Fisk On Harper

It’s articles like this one that make you wonder if the Canadian media is telling you everything you need to know. (Seriously though, that’s plainly obvious.)

Aurora

If Stephen Harper is serious about criminalising ‘barbaric cultural practices’, then he should arrest himself for even suggesting it

And while he’s at it, he can lock up all the other Western leaders who have savaged the Muslim world too.

Harper […] is about to push a truly eccentric piece of legislation through parliament in Ottawa. It’s called – and I urge readers to repeat the words lest they think it’s already April Fool’s Day – the “Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act”. Yup, when I first read the phrase “Barbaric Cultural Practices Act”, I felt sure it was a joke, a line from the “Big Bang Theory”…

“these “practices” are already forbidden by Canadian law

“…this unique legislation, [comes] from the Canadian minister of – you guessed it – Citizenship and Immigration. Now isn’t that odd?
[…]
Because in truth, the new Canadian legislation is about foreigners or – more to the point – Muslims.”

The man [Rashed] does not work for CSIS, Canada’s spy outfit, according to Ottawa government “sources”. But officially, CSIS, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police – the guys who always “get their man” – and Harper’s office have all refused to comment. The Ottawa Citizen has been highlighting another new bit of Harper legislation, Bill C-44 this time, which would allow Canadian judges to authorise CSIS activities abroad “to investigate a threat to the security” of Canada, “without regard to any other law, including that of any foreign state…”

Plenty to think about there.

And here’s more to think about, from Hedges, on what Bill C-51 and the new security state we live in means.

More Spy Stuff

The bottom half of this page is all about CSE.

Canada’s had a recent track record that’s bad. PONY EXPRESS ring a bell? So what is our watchdog really doing? Not much, judging by recent news reports.

“I have looked at the numbers.” – PM about Wallin’s Expenses

Pamela Wallin’s disgrace has been taking place in slow motion, with the latest chapter hitting headlines again.

“In terms of Sen. Wallin, I have looked at the numbers,” Harper told the House of Commons two weeks ago.

“Her travel costs are comparable to any parliamentarian travelling [sic] from that particular area of the country over that period of time.”

Yet the RCMP allege she committed fraud. Similar to the Nigel Wright bribe for Senator Duffy, no charges have been laid despite the RCMP’s findings.

Canada appears to be a country where some of the rich and powerful face no consequence for their crimes, even after the RCMP has built a case.

The Pony Express Government

CSE has undertaken a domestic spy operation that is illegal in Canada, because it’s spying on communication of Canadian citizens. CSE is supposed to only spy on foreigners, and the Commissioner overseeing the signals intelligence agency is supposed to put a stop to any overstepping of that mandate. Something clearly has gone awry in a grave way.

PONY EXPRESS should not exist in Canada nor should every (paper) letter mailed by Canadians be photographed, as the US is doing. Claiming the mandate CSE has to protect government computers overrides its restriction on conducting a mass surveillance operation of Canadians’ communications, doesn’t pass even a smell test.

Under the Criminal Code, CSE is barred from targeting the content of Canadians’ emails and phone calls, but it gets special ministerial exemptions when protecting government IT infrastructure.

The restriction on spying on Canadians is precisely for preventing twisted ‘logic’ to allow this sort of violation of Canadians’ privacy.

IT security analysts at CSE only use and retain information “necessary and relevant to identify, isolate or prevent harm to government of Canada computer networks or systems,” the agency told CBC News in a written statement. Data that poses no threat or is not relevant to that goal “cannot be used or retained, and is deleted.”

Civil liberties lawyer Vonn argues that there’s “much more” Canadians should be told about the agency’s collection of their data, such as how long it’s held, without putting national security at risk.

We need a more aggressive civil liberties lawyer to sue our government to stop this sort of breach, but with a bill like C-51 on the table, I see why they’re too timid.

C-51 Being Pushed by “Fascist” language

A former Mountie and CSIS operative thinks Harper’s so called anti-terrorism bill is scary and unnecessary.

Mr. Lavigne, 55, left government in 1999, but follows intelligence news closely.

He spent years tracking dangerous radicals without the powers the government wants to give to CSIS.

“I find it a little convenient that in the past few years that these radicalized people are the biggest threat to ever hit us,” he said. “There are more people dying because of drunk drivers or because of gang violence.”

(-link added by me)

Mr. Lavigne said the prime minister’s advisers must tell him that using inflammatory language increases the risk.

“When our leaders start talking about tentacles and jihadis and barbarians, it’s adding fuel to the fire. It’s actually increasing the likelihood of that happening.”

Mr. Lavigne said the prime minister’s language reminds him of fascist leaders like Mussolini and Franco.

“Some of these tactics are taken right out of the fascist playbook,” he said.

“They’re not crossing the line. They’re using the language to appeal to the emotions, which is one of the first stages. Disinformation being the second, which I think they also use. But they’re not fascist. I’m not saying the government’s fascist.”

He laughs.

“Don’t detain me.”

Ha. Ha. Don’t detain me, either.

National Post Guilty of Defaming Climate Change Scientist

It shows the misguided focus of the national Postmedia “tabloid” when they let a star like Mike De Souza go, and hang onto a convicted libeler like Terence Corcoran. Maybe the Post will hire Levant next and bulk up their libeler ranks a little?

The defendants include the National Post, a newspaper publishing nationally, Peter Foster, Terence Corcoran, and Kevin Libin, all columnists/journalists who have published articles in the National Post and Gordon Fisher, the publisher of the National Post.

The defendants can go suck an egg. Stop making the world a worse place, and resign from your jobs in media.