Sunday, July 08, 2007

Who Should Lead the Mounties? Why, A Non-Policeman, of Course!

Well, I guess it's the end of the Mounties as we knew them.

Government draws new RCMP head from civilian ranks

Although, that might be over-reactionary... the RCMP was probably "over as we knew it" when CSIS was created to take over foreign security from the RCMP Foreign Liaison desk. While some bristle at one agency handling both domestic and international security and intelligence, I, and many others, actually preferred having the RCMP in charge of both. All we need to do is look to the States, who supposedly split up their security into the FBI (domestic intelligence & security) and CIA (foreign intelligence & security) immediately following WWII with their National Security Act.

All this did was to create the idea that the FBI would not act on foreign soil and the CIA would not spy on its own people. The FBI and CIA, in fact, continued to do both - except after the Security Act, it could now be considered "conspiracy theory" to even suggest that the CIA would, say, spy on its own people.

With the creation of CSIS in Canada, we received our own CIA. Unlike the States, CSIS is free to act as it sees fit domestically and abroad, as long as it can produce the slightest evidence of a "national security threat;" that classic phrase that has greased the war machines and coffers of the military/industrial complex and filled concentration camps for centuries.

With its latest move, Canada's Harper government (think George W. Bush, except not as much fun) has filled the head seat of the national police force with a man who has no police experience. In fact, the opposite: he's a lawyer! William Elliot has served as chief-of-staff to the Deputy Prime Minister during Brian Mulroney's (think George H. W. Bush with a bigger chin) reign of terror. This being the same Mulroney who secretly sold Canada's sovereignty to the US in the NAFTA agreements.
Elliot also served as National Security Adviser to the previous Liberal Prime Minister, Paul Martin. This point
is brought up by the current, Conservative, government to show that Elliot is fair and balanced. He has worked for both Liberal and Conservative governments, after all.

We all know by now this is hooey. Here in Canada, politicians switch parties like underwear - whichever party is most likely to get them elected, they will jump to that one; only to leave after one term to take a lucrative lobbying/CEO job right after (Belinda Stronach anyone?) In the US, this rarely happens, though by now most of us can see that there's simply no reason to: the platforms of the Republicans and Democrats are indistinguishable.

Specifically, Paul Martin's government was, in most standard ways of measuring such things, if anything, more conservative than the Conservatives; showing far less concern over national sovereignty and dignity than do the
Conservatives. So there is no reason to think Elliot somehow immune to political pressure - in fact, the opposite: he's been granted a post politically! Now that the RCMP Comission is just another political appointment that can be filled by anyone, why wouldn't he feel political pressure?

William Elliot being posted as commissioner of the RCMP is like making Henry Kissinger head of the FBI. Or Tony Blair Chief of Scotland Yard.

When I checked with my ex-RCMP friends, I was told that this is "the beginning of the end of the force as we know it," because the commissioner has the power to appoint senior officials all the way down the chain of command. Hmmm.... what does that remind you of? Sure reminds me of der fuhrer's SS.

I would like to thank the RCMP for all the work they have done to keep this country one of the safest (if not the safest) in the world. You've done well, but no (earthly) institutions last forever, it seems.

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