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FINTRAC: Canada's Less Famous Police State Legislation

FINTRAC: the national security conversation that’s flying under the radar
by Micheal Vonn  - BCCLA

May 2, 2015
daniel-therrien-bcclaWhile eyes are focused on the rapid advance of Bill C-51, comparatively little light is being shone on some of the specific components of Canada’s national security and intelligence agencies that could be the subject of even further changes in law and policy.

Very quietly, the Standing Committee on Finance is doing a study of the “cost, economic impact and best practices to address the issue of terrorist financing both here in Canada and abroad”.
Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien
The BCCLA was asked to present to the Committee on the subject of terrorist financing and we took the opportunity not only to press the Committee on the dangerous failures of accountability in this sphere of national security operations, but also to highlight how Bill C-51 will make the situation infinity worse.

Post Find Obama Blameworthy for Syria

WPost Blames Obama for Syrian Mess
by Robert Parry - Consortium News

May 3, 2015

For the past two decades, American neocons and Israeli hard-liners have targeted Syria for “regime change,” a dream that may be finally coming true, albeit with the nightmarish ending of Al-Qaeda or maybe the Islamic State emerging as the likely winners.

Such an outcome would be disastrous for the millions of Syrian Shiites, Alawites, secular Sunnis and Christians, including descendants of survivors of Turkey’s Armenian genocide a century ago.

Journalist James Foley shortly before 
execution by Islamic State operative

They would all face harsh repression or, possibly, mass decapitations. An Al-Qaeda/Islamic State victory also would be a major problem for the United States and the West, which would have to choose between a terror central in the center of the Middle East or a military invasion.

So, what we’re now seeing in Official Washington is the beginning of a neocon finger-pointing narrative that promotes the theme that if President Barack Obama had only armed and trained “moderate” rebels and bombed the Syrian military (to create “safe zones” or to punish the government for its alleged use of sarin gas), everything would have worked out just fine.

The Saud/Israel Front of the "Long War on Terror"

Sham and Shame: Saudi-US Slaughter in Yemen Shows Truth of Terror War
by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque
Last week, the United States sent an armada to Yemen, to help enforce a blockade of the poverty-ridden country as it groans under the mass slaughter of Saudi Arabia’s American-backed war of aggression. Now the Saudis, employing the bombs they procured from U.S. war profiteers, have shut down aid shipments by air with a bombing raid on the capital, Sana’a. The result will be more hunger, suffering and death in one of the world’s poorest countries. — But hey, wasn’t Obama so funny at that media dinner thing!
While aiding the Islamic extremists of Saudi Arabia to help al Qaeda in Yemen — who have made great gains while their mortal enemies, the Houthis, are being pounded by the Saudis — Obama and the American military machine has also been busy joining hands with al Qaeda in Syria, helping them make huge advances and capture key cities. It now looks increasingly likely that the Syrian government will not be able to withstand the onslaught of Islamic extremists (oh, and the “moderate” rebels, which also include al Qaeda elements). The fall of the secular Syrian state will open up an abyss of chaos which will be filled by the extremists armed and bankrolled by the United States and Saudi Arabia — just as the American destruction of the secular government in Iraq has led to murderous nightmare for millions of people.
What’s more, Israel has also joined the fight with al Qaeda, launching airstrikes on positions in Syria to clear the way for Islamic extremists to keep up their offensive. Robert Parry is on the case:
The Saudi-Israeli alliance, in league with other hard-line Sunni countries, is helping Al-Qaeda affiliates advance toward gaining either victory or at least safe havens in Syria and Yemen, highlighting unresolved contradictions in President Barack Obama’s policies in the Middle East. Fueled by a surge of support from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey – and with Israel striking at Syrian government allies – Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and Al-Qaeda’s hyper-brutal spinoff, the Islamic State, are making major advances in Syria with some analysts now predicting the likely collapse of the relatively secular government of President Bashar al-Assad.
… As this relationship firmed up, Israel even began voicing a preference for Al-Qaeda’s militants over the relatively secular Assad government, which was viewed as the protectors of Alawites, Shiites, Christians and other Syrian minorities terrified of the Saudi-backed Sunni extremists. In September 2013, in one of the most explicit expressions of Israel’s views, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, then a close adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told the Jerusalem Post that Israel favored the Sunni extremists over Assad.
“The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc,” Oren told the Jerusalem Post in an interview. “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” He said this was the case even if the “bad guys” were affiliated with Al-Qaeda. Oren expanded on his position in June 2014 at an Aspen Institute conference. Then, speaking as a former ambassador, Oren said Israel would even prefer a victory by the Islamic State, which was massacring captured Iraqi soldiers and beheading Westerners, than the continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria.“From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail,” Oren said.

The Nature of the New War(s): Meeting the Techno/Financial Global Genociders

Techno-Financial Capital and Genocide of the Poorest of the Poor
by James Petras
‘The war and its results have turned Yemen back a hundred years, due to the destruction of infrastructure . . . especially in the provinces of Oden, Dhalea and Taiz.’ - Izzedine al-Asbali, Yemeni Human Rights Minister
‘Yemen is devastated. There are no roads, water or electricity. Nobody’s left but thieves.’ - A resident of Sana (Yemen)
The Euro-American and Japanese ruling classes, as well as their collaborators in the Afro-Asian and Latin American countries, have accumulated vast profit. This has occurred through a complex stratified system re-concentrating the world’s wealth through:
1. The exploitation of labor in the First World (North America and Western Europe);
2. super-exploitation of labor in the Second World (China, ex-USSR);
3.dispossession of peasants, native communities and urban dwellers to grab resources, land and real estate in the Third World; and
4. wars of genocide against the poorest of the poor in the ‘Fourth World’.

Besides all the forms of brutal exploitation and dispossession, which enrich the Euro-US ruling classes, by far the most sinister and threatening to humanity is the concerted worldwide effort to literally exterminate the poorest-of-the poor, the hundreds of millions of people no longer essential for the accumulation and concentration of imperial capital today.

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Who Do Merkel and the BND Really Wrok For?

Is Merkel a CIA Asset?
by Finian Cunningham - Sputnik


The claims that Merkel’s government knew about German state intelligence spying on behalf of the Americans against the country's own industrial interests raise disturbing questions about the integrity of German government leaders.

The apparent betrayal of German national interests by Chancellor Angela Merkel is not only evident over the recent industrial spying scandal on behalf of America. The slavish pursuit by Merkel of Washington's anti-Russian policy over Ukraine — in contradistinction to her country's national interests — also cogently suggests that the chancellor is serving a foreign master.

Recent reports that German state intelligence was spying on behalf of the Americans against the country's own industrial interests are bad enough. But then added to that are claims that the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel knew about the espionage — and turned a blind eye.

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The Colonial Divide Tearing Punjab Still

The Hidden Tears of Punjab
by Andre Vltchek - CounterPunch

A lane, a narrow passage to Jallianwala Bagh Garden inside the old city of Amritsar, in the state of Punjab. It is a monument now, one of the testaments to madness and crimes committed by the British Empire during its colonial reign over Sub-Continent.

This is where, on April 13 1919, thousands of people gathered, demanding release of two of their detained leaders, Dr. Satyapal and Dr. Saifuddin.

It was right before the day of Baisakhi, the main Sikh festival, and the pilgrims came to the city, in multitudes, from all corners of Punjab.

The British Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer brought fifty Gurkha riflemen to a raised bank, and then ordered them to shoot at the crowd.

Bipan Chandra, an Indian historian, wrote in his iconic work, “India’s Struggle for Independence”:

“On the orders of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer, the army fired on the crowd for ten minutes, directing their bullets largely towards the few open gates through which people were trying to run out. The figures released by the British government were 370 dead and 1200 wounded. Other sources place the number dead at well over 1000.”

Tesla Testing the Limits of Battery Tech

Tesla Could Be Changing The Dynamics Of Global Energy
by Michael McDonald -
Tesla's announcement last week about creating a new line of batteries for use by businesses, consumers, and the electrical grid at large is a game-changer for the industry. Currently, when individuals or companies need back-up power, they usually rely on generators. Effective battery storage for large amounts of energy would be a game changer in that it would enable a separation of generation and use of energy produced through clean fuels like solar and wind power.
The big problem with solar and wind right now is that the energy is only useful when it is actually produced and, because a company cannot modify generation to correspond with demand needs, any excess power has to be sold back to the market for immediate use. Tesla's new batteries could go a long way towards solving this problem.
It is likely that Solar City, for example, would be very interested in any home application for large scale battery technology.

The Saudi-Israeli Alliance and Syria's Nightmare Future Past

Syria’s Nightmarish Narrative
by Robert Parry - Consortium News

 April 27, 2015

The Saudi-Israeli alliance, in league with other hard-line Sunni countries, is helping Al-Qaeda affiliates advance toward gaining either victory or at least safe havens in Syria and Yemen, highlighting unresolved contradictions in President Barack Obama’s policies in the Middle East.
Fueled by a surge of support from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey – and with Israel striking at Syrian government allies – Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and Al-Qaeda’s hyper-brutal spinoff, the Islamic State, are making major advances in Syria with some analysts now predicting the likely collapse of the relatively secular government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Saudi Arabia and Israel have made clear over the past few years that they regard the overthrow of the Iranian-backed Assad government as a geopolitical priority even if it results in a victory by Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State. But Obama, who has been unwilling or unable to rein in the Saudi-Israeli alliance, would then have to decide what to do with Islamic terrorists dominating a major Mideast nation.
Some of these Sunni radicals have shown that they will move aggressively toward slaughtering minority groups that they consider infidels, including Christians, Alawites and Shiites. The terrorists could leave the streets of major Syrian cities running red with blood – and give Al-Qaeda a solid platform from which to launch terrorist attacks against the West.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Stefan Christoff, Linn Washington Jr., Janine Bandcroft April 29, 2015

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook -

We've all seen the Anti-austerity demonstrations, and police riots used to disperse them, in Europe and the growing protests in the United States against systemic state violence aimed primarily at the poor and people of colour, but what about what's happening right here in Canada?

Last month, thousands were in the streets of Montreal and Quebec City manifesting and expressing their discontent with deep social spending cuts - a made in Quebec austerity plan.
Few in the rest of Canada however saw or read anything, save some cursory and dismissive accounts in major press outlets. True, English Canada is kept largely in the dark on most Quebec issues, but was there more to the silence this time?

Listen. Hear.

Stefan Christoff is a Montreal-based writer, community organizer, musician and publisher of 'Le Fond de l’air est Rouge,' an anthology of texts about Quebec's 2012-13 Spring, Winter, Spring, and Summer of discontent. Written from the streets and cafes and produced in collaboration with, Media Co-op, and Al Jazeera, Le Fond chronicles the movement that knocked premier Jean Charest from office, and apparently has not entirely run its course as popular unrest roils yet, just below the media radar.

Stefan Christoff in the first half.

And; there's nothing below the surface in Baltimore now. The national guard was called out Tuesday following clashes with police by citizens upset by the gruesome death in custody of Freddie Gray. Gray suffered a broken spine following his arrest by Baltimore police. The circumstances of his injury are still unclear; what is clear however is the anger felt in black communities across the U.S. as a spate of police killings of unarmed black men breaks through corporate press filters, thanks mainly to the proliferation of cell phone video and social media.

Breaking the media silence for decades too has been Mumia Abu Jamal, a Philly-based radio journalist who despite his 1981 conviction for the murder of a policeman (in a highly controversial case) produced radio commentaries with Prison Radio from death row for thirty years, and continues, now his death sentence has been reversed, to criticise the systemic racism of American Justice. Mumia was rushed to hospital earlier this month, suffering a coma due to undiagnosed diabetes. Though out of immediate danger now, the denial of proper medical care to the troublesome activist is of concern to his many supporters.

Linn Washington Jr. is a journalist, educator, and co-director of the Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab, or MURL, that sends journalism students into neighbourhoods not usually featured in mainstream reportage. Linn is an Associate Professor of Journalism at Temple University, a columnist for the Philadelphia Tribune, (America's oldest African-American owned newspaper), and is a regular contributor to the web news site, In addition to two journalism degrees from Temple, Linn also holds a law degree earned at Yale.

Linn Washington and the The Public Execution of Mumia Abu Jamal in the second half.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what's good to do in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Stefan Christoff and English-Canada's press wall maintaining Quebec's media solitude.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:, and now heard at Simon Fraser University's . He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:

Guns, Drugs, Drones and Washington's Failed Assassination Policy

The Kingpin Strategy: Assassination as Policy in Washington and How It Failed, 1990-2015
by Andrew Cockburn  - TomDispatch

As the war on terror nears its 14th anniversary -- a war we seem to be losing, given jihadist advances in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen -- the U.S. sticks stolidly to its strategy of “high-value targeting,” our preferred euphemism for assassination. Secretary of State John Kerry has proudly cited the elimination of “fifty percent” of the Islamic State’s “top commanders” as a recent indication of progress. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi himself, “Caliph” of the Islamic State, was reportedly seriously wounded in a March airstrike and thereby removed from day-to-day control of the organization.

In January, as the White House belatedly admitted, a strike targeting al-Qaeda leadership in Pakistan also managed to kill an American, Warren Weinstein, and his fellow hostage, Giovanni Lo Porto.

More recently in Yemen, even as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula took control of a key airport, an American drone strike killed Ibrahim Suleiman al-Rubaish, allegedly an important figure in the group’s hierarchy. Meanwhile, the Saudi news channel al-Arabiya has featured a deck of cards bearing pictures of that country’s principal enemies in Yemen in emulation of the infamous cardsissued by the U.S. military prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq as an aid to targeting its leaders. (Saddam Hussein was the ace of spades.)

Execution by Medical Neglect: Mumia Abu Jamail's Ignored Health Emergency

"F*%king Horrible"  - The Public Execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal?
by Linn Washington Jr.  - This Can't Be Happening

In August 1936 nearly 20,000 people filled a vacant lot next to a municipal building in a small Kentucky town to watch the hanging of a man convicted of rape. This hanging, conducted by two executioners retained by that town, would be the last official ‘public execution’ in America.

Although states across this country have banned executions where the public can freely attend, some contend that the American public is again witnessing the spectacle of a public execution – more precisely: the spectacle of a killing occurring in plain sight administered by governmental authorities.

This current spectacle of governmental killing involves a high-profile inmate in Pennsylvania that evidence indicates is quite possibly experiencing a ‘slow execution’ through calculated medical mistreatment.

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