September 10, 2016 - No. 35
"Consultation on National Security"
All Out to Repeal Bill
• Bill C-51
Should Be Repealed Not Amended
- Peggy Morton -
Consultations and Sham Balance of Security and Rights
- Christian Legeais -
Growth of Disinformation
• Role of Powerful Private Interests and the
Build Our Own Organizations and Media
- Sam Heaton -
"Plan to Fight Radicalization"
• A Police State By Any Other
- Pauline Easton -
• A Dangerous Precedent
- Diane Johnston -
• New Arrangements to Criminalize
in the Name of Protecting Persons
- Fernand Deschamps -
Black Ops Behind
• BC Court Finds RCMP Organized
- Matthew Behrens -
• No U.S. or Other Foreign Warships
in Canadian Waters!
- No Harbour For War -
• Liberals' Unfolding Plan for War in Africa
- Enver Villamizar -
Trudeau Government Launches "Consultation
All Out to Repeal Bill C-51!
Ottawa rally March 14, 2015, part of nation-wide Day of Action against
Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 was
adopted by the Canadian Parliament on May 5, 2015 and became law on
June 18, 2015. It sanctions all manner or crimes and violations of
people's rights by the state security agencies in the name of defending
their security. It generated broad discussion among all sections of the
people when it was first introduced by the Harper government on January
30, 2015. By the time Bill C-51 was passed in the House of Commons by
the Harper Conservatives with the assistance of the Liberals, Canadians
had already engaged in broad consultation about C-51 and reached a
verdict. Virtually every sector of society -- workers, Indigenous
peoples, experts in the fields of rights, law and security,
journalists, and many others -- demanded that the law be scrapped,
because it is in violation of the rule of law. Hundreds of
demonstrations and other actions were held from one end of the country
to the other by broad sections of the Canadian people.
More than 200,000 people
had signed petitions calling
for the withdrawal of Bill C-51. An open letter signed by 43
organizations including the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada and 94
experts in the fields of rights, law and security called for the bill's
"immediate and unconditional dismissal." The letter rejected the
Liberal proposal to amend the legislation if elected, stating that
"amendments cannot repair such an extensive and dangerous piece of
At least 106 of the
country's law professors had declared their discontent with the bill,
along with the Canadian Bar Association. At least 22 influential
citizens, including former prime ministers, Supreme Court judges and
public safety and justice ministers, spoke against the bill. Twelve
privacy commissioners across Canada objected to the legislation, along
with civil liberties and human rights groups: Canadian Journalists for
Free Expression, OpenMedia, the BC Civil Liberties Association, Amnesty
International, National Council of Canadian Muslims, the BC Freedom of
Information & Privacy Association, and many others. One hundred
organizations in Quebec involved in defence of rights signed a letter
opposing the bill. A letter by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
calling on the Harper government to scrap the bill was signed by over
100 organizations and individuals.
At least 60 businesses also called for an end to the bill, including
the Mozilla Foundation (maker of the Firefox internet browser), Tucows
(software distribution website) and Shopify (online shopping platform
The Trudeau government refuses to recognize this fact
basis that it has the power to do whatever it decides serves its
agenda. This shows profound contempt for Canadians and does not
bode well. What the government is trying to accomplish with its
consultations is to justify what cannot be justified.
All out for the demand of Canadians that Bill C-51 --
now passed into law as the so-called Anti-Terrorism
2015 -- be repealed in its entirety and affirm that our
security lies in the defence of the rights of all!
Bill C-51 Should Be Repealed Not Amended
Rally in Vancouver April 18, 2015 -- part of second national Day of
Action against Bill C-51.
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency
Ralph Goodale, joined by Justice Minister Jody Wilson Raybould,
held a press conference in Edmonton September 8 to launch an
"online consultation on national security." The government also
released a document "Our Security, Our Rights: National Security
Green Paper, 2016," stating that "This Green Paper is intended to
prompt discussion and debate about Canada's national security
framework, which will inform policy changes that will be made
following the consultation process."
The consultation will run until December 1, and
include meetings about which no details have yet been
Prime Minister Trudeau's Mandate
Letter to the Minister of
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness included the instruction
to work in collaboration with the Minister of Justice "to
repeal... the problematic elements of Bill C-51 and introduce new
legislation that strengthens accountability with respect to
national security and better balances collective security with
rights and freedoms."
- guaranteeing that all Canadian Security and Intelligence Service
(CSIS) warrants respect the Charter
of Rights and Freedoms;
- reviewing all appeals by Canadians who find themselves on "no-fly"
- requiring a statutory review of the Anti-Terrorism
Act after three years;
- narrowing overly broad definitions such as defining "terrorist
propaganda" more clearly; and
- establishing an all-party national security oversight committee.
Indications are, however, that the Liberals will use
the consultations to try to expand the police powers through further
legislation, particularly around information sharing. A
priority is "community outreach and counter-radicalization, through the
creation of the Office of the Community Outreach and
Further, Goodale has stated that he wants a "broader
discussion" about privacy rights of Canadians and encryption. This
relates to claims by the ruling circles and security agencies that they
must be given special "back-door" access to personal communications or
legal access to breaking encryption on electronic devices. The most
widely-discussed example was the recent attempt by the U.S. Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to force Apple to provide a back-door to
unlock the iPhone. It also relates to the fierce corporate and
geopolitical espionage worldwide in which Canadian spy agencies such as
the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) have been implicated.
One example of this was the 2013 revelation that the CSE was monitoring
the communications of Brazil's Ministry of Mines and Energy using
software called "Olympia" to break encryption.
None of this addresses the
serious violation of rights
contained in Bill C-51 which sanctions black ops and state terror
against Canadians as well as other peoples abroad. Nor does the Green
Paper mention any of the serious violations of rights which have come
to light such as the July 29, 2016 decision of Justice Bruce of the
Supreme Court of British Columbia that found the RCMP responsible for
organizing a "terror plot" that sent two individuals to prison.
The "review" is all the more cynical in light of the
that the new police powers are already in use. Federal agencies
have confirmed they are using information-sharing powers to
violate the privacy of Canadians and share information between
agencies and departments. CSIS Director Michael Coulombe has
acknowledged that CSIS is conducting black ops using the new
disruption powers. Bill C-51 gave CSIS powers to disrupt what it
defines as "threats to the security of Canada," including using
"unlawful means" to "interfere with the economic or financial stability
of Canada" or its infrastructure, so broadly defined that the
government could deem road blockades, environmental protests,
Indigenous actions and work stoppages as such threats.
Furthermore, Bill C-51 contains provisions whereby
asked to sanction in advance a violation of a person's Charter
rights in a secret hearing, where only the government side is
represented and there is no appeal. This is a complete negation
of the rule of law.
As well, Section 810.011 of the Criminal Code as amended by Bill
C-51 significantly weakened the standard required for police to make an
arrest and bring a person who is not charged with any crime before a
judge, and lengthened the time they can be held. Previous legislation
already permitted such preventative detention. The judge can issue a
peace bond requiring a person to surrender their passport, obey a
curfew, participate in treatment programs, wear an electronic
monitoring device, and abide by other restrictions.
The security of Canadians is not protected by
rule of law. To speak of balancing rights and security when the
law has nothing to do with the rights which belong to people by
virtue of being human is a fraud. The laws enacted by Bill C-51 must be
1. "Our Security, Our Rights:
National Security Green Paper, 2016" can be found here.
Sham Consultations and Sham Balance
of Security and
Demonstration on Parliament Hill May 30, 2015 shortly after Bill C-51
passed into law
demanded its repeal.
The Liberals say: "We will repeal the problematic
of Bill C-51, and introduce new legislation that better balances
our collective security with our rights and freedoms."
Definition of "balance":
"proportionality between opposites,
between opposing forces, hence resulting in a state of stability,
Definition of "sham": "something that is not what it
to be; a spurious imitation; fraud or hoax. Or as a verb: to
assume the appearance of; to make a false show of something;
The Liberals' claim that
will balance security and
is a sham. In fact, all the anti-terrorist laws passed by the
Liberals in 2001 and 2002 are egregious violations of human
rights which continue in force to this day but they are not
officially considered to constitute an imbalance. In fact, nowhere do
Liberals explain when the so-called imbalance to our collective
security was introduced to the legislation that now requires that
the balance be returned. Despite this, the continued enforcement of
laws and of all the egregious violations contained in Bill C-51
is now said to constitute a restoration of balance.
Another serious problem is that when speaking about
C-51, nothing is said about the agreements, understandings and
formal or secret protocols with the United States and other
powers concluded since 2001. These are aimed at the integration
of Canada within the U.S. imperialists' Fortress North America.
They all violate Canadian sovereignty and do not even recognize
the limited rights and freedoms contained in the Charter of
Rights and Freedoms.
The Liberals talk about
"seeking the input of Canadians and
experts." Already when the Liberal Party in the House of Commons
voted for Bill C-51, it knew what Canadians were saying about the
bill through the large number of demonstrations they held to
oppose it and the articles they wrote. The Liberals also knew
what the experts had to say.
It shows that one aim of the sham consultations the
are now carrying out is to impose the idea that rights are a
matter of definition. They do not recognize that rights belong to
human beings by virtue of being human and that they can neither
be given, taken away or forfeited in any way. The Trudeau
government presents security as a question of balance but the
fact remains that without defending the rights of all, there can
be no security for all. This must be the starting point of any
consultation on the issue of how to provide security for
Exponential Growth of Disinformation
Role of Powerful Private Interests and the Necessity
Our Own Organizations and Media
One of the serious problems that faces the people's
movement for empowerment today is the exponential growth of
disinformation that takes advantage of modern communications technology
and social media. No sooner have these advances been made than powerful
interests, the state and its agents in the ranks of the people
have worked out how to dominate and wield the technology in their
For example, with the rise of big social media
monopolies such as Facebook and Twitter, the ruling elite has promoted
social media and platforms such as Wikipedia as great democratizing
factors and say that there is now a "level playing field." In
traditional print and other media, they say, maybe there was a
concentration of power, but now we have overcome that.
In analyzing this phenomenon like any phenomenon one
important issue is to work out what is the spin and the
counter-spin and what stand favours the people and their
In this case the spin and counter-spin over whether
social media are "good" or "bad" diverts from the serious issue that
the workers, women and youth must build their own organizations and
media to inform their peers and give voice to their independent
This is a necessity which
has faced the working class since it began to organize as a class in
itself and for itself in the nineteenth century, distinct from the
political parties of the bourgeoisie.
This necessity has become even more acute with the rise
big media monopolies in the period of monopoly capitalism and
still more with the domination of the social media landscape by
the concentrated power of a handful of platforms valued in the
On August 26 the Communist Party of Canada
celebrated the 46th anniversary of the Party press and on
September 1 the 36th anniversary of the Mass Party and non-Party
Press. The Party and non-Party press are indispensable
ingredients in the building of the movement of the working class
for its own emancipation and powerful weapons for the class to
organize in defence of its own interests.
To strengthen and consolidate the two kinds of press is
component part of the work CPC(M-L) has undertaken during this
period of retreat of revolution in which the working class is
engaged in a trial of strength with the bourgeoisie, with the
Party at its disposal.
CPC(M-L) has paid serious attention in recent years to
consolidating the mass Party press by developing groups of
writers and disseminators. Across the country this press is known
for providing the working class with the information and analysis
it requires as a fighting force and for giving pride of place to
the people's movements.
The mass non-Party press has also gone through a period
transformation, increasing its readership in a manner which
succeeds in overcoming the marginalization of the working class
and vulnerable sections of the people.
Display of party and mass party publications at the Workers' Centre on
the occasion of the
44th anniversary of the Party press.
At this time CPC(M-L) is putting in place the
required to consolidate these victories and to pay close
attention to dealing with problems posed by social media and
developing the new journalism in today's context.
In a situation characterized by the acceleration of war
preparations and more and more aggressive disruption targeting
the political movements the need is not only to combat
disinformation in a systematic, professional manner but most
importantly assist people in how to view the situation for
purposes of solving problems facing the movement and the
In this regard, no matter the medium, the mass Party
non-Party press have the key advantage over the bourgeois press
because both are forward-looking, working to open the path for
the progress of society. For this reason, this press has a future
just as the working class has a future and so does its
That reality is the basis for how to discuss
media and the issues surrounding it. Although the use of social
media by parties of the rich to gain electoral advantage and the
wielding of social media as a weapon of U.S. imperialism against
sovereign states have been well-documented, the use of social
media by state agencies to directly interfere with progressive
and anti-imperialist political movements is less well
It is necessary to pay attention to all three aspects
call on Canadians to oppose these counterrevolutionary
activities as an organized force. Most important is the question
of how to use social media to inform and unite the people's
forces in action.
"Campaign Engagement" and "Digital Diplomacy"
In what are referred to as "advanced democracies"
media is supposed to "[extend] political and campaign
communication, [expand] opportunities for democratic engagement,
[alter] traditional political margins and hierarchies, and [make]
democracy more accessible."
The Brookings Institution, a U.S. imperialist
highlights the "direct advantages in using social media to
improve campaign engagement and reinvigorate American democracy.
For instance, social media increased the public responsiveness
and accountability of both parties."
The main examples of how social media has improved
"campaign engagement" and made democracy "more accessible" are the
election of Barack Obama in the U.S. in 2008, that of Angela Merkel in
Germany in 2009, and most recently the coming to power of the Trudeau
Liberal government in Canada.
The manipulation of social media by electoral campaigns
not only said to save time and money but is an integral part of
collecting the private information of as wide a section of the
population as possible in party databases for targeting.
Elections Canada in June 2016 released its figures for
political party expenditures in the October 19, 2015 federal
election. Of the cartel parties the Liberal Party reportedly
spent $43 million, the Conservative Party nearly $42 milion, the
NDP almost $30 million. The Liberals far exceeded other parties
in social media expenditures, spending almost $9 million versus
less than $2 million by the Conservatives.
Trudeau's campaign purchased
permanent front-page ad space on
Twitter, sponsoring the hashtag #elxn42 (referring to the 42nd
general election) making it a permanent fixture of the website
with his name attached. In other words, Trudeau's campaign paid
for him to be branded on Twitter as the person associated with
One newspaper noted, "Users who click on the trending
from the Canada Trends section of their feed or who search for it
through the Twitter search bar see a promoted tweet from Justin
Trudeau that features a 15-second video ad." Tom Pitfield, Justin
Trudeau's digital strategist and now President of the neo-liberal
think-tank Canada 2020 said, "...digital had the greatest ROI
(return on investment) ... We focused on it as a strategic
Trudeau's top advisor Gerald Butts told media, "The
about how do you talk to people in a way that they are going to
tell you what they really think and that you are going to have
reliable information on which to base your campaign plan." In
other words, how do you get as much personal information about
people as possible which can be deployed to manipulate them in
The method perfected by Obama, Merkel and Trudeau is to
the appearance that the leader is directly communicating with the
people or even that this communication is two-way.
In the case of the Trudeau Liberals, the
function of social media has been streamlined into the party
constitution to the extent that "joining" the party is
effectively a social media exercise in which one fills out boxes on
the Liberal website.
The category of "member" has been abolished and instead
everyone who signs up on the party website is put into the
database of Liberals to be cross-referenced to the federal
electors' list and form part of a Liberal army ready to be
mobilized. What the Liberal Party referred to as a "top-down" or
"hierarchical" structure has been replaced by what is supposed to
be a direct relationship with the leader.
The "left-wing" spin is that the "emerging digital
and social relations" on social media platforms are characterized
as "decentralized, democratic, heterogeneous, fluid, open,
informal, and in many ways self-governing. In particular, the
ease with which individuals can generate and share content via
social media is seen by some as indicative of a more democratic
and egalitarian society.
"Social networking Web sites and services provide
'radical public spheres' that constitute new forums for the
development and expressions of political citizenship, forums that
are less subject to elite control."
Spokespersons of the imperialist ruling elite say much
same thing about the role of social media in countries branded as
enemies of the U.S. and un-free societies.
In "representative democracies" the triumph of social
is said to be the greater ability of citizens to interact with
their governments and of political parties of the rich to
mobilize people against their own interests. Social media is
brandished to give a greater appearance of legitimacy to
governments of the rich.
However in countries branded "enemies," "rogue states,"
"human rights violators" and the like, social media is supposed to
assist people in opposing the state, overthrowing governments and
even engaging directly with the imperialist powers to coordinate
the undermining of authorities.
In neo-liberal parlance it is said this leads to "a
active, critical, and politicized citizenry, where citizens are
no longer passive receivers of state-oriented media."
Far from these activities coming from the people
themselves, they are organized at the highest levels of the U.S.
imperialist state. For example, the National Endowment for Democracy
(NED), a "private, non-profit" CIA front founded by Ronald Reagan to
sponsor pro-U.S. groups around the world, runs a "Center for
International Media Assistance" (CIMA).
The CIMA "works to support efforts of independent
and media and their effectiveness in developing countries" and
"believes that independent media is critical in the world today."
The CIMA says, "social media has changed how traditional
journalists gather information and has empowered individuals to
join the conversation. This is particularly powerful in
developing countries seeking to gain truth and promote
The "U.S. Institute of Peace" -- which, despite its
arm of the U.S. government created at the same time as the NED
and wholly funded by Congress -- concluded in a recent study
"Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have played major roles in
episodes of contentious politics as activist tools in replacing
authoritarian regimes and in promoting freedom and
These techniques have been formalized in a practice
"digital diplomacy," a hallmark of the Obama doctrine also
referred to as "direct diplomacy" and "public diplomacy." In
"digital diplomacy" the U.S. State Department and NATO deal
directly with the citizens of various countries and with NGOs to
do their bidding and completely bypass sovereign governments. In
other words, it is a form of cyber-warfare.
The "advantages" of "digital diplomacy" are said to be,
first, a "relatively cost-effective way to develop connections
with foreign publics... Second, digital diplomacy also extends
the reach of diplomatic staff... Digital diplomacy is typically
considered a form of public diplomacy, which seeks to engage
foreign publics, rather than just political elites within a
nation. Finally, digital diplomacy allows diplomatic staff to
better monitor public opinion toward a foreign government,
political leaders, and policies, in ways similar to the manner in
which corporations use social media to monitor public
Digital diplomacy is also the extension into the
Service and international affairs of the direct involvement in
government of privileged private interests such as Google,
Twitter and Facebook.
In June 2013 NATO academic Roland Paris, who went on to
as Justin Trudeau's head foreign policy advisor for the first six
months of his government, discussed "how far Canada had fallen
behind its closest allies in the use of social media tools. The
United States and Britain recognized the importance of digital
diplomacy years ago, encouraging their ambassadors and missions
to engage directly through social media with the public and
policy leaders of other countries," he said.
Canada's then-Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird in
February 2014 visited the headquarters of Google and Twitter in
Silicon Valley, California and mapped out how "digital diplomacy"
will be added to the arsenal of the Canadian government against
Baird stated, "Using social media and insights from
analytics, we can engage in direct diplomacy, not just elite
diplomacy. Social media mapping exercises at Foreign Affairs,
Trade and Development Canada have helped us to reach out to civic
actors who seek to bring about positive social and political
change in the countries they live in."
The Islamic Republic of Iran was a main target for
"digital diplomacy" under the Harper government in its project
with the University of Toronto Munk School called "Global
Dialogue on the Future of Iran."
During the 2011 war against Libya, NATO agents on the
even used Twitter and Facebook to provide coordinates for the
bombing runs that devastated the country.
Canada's foreign affairs department, called Global
Canada, maintains a Special Representative to the Syrian
Opposition based in Turkey, one of whose main jobs is digital
diplomacy. Robin Wettlaufer has served in the position since
Trek, the UBC alumni publication, said
"typifies the next generation of Foreign Service Officers and a
new kind of diplomacy that focuses on new partners and
approaches.' Wettlaufer said, "We connect in many different ways
with the Opposition, the whole host of parties opposed to the
Assad regime, including through social media. Our objective is to
expand our networks, to understand the different dynamics, to
amplify the voices of democracy..."
State Disruption Tactics to Attack the
Movements and Sovereign Countries
The concepts discussed above are well documented. For
instance the three-volume Encyclopedia of Social Media and
Politics published in 2014 has essays on all of these
practices and subjects. However state disruptions practices using
social media are not mentioned in such literature, but are no less
The significance is underscored by the new situation of
Liberal government in Canada and contending sections of the U.S.
ruling elite coalescing around the election of Hillary Clinton as
U.S. war president. Both have the aim of blocking resistance
movements of the people, especially their political mobilization
in defence of rights and against war and aggression.
The Trudeau Liberals are accelerating the anti-social
offensive to abolish any state arrangements standing in the way
of making the monopolies competitive on global markets and are
putting Canada further at the disposal of the U.S. striving for
Their success on these fronts
requires the depoliticization
of the polity so that the resistance of the people is rendered
ineffective, and this is what the Liberals' efforts are directed
In this regard think-tanks advising the U.S. government
devised methods to wage disinformation campaigns against anyone
the U.S. administration feels is undermining government
One tactic is to smash any unity of the people around a
principle or goal and to sow doubt about their collective
A theorist of these methods is Cass R. Sunstein, who
for a number of years as the head of the Office of Information
and Regulatory Affairs for the Obama administration. In 2008 as a
University of Chicago professor Sunstein co-authored a paper
advising the U.S. government on how to undermine and discredit
its opponents online using a concept called "cognitive
The paper is nominally aimed at those spreading what
calls "conspiracy theories" but refers to any "group
polarization," i.e., resistance or principled conviction.
Sunstein argues that "group polarization" is irrational but that
it is "particularly likely, and particularly pronounced, when
people have a shared sense of identity and are connected by bonds
Sunstein writes, "These are circumstances in which
by outsiders, unconnected with the group, will lack much
credibility, and fail to have much of an effect in reducing
Sunstein's solution is to "suggest a distinctive tactic
breaking up the hard core of extremists who supply conspiracy
theories: cognitive infiltration of extremist groups, whereby
government agents or their allies (acting either virtually or in
real space, and either openly or anonymously) will undermine the
crippled epistemology of those who subscribe to such
"They do so by planting doubts about the theories and
stylized facts that circulate within such groups, thereby
introducing beneficial cognitive diversity." "Cognitive
diversity" is a cheap word for disinformation.
Sunstein goes right to the point. "We suggest a role
government efforts, and agents, in introducing such diversity.
Government agents (and their allies) might enter chat rooms,
online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to
undermine percolating conspiracy theories by raising doubts about
their factual premises, causal logic or implications for
Sunstein is also the author of a book called Nudge
the premise that "humans are not always capable of making
decisions in their own best interests" and should be "nudged" by
authorities towards correct decisions.
Documents obtained through the Edward Snowden leaks
intelligence methods in more detail with the example of the
British Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), a unit
of the Government Communications Headquarters and the
Communications Security Establishment (CSE), Canada's electronic spy
These methods are first and foremost the purview of the
political police and farmed out to franchises in the Five Eyes
network of the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The Intercept reported on March 23, 2015:
"According to the Snowden documents, [Canada's
Security Establishment] has a range of 'deception
techniques' in its toolbox. These include 'false flag'
operations to 'create unrest,' and using so-called 'effects' operations
to 'alter adversary perception.'
A false-flag operation usually means carrying out an attack, but
making it look like it was performed by another group -- in this
case, likely another government or hacker. Effects operations can
involve sending out propaganda across social media or disrupting
communications services. The newly revealed documents also reveal
that CSE says it can plant a 'honeypot' as part of its
deception tactics, possibly a reference to some sort of bait
posted online that lures in targets so that they can be hacked or
"The apparent involvement of CSE in using the deception
tactics suggests it is operating in the same area as a secretive
British unit known as JTRIG, a division of the country's
eavesdropping agency, Government Communications Headquarters, or
GCHQ. Last year, The Intercept published documents from
Snowden showing that the JTRIG unit uses a range of effects
operations to manipulate information online, such as by rigging
the outcome of online polls, sending out fake messages on
Facebook across entire countries, and posting negative
information about targets online to damage their
Glenn Greenwald notes, "Among the core self-identified
purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of
false material onto the internet in order to destroy the
reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and
other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to
generate outcomes it considers desirable."
Today these methods are evident in the activities of
powerful private interests aligned with U.S. imperialism that
dominate social media. This includes not only the sections of the
international financial oligarchy and firms that already
dominated traditional media and now dominate online platforms but
the creation of "viral" content and sophisticated manipulation of
users targeting political movements and resisting countries.
Powerful Private Interests
Online networks are now no less saturated with private
advertising than newspapers, television and public space.
Individuals are targeted based on social media firms and private
companies surveilling their consumption habits, web searches,
private conversations over e-mail and other platforms and even
what is picked up by the microphones in their computers and
As in the case of
traditional media the extent to which
individuals can be reached through the official channels of the
social media monopolies now depends on ability to pay.
Twitter and Facebook are themselves now valued at $10
and more than $300 billion, respectively.
The U.S. imperialists highly value Twitter and Facebook
have nurtured their growth as weapons to subvert the resistance
of the people. These platforms are used by the U.S. imperialists
to spread gossip, rumours and disinformation in small,
unchallengeable and unverifiable chunks of words and video.
These platforms also spread celebrity worship of
figures of U.S. imperialist culture aimed at attacking the
thought material of the peoples of the world and wrecking public
opinion. As U.S. Commander-in-Chief, Barack Obama has been
regularly given a special position by Facebook and Twitter to
promote his own celebrity and undermine opposition to imperialist
Case Study: Venezuela and Buzzfeed
Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution and the Venezuelan
people's staunch resistance to imperialist attacks have been
targets of online disruption activities since the election of
Hugo Chávez in 1998. These activities have intensified along
the economic war unleashed by U.S. imperialism and the Venezuelan
oligarchy and successive attempts to destabilize the country and
stage counterrevolutionary coups d'etat.
During attempts to destabilize the country and create
conditions for a coup and foreign intervention in 2013 and 2014
images were widely circulated by shady forces showing horrible
scenes of police violence and unrest. They were accompanied by
fraudulent stories claiming that a popular uprising was taking
place against the Venezuelan government and the people were
facing brutal repression.
These images turned out to be scenes from Chile, Egypt,
Mexico and other countries and after images went "viral" several
imperialist news outlets were forced to issue retractions. In
2014 when all was said and done 43 people had lost their lives to
street violence organized by counterrevolutionary forces along
with widespread damage to public facilities.
However, the disruption techniques have increased in
sophistication each time the Venezuelan people defeat attempts to
smash their anti-imperialist nation-building project. On top of
the constant barrage of falsehoods about Venezuela in
monopoly-owned newspapers and from state agencies like the CBC,
the most vicious attacks are coming from websites specializing in
viral social media content and giving the appearance of being
edgy and left-of-centre.
One example is Buzzfeed, a "social news and
company" which has pioneered the use of manipulating readers to
achieve the maximum number of "clicks" and shares of mostly trite
and superficial content. This is known as "click-bait." In 2015
Buzzfeed received a $200 million investment from NBCUniversal and
the site has been valued at over $1 billion.
The website closely aligns itself with the positions of
U.S. government. A June 30, 2016 study by Fairness and Accuracy in
Reporting found that 99 per cent of Buzzfeed's coverage of the
Obama administration was positive and only one critical story out
of 100 could be found, a story that pointed out the U.S.
government had not met its target for resettling Syrian
Most of the company's revenue comes from its unit
Buzzfeed Creative, which creates branded, paid-for advertisements
which are disguised as regular Buzzfeed news content. One tech
analyst says Buzzfeed's future "depends on convincing us that ads
aren't ads." It likewise depends on convincing readers that
disinformation is news.
The magazine Wired writes, "If there is a
BuzzFeed's content strategy, it is built on obsessive
measurement. The data-science team uses machine learning to
predict which stories might spread; the design team keeps
iterating the user interface through A/B testing and
Its content and titles are designed based on formulas
receive the maximum number of clicks and shares.
When Buzzfeed promoted the idea that an "uprising" was
place in Venezuela, it stated that Venezuela's problems stemmed
from the government nationalizing the oil industry and taking it
out of the hands of giant foreign monopolies.
The website has published a number of disinformation
recently with "click-bait" titles such as "How Much Do You Really
Know About What is Happening in Venezuela," "What Is Going On In
Venezuela?" and "Venezuela Opened Its Border And The Rush Of
Hungry People Was Nuts."
Buzzfeed has since 2013 promoted a Norwegian-Venezuelan
figure called Thor Halvorssen who runs two phoney "human rights
groups," the Oslo Freedom Forum and the Human Rights
Halvorssen is the son of Thor Halvorssen Hellum, a CIA
informant who helped fund the Contras in Nicaragua. Halvorssen's
aunt is a former state oil executive found to have funnelled
state money to Venezuela's "Popular Will" political party.
The Popular Will party was founded by Leopoldo
López, who is serving a jail sentence for inciting deadly
violence during the U.S.-backed protests against the Venezuelan
government in 2014. López is also the first cousin of Halvorssen
and has been featured at Halvorssen's "Freedom Forum."
U.S. Journalist Ken Silverstein says, "One of
alleged specialties is falsely editing Wikipedia pages and
inserting bogus charges to smear his clients' enemies."
One Buzzfeed correspondent flew to Oslo in 2013 to
flattering portrait of Halvorssen as a "human rights activist."
He has been the subject of several other Buzzfeed articles since
that time and Buzzfeed has even featured his "Human Rights
Foundation" in videos attacking Cuba.
The three-minute video "What Is Going On in Venezuela"
produced by Buzzfeed's new "Pero Like" page, which produces
content targeted at English-speaking people with Latin American
backgrounds. It was published on August 2 and by August 11 had 29
The video features an unidentified man speaking English
giving a dramatic performance. He says there is a crisis in
Venezuela, caused by a government which for 18 years "fed the
He speaks about the crime rate and the minimum wage and
(falsely) insinuates that the people are going hungry. All of it is
devoid of any context and presents a nightmare scenario. Your mother,
your sister or your uncle can all be killed at any moment, he says, and
suggests that this has to do with the "hatred" created by the
"They" asked for money, his family delivered the money,
"they" still shot him, the man says. He then tells a story about
his mother being held up in a robbery at gunpoint. He says that
in 2008 Venezuela was voted the happiest country in the world,
"despite the situation."
In conclusion he says, "I think that the most important
we can do is raise awareness. Let the whole world know. 'Cause, if
everybody knows, then maybe we can make a
difference." In other words, share, share, share and create the
pretext that "something must be done" in Venezuela.
The man in the video is Alejandro Toro, a professional
and reality TV contestant born in Miami, Florida who spent most
of his life in Venezuela. He is supposed to be giving the inside
perspective of a Venezuelan but the authors of the video did not
seem to want to identify him.
As much as the disinformation video says precisely
about "what is going on in Venezuela" it also targets for
destruction the esteem in which the peoples of the world hold
Venezuela, its Bolivarian Revolution and the memory of Hugo
Chávez. It is precisely to sow doubt in the manner of Cass
Sunstein to block the movement from coming to the defence of
Venezuela's sovereignty and opposing disinformation.
The techniques outlined are all examples of the use of
social media by powerful private interests to split the people
and undermine their political movements. We think there is an
urgent need today to work out how to use social media to inform
and unite the people's forces.
To do so requires organizations that carry out such an
consciously and base their work on maximum ideological and
political mobilization. It means professionalizing our work by
involving all those who recognize this urgent necessity. One
urgent task is to bring the production of audio and video content
of the mass Party and non-Party press in conformity with the
needs of the times.
We think that it is time for the daughters and sons of
working people to come forward to build the institutions needed
by the people to raise their ideological and political level and
unite them in action. On the anniversaries of the mass
Party and non-Party Press CPC(M-L) is implementing a plan to
strengthen the Party's technical base solidly based on its
greatest asset, the human factor/social consciousness. By
mobilizing its material asset, the working class and broad masses
of the people, and its spiritual asset, Contemporary
Marxist-Leninist Thought as its guide to action, it is sure to
1. Kerric Harvey, Ed. Encyclopedia of Social Media
and Politics. SAGE
Publications, 2014. Vol. 1, pp. 183.
2. Ibid. pp.
3. Ibid. pp.
4. Ibid. pp.
5. Ibid. pp.
6. Cass R. Sunstein and Adrian
Vermeule, Conspiracy Theories (January 15, 2008).
7. Ryan Gallagher, "Documents Reveal
Canada's Secret Hacking Tactics." The Intercept, March 23,
8. Glenn Greenwald, "How Covert Agents
Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy
Reputations." The Intercept, February 24, 2014.
delivered at the Seminar on the National and International Situation
organized by the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) at the
University of Ottawa on August 14, 2016.)
Quebec Government's "Plan to Fight
A Police State By Any Other Name
On August 18, the Collège Maisonneuve, located
in the east
end of Montreal, announced it will hire five people -- including
two "hallway workers" and two "other radicalization specialists"
-- as part of its "radicalization action plan." The Liberal
government of Philippe Couillard announced the college received
$400,000 in March for this "program of intervention" among the
Quebec Minister of Superior Education
Hélène David who spoke
at the press conference where the stipend was announced said
these are "measures in support of living together in harmony."
Montreal Liberal Mayor Denis Coderre, who was also present, said
"one of the essential elements in conflict resolution... is to
have people who are there to build bridges and prevent eventual
spokesperson for Collège Maisonneuve, is quoted
in Le Devoir as saying "hallway workers will be in place
to listen to what students are saying. Their challenge is to be
accepted, to win the trust of the youth in order to help them."
Their work will be that of informants because if a student is
preparing "something dangerous," the Cégep will warn the Centre
for Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence, she
Other institutions, including Dawson and Rosemont
Cegeps and even the Federation of Cegeps, have now also asked to be
included and receive similar resources.
All of this introduces into civilian
the structures of a police state. To suggest that imposing
political police in our educational institutions and
institutionalizing informants safeguards the security of the
people is to outdo even previous attempts in history to justify a
police state. The spies will report to the so-called Centre for
the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence, to
the police or to the RCMP, who will no doubt intervene according
to their police manual on combating radicalization, which no body
politic has discussed or approved or even been given the chance
The bitter history of pogroms and World War II at the
of the Nazis and Japanese militarists has led the people to
condemn and reject the creation of an atmosphere of suspicion,
fear of one's peers and especially of what is called "the other,"
insecurity and division among students and staff and between
students and staff. Waving the flag of security so the people
will go along with the criminalization of the youth and of
conscience, as well as of their parents if they speak up, is as
dangerous as it is unacceptable. Even discussing such things marks one
as a troublemaker and a target of attack. It must not
The causes of so-called radicalization and a
definition of terrorism have yet to be provided. All forms of
terrorism, whether individual acts of terrorism or state
terrorism should be opposed but of the two, state terrorism is
the most dangerous. This is because individual acts of terror can
be punished by the state on the basis of its penal code. But when
the state commits acts of terror, who monitors the state? Talk
about civilian overview and civilian centres for the prevention
of radicalization are a farce when they all submit to the plans
put in place by the state. They are set up not to safeguard the
the citizens but precisely to make the actions of the state
unimpeachable. Their role is to condone what the
state is doing
especially Islam, are continually
associated with terrorism and there is a lack of discourse on the
problems of life itself in which everyone can participate without
reprisals or repercussions. Unfortunately, those who call
themselves liberal blame the far right discourse for inciting
fanaticism, xenophobia and hatred while they present themselves
as moderates who, by taking legal preventative measures such as
these anti-radicalization plans, are said to represent the rule
of law. To be reasonable is to support them against the far-right
and islamic extremists.
In fact, in the name of saving the youth -- considered
the most vulnerable to what is called radicalization -- the role of
these so-called moderate and reasonable forces is to deny the right to
conscience of young people. Meanwhile, attempts are made to
recruit them for the armed forces which are involved in wars of
aggression and state terrorism. Wars of aggression, among other things,
are used to force regime change in some countries that the United
States declares "non-cooperating," but are not presented as a source of
violence and an example of extremism. Those who join them are declared
heroes while those who oppose them are criminalized.
The criminalization of conscience, institutionalized
informants, and profiling are the brutal methods of a police
state. Our security lies in the fight to defend the rights of
all. Political police must not be permitted to operate in our
A Dangerous Precedent
On August 19, the so-called Centre for the Prevention
Radicalization Leading to Violence, created by the City of
Montreal in March 2015, released its 84-page report entitled: Radicalization
Perspectives. The General Director of the Centre
says in the introduction that "the most troubling aspect of all
is the violent radicalism instilled in young people, as it
affects a more vulnerable segment of the population -- a group
seeking self-expression, ideals, and a way of rebelling against a
system it feels does not listen to, understand or respect it.
Indeed, contemporary radicalization is more than strictly a
religious phenomenon, as it operates on psychological, social,
identity, political and geopolitical levels as well to the same
-- or an even greater -- extent. In addition, we must now take
into account the additional challenges of new types of engagement
and the use of technology"
This is part of the
Couillard government's efforts to
criminalize dissent and target the youth, especially young
Muslims, as a source of violence. These efforts have also
received support from the Trudeau government, which in its March
2016 budget allocated $35 million over five years for the
establishment of the Office of the Community Outreach and
Counter-radicalization Coordinator under Public Safety Canada.
They also found support with a visit by Ralph Goodale, the
federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, to
the "Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to
Violence" on August 15. During this visit Goodale
declared, "We have also introduced new legislation to create a
statutory committee of parliamentarians with extraordinary access
to classified information and a mandate to scrutinize the
security and intelligence operations of all departments and
agencies of the Government of Canada. The committee's objectives
will be two-fold -- to make sure that all those departments and
agencies are effective in keeping Canadians safe, and to make
sure our values, our rights and freedoms, and the open,
inclusive, democratic character of our country are fully
respected. Canadians expect nothing less."
Citing the killing by the RCMP of the young man in
Ontario on August 10, 2016, allegedly on his way to set off an
explosive device, Goodale said, "This event demonstrates that, in this
uncertain world, no place is safe from the threat of terrorism.
Moreover, the most important preoccupation concerns 'loners'
adopting perverse and extreme ideologies that promote violence.
[...] We have to become really good at these tasks in order to
preserve our diversity and pluralism as a single national
"Some work in this area is already underway in Canada,
various universities and in cities like Montreal and Calgary, for
example, but there is little consistency on a national level. Our
goal is to begin to solve this problem this year."
The question of security is very
important for a
is established by respecting the rights of all, especially the
right to conscience. All members of society must be able to
participate in deliberating on how to guarantee a future for
themselves, especially the
youth. All across the
country, demands have been raised for the necessary investments
in social programs such as education, sports, recreation and
cultural activities on a mass basis. Instead, social programs are
cut and the youth are criminalized, profiled and considered "fair
game." The criminalization of conscience, institutionalized informants
and profiling are brutal methods of governance that
foment marginalization and the criminalization of the youth on a
grand scale. It is abuse on a grand scale.
Nobody is going to believe that regarding young people
criminal suspects and denouncing them to the police will provide
security or that those who engage in such things represent the
preservation of "our diversity and pluralism as unique national
strengths" to "prevent radicalization," as Ralph Goodale
New Arrangements to Criminalize Resistance Struggles in
Name of Protecting Persons
Student demonstration in Quebec City, March 1, 2012, during student
In adopting in June 2016, Bill 59, An Act to amend
various legislative provisions to better protect persons,
members of the Quebec National Assembly have given the Liberal
government hope of achieving what it was not able to
accomplish with Bill 78, An Act to enable students to receive
instruction from the post-secondary institutions they attend. That
infamous law targeting striking students was passed in 2012 by the
Liberal government and
supported by the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ). It was
as an attack against the right to freedom of expression and freedom of
association, and faced many Canadian
Charter of Rights and
Freedoms challenges in the courts.
An important aspect of Bill 59 in this regard is the
significant changes it makes to Quebec's Civil Code as
well as to several statutes, including the General and
Vocational Colleges Act (chapter C-29), the Act respecting
private education (chapter E-9.1), the Act Respecting
Municipal Taxation (chapter F-2.1), the Education Act
(chapter I-13.3) and the Youth Protection Act (chapter
The explanatory notes of Bill 59 state amongst other
that the Act "authorizes the courts of justice to order measures
for protecting persons whose life, health or safety is threatened
by another person by introducing a new type of injunction, called
a protection order, in civil procedure matters." Article 21 of
Bill 59 states that Article 509 of the Civil Code will now
be amended so that such an injunction -- called a protection
order -- "may direct a natural person to refrain from or cease
doing something or to perform a specified act in order to protect
another natural person whose life, health or safety is
threatened. Such an injunction, called a protection order, may be
obtained, in particular, in a context of violence."
It is hard to fathom what
the government is up to unless one
recalls how the Liberal government of Jean Charest dealt with the
student strikes in 2012. The Charest government's Bill 78 said,
"Every institution and its officers and representatives must
employ appropriate means to ensure that instructional services
are delivered or continue to be delivered to all students having
a right to such services." It contained "provisions to maintain
peace, order and public security as well as various
administrative, civil and penal measures to ensure enforcement of
The bill declared, "No one may, by an act or omission,
students their right to receive instruction from the institution
they attend or prevent or impede the resumption or maintenance of
an institution's instructional services or the performance by
employees of work related to such services [...]."
It was a desperate attempt by the Liberal government at
the time to try to contain the movement of Quebec youth and students
who opposed the government program to pay the rich and impose tuition
fee hikes. Bill 78 was subsequently repealed by a decree of Pauline
Marois' PQ government one month after it was elected in September 2012
-- an election that
saw the Liberals relegated to the role of opposition party and
their leader, former Premier Jean Charest, defeated in his own
riding. But now, once again, a Liberal government is attempting
to criminalize decisions, such as those taken in 2012 by various
general assemblies of student organizations to take strike
action. Using a liberal definition of individual right, which
denies collective rights, the Liberal government could use this
new law to block the decision of a student organization to take
strike action or to participate in any other event it declares
constitutes grounds that it deems infringe on the individual
rights of a student. This is all the more worrisome since rights
in Canada are defined on the basis of individual rights and no
collective rights are recognized. Only labour law provides
workers with certain collective rights, such as the right to
strike under certain conditions. New laws are now also taking
that away in the name of the democratic right of governments to
adopt austerity budgets which curtail the right to negotiate
wages and working conditions. These new laws will thereby criminalize
workers' strike action taken in defence of their collective right
to negotiate freely.
Monthly protest July 22, 2012 during Quebec student strike.
Besides other things, Bill 59 considers the problems
society to be matters of individual behaviour. It is then
declared necessary to "establish new protection measures for
persons whose physical or psychological integrity are
The dangerous outlook behind these measures can also be
in the comments of Quebec Health Minister Gaetan Barrette on
August 23 about the shooting at the Parti Québécois
in 2012, which killed one staff member and injured another and
was aimed at Pauline Marois and "all the separatists," as the
attacker Richard Henri Bain shouted during the action. Minister
speaking to reporters in English, said: "When you stir things up
too much, sometimes things like that can happen." Barrette was
forced to apologize immediately for his comments but it does show
the outlook of criminalizing conscience and the blurring of what
the government sees as a "danger to security" and what is a
danger to its own political views.
Bill 59 provides that "In the fields of pre-school,
secondary and college-level education, any contract allowing the
total or partial use of an immovable of a college, school board
or private educational institution is deemed to contain a clause
stipulating that such entities may cancel the contract if the
other contracting party or any other person exhibits behaviour
during such use that could reasonably pose a threat for the
physical or psychological safety of the students or the other
This clause is primarily aimed at Muslim organizations
those whose ideology is considered extremist, providing a
mechanism to terminate contracts for the use of facilities.
If measures are to be adopted which criminalize
workers or any other segment of the population, it is important
for the polity to participate in adopting the criteria on the
basis of which they will be judged. But this is not done. For
instance, Bill 59 does not define what constitutes a context of
violence. Far from it -- the law is totally silent on this issue.
The so-called Center for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading
to Violence, while admitting "There is no universally
accepted definition of radicalization leading to violence,"
defines it as follows: "a process whereby people adopt extremist
belief systems -- including the willingness to use, encourage or
facilitate violence -- with the aim of promoting an ideology,
political project or cause as a means of social
According to the Center for the Prevention of
Radicalization Leading to Violence's Executive Director, Herman
Deparice-Okomba, "If young Quebecers turn to radical discourse or
violence as acceptable solutions to their malaise, it is because
our society is unable to properly understand their demands and
hopes or to respond to them in a way that permits our young
people to channel their needs towards constructive
He may have put his finger on the
problem but refuses to draw
warranted conclusions, namely that the youth are blocked by a
society that offers them no future. Instead of changing the
conditions to bring them on par with the needs of the times, the
authority criminalizes all those who affirm their right to
conscience and take actions which uphold their rights.
Institutions which call themselves democratic but do not offer
mechanisms which permit problems to be resolved peacefully in a
manner which harmonizes the individual and collective interests
in the context of the general interests of society are
anachronistic. They do not serve the polity in the least. On the
contrary, they try to perpetuate the defunct arrangements in
perpetuity by imposing police state measures.
To use the courts to get injunctions on a spurious
then impose jail terms on those found in contempt of the courts
and declare it democratic, is to use the positions of privilege
and power in a most self-serving and destructive way.
Remarkable in the changes brought by Bill 59 and other
similar legislation is the common denominator that introduces the
notion of "behaviour" that could "reasonably pose a threat." Who
defines what poses a threat and to whom and why and what is
"reasonable"? According to Bill 59, it is the Ministers of
Education and of Higher Education or their delegate, who are
granted immense powers to terminate a lease on the basis of an
investigation they themselves conduct.
Of course, the bill does not also mandate a review of
the colleges' annual budgets. Such a review would surely show how the
increasing cuts, demanded every year as part of austerity measures,
contribute to "behaviour that could reasonably pose a threat for the
students' physical or psychological safety."
Quebec youth have a long tradition of resisting the
attempts to isolate and criminalize them. Bill 59 is similar to
Bill 78 and deserves to be firmly denounced because it targets
all youth, especially youth from the Muslim community and
organizations with ideologies the government or political police
deem to be "extremist."
Black Ops Behind Claims About
BC Court Finds RCMP Organized Terrorist Plot
At the end of July, the
Supreme Court of British Columbia
found that agents of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police engaged in
the planning of, preparation and funding for, and facilitation of
a terrorist offence. By cruelly exploiting two impoverished,
recovering heroin addicts with clearly obvious mental health
challenges, the Mounties did what any state security agency does:
when there are no terrorist plots to justify their existence,
they simply create them. It's great PR, because the Mounties --
an organization built on human rights abuses within and without
the outfit, from systemic misogyny to complicity in torture --
always need some positive publicity, and when they can
orchestrate an easy-peasy takedown of the hapless plotters they
have set up, it's a no-risk affair.
But thankfully, Judge Catherine Bruce is having none of
In a decision that should be required reading for everyone in
this country, she stayed the proceedings against John Nuttall and
Amanda Korody, the alleged Canada Day pressure cooker plotters of
2013, when she concluded:
"[T]he world has enough
terrorists. We do not need the police
to create more out of marginalized people who have neither the
capacity nor sufficient motivation to do it themselves.... The
[police] were clearly overzealous and acted on the assumption
that there were no limits to what was acceptable when
While Bruce's decision runs into the hundreds of pages,
nonetheless an incredibly valuable primer on how the RCMP has
always operated -- without regard for the very laws it is
supposed to enforce -- and without a care for the human rights of
those it targets. The decision reveals an organization that,
despite numerous judicial inquiries recommending significant
changes when it comes to state security investigations, remains
wedded to the same old ways in which anything goes. Clearly,
Canada's iconic horsemen expect that they will be protected by a
culture of impunity.
Indeed, none of the Mounties who coerced, browbeat and
threatened Nuttall and Korody have been charged with an offence,
even though they led the two hapless individuals to believe that
they would be killed if they did not go along with the RCMP-led
plot to plant pressure cookers on the lawn of the BC
Baseless Foundation for Investigation
From the very beginning, the Mounties' "Operation
operated on the same utterly baseless foundation that the
Mounties have relied upon in other so-called national security
cases (see for example, the cases of Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad El
Maati, Muayyed Nureddin, Maher Arar, Abousfian Abdelrazik,
Benamar Benatta, Omar Khadr, among numerous others). Things began
with a "tip" from the notoriously incompetent Canadian Security
Intelligence Service (CSIS) that Nuttall was a threat to public
safety based on "unverified general concerns." When a CSIS
representative met with BC RCMP Superintendent Bond, he said
Nuttall "might" be a recent Muslim convert wanting to recruit
others to violence, but did not provide any sources for the
contention. Without any evidence that Nuttall was involved in
criminal activity, and proceeding on the assumption that Nuttall
"posed no imminent threat," the RCMP nevertheless commenced an
investigation that rapidly evolved at National Headquarters into
a major case, with the direction to Superintendent Bond that he
"work hard on this file and treat it as a priority
investigation." Judge Bruce says it was apparent that Ottawa
considered the investigation "urgent and a national
Souvenir was largely driven by a Sgt. Kalkat, whose
the Judge found to be "both dictatorial and designed to eliminate
dissenting views," especially any opinions raising concerns about
entrapment and illegal activities conducted by the Mounties.
Kalkat was also someone who, like other Mountie-led state
security disasters, equated Islam with national security
As Judge Bruce writes:
"When questioned why he
believed there was a risk in light of
the lack of recent evidence that Mr. Nuttall was expressing
extremist beliefs, the sergeant testified that Mr. Nuttall's
cellular telephone usage and blog were associated with the
registered name of 'Muhammad Muhammad.' He also referred to Ms.
Korody's wearing of the hijab and her conversion to the Muslim
faith. Apparently Sgt. Kalkat associated terrorism with adherence
to the Islamic faith in general."
Kalkat was called on the carpet by Judge Bruce for an
incredible lack of credibility. "I found it astounding that he
kept so few notes of meetings and conversations with his team
about the project and yet purported to have a detailed
recollection of the events favourable to the Crown's position,"
she found, echoing the findings of even the weak-kneed review
committees of the RCMP and CSIS who have regularly documented
similarly sloppy, lazy work. Significantly, neither the original
operational plan for Souvenir nor an application for an extension
"sought authorization to include undercover officers passing
themselves off as part of a terrorist group." Perhaps it was
simply assumed that the Mounties could do as they pleased,
because they never seem to be held to account when they do break
Targets Were Isolated, Vulnerable Drug Addicts
Nuttall and Korody were both isolated, vulnerable
individuals who relied on daily deliveries of methadone to help
them with their heroin addiction. They rarely went out save for
coffee and cigarettes or the odd round of paintball, preferring
to stay home and play video games. Korody was often ill,
constantly throwing up. While Nuttall was apparently known by
some for spouting off what are labelled "extremist" views,
especially with complete strangers, even Sgt. Kalkat agreed in
court that "this is not the usual behaviour of a serious
But Kalkat and a group of undercover RCMP officers were
determined that Nuttall's "extremist" views meant he posed a
threat to national security, and they committed enormous
resources to encouraging Nuttall to compose a "feasible"
terrorist plot for which they could then arrest him. Indeed,
while the ultimate budget has not been released, the Mounties
paid almost $1 million in overtime to some 200 officers on this
An objective observer would have concluded that
grandiose talk, while perhaps disturbing, was just that: talk.
Nuttall believed that in addition to his capacity to spark a U.S.
civil war, he could hold the world hostage by hijacking a nuclear
submarine at Nanoose Bay simply by swimming up to it. He also
bragged that he could hack into the Israeli government's server
while he discussed storming the Esquimalt military base with
AK-47s, and building Qassam rockets to shoot towards the
Parliament buildings in Victoria. But the Mounties wanted badly
to take his word for it. Nuttall was the kind of perfect
"low-hanging fruit" that the FBI regularly sets up and entraps to
claim U.S. victories in the war against terror.
By February of 2013, the "Special O" group of the
discontinued Project Souvenir surveillance. Judge Bruce found
that "it is apparent that had there been any indication that Mr.
Nuttall was an imminent threat, Special 'O' would not have been
re-assigned elsewhere." The project nevertheless remained a
national priority for the RCMP's E-INSET Division in Ottawa,
based on, among other things, a CSIS "advisory letter" which
alleged Nuttall had been attempting to purchase potassium nitrate
from pharmacies, but again, no source was revealed for the tip,
and no investigation was undertaken to determine whether Nuttall
knew that potassium nitrate could possibly be used in the production
The RCMP never bothered to ascertain whether he was in
purchasing the product on his meagre welfare cheque or doing
anything beyond what the Mounties' surveillance did report: that
Nuttall was picking up prescriptions for his grandmother. No
Mounties reviewed video surveillance of the Nuttall residence
until very late in the game to confirm what was alleged by CSIS
either, and at no time did the RCMP interview neighbours or
associates, nor did they monitor the couple's Internet use to
determine if they were communicating with people alleged to be
involved in terrorism (a post-arrest computer search confirmed no
such communication had ever occurred). The Mounties also
installed surveillance pole cameras outside the residence, but
did not even keep them on 24 hours a day.
Cooking Up a Plot
The well-paid Souvenir team cooked up 28 different
designed to entice Nuttall into coming up with a terrorist plot.
But their introduction of an undercover officer (Officer A) who
played the role of a well-connected, high-functioning terrorist
and alleged Islamic spiritual adviser with major international
connections did little to push Nuttall beyond his grandiose
imaginings. All it did was make Nuttall and Korody feel like they
finally had a true friend, and they relied on him for many things
in their daily life. But endless efforts by Officer A to get
Nuttall to write out a terrorist plan on a laptop proved
fruitless; indeed, the only time Nuttall talked about extremist
activities was in the presence of Officer A, who encouraged him
to think about how to put his ideas into action.
Korody was never one to talk about such plans, but the
Mounties insisted on bringing her into the mix as well, figuring
that you need two people to fall under the definition of a
terrorist group. Hence, Officer A insisted that Nuttall order
Korody to attend meetings and RCMP-arranged reconnaissance
missions even when Korody was way too ill to leave the house. As
Judge Bruce found, "[t]he command team discussed ways of
involving Ms. Korody in the scenarios, expressing the belief that
'the only way to get charges [against her] is from her mouth,'"
given that this recovering heroin addict would often say things
that mirrored what Nuttall was talking about.
Concerns raised internally by some within the Mounties
generally dismissed, including the undercover team's assertion
that "Officer A had overly excited Mr. Nuttall about doing
jihadist acts and was giving him the capacity to carry out
terrorist acts for which he lacked the resources and contacts."
As early as March 2013, Souvenir team members were expressing
concerns about entrapment as well. But this did not stop Kalkat
and team members from pressing Officer A to get Nuttall to stop
talking [about] his grand schemes and to focus instead on a simple plot
like the placement of three pressure cooker bombs at the
provincial legislature building for Canada Day. Indeed, the RCMP
was committed to making it happen by that deadline, despite every
effort by Nuttall to step away from the plans, despite his
incessant callout for spiritual advice, and his persistent doubts
that this was the right thing to do. Officer A prevented him from
getting advice from an imam, preferring to refer him to the very
"extremist" conclusions that are rife on the Internet.
The RCMP often expressed frustration at the slow pace
Souvenir. Simple things like downloading a map of Victoria proved
impossible for Nuttall; he never thought to purchase a paper map.
Judge Bruce concluded:
"[I]t was only the RCMP that
was interested in a cheap, quick
and easy means of carrying out violent jihad. Mr. Nuttall
continued to express a desire to carry out several grandiose
schemes that, even if possible, would take years to organize and
far more resources and know-how than he or Ms. Korody possessed
or could reasonably acquire."
In May, Kalkat updated his superiors by reminding them
Nuttall posed "no public safety concerns" and that Officer A had
complete control of Nuttall, who would do nothing without the
say-so of his "friend." Officer A continued to provide Nuttall
with incorrect interpretations of Islam (telling him, among other
things, that the duty of every Muslim is to die a martyr).
As Officer A kept working on Nuttall to come up with a
terrorist act, Nuttall continued to dream big, with plans to shut
down Guantanamo Bay by, among other things, hijacking a VIA
passenger train that no longer existed. As Judge Bruce notes in
her decision, much of Nuttall's understanding of the terrorist
world came from watching Hollywood movies like Rambo III.
As the Mounties' self-imposed Canada Day deadline
large, the undercover operatives:
"[d]iscussed creating a
challenge scenario where Officer A
would essentially take away Mr. Nuttall's dream of being part of
this jihadist organization if he did not focus on a real plan and
show some dedication and initiative.... [Superintendent Bond] agreed
that the next scenarios were designed to focus Mr. Nuttall on a
feasible plan even though he recognized the entrapment issues
would be challenging to avoid if this occurred."
One member of the team, Corporal Matheson, raised
"The last thing we want to
tell the target is that he needs
to go away and come back with a real plan. There may come a time
for that when we want to decisively challenge the target's
intentions. At this stage, however, the target may come back with
another plan simply because we told him to. This would be
coercion at best, and at worst it would be us making a terrorist
out of someone who might not otherwise be."
Planning a Press Barrage
As May headed into June, the Mounties were already
press conferences for the July 1 scenario, even though, as Judge
Bruce points out, "Curiously, these discussions occurred prior to
any concrete plan emerging from the undercover operation." There
was still no indication that Nuttall was prepared for, or about
to engage in, a terrorist act beyond all of his big talk, with no
potential for action absent the prodding and participation of the
The RCMP, meantime, was seeking legal advice on how
set Nuttall up to meet the requirements of terrorism charges.
Kalkat asked for legal advice on whether the Mounties could
simply establish a checklist to determine whether they would be
able to meet all the elements of the offences. The answer from
one legal adviser in Ottawa, as summarized by Judge Bruce, was "a
checklist could not be provided and the undercover cop's request
for one demonstrated their lack of understanding regarding the
complexity of the terrorism offences." With respect to Nuttall's
partner, Korody, the legal adviser posited that the Mounties'
attempts to bring her into the mix, thereby creating a "terrorist
group," was "not a particularly compelling situation given the
nature of their relationship. You require evidence to satisfy the
statutory definition of terrorist group: one or more persons
whose objective is to commit or facilitate a serious violent act,
to intimidate the public, for a religious, political or
ideological purpose." At that point, the only group that
satisfied the elements of the offence was composed entirely of
While Nuttall continued to express serious doubts,
with respect to the potential for killing innocent people, and
requested spiritual advice, Officer A reassured him that he
should just follow his heart. Their troubling relationship and
the role of the RCMP is summed up by Judge Bruce:
"Officer A told Mr. Nuttall
that if a good plan was
formulated he would finance it and take care of all of the
logistics. Effectively Officer A was counselling Mr. Nuttall to
come up with a better terrorist plan. This promise of help did
not seem to placate Mr. Nuttall who broke down in tears. Officer
A consoled him and said that all would be fine and they would do
it together 'by baby steps one at a time.' Mr. Nuttall responded
that he needed direction from Officer A and he asked what he
should be doing between now and the next time they met.
Significantly, Mr. Nuttall said that he was not going to carry
out any jihad until he had the spiritual guidance he was looking
for in regard to whether killing was prohibited or permitted by
the faith. In response, Officer A refocused Mr. Nuttall on
working towards a jihadist plan and Mr. Nuttall became newly
infused with enthusiasm about coming up with a good plan this
time and wanted his hard drive back to begin working on it."
Cult-Like RCMP Practices
While some within the RCMP felt this was going nowhere
and should be shut down, others continued to press for a plan
that Nuttall could embrace. Officer A engaged in cult-like
practices, isolating Nuttall by preventing him from being with
family and acquaintances and advising against attending the
mosque. As Nuttall worried about killing people, he was equally
concerned that Officer A, portraying the big terrorist whose
organization has invested time, blood and money into this
operation, would be displeased. And so he tried to meet Officer A
in the middle with plots that sounded significant but would not
shed blood. When he came up with scenarios like "symbolic" Qassam
rockets without warheads that would cause minor property damage
but little else, Officer A was not pleased. Instead of embracing
a less lethal plan like this, Officer A of the RCMP:
"[r]eminded Nuttall about
his earlier statement that killing
all taxpayers was part of the plan. Mr. Nuttall agreed that
soldiers were fair game but insisted the recon would help to
ensure no innocents were harmed by the rockets; and he commented
that everyone was a potential Muslim convert and this caused him
to doubt his plans for jihad. In the end, he maintained a need
for spiritual guidance from someone who was qualified to
interpret the Quran on these issues."
But Officer A continued to divert Nuttall away from any
opportunity to receive the kind of advice that would have once
and for all addressed his real concerns and, perhaps, stopped him
from spouting the rhetoric that the Mounties found so problematic
to begin with. Officer A continued to provide inaccurate
religious justifications for violence, a particularly vile tactic
that exploited vulnerable people who had given him complete
trust. As the BC court decision found:
"The defendants were recent
converts to the Muslim faith and
constantly struggled with issues of what was permitted and what
was prohibited by Allah and the Quran. On several occasions Mr.
Nuttall had demonstrated indecision about whether it was
prohibited to kill anyone even apart from innocents. He often
said that the rockets could be symbolic only and not contain any
warhead. Yet he was now being counselled towards violent
extremism by the police."
As this farce went on, the RCMP should have confirmed
Judge Bruce identified as:
"Mr. Nuttall's ineptitude
even for the simplest tasks and Ms.
Korody's detachment from what was going on. It should have been
readily apparent to the RCMP that Mr. Nuttall was incapable of
crafting a plan of action to support a terrorist plot.... It should
have been apparent to the police that Mr. Nuttall had the
gullible nature of a young child."
But the Mounties wanted a big takedown and the
millions of Canadians for saving the day on a national holiday.
They continued to set up further scenarios, including badly
botched "reconnaissance" missions and shopping trips that were
frustratingly bizarre. In addition, one Mountie's report to the
National HQ "mentioned the possibility of obtaining an
authorization for the commission of offences such as
participation in and facilitation of a terrorist activity,"
something that the Mounties got free rein with in the
subsequently passed, Trudeau-supported C-51.
Pressure for Pressure Cookers
The Mounties continued to pressure Nuttall into
pressure cooker scenario, which he seemed to reject literally
right up until the last minute, when he and Korody appear to have
gone through with the placement of the devices (rendered inert by
the undercover team that helped put them together!) because they
feared they would be killed if they pulled out of the plot. Judge
Bruce confirms that their fear, in the context of the
relationship with Officer A and other members of the team
portraying themselves as dangerous terrorists, was credible and
But the Mounties still had to gather some kind of
They insisted Nuttall draw up a plan on his computer, which he
never had the focus to do. They removed them from the
"distractions" of their home to a hotel to focus on the plot.
Every time Nuttall came up with obstacles to the plot, he was
assured that all details would be handled by Officer A. They also
continued to deflect Nuttall's doubts, with Judge Bruce
writing that "Mr. Nuttall expressed concern about targeting women
and children and both Officer C and Officer A assured him that
they would take care of that problem."
Meantime, memos from within continued to express
Corporal Matheson wrote:
"Within the preceding few
hours we learned that the targets
had access to money and had chosen not to use it for bomb parts.
Providing more money to get the targets past their reluctance to
purchase bomb parts would not provide good evidence. Secondly, if
we were to give the targets money for a fictitious purpose with
the belief that the money would actually be used for bomb parts,
we ourselves might be breaking the law in so far as we might be
While internal memos indicate Sgt. Kalkat knew the pair
now be arrested prior to July 1 based on suspicion they posed an
imminent risk, they were not picked up. That would have taken
away from the drama of planting the harmless devices under the
RCMP's watch, and certainly watered down the news angle that
resulted in the banner headlines that recalled the Boston
marathon bombing of earlier that spring.
Desperate to Get the Plot Going
Desperate to get the plot going, the Mounties then
to be part of what Judge Bruce describes as:
"[t]he most chaotic and
disorganized shopping trip
conceivable in spite of several specific directions passed on to
the defendants about where to buy items on their list. Even
though Mr. Nuttall's shopping list consisted of a relatively
small number of ordinary objects and supplies (batteries,
pressure cookers, nails, an electric drill and a driver set), it
is quite apparent that absent Officer A's constant prodding and
refocusing Mr. Nuttall could never have completed the job. Over
and over he would forget what he needed and what he already had.
Officer A was required to make pointed suggestions and give
specific directions in regard to the shopping list to ensure that
Mr. Nuttall moved forward with the required purchases. Mr.
Nuttall was easily distracted and needed to be continually
reminded about what had to be done. Ms. Korody was of very little
assistance; for the most part she slept in the rear seat of the
vehicle. At one point she left the vehicle to vomit .It also
became apparent during the shopping trip, as well as during the
private time the defendants spent alone at the Sundance Motel,
that there were serious impediments to their carrying out this
terrorist plan that were only resolved because of what the RCMP
did for them."
In another sign of the cruelty of targetting the
vulnerable and gullible Nuttall and Korody, Bruce notes Sgt.
"[g]ave no thought as to how
the defendants' dependence on
methadone would impact their ability to think clearly about their
actions. In my view, both Ms. Korody and Mr. Nuttall often
appeared to be in a dazed state during the videotaped scenarios.
Ms. Korody commonly slept through most of the meetings with
Officer A. Their state of consciousness should have been a real
and substantial concern during the undercover operation but it
was ignored by the police."
In essence, the Mounties devised a plan for which they
the date, the means, the location and the logistics. There had
been no pre-existing plot that needed to be infiltrated and
stopped. But the state cannot be allowed to conduct such sting
operations, and as the Supreme Court of Canada notes (in the
landmark "Mr. Big sting operation" Hart decision that the
Mounties clearly refuse to accept):
"The state must conduct its
law enforcement operations in a
manner that is consonant with the community's underlying sense of
fair play and decency. It cannot manipulate suspects' lives
without limit, turning their day-to-day existence into a piece of
theatre in which they are unwitting participants. Such an
approach does violence to the dignity of suspects and is
incompatible with the proper administration of justice."
Ultimately, Judge Bruce found:
"[t]he defendants had proven
themselves to be marginalized,
isolated people who espoused extremist jihadist views but were
neither motivated to act on their beliefs nor capable of taking
steps to accomplish acts of violence in support of their beliefs.
Some of the officers involved in Project Souvenir appeared to
hold this view of the defendants and advocated a different course
of action than the one spearheaded by Sgt. Kalkat."
Mounties Counselled Extremist Views and Violence
Judge Bruce was also appalled at the role the Mountie
played as "spiritual advisers" to Nuttall, noting:
"The fact that Officer A
chose to give religious advice at
all is objectionable; however, preaching ideas that promoted the
use of violence and allaying the defendants' doubts about killing
people makes his conduct far more sinister. When Mr. Nuttall said
that he and Ms. Korody had serious doubts that killing people
would please Allah, Officer A gave him the same spiritual advice
about pre-determination that violent extremists use to radicalize
people.... Knowing that Mr. Nuttall had serious doubts about
carrying out a mission that could kill innocent people, Officer A
told him that there was no time to obtain spiritual
Like good capitalists who wanted the bang for their
"The RCMP would not have
been willing to abort their plan for
the July 1 planting of the devices at the last minute after so
much preparation had gone into getting the operation to this
point and after many thousands of dollars had been invested in
the project....There is no evidence that on their own or when they
were alone Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody crafted plans to carry out
jihadist plots. It was only when they were with Officer A and the
other undercover officers that they talked about committing acts
of violence for a terrorist purpose. For months during the
undercover operation Mr. Nuttall did nothing but talk about
jihadist plots and the police became very impatient and
frustrated with his apparent inability to take any positive steps
towards accomplishing anything."
RCMP: Fraud, Deceit, Threats, Exploitation
From the beginning, the RCMP engaged in deceit, fraud,
implied threats in the absence of an ongoing criminal venture,
exploited vulnerabilities and friendship, and engaged in clearly
illegal conduct. Judge Bruce writes that:
"In my view, Sgt. Kalkat's
decision to push ahead with the
operation despite the lack of motivation shown by the defendants,
his concerted efforts to eliminate any dissenters from his team,
and his desire to bring the project to a speedy conclusion
without due regard for the criminal nature of the acts committed
by the undercover officers, cannot be regarded as good faith...
The RCMP's preoccupation with motivating the defendants to commit
an act of terrorism appears to have distracted them from more
important considerations such as the legality of their actions.
All of these circumstances render the illegal acts committed by
the police more egregious and, in combination with the overall
conduct of the police, an abuse of process. One must not forget
that there was little risk to the public to justify illegal acts
by the police. The RCMP did not act to break up a pre-existing
plan to carry out a terrorist plot. There was no evidence that
the defendants had taken steps to formulate a terrorist plot;
were in communication with known terrorists or terrorist
organizations; or possessed any expertise that would have been of
value to a terrorist organization. The police were not
infiltrating a sophisticated terrorist organization. The illegal
acts committed by the police were not directed at the defendants
or designed to frighten them into committing the offence.
However, it is equally offensive for the police to commit illegal
acts that enable an offence in circumstances where they knew the
defendants could not have committed the offence absent police
When the 2013 arrests occurred, RCMP Assistant
John Malizia crowed:
"These arrests are another
example of the effectiveness of
our integrated national security enforcement team, who worked
tenaciously to prevent this plan from being carried out. We
detected the threat early, and disrupted it."
While this is a sickening, sad plot, Canadians may
more of the same under the Trudeau government, which supports the
very [Bill] C-51 that legalizes such abominable behaviour. Indeed, the
Trudeau government wasted no time in showing its support for the
RCMP creating and organizing terror plots. It immediately
appealed Judge Bruce's decision, re-arresting Nuttall and Korody
following their brief release from three years in custody, and
placing them under a terrorism peace bond.
Meanwhile, the people who plotted the terrorist act are
running Canada's national police force.
Matthew Behrens is a freelance writer and social
advocate who co-ordinates the Homes not Bombs non-violent direct
action network. He has worked closely with the targets of
Canadian and U.S. 'national security' profiling for many years.
Trudeau Government's Program for War
No U.S. or Other Foreign Warships
in Canadian Waters!
Weekly Anti-War Pickets
4:00 - 5:00 pm, Fridays (weather
Garden Rd. & Barrington St,
Let us together organize and prepare conditions
for an anti-war government!
A large NATO naval fleet is in port to further embroil
Canada in the war preparations of U.S. imperialism.
Eight NATO warships arrived in Halifax from Wednesday,
September 7 to Friday, September 9 to take part in Cutlass Fury 2016, a
exercise to be held next week off the coast of Nova Scotia and
For the first time in history
there are two nuclear
submarines simultaneously docked at CFB Shearwater.
The USS Toledo, a nuclear-powered Los
-class fast-attack submarine, and the FS Perle, a French
naval Rubis-class nuclear attack submarine arrived
September 7. Six other NATO warships moored at HMC Dockyard on
September 7, 8 and 9.
The Canadian-led NATO exercise involves 2,000 sailors
France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
One thousand air force elements from these countries, working out
of Greenwood airbase, will also take part in Cutlass Fury 2016
from September 12 to 24, 2016.
"It has been quite a number of years since we've had
many ships just all in one spot at one time for a Canadian
exercise," said a Maritime Forces Atlantic spokesperson.
Cutlass Fury 2016 will involve a series of exercises
on tactical training and will facilitate anti-submarine warfare
training in a joint environment. HMCS Windsor will be
involved as a target for the anti-submarine warfare training. Air
defence, amphibious operations and support to special operations
forces is also part of the exercise training regime.
Further insulting the peace-loving sentiments of
and Nova Scotians, the warships arrived in the middle of the 11th
annual DEFSEC Atlantic arms trade show taking place at the Cunard
Centre. This is the second largest arms trade show in Canada. The
arrival of these warships and the arms trade show together
constitute an affront to all those forces working to make Canada
a factor for peace in the world.
It has often been said that
Halifax is the most militarized
city in Canada. It is highly doubtful that anyone would dispute
this view this week.
The Trudeau Liberal government dispatches our navy and
fighter jets around the world as part of the U.S. and NATO's
aggressive policies. Our army, besides currently being posted in
far-flung places such as supporting the neo-fascist regime in Ukraine,
it is about to be dispatched to Latvia, and is being prepared to be
sent to Africa as sham peacekeepers.
Far from protecting Canadians from the danger of war,
exercises such as Cutlass Fury 2016 further integrates our
country into the U.S. war machine. Canada must not participate in
U.S. imperialist war preparations and must also defend its
sovereignty in a meaningful way.
This means not permitting the U.S. imperialists to
command and control over Canada's air, land, water and government
and military assets. We must withdraw from NATO as well as NORAD
and work for an independent foreign policy.
It means removing all Canadian soldiers, ships and
from foreign territory. Most importantly, it means that the
Canadians must prepare to establish an anti-war government.
Get Canada Out of NATO and NORAD!
No U.S. or Other Foreign
Warships in Canadian Waters!
Work for an Anti-War Government!
1. As a Los Angeles-class
(SSN-769) carries about 25 torpedo
weapons, as well as Mark 67 and Mark 60 CAPTOR mines. It is
designed to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles and Harpoon
The FS Perle (S606) is one of the most compact
attack submarines the French navy has built to date.
HMS Monmouth (F235) is a Type 23 class frigate
forms the core of the Royal Navy's destroyer and frigate fleet
and serve alongside the Type 45 destroyers. The UK Defence
Journal brags of the Type 23 frigates' role in international
aggression, "Originally designed for anti-submarine warfare in
the North Atlantic, the Royal Navy's Type 23 frigates have proven
their versatility in warfighting, peace-keeping and maritime
security operations around the globe."
FS Languedoc (D653) is the French Navy's newest
frigate delivered in March 2016. These frigates are equipped with
naval cruise missiles (MdCN), the Aster and Exocet MM 40 missiles
or the MU 90 torpedoes. Canada was considering the FREMM class
frigates as a model for the new Royal Canadian Navy frigates to
be built under the National Shipbuilding Procurement
SPS Patiño (A 14) is a replenishment
oiler of the
Spanish navy. It carries 9,000 cubic metres of fuel, which can be
transferred at sea, in addition to large quantities of stores,
equipment and ammunition. It also has hospital facilities and a
helicopter landing deck. It has been made available to the
Canadian navy from January to March 2016 and again from September
USS Bulkeley (DDG-84) and USS Gonzalez
are Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, a mainstay of the US
navy. The USS Gonzalez took part in NATO's 1999 aggression
against the former Yugoslavia, firing Tomahawk cruise missiles at
USNS Robert E. Peary
(T-AKE-5) is a Lewis and
Clark-class dry cargo ship used to deliver supplies to customer
at sea -- ammunition, food, repair parts, stores and small quantities
Liberals' Unfolding Plan for War in Africa
A "reconnaissance mission" made up of Canadian military,
RCMP and Global Affairs Canada officials departed for Mali on
September 1. A spokesperson for the Department of National
Defence (DND) stated that the purpose of the mission is to
provide information to the Canadian government about the UN
Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali
delegation was to meet with representatives of the mission as
well as the Malian government. DND told media that the government
is working with the United Nations "to best assess where we can
contribute military assets."
The arrival of the mission coincided with a visit to
Mali by the Minister of International Development and La
Francophonie, Marie-Claude Bibeau. She visited Senegal, Mali and
Burkina Faso, which a Global Affairs Canada press release referred to
as "three member countries of the International Organisation of La
Francophonie." It further described Mali as a "fragile state."
Bibeau's visit came on the
heels of Canada's Minister of Defence, Harjit Sajjan travelling to five
African countries to determine an appropriate location for Canadian
military intervention in August. While Sajjan focused on the "defence"
aspect Bibeau supplied the "diplomacy and development," obscuring
Canada's military aims with claims about "supporting women and girls."
Bibeau said, "The Government of Canada is listening to its African
partners. We will get involved in Africa, particularly in West Africa,
to assist the region and help it take up the challenges of human
development, security and governance. Sustained dialogue with
governments in the region and with dynamic groups in civil society,
particularly women and girls, is essential to further our common
approach toward an inclusive prosperity."
The Trudeau Liberal government has its neo-liberal buzzwords and buzz
phrases in foreign affairs, in the same way that it speaks of openness,
transparency, accountability and inclusiveness when it comes to
governance to cover up the concentration of political power in the
hands of private monopoly interests. In its eagerness to participate in
the new scramble for
Africa the Trudeau Liberals have brought out phrases such as "women and
girls," "civil society" and "inclusive development" to cover up the
aims of the U.S.-led imperialist system to guarantee private monopoly
interests access to the human and natural resources of the African
continent. The buzz phrases about women and girls are particularly
cynical given the ugly crimes of Canadian military forces in so-called
peacekeeping missions from Haiti to Somalia against women, girls and
Canada's military, police and ministerial missions to west Africa have
been accompanied by government and monopoly media disinformation that
portrays the peoples, nations and countries of Africa as desperate for
military intervention by the former colonial powers or their NATO
allies. Serious questions of war and peace are reduced to depraved
geo-strategic calculations of where Canada can get the most "bang for
its buck." In this case, media reports suggest that Canada's scouting
for a war mission in Africa is based on cynical calculations to boost
Canada's image "on the world stage" in exchange for acting as an
auxiliary of French and U.S. imperialism in former French colonies.
Writing for iPolitics on August 31, Jonathan
stated that the Trudeau government has not yet "settled" on where
it will send Canadian troops. "It could be Chad, or Mali, or the
Central African Republic (CAR), or the Congo. That decision will
be made in September," he said.
Manthorpe noted that in those four countries "France
has over 3,000 troops on the ground, mostly in its former
colonies in West Africa. [...] France's former possessions Mali,
Chad and the CAR are high on the Trudeau government's target
list. The French military and security forces are stretched thin
because of attacks by Islamic terrorists at home. Ottawa will
bank significant brownie points in Paris if, by sending Canadian
peacekeepers to West Africa, it allows France to bring troops
home to deal with the domestic terrorist threat. [...]
"These African missions are not peacekeeping
operations in the classic, and now thoroughly outmoded, sense of
the word. [...]
"France has significant influence not only with its
colonies, but among non-aligned countries in general. Having
France speak up for Canada when the time comes to vote for the
2020 Security Council seat would be a major campaign
So far, Mali is the country most favoured in the
Liberals' plan to use African peoples to win itself a seat on
the Security Council.
Protecting Canadian Monopolies' "Right" to
Africa's Natural Resources
Protest in Cairo, January 8, 2013, against French intervention in Mali.
Mali is also the location of major interests held by
Canada-based mining firms. In 2014, Canada's Embassy to Mali
estimated the total Canadian mining investments in that country
at more than $1 billion. The Canadian Press reported in 2013 that
ongoing conflicts in Mali are "bad for Canadian mining ambitions
in West Africa" and "a monkey wrench in the [Canadian
government's] ambitions for Canadian firms, especially in the
mining sector." In 2014-15, Canada's "development aid" to Mali
was $152 million, behind the U.S. and France. The same year
Canada contributed U.S.$25 million to the MINUSMA.
In January 2013, Canada joined France's military
intervention in Mali, the second time in two years that Canada
used force to intervene in an African country following NATO's
destruction of Libya in 2011. In Libya Canadian forces were
supposedly assisting armed groups called "freedom fighters" while
in Mali they were assisting in the suppression of armed
groups called "insurgents." Along with the racist disinformation
that the peoples of Africa need imperialist military intervention
the monopoly media has been telling Canadians to accept that
peacekeeping is now synonymous with counterinsurgency.
When a take-note debate was held on February 5, 2013 on
Canada's participation in French intervention in Mali, TML
Weekly noted that there was no voice in Parliament to take a
principled stand. The Parliament instead became an echo chamber
with the government congratulating itself for its position and
the opposition calling for more and faster intervention. Now
Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan says Canada's latest military
intervention in Africa will not be debated in the House of
Commons because the election of the Liberal Party was a "mandate
from voters to deploy soldiers." When asked whether there would
be a parliamentary vote for "peacekeeping" deployments Sajjan
told media, "No. We will be deciding in cabinet and moving
forward as quickly as possible on this." It is clear the Liberals
are setting up Canadians to be blindsided by yet another
announcement of military deployment.
Canadians will not permit the warmongering of the
Liberals to go unchecked. Canadians stand with the peoples of
Africa in rejecting the use of force to resolve conflicts and
oppose the self-serving aims of the Canadian government to
support the imperialist powers and Canadian business interests at
the expense of the people and their rights. The use of force in
international affairs is a factor for war and instability.
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) calls
everyone to oppose the Liberal government's racist, warmongering
participation in the new scramble for Africa and denounce the
efforts to promote imperialist divide and rule in the name of
1. The current MINUSMA peacekeeping
force numbers about 13,000 troops and 2,000 police and while it
includes contributions from Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden,
most of the contingents are from countries in Africa and South
Asia. It is has also become the most dangerous UN peacekeeping
mission in the world, with 105 peacekeepers killed over the last
four years, including 31 this year alone.
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