Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]
07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]
07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]
07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]
07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]
07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]
07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]
07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn
07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]
06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]
07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]
07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]
07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]
07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]
07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]
07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]
07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
International & Futurism
07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]
07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]
07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]
07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]
07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]
Canada's War on Islam: The Case of Mohamed Harkat
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:
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:
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."
On April 1, the Ottawa Citizen's Mohammed Adam headlined, "Harkat terror case takes a serious hit," saying:
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."
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:
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.
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.
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.