Sunday, November 16, 2008

 

Criminal organizations destabilizing our parliamentary system ...

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We all know that whenever anyone speaks or writes, they bring a personal point of view to the task. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as the p.o.v. is honestly admitted and held in check. I hope I've met that test by repeating, now and then, that I never forgot John Ward's warning which told me that The Legislature Raids were signaling a huge provincial crime scene.

Readers will remember that on Dec. 29, 2003, the day after the raid, RCMP spokesman Sgt. John Ward told a news conference the “cancer” of organized crime and the province's lucrative drug trade were involved and that could leave many people susceptible to corruption. I said at the time that Sgt Ward seemed to be speaking over the heads of our leaders, as if he knew they wouldn't tell us what we needed to know. And that was certainly correct. The premier came back from Hawaii and said "I know nothing" and the prime minister whose campaign workers were the persons of RCMP's interest, said "I know nothing too," as they shrugged and walked away.

Then, some prominent journalists like Gary Mason, Keith Baldrey, began to pooh-pooh the notion of organized crime. I think this was a bad mistake, and uncalled for. This new form of police-bashing was taken up by some of the Media Monitors. Instead of informing the public, our journalists seemed to be muddying the waters, not even trying to address the issues raised by a historic raid on a legislature. That's my p.o.v. So now, let's look back ...

On August 31, 2000 Prime Minister Jean Chretien announced the appointment of Giuliano Zaccardelli as RCMP Commissioner. Zaccardelli had 30 years of RCMP experience as a criminal investigator and manager, a degree in commerce, and years of on-the-job studying and tutoring. He was seen to be a good man ... the kind of leader the force of 26,000 employees desperately needed.

... 5 days later, Zaccardelli held his first press conference in Ottawa, saying "... For the first time in this country, we are seeing signs of criminal organizations that are so sophisticated that they are focusing on destabilizing certain aspects of our society ... of our parliamentary system" ... [pp 13-14 and 436, Dispersing the fog: inside the secret world of Ottawa and the RCMP. By Paul Palango. Key Porter Books. Oct. 2008]

Add in the fact that the new Commissioner, William Elliott, recently told the Vancouver Board of Trade that there are 900 identifiable crime groups in Canada, and I think it's high time we stop scoffing and start paying attention. Our media (such as it is) needs to start focusing more fairly on issues of public importance, and to start speaking with the public interest in mind. According to Palango, "the best Intelligence Officers are journalists" ... except, there's ample evidence that media has been corrupted and co-opted too.

The day after Zaccardelli's warning about sophisticated criminal organizations, " ... National Post, controlled by ... Conrad Black, whacked Zaccardelli up the side of his head. It dismissed his views as being "alarmist" and suggested that the commissioner was trying to be political. He was, but not in the way the National Post editorialists had suspected. Zaccardelli had used the threat of a renewed Sidewinder investigation to extract from the p.m. a commitment to let him run the RCMP as he saw fit ... Chretien was more than happy to do that, and protect his own reputation, as well as his personal and business interests in China ..."

" ... Mounties familiar with the case knew that RCMP Cpl Brian Read had merely uncovered the tip of an iceberg. Read had focused on two incredibly explosive scenarios. The first involved possible payoffs to Brian Mulroney and those around him by the Chinese. The second cited the Power Corporation - Chretien - China triangle ... Because of its strategic alliance with some important and influential Hong Kong business people, and with organized crime syndicates, the Chinese leadership appears to be today in a position to develop a potential of influence over the international market and particularly on the Canadian economy and political life ... the threat is manifold and elaborated in a complicated web of businesses ...

" ... the Sidewinder report made it clear that the Triads, tycoons and Chinese intelligence agencies had learned that the quick way to gain influence in Canada was to provide financing to the main political parties ..."
[Sidewinder: Chinese Intelligence Services and Triad Financial Links in Canada; the original draft report can be viewed online at www.primetimecrime.com]

I'm going to stop quoting, or I'll be copying the whole astonishing book. It's something every Canadian should read because it answers a million questions about why nothing seems to work anymore. Are things set up to be dysfunctional? Why do bad people keep being elected and re-elected? And why do trials get delayed, delayed, delayed? "Mounties always stall," says Palango [P.334] ... and "build huge files at an enormous cost without a conclusion" [p.358] ... "We have no idea how to deal with organized crime. It's everywhere." [P.359]

But before anybody begins bashing the RCMP, they should read this well-organized, thorough, well-written book by an experienced investigative journalist. It will change your p.o.v. forever. You'll start bashing the right people -- or at least, talking to them, knowing how badly they are letting us -- and the force -- down. This is a book which I hope will be under every Canadian Christmas tree this year.

I give Dispersing the Fog a rating of 5-1/2 stars out of 5 -- the extra 1/2 because Palango phoned me, thinking I might have further information on the West Coast scene. Now that's impressive. - BC Mary

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Footnote #1:


Minister Day announces new Task Force to Report on Governance and Cultural Change in the RCMP

Ottawa, July 16, 2007 – Today, the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety, announced the creation of a new five-member Task Force to provide advice on strengthening the accountability and governance of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

"Canada's New Government is committed to an effective and accountable RCMP. We are taking action. The Task Force will provide focused recommendations to make the RCMP a strong, accountable organization with a modern structure," said Minister Day. "The Chair of the Task Force, David Brown, and his colleagues, Linda Black, Richard Drouin, Norman Inkster, and Larry Murray, will help develop solutions to challenges that the RCMP has faced" {Snip} ...



Footnote #2:


Speaking Remarks by David Brown at the Release of the Report of the Task Force on Governance and Cultural Change in the RCMP

December 14, 2007

Good afternoon.

As the Chair of the Task Force on Governance and Cultural Change in the RCMP, I'm joined today by the other Task Force members: Richard Drouin, Linda Black, Norman Inkster and Larry Murray.

During the past five months, my colleagues and I have been privileged to meet with over 2,000 of the men and women who serve the RCMP. As we travelled across Canada and into the far North, we witnessed fierce pride in the Force, incredible dedication to the people they serve and a powerful determination to provide the policing services that they know are required to keep our communities and country safe.

But we also witnessed despair, disillusionment and anger with an organization that is failing them.

With remarkable, but disturbing consistency, we heard of chronic shortages of people and equipment, of overwork and fatigue, of issues of wellness, health and even safety.

We learned about basic human management systems that haven't worked for years: mandatory unpaid overtime; discipline and grievance systems that don't work; a promotion system with little or no credibility; a sometimes embarrassing record of accounting to the people they serve.

These and many other issues came tumbling out through poignant stories of personal experiences related to us personally and in over the 500 confidential emails we received.

What emerged was a picture of an honourable and revered Canadian institution with rank and file members and employees struggling to do their best under the tremendous burden of an inefficient and inappropriately structured organization.

Our first reaction was to craft solutions to each of these problems – some of which were blindingly obvious. But as the issues piled up, we realized that these were merely symptoms of a much larger issue encompassing the organization, governance and culture of the institution; that treating the symptoms alone would not provide a lasting cure ... {Snip} ...



Footnote #3:

Overhaul RCMP, task force says
Article Comments (166)
JESSICA LEEDER
Globe and Mail - December 14, 2007

TORONTO — The RCMP is infected with rampant despair, disillusionment and fatigue, and struggling rank-and-file members are being failed by the outmoded police force, a federal task force said yesterday.

Massive structural changes are needed to rehabilitate the 133-year-old national force, including granting the organization separate employer status from government, the adoption of a civilian oversight board and the creation of a new, more powerful independent complaints authority, according to a report from the five-member panel convened to help overhaul the RCMP.

During its five-month investigation, the task force encountered "fierce pride in the force" paired with "despair, disillusionment and anger with an organization that is failing them," said David Brown, a Toronto lawyer who chaired the group.

"With remarkable but disturbing consistency, we heard of chronic shortages of people and equipment, of overwork and fatigue, of issues of wellness, health and even safety," he said ... {Snip} ...

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Comments:
Sounds like a great read, thanks for sharing the information Mary.

I suppose their independence at RCMP HQ is not what it used to be and maybe that accounts for enormous files without conclusion.

I hope you don't lose site of the other facts though. Paying for an anti insite study, embarassing resignations at the top, an eye-opening independent study of the force that leaves one holding their nose, an abysmal record overall with first nations, missing video tapes, death in custody investigations, slow on disclosure, bubble proofing Harper from the media, and on the whole disdain for meaningful citizen over sight....
 
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12:20,

You're very welcome.

But if you think I'm covering up for the BIG decisions made by RCMP brass or the politicians who run things, all I can say is: please read the book.

So much of the stuff we see in the newspapers isn't what it seems, from Maher Arar to Mayerthorpe. And so many good cops are doing their best, against such odds you wouldn't believe.

There's an enormous threat to this country and the RCMP is floundering.

Palango is an investigative journalist ... he tells the whole story, see "the Mounties always stall ..." (p. 334) and "delay, delay, delay" (p.358) ... especially the "slow on disclosure" skills.

But you saw the treatment handed out to RCMP Sgt John Ward for raising the alarm ... and to RCMP Commissioner Guiliano Zaccardelli when HE raised the alarm ... well, I hope you read the book and maybe we can think of ways to help.

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I would not suggest you are covering for the brass. I think we are agreed that the majority of members are top flight enforcement officers and sleuths. It seems we are both agreed that the political machine should back off from day to day operations.

Zaccardelli's resume looks great but Ralph Goodall for one may have reason to question his judgement. Same with members who questioned the goings on with the way the RCMP pension fund was being run. Whether we find out if that was all above board looks doubtful though. Just as whether or not senior RCMP officers deliberately mislead the Maher Arar inquiry seems like unfinished business.

Yes I agree again John Ward got shoved because he was getting to close and I don't think this is uncommon. I've always believed the majority of members would like nothing more than to rid the force of people best suited for other things...but like most whistle blowers fear the certain repercussions to follow. This is an issue that requires political leadership from the top, citizens thinking of going it alone are on very dangerous ground in my opinion.
 
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2:08 ...

All I can say is, you're going to be up late every night for a while, as you won't be able to put this book down until you finish all 530 pages.

I've found that I can only read 10 or 15 pages at a go, it's so overwhelming. I need to get a grip, then begin again.

Zaccardelli's resume was great, and he was well regarded by the rank and file of RCMP ... but then he had his press conference which displeased Prime Minister Chretien. Zaccardelli began to change right then and there. The Incomes Trust came later.

I think you'll be amazed by what Palango has found in Maher Arar's background.

I'm hoping Paul Palango turns his attention to the BC Rail Case next ... he certainly is aware of it, and the workings of the media and politicians.

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There is a near unshakable belief that good and bad are somehow opposites of one another when in fact they are merely opposite sides of the same coin, or in the one dimensional sense like the yin/yang symbol, ever intertwined, one feeding off the other.

What few, very few, realise is that behind the screen of smoke there are mirrors reversing the images where left is right and right is left. And nothing, or very little is as it appears.

“Are things set up to be dysfunctional?”
Yes!
“Why do bad people keep being elected and re-elected?
Because things are set up to be dysfunctional!
One need only look to the recent United States election results and the near messianic flavour that was instilled in the ever dumbed down electorate, of closer to home how Gordon Campbell was able to “charm” enough of the electorate to be ensconced as Premier.

It is unfortunate that current beliefs must be shattered before folks come to the realisations that “things” are the way they are because we lack the good sense as a people to see through the smokescreen.
Organised crime you say, without question! And at the highest levels of the institutions and systems we have been schooled to trust.
The criminal element, those we call organised crime are pikers compared to the long established systems of law, government, policing, and yes religion. This is, or could be the most exciting time in human history; the time we all awaken to the straight fact we have been conned.
Once “we” begin to take responsibility for the choices we’ve made in supporting corrupt systems, then there will be change and not before
 
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3:24 ... Bravo!!

Heaven knows, we're trying to take responsibility ... which amounted to continuing efforts to support an honest system of representation.

Now "we" -- we're up the creek, not knowing what to do next except to keep looking the bastards in the eye and saying Damn you! Which of course, isn't enough.

Misnomers are subtle weapons: organized crime imo, doesn't begin and end on the mean streets. Organized crime does include those you mention in law, government, policing, religion.

Organized crime, like Zaccardelli said, is sophisticated, smooth, brazen, and familiar.

For example, highly organized crime is undoubtedluy is at work in the 2010 Olympics. One guess would allege that it's burrowing away inside that $1Billion budget for "security" - the perfect example of mirrors reversing images and nothing is as it appears.

Still don't know what to do next, though. Do you?

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Just finished the book, couldn't put it down! He seems to make two key points. The RCMP, although having many great people, is horribly broken, especially at the top. AND they have a long history of incapacity to investigate political corruption and such cases are stopped or lead nowhere. He points out that there are alway problems between independent police, other agencies and the RCMP. He sure would benefit with a look at the west coast!
 
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Hi 6:56,

Great to receive your report ... you're a speed-reader extraordinaire! I'm still going slowly, trying to take it all in.

"Horribly broken" the RCMP management undoubtedly is ... but made doubly awful because it's a deliberate injury. Why?

This is where, in my view, the warnings about Organized Crime are so imperative. Once we understand even in a general sense, how Organized Crime operates by infiltration and cross-overs into legitimate businesses and services, we have to ask: who would benefit from crippling the national police force? Or the ports. Or the banks. Or governments.

I'll tell ya one thing: as soon as I finish reading Dispersing the Fog, I'm going to start all over again at Page 1 and read it again, hoping to remember more of the details.

Many thanks for your review.



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Excellent post, Mary!

First I would like to point out that the juxtaposition of the word "Honourable" with the name "Stockwell Day" is like experiencing George Orwell, risen from the grave.

My main point, however, is that I feel that comments such as William Elliot's "that there are 900 identifiable crime groups in Canada," are disingenuous at best and possibly misleading on purpose, unless of course Mr. Elliot is including such groups as Stephen Harper's Taliban and the inside circle of Gordon Campbell's government.

He is probably referring to the various biker gangs, asian triads, traditional mobsters and other groups we have learned to associate with "organized crime." However they are really small fry who only exist to fulfill needs created by poorly designed public policy and dysfunctional legislation. If the law wasn't truly an ass (as in the Volker Act and Prohibition in the US during the early 1900s) alcohol abuse, drug addiction and even property crimes could actually be dealt with in a constructive manner that would actually improve society.

Whether these laws and disasters like the "War on Drugs" are accidents caused by ideology, or more concious efforts to drive profits to those in power is a question I can't answer. However I have no doubt that the most harmful and deceitful organized criminal organizations are those that pose as the arbiters of the "right" such as Bu$hCo or the Campbell Cabal and use and abuse the public trust to satisfy their own greed and lust for power.

The extent to which these "legalized" criminal organizations also benefit from the more conventional crimes like drug and arms smuggling is something I also can't answer. However I would suggest that, for an example, the planes flying under the name of CIA operated AIR AMERICA that flew south carrying arms to the Contras and death squads, didn't come back empty, especially considering they would have automatic pre-approved customs clearance re-entering US airspace.

Likewise the fact that the alleged Mr. Big of the Vancouver Island cocaine trade was regularly calling the chief aide to the finance minister of our province back during the days of the EveryWhichWay investigation has to be disturbing to any citizen who would like to believe in the rule of law and that "justice" actually means what it says in the dictionary!
 
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Why, THANK YOU, Mr Koot. Ah does mah best.

As for Doris Day, well, I couldn't very well jump into a government document and edit out something which is mere protocol, now, could I. And I must say that Minister Day is actually coming along surprisingly well from when he walked with dinosaurs. Not perfect. Not even good. But coming along.

As for how many countable groups of crime organizations there are in Canada, and precisely what they do ... I groan, I clutch my forehead. Ain't it sufficient that Canada has become a haven for organized crime ... that it's EVERYWHERE and that we'd better get serious about demanding honour and honesty from our leaders (such as they are)?

And yeah ... damright ... it's appalling that the alleged Mr Big could be calling the chief aide 26 times in the Ministry of Finance office (+ heaven knows how many times at home) and then the whole shebang simply gets dropped like a hot potato. Like, as if it means nothing.

Can't even find out when Jasmohan Singh Bains comes (or came) to trial except that it was supposed to be "in 2008"). Was it? Who knows.

That's a worthwhile task for somebody who can get onto an appropriate phone-in show: ask the question ... why were the trafficking charges against Dave Basi dropped?

About immigration: if/when you read Palango's book, you'll be a much wiser K-man after you read all about Canada's Customs & Immigration procedures.

Yeah ... we need refresher courses on those nice old words like honour, justice, honesty, truthfulness, kindness ... all those good old concepts.

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BC Mary,

Re: " ... the Sidewinder report made it clear that the Triads, tycoons and Chinese intelligence agencies had learned that the quick way to gain influence in Canada was to provide financing to the main political parties ..."

Good work. Keep pressing. Strange that the MSM across the country did not run with any of this story, and carry out any analysis. Only the National Post posted an excerpt from Paul Palango's book "Dispensing The Fog."

The book is only part of the story.

In what is possibly the biggest scandal in Canadian history, the story extends beyond Chretien's corruption. When Premier Van der Zam "sold" his cow pasture in Richmond, BC, for $18,000,000 plus untold cash envelopes, this was his piece for having provided Li (in Hong Kong) the best piece of land on the North American continent (the Expo Lands on the Vancouver waterfront) for the price of a few penthouses.

How the subsequently built thousands of condos were sold was easy.... you get you Canadian immigration papers plus a Vancouver condo for a couple or three million dollars. Hundreds of thousands got in that way.

The story gets better, but none of the media can get over the fear of repercussions. Li & his friends The Triads, Chretien, Desmarais, etc., make a tough crowd. The full story has yet to written, and would never become published anyway. Any publisher would be accused of being "against" immigration, for starters.
 
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Anonymous 11:11,

Thanks for your comment but I must say I was very uncertain about posting your remarks. For one thing, I find Jean Chretien a whole heap more admirable than Paul Martin, whose political desperation has caused havoc in B.C. Plus I never did feel that an adequate explanation had been given for the shipment of cocaine found on the hull of an incoming ship belonging to Paul Martin's Canadian Steamship Line; why did police immediately blab about the find, instead of waiting to see who arrived at dockside to collect the cocaine? Well, that was then ... and this is now ...

But right after your comment arrived, 11:11, I saw Ian Mulgrew's column in today's newspaper ... and was stunned by the connections. This is indeed one weird, weird world we're living in. So please have a look at:

Our free and democratic society ships out.Ian Mulgrew
Vancouver Sun - June 1, 2009
http://www.vancouversun.com/Technology/free+democratic+society+ships/1650523/story.html

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