Monday, October 04, 2010

Neighbourhood Watch

Vic Toews, our Minister of Public Safety (sorry, wrong link), is quoted in the Globe & Mail today as saying:

[I]t's so very important that we have cooperation from the groups where these individuals are coming out of so that our security authorities can better assess the situation and protect Canadians.

He was referring specifically to the case of three Muslim students who have gone missing. There is suspicion, and only suspicion at this point, that the three are training somewhere in Jihadistan and planning to come back to Canada as fully-trained terrorists.

The Globe article continues:

The minister, who represents a southern Manitoba riding, urged groups that have spawned extremists to report their suspicions and held up Somali Canadians as an example.

"Some months ago, the Somali community approached the security authorities here in Canada expressing concern about their youth that had gone from Toronto overseas to fight jihad," Mr. Toews said. "I want to say that this is perhaps the most effective means of protecting Canadians against a terrorist threat."

Now, I'm a public-spirited citizen, and I want to do my part to help. Really, I do. You see, I'm a bit of a radical myself, although anti-terrorist and secular enough these days to make Osama bin Laden's forehead crease in his faraway cave. During the 'sixties, though, my father and brother both ran into security clearance problems because of me, or, more particularly, because of bubbleheads in what used to be known as the RCMP Security and Intelligence Directorate, renamed the RCMP Security Service in 1970. And they were on my trail as late as 1973, according, at least, to material I received through Access to Information.

My crime was to be friendly with some members of the Communist Party of Canada (by then little more than a discussion group, frankly) and to be a vigorous opponent of the Vietnam war, to the point of writing letters to the newspapers, which were dutifully collected by the RCMP SS. All was forgiven years later, however, when I was not only awarded a security clearance but gazetted, to become a hard-working member of the Public Service Pension Advisory Committee.

So I know, at first hand, that communities can spawn radicalism. And I want to do something about it.

The first hurdle to overcome is to figure out which community gave rise to me. The white community? The Christian-in-name-only (United Church) community? The anglophone community? The central Canada community? The NDP community? All of the above? Still more?

I ask only because I demand to know what leaders were accountable for me, and disgracefully dropped the ball, allowing me to flourish in their midst.

Once we have that one figured out, I'll know where to begin. As a conscientious citizen who believes in the rule of law, I want to keep an eye on those in my community who might be up to no good.

I just wish I had more resources. Let's begin with my literal community, Old Ottawa East. Keeping tabs on those folks is a difficult task, to put it mildly. They're never in, as I found in the past going door-to-door on my own street to sign folks up for the Old Ottawa East Community Association. As for the OOECA, I get to see them once a month at meetings. They seem like regular community-spirited folks, but as we know, that alone should arouse at least some suspicion.

I'm part of the left-wing community too, although, as everyone should know by now, there is a plethora of squabbling communities within that community. I've never quite known where I fit, to be honest. Should I just close my eyes and pick one at random? Should I try to join all of them?

I'm a member of the male community as well. Lots of suspect activity there, which I dutifully report to the Femintern, but nothing actually illegal, at least so far.

Well, I did report one misdemeanour-in-progress by three young men to the Ottawa Police, who arrived swiftly and did their thing. But were the men in question only incidentally male? I never did find out. So if I do see someone doing something bad, which community should be alerted, and faulted for not doing enough?

It's all so confusing. But in the War Against Terror, we all need to do our bit. I just require a little guidance, not to mention training and materials. In fact, joining CSIS appears to be my only option. But for some reason they don't want to hire me. Something to do with my security clearance.

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