Remember Maher Arar, the Canadian Citizen that was disappeared from La Guardia Airport by the US authorities, to Syria, where he was tortured? The story continues. Back in November, reporter Juliet O'Neill wrote a couple of stories concerning RCMP collusion with US DOJ Authorities in the Ottawa Citizen, citing a confidential source in the RCMP. Yesterday morning, Ms. O'Neill was woken up by 10 RCMP officers, who took all of her files, datebooks, computer hard drives, CDs and floppies from her home and office. She is charged under the new Security of Information act, which AFAICT, makes it a crime, punishable by 14 years in jail, just to know stuff that you're not supposed to know. What's more, from accounts I heard on the radio from the Editor of the paper, the lawyer representing the paper, and the reporter herself. It's clearly an intimidation tactic by the RCMP to try and force her to give up the source. She was told several times that "All these problems would go away" If she gave up her source. I'm going to update this story with links and other stuff as I find time. For a good overview on the story, here's the AP wire story Update: Paul Martin says Canada is not a police state Reminds me of an old joke from Yes, Minister. The way to confirm something is true is to hear a politician deny it. I first came accross this story listening to the 6:30 news update, as I was driving home from work. Then, I listened to As It Happens Scott Anderson relays some shocking things that were told to Ms. O'Neill by the police. Basically along the lines of "You can make all this go away, by revealing your source" This is something that is usually said in Third World dictatorships, where the concept of a free press is foreign. Then This morning, I listened to an interview with the reporter herself, and the lawyer for the Ottawa Citizen on Ottawa Morning [Warning: The preceding link is just for today, probably, I'll try and update once they have a more permanent link to the archives] Then I heard more on The Current Each story got more and more unbelievable. Check it out.


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22 January 2004