Forums > Personal > Canada cuts spy agency watchdog

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The Real Wizard user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 27 Apr 12, 10:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/04/27/pol-csis-inspector-general-eliminated-budget.html

Isn't this the kind of thing Hitler would do?

In all seriousness - do the history buffs or news junkies here have any other examples of leaders of first world nations who have done this kind of thing?

Canada's conservative government also muzzles and cuts funding from government scientists and Environment Canada - or basically anyone who disagrees with their ideology of making money for mega-corporations at the expense of anything that gets in their way.

But cutting the CSIS (our equivalent to the FBI) watchdog isn't even something I expected. Eliminating accountability at its finest.


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Posted: 27 Apr 12, 11:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That seems a bit scary alright. Every country needs independent watchdogs... if nobody can report on stuff, how is that democratic? Who protects the people from those in power if nobody has the (legally sanctioned) right to question or call them up on their decisions.

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Posted: 27 Apr 12, 13:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

They asked us to trust them... everyone knows they can trust the government.

Like when public safety minister Vic Teows said we'd be in good hands if they made it law for ISPs to hand over our IP addresses and internet traffic details to them - otherwise we'd be siding with the child pornographers.

Straight from the Bush playbook. Charming, isn't it?

Fortunately common sense prevailed after the public outcry.



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Posted: 27 Apr 12, 13:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I've been saying this for quite some time...Harper is a dictator-wannabe, and giving him a majority WOULD destroy Canada

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Posted: 27 Apr 12, 14:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Real Wizard wrote: But cutting the CSIS (our equivalent to the FBI) watchdog isn't even something I expected. Eliminating accountability at its finest.


I think CSIS is a better equivalent of the CIA. (both pure Intelligence agencies)  The RCMP is our rough equivalent of the FBI. (law enforcement and investigation at the federal level). Neither are seamless comparisons however as both the FBI and CSIS have responsibility for domestic intelligence.

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Posted: 27 Apr 12, 15:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

According to Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine there is no crime in Canada.


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Posted: 27 Apr 12, 16:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

He's absolutely correct. Also, according to Michael Moore's 'Sicko' there are no Emergency Room wait times in Canada either. Do you know why? That's right. No clumsy criminals clogging them up. We're so blessed that it's become a national tradition when you're urgently sick or injured to partner up with somebody in your local Emergency Room and spend 4-10 hours trying to hash out when the last time a crime was committed. Always a futile exercise, eventually an attendant takes note, breaks it up and forces you to go see the doctor already. Ha. Eat that Roger Smith.

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Posted: 27 Apr 12, 18:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"Also, according to Michael Moore's 'Sicko' there are no Emergency Room wait times in Canada either"

He must have not been to Alberta then

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Posted: 27 Apr 12, 18:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I don't know what to say.


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Posted: 27 Apr 12, 20:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Get Jack Layton in office! Even in his grave, he could save Canada!


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thomasquinn 32989 user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 28 Apr 12, 04:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

GratefulFan wrote:
The Real Wizard wrote: But cutting the CSIS (our equivalent to the FBI) watchdog isn't even something I expected. Eliminating accountability at its finest.

I think CSIS is a better equivalent of the CIA. (both pure Intelligence agencies)  The RCMP is our rough equivalent of the FBI. (law enforcement and investigation at the federal level). Neither are seamless comparisons however as both the FBI and CSIS have responsibility for domestic intelligence.


It is a crime for the CIA to undertake espionage activities on U.S. soil - that was arranged in its founding charter - domestic terrorism and the likes are pure FBI jurisdiction. I think Bob's quite right in comparing CSIS to the FBI and not the CIA.

As for the original question - see Nixon's censorship of civil rights watchdogs, supposedly 'for national security' relating to the (illegal) Vietnam war. Or apartheid-era South Africa, which Harper probably loved dearly, where police and armed forced could operate with absolute and total impunity. Likud, which is currently governing Israel together with a rag-tag assembly of far-right parties, has also suspended watchdog activities relating to the army, illegal settlements and treatment of prisoners on several occasions, notably during the Lebanese war.

As you have probably gathered, none of the cited examples even resemble democratic government. But then, anyone who thought Harper would be democratic or, for that matter, constitutional should go back to kindergarten.


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Posted: 28 Apr 12, 17:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



thomasquinn 32989 wrote: It is a crime for the CIA to undertake espionage activities on U.S. soil - that was arranged in its founding charter - domestic terrorism and the likes are pure FBI jurisdiction. I think Bob's quite right in comparing CSIS to the FBI and not the CIA.

One of the nice things about an international forum like this is the chance to pick up little bits of knowledge about other places.  Bob doesn't need clarification, but I thought others might benefit. The most prominent international face of the FBI is that of a federal law enforcement body.  Counter-intellicence yes, but the famed 10 most wanted list too, the very public images of the big busts with the big F.B.I. on the back of the jackets, the association with RICO statutes and Organized Crime, bank robberies, drug busts, high tech crime, mail and wire fraud and other federal crime.  A clear majority of the whole of the work of the FBI is handled by the RCMP in Canada.  CSIS has no law enforcement power whatsoever.  They are not a domestic agency and they don't conduct busts with CSIS written on the backs of their jackets in foot high letters. They are a spy agency that like all spy agencies work largely in secret.  The wiki entry for CSIS contains thoughts like "CSIS is neither a police agency nor is it a part of the military. As an intelligence agency, the primary role of CSIS is not law enforcement. Investigation of criminal activity is left to the RCMP and local (provincial, regional or city) police agencies. CSIS, like counterparts such as the United Kingdom Security Service (MI5) and the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), is a civilian agency" and later "not to be confused with the more encompassing work of larger more dedicated intelligence agencies such as CSIS, MI5, MI6, or the CIA."  For people here who might be interested in a casual understanding of this stuff but not the minutiae of Canadian policy the clearest parallel is with the other spy agencies. Yes, as I originally noted they do have counter-intelligence duties that are under the jurisdiction of the FBI in the US, but they're a spy agency, not a domestic law enforcement body.

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Posted: 29 Apr 12, 08:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Fair enough. So essentially, the CSIS would be a thinned out CIA (CIA is not 100% civilian - it has rather sizeable military units at its disposal) with some of the FBI's jurisdiction. I take it the equivalent of federal policing would mainly be covered by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police?

Returning to Bob's original remark - no, this is not what Hitler would've done, although the effect is the same. A real nazi way of doing this would be to replace the neutral watchdog by a party-based watchdog answerable only to the executive of the state, maintaining the illusion of a watchdog while in reality axing it.


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