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drive-by planet: RCMP backtracking on release of video by Ottawa shooter Zehaf-Bibeau reeks of political influence

RCMP - Zehaf-Bibeau video

After we were told the video made by Ottawa shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau would be made available to the public, the RCMP has changed its mind, or had it changed for them. RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson wasn’t exactly clear on the specifics. He said there may be a release of “some aspects of a transcript of the video”… whatever that means.

Given the terrorist narrative favored by the government and also by the police, how can the public be sure that ‘aspects of the transcript’ aren’t cherry picked to reenforce the preferred narrative. Surely the honest and transparent thing to do would be to release the video for the public to make its own judgment or alternatively release the entire transcript, rather than “aspects” of it. If as some claim, there are concerns about the video being exploited in some way for jihadi propaganda, the odds of that happening would be diminished considerably if a transcript was involved – cop out though that would still be – because there is no compelling reason to sit on the video.

There are any number of jihad-inspired videos in circulation that glorify jihad and attack the West… lots of audio-visual incentive out there for anyone influenced by such material. The release of Zehaf-Bibeau’s video – assuming it contains any such content – would not likely make a substantial difference one way or another.

In giving reasons for withholding the video, Paulson also made vague allusions to “some sort of court process.” But given what we know this doesn’t add up. Zehaf-Bibeau is dead and there were no known accomplices.

The decision to withhold the video seems to be more about political calculations. Perhaps Harper is concerned that the video’s contents might in some way influence public opinion about Canada’s involvement in the US-led war in the Middle East… part of the government’s deeply misguided foreign policy agenda.

There has been some debate in parliament about whether or not the term “terrorism” should be used in describing Zehaf-Bibeau’s actions. But from the outset it was clear that the government was dead set on labeling it a “terrorist attack” despite information about Zehaf-Bibeau’s past that indicate mental and emotional problems were a likely trigger.

Zehaf-Bibeau’s mother, Susan Bibeau, who presumably knew her son better than most, denied that he was a terrorist acting “on behalf of some grand ideology or for a political motive.” She said he felt “cornered” and “acted  in despair.” She is also skeptical of the radicalization theory and said she believes “mental illness is at the center of this tragedy.”

According to a recent poll Susan Bibeau’s view is shared by a high percentage of Canadians … while 36% describe the shooting as a “terrorist attack” 38% believe mental illness played a part in it.

Although the Harper government has been careful not to appear to be chaffing at the bit to beef up enforcement powers in the wake of the attack… given the reactionary right-wing nature of this government you can be sure it wants to extract as much mileage as possible from the incident. The wheels are apparently in motion.  On Monday a Commons committee passed Bill C-44 that hands additional powers to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). According to Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney, another bill is in the works that will boost law enforcement powers in the areas of surveillance, detention and arrest.

In the course of conjecturing out loud when and if the Zehaf-Bibeau video might see the light of day, RCMP chief Paulson wasn’t big on specifics…  “I don’t know when it’s going to be released. It will certainly be released some day, but I would be a fool to say when it will be released.”

. . . → Read More: drive-by planet: RCMP backtracking on release of video by Ottawa shooter Zehaf-Bibeau reeks of political influence

drive-by planet: RCMP backtracking on release of video by Ottawa shooter Zehaf-Bibeau reeks of political influence

After we were told the video made by Ottawa shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau would be made available to the public, the RCMP has changed its mind, or had it changed for them. RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson wasn’t exactly clear on the specifics. He said there may be a release of “some aspects of a transcript . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: RCMP backtracking on release of video by Ottawa shooter Zehaf-Bibeau reeks of political influence

Politics and its Discontents: The Latest Addition To The Harper Enemies List

… apparently are army chaplains who speak truth to power.

Although technically she wasn’t fired, (she offered her resignation, which was accepted), Rev. Sandra Tankard incurred the displeasure of both her local Legion and her Conservative MP, Greg Rickford: The Royal Canadian Legion in Kenora, Ont., accepted the resignation of its chaplain on Monday, . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: The Latest Addition To The Harper Enemies List

The Canadian Progressive: Harper Lied About U.S. Requesting Canada’s Military Help In Iraq

American officials say Canada offered further military help to fight the Islamic State in Iraq – not the other way around as Harper told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week.

The post Harper Lied About U.S. Requesting Canada’s Military Help In Iraq appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Harper Lied About U.S. Requesting Canada’s Military Help In Iraq

American officials say Canada offered further military help to fight the Islamic State in Iraq – not the other way around as Harper told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week.

The post Harper Lied About U.S. Requesting Canada’s Military Help In Iraq appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics and its Discontents: He’s So Much More Than Just a Prime Minister. He’s a Real Bastard

“This government — which swaggers around in fatigues, pretending to be a friend of the Canadian Forces — has a lot to answer for…” – Colin Kenny

Stephen Harper is a well-rounded bastard. If bastardy was an Olympic sport, he’d be a decathlete. He’s a lying bastard. He’s a manipulative bastard. He’s a sneaky bastard. . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: He’s So Much More Than Just a Prime Minister. He’s a Real Bastard

Politics and its Discontents: Urban Camouflage for Canada’s Soldiers?

The past dozen or so years have left most of us familiar with the pixelated camouflage pattern, pioneered in Canada, and worn by many nations’ soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Americans are now going back to a more traditional camouflage for their combat uniforms. Canada, however, is not. We already have three variants of . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Urban Camouflage for Canada’s Soldiers?

Politics and its Discontents: An F-35 Update From The Mound Of Sound

The Mound of Sound sent along this note, followed by his guest post on the F-35:

I thought an update on the F-35 would be appropriate after reading Bill Sweetman’s latest piece in Aviation Week. He writes that this warplane’s Canadian backers are desperate to convince us that we don’t need to put the . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: An F-35 Update From The Mound Of Sound

Bill Longstaff: Stephen Harper’s private army

It is known as the Canadian Special Forces Command, or CANSOFCOM. It commands a secret army, comprised of four units: the Joint Task Force-2 (JTF2), the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR), the Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit—Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CJIRU-CBRN), and the 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron (427 SOAS) which provides support to . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Stephen Harper’s private army

RedBedHead: Canadians Don’t Trust Canada

Sao Paolo, Brazil – 140 people have died in the last two weeks in battles between police and inner-city gangs. Be hard to be held in lower esteem.

This was an interesting poll in The Globe and Mail this morning. It seems that out of 26 countries in both hemispheres of the Americas, our very . . . → Read More: RedBedHead: Canadians Don’t Trust Canada

The Ranting Canadian: “The End of the War Years” by The Fallout from the…

“The End of the War Years” by The Fallout from the album Dismantlement (Insurgence Records, 2007) We hold our breath and we wait for some for some good news to hear. A scrap of faith in which to believe, but all we get are reasons to fear. Our son… . . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: “The End of the War Years” by The Fallout
from the…

Politics and its Discontents: After Cutting Through The Sanctimonious Rhetoric

…it is apparent that, like most governments, the Harper regime has been quite content to recruit, exploit and ultimately abandon those who, in good faith, joined the armed forces to support a ‘muscular adventurism’ that has both tarnished and dimi… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: After Cutting Through The Sanctimonious Rhetoric

Impolitical: Maybe veterans are tired of wearing hats

So the Harper government has finally launched their transition plan for military members moving to civilian life: “Veterans Can Now Apply for Jobs through Helmets to Hardhats Canada.” Yes, from helmet to hardhat, narrowing the field of opportunity for highly skilled military personnel.

This programme has been previously blogged about here and the principal critiques . . . → Read More: Impolitical: Maybe veterans are tired of wearing hats

Impolitical: On the lighter side

Operation Nanook is in full swing in the north and there are, of course, plenty of photos being shared by the PM’s spokesperson for we citizens to observe.

The PM and MacKay observe a Chinook. Aka MacKay’s fishing resort ride.

Special ops being observed by the commander-in-chief-wannabe and MacKay. Aka planting seed on how . . . → Read More: Impolitical: On the lighter side

Impolitical: Peter MacKay and the “Announceables”

No, it’s not a band name, it’s how MacKay is spending his summer. Defence Minister Peter MacKay has been racking up the air mile points with his series of announcements this summer. And there’s more to come, Defence Watch has learned. In June the word went out to DND and Canadian Forces organizations that MacKay’s . . . → Read More: Impolitical: Peter MacKay and the “Announceables”

CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE WORLD: Enbridge executive’s company awarded first crime Bill C-10 $38.5-million prison project

Executive and company have strong and lucrative ties with the Canadian military and Harper government.

Opponents of the Conservative government’s crime Bill C-10 were justified to argue that private companies would profiteer from the new jail system the legislation proposed for Canada. On Tuesday, the Canadian Press reported that a Toronto-based construction company, Bird Construction . . . → Read More: CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE WORLD: Enbridge executive’s company awarded first crime Bill C-10 $38.5-million prison project

Impolitical: On the lighter side

This story isn’t funny: “Army struggles with shortage of Arctic parkas, tents…” But the photo accompanying it certainly is! Maybe Harp can lend his parka out to the army, he sure looks warm in that shot. Nice find by Canadian Press.

The Arctic is supposed to be a pet project of the Prime Minister’s yet . . . → Read More: Impolitical: On the lighter side

Impolitical: Pentagon ups #F35 costs again

From one of the leading aviation publications in the U.S., Aviation Week, the latest on the F-35’s increasing costs sees Canada in its headline: “Canada Concerned As F-35 Cost Estimate Rises.” The article’s main point is to highlight still more increasing costs of the F-35 program as announced by the Pentagon: In what is becoming . . . → Read More: Impolitical: Pentagon ups #F35 costs again

Impolitical: Impetus for the push on the #F35

Dave at Galloping Beaver is going to work, picking apart the Harper government’s tales over the years on the F-35 acquisition. Go there to read the entire post, which I take it is part of a coming insightful series. Here is an excerpt that speaks to the political backdrop motivating DND: The problem was the . . . → Read More: Impolitical: Impetus for the push on the #F35

Politics and its Discontents: The Latest On The F-35

While the militaristic Canadian Conservative regime, led by flyboy fan Steve and aggressively supported by his Defence Minister, the dishonourable member from Central Nova, continue to champion the acquisition of the F-35 as Canada’s next big toy, it is apparent to almost all who keep themselves informed that the plane is both inappropriate for . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: The Latest On The F-35

Politics and its Discontents: Guess Who Doesn’t Support Our Troops?

If you guessed Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party, you are correct. While dear leader and company pull out all of the rhetorical stops about supporting the troops when it serves their ideological purpose, they are decidedly niggard when it comes to helping them when they are no longer fodder in distant lands.

The most recent . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Guess Who Doesn’t Support Our Troops?

Progressive Proselytizing: Canada’s Submarine Motivations

Vice-Admiral Paul Maddison, Canada’s top navy guy, has remarked that Canada will begin the process of vetting new submarine purchases in three or four years. This raises anew questions about the purpose of Canada maintaining a submarine fleet.

After passing through much of the nineties without submarine capabilities, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien purchased . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: Canada’s Submarine Motivations

Impolitical: Let’s not overlook Peter MacKay today

Must read post from Dave at Galloping Beaver: “Airshow” MacKay is now well over the line. On Peter MacKay’s abuse of his position by asking military personnel to provide him with political ammunition against a member of the opposition who questioned MacKay’s personal use of military assets. Dave, with military expertise, sets out what the . . . → Read More: Impolitical: Let’s not overlook Peter MacKay today

Impolitical: Helmets to hard hats vs. battlefields to the boardroom

I am just getting home from downtown where I had a quick meeting in an office building on University Avenue. In the elevator, there was one one of those mini-tv screens that gives you the latest headlines. This appeared on the screen: “Helmets to hard hats: Harper outlines job program for military veterans.” So, me . . . → Read More: Impolitical: Helmets to hard hats vs. battlefields to the boardroom

Canadian Progressive World: Occupy Ottawa’s Little Remembrance Day Dilemma

The Occupy Ottawa Movement faces a little moral dilemma on Remembrance Day tomorrow: to protest or not to protest? Remembrance Day is a solemn day for Commonwealth countries. A day to remember members of the …Read More . . . → Read More: Canadian Progressive World: Occupy Ottawa’s Little Remembrance Day Dilemma