Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Dawn of Justification for the Compromise of Human Rights

The History of Security Certificates from 2001-2008:

Security Certificates used to be used towards suspected spies, but now they are being used on suspected terrorists. Do they need to have enough information before they detain you? No, but they’ll hold you down while they’re in the months-long process of searching for more information to decide whether you are truly a threat or not.

Naturally, once the 2001 attacks happened in New York City, Security Certificates came into the forefront of the Canadian public’s attention; which is odd that we would need such a thing, given that we do not often hear of any pending attacks from Anti-Canadian foreigners.

After the attacks on The World Trade Centre, Bush has quoted, “America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people” (i.e. we don’t care for your opinion), “I will never relent in defending America - whatever it takes” and “I believe the most solemn duty of the American president is to protect the American people. If America shows uncertainty and weakness in this decade, the world will drift toward tragedy. This will not happen on my watch.” Clearly he thinks American citizens are feeble minded and helpless. According to him, we need to surrender our protection and security to ‘daddy’ and have him make decisions on our behalf, even if we’re forcibly handing over our rights under the guise of ‘National Security’.

Why quote what Bush says? Well it’s no surprise that Canada is following in America’s footsteps. They invade Afghanistan, we send troops. They feel their security is threatened and they need to take measures without boundaries, the same happens over here.

So what does Harper say about suspected terrorists and Security Certificates? “Whether the best thing is to send them right out of the country or simply detain them until we get full information, we can look at either; but know this is a problem that does need to be fixed. Particularly post 9/11, we can’t take these kinds of security risks." (Feb 2004). And I once again quote "SIMPLY" detain them UNTIL WE GET FULL INFO. To them it is simple to take someone out of their home and family life and throw them in a cell for months on end. Let's take this quote to heart.


Once again, just like Bush, “by any means necessary”. If it means detaining you for months with lack of sufficient information, then that’s what has to be done.


Question: what happened to the whole ‘warrant’ idea… having enough proof in order to obtain a warrant before searching someone’s personal space and arresting them? In this case it’s more like, “We have an inkling…but will arrest you until sufficient information may or may not be found”.

The quote by Harper above about Security Certificates was in 2004. Let’s fast forward to 2007. They've decided they can't just decide to send a 'National Threat' 'back home' IF that person will face death or torture. So instead, they'll SIMPLY be detained.


Whereas before the detained did not have a right to a lawyer, The Supreme Court decided (more like suddenly became enlightened with a dose of common sense) that detaining individuals without allowing someone to advocate on their behalf is a violation of human rights. Yet still, while the lawyers are exposed to the ‘evidence’ – the detained, their family nor the public can know what that terrorist-related ‘evidence’ is.

A summary is given to the individual, but the “summary must include sufficient information to enable the individual to be reasonably informed of the circumstances giving rise to the certificate, but it does not include anything, in the opinion of the judge, that would be dangerous to national security or the safety of any person if disclosed”. Adil C. claimed that his 400 page report that he was given while detained, cited nothing in relation to him and Al-Qaeda.

Source for more info: http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/prg/ns/seccert-eng.aspx

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

it's quite funny to have read your blog just last night and then to see another blog thinking nothing can get that much worse than being shipped out of your country...but to be trapped in a country thinking you had all the rights in the world is just disgusting.

its something that the cops say to you right when they arrest and something that you honestly think you can fall back on- "innocent 'til proven guilty"...riiiight. how can you just be arrested and taken to prison before your processing, which mind you, as you mentioned, takes over a month!

i just think that the government is scared of what could happen- scared out of their minds- and will do anything they can to 'prevent' it from happening.

thanks for opening up our eyes blogger.

Horus said...

It all comes back to stereotyping, the whole system is screwed up because a few terrifed individuals can't seem to think outside the box. Anyone who lives just according to his rules and ideass is truly ignorant,, and unfortunately most of us are doing so. Thank you for your blog, but unfortunately its just another scream in millions striving for justice, but won't change anything. We need a huge revolution to fix everything that has gone wrong in such a corrupt and animalistic system driven solely by fear.

faa-T said...

I think as with most visitors and authors of this blog, I find the security certificates idea absolutely outrageous - not to mention that it's in direct violation of the following section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom:

10. Everyone has the right on arrest or detention

a) to be informed promptly of the reasons therefor;
b) to retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right; and
c) to have the validity of the detention determined by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful.


But to take this discussion beyond the superficial and obvious, here are two questions for thought and one honest question (because I couldn't find the answer online)

(1) all the current and past security certificate detainees - were any/all of them canadian citizens? I know Maher Arar is a citizen but the security certificates were not used as a tool to prosecute him..

(2) I would assume that citizens and non-citizens are treated very differently even when the tool used is the same (i.e. security certificates). I think this brings up a more moral/philosophical discussion around human rights - can we take somebody's rights away or treat them poorly simply because they dont have a stamp that says that they are "citizens" of the country? Please note that I don't think the answer is a simple "no" because there are many rational arguments for saying "yes" to the above. Also, what makes a "citizen" (not in practical terms of how long you have to remain the country to be granted citizenship), but WHAT exactly is the philosophical arguments for citizenship?

(3) so, I recognize that security certificates are in obvious conflict with the nation's code of conduct (i.e. the charter). But we also recognize the "need" by the government structures to ensure safety of it's citizens or states against a "perceived" threat (the word perceived implies that the threat could be nothing but a mere product of our imagination, OR, could be a very rationale and legit concern). Anyway, recognizing the two needs - what kind of replacement can be suggested to the government to fulfill it's need of ensuring national safety while also making sure that individual rights are respected?

Anonymous said...

The thing that scares me is that all this is happening and the average citizen doesn't know about it. All the power is put in the hands of a few, and we will only hear about it if it makes the news (which I assume doesn't happen very often). I think about my own social position and how I can generally travel between countries without fear, but with all this happening I don't think I can be blamed for having a fear of immmigration officers...especially in the states!

Anonymous said...

americans need to get to the root of the problem, detaining ppl will not solve anything.
they need to figure out why their hated, and change their foreign policies.

startin with peace in the middle east.

Anonymous said...

The Americans started the fight ..so let them finish it.
They need to learn how to find Peace within their nation.

Detaining individuals wouldnt solve anything.
They will be hated more .

Mista Guess said...

Very interesting. I think when all is said and done WE ARE HUMAN.. As life goes by we all make our rules and break them. we create a system to only then create a back way to the system. Where there are games there are cheat codes...humans are very civilized but imagine how easy and fast that can all change! We need to stay focus and not allow anyone to make us to busy to deal with the things that matter, the things we have passion for! Over the yrs life changes becuase we change it! Get focus, Be Focus and stay focus!

aypatel said...

It seems like FEAR is at the root of all these issues. Governments feel that people will be less afraid if security certificates are in place --> when in fact, the opposite is true. Tactics like this just breed more fear and insecurity and threaten the very rights and justices this country stands for.