Back in May I wrote a couple of posts about an Ethopian scientist who wanted to attend a UN conference on biodiversity in Montreal but had his visa application initially denied by the Canadian government. It was suspicious because that scientist's views on GM crops, and specifically on terminator seeds, run directly counter to our own official position. And if you ask me, our own official position is designed to please the U.S. and corporations like Monsanto. The scientist eventually got his visa after quite a bit of attention was drawn to the matter but conveniently he arrived too late to attend the proceedings around which his plans had been made.
It takes cachet to pack a lecture hall when the audience knows full well you'll be a no-show.
Iraqi doctor Salam Ismael seems to have a lot of it. On July 15 and 16 the foe of the U.S. occupation attracted some 700 people to meetings hosted by the Canadian Peace Alliance and the Muslim Council of York Region ? even though everyone knew the feds had blocked his entry to the country.
What attendees hoped to hear ? and finally did hear via a documentary ? was Ismael's first-hand account of visiting Fallujah shortly after the U.S. siege in 2004. The young physician has been telling audiences in Europe that he suspects the U.S. used chemical weapons in Fallujah and that he believes what he witnessed was "the aftermath of a massacre, the cold-blooded butchery of helpless and defenceless civilians.''
But the feds denied him a visa. Canada is the first country to blacklist Ismael, who is currently on his way to Ecuador and France and has already addressed audiences in the UK, Norway, Ireland and the Netherlands, raising funds for medical supplies. Activists believe Canada's refusal was made in America.
I have perused a document sent to Ismael from the Canadian embassy in Jordan that says CIC believes the doctor lacks employment prospects and would stay after his visa expires.
[The CPA's Sid] Lacombe says this is ridiculous. The CPA sent a letter informing the Jordan embassy that it was picking up his travel tab. Doctors for Iraq Society supplied embassy officials with a signed, stamped employment letter. A disheartening refusal didn't take long.
At the minister of Citizenship and Immigration's office, spokesperson Karen Prest cites privacy laws as the reason for not speaking about the case.
Windsor MP Joe Comartin's office directly contacted Minister Joe Volpe's office seeking an exemption for Dr. Ismael and a copy of his Canada Security Intelligent Service security profile
"It was a very blunt no" that his staff received, Comartin recalls. "Just look at the facts. He's right there in the war zone. The U.S. is concerned about that. And CIC might be using U.S. information."
He argues that as a Member of Parliament he should have access to the security check. "Unfortunately, the lack of information is all too typical when CSIS and the RCMP are involved. They're not prepared to tell us their concerns about Dr. Ismael. They won't even tell us where their information is coming from."
There's more at the link about Ismael's experiences in Fallujah and what he believes went on there. It almost seems as though our government doesn't want us to know.
That smell wafting out of Ottawa is getting worse.