Somebody seems to be missing in action

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Lorne Waldman seems to me to be particularly well situated to comment on the recent misadventures of CSIS. As the lead counsel for Maher Arar at the O'Connor Inquiry he was involved in an exhaustive review of Canada's intelligence and law enforcement agencies. And as counsel for Hassan Almrei, one of the five men who have been the subjects of the infamous Security Certificates, Waldman has had every reason to stay up to date. In an op-ed in today's Toronto Star he reviews the recent troubled history of CSIS and raises an important point:

...what is of even greater concern here is the absolute silence of the political overseers. Public Security Minister Peter Van Loan has been invisible and mute. So has the minister of justice.

And now that I think about it, Waldman is absolutely correct. As he points out, in just the last few weeks we've seen the courts find that CSIS was complicit in the detention of Abousfian Abdelrazik in Sudan and that the agency supplied tainted testimony in two Security Certificate cases. And the government appears to be too busy handing out novelty cheques to even acknowledge that there might be a problem here.

Is it because Van Loan and Nicholson are dodging the questions? Or is it because no one is asking them?

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You some kinda believer in the Charter and the constitution or sumpin'? Nicholson and Van Loan -- they're not like that. They're tough guys. Well, they're Steve's guys -- tough tough tough tough. None of this civil-liberties human-rightsy wussiness for them.

The answer to Waldman's closing question is that Harper and his ministers are all in favour of letting CSIS and other spooky agencies break the laws, which were only written for the little people anyway. They don't believe in the rule of law; they believe in law'n'order, which means control. All accused are guilty until proved innocent, and even if you're proved innocent, they'll be grudging about it because they'd just as soon have everyone scared of her own shadow.


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This page contains a single entry by pogge published on July 14, 2009 9:24 PM.

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