September 10, 2016 - No. 35

Trudeau Government Launches
"Consultation on National Security"

All Out to Repeal Bill C-51!

Bill C-51 Should Be Repealed Not Amended
- Peggy Morton -
Sham Consultations and Sham Balance of Security and Rights
- Christian Legeais -

Exponential Growth of Disinformation
Role of Powerful Private Interests and the Necessity to
Build Our Own Organizations and Media
- Sam Heaton -

Quebec Government's "Plan to Fight Radicalization"

A Police State By Any Other Name
- Pauline Easton -
A Dangerous Precedent
- Diane Johnston -
New Arrangements to Criminalize Resistance Struggles
in the Name of Protecting Persons

- Fernand Deschamps -

Black Ops Behind Claims About Radicalization
BC Court Finds RCMP Organized Terrorist Plot
- Matthew Behrens -

Trudeau Government's Program for War
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 on National Security"

All Out to Repeal Bill C-51!

Ottawa rally March 14, 2015, part of nation-wide Day of Action against Bill C-51.

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 legislation."

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 provider).

The Trudeau government refuses to recognize this fact on the 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 Act, 2015 -- be repealed in its entirety and affirm that our security lies in the defence of the rights of all!

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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 Preparedness 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."[1] The consultation will run until December 1, and include meetings about which no details have yet been released.

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."

Among the "problematic elements" the Liberal government says it will address in new legislation are:

- 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" lists;
- 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 Counter-radicalization Coordinator."

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 fact 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 judges are 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 destroying the 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 repealed, not amended.


1. "Our Security, Our Rights: National Security Green Paper, 2016" can be found here.

(With files from iPolitics, Ottawa Citizen, CBC News, Edmonton Journal)

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Sham Consultations and Sham Balance
of Security and Rights

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 elements 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, harmony."

Definition of "sham": "something that is not what it purports to be; a spurious imitation; fraud or hoax. Or as a verb: to assume the appearance of; to make a false show of something; pretend." (

The Liberals' claim that they will balance security and rights 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 the 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 their own 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 Bill 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 Liberals 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 Canadians.

(With files from website of the Liberal Party of Canada)

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Exponential Growth of Disinformation

Role of Powerful Private Interests and the Necessity
to Build 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 private interests, the state and its agents in the ranks of the people have worked out how to dominate and wield the technology in their interests.

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 political movement.

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 politics.

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 of 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 billions.

On August 26 the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) 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 a 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 of 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 arrangements 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 class.

In this regard, no matter the medium, the mass Party and 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 vanguard.

That reality is the basis for how to discuss social 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 studied.

It is necessary to pay attention to all three aspects and 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" social 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."[1]

The Brookings Institution, a U.S. imperialist think-tank, 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."[2]

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 is 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 central 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 the election.

One newspaper noted, "Users who click on the trending topic 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, " had the greatest ROI (return on investment) ... We focused on it as a strategic advantage."

Trudeau's top advisor Gerald Butts told media, "The game is 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 your favour.

The method perfected by Obama, Merkel and Trudeau is to give 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 data-collection 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 community 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 the 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 media 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 more 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 journalists 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 justice."[3]

The "U.S. Institute of Peace" -- which, despite its name, is an arm of the U.S. government created at the same time as the NED and wholly funded by Congress -- concluded in a recent study that "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 democracy."[4]

These techniques have been formalized in a practice called "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 opinion."[5]

Digital diplomacy is also the extension into the Foreign 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 serve 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 targeted countries.

Baird stated, "Using social media and insights from big-data 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 Canada's "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 ground even used Twitter and Facebook to provide coordinates for the bombing runs that devastated the country.

Canada's foreign affairs department, called Global Affairs 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 March 2014.

Trek, the UBC alumni publication, said Wettlaufer "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
Political 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 important.

The significance is underscored by the new situation of a 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 domination.

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 towards.

In this regard think-tanks advising the U.S. government have devised methods to wage disinformation campaigns against anyone the U.S. administration feels is undermining government positions.

One tactic is to smash any unity of the people around a principle or goal and to sow doubt about their collective consciousness.

A theorist of these methods is Cass R. Sunstein, who served 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 diversity."

The paper is nominally aimed at those spreading what Sunstein 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 of solidarity."

Sunstein writes, "These are circumstances in which arguments by outsiders, unconnected with the group, will lack much credibility, and fail to have much of an effect in reducing polarization."

Sunstein's solution is to "suggest a distinctive tactic for 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 theories."

"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 for 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 political action."[6]

Sunstein is also the author of a book called Nudge based on 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 describe 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 agency.

These methods are first and foremost the purview of the U.S. 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 Communications 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 monitored.

"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 reputations."[7]

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."[8]

Today these methods are evident in the activities of the 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 phones.

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 billion and more than $300 billion, respectively.

The U.S. imperialists highly value Twitter and Facebook and 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 leading 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 war.

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 with 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 the 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 entertainment 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 the 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 refugees.

Most of the company's revenue comes from its unit called 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 science to 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 analytics."

Its content and titles are designed based on formulas to receive the maximum number of clicks and shares.

When Buzzfeed promoted the idea that an "uprising" was taking 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 items 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 Foundation.

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 Halvorssen's 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 write a 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" was 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 million views.

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 country hatred."

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 government.

"They" asked for money, his family delivered the money, and "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 thing 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 actor 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 nothing 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 aim 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 the 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 succeed.


1. Kerric Harvey, Ed. Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics. SAGE Publications, 2014. Vol. 1, pp. 183.

2. Ibid. pp. 190.

3. Ibid. pp. 249.

4. Ibid. pp. 308.

5. Ibid. pp. 391.

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, 2015.

8. Glenn Greenwald, "How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations." The Intercept, February 24, 2014.

(The above presentation was 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.)

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Quebec Government's "Plan to Fight Radicalization"

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 youth.

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 conflicts."

Line Légaré, 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 said.

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 life 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 to consider.

The bitter history of pogroms and World War II at the hands 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 pass!

The causes of so-called radicalization and a straightforward 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 security of the citizens but precisely to make the actions of the state unimpeachable. Their role is to condone what the state is doing

Religious beliefs, 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 educational institutions!

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A Dangerous Precedent

On August 19, the so-called Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence, created by the City of Montreal in March 2015, released its 84-page report entitled: Radicalization Leading to Violence in Schools in Quebec: Issues and 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 Strathroy, 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 force.

"Some work in this area is already underway in Canada, in 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 society. It 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 as 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 claims.

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New Arrangements to Criminalize Resistance Struggles in the Name of Protecting Persons

Student demonstration in Quebec City, March 1, 2012, during student strike.

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 denounced 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 P-34.1).

The explanatory notes of Bill 59 state amongst other things 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 law."

The bill declared, "No one may, by an act or omission, deny 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 facing 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 threatened."

The dangerous outlook behind these measures can also be seen in the comments of Quebec Health Minister Gaetan Barrette on August 23 about the shooting at the Parti Québécois victory rally 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 Barrette, 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, primary, 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 persons present."

This clause is primarily aimed at Muslim organizations or 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 students or 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 transformation."

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 solutions."

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 basis and 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 many 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."

(With files from Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence, Le Devoir)

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Black Ops Behind Claims About Radicalization

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 it. 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 investigating terrorism."

While Bruce's decision runs into the hundreds of pages, it is 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 legislature.

Baseless Foundation for Investigation

From the very beginning, the Mounties' "Operation Souvenir" 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 priority."

Souvenir was largely driven by a Sgt. Kalkat, whose manner 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 threats.

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 the law.

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 terrorist."

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 pork-barrel project.

An objective observer would have concluded that Nuttall's 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 Mounties 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 of explosives.

The RCMP never bothered to ascertain whether he was in fact 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 scenarios 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 were 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 of 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 simple 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 loomed 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 doubts, writing:

"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 preparing 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 undercover team.

The RCMP, meantime, was seeking legal advice on how best to 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 RCMP officers.

While Nuttall continued to express serious doubts, especially 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 fast 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 what 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 gratitude of 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 accepting a 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 real.

But the Mounties still had to gather some kind of evidence. 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 doubts. 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 financing terrorism."

While internal memos indicate Sgt. Kalkat knew the pair could 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 proceeded 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 extremely vulnerable and gullible Nuttall and Korody, Bruce notes Sgt. Kalkat:

"[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 chose 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 guidance."

Like good capitalists who wanted the bang for their buck, she notes:

"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 assistance."

When the 2013 arrests occurred, RCMP Assistant Commissioner 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 expect 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 justice 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.

(, August 31, 2016)

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Trudeau Government's Program for War

No U.S. or Other Foreign Warships
in Canadian Waters!

Join Weekly Anti-War Pickets

4:00 - 5:00 pm, Fridays (weather permitting)
Spring Garden Rd. & Barrington St, Halifax
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 NATO exercise to be held next week off the coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

For the first time in history there are two nuclear submarines simultaneously docked at CFB Shearwater.

The USS Toledo, a nuclear-powered Los Angeles -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.[1]

The Canadian-led NATO exercise involves 2,000 sailors from 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 this 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 focusing 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 Haligonians 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 CF-18 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, NATO 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 exercise 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 equipment 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 submarine, the USS Toledo (SSN-769) carries about 25 torpedo tube-launched weapons, as well as Mark 67 and Mark 60 CAPTOR mines. It is designed to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles and Harpoon missiles.

The FS Perle (S606) is one of the most compact nuclear attack submarines the French navy has built to date.

HMS Monmouth (F235) is a Type 23 class frigate which 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 FREMM 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 Strategy.

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 to November.

USS Bulkeley (DDG-84) and USS Gonzalez (DDG-66) 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 Serbian targets.

USNS Robert E. Peary (T-AKE-5)  is a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship used to deliver supplies to customer ships at sea -- ammunition, food, repair parts, stores and small quantities of fuel.

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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 (MINUSMA).[1] The 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 youth.

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 Manthorpe 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 alone 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 former 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 advantage."

So far, Mali is the country most favoured in the Trudeau Liberals' plan to use African peoples to win itself a seat on the Security Council.

Protecting Canadian Monopolies' "Right" to
Exploit 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 Trudeau 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 on 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 peace.


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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