Abousfian Abdelrazik has decided that if the Canadian government refuses to disclose information about its actions, he’ll have to ask someone else. Like Sudan.
A Montreal man who believes Canada’s spy agency had a hand in keeping him behind bars in Khartoum is pressing the Sudanese government for documentation about his case.
Abousfian Abdelrazik, flanked by about a dozen supporters, hand-delivered a letter Monday to the Embassy of Sudan in Ottawa seeking records that might reveal the full role Canada played in his ordeal.
He hasn’t been left with many other options. Much of the documentation the government has produced (Read more…)
Back in November I noted my surprise at how low Chuck Strahl’s profile had been since he’d been named to chair the Security Intelligence Review Committee the previous June. I would have thought the person appointed to direct oversight of our national intelligence agency might get a little more press, and particularly when the CSIS inspector general’s office was shut down by the Harper government two months after Strahl’s appointment. When it comes to keeping tabs on CSIS, SIRC is really all there is.
But Strahl’s profile remained pretty low until last week and when his name did pop up, (Read more…)
By Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive, Feb. 22, 2013: In January, 2012, outspoken labour and anti-racism activist, Ken Stone argued that “Harper is Wrong in Demonizing Iran” in an editorial piece published by the Hamilton Spectator. On January 15, 2013, two Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) agents showed up on his door and questioned him about the piece READ MORE
RCMP and CSIS treat peaceful protest actions and questioning the Harper Government as ‘forms of attack’, label activists involved “national security threats”, documents reveal. By Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive, Feb. 22, 2013: The Harper Government is intensifying its attacks on environmental and other activist movements in Canada, according to documents released under freedom of information laws, the Guardian READ MORE
Richard Hughes-Political Blogger
Much money has been made and a great deal of environmental damage has been done through the practice of ‘Fracking’ or Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing.
Canadians have had a heads up following horror stories in the US but never mind there is money to be made. The politicians of all stripes are as weak as water when it comes to regulating, reporting and permitting of these fracking operations.
BC and Alberta’s energy resources used to make the provinces hum, but today the difficulties are becoming harder to sweep under the carpet.
Check out this report from Fracking Canada and then question
. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Liberals and NDP Must Declare a ‘MORATORIUM’ On Fracking In BC!
Assorted content to end your week.- Rick Salutin offers an important take on the U.S. election by pointing out that the Occupy movement and its focus on inequality laid the groundwork for Barack Obama’s re-election:The aftermath to the bailouts was the… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links
Chuck Strahl’s name finally popped up! Five months ago he was named as the new head of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, the agency that’s supposed to hold CSIS to account. At the time I set up a Google news alert on his name and waited for the hits to roll in. Yesterday I was finally rewarded: courtesy of Peter MacKay, Strahl has been named as the new honorary lieutenant-colonel of The Royal Westminster Regiment. That’s all very nice but perhaps someone could ask him how that other gig is going. Things seem to be a little quiet at SIRC. The most recent item in their newsroom is over a year old. I’d be particularly interested to know how that inquiry into CSIS involvement in the case of Abousfian Abdelrazik is going. That would be the one that was announced three and a half years ago. Or was Paul Champ, Abdelrazik’s lawyer, correct when he said a year ago that the review had been abandoned?… . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Is Chair of SIRC an honorary position too?
Green Party leader Elizabeth May is spot on again! She’s demanding that CSIS should weigh in on the Canada-China treaty, due to be ratified by cabinet this week. The Harper Government wants Canadians to believe that the treaty will “address Canada’s trade imbalance with the Asian economic powerhouse.” The truth, as May argued on CTV’s Question Period earlier [...]
I wonder if the Harper government has really thought this one through.
A security certificate issued against Hassan Almrei was thrown out by Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley in December of 2009. Almrei filed a civil suit against the government and asked for a summary judgement on the basis that Mosley’s ruling was sufficient to make his case. Lawyers for the federal government argued that Mosley’s ruling had nothing to do with any claim for damages and that the matter should be subject to a full trial. An Ontario Superior Court ruled with the feds and the matter is now
. . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Oh look. Security certificates are in the news again.
As I wrote about last night, former Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day testified before a Federal Court on Thursday to explain why, in 2008, he renewed five security certificates, including one against Mohamed Mahjoub which was the subject of the proceeding. Predictably, Day was asked about the possibility that some of the evidence against the men in question was the product of torture. His response was reported this way by the Globe and Mail:
Mr. Day said he considered whether evidence used to make the assessment might have come from torture. Records show the CSIS director of the
. . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Understatement
In February of 2008, then Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day renewed the security certificates on five men that CSIS deemed to be threats to national security. A Supreme Court decision in 2007 had forced the Harper government to revise the relevant legislation and reissue the certificates within a year. With the deadline approaching, it fell to Day to sign off on them.
Since then, two of the certificates have been quashed by the courts. A challenge against a third, issued against Mohamed Mahjoub, was the occasion this past week for Day to appear in Federal Court in a Toronto courtroom
. . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: It seemed like a good idea at the time
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- The Star-Phoenix editorial board comments on the need to crack down on tax havens: (T)he scale of the avoidance Mr. Henry detailed in his report, The Price of Offshore Revisited, drives home just how immoral is the practice of tax avoidance, particularly at a time when even rich countries such as Spain and the United States are staggering under their debt loads and deficits because they can’t raise enough tax revenue.
As Gwynne Dyer, a Canadian journalist based in Britain, notes in a recent column published in Embassy magazine, despite efforts by
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links
Last February, we learned that Public Safety Minister Vic Toews had quietly authorized the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to use information gleaned from terror suspects through torture. Today, Toews’ spokesperson, Mike Mueller, confirmed that the Canadian government is open to using information gleaned under dubious circumstances abroad.
Mueller was responding to new revelations that CSIS has a new secret high-level committee, the Information Sharing Evaluation Committee, which is equipped with powers and “tools to better assess information received from foreign agencies.”
Welcome to our burgeoning security state.
But not to worry. First, Mueller tells QMI Agency:
. . . → Read More: Canadian Progressive World: Confirmed again: “Canada may use information obtained through torture”
Sam Shalabi joins Stefan Christoff on stage at the June 16 launch of Duets for Abdelrazik.
To understand the grotesque, inhuman and criminal depths to which the Canadian government will go in order to deny one of its own citizen’s legal rights, one need look no further than the case of Abousfian Abdelrazik.
A Canadian citizen of Sudanese background, Abdelrazik was arrested by Sudanese authorities while on a family visit. The arrest was prompted by a recommendation by the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS), and resulted in Abdelrazik’s imprisonment without trial, torture, and repeated questioning by agents of CSIS,
. . . → Read More: Art Threat: Duets for Abdelrazik help keep human rights abuses in spotlight
Online Surveillance: CSIS Chief Dick Fadden Supports Lawful Access Bill As ‘Vital’ To National Security- from this morning’s Huffpost Canada
Here we go again..the slinking of these circus clowns towards a fascist state looms ever closer..and CSIS is ‘happy’ to see this legislation being pushed onto a continuously wary but helpless Canadian populace….why wouldn’t CSlS be happy? And who is it running this gang of Keystone Kops, what do we know about him? The really ironic thing is that we all know (or, at the very least, suspect) that CSIS is already monitoring what we
. . . → Read More: Left Over: Faddening Up the Support for Spy Bill
Co-hosts Obert and Anita dramatize a recent secret conversation between Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US President Barack Obama. Harper and his Conservative majority government are militarizing Canadian society. They’re re-writing the country’s history to fit their fledgling right-wing worldview. Canada‘s Independence Day is around the corner and Harper has placed the War of 1812 at the centre of all official celebrations. In that war, British loyalist forces and their First Nations allies repulsed numerous American attempts to invade and annex Canada. Harper’s ingenious plan is to trick Obama into publicly confirming America’s defeat on Sun News Network, Canada’s
. . . → Read More: CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE WORLD: The Obert Report: Harper and Obama Argue About The War of 1812 (VIDEO)
In Stephen Harper’s Canada, we’re all potential terror threats. Until proven otherwise. So suggests a recent study by Queens University’s Jeffrey Monaghan and Kevin Walby, published in the journal Policing and Society. Welcome to Multi Issue Extremism (MIE), Canada’s new classification of so-called domestic terror threats.
We saw it coming.
In a January letter, Joe Oliver, the Minister of Natural Resources, labeled environmental movements “radical groups” funded by “foreign special interest groups to undermine Canada’s national economic interest.” Oliver believes these groups are also pursuing “their radical ideological agenda”. And their goal is “to stop any major
. . . → Read More: CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE WORLD: Harper’s Canada “Making Up Terror Identities”
Miscellaneous material for your Sunday reading.
- It’s a few months old, but the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy’s comparison of U.S. states with a zero personal income tax to those with the highest tax levels looks like one of the most clear refutations yet of the idea that there’s any real economic benefit to be had in handing yet more money to those who already have the most. – Andrew Mitrovica criticizes Chuck Strahl’s qualifications to oversee CSIS, and not without some valid points about Strahl’s lack of knowledge and experience in the area of security
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links
In January, during the week before Canada’s federal hearing on the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, the Harper government and Ethical Oil Institute launched an unprecedented attack on environmental organizations opposed to the pipeline and accelerated expansion of the tar sands. Resurrecting Cold War-style ‘terrorist’ rhetoric, conservative politicians like Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver referred to prominent environmental organizations as “radical groups” threatening “to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda” while using “funding from foreign special interests groups to undermine Canada’s national economic interest.”
The government and Ethical Oil singled out environmental organizations like . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Terror is in the Eye of the Beholder: Alberta’s Counterterrorism Unit to Protect Oil and Gas Industry
Last evening I wrote of a state security operation on behalf of the Tar Sanders that has been launched by Stephen Harper. It is a supposed counter-terrorism organization staffed by the RCMP, CSIS, the Calgary and Edmonton cops and the border patrol agency to “defend” the tar sands operations, the proposed bitumen pipelines and of course the supertanker operations that endanger the British Columbia coast.
But for the fact that I decided to glance through the business section of the Victoria Times-Colonist last evening I would have never known of this. In my view this should have been
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Steve Harper’s Taxpayer-Funded Enemies List
This is the first in a new (ir)regular installment summing up last week’s news headlines using a ‘remix’ style — a quirky restless glance into the wreckless feckless immediate past. (Inspired by Harpers Magazine’s ‘Scientific Summary’.)
Aerial photo of tsunami debris from Japan
US peacekeeping forces joined with Congolese army troops to attack rebel militants hiding in the northern Congo, including remnant’s of Joseph Kony’s Lords Resistance Army. Ethiopia has sent troops into Eritrea. A Goldman Sachs insider says his former employer refers to its clients as “muppets”. The European court of human rights has declared ‘kettling’
. . . → Read More: Art Threat: News Remix: March 15-22, 2012 – Bricolage of (some of) last week’s headlines
Before Justice Dennis O’Connor had even finished his final report on the Maher Arar case, officials in Paul Martin’s government were meeting with their American counterparts to determine how they could make a key portion of O’Connor’s recommendations irrelevant. Writing at Prism, Jeff Sallot has an article based on an American diplomatic cable that was published by Wikileaks. The cable was written by David Wilkins, then US ambassador to Canada. It describes a series of meetings held in anticipation of O’Connor’s recommendations to discuss “work-arounds” to keep the information flowing from our security forces to theirs.
Sallot sought reactions
. . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Work-arounds
CSIS is back in the news, this time defending a policy of paying surprise visits to people at their places of employment. The particular case described in the current news item involves a woman who had previously been visited by agents at her home on three different occasions. At the end of the third visit, a scheduled visit, she informed them that she had nothing more to say.
Since CSIS has no law enforcement authority and thus no way to legally compel someone to talk to their agents without involving the police, you might have thought that would be
. . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: I wonder if Justice McDonald would be pleased
A bit less than a month ago we learned that Public Safety Minister Vic Toews had loosened the rules governing the ability of CSIS to trade in information derived from torture. That was bad enough but it gets worse.
The federal government has given Canada’s spy service the go-ahead to provide information to foreign agencies even when there is a “substantial risk” it will lead to torture, a newly released document shows.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews outlines instructions for sharing information in such cases in a four-page directive to Canadian Security Intelligence Service director Dick Fadden.
The directive outlines
. . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Monsters