Pou Kisa, Kounye a, Yo Vle Lage Pikan Kwenna sou Chimen Patrick Elie ?
Aswè a, Dimanch 16 Oktòb, 2005 koute “Bouyon-Rasin”. Nan CHUO f.m. 89.1 (Invivèsite Ottawa). http://www.chuo.fm
Jafrikayiti ap chita pale ak Patrick Elie pou yo diskite osijè kalvè militan sa a ap pase anba men sèvis ayewopò plizyè peyi, chak fwa l ap vwayaje. E, nou pral eseye konprann ki koneksyon pèsekisyon sa a genyen ak travay militan pou dwa moun l ap mennen nan peyi a, depi kèk ane. Ou tou konnen, nan kontèks eleksyon fo mamit fòs okipasyon yo, ak gouvènman popetwèl lan ap eseye kwoke nan gagann pèp Ayisyen an, nou pral egzamine tou ki koneksyon ki genyen ant pèsekisyon sa a, epi plan neyokolonyal y ap aplike ann Ayiti a.
Souple tyeke dokiman ki an bèf chenn yo…..
What Is Patrick Elie Being Set up for? Why Now?
EXCERPT OF COMPLAINT LETTER FILED BY PATRICK ELIE:
Montreal, October 12, 2005
Mr. James JUDD
Service Canadien du Renseignement de Sécurité
B.P. 9732, Succursale T
Ottawa, Ontario K1G 4G4
My name is Patrick Elie, I have been living in Canada since 1968 …
Yet, since early 1999, no doubt thanks to the Service that you now head, I have been subjected to all manners of discriminatory treatments every time I go through Custom and Immigration at Pierrre Trudeau International Airport (aka Dorval). No matter where I come from, no matter how much or how little luggage I carry, I am questioned like a criminal and subjected to the most thorough and time wasting search…
…The straw that broke the camel back came on October 11, 2005, when I tried to register for my duly reserved return flight to Haiti. Once again, the attendant disappeared with my documents and did not return until after the flight had been closed. I was offered no explan
ation, excuse or compensation save for a proposition to be rerouted through the USA , ( an obsession it seems) which I declined. However, no doubt disregarding your services’ secret instructions on such matters, the attendants commented my case among themselves and I distinctly heard the word “DHP” being mentioned in regard to my “file”….
I thereby request, that your organization substantiates in writing its reasons for classifying me as a “DHP” or officially removes me from that evil list. I would appreciate that you answer my request as soon as possible, since each day that my freedom of movement is arbitrarily trampled upon, is one too many.
CANADIAN WOMAN REALIZES THE ILLUSION OF “Privacy” IN THE KINGDOM OF BUSH !
Uncle Sam's steely glare
Since 9/11, U.S. and other foreign security agencies have had access to private details of Canadians
With the help of the federal government, the U.S. appears able to track Canadians wherever they travel
Shara Vigeant is an Edmonton fitness buff and personal trainer. Bodybuilding is her passion. If you were to describe her as an international security threat, she would laugh.
It's safe to say she never expected to find her name, Canadian income tax summaries and social insurance number in the files of the U.S. Homeland Security Department. Indeed, if it weren't for a fluke, she probably never would have.
That fluke occurred when Daniel Sims, a white supremacist in a Bakersfield, Calif., jail, started flipping through his 1,000-page, official U.S. government file.
Sims is a convicted felon whose crimes, according to American officials, include drug offences, assault and car theft. The U.S. says he's a Canadian and wants
to deport him. It's been holding him in detention for the past 14 months. He says he's a U.S. citizen and has appealed to the courts to stay.
Following standard legal procedure in such cases, U.S. government lawyers gave him a copy of the file they had compiled against him.
Tucked into the file were income tax summaries for eight Canadians. All, Sims says, bore the stamp of Homeland Security, the omnibus government department set up after 9/11 to handle immigrants and protect America's borders against terrorist attack.
The only thing linking the eight to Sims was that all were, in some way, connected to an Edmonton law firm that had once sued him.
"I didn't think I should have this stuff," the 33-year-old man told me in a telephone interview from jail.
That's why, in early December, he phoned the Edmonton Sun to say the American government had given him unsolicited income tax information about Canadians? and then rhymed off their social insurance numbers to prove i
Which is how Vigeant found out.
Since then, she's fired off complaints to the federal and Alberta privacy commissioners, so far to no avail.
No one has been able to explain how information on her financial affairs got into the hands of Homeland Security.
Nor can anyone explain why this information was part of a file on Sims, a supporter of the white supremacist Aryan Nations. (In 1990, he and another man were convicted in Alberta and jailed for savagely beating a 60-year-old, anti-Nazi, retired broadcaster.)
The only link between Vigeant and Sims is that she was once a legal assistant at the law firm that once sued Sims on behalf of the broadcaster's family.
"This is supposed to be private," she says. "Now, it's floating around the States.
"At first I was scared. Now, I'm just pissed."
Think of Shara Vigeant as collateral damage from the war against terror.
Her case is not as dramatic as that of Maher Arar, the Canadian who was arr
ested by U.S. agents in 2002 while changing planes in New York.
Nor were the consequences as serious. Arar was accused of terrorism by the U.S. and deported to Syria, where he was jailed for almost a year and tortured.
So far, Vigeant has simply ended up with her tax files and social insurance number in the hands of a jailed racist with a violent past. Seen in tandem, however, the two cases indicate both the breadth of post-9/11 intelligence collection, and the casual way this information is passed around.
Anyone can be affected. Arar is a Muslim born in Syria. Vigeant, of French and German extraction, is not a Muslim and was born in Canada.
Since the September, 2001, terror attacks, U.S. and other foreign security agencies have gained unprecedented access to private details about millions of Canadians.
As Toronto architect Shahid Mamood found out (and I'll get to his story later), U.S. authorities ? aided by Canadian airlines ? appear able to track Canadians wherever
None of this could have been accomplished without the active participation of the Canadian government.
It has passed new laws. One gives foreign security forces access to Canadian bank records. Another requires Canadian airlines to provide American authorities with personal information on anyone flying to the U.S.
Ottawa is also making more use of existing laws. Even before 2001, the Immigration Act allowed the federal government to pass on information it collects to other countries.
As well, both the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have long had broad authority to collect information and share it with security forces in other nations.
Added to this is a vast array of less formal information-sharing agreements between Canada and the United States.
A 2004 review by the federal privacy commission found that these so-called memoranda of understanding number in the hundreds and involve 18 federal government depa
`This is supposed to be private. Now, it's floating around the States'
Shara Vigeant, about her tax information
Then, there is the information on Canadians collected by private firms.
American authorities could always use measures such as grand jury proceedings and search warrants to obtain information from companies operating in the United States.
But under the post 9/11 Patriot Act, this authority has been greatly expanded.
Now, it is illegal in the U.S. for a firm to even tell its customers that their private information has been given to government.
Twenty years ago, this would not have affected most Canadians. Then, the bulk of data on Canadians was stored in Canada. Today, Internet technology allows personal information to be stored anywhere. This in turn allows Canadian companies to outsource their data processing to specialized firms anywhere in the world, including the U.S. For example, two Canadian banks, CIBC and RBC Financial, use
firms in the U.S. to process Visa credit card data from their Canadian customers.
Under the Patriot Act, that gives American authorities near-unrestricted access to the most minute financial transactions of millions of Canadians.
The Patriot Act problem so alarmed British Columbia's privacy commissioner David Loukidelis that in October he warned against government plans to outsource medicare processing to a U.S. firm.
That decision, he said, would let U.S. authorities see the confidential health records of everyone in the province.
The B.C. government said it plans to go ahead anyway.
Meanwhile, in Ottawa, the federal government says it's considering measures to protect private information from foreign snooping.
But it has been saying much the same thing since 1987. As federal privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart wrote last August, Ottawa's words "did not appear to be matched by actions."
Like Shara Vigeant, Shahid Mamood found out only by accident
that he was on a list.
That happened in May when the Canadian-born architect and his wife tried to buy Air Canada tickets at Vancouver airport to fly to Victoria.
Everything went normally, says the soft-spoken Mamood, until the Air Canada agent punched his name into the computer.
There was a flag on his name, the agent told him. The supervisor would have to be called.
The supervisor checked Mamood's Ontario driver's licence and punched a key to remove the restriction. That's when the phone rang.
After a brief telephone conversation, the supervisor told Mamood he could not be issued a ticket. Even if he came back the next day, the supervisor told him, he would not be allowed to fly. His Chilean-born wife, Erika Barrientos, could. But not Toronto-born Mamood. And then the supervisor made a mistake. He told Mamood why.
His file, the supervisor explained, was marked "designated high profile," or DHP.
Since then, Mamood ? an architect who draws political c
artoons in his spare time ? has been trying to find out what DHP means and why he wasn't allowed to fly from Vancouver to Victoria.
At different times, Air Canada has offered different explanations. In a June 26 letter shown to the Toronto Star, the airline said Mamood's problem stemmed from the fact that he didn't have a second identity document in addition to the Ontario driver's licence that bears his photo.
"Air Canada is obligated to comply with the law and specifically with the law regarding security," the letter reads. "We are not at liberty to disclose the specifics of such compliance."
But federal Transport Minister Jean Lapierre says there is no law that requires airline passengers to show two identity documents.
He told Mamood in a Nov. 19 letter that the federal government doesn't even require passengers to show one piece of photo ID.
Airlines, Lapierre went on, may require certain kinds of documentation "as a matter of corporate policy (but) I should e
mphasize that this is not a Transport Canada security requirement."
On Aug. 10, Air Canada sent Mamood another letter. In this one, there was no mention of insufficient documentation. Rather, according to customer appeals manager Nathalie Lemyre, the problem was simply one of time.
Air Canada, she said, didn't have enough time to verify his credit card before the flight left. He should have bought his ticket earlier.
There is no such thing as a domestic Air Canada no-fly list, Lemyre wrote.
However, Air Canada ticket agents who spoke to me on the condition that their names not be used, say this statement is not entirely accurate.
True, the airline has compiled no formal list of people who are automatically banned from its planes.
It does, however, use secret watch lists compiled by CSIS, the RCMP and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
`At no time can passengers be told that their names are found on a watch list'
Air Canada directive
Information on flagged passengers may be passed on to domestic or foreign security services. As one Air Canada employee explained, ticket agents are not permitted to inform flagged passengers that they are on a list. In fact, they are supposed to deny its existence.
"At no time can passengers be told that their names are found on a watch list," reads one directive provided to ticket agents.
However, the directive goes on, anyone flagged is to be denied a boarding card or a baggage ticket until the agent receives the go-ahead from security.
Air Canada agents say the U.S. Homeland Security list appears to be the most extensive. Canadian legislation passed in the aftermath of 9/11 requires airlines to give Homeland Security detailed information on any passenger travelling to the U.S.
What is not as well known is that the U.S. watch list of so-called DHP passengers is automatically applied to anyone in Canada flying anywhere.
If a Homeland Security flag ? what Air Canad
a employees call a DHP edit ? pops up on a U.S.-bound passenger, he must be vetted by security before being allowed to board.
However, if the passenger is travelling within Canada or to a non-U.S. foreign destination, the flag is supposed to be overridden and the customer allowed to board.
In all cases, however, the DHP designation never entirely disappears. Neither the airlines nor Canadian and U.S. government officials are willing to discuss specific security matters. So, it is difficult to know precisely how this information is handled. But it seems that U.S. authorities, either alone or with the co-operation of Canadian intelligence services, have the capacity to track a Canadian-marked DHP wherever in the world the person flies.
Other names on airline manifests may be flagged by the RCMP or CSIS. When these passengers show up, Air Canada agents ? operating under the direction of their corporate security office ? are supposed to do whatever the intelligence organs wish.
IS often checks the manifests," one Toronto ticket agent told me. "It's a one-way form of co-operation. They tell you what to do and you do it."
So is Mamood on a CSIS or U.S. watch list? Though no one will tell him outright, the answer seems to be yes. And since, officially, watch lists don't exist in Canada, he has nowhere to complain.
He is left to wonder why. He says his political cartoons, which have appeared in the Ottawa Citizen, the Montreal Gazette and media serviced by The New York Times syndication service, are occasionally critical of U.S. President George W. Bush. Did these bring him to the attention of American security services?
Has he been mixed up with someone who has a similar name? While born in Toronto, he was raised in Pakistan. Is that why he's on a list?
So far, Mamood hasn't been able to find out anything. New Democrat MP Libby Davies raised his case in the Commons; but nothing came of it.
In late December, Mamood finally flew Air Canada agai
n ? this time on a non-stop flight from Toronto to Chile to visit in-laws. While airline officials did take some time to check his passport, he says, he was allowed to board.
But on the advice of Toronto lawyer Breese Davies, a member of the legal team representing Maher Arar, Mamood says he won't fly to the United States.
Is he being paranoid?
In normal times, the answer would probably have been yes.
But as computer engineer Arar found out, these are not normal times. His case caused such a commotion that Prime Minister Paul Martin was forced to set up a public inquiry under Justice Dennis O'Connor.
O'Connor is supposed to find out what role intelligence-sharing between Canada and the U.S. played in Arar's year-long saga of torture and imprisonment.
But Martin's government is so reluctant to reveal anything that it is taking O'Connor to Federal Court in an effort to prevent him from releasing some of what he has already learned.
What is known, how
ever, is that Arar's situation is not unique.
Ahmad Abou-Elmaati, another Canadian, spent three years in Syrian and Egyptian jails after being investigated at home by Canadian security forces.
Yet another Canadian, Abdullah Almaki, was jailed for two years in Syria, where he was reportedly tortured. He, too, had been under investigation by CSIS and the RCMP at home.
Still another Canadian under investigation by CSIS, Muayyed Nureddin, was also thrown into a Syrian jail while travelling home from his native Iraq.
Nureddin was relatively lucky. While the Syrians did beat the soles of his feet with steel cables, he says, they also released him after only a month.
None of the four was ever charged with a crime at home or abroad. All have three things in common:
They were under investigation by CSIS and the RCMP; they are Muslim Canadians; they were arrested, jailed or tortured in countries that receive intelligence information from CSIS and the RCMP.
l have one thing in common with Shara Vigeant and Shahid Mamood: Somehow, their names got onto a list.
"Canadians don't know what information anybody has about them, what information they are sharing with the States and how the U.S. is going to view any of that information that is shared with it," says lawyer Davies.
"I'm concerned when I travel to the United States. And I'm a white woman. And I don't think I'm paranoid."