Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Right Whinger Decries Arar Inquiry

Speaking of words coming back to haunt one here is a comment from the Rightwhingnut Front Page magazine round table forum on Terrorism in Canada.
Handwringing rightwhinger Patrick Grady proclaims he is worried that the Arar inquiry will further limit the police state in Canada. How right he was.

FrontPage :: Symposium: Terror From the North July 2006

Patrick Grady, an economic consultant from Ottawa and the author of Royal Canadian Jihad, a novel about Islamic terrorists in Canada, which prefigured the recent Toronto bomb plot.

The only person who has actually been prosecuted under the Anti-Terrorism Act was Momin Khawaja and he was apprehended thanks to British police and U.S. intelligence, and not Canadian police work. Instead of vigorously pursuing radical Islamists, the former Liberal Government was more concerned with avoiding any perceptions that the rights of ultra-sensitive Muslim Canadians might possibly be violated. It also gave the Muslim community exactly the wrong signal by allowing the notorious Khadrs back into the country to sponge off Canada’s generous welfare and health systems when they should have had their Canadian citizenship revoked.

Following the return to Canada of Syrian-Canadian Maher Arar who was rendered to Syria by the United States for interrogation, the old Liberal Government set up the Arar Inquiry to look into RCMP and CSIS wrongdoing in providing information on Arar to the Americans. Against this backdrop, it also issued some ministerial directives that clamped down on RCMP national security probes. One required the RCMP to obtain prior ministerial approval before cooperating with or entering into a working arrangement with a foreign security or intelligence service and then only allowed this through CSIS. Another directive provided guidance on investigating "sensitive sectors" of society like religion. This was done to restrict the ability of the RCMP and CSIS to carry out U.S.-style investigations of mosques and Islamic centers, which have resulted in so many successful prosecutions south of the border. As far as I know, these three directives are still in effect, although when I asked the RCMP Commissioner about them in a public forum, he denied that they existed.

My greatest fear is that when the Arar Commission issues its long-awaited report this summer it will recommend additional constraints on law enforcement and intelligence, which the new Conservative Government will feel forced to go along with in response to the political pressure likely to be exerted by the many soft-hearted, and soft-headed, Canadians concerned to do penance for the way the big, bad American Government treated poor, little Maher Arar. If so, it will play right into the hands of the terrorists and make it much more difficult for the RCMP to continue to do the job they did so admirably last month in Toronto.




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