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Since the accession of the new Canadian government led by Prime Minister Paul Martin, a « copy and past » version of Tom Ridge's Homeland Security Department has been installed in Canada under the new Ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (PSEP), headed by Anne McLellan.
This Ministry, now collaborates actively with the US Department of Homeland Security. Immigration and tax data are being shared. Canada also participated in May 2003 in the Homeland Security Department's operation TOPOFF- 2, described as "the largest and most comprehensive terrorism response and homeland security exercise ever conducted in the United States." (for details, see http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO312D.html
At the Summit of the Americas in Monterrey, Mexico in January, President Bush had promised Prime Minister Paul Martin that Canada "would be notified and consulted before a Canadian is deported to a third country."
In a cruel irony, it was not the US Homeland Security Department which took the initiative of deporting one of Canada's citizens. A report by Juliet O'Neill in the Ottawa Citizen suggests that Canada's police and intelligence authorities provided information to Homeland Security on Maher Arar, which then triggered his arrest and deportation to Syria by the FBI and INS. Canadian authorities including the RCMP and CSIS, had been advised of Arar's deportation, and had granted their approval to their US counterparts.
The insiduous role of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in this affair had apparently been "leaked" to a journalist of the Ottawa Citizen. In response to the so-called leak, ten RCMP officers raided Juliet O'Neill's Ottawa home on January 21st , going through her personal belongings and her computer files. A similar search was conducted at her office at the Ottawa Citizen. Maher Arar's spokesman Kerry Pither said the raid was an intimidation tactic:
"'This whole affair started with the RCMP,' she said. 'First they whispered to the Americans that Maher Arar was a terrorist that led to his deportation and torture. Then the RCMP tried to smear Maher Arar by whispering the same allegations. Now they're raiding journalists' offices as if journalists are the problem.'" ( quoted in The Ottawa Sun, 22 January 2004)
An executive of CanWest Global Communication Corp, said that the raid by RCMP officers "smacks of a police-state mentality,"
Maher Arar has now launched a law suit in New York against U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, Homeland Secretary Tom Ridge and FBI Director Robert Mueller
Journalists such as Juliet O Neill who have the courage to reveal the truth and inform public opinion now face criminal prosecution and jail sentences under Canada's Security of Information Act, which was passed after September 11, 2001. Questioned by a journalist whether he thought, "Ms. O'Neill was a criminal", Canada's Prime Minister Paul Martin responded: "Clearly not, I just don't know enough about this case to comment further". "Safe answer" for a Prime Minister, who just a week earlier had entered into discussions at the Summit of the Americas in Monterrey, Mexico with President Bush precisely on the case of Maher Arar, leading to the signing of a so-called "protocol for deporting terrorist suspects".
The issue is not whether a journalist who speaks the truth is "a criminal" but whether the conduct of the Canadian federal government is criminal. Collaborating with the US Homeland Security Department in the deportation of one its citizens to a third country is a criminal act. Moreover, the unbending support of the Canadian government of Paul Martin to the illegal military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan (including the sending of Canadian troops) is also categorised as a criminal act under the Nuremberg Charter and the Geneva Convention. It is worth pointing out that since the accession of the new government led by Prime Minister Paul Martin, a « copy and past » version of Tom Ridge's Homeland Security Department has been installed in Canada under the new Ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (PSEP), headed by Anne McLellan. This Ministry, now collaborates actively with Homeland Security. Immigration and tax data are being shared. Canada also participated in May 2003 in the Homeland Security Department's operation TOPOFF- 2, described as "the largest and most comprehensive terrorism response and homeland security exercise ever conducted in the United States."
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