Sunday, February 24, 2008

CSIS shows some of its pitiful cards: they got him outta the shower for this?

Lots of strange and outrageous news on the status of the four men held on so-called 'security certificates,' particularly in the last few weeks:

Mohamed Harkat was one of the men held on a security certificate who was released on bail, but under VERY strict bail conditions. One of those conditions is that his wife or Mother-in-law had to be in the house (or yard) with him at all times. Well, CSIS got wind of the fact that his MIL had broken up with her partner and moved out of the house, so they came and arrested Harkat while he was in the shower (Jan 29). Last Tuesday, a judge ruled that Harkat could be released and sent back home under similarly strict conditions. His wife or mother-in-law must still be present at all times (Feb 19).

On Saturday, CSIS finally released bits & pieces of the "evidence" they have against Harkat and the other men held on security certificates. The Harkats spoke to the Ottawa Citizen about it yesterday and it sounds like a total mess--Mohamed said that the name CSIS alleges to be a "shadowy financial kingpin" involved in terrorist financing is somehow equated with a friend--different name, different spelling, mind you--that Harkat happened to mention over 10 years ago. Gah!! CSIS also alleges that Harkat associated with Abu Zubaydah, but offered no proof. Hmmm...could it be something Zubaydah uttered while he was being waterboarded? One wonders. Mohamed's wife is also suspicious of the long, complete sentence-type quotes that CSIS alleges it extracted from her husband in the mid-90s, because he barely spoke any English at the time of those interviews. I want to quote the whole thing, but I shouldn't, so please go have a look if you have time.

As I said above, CSIS has also released dribs & drabs of its allegations against the other men held on security certificates (CTV):
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service released documents Friday that listed the various allegations against Moroccan-born Adil Charkaoui.
CSIS claims Charkaoui was actually in charge of training recruits at the al Qaeda camp, and also accuses him of talking about taking over a commercial aircraft for "aggressive ends," and applying for airport jobs in what may have been part of a terrorist plot.
[...] Here are some of the accusations made against Charkaoui and the four other accused:
  • Officials allege Charkaoui told CSIS that Abderraouf Hannachi sent him to an al Qaeda training camp. Hannachi, also of Montreal, sent the millennium bomber Ahmed Ressam to similar camps, the Globe and Mail reported. CSIS also claims Charkaoui trained terrorist recruits.
  • Syrian-born Hassan Almrei is accused of forging documents, and apparently using access cards to trespass on a restricted area of Toronto's Pearson International Airport in 1999.
  • Mahmoud Jaballah, of Egypt, is accused of communicating with terrorist cells, along with Osama bin Laden's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri - who he allegedly contact on a satellite phone and called him "the father."
  • CSIS has accused Mohamed Harkat of being an Algerian sleeper agent and claims to have overheard him possibly discussing terrorist activity.
Adil Charkaoui has released a statement denying the allegations against him. He also believes that some of the 'evidence' cited by CSIS was obtained under torture. You can find Charkaoui's complete response to the allegations at his website, but I will leave you with a sample (emphasis mine):
The new certificate was issued as a result of the Supreme Court decision ruling that the law under which the first certificate was issued was unconstitutional. The Coalition believes that the Harper government has not respected the Supreme Court decision, and that the new law, which entered into force today, remains unconstitutional, unjust and discriminatory. The law and the process which led to its adoption are an insult to democracy. (Analysis of C-3.)

We note that the new public summary of allegations against Mr. Charkaoui no longer includes information from Abu Zubaydah, which was obtained under torture. However, the Coalition is shocked by the fact that the government continues to rely on other information which there are serious grounds to believe was produced under torture. The government cites a confession by Noureddine Nafiaa, a prisoner in Morocco. Media in Morocco and Radio Canada have reported that Nafiaa says he was tortured and forced, blindfolded, to sign a confession that he never saw. His account of torture is corroborated by several reports by independent human rights organizations of the situation in Morocco. The fact that the government relied on torture-information from Zubaydah until this fact was very publicly exposed, and continues to use information from Noureddine Nafiaa, raises very serious questions about the source of other secret information in the file: was it also obtained under torture?

The Coalition is also very concerned that allegations from Ahmed Ressam remain part of the file. Ahmed Ressam, who identified dozens and dozens of people while imprisonned in the United States, under a bargain which lessened his sentence in exchange for information, has publicly retracted his information and is known to have suffered a mental breakdown in prison. Charkaoui and his lawyers have asked to cross-examine Ressam numerous times. This opportunity has always been denied, and it was finally admitted by the government that no sworn testimony existed, and that the information was based on hearsay.

Please go & read the rest of Mr. Charkaoui's response.

This is a fucking outrage.


Blogger skdadl said...

skdadl channels Jeff Sessions: See here, Ms Kitteh, do you not recognize that we are fighting a War on Terra? It's bigger than any of us. Of course it's regrettable that occasionally some of the little people who get swept up are entirely innocent, but that's the price we pay for defending freedom and the Merkin way of life. Why can't you people see that? *peers ominously at obvious terrist symp*

Oops. Wrong country. But the logic is the same, right? CSIS are channelling somebody.

'Nother oops. Probably wrong committee, too. A Repub on the HJC actually did make pretty much that speech the day that Arar appeared before them by satellite -- would have to check back to see which dork that was. He had the nerve to do it as every single other member present was apologizing to Arar.

It's always Sessions that I channel, though, when I'm looking for that mindset because I've watched him so much. He's the one Repub besides Arlen who takes the trouble to show up at the SJC regularly (not always an experience to be looked forward to, but one does get the patter down after a while).

2/24/2008 10:15 AM  
Blogger skdadl said...

Third oops: The House joint committee hearings before which Arar testified were, properly, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight, and the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

Now, why didn't I remember that right off the bat? ;-)

2/24/2008 10:50 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Gosh, we couldn't just try these guys in open court, using the rules of evidence, the Charter protections and the ability for everyone to see and evaluate the evidence. That would be...normal.

Nope, secret evidence obtained via torture and of questionable veracity with no ability for anyone to evaluate is how we must deal with the horror of teh I mean terrorists.

When did we elect Stalin?

2/24/2008 4:42 PM  

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