March 26, 2005

Program Note: Don't miss -- Fighting terrrorism -- "The Air India bombing: could it happen again?" -- CSIS & Gov Policy? Background Information Links

Rex Murphy's Cross Canada Checkup, Sunday, March 27, 2005

Broadcast time: Sundays at 1:00 p.m. PT, 2:00 p.m. MT, 3:00 p.m. CT, 4:00 p.m. ET, 5:00 p.m. AT and 5:30 p.m. NT on CBC Radio One

Cross Country Checkup. . . open-line radio program, broadcast live across Canada every Sunday afternoon on CBC Radio One and on the CBC Country Canada TV channel.

[] . . . Rex Murphy . . . discussion. . . invites listeners to call in with their opinions and thoughts.

[. . . . ] Toll-free number (during the broadcast only): 1-888-416-8333

[. . . . ]e-mail to checkup(at symbol)

[. . . . ] Rex will read several messsages throughout the show . . . . Please put the topic in the subject line of your message, and include your name and location at the end.

[. . . . ]One week after a long awaited resolution to the Air India bombing fell flat, the leaders of North America meet to tighten security and loosen trade. They say North America is in much better shape than before. Families of the Air India victims are not so sure.

What do you think? What went wrong ...and could it happen again?

[. . . . ] Links [Background information]

* Indepth: Air India The Bombing of Flight 182

* CBC Archives: The Air India Investigation

* Two acquitted in Air India bombings

* McLellan fields calls for Air India inquiry

Is this government policy?

It seems most strange to the layman or woman. I understand the need to protect privacy but surely, when you hear / read of /listen to plans to kill, then . . .

Why does CSIS destroy its wiretap tapes? -- Spy agency doesn't collect evidence says spokesperson March 22, 2005, John Geddes

Two decades after the Canadian Security Intelligence Service erased wiretap recordings that might have been key evid ence in the Air-India case, CSIS's standard procedure is still to destroy what it calls "intercepted" conversations. CSIS files only summary reports from its electronic eavesdropping -- then gets rid of tapes or transcripts within 30 days. Why not save the raw data that might some day help police or prosecutors? "We don't collect evidence," CSIS spokeswoman Barbara Campion told Maclean's. "The goal of the service is not to bring people to court. Our goal is to advise the government of threats to the security of Canada, and ultimately to neutralize those threats."

[. . . . ] But when it comes to wiretaps, she says CSIS policy remains essentially the same as in the mid-1980s [. . . . ]

Search: CSIS's mandate, its relationship with police, strictly necessary, University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies, might agree to a request


We can't handle the truth -- Canada should realize it's 'not exempt from contamination by the rest of the world' March 22, 2005, Ken MacQueen

There is a suggestion of racism -- but that term is bandied about so often that it has lost any emotive power for me -- and I suspect, for others.

Even after the deaths of 331 people in the Air-India bombings, the notion that Canada was a breeding ground for Sikh extremism

remained a largely unexplored topic. The government's failure to see this as a made-in-Canada disaster was in part what prompted authors Clark Blaise and his Indian-born wife, Bharati Mukherjee, to write The Sorrow and the Terror. . . .

[. . . . ] What were the motivations behind the Air-India attacks?

This kind of terrorism is about money, vanity, and it's about power. It's not about principled idealism or resistance. It's just like the IRA. It becomes a generational thing that makes money and gives you a kind of swagger.

What is your assessment of the strength of the Crown's case?

It was an incredible mess. The CSIS agent who erased all those tapes, was he or she acting alone or did they go to superiors to ask permission? CSIS was totally out of control, a totally undisciplined body that gathered information promiscuously and then decided whether it was going to use it or destroy it. The material couldn't stand the test of the rules of evidence and so, of course, the RCMP had to build a parallel case that would stand up. By that time, too much of the evidence had been destroyed, compromised and tainted. [. . . . ]

PBS Transcript: Bill Moyers Interviews Bharati Mukherjee, co-author with her husband Clark Blaise of THE SORROW AND THE TERROR: THE HAUNTING LEGACY OF AIR INDIA TRAGEDY -- Publisher: Viking Pr (June 1, 1987) ISBN: 0670812048 at Amazon

Any governments which fund differences instead of togetherness are foolhardy -- but this has been going on for years. We need to create Canadians, not fund separateness -- though it was not separateness in Canada which caused this disaster. More likely, it was ancient hatreds. Still, the politicians' need for identifiable voting blocs must not continue. We are Canadians, not hyphenated Canadians.

Air India bombing, racism and multiculturalism Arthur Weinreb, Associate Editor, March 22, 2005. Weinreb's work is worth reading. In fact, get in the habit of checking Canada Free Press.


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