Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

11.21 Air pollution cuts two years off global average lifespan, says study

11.20 Dead fish to power cruise ships [using dead fish to ultimately kill more fish, animals and plants but at a slower rate]

11.20 Importing gas to replace domestic supply could push emissions up 20%, AGL says [We have to stop killing everything!!!]

11.20 The arts have a leading role to play in tackling climate change [We have to stop killing everything!!!]

11.20 Indonesia: dead whale had 1,000 pieces of plastic in stomach [We have to stop killing everything!!!]

11.18 How Extreme Weather Is Shrinking the Planet

11.18 Air pollution levels ‘forcing families to move out of cities’ [like from desertification, lack of drinkable water and rising oceans, there will also be pollution-caused immigration until humans fix things]

11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]

11.16 Scotland was first Industrialized Country to Run wholly on Wind in October

11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]

11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]

11.15  The long read:  The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]

11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]

11.15 Trump administration to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks

News Media Matters

11.19 The Biggest Threat to Free Speech No One Is Talking About

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

11.21 With Statement Equal Parts 'Dangerous' and 'Imbecilic,' Trump Smears Khashoggi and Vows to Back Murderous Saudis [Keeping oil prices affordable prolongs its use, its burning and our dying]

11.21 Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith's Demands for Runoff Debate So Ridiculous, Viral Story Crashes Local Paper's Website

11.20 'Get Our Country Off Fossil Fuels': Demanding Green New Deal, Youth Climate Leaders to Flood Congressional Offices Nationwide

11.20 New York City subway and bus services have entered 'death spiral', experts say [death spirals are the end-thing nowadays]

11.19 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 11/18/2018 (HBO) [29:26 video]

11.19 Michael Bloomberg: Why I’m Giving $1.8 Billion for College Financial Aid

11.19 Trump’s Diminishing Power and Rising Rage

11.19 Trump Says He Was 'Fully Briefed' and Also 'Not Briefed Yet' But Either Way Saudi Crown Prince 'Absolutely' Not Involved Because Trump Knows 'Everything That Went On' Without Listening to Tape of Khashoggi Murder

11.19 'We Need New Leaders, Period': Progressive Newcomers Urge Democrats to Embrace Bold Agenda or Face Primary Challenges [Current Democrat leaders are highly compromised by corporate donations]

11.19 SNL explains Jeff Bezos and Amazon’s HQ2 strategy: trolling President Trump [2:55 SNL video]

Justice Matters

11.21 Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker got $1.2 million from non-profit that won’t disclose its donors [Mafia rule...]

11.20 'He may not rewrite immigration laws': Trump's asylum ban blocked by federal judge [Has anyone thought about putting razor-wire around the White House?]

11.20 Legal Blue Wave? New Democratic AGs Could Change the Face of Climate Fight

High Crimes?

11.21 Saudi Arabia Accused of Torturing Jailed Women’s-Rights Activists [Trump's great friends...]

11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]

Economics, Crony Capitalism

11.21 Nationalize California’s Pacific Gas & Electric

11.19 Bankrupt Sears wants to give executives $19 million in bonuses [blatantly immoral and sick to richly reward those who led the company into the bankruptcy]

11.18 Big Pharma Bankrolled Pro-Trump Group As Trump Pushed Pharma Tax Cut [Corruption Central!]

International & Futurism

11.21 'Who let this happen?': students rediscover antisemitism on Auschwitz field trip

11.21 Climate activists block London bridges in 'swarming' protest – video

11.21 How populist are you? Take our quiz to find out

11.20 Trump administration hawks putting US on course for war with Iran, report warns [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]

11.18 New Evidence Emerges of Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica’s Role in Brexit

11.18 France demands UK climate pledge in return for Brexit trade deal [Excellent!]

11.17 Saudi crown prince's 'fit' delays UN resolution on war in Yemen

11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]

11.17 CIA finds Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi killing – report

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Canada's War on Islam: The Case of Mohamed Harkat

SPEAKING OUT:

Canada's War on Islam: The Case of Mohamed Harkat

by Stephen Lendman
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
By persecuting the innocent, Canada like America, defiles its principles, laws, and fundamental human rights and values - a clear sign of emerging fascism under which all rights are lost.

Like in America post-9/11, Canadian Muslims have been victimized, vilified, and persecuted for their faith, ethnicity, prominence, and activism. They've been targeted, hunted down, rounded up, held in detention, kept in isolation, denied bail, restricted in their right to counsel, tried on secret evidence, convicted or incriminated on bogus charges, given long sentences and incarcerated as political prisoners or deported to certain torture, imprisonment or death by so-called democratic countries that, in fact, mock the rule of law and judicial fairness.

Victims are pawns in the war on terror - how rogue states intimidate populations to accept foreign wars and homeland repression to mask their more sinister agenda. Today, it reflects unbridled militarism, permanent wars, imperial conquest, and planned economic crises causing lost jobs, homes, benefits, futures, and the greatest ever wealth transfer to the rich, largely below the radar.

In her 2005 paper, "Securing Canada: Muslims and the Myth of Multiculturalism in the post-911 World," Samantha Arnold discussed the environment as defined by Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act and the Canadian-US Smart Border Declaration, saying:

"....Arab and Muslim Canadians have been 'painted with the bin Laden brush,' cast as terrorists, interrogated and detained on the basis of secret evidence, subjected to hate crimes, denied passage across international borders, represented in racist and demeaning ways in the media, and constructed as 'aliens' in Canada notwithstanding their citizenship (or legal residency) status."

It flies in the face of the country's image as a tolerant, compassionate society, embracing diversity and multiculturalism - the very "foundational myth of this country, a mythical heritage of tolerance that turns on the historical reconciliation of French, English, and Aboriginal peoples." In fact, the reality unmasks the mythology, Mohamed Harkat one of many prime examples, an innocent man victimized for political advantage, so far denied due process and judicial fairness.

Detailed information about him can be found at justiceforharkat.com.

Algerian born, he emigrated to Canada in 1995 at age 28, settled in Ottawa, worked as a gas station attendant and pizza delivery man, met his future wife, and now together seek justice and an end to their ordeal.

In 1997, he got refugee status after successfully arguing that Algerian authorities would persecute him. Could he have imagined in Canada as well - nominally democratic with its Charter of Rights and Freedoms stating:

"Everyone has the following freedoms:

  1. freedom of conscience and religion;
  2. freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
  3. freedom of peaceful assembly; and
  4. freedom of association."

Its Article 7 assures everyone "the right to life, liberty and security of person and the right not to be deprived thereof in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice."

By persecuting the innocent, Canada like America, defiles its principles, laws, and fundamental human rights and values - a clear sign of emerging fascism under which all rights are lost. No one is safe when state power goes unchallenged, the fast track both countries now pursue, inventing threats to advance it while destroying civil liberties and freedom.

Harkat was victimized, his nightmare beginning on December 10, 2002 - Human Rights Day worldwide to commemorate the 1948 UN General Assembly's adoption of Universe Declaration of Human Rights adoption, 48 - 0 with eight abstentions, from Stalinist Russia, Eastern bloc states he controlled, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.

Based on alleged terrorist links to Al Qaeda and the Armed Sayyaf Group (GIA), Harkat was arrested and imprisoned for the next four and a half years under Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provision pertaining to the "security certificate" process. It lets authorities detain and/or deport foreign nationals and other non-citizens suspected of human rights violations, alleged threats to national security, or claimed affiliation with organized crime, using secret evidence withheld from defense counsel.

In place since 1978, the process is secretive and disturbing in cases where alleged charges are determined too sensitive to disclose. Since 1991, 27 residents have been affected. In February 2007, Canada's Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in Charkaoui v. Canada.

Then in October 2007, the Canadian House of Commons passed Bill C-3 (a so-called anti-terror measure), amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act by introducing a special advocate into the certificate process on the pretext of protecting subjects during secret proceedings.

That and other provisions are troubling, including indefinite detentions, whether or not charged, draconian house arrest with continuous monitoring and surveillance, and deportations to despotic states, ensuring torture, imprisonment or death, the reason subjects fled to Canada in the first place, believing they'd be safe.

The special advocate provision is reprehensible, providing legal cover for a fundamentally unjust process designed to stigmatize, vilify, convict or deport targets to oblivion - at the same time pretending it protects national and public security.

The bill mocks the rule of law and judicial fairness, yet got Royal Assent on February 13, 2008. It targets human and civil rights advocates, anyone against illegal wars and homeland repression, and creeping fascist governance. It denies their presumption of innocence and right to judicial fairness in open proceedings with full disclosure of the facts.

Once issued, Federal Courts conduct secret proceedings, subjecting victims to draconian injustice. Later they're given unclassified summaries of whatever the presiding judge considers appropriate, another fundamentally troubling procedure to withhold vital facts from the defense.

During proceedings, special advocates represent authority, not subjects. They may examine government claims, cross-examine witnesses, call their own, make submissions to the Court, and communicate with and hear testimony from named subjects until they see the Court-opproved information and can rely on counsel.

The government claims it's to defend national and public security, as well as core principles under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, international law, and fundamental human rights precepts. Victims like Harkat disagree, saying it persecutes innocent residents like himself, for his religion and ethnicity, the common American practice supplemented by racist media-hyped fear.

Harkat is one of Canada's Secret Trial Five - five Muslim men, bogusly arrested, then shamelessly persecuted for political advantage. He wasn't charged, was imprisoned on secret evidence, denied bail, held mostly in solitary confinement, prevented from contacting family or friends, and under Canadian law can't appeal a judge's ruling by order of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). Yet he was never before charged, convicted of a crime, or even suspected of one.

On March 31, 2004, Amnesty International (AI) directed an open letter to Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan, expressing grave "concerns with respect to the security certificate provisions that have been part of Canada's immigration legislation for a number of years" - a process "resulting in violations of a number of fundamental human rights."

AI urged that "immediate steps (be taken) to bring (the process) into full compliance with Canada's international human rights obligations." It cited Canada's responsibilities under its Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in s. 3(3)(f), requiring the law to be "construed and applied in a manner that complies with international human rights instruments to which Canada is a signatory."

No action was taken. Harkat and others remain vulnerable.

On May 23, 2006, he was granted bail, transferred to house arrest under electronic monitoring and round-the-clock supervision, but faces deportation he's struggling to prevent.

Last September, Justice Simon Noel eased his bail conditions, ending his phone monitoring, mail, curfew, in-and-outside home video surveillance, and requirement that visitors need official approval. He must still wear a GPS monitor, report in weekly, and travel unsupervised only in the Ottawa area.

Two Hopeful Signs

In October, the Federal Court of Canada annulled Adil Charkaoui's security certificate, another bogusly targeted victim. Arrested but not charged in 2003, he was kept under draconian house arrest for nearly two years, then very restrictive bail conditions until February 20, 2009. On March 24, 2010, he sued the federal government for $24.5 million in damages to restore his lost reputation. The case against him was never disclosed.

In December 2009, the Federal Court voided Hassan Almrei's security certificate, Justice Richard Mosley stating:

"Having considered all the information and other evidence presented to the Court, I am satisfied that Hassan Almrei has not engaged in terrorism and is not and was not a member of an organization that there are reasonable grounds to believe has, does or will engage in terrorism. I find that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that (he's) a danger to the security of Canada (so) find the the certificate is not reasonable and must be quashed."

Final Comments

On April 1, the Ottawa Citizen's Mohammed Adam headlined, "Harkat terror case takes a serious hit," saying:

"US report says his reputed al-Qaeda associate (Abu Zubaydah) actually had no ties to the terrorist group."

Writing in the Los Angeles Times on April 30, his co-counsel, Joseph Margulies, assistant director of Northwestern School of Law's Roderick MacArthur Justice Center, detailed what he endured, appalling torture from the time of his 2002 arrest in Pakistan - how America treats alleged terrorists, inflicting enough pain to force confessions, then saying they came voluntarily to convict.

The Bush administration called him a senior Al Qaeda figure, George Bush saying he was one of their "top three leaders (and) chief of operations."

"First, they beat him. As authorized by the Justice
Department and confirmed by the Red Cross, they wrapped a collar around his neck and smashed him over and over against a wall. They forced his body into a tiny, pitch-dark box and left him for hours. They stripped him naked and suspended him from hooks in the ceiling. They kept him awake for days."

Then they waterboarded him 83 times - the procedure inducing suffocation and panic. CIA torturers ordered him wrung dry, perhaps taking him to the brink of death and back, what was done repeatedly to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Afghanistan and at Guantanamo, the bogusly charged 9/11 mastermind who endured intense torture over an extended period, effectively turning him to mush and getting him to say anything to stop the pain.

In Zubaydah's case, he "was nothing like what the president believed. He was never Al Qaeda," journalist Ron Suskind asserted in his 2006 book, "The One Percent Doctrine", the first to describe him as "a minor logistics man, a travel agent," a man the Justice Department later admitted in an April 2010 court filing had no "direct role in or advance knowledge of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001," nor was he an Al Qaeda member or "formally" identified with the organization.

Yet the Obama administration still detains him, claiming he "supported enemy forces and participated in hostilities (and) facilitat(ed) the retreat and escape of enemy forces" after America's 2001 Afghanistan invasion, charges as bogus as about Al Qaeda and his involvement in 9/11.

Detained or free, he sustained permanent damage. "Abu Zubaydah paid with his mind" and more. "Today, he suffers blinding headaches and has permanent brain damage. He has an excruciating sensitivity to sounds, hearing what others do not. The slightest noise drives him nearly insane. In the last two years alone, he has experienced about 200 seizures."

He can't remember his mother's face or father's name. His humanity was willfully destroyed, the same fate many others endured - Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Jose Padilla, and Aafia Siddiqui three of the most prominent.

One of Harkat's lawyers, Norm Boxall, called the new Zubaydah information significant, saying it destroys a key part of the government's case. Zubayah's attorney, Brent Mickum, said the:

"government's accounts frequently have been at variance with the actual facts, and the government has been loath to provide the facts until forced to do so." Then after gotten through discovery, "it realized that the game was over and there was no way it could support the Bush administration's baseless allegations."

Canadian government lawyers have the information, but so far haven't commented on how it impacts their case or what's next.

Harkat's lawyers called it another plus for their client, saying it "follow(ed) the February release from US custody of Hadje Wazir, a Harkat associate whom CSIS has characterized as Osama bin Laden's 'money handler.' Last year, the case was rocked by the revelation that three CSIS witnesses failed to reveal that a key informant failed a lie-detector test."

Yet CSIS claims Harkat was a Zubayah "intermediary," even though it's untrue, and he denied in federal court in 2004 that he ever met or knew him.

"The new information came to light in court the same day that defence (sic) lawyer Matt Webber blasted the credibility of CSIS, accusing it of 'egregious breaches' of Harkat's rights that bring into question the administration of justice," citing numerous abuses including:

  • "violation of solicitor-client privilege;
  • unlawful detention;
  • destruction of documents and unlawful search; and
  • seizure of documents," calling all of them "profound," showing Canadian justice is just as tainted, shameful, odious, and reprehensible as America's.

Nonetheless, Harkat's struggle continues. Closing arguments in his security certificate hearing are scheduled from May 31 - June 3 at the Supreme Court of Canada Building, 301 Wellington Street, East Courtroom in Ottawa, beginning at 10AM. It may be months before a final decision is announced.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



Copyright © 2010 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on June 1, 2010.
 

Public Service Ads: