Canada: A Galloping Police State?


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

Canada: A Galloping Police State?

By Marjaleena Repo

June 19, 2006

After five years of what can only be described as intense ³terrorism envy² by 
our security establishment ‹with their repeated predictions of terrorist acts in
Canada ‹ the country has moved up a notch, to terrorism frenzy.  The discovery 
of an alleged conspiracy  by 17 Muslim men to attack  facilities in Toronto and 
kidnap parliamentarians (as well as  beheading the prime minister) ‹ ostensibly 
to get Canada to withdraw from Afghanistan‹ came just in time before parliament 
debates the renewal of our post-2001 anti-terrorism legislation, and when 
support for Canada¹s all out military involvement in Afghanistan is softening by
the day.

The June 2 arrests were done with massive police involvement. Snipers on 
rooftops, in full glare of the notified-in-advance media, guaranteed 24-hour TV 
coverage and screaming headlines, topped off by a full court press conference by
the CSIS and the RCMP.  A full-fledged national crisis was born, fueled by 
rumours and fear. Our whole national security was at stake, and Islam, and to a 
lesser degree, multiculturalism, was to blame, for enabling such individuals to 
function underneath our very noses. A new term, ³home-grown terrorists,² was 
slammed into our vocabulary overnight.

While the frightening picture of religion-driven extremists was bombarding our 
senses, the lawyers of the accused complained that they could not find out what 
the evidence against their clients was, could not even talk to them without 
armed police presence. Two weeks after the arrest, the accused and their lawyers
are still in the dark about what led to the extreme charges. The accused are 
kept in solitary confinement, forced to sleep with lights on and woken every 
half-an-hour during the night.

A media ban has been imposed, preventing the press and the lawyers from exposing
the exact nature of the information or discussing the court proceedings.  The 
initial horrific rumours are left standing, fueling more fears of all things 
Muslim (now interchangeable with ³extremist²). Some of the Muslim community were
also pulled into this vortex of hysteria, trying to do the impossible: 
disassociating themselves from ³bad² Muslims and pledging to do ³house 
cleaning,² to rid their mosques and communities of such individuals. For this 
they have received many pats on the back (and head) from the amen-corner in the 
media and security establishment.

Two weeks after the spectacular arrests, Canadians still know next to nothing of
the doings and utterances of the 17: they were on chat lines (watched by the 
police), they played paint ball and did target practice in the woods (watched by
their neigbours), they wore camouflage and military style boots, they had 
ordered a large amount of ammonium nitrate, a potential component of bombs, some
of it delivered to their door by a police agent. We don¹t know how many were 
involved in any of the above. Five pairs of boots were displayed for the 
cameras, six flashlights, one walkie-talkie set, one voltmeter, eight D-cell 
batteries, a cell phone, a circuit board, a computer hard drive, one barbecue 
grill, a set of barbecue tongs, a wooden door with 21 bullet marks and a 9 mm 
hand gun. That should do it ‹clear proof that they were up to no good!

But wait a minute, is this scenario not deja vu from August 2003, when 24 Muslim
men were taken down in an similar early-dawn police action, apprehended for 
planned terrorist acts such as bombing the CN tower and nuclear facilities in 
Ontario, their names and faces plastered on the media, far and wide? Much mutual
congratulation among the intelligence community, the police and security forces 
ensued. Project Thread, as it was called, however, turned soon into Project 
Threadbare: nothing was found on the men, no evidence, no plans,  no conspiracy,
no tools to accomplish their dastardly deeds, and no membership in an ³Al Quada 
sleeper cell,²  as was initially claimed. They were cleared but not before being
incarcerated, some for months. In the end, a couple of the men were found guilty
of minor immigration infractions and deported. Others left the country, 
disgraced, their lives in tatters, only to find their ³terrorist³ reputations 
following them to Pakistan, where some ended up being interrogated and jailed 
before being released. They have received neither an apology nor a penny of 
compensation from Canada.

Is it possible that the CSIS and the RCMP have learned their lessons, that they 
have worked harder to make the charges stick this time? Having watched the 17 
men and boys for several years, with no terrorist acts having occurred, they 
appear to have helped the suspects along by entrapping them, including 
delivering an order of ammonia nitrate to one of the suspects (although with 
contents substituted). Perhaps we will find out that the purchaser was reluctant
but the agent was ardent in his determination to make the terrorist charges 
hold, at last.

With the defence of the current accused already thwarted, we can expect a show 
trial and a kangaroo court to justify the terrorism hysteria that is so 
aggressively being cultivated, day in and out, by authorities and much of the 
media. With several other Muslims being held for years on dubious ³security 
certificates² ‹ challenged now in the Supreme Court of Canada ‹ we will likely 
see more Muslim men end up in the no-man¹s-land of Canadian justice, without 
trial and due process. A galloping police state is emerging, in a fashion,  
familiar to those who know their history, of 1930¹s Germany.

It is time for Canadians, living blindfolded and silenced in a fool¹s paradise, 
to remember Pastor Martin Niemoller¹s famous warning to his fellow Germans, here
freely paraphrased:  ³When they came for the Muslims/I remained silent/I was not
a Muslim. //When they locked up the Aboriginals/defending their ancient lands/I 
remained silent/I was not an Aboriginal// When they came for the brown-skinned 
immigrants/ I did not speak up /I was not one of them// When they came for the 
critics, the dissidents, and the protesters/I did not speak out/I was not one of
them// When they came for me/There was no one left to speak out.²

Marjaleena Repo is a free lance writer with a special interest in justice 
issues. She lives in Saskatoon and can be reached at •••@••.•••.

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© Copyright Marjaleena Repo, Global Research, 2006

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