News Media
Open letter to the Canadian mainstream media
By Dave Patterson
Online Journal Guest Writer

Jun 6, 2006, 00:53

I have a couple of questions about all of this "Terrible Terrorist Plot Stopped in Toronto!!!!" stuff. I have been appalled and astounded at what I have seen the last couple of days, not only from the Canadian "security" people, but from the Canadian media.

Not for the first time, but you in the media have really gone to new depths this time. I don't think I've seen or heard a sane, rational word since YOU started this whole thing -- it's all bogeyman, bogeyman, bogeyman. Some of the rumors and crap you people are "reporting" are nothing more than pathetic. How can any of you call yourselves "journalists"? The lot of you have been acting like a bunch of hysterical teenagers. Whatever small amount of credibility you had left after 20 years of acting as the frontline for neocon propaganda has been shot big time.

1. Why has nobody in the media brought up a similar raid that these same people engineered a little less than three years ago (Aug 23/03), with all the same self-congratulatory back-patting and shouting at that time about stopping a great terrorist plot (remember the panic about the plane flying over the Pickering reactor OHMYGODJUSTTHINK!!!)? But within weeks all the "terrible terrorists" were released with nothing more than some minor visa irregularities actually uncovered (and nary a word on any front page about how or why YOU reported the "terrorist" stories without question, no mea culpas to be found . . . and no "investigative" stories about how all that happened -- or why.

How in god's name did they manage to get so far out of touch with reality then to inflate some minor visa problems into a major terrorist plot? And what have we learned since to make us think their "work" is any better now (do we remember Juliet O'Neill? Airbus? Vancouver?) how many police corruption cases are we dealing with in Toronto at the moment? I've lost track . . . ? Are the Milgard and Trustcott stories working their way through the system, etc. and etc. and etc?)

Why are the entire Canadian media acting like Hill and Knowlton for the RCMP, etc ,here, rather than the impartial purveyors of "all" the news they are supposed to be? (Remember, again I remind you, stand back from the police announcements and hysteria, which are somewhat less than impartial. There has been no violence, no bombs, no threats, no nothing, only an apparent sting operation of some sort (("Psst, hey kid, wanna try this pot? HAHA GOTCHA YOU'RE UNDER ARREST YOU DAMNED POTHEAD!!!" or the clever undercover lady cops pretending to sell sex then snatching the customers - pathetic!!)), and a lot of running around by 400 cops with big guns and flak suits handcuffing a few non-resisting kids, and so far at least completely unproven accusations and allegations, from a very much NON-impartial source)

If it turns out there are no actual terrorists to worry about, then a whole lot of people who like to strut around with guns showing what big men they are and scaring people and sneak around reading other people's mail are suddenly out of work and have to behave themselves, not to mention another gang of people who are hell bent on making everybody carry some form of citizen ID card. I mean, that is to say, these very people have done very similar "The sky is falling!!!!" games before, and wound up with nothing but eggy faces.

Surely at least a TINY bit of skepticism would not be out of place here. Why the huge charge of all the media to the "Oh my god!! We almost all died from terrible terrorists!!!" bandwagon? I just don't really get it. Unless, of course, there are ulterior motives about keeping the Canadian people sufficiently worried about their safety to allow various somewhat repressive laws, etc., but that would getting into conspiracy theory territory, and we certainly wouldn't want to do that -- let's just stick with what we can see . . .

2. Almost of of those arrested and accused of these terrible things are young people, a lot of them just teenagers, and were "clandestinely observed" (if YOU do this to your neighbor, you're gonna get in trouble!! - what a sick bunch of f***s!) for months, it appears, as they talked about things the police interpreted as "terrorist"-related (as they interpreted the poor Pakistani trying to learn to fly three years ago and being instructed by his instructor to pass near the Pickering reactor). And we also have to wonder how much the "police" and everyone led them on, and perhaps, it now appears, even lured them into buying the so-called "terrorist bombing materials" (and this of course raises the question: what other "undercover officers" inveigled their way into the chat rooms where these kids were hanging around and talking about all sorts of stuff, and encouraged talk of bombing and so on, in order to get these kids to go further than they might have gone without such encouragement????).

But what I want to know is why didn't somebody talk to some parents along the way here, and sit down with some kids (which they are!), and explain to them that the things they were doing or thinking about doing were potentially quite dangerous, and could get them in a lot of trouble and cause a lot of damage to their community and country they probably weren't really considering and probably really didn't want. And if they were having problems or issues or whatever with the way things were, there were, at least, other channels to try first, before resorting to violence which would get them into all sorts of trouble, which could have a lot of bad repercussions for a lot of people around them, that they probably didn't realise?

Maybe they were talking to some bad people, and could benefit from a bit of different talk. You know, the intelligent Atticus Finch "treat em like adults" approach, rather than the somewhat less intelligent, but very modern American, "We gonna kick ass and treat em like dogs what oughtta do what they damn well told, by god we'll show em!!!" approach? It's pretty obvious to any intelligent person which way engenders at least a chance of mutual understanding and respect and dialogue and a peaceful outcome all the way around, and which ensures increased animosity and violence. Why would the cops choose the path leading to violence and why would the media support this approach?

3. What possible reason would the "security" forces, whatever they were, have that they deemed it necessary to make such a spectacle out of gathering up their suspects? No "imminent threat". No "clear and present danger" (heh heh, we offered the kid a gun, and he took it -- so he might have shot somebody, so we arrested him; we are so clever!!). No known group of armed, experienced criminals ready and willing to engage in some kind of firefight when faced with arrest. None of that, just a bunch of teenagers from mostly good homes, according to all reports, living in the family homes, none armed or with any history of violence (beyond police fantasies).

Why not send a couple of normal "peace" officers to the doors of the homes in some normal fashion, and have a chat with the suspected felon, and then if necessary read out charges and rights, and take the accused into custody -- normal procedure sort of stuff???? There has been NOTHING in any of the news reports so far to indicate that this approach would not have met with complete success, at least as far as getting the 'suspects" into custody is concerned. It certainly would have raised a lot less attention in the media and thus eyes of the Canadian public, and offered a lot less opportunity for everyone to go around shouting about the "great terrorist plot" that had been foiled. Unless, of course, that indeed was the whole point of the exercise.

4. Final rhetorical question: Why will no mainstream Canadian media print this letter, or one like it asking similar questions?


Dave Patterson
Hat Yai, Thailand

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