Thursday, June 07, 2007

Whatever Happened to the Toronto 17?

It was just over a year ago (June 2nd, 2006) that 17 Toronto-area youths and young men were arrested for allegedly plotting terrorist acts against Canada. The Mississuaga News has a good summary of the state of the case against these men, which will involve testimony by several RCMP "moles". The money quote:

The father of one of the accused, Tariq Abdelhaleem, doubts the two police moles were passive observers, but rather took instructions from the agencies to entrap the young men and encourage the alleged crime.

One of the accused is Shareef Abdelhaleen, 30, is an unmarried computer programmer who emigrated from Egypt at age 10 with his father, Tariq.

“These guys spent two years talking and nothing happened,” said Tariq. “And then these two spies appear and things begin to happen.

Remember the political circumstances. The Harper government had only recently assumed power, and was due for a display of ritual grovelling to cement its reputation as being loyal coat-holders in George Bush's "War on Terror". Asking the RCMP for a parade of dark-skinned flesh in orange jumpsuits probably seemed like a terrific idea at the time.


Ti-Guy said...

As we've been finding out with respect to the RCMP, some conspiracy thinking isn't as off-the-wall as it might, at first, appear.

Anonymous said...

Harper was actually there, in the back of the RCMP cube van, directing the tactical squad

He had a direct line open to Bush during the whole event. dictating a live play-by-play.

Anonymous said...

OMFG, you need to put your tinfoil hat on. You've absolutely lost any remaining shred of credibility if you think Harper is directing the RCMP to plant phony charges against people to make GWB happy. You have lost all touch with reality.

The only conspiracies going on in Canada involved the Lieberal party of Canada and the federal treasury.

Anonymous said...

The case is highlighting how poor our justice system is. It's been a year and they haven't been able to bring these people into court and settle it out. It will probably just happen to work out that the case will go to trial just as we have an election.

Ti-Guy said...

The only conspiracies going on in Canada involved the Lieberal party of Canada and the federal treasury.

OMFG, you need to put your tinfoil hat on. You've absolutely lost any remaining shred of credibility if ...

etc, etc...additional troll spew...

This from the same boobs who were convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that Saddam had WMD's, and who still think they're there...somewhere.

bigcitylib said...

I don't know about a full-blown conspiracy. The Tories need a head on a stick to show George W., so they lean on the RCMP. The RCMP gives 'em what they've got, and don't say much about the weaknesses of the case.

Ti-Guy said...

I think it's quite reasonnable to speculate that both the CPC and the RCMP would view an arrest of alleged terrorists as mutually beneficial, without necessarily any collusion between them. But now that I have my tin foil hat on, I think the communication matrix probably looks like this...CPC<->Republicans; RCMP<->FBI; Republicans<->FBI. the way...what's going with Rob Anders(<->James Inhofe)?

Oldschool said...

TiGY . . . . you know the old lieberal saying . . . tell a lie often enough and it winds up in a grade 10 history book!!!
I would have let them blow TO up . . . of course you nutbars would have called in Charlie Sheen, Michael Moore and the fat lady to say Bush did it . . .
One day . . . when you are all being issued your prayer rugs and burkas . . . you can reminess about the good old days when democracy was the dominant culture.

Anonymous said...

here's the way a Liberal does a conspiracy . . .

Thursday, June 07, 2007
Another Liberal leader who charted his own course

$4.3 M spent trying to crush Beaudoin, after he refused a loan to Chrétien’s former partner

The Post’s story about Paul Martin’s golf course – paid for out of his own pocket, so calm down, people – reminded me of another Quebec golf course and another Liberal leader. From the irreplaceable Lorrie Goldstein:

And even AdScam, for which Chrétien bears ultimate responsibility, doesn’t reveal the former PM at his worst. For that, we must turn to another Grit scandal -- what Chrétien and his lackeys did to Francois Beaudoin when he was president of the Business Development Bank of Canada.

Here, I’m indebted to the excellent reporting of Sun Media’s Greg Weston. Beaudoin, was an honest public servant who had the courage to say “no” to Chrétien, starting in 1996.

No, he would not approve a $1.6- million loan, later cut to $615,000, to benefit Chrétien’s friend, Yvon Duhaime, owner of the Grand-Mere inn in Chrétien’s riding. Duhaime, he said, was a bad risk, with a criminal past and a poor fiscal track record.

The fact Chrétien had even approached Beaudoin was wrong, especially considering that Chrétien was a former part-owner of the inn and a neighbouring golf course. At the time, Chrétien hadn’t been paid for his shares in the golf course and was seeking a new buyer. Chrétien’s own actions indicated he knew what he was doing was wrong. Why? Because he lied about them.

Between January 1999 and November 2000, Chrétien and his aides repeatedly insisted the BDC operated on its own, free from political interference. Finally, on Nov. 16, 2000, Chrétien was forced to admit in the middle of an election that he had lobbied Beaudoin repeatedly. [Note: this produced the infamous Chrétien quote, "It's the normal operation."]

By then, two Chrétien cronies, Michel Vennat and Jean Carle, were making Beaudoin’s life a living hell.

First, Beaudoin was effectively forced out of his post when the BDC loan to Duhaime was approved over his objections.

Seeing the writing on the wall, he negotiated a severance and retirement package in the summer of 1999 and left the bank.

But Vennat and Carle weren’t finished. Soon after, Beaudoin was accused of “irregularities” by the BDC and lost his pension.

He was smeared in the media. His cottage and home were raided, not by police, but by BDC lawyers and accountants. Incredibly, a judge had authorized the search. Meanwhile, Carle was on the phone to Chrétien’s office, co-ordinating statements in the media and the Commons. Judge Denis would later describe this as “incredible ... Carle was convinced the prime minister is the only shareholder of the BDC. They are no longer looking like a corporation should, to give the media just the facts ... but only to repeat the position of the Prime Minister’s Office.”

Vennat then wrote two letters to RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli asking the Mounties to investigate Beaudoin for “misappropriation” of bank property and as the source of a “forged” document related to Shawinigate that had been leaked.

Home raided

Six months later, the Mounties showed up at the Royal Montreal Golf Club, claiming there were investigating the membership of Beaudoin’s wife. At Christmas, they raided his Montreal home. Before Beaudoin could reach his lawyer, the attorney was contacted by a reporter who’d been tipped to the raid by the PMO. The RCMP found nothing. In April 2003, the Crown said no charges would be laid after concluding the case against him was absurd.

Finally, in September 2003, Beaudoin had his day in court.

Judge Denis ordered that Beaudoin be paid his full severance and pension. He denounced the BDC, saying he didn’t believe some of Vennat’s testimony and that Carle had lied. The publicly owned bank had spent four years and $4.3 million hounding Beaudoin.
--Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun, April 10, 2005

Anonymous said...

Even more curiously, how come you haven't posted about the latest poll results in Quebec?

Ti-Guy said...

you can reminess about the good old days when democracy was the dominant culture.

I'm already reminiscing about the good old day when illiterates couldn't use computers.

Damn the GUI!

Oldschool said...


Don't get so EMOtional . . . . I know its a lib thing but here are some words of wisdome from Sir Winston . . .

"If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case; you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."
Winston Churchill

Anonymous said...

I can't help but notice the parallels between the hype surrounding the Toronto 17 and the recently uncovered "plot" to blow up JFK airport in New York.

The CTV correspondent who covered the latter (sorry don't recall his name)almost seemed embarassed by his assignment. He knew that he, like his colleagues, was supposed to play up sensational aspects of the story in order to draw viwers. At the same time he didn't quite have the stomach for the charade. Hence he fronted his story by pointing out right off the top that the alleged terrorists had no training, no weapons, no money and no means of getting these things. Before cutting to a sound bite of a district attorney delivering dire warnings of untold carnage at a news conference he remarked that, "as they have done in the past, officials invited people to imagine what could have happened", subtly drawing attention to the ways in which public officials themselves deliberately sensationalize the facts in order to cast their actions in the most heroic light and prejudice public opinion against the alleged "terrorists". He even had the bad taste to undercut the DA's sensationalism by pointing out that most experts do not believe that it is feasible to blow up the underground pipeline carrying jet fuel to JFK.

It's refereshing to see that there are still a few journalists with a modicum of professional integrity around (to see how few just look at the far more numerous media reports that simply breathlessly repeated the sensationalist spin of public officials, talking point by talking point).

Anyway, the parallels with the Toronto 17 are obvious. Ethan Heitner at Tom Paine, refering to some of the Toronto Star's solid and appropriately skeptical coverage of the arrests, remarked:

Here as in many other high-profile terrorism cases, it seems as if big talk is covering for flimsy charges. Prosecutors have apparently charged the 17 with attempting a truly mind-boggling number of different plots, from storming Parliament and chopping off the Canadian prime minister's head to bombing buildings all across the vast country. They have reversed their earlier claim that a bombing was "imminent" by now stating that the ammonium nitrate the suspects were supposedly set to use as an explosive had all along been a harmless substitute set up by a well-planned sting. The shlubs were not really caught at the dramatic last second before terror after all.

That was posted a year ago almost to the day of the New York arrests yet it describes almost exactly the same media relations strategy.

So now we know our public security apparatus is skilled at busting rank amateurs who openly discuss their plans on Internet message boards and can't tell the difference between real ammonium nitrate and the intert filler provided to them by a helpful stranger (who happens to be an undercover cop).

The only question now is how good are they at catching real terrorists?

Mike said...

oldschool, if you think there is even a remote chance that we will someday be issued "prayer rugs and burkhas" you need to up your meds.

As it stands, I am in more danger from my own government and our own Christian religious nutbars, than from fanatical religous nuitbars 7000 miles away. Or incompetant idiots in Toronto that couldn't fidn their as with both hands.

You really are an idiot.

Anonymous said...

mike, care to back up your paranoid fears with some evidence? How is the gov't going to 'come get you'? Which Christian nutbars are also trying to kill you? Any examples of Christian terrorism against the gen'l population in Canada lately? Or are you just taking a contrary position because you're too afraid to address reality?

Anonymous said...

Mike can't think, that's why he doesn't know that comparing christian fundamentalists to islamic fundamentalists is just stupid.