Monday, June 05, 2006

Alright,

With the arrests this weekend of possible terrorists in Toronto, many people have become quite concerned now that it appears that Canada, is on the "target list." Unfortunately, this is not a surprise. As one expert said, its not about "if" it could happen but, "when" it would happen. We have always been on the list. We are allies with the United States and we have a heavy presence in Afghanistan. It was only a matter of time before the hard dose of reality would hit us Canadians in the face. Fortunately, CISIS was able to prevent this tragedy but, who knows how many other groups are out there. Of course, we cannot live in fear. However, it might be time for the Harper Government to consider boosting security in the areas where terrorist attacks could occur. It sucks that heavily armed personnel would patrol around areas like the CN Tower and Parliament Hill but, these are the times we live in.

The media has already condemned these suspects which means (as a friend of mine pointed out), the idea of a fair trial has been thrown out the window. There was one interesting moment I found in the media's coverage.

Global Television's Kevin Newman was speaking with Public Safety Minister, Stockwell Day. Newman grilled Day on why CISIS was withholding the sites that were listed as targets, from the public. A fair question as the U.S. Government always announces the specific targets when a threat occurs. Day, being a politician, danced around the question. However, I feel it is important to suggest that Canadians are smart enough to know which sites are targets. The specific targets will be announced eventually. But I do not feel such information is really as "secretive" as the media would make it out to be.

Certainly interesting times.

The Hek

9 comments:

Billy Ruffian said...

It's CSIS.

I think the times we are living in aren't as dangerous as everyone thinks. They want to legislate away our rights in the name of fear.

Blake said...

CSIS just happens to be one of the most effective intelligence agencies in the world - not to mention one of the most publically accountable and transparent. Contrary to popular myth, CSIS has no enforcement powers - a CSIS agent doesn't carry a gun, cannot arrest anyone, or otherwise force someone to provide info. Compliance and cooperation is entirely voluntary.

However, the very nature of their work entails secrecy. With the investigation ongoing, it makes sense to me that they don't recklessly rush up to the first reporter's microphone and spill the beans. Such indiscretion is inherently dangerous and could indeed compromise the investigation (e.g. tip off other terrorist suspects still free, put agents in harm's way, etc.)

Call me an fascist arch-conservative (which you know I'm not), but I simply don't believe the public has an absolute right to any and all information, regardless of national security implications. That's just naive at best, perilous at worst. Some secrets need to be kept. If they knew the truth, I think the average Canadian would react more negatively than idealists presuppose. They might not be able to handle it constructively.

Let me ask you this, Billy: how do you know CSIS, the RCMP or whoever else hasn't foiled dozens of potential terrorist attacks against Canada and Canadians before now? As I said before, the nature of the work would necessitate their keeping quiet about such "victories". How many many close calls have there been, without us ever knowing any different? Can you categorically deny such a possibility?

Another one of life's little ironies that CSIS is again criticized and mistrusted for doing its job! Indeed, maybe Canadians' complacency about the dangers of terrorism is in itself a testament to the ability of CSIS & the RCMP to protect the freedoms we so cherish.

Just a thought...:-)

Billy Ruffian said...

I'm an arch-fascist.

I also come from Northern Ireland, a society in which extreme secrecy did nothing to keep people from getting blown to pieces, which is weird, because Ireland is a supposedly modern, western society that believes in enlightenment values.

Furthermore, I seem to remember security forces in Ireland taking people away... and then those people never being seen again.

Canadians have it easy. Complacent? Definitely. To terror? Absolutely. Towards the actions of their governments? Always has been, always will be.

Remember that when they lock up one of your friends.

Blake said...

Fair enough. However, I have just enough faith left in our government and its sense of responsibility to believe that Canada won't descend into some Orwellian nightmare. There are just enough responsible legislators left in the House to prevent that from happening, at least for now.

Despite my liberal inclinations, I don't think Stephen Harper is another Hitler in waiting. I despise that kind of puerile neo-leftist propaganda as much as I detest it when people like Tucker Carlson call Canada a "retarded cousin".

I do agree, though, that constant vigilance is required to uphold our freedoms and prevent Big Brother from locking up my friends.

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