2012-07-29 The undermining of Canadian values in the delay to approve transfer of Omar Khadr

The Minister of Public Safety in Canada, Vic Toews, recently made comments about Omar Khadr's potential transfer to Canada from Guantánamo Bay, where he has been incarcerated since 2002 when he was just 15 years old. The comment by Toews comes after the US formally requested a transfer in April of 2012, and after months of silence and inaction. Omar Khadr pleaded guilty in Guantánamo in 2010 to five charges. Under a plea deal, Khadr had his sentence reduced from 40 to 8 years. Such a transfer would allow Omar Khadr to serve the remainder of his sentence in Canada.

2012-03-05 Untitled Angst: the curse of lethargy in a time of monsters

Authored By: Nadim Fetaih


As Edmund Burke once wrote, “all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” It is time for Canada to shed the shackles of apathy and rise.

I have long been a proponent for a revolution in Canada. I have written many blog pieces to try and inspire the Canadian people and have stuck with my belief that Canada has the potential to once again become a leading force in the world, to inspire freedom and prosperity for people around the globe.

With recent events though, this belief has begun to chip away. My once strong resolve for hope has begun to decompose with the filth I have seen in not only the political spectrum, but the social spectrum as well. Within the past year alone we have seen so many repugnant acts by our political elite. Harper — our near dictatorial Prime Minister — has stepped beyond the bounds of his political mandate far too many times.

The most internationally known aspect of popular Canadian sentiments has been its exit from the Kyoto Protocol. This was not only a defeat to all those who have been fighting the oil tar sands development, but also to any Canadian who once believed we were leaders in the world. No, instead we boldly stated that we are nothing but puppets, selling our souls to international corporations at the expense of our health and environment.

In the process, we proved once more that we are nothing but a side-kick of our neighbors to the south — that unless our master, the United States of America, enters into an endeavor, neither will we.

2011-11-23 Omar Khadr Part 4 of 4: “Punitive post-conviction confinement”

ImageThis article is in lieu of the long delayed fourth part of the Omar Khadr series written on WL Central last May. The original fourth part consisted of hours of interviews regarding the astoundingly corrupt and illegal military process which culminated in a verdict which allows the Canadian press to refer to Omar Khadr as a 'convicted terrorist'. One day the information in those interviews will be widely known, but today we are still prevented from publishing any of it for fear of retribution to those we do not wish to harm.

Today, Omar should be at home in Canada, as promised by the Canadian government as a term of his acceptance of a plea deal. Today, he is still in Guantanamo Bay serving what the US military terms “punitive post-conviction confinement.”. A little known fact regarding the Guantanamo sentences is that time served before sentencing is not considered 'punitive' and therefore does not count as time served towards his sentence. Omar's sentence is to be carried out in a solitary confinement 'enhanced interrogation' environment, and at the end of his sentence he can be placed back in 'Prisoner Of War' status in the Guantanamo cells he has spent his life in since he was 15 years old. Without repatriation to Canada, his eight year plea deal is just an eight year sentence to solitary confinement in the middle of a lifetime sentence in Guantanamo.

2011-10-30 The value of street protests in the Occupy movement

Speakers in order of appearance:

    Heather Marsh. As Georgie she has been writing about the revolution since before the beginning, starting with A Stateless War in September 2010. As editor/administrator of WL Central, she has created a community for activists around the world to provide a new hard news organization, covering only the news people require in order to govern themselves and working towards the Wikileaks model of scientific journalism. This is an ongoing project that is about to get a lot bigger, building off of everything learned in the last year.

    A Canadian activist, she created Take the Square Canada and works with activists around the world to encourage and facilitate connection and communication for the revolution, both in Canada and around the world. She has been active in human rights and freedom of information for years.

    Zak Yahya is a blogger at Lebanon Spring blog, where he writes about current affairs in Lebanon and Middle East. He writes in Wikileaks Central matters related to the Wikileaks cables, democracy and human rights issues. He focuses on the matters originating from the Levant - Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Palestine and Iran. You can contact him on the Lebanon Spring blog or on twitter @TheZako

    Alexa O'Brien. In February of this year she founded, where alongside her friends, she pushed the edge of digital social media for scalable organization of civil disobedience and non-violent protest. was instrumental in the traditional and digital organization of the original September 17 action in 5 American cities, including Austin, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Oregon, and New York, and built trusted networks that spread #occupywallstreet virally across the United States.

    Since January 2011, she has covered the WikiLeaks release of US State Department Cables, JTTF memoranda known as the ‘GTMO files’, and revolutions across Egypt, Bahrain, Iran, and Yemen. She has interviewed preeminent US foreign policy expert on the Cambodia cables, and published hours of interview with former GTMO guards, detainees, defense lawyers, and human rights activists, as well as WikiLeaks media partners, including Andy Worthington, GTMO historian and author, and Atanas Tchobanov, Balkanleaks' spokesman and co-editor of

Listen to the conversation here.

2011-10-05 Canada joins the revolution #OccupyCanada #cdnpoli #oct15

Although Vancouver’s Adbusters has been credited with providing the name and one of the catalysts for the current Occupy Wall Street movement, Canada's attempts to initiate any reform action of its own are just now gaining attention. Copycat Occupy Wall Street type Twitter accounts and sites are springing up for most major cities, scheduling a demonstration as part of the October 15 democracy movement. These accounts have mostly appeared in the last couple weeks, and copy Occupy Wall Street’s model of concentration in major cities and no agenda outside of communication. Occupy Canada simply has a message of solidarity with the other Occupy movements.

An earlier site with a very clear agenda is Take the Square Canada, which asks for the creation of a true participatory democracy by:

  • - Greatly increasing transparency so that everyone has the information to make governing decisions.
  • - Allowing creation of bills by regular citizens which can be drafted, debated, and prioritized, in public, by the public.
  • - Requiring online discussion of and voting by referendum on all bills

Take the Square Canada also strongly supports the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a 63 year old document generally agreed to be the foundation of international human rights law and many constitutions, was first drafted by Canadian John Peters Humphrey and Canada was one of the original signatories. Canadian law and policies should never deny the rights we are entitled to under the UDHR.

2011-09-25 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks


Resuming daily WikiLeaks notes after a two-week interruption, with Cablegate and WikiLeaks-related news published within the last two weeks having received significant coverage, ordered by date ; followed by a list of links to other Cablegate stories.

25/9 Canada paid ransom to free diplomats Robert Fowler and Louis Guay from al-Qaeda in 2009, cables show.

24/9 An unrevised draft of Julian Assange’s memoirs, ghost-written by Andrew O’Hagan, is being distributed without Julian Assange’s consent by Canongate.
In a statement Julian describes the circumstances that lead to the unauthorized publication:

...I am not “the writer” of this book. I own the copyright of the manuscript, which was written by Andrew O’Hagan. By publishing this draft against my wishes Canongate has acted in breach of contract, in breach of confidence, in breach of my creative rights and in breach of personal assurances. The US publisher, Knopf, withdrew from the deal when it learned of Canongate’s intentions to publish without my consent. This book was meant to be about my life’s struggle for justice through access to knowledge. It has turned into something else. The events surrounding its unauthorised publication by Canongate are not about freedom of information — they are about old-fashioned opportunism and duplicity—screwing people over to make a buck.

2011-09-07 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks


This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.

10:00 PM Companies working with the Khartoum government enabled the perpetration of atrocities against civilians in Darfur.

09:20 PM A round-up of WikiLeaks news by newspaper The Zimbabwean:

The late army commander General Solomon Mujuru allegedly sent an emissary to the MDC without President Robert Mugabe’s knowledge in 2000 to warn the party about a planned violent crackdown.
Goodson Nguni, a well known Zanu (PF) activist, was named as the emissary. It is alleged that he negotiated a pact with the MDC whereby they agreed to an amnesty for current and past government officials, in return for an open dialogue about the possibility of forming a coalition government.
It has also been revealed that African diplomats have called for President Robert Mugabe’s ‘graceful’ exit from power. Leaders who, in the past, have stood by the octogenarian leader, have, according to Wikileaks, grown impatient with the Zimbabwean situation. (…)

08:50 PM Canadian multiculturalism policies were believed by Canadian officials to have affected the efficacy of anti-terrorism and anti-radicalization efforts.

2011-09-06 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks


This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.

>> Updates on WikiLeaks news from #wlfind twitter hashtag (as curated by @wikileaks):

* Absolutely extraordinary cable on Indian extrajudicial assassinations 'encounter killings'.

* Georgia expresses concern over 2010 increase in Russian arms shipments to Armenia.

* WikiLeaks Cable Shows US Embassy Believed Jakarta Election Was ‘Rigged’.

* Tantawi sucking up to centcom in 2006, said "simple" Egyptians don't understand benefits of US-Egypt relationship.

10:35 PM Muammar Gaddafi was a key financier of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its military wing and offered support to terrorist groups world wide.
Excerpt of a U.S. diplomatic cable from 1991:

"On rare occasions the Libyans have used couriers to deliver money to terrorist organizations; the transfer usually occurs in a third country"

2011-07-31 Canada's WTF file on WikiLeaks

Authored by Joe B

Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade created a WikiLeaks Task force, and this was first reported by the king of ATIP, Ken Rubin. Given the fact that Mr. Rubin didn’t release the source material didn’t really help matters, since we couldn’t pick apart the document, see which agencies were directly involved with the DFAIT-led WikiLeaks Task Force and we didn’t know what the policy was for people to visit WikiLeaks from various Government of Canada pages.

I sent an ATIP asking for the source document, and it was dealt with informally, so I got my cheque back. The document itself is 376 pages, and is a collection of e-mails dealing with the WikiLeaks cables, and providing a summary of them. There’s tons of acronyms that I don’t understand at all in DFAIT, luckily the DFAIT website provides this nice list of definitions that is required to follow along to see who is doing what.

2011-07-29 Canadian government determined to send Abdullah Khadr to the US

In a completely predictable move, the Canadian government has appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada to fight their earlier two losses in a bid to extradite Abdullah Khadr to the US. Abdullah Khadr was captured and tortured by Pakistani forces who were paid $500,000 by the US for their efforts. He was held for fourteen months in a Pakistan prison without charges, and arrested again within a week of his return to Canada. He was then held without bail, pending extradition to the US, from December 2005 until his release last August 2010. In response to the application brought by Khadr's lawyer Dennis Edney, arguing that the US government's evidence against Khadr was inadmissible because it relied on information gathered under torture in Pakistan, the Ontario Superior Court's presiding judge called his treatment "both shocking and unjustifiable."

Canada's government predictably appealed and in May, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the verdict unanimously. The 33 page decision stated that to allow the extradition would amount to the Canadian courts being complacent with the torture.

2011-07-25 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks


This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.
New Cables were released today.

02:05 PM Murdoch Leaks is a new website that, as the name indicates, is accepting information on 'wrong doing relating to Rupert Murdoch's affiliated institutions'.

10:40 AM A diplomatic cable from 2009 offers insight into Canada’s approach to foreign policy in Latin America.
Former Australian prime minister John Howard's influence on Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s strategy is described in paragraph 2.
(Harper had caused controversy in 2008 when he copied parts of a Howard speech supporting U.S. led invasion of Iraq.)

…"Harper had long been favorably impressed by Australia's ability to exert outsized influence with the U.S. in particular -- and other powers as well -- by emphasizing its relations in its own neighborhood, observed Lambert, who added that PM Harper hoped to gain similar benefits for Canada by increased attention to Latin America and the Caribbean. When forming his second government after the October 2008 election, PM Harper also created the new position of Minister of State for the Americas, naming former journalist and new Conservative MP Peter Kent."

2011-07-17 Archive Fever: A Crowd-Sourced Investigation into Library Catalogue Classification of WikiLeaks as an "Extremist Web Site"

NB: See end of story for updates, now including an official reply by The National Library of Australia & the US Library of Congress. Additional contact details for National Library and Archives Canada as well as the US Library of Congress have been added.

Submitted by @nyxpersephone.

This article would not have been possible without the help of many Twitter users, most notably @Asher_Wolf, @carwinb, @CassPF, @dexter_doggie, @issylvia, @jaraparilla, @JLLLOW, @m_cetera, @NOH8ER.

A Cataloguing-in-Publication (CiP) record is what you usually see on the second page of a book, right after the title page. It is similar to the catalogue record of a book in a library and contains basic information on the book, such as the author's name and the title of the book. It also contains "keywords" ("subject headers") that may be used by librarians and other information professionals to classify the book in their collections.

CiP records are usually provided upon request by national libraries and/or national bibliographic databases, such as the National Library of Australia (NLA) and the Library of Congress (LOC). So the CiP is a useful thing, albeit rather boring and usually only of interest to librarians and information professionals.

However, in the case of WikiLeaks and Andrew Fowler's book "The Most Dangerous Man in the World", the CiP makes for an interesting story. Examining the keyword section headers of the CiP-record on Fowler's book, one cannot help but notice the last one: "Extremist web sites".

2011-07-16 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks


This is a "WikiLeaks News Update," constantly updated throughout each day. The blog tracks stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks but also follows stories related to freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.

02:35 PM Wikileaks classified as an "extremist website" by the NLA (National Library of Australia). The classification can be seen here, as printed in The Most Dangerous Man In The World, a biography of Julian Assange, authored by Andrew Fowler. Another book on Wikileaks, Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s, can also be found under the ‘extremist’ category in the Library of Congress catalogue. Only a second book shares this category in the LoC catalogue : ‘U.S. strategy for countering jihadist Web sites…’
Questions remain as to why this classification was applied to certain books regarding the whistleblowing organization.

A few Wikileaks supporters who brought this to my attention are joining forces to enquire about and, if considered necessary, to protest against the ‘extremist’ label.

To contact the NLA on this subject through an online form click here. (edit: fixed link) Their telephone number is 02 6262 1458 (international code for Australia +61)

09:15 AM Revolution Truth has now officially released its first Wikileaks short film(!).

2011-07-01 Gaza Flotilla: a fight to take a stand [Updated]

The fight enroute to Gaza between the worldwide volunteers and the governments of Israel, the United States and Greece—has been portrayed from two opposite sides, yes, but opposite in a political and moral compass completely broken: on one side, the flotilla argues the desperate need of help and hope with which the Gazans live every day while, on the other side, the authorities trying to block the flotilla have accused it of being “ready to kill Israeli soldiers” or—more rhetorically convenient—“ready to kill Jews” due to the allegedly obscure intentions behind “Muhammad Sawalha, a senior UK-based Muslim Brotherhood figure connected to Hamas”, according to the website Gaza Flotilla 101.

2011-06-06 Omar Deghayes on Omar Khadr

ImageAuthored by Alexa O'Brien and Heather Marsh.

Omar Deghayes is a UK citizen who was imprisoned in Guantánamo in January 2002 and freed from there on December 18, 2007. Details of his treatment in Guantánamo can be read here. He speaks to PressTV about his experiences here.

Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen who was captured at fifteen after the compound he was living in in Afghanistan was bombed by US military. He was tortured at Bagram prison and Guantánamo, and has spent the last nine years of his life imprisoned by the US. WL Central coverage on Omar Khadr is here.

Omar Deghayes spoke to WL Central's Alexa O'Brien on June 5. The following is an excerpt from that interview.

Did you have any contact with Omar Khadr?

OD: Yes definitely. I know him very well. He was locked up in Camp 5 for a long time, and I saw him in the other camp also before for a short period of time. But in Camp 5 I was locked up with him for a long time.

Do you think that Omar Khadr would be a threat to society if and when he is released to Canada?

OD: No. Definitely not. Even the guard and the interrogators in Guantanamo I think used to like him a lot ... for his personality. He is an open, kind person. I don't think he would be a threat to society. No.

2011-06-03 The Militarization of Canada's Universities

Reprinted with permission from author Laura Beach, Co-founder of TapThirst and student activist. This article was originally published by The Mark

From simulation programs to unmanned drones, Canada's schools have joined the fight.

Fifty years ago, in his farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower warned the American public against the “unwarranted influence” of industry and military interests on academic institutions. A close look at this influence within the context of Canadian universities suggests he had good cause to worry.

The influence of what Eisenhower termed the “military industrial complex” within the university sphere has been facilitated by a number of radical changes in post-secondary research and funding paradigms. Over the past four decades, a shift away from numbers-based funding toward “performance”-based indicators has effectively minimized the importance of enrolment, retention, and graduation rates while maximizing the importance of job placement data, faculty productivity, and external funding for research.

External (corporate) funding for research has assumed a central role in the university funding paradigm with the rise of proprietary research, accompanying sales and revenues generated through royalties, and a growing emphasis on public-private research partnerships. A significant portion of federal funding to Canadian universities now flows through “matching funds” projects where industry and government share financial investment.

2011-05-29 Prism Magazine: Livestream discussion on the Canadian and American “No-Fly Lists”


Prism Magazine, founded by Maher Arar, will be broadcasting a livestream discussion on Sunday May 29 at 10:00am EST. Jeff Sallot, an instructor of Journalism at Carleton University and former Globe and Mail Bureau Chief, will host a discussion on the Canadian and American “No-Fly Lists” and their impact on civil liberties. Confirmed guests are Roch Tassé, Ben Wizner and Moazzam Begg.

Moazzam Begg was refused board on a direct Air Canada flight from London to Toronto last week, preventing him from speaking at a Conference on Islamophobia and The Politics of Fear at the Islamic Society of York Region, Toronto Canada, on May 21, as well as two other speaking engagements in Canada.

The livestream will be available at both the following sites:


Infographic credit: JESS3.

2011-05-24 Dennis Edney, Lawyer For Omar Khadr speaks on Fear, Injustice and his Guantanamo visits

"The only crime in my view, equal to willful inhumanity is the crime of indifference, silence and forgetting."

Dennis Edney, Lawyer For Omar Khadr speaks on Fear, Injustice and his Guantanamo visits in a Conference on Islamophobia and The Politics of Fear at Islamic Society of York Region, Toronto Canada, May 21, 2011. This is the conference that Moazzam Begg was denied permission to board a direct Air Canada flight from London to Toronto to speak at "because of US policy" and the extremely unlikely possibility that the flight may be diverted into US air space.

The following are transcribed excerpts from Dennis Edney's speech.

What we are witnessing is the constant drip of sanity slipping from our grasp as our apathy has allowed whispers of anti-Muslim sentiment to become part of the mainstream on conversation.

On Guantanamo protecting us: We want to protect ourselves from the voice of people like Moazzam Begg.

2011-05-23 UPDATE: Omar Khadr Supreme Court review denied, request for clemency still to be heard #cdnpoli

Updated information from Khadr's legal counsel states that the Supreme Court dismissal this morning related to a years old appeal from Khadr that was actually disallowed last fall by the terms of his plea deal, which ordered "he must dismiss all presently pending action."

“As part of his pre-trial agreement, he had to dismiss his claim against the government,” said his US military defense attorney Lt.-Col. Jackson. “Once the claim was dismissed, and the government accepted the dismissal, they still keep the caption (or heading) of the case as Khadr vs. Obama (as a way to keep the process) consistent, but he’s no longer a plaintiff on that.” Khadr's request for review was bundled with several other requests from other Guantanamo prisoners.

The request for clemency still stands and may be heard this week.

The US Supreme Court denied Guantanamo inmate Omar Khadr's request for clemency today. While a majority voted against granting the petition, Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor "indicated that they wanted to review the case." Courthouse News opines "Monday's contribution affirms the appearance that the court will defer to the mostly conservative D.C. Circuit on Guantanamo detention matters. The justices have not decided a detainee case in nearly three years."

2011-05-21 Omar Khadr Part 3 of 4: “The world doesn't get it”

ImageDennis you always say that I have an obligation to show the world what is going on down here and it seems that we've done every thing but the world doesn't get it, so it might work if the world sees the US sentencing a child to life in prison, it might show the world how unfair and sham this process is, and if the world doesn't see all this, to what world am I being released to? A world of hate, unjust and discrimination! I really don't want to live in a life like this. - Omar Khadr in a letter to defense attorney Dennis Edney.

Omar Khadr was the first child soldier to be charged with a war crime since world war two. The non-existent crime that he was charged with, “murder in violation of the law of war” can be summed up as: It is legal for US soldiers to kill children. It is a war crime for children to kill US soldiers.

After eight years of delays while the US government searched for a possible crime and changed courts and judge, Omar found himself in front of a military tribunal with seven military officers who decided his fate ought to be another forty years of imprisonment. (For a sentence of ten years or more, six of the seven jurors had to agree.) Human Rights Watch said of the fifteen officers selected as potential jurors, All of the 15 indicated that Khadr's age held no significance for the case. ... An Air Force Captain said that in his opinion, a child would need to be as young as five or six to avoid adult courts if accused of a homicide.

The plea deal

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