Greenwald: Harper Government Exploiting Recent Attacks to Expand Powers

By Nadia Prupis, CommonDreams, 27 October 2014

The Canadian government is exploiting last week’s attacks against soldiers in the country to push sweeping national security bills into law and give the state ever-more invasive surveillance powers, investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald said in Ottawa over the weekend. (...)

Last week, following two separate incidents that resulted in the death of Canadian soldiers, Prime Minister Stephen Harper argued that Parliament should give the nation’s spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, more surveillance power to track terror suspects abroad and to detain suspects at home. On Monday, the Conservative government began debate over a bill that would give those agencies additional powers, even as a report published Friday by the Security Intelligence Review Committee found that the CSIS was operating without accountability.

"Our laws and police powers need to be strengthened in the area of surveillance, detention and arrest," Harper told the House of Commons on Thursday. "They need to be much strengthened. I assure members that work which is already underway will be expedited."

In his speech, Greenwald noted that Harper's push came less than 48 hours after Wednesday’s attack, in which gunman Micheal Zehaf-Bibeau killed National War Memorial sentry Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.

"The speed and the aggression and the brazenness and the shamelessness with which the prime minister moved to manipulate and exploit the emotions around these events to demand more power for himself was... almost impressive," Greenwald said.

"These attacks are instantly seized upon as a way to further dismantle civil liberties and core principles of western justice," he continued. (...)

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Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/cc

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