports Police, the Military: Canadian Signals Establishment and JTF II -- and how our government's policies have contributed to this -- This is a "must read" article! -- 60 terrorist organizations present in Canada, according to a research report from the Mackenzie Institute.
"a Federal Court judge ruled on January 20, 2000 that Canada does have the right to deport terrorists even if they claim they will be tortured if returned home."
How many of you even knew this? Why does our government not act, then?
There is enough material here for you to understand why the our security services have been overworked and underfunded. In particular, this report gives details and reveals political interference in the services upon which Canadians depend for their security.
I was just going to place a link to the article but, the more I read, the more I thought that, if blog readers are like me, we skim what is in a blog and go on, because we do not have the time to read all the articles we would like to--even important ones. In the interest of getting this information out, I have posted too much but it is important. How much has changed since this report was prepared?
Preferably, link and read every word; failing that, skim this to get the idea.
Part I: The Players -- The first half gives some idea of what Canadian security forces are facing in the range of criminal groups and their increasingly pervasive activity.
Part II: The Protectors -- The second half describes our security services and the handicaps they are forced to contend with -- and gives some idea of the dangerous situation Canadians are in -- despite the claims of our Justice Minister.
Part I: The Players
In 1998, following his testimony to a Canadian Senate inquiry into terrorism and public safety, the Director General of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) alleged that representatives of some 60 terrorist organizations were present in Canada.
Without providing an exhaustive survey of terrorism within Canada, recent events have graphically demonstrated that Islamic Fundamentalists are present. [. . . . ]
Terrorist groups: Besides the Islamic Fundamentalists, there is mention of Sikhs (Babbar Khalsa), Tamil Tigers, Kurdish PKK, Iranian exiles, radical Black Muslims, the Provisional Wing of the IRA (and their Protestant counterparts), Palestinian groups,
Organized crime: "traditional North American Mafia; Aboriginal organized crime, Bikers, Montreal’s Franco-Irish underworld and Lebanese, Sikh, Vietnamese, Jamaican, Chinese and Russian gangs"
A Canadian police report was cited in the prosecution of a Vermont gun dealer who had diverted approximately 1,000 handguns into the black market. It listed details of 102 weapons that had been recovered in Canada. Canadian Suspects associated with these weapons included members of Russian Mafiya [sic], Armenian thieves, Mohawk Warriors, the Franco-Irish underworld, Jamaican Posses, Colombians, Vietnamese gangsters, sundry street gangs, Bikers and at least two Mafia families.
In sum, organized crime in Canada is as cosmopolitan as the rest of Canadian society. However, traditional criminal organizations have been joined by numerous new groups.
A characteristic of terrorists and other insurgent groups in the 1990s is that most have had to become self-supporting, usually by participating in organized crime. Some groups, such as the Tamil Tigers or FARC in Colombia, have perfectly fused both activities into a single organization. Most of the terrorist groups that are present in Canada, are there to make money and garner support. Few international groups have ever directed violence against Canada itself. As an example, the Tamil Tigers in Canada engage in fraud, extortion(within the Tamil expatriate community), heroin trafficking and prostitution to fund their war effort in Sri Lanka. A handsome share of the profits of the cocaine market in Canada must be assumed to be in FARC’s pockets.
The effects of this hybrid relationship between support for insurgency and organized crime cannot be understated. It is not a new phenomenon, but was largely absent in the Cold War Era. However, those groups that evolve into this pattern have the potential to become extremely powerful. The Tamil Tigers own their own merchant ships and FARC now controls some 40% of Colombia. Historical examples of insurgents who drifted into organized crime include the Mafia and the Chinese Triads – both of which may have more influence than is generally understood.
Most modern organized criminal societies and insurgent support networks are ethnic in character. Criminal societies as diverse as the Mafiya, the Posses and Triads tend to have a core membership based on common experience from a narrow ethnic base. The same is also true of Biker gangs who tend to have a strong white supremacist element. Insurgents around the world tend to belong to a sub-national minority or a particular religious faction. In a cosmopolitan society, this characteristic can add considerable complications for law enforcement agencies – this is certainly true in Canada.
Support for insurgency and organized crime within immigrant communities is an old story. [. . . . ]
How Immigration Act changes after 1967 (Trudeau era) and activist Justice Bertha Wilson in 1985 contributed to today's problems
[After 1967] the Immigration Act was changed to reflect three basic goals:
1. To foster the development of a strong national economy in all regions;
2. To facilitate the reunion of Canadian residents with family members from abroad;
3. To uphold Canada’s humanitarian tradition.
The Act states that the immigration program should protect the health and safety of all Canadians, and prevent the entry of criminals, spies, terrorists and subversives. However, sorting out the occasional bad apple in all the new barrels is not easy at the best of times. A Supreme Court of Canada interpretation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (written by Justice Bertha Wilson in 1985) presented a major handicap to enforcing this part of the Act. The interpretation of the Charter held that all non-Citizens were fully entitled to all the same legal protections as citizens from the very moment they set foot in the country.
For some 69 of the last 100 years, Canada has been governed by the Liberal Party. The Liberals, especially since the Second World War, have become adept at garnering the votes of new Canadians (most of whom were admitted into the country and granted citizenship under Liberal government). In 1972, the Liberals also introduced a new policy to support multiculturalism; and this has generally strengthened their support among new Canadians.
In the late 1990's, Immigration and Refugee Minister Elinor Caplan decided to boost Canada's immigration to 300,000 a year, so
foreign students, temporary workers and others to get permanent status without having to return to their home countries to apply. To accomplish this, decision making may be decentralized, and it will be easier for foreign students, temporary workers and others to get permanent status without having to return to their home countries to apply.
The Result of the Above Changes: Canada's Refugee Policy and Welfare "Entitlements"
Canada is also extremely accommodating to refugee claimants. Pending a hearing to allow landed immigrant status, a refugee will be awarded a series of welfare benefits.[. . . .]
Some refugee claimants arrive with a full knowledge of Canada’s welfare system – general welfare, family benefits, subsidized housing and an allowance to purchase furniture and household effects. Social workers in the Etobicoke area of Toronto were sometimes startled to find that many Somali refugees had precise knowledge of all their entitlements. Some made multiple claims under different names. Perhaps just as disturbing to police in British Colombia are teenage boys from Central American nations who also land with a detailed knowledge of expected benefits, and a clear idea of their legal protections under the Young Offenders Act. Some have been picked up as drug dealers within two days of landing in Canada.
The Numbers, Illegals, Human Smuggling, Imported Ethnic Violence
Read the immigration and refugee figures for the last ten years and some instances recounted of flagrant abuse of the generous welfare provisions for refugees. Then, there are the illegal aliens.
Many of these entered on expired visitor or student visas. Others have been smuggled into the country, often with false documentation. . . .
Among other trends and examples:
* Over 50% of new arrivals take up residence in Southern Ontario – mostly around the Toronto area. Vancouver and Montreal form two lesser areas of residence. . . .this extreme concentration allows for more of a ‘critical mass’ of active or potential security risks to form in a single area. As insurgent or criminal organizations first prey on their own ethnic community, this degree of concentration can accelerate their growth.
* By 1996, some 219,425 Canadian citizens and residents were from Middle Eastern nations that have manifested Islamic Fundamentalist violence. This is up from 178,205 in 1991. . . .
Besides groups associated with violence--not all, but many--Tamils (Tamil Tigers) and Sikhs (Babbar Khalsa), law enforcement has had to contend with:
the IRA and its Protestant counterparts; Armenian terrorists, Somali clans, militant Croats and Serbs. There is some internal terrorism in Canada coming out of a minuscule radical right and an equally irritating radical left (this last includes members of the Animal Liberation Front and "Ecotagers") . . . .
The next part is truly shocking from the citizen's perspective.
Part II: The Protectors -- The Myriad Problems Faced by Our Security Services
Shrinking Security Capacities
It would be wrong to demean the professionalism or skill of most members of Canada’s police and security services. The same is true for the officers at Canada’s Customs and Immigration desks. Many of them are far better people than Canada deserves.
However, it is difficult to maintain professionalism when efforts go unappreciated. Immigration officers, for instance, are too aware of their limitations. Police officers throughout Canada often lack the resources to battle organized crime or insurgent’s fundraising activities. It frequently happens that significant intelligence is acquired on criminals or potential terrorists, but there is no money for prosecutions. This leaves many officers in the frustrating situation where they know what is going on, but are unable to act upon it.
There are frustrations, retirements--experienced officers leaving for better jobs--and what is left? Inexperience is not their fault. Then, who are recruited?
[. . . .] The Royal Canadian Mounted Police operate as a National Police force, as police for federal property and on contract to most provinces as a provincial force. According to the Canadian journalist Paul Palango in his 1998 book [The Last Guardians: The Crisis in the RCMP--And in Canada ], the force has increasingly been expected to run along business lines. In a process that paralleled much of the decline in the Canadian military, senior RCMP officers became increasingly drawn into the civil service culture instead of remaining as a quasi-independent service under the Solicitor General of Canada.
The process described by Palango was recently echoed by Robert Head, a former assistant commissioner and 30-year veteran of the RCMP, in his November 1999 report The Politicization of the RCMP. Since the Conservative government of Brian Mulroney in the 1980s, the RCMP has been increasingly expected to work on "community policing" and "client relationships". Mounties have also been expected to volunteer for peacekeeping missions in Cambodia, Haiti, Africa and the Balkans – this during a time in which their budget has been shrinking. Both critics also claim that heavy political interference exists within the Force, particularly on cases involving commercial or "White Collar" crime.
In the autumn of 1998, a fundamentalist cult leader in northern Alberta, was (and remains) the leading suspect in a series of hundreds of incidents of vandalism aimed at nearby logging and gas activities. [. . . .] The local detachment (for an area that had some 50,000 residents spread over 6,500 square kilometres) consisted of eight officers.
[. . . . ] It is also revealing that the detachment commander had been, before his posting to a remote rural corner of Alberta, a leading expert in "Proceeds of Crime" – following the money trail behind white collar and organized crime.
[In the late 1990's, to whose benefit would it have been to get rid of this expert? If you have no ideas, go to the archives and check parts of previous posts from Feb. 25-04, Mar. 1-04, Mar. 21-04, Apr. 7-04, Jun. 24-25-04. There may be no connection. Still, it will give some idea of the extent of questionable activity in Canada. Besides those, in July-August-04, I have posted articles on terrorism, terrorism and diamonds, terrorism and drugs -- and more. ]
RCMP officers have complained to the author that political will is absent for many major investigations. One investigator went so far as to say in 1995 that if the potential value of seized assets might not exceed the costs of an investigation, it might not be undertaken. [. . . .]
Throughout the 1990s, the Federal government has been parsimonious. [. . . .]
The Gun Registry Takes Investigators from Canadians' Security
Another problem for the RCMP comes with the Federal Government’s gun control bill. [. . . .] Moreover, the equivalent of some 391 RCMP officers has been diverted from other duties to help manage what is turning out to be an unmanageable program.
And what about CSIS? The Trackers? The Ports Police? Customs and Immigration
[It almost appears as if someone deliberately wanted to decimate our security. To whose benefit?]
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service [CSIS], like the RCMP, belongs to the Solicitor General of Canada. It is an intelligence gathering organization primarily concerned with counter-espionage, counter-terrorism, and similar issues. The service is also expected to conduct all security screening for the federal government. Its officers are not police officers, do not carry arms and may not make their own arrests. However, its officers have greater powers of investigation than do those of the RCMP.
CSIS was formed in the early 1980s and by 1990 had something like 2,700 full-time equivalent personnel working for it. Currently, it has some 2,050 personnel -- including transfers from the Department of National Defence who were brought in to help cope with a severe backlog in security screening. Funding has dropped. The annual budget for CSIS was $244 million in 1993-94, and is $168 million for the current fiscal year. Details of CSIS activities are rarely forthcoming and the organization’s annual reports are a marvel of brevity. Secrecy is invoked for most of its operations.
Morale is reported to be low in CSIS. Most of the members that the author knows have left for other employment in recent years. The quality of the group’s reports also seems to have fallen off. When first created, CSIS was staffed with many veteran RCMP officers from the Security Service. These were seasoned investigators with long experience in recruiting and running informers and confidential sources. Recruitment since 1985 has tended to focus in more of an academic direction, to the detriment of street experience.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service frequently finds itself short of members with the language and cultural skills to operate in some communities. [. . . .]
Customs and Immigration Officers have endured considerable reorganization in the last decade. Immigration officers now come under the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (after splitting off some functions to Human Resources). Customs officers now work for Revenue Canada. Moreover, the fiscal austerity programs have also had an effect. During the reorganizations under the Liberal government in their 1993-97 term, some important capabilities were discarded.
Immigration used to have an orthodox but highly gifted set of investigators known, informally, as the Trackers. This group specialized in hunting down criminals who had evaded deportation, and potentially dangerous illegal aliens. [. . . . ]The Trackers were entirely disbanded within days of the 1993 appointment of Sergio Marchi as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. (As the minister, Marchi favoured the appointment of refugee claimant advocates and immigration lawyers to the Immigration and Refugee Board – with predictable results.)
[. . . . ] Another front-line organization that was disbanded in recent years was the Ports Police. Major ports can be a nightmare of overlapping jurisdictions and regulations, but the Federal Ports Police were designed to work in this environment. They also had extensive experience in coping with smuggling – especially in catching shipments of narcotics and illegal aliens. This experience is no longer available to the law enforcement community.
[Have the Ports Police been reinstated since this report -- or have there been superficial "fixes" -- more smoke and mirrors than substantive change?]
Ah! Diversity! Hiring Policies, Canadian Signals Establishment, Military assets and JTF II
[When it comes to diversity and multiculturalism--the vote getters--guess what goes by the boards? Why, it appears to be our security!]
Hiring policies for both Customs and Immigration now appear to place the appearance of diversity over experience and education. Many new Canadians, often with questionable communications skills in either official language, now staff front-line desks. Whatever the merits in equal opportunity policies, this must represent an aggregate loss in capability.
[. . . . ] Customs officers have finally received body-armour. These used sets from Canadian and American police forces that adopted better protective gear. Canada does not arm its Customs officers lest visitors receive the wrong impression about the country. What visitors might think about the bullet scars on the Customs buildings at Walpole Island and near Akwesasne is not recorded.
The Canadian Armed Forces have some role in internal security. Like the American NSA, the Canadian Signals Establishment (CSE) plays a role in communications security and the development of electronic intelligence. The organization is shrouded in secrecy [as is the budget, etc. . . . . ]
Canadian military assets, such as helicopters, logistics support, and extra manpower have been available to support the RCMP and other police forces in the past. However, the budgetary axe has fallen hardest and most frequently on the Department of National Defence. [. . . .] JTF-II has the resources it requires. However, the force lacks much of the experience in "Black Ops" (counter-terrorism and the like) that attends the SAS. Worse, the troops that it does have are becoming heavily tasked.
Government Secrecy and a Respect for Privacy, the Jurisdictional Aspect, the American Advantage-CPIC Data Bank, Political "Filters"
To put government secrecy and respect for privacy another way, there is a paucity of sharing of information that would add efficiency in the interests of all Canadians' security. Is this a convenient ruse to be used whenever the government believes the truth would be "inconvenient", "sticky", or would implicate certain people? Ot is it genuine? I am a cynic, of course.
Lack of Coordination
Among the many Canadian traits that may require explanation to an American audience are an emphasis on government secrecy and a respect for privacy.
[I would suggest that this is so particularly when it suits the government's purposes. It was not the case for reporter Julie O'Neil of CanWest who experienced heavy-handed tactics concerning her sources for information on the Arar case. Would this result from politicization of the force? Or was it legitimate for some good reason not revealed to the rest of us? That is the problem for the layman; often, for good reason, we cannot be told. ]
[. . . .]. In practice, if not necessarily in regulation, it is difficult to acquire court records, individual service records or welfare records in Canada
These traits have had some effect on Canadian security. For example, Canadian police have access to a national criminal data bank known as CPIC. [. . . .] American police officers can access CPIC records, just as Canadian police officers can use American records. American agencies tend to share access to information in a way that Canadians rarely do, with the net effect that – for example – an American customs officer can access CPIC files. As late as 1998, Canadian customs officers were still barred from CPIC access.
Outside of police circles, the routine sharing of information is less than it could be. The CSE, for example, is an extraordinary source of information, but only reports to the Privy Council Office (the small body of elite senior civil servants who support the Cabinet). When intelligence is passed on to other agencies, it has already moved – often slowly – through a set of politicized filters. Delays of this sort often damage intelligence work; the classic failure of intelligence is when the "client" refuses to believe what his officers are reporting. Inserting a political speed bump into the flow degrades the quality of information, adds a time delay, and may well block some material altogether.
The sharing of information inside some Ministries is worse. Citizenship and Immigration is divided into three regions that are very slow to share information with each other. [. . . .]
When CSIS was first created out of the RCMP’s Security Service, it was intended that the group would work closely with the Mounties. In 15 years of practice, the relationship has not been harmonious -- even through both report to the Solicitor General.
[. . . . Many] Canadian agencies work better with their US counterparts than they do with other Canadian bodies. Immigration officers were able to identify a large number of Chinese Triad leaders entering Canada in 1994, apparently with the help of American authorities. It is also possible that the Canadian interception of Chinese boat people off British Colombia in the summer of 1999 was facilitated by US intelligence and surveillance resources. [. . . . ]
Official Antipathy Towards Security -- and How Useful the Cry, "RACISM!"
[. . . . ] Without ever experiencing a personal confrontation with a dangerous individual, it is then easy to believe that all intelligent people must be likewise reasonable and compassionate. This fallacy is deeply entrenched in the Canadian psyche. It might almost be construed as a political ideology when it comes to diplomacy and defence policy, especially in recent decades.
[. . . . When political (or quasi-political) violence occurs in Canada, it is often quickly forgotten – or readily forgiven. The Air India bombing, . . . . The Armenian takeover of the Turkish Embassy in Ottawa in 1985 has almost been entirely forgotten. . . . . in 1985, when an Air Canada office was bombed in Los Angeles by an Armenian. [. . . . ]
In a modern cosmopolitan society, most citizens feel it is – at least – impolite to discuss issues relating to ethnic identity. The Liberal encouragement of multiculturalism has made political figures even more sensitive to this issue. Organized criminals and members of insurgent support networks are only too ready to exploit this weakness.
When Khagida Gurkhan [the wife of Somali warlord, "refugee" and "welfare client", Mohammed Farah Aideed] was criticized by the media for misusing the welfare and refugee system, her first reaction was to label the critics as racists. Toronto’s Black Action Defence Committee (a handful of activists who purported to speak for the entire black community), was silent on the issue of violence from the Jamaican Posses, but equally quick to denounce any police interest in the gangs. Strangely enough, BADC leaders attended the funerals of Posse members – but not those of their many innocent black victims. [. . . . ]
Interestingly, a Federal Court judge ruled on January 20, 2000 that Canada does have the right to deport terrorists even if they claim they will be tortured if returned home. [. . . . ]
Ached Ressam and Mohtar Haouri. . . via France in 1993. . . refugee claims; and both failed. . . claimed they would be tortured if returned to Algeria. . . Both remained at large. Ressam became involved in an automobile theft ring organized by Algerian expatriates, many of whom were known to be sympathizers of the Fundamentalist uprising against the Algerian Junta. This in itself should have been a warning flag. Haouri’s suspected involvement in weapons smuggling should have been another warning.
Canadian police were aware of the implications of these activities but were not in a position to take further action. Immigration Canada and various police forces were not in a position to share intelligence with each other and to draw reasonable conclusions from it. The regulatory environment prohibited taking any other action. [. . . .]
There you have the bare bones. If possible, please read the whole thing. I have done what I could to pinpoint what I considered important -- but the result is imperfect. Mea culpa.