Ever since 9/11 the USA has been on a hunt to gather the tools they feel necessary to combat global terror. They have whined, threatened, and cajoled both Canada and Mexico to do more about those who immigrate to our countries, and have even held meetings to clearly point out their insistence on what we must do, as partners in the war on Terror. It is an interesting point to note that while they complain about Canada’s lax immigration policies, an estimated 12 to 20 million foreign nationals are now working, and living in the United States. In fact, they estimate that approximately 1.5 to 2 million will enter the USA each year.
Yet they bitch about our Immigration Loopholes.
That aside, though it is the Patriot Act which is the focus here. Seems that the FBI have used their administrative subpoena power to gather records, phone call information, and other personal data on people, at whim. While the thrust of the feature was to allow for easier gathering of data of those suspected of terrorist ties, it has been used for all sorts of other suspected crimes.
With the passage of the Patriot Act, their use was greatly expanded and was allowed against Americans who were subjects of any investigation. The law also allowed other agencies like the Homeland Security Department to issue the letters. (see Story)
While it is an American Issue, consider that it is indeed possible that it could happen here. A government run amuck under the guise of protecting us from terrorism. Just look at how under the previous Chretien government, it was determined to register all guns, and to not arm the border guards. Under Harper and his fellow worshippers at the shrine of George Bush, Stockwell Day, the gun registry was axed. This despite the 6000 daily inquiries by various Police authorities. And now Stockwell Day has announced a plan to spend millions to arm the Border Guards.
Will illegal wiretapping be next on the agenda for CSIS perhaps?
Just look at the mess that happened with the Arar case. It has cost Canadian taxpayers several million dollars, cost the top RCMP cop his job and yet the USA has not yet even acknowledged they goofed or even apologized for the travesty of justice they waged on Mr Arar.
The Patriot Act is no different than the powers given to Adolph Hitler in the early 1930’s that then led to the roundup of dissidents, Jews, and others. It resulted in WWII and the death of 12 million people in death camps. The USA might want to follow that path, and given how so many have supported the Patriot Act, that just might be the case. The problem is, they also want to export that paranoia to Canada.
As long as we have a Prime Minister like Stephen Harper and sidekicks like Vic Toews and Stockwell Day, it is a real possibility of happening up here too. While in a minority it is unlikely, if they ever achieve a majority, you can bet your ass that we will simply rubber stamp whatever the USA demands.
And don’t really think a change in Presidents will do much either. In fact it could lead to even worse scenarios as they try to once more go back on their word and their obligation. Look at the Democrats who are quite willing to let Iraq go it alone, and sink into total chaos, simply because they aren’t winning the war there. Like no kidding. How do they expect to win a war, when first off no one is willing to say what victory is?
Then too, how can you win a war when you fail to follow standard military doctrine and do nothing about helping the very people who you rely on for information and help. When you disrespect their culture and way of life, do you really expect to win? Course it would also help if you provided the troops with proper equipment and leadership, but hey that isn’t the route the Democrats want to go. For them, it is Strategic Redeployment, but for the Iraqis and the rest of the world, it really is RUNNING.
Our civil rights are precious, and once they go, it takes a long time or worse to get them back. It took the Russians over 70 years to taste Democracy, and even now it is on the verge of teetering because Dictators aren’t quick to give in. Just ask George Bush as he continues to push his ideology on a world that doesn’t want it.
Under the guise of protecting a nation from terror, the USA has become the largest Bully on the block. They have incarcerated thousands, in secret too. They have wire tapped millions, and yet they refuse to protect their own border. Yet insist we tighten up ours. They sell off their ports to the very nations that threaten their security, and rack up an 800 Billion Dollar Trade Deficit with China, yet put wounded soldiers and their families in sub standard hospital facilities.
There are many fine Americans, but not in Government these days. All they can see is the huge paycheck coming their way. So much for fighting a war on Terror. We are frankly left to our own devices, assuming we can be allowed to think.