Category Archives: Politcs

Bill C51- Canada’s new anti-terrorism legislation

“An Act to enact the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act and the Secure Air Travel Act, to amend the Criminal Code, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts”

A Google search on the new legislation will get you pages of polarized opinion, wailing and gnashing of teeth, but very little to no substance on the bill itself. To read the actual legislation pending third reading, rather than listen to a coterie of people and groups who know little to nothing of its content, click on this PDF link. The legislative summary-pre-release for the 41st Parliament Second Session has only just become available (March 9, 2015), and is not yet posted. Copies are available upon request from info@parl.gc.ca The text below is the cover text for the bill. Click the link in this paragraph for the complete text of the bill.

COVER:

RECOMMENDATION

His Excellency the Governor General recommends to the House of Commons the appropriation of public revenue under the circumstances, in the manner and for the purposes set out in a measure entitled “An Act to enact the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act and the Secure Air Travel Act, to amend the Criminal Code, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts”.

SUMMARY

Part 1 enacts the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act, which authorizes Government of Canada institutions to disclose information to Government of Canada institutions that have jurisdiction or responsibilities in respect of activities that undermine the security of Canada. It also makes related amendments to other Acts.

Part 2 enacts the Secure Air Travel Act in order to provide a new legislative framework for identifying and responding to persons who may engage in an act that poses a threat to transportation security or who may travel by air for the purpose of committing a terrorism offence. That Act authorizes the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to establish a list of such persons and to direct air carriers to take any necessary actions to prevent the commission of such acts. In addition, that Act establishes powers and prohibitions governing the collection, use and disclosure of information in support of its administration and enforcement. That Act includes an administrative recourse process for listed persons who have been denied transportation in accordance with a direction from the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and provides appeal procedures for persons affected by any decision or action taken under that Act. That Act also specifies punishment for contraventions of listed provisions and authorizes the Minister of Transport to conduct inspections and issue compliance orders. Finally, this Part makes consequential amendments to the Aeronautics Act and the Canada Evidence Act.

Part 3 amends the Criminal Code to, with respect to recognizances to keep the peace relating to a terrorist activity or a terrorism offence, extend their duration, provide for new thresholds, authorize a judge to impose sureties and require a judge to consider whether it is desirable to include in a recognizance conditions regarding passports and specified geographic areas. With respect to all recognizances to keep the peace, the amendments also allow hearings to be conducted by video conference and orders to be transferred to a judge in a territorial division other than the one in which the order was made and increase the maximum sentences for breach of those recognizances.

It further amends the Criminal Code to provide for an offence of knowingly advocating or promoting the commission of terrorism offences in general. It also provides a judge with the power to order the seizure of terrorist propaganda or, if the propaganda is in electronic form, to order the deletion of the propaganda from a computer system.

Finally, it amends the Criminal Code to provide for the increased protection of witnesses, in particular of persons who play a role in respect of proceedings involving security information or criminal intelligence information, and makes consequential amendments to other Acts.
Part 4 amends the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act to permit the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to take, within and outside Canada, measures to reduce threats to the security of Canada, including measures that are authorized by the Federal Court. It authorizes the Federal Court to make an assistance order to give effect to a warrant issued under that Act. It also creates new reporting requirements for the Service and requires the Security Intelligence Review Committee to review the Service’s performance in taking measures to reduce threats to the security of Canada.
Part 5 amends Divisions 8 and 9 of Part 1 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to, among other things,

(a) define obligations related to the provision of information in proceedings under that Division 9;
(b) authorize the judge, on the request of the Minister, to exempt the Minister from providing the special advocate with certain relevant information that has not been filed with the Federal Court, if the judge is satisfied that the information does not enable the person named in a certificate to be reasonably informed of the case made by the Minister, and authorize the judge to ask the special advocate to make submissions with respect to the exemption; and
(c) allow the Minister to appeal, or to apply for judicial review of, any decision requiring the disclosure of information or other evidence if, in the Minister’s opinion, the disclosure would be injurious to national security or endanger the safety of any person.

And if there is any doubt as to why you should find out for yourself what’s in the bill, here is what some of the citizens of Toronto who are protesting the bill think:

(video courtesy The Rebel TV and @TheRebelTV)

PI: Special Operations Command Central Multi-Method Assessment of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Special Operations Command Central Multi-Method Assessment of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Public Intelligence, March 8, 2015

The following multi-method assessment of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was commissioned in the summer of 2014 by MG Michael Nagata, Commander, SOCCENT and written by “an unofficial brain trust outside the traditional realms of expertise within the Pentagon, State Department and intelligence agencies” in an effort to understand the psychology of ISIL and its supporters.  The assessment was the subject of an article by the New York Times’ Eric Schmitt in late December 2014.  A “Subject Matter Expert Elicitation Summary” of the assessment from January 2015 is also available.

SOCCENT-ISIL-Assessment
Click the image at right to download a PDF of the report.

Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA)

 
Early in 2014, as it became clear that the rise of the so-­called “Islamic State” was becoming a significant menace to Regional Stability and US Interests, SOCCENT began a dialogue with Dr. Hriar Cabayan and his co-workers regarding a topic that has been at the core of the struggle against Violent Extremism. That question has been, and remains today, a perplexing one for those of us from Western cultures and societies: “What precisely are we contesting, and what is it that fuels the adversary’s power?”

In accordance with the age old dictum that, “before one can solve a problem, one must first seek to understand it,” I would argue that we in the West, and indeed most who were not born and raised within the Islamic world, have struggled to meet the test of the second part of that adage. As a veteran of Special Operations and Counter-Terrorism activities against Violent Extremism, this weakness in our comprehension has been a source of constant worry for myself and my colleagues. Too often, it has hindered my own efforts to plan operations, anticipate events, predict outcomes, or evaluate risks. While I would certainly argue that we have achieved some important successes over the years, honesty requires me to acknowledge that I have never been able to achieve all that I had hoped for.

Why? Is it an absence of skill? A lack of coordination or resources? A failure of imagination (as the 9/11 Commission famously reported after the events of 2001)? Those that know me might argue that I am guilty of all of them in some measure. Yet I have watched comrades and colleagues from across the Military, Diplomatic, Civilian, and Intelligence domains, from many different countries, have the same difficulties.

I believe that we do not yet fully comprehend that which we are contesting. And, in the case of the Islamic State (or al-­Dawlah al-Islamīyah fī al-­ʻIrāq wa-­al-Shām; which creates the Arabic Acronym-­ DA’ISH), we have a Violent Extremist foe that I believe is unlike any other we have contested. Whatever strengths al-­Qaeda has been able to demonstrate, in all its various forms from North Africa to Pakistan, in its contest with the International Community, DA’ISH is the most effective, most inspirational, and most powerful manifestation of Violent Extremism we have ever seen.

And, among all its various strengths, the one that has increasingly demanded attention has been the “intangible” power of DA’ISH—its ability to persuade, its ability to inspire, its ability to attract young men and women from across the globe, and its ability to create an image of unstoppable power and spiritual passion and commitment. While we can and certainly are mustering physical, financial, and other forms of “tangible” power and resources to effectively contest what DA’ISH is and what it strives for, where I would argue we are demonstrating significant weakness and vulnerability is in adequately confronting the “intangible” power of this enemy.

The contents of this paper reflect some of the work that Dr. Cabayan and his colleagues are doing to help us understand and comprehend this “intangible power” across a unique enterprise of academicians, scientists, policy intellectuals, current and former Foreign Service, military, and intelligence professionals. Most importantly, their efforts to improve our comprehension will enable us to adjust our efforts, our operations, our investments, and our risk-­‐calculations to more effectively contest it and the organization that wields it. I am grateful for their tireless work in this regard, and I commend it to the reader.

We face a terrible foe, and one that the world must defeat. To do so, we must be mindful of the need to understand him. And in the case of DA’ISH, we must come to understand the intangible power that he wields. Only then, can we truly begin unraveling the 21st Century Gordian Knot he has created against us.

H/T SDA

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Kheiriddin: This isn’t about the right to choose a burka over a bikini. It’s about a country’s values

This isn’t about the right to choose a burka over a bikini. It’s about a country’s values By Tasha Kheiriddin, March 11, 2015, National Post Full Comment Political parties can’t be all things to all people, nor should they. Instead, … Continue reading

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Vladeck: The Iran Letter and the Logan Act

Editor’s note: The following post (from Vladeck’s blog Lawfare) is a summary analysis of the essence of a current petition being hosted on the White House website, as discussed here. Sen Tom Cotton, lead signatory to the letter, outlines the … Continue reading

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HotAir: DOJ report totally vindicates Darren Wilson in Michael Brown shooting

Must read: DOJ report totally vindicates Darren Wilson in Michael Brown shooting by “Allahpundit”, March 4, 2015 I barely glanced at this in posting it to Headlines because I thought I already knew what it would say. Holder’s whining last … Continue reading

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Kessler: Obama’s claim that Keystone XL oil ‘bypasses the U.S.’ earns Four Pinocchios

Obama’s claim that Keystone XL oil ‘bypasses the U.S.’ earns Four Pinocchios by Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, March 2, 2015 “I’ve already said I’m happy to look at how we can increase pipeline production for U.S. oil, but Keystone is … Continue reading