Murder Edward Snowden, Canadian spying bigwig says

This 2 December 2016 Amnesty International video says about itself:

Edward Snowden – Whistleblower

When Edward Snowden shared USA intelligence documents with journalists in June 2013, he revealed the shocking extent of global mass surveillance.

He showed how governments were secretly hoovering up huge chunks of our personal communications, including private emails, phone locations, web histories and so much more. All without our consent.

His courage changed the world. He sparked a global debate, changing laws and helping to protect our privacy. For the first time in 40 years, the USA passed laws to control government surveillance. Globally, technology companies including Apple and WhatsApp are now doing more to protect our personal information.

None of this would have happened without Edward Snowden. A former US Attorney General admitted that Snowden’s revelations “performed a public service”. Even President Obama said that this debate about surveillance “will make us stronger”.

Edward Snowden is a human rights hero. Yet he faces decades in prison, accused of selling secrets to enemies of the USA. With no guarantee of a fair trial in his home country, he is living in limbo in Russia.

By Roger Jordan in Canada:

Canada’s top spy “watchdog” says Edward Snowden should be shot

15 December 2016

Michael Doucet—the director of the government “watchdog” agency tasked with ensuring the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) doesn’t violate Canadians’ rights—has publicly declared that US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden should be shot.

Far from being an individual outburst, Doucet’s remarks exemplify broad sentiments within establishment circles. More than three years after Snowden lifted the veil on the NSA’s illegal activities, including the major role that Canada plays in the NSA-led “Five Eyes” global spy network, the Canadian ruling elite remains outraged at his exposures.

The head of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC), Doucet responded to a question at a recent talk he gave at Toronto’s Ryerson University on what Snowden’s fate would have been had he been Canadian by saying, “Do you want my opinion on that? Do you really want it? I’ll give it to you. If Edward Snowden had worked for CSIS and did what he did, he should be shot.”

Doucet’s outburst underscores the fraudulent character of the SIRC and like government “oversight” bodies charged with ensuring CSIS, Canada’s premier intelligence agency, and other parts of the national-security apparatus don’t violate Canadians’ civil liberties. Such “watchdogs” are in fact lapdogs—state bodies committed to defending, and covering up for, the police and intelligence agencies and upholding the capitalist social order.

The Liberal government response to Doucet’s inflammatory comments is no less revealing. Asked about them, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale noted blandly, “That remark strikes me as highly inappropriate.”

Beyond this, there has been no official government response, let alone any suggestion that Doucet should be removed or otherwise sanctioned. Nor have the opposition parties seen fit to raise the issue. As for the corporate media, only the Globe and Mail reported Doucet’s remarks and Goodale’s tepid criticism of them.

The indifference among ruling circles to Doucet’s effective call for Snowden’s execution reflects the ruling elite’s general contempt for basic democratic rights. In the name of the “war on terror,” successive Liberal and Conservative governments have erected the framework of a police state over the past 15 years, including sanctioning the intelligence agencies to systematically spy on Canadians. They would rather see figures like Snowden, whose courageous actions brought some of the state’s illegal practices to public attention, silenced, or even eliminated, than lift a finger in defence of democratic rights.

No country’s national security apparatus is more closely integrated with that of the US than Canada’s. As a key Washington ally for over three quarters of a century, Ottawa is deeply implicated in US imperialism’s aggressive pursuit of its geostrategic interests around the world. Canada has participated in virtually every US-led war over the past two decades, is playing a major role in the US military-strategic offensives against Russia and China, and through the “Five Eyes” surveillance network both assists the Pentagon in its wars and helps monitor the political beliefs and activities of the world’s population.

In 2013, Snowden revealed that the Canadian Security Establishment (CSE), Ottawa’s signals intelligence agency, functions as a veritable arm of the NSA. This includes: assisting the NSA in developing surveillance programs; carrying out operations, especially in countries where US citizens have limited access; and training personnel. It also conducts economic spying to benefit Canadian corporate interests, as shown by Snowden’s revelation that CSE eavesdropped on mining companies active in Brazil.

Other documents revealed by Snowden provided evidence that the CSE systematically collects the metadata of Canadians’ electronic communications, a blatant violation of their constitutional rights, not to mention the mandate of CSE, which is authorized to spy only on foreign targets.

CSIS has been no less aggressive in its law-breaking activities. The domestic spy agency has been combing Canadians’ metadata since 2004 and has lied to the courts about its actions. Federal court judges have repeatedly chastised CSIS and CSE for deliberately withholding information from them.

Doucet, who is ostensibly the top watchdog tasked with holding CSIS to account, was himself deeply implicated in the CSE-NSA partnership and as such, no doubt, in the development of the mass surveillance of North Americans’ electronic communications and internet use. He told his student audience that in the mid-2000s, when he worked for CSE, he served as the embedded liaison officer at NSA headquarters.

From the outset, Canada’s ruling elite made no secret of its hostility to Snowden. Like all other Western governments, Canada refused to grant Snowden asylum, despite the fact that he faces almost certain execution or incarceration for life should he return to the United States. He currently resides in Moscow, where he was stranded in 2013 after the US made clear that it was determined to seize him. This included forcing down the Bolivian president’s plane, because they believed it might be carrying Snowden to asylum in South America.

Canada’s then foreign minister, John Baird, declared his full support for the US efforts to bring Snowden to “justice,” publicly demanding Snowden surrender to US authorities. For his part, Jean-Pierre Plouffe, the government-appointed commissioner tasked with overseeing CSE’s activities, denounced Snowden’s exposures of the illegal activities of the NSA and CSE, saying they had led “to a lot of misinformation.”

In his Ryerson appearance, Doucet continued in this vein, asserting that Snowden’s actions had damaged “national security.” Immediately following his declaration that Snowden deserves to be shot, Docuet claimed that if Snowden had concerns about the scope and legality of the NSA’s spying he should have raised them with his superiors.

“(I)f he worked for CSIS, there are all the mechanisms there, as there were in the States, to raise the issues that he felt needed to be raised,” claimed Doucet. “If he really cared about the US, the US system, he would have exhausted every avenue … he would not have released so much information that would have placed Americans, allies and others in risk of harm.”

This is a pack of lies. In the first place, the spying operations of the NSA, CSE and the “Five Eyes” alliance are not directed at safeguarding the population, but at upholding the predatory interests of US and Canadian imperialism and their British, Australian and New Zealand allies. Not Snowden, but the national security apparatus, which functions as a state within the state to spy on and suppress political opposition, constitutes the real threat to the population, as demonstrated by their systematic violation of basic democratic rights.

Second, bodies like SIRC and their counterparts in other countries have proven worse than useless at preventing the erection of a police state apparatus and the embrace of illegal surveillance methods by the agencies that they are supposed to oversee.

While Doucet boasts that in Canada “there are all the mechanisms” for would-be whistle-blowers to come forward, his call for Snowden’s death (subsequently qualified to include his criminal prosecution) constitutes—to say the least—a chilling warning as to how the SIRC and Canadian elite would receive any internal complaints of illegal activities by the national security apparatus.

Since Snowden’s revelations were made public, the Canadian ruling class has further strengthened the repressive powers of its state. In 2015 the Conservatives and Liberals collaborated to ram through parliament legislation (Bill C-51) that guts privacy protections, creates a new “speech crime” of “promoting terrorism,” and empowers CSIS to break virtually any law when “disrupting” vaguely-defined threats to national security.

Although they ensured Bill C-51’s speedy passage, the Liberals, recognizing it was highly unpopular, promised during last fall’s election campaign that they would amend it. Predictably, this promise has proven to be a fraud. To date, the only amendment they have introduced is to create a parliamentary oversight committee, a move, which as the populations of Britain and the United States can testify, will do nothing to hinder the intelligence agencies’ illegal mass surveillance.

The silence of the smaller opposition parties, the New Democrats, Bloc Quebecois, and Greens, on Doucet’s call for Snowden’s execution should come as no surprise. All of the established parties accept the “war on terror” narrative as good coin and refuse to challenge the intelligence agencies’ practices.

The muted reactions to Doucet’s comments underscore that as the deepening capitalist crisis heightens already explosive social tensions, the ruling elite is preparing to use the most ruthless measures to suppress opposition to its program of austerity and imperialist war. Earlier this month, Liberal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr revealed the government is ready to use the military to suppress “non-peaceful” anti-pipeline protests.

The author also recommends:

Canadian spy agency concealed mass data intelligence-bank from courts
[10 November 2016]

Canada’s Liberals defend “war on terror,” spy agencies in Bill C-51 consultation
[17 September 2016]

Canada’s foreign minister calls on Edward Snowden to surrender to US authorities
[23 December 2016]

Amid a barrage of anti-Russian hysteria whipped up by the US government and media, a House committee report declassified on Thursday alleges that former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden stole information both for his own personal gain as well as for foreign governments, including Russian intelligence agencies with whom he had purportedly been in close contact. This report also comes amid popular demands to the Obama administration that Snowden be pardoned: here.

Rape rampant in Canadian army

This video says about itself:

13 November 2015

Canada’s Sikh Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has faced racial abuse from his own soldier for being Indian. Apparently, a non-commissioned officer from the Canadian Forces Base commented on Sajjan making a racist reference on social media.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Hundreds of Canadian soldiers assaulted by colleagues

Today, 18:04

Nearly one thousand Canadian soldiers during the last twelve months have been victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment. More than a quarter of the female soldiers have been assaulted during their careers, says the Canadian Statistical Office.

The office examined the situation, because the Canadian army has had for long time a reputation of hostility and aggression against women and homosexuals.

The army top brass began last year a campaign to put an end to harassment and sexual violence, but the Canadian Chief of Staff General Jonathan Vance acknowledges that the campaign appears to have had little effect. He calls the outcome of the investigation “sobering, but not surprising.”


Vance thinks the sexual mores are substantial problem for the Canadian Forces. “We know about it and try to address it. These new figures make me more motivated than ever to eradicate this behavior and ban the perpetrators from the army.”

The statistical office calculated that sexual assault and sexual harassment in the armed forces appear almost twice as much as in other work environments. 840 soldiers say they had to do last year with “unwanted sexual touching”, 150 soldiers have assaulted people and 110 soldiers complained about other unwanted sexual acts.

Higher rank

About 15 percent of the Canadian Forces are women and most of the complaints came from women soldiers. 49 percent said the perpetrator was a man with a higher rank.

Statistically, for soldiers one may expect that far less than 49% of other soldiers are of higher rank. I have no Canadian army figures on this; but in most armies the higher the rank, the less soldiers with that rank. So it looks like the higher the rank, the worse the sexual abuse.

Among men who reported sexual violence or intimidation, the perpetrators were primarily soldiers in the same rank.

The report does not mention any case of a soldier with a lower rank assaulting or harassing someone of higher rank.

Eight out of ten surveyed Canadian soldiers have also witnessed or have been targets last year of inappropriate sexual comments, innuendo, insults and jokes, the researchers say.

Men in Canadian army are at ‘significantly’ greater risk of suicide after deployment, study finds: here.

Canadian singer Leonard Cohen, RIP

This music video says about itself:


29 August 2015

Leonard Cohen sings Pete Seeger’s hymn, actually for victims of the Vietnam war but I think it fits for the refugee drama of our days as well! AGAINST INTOLERANCE, STUPIDITY and HATRED against refugees from all parts of the world!

By Chris D’Angelo of the Huffington Post in the USA:

Legendary Musician Leonard Cohen Dead At 82

The Canadian singer-songwriter’s death comes just weeks after the release of his new album, “You Want It Darker.”

11/10/2016 08:56 pm ET

Canadian singer, songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen, whose voice was as golden as his lyrics were moving, has died, Sony Music confirmed on his Facebook page Thursday. He was 82.

See also here.

Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen died in Los Angeles November 7 at the age of 82. His manager Robert Kory subsequently revealed that Cohen, who had cancer, died in his sleep after falling during the night: here.

Canadian birds at feeders, videos

This video from Canada says about itself:

Pine Grosbeaks On Platform In Ontario – Nov. 8, 2016

The sexually dimorphic Pine Grosbeaks are year round residents of the boreal forests of North America and Eurasia. Adult males display a rosy to brick red on their head, breast, rump and body. Females and immatures are more gray overall, with an olive yellow head and rump. These large, conical billed finches subsist almost exclusively on the buds, seeds, and fruits of boreal trees and bushes.

Thanks to Perky-Pet for helping to make the Ontario FeederWatch Cam possible!

The FeederWatch cam is located in a residential neighborhood in Manitouwadge, Ontario. This northern site is an excellent location to see winter finches like redpolls and grosbeaks as well as two species of Jays and even Ruffed Grouse! The feeders sit in the middle of a large backyard with a large birch tree that the birds love, as well as a mixed stand of conifers and several fruit and berry producing shrubs. There’s a small swamp just beyond the backyard as well as larger stands of woods and a small lake.The feeder system is the product of the camera hosts’ ingenuity, making use of plastic piping to support the feeders high enough above ground to foil the occasional squirrel, and a rotating set of feeders that provide black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer seed, whole and shelled peanuts, and peanut butter suet in a homemade hanging log to the dozens of species that visit.

This video from Canada says about itself:

Evening Grosbeaks Take Over Ontario – Nov. 8, 2016

Here a flock of Evening Grosbeaks treat the platform on the Ontario FeederWatch Cam like a runway at a busy airport. Can you guess who’s the last one to leave? Stay until the end to find out!