Monday, February 05, 2007

Guilty As Not Charged

I was exchanging emails with a good friend of mine yesterday, and I was reminded of a few items that I wanted to record. This is in the vein of the almighty-gubmint acquiring power through snow jobs over their constituancy. This is just a sidebar to my -War- exposé.

Abuse of power is the word of the day, and due process is the victim.

A guy I know (first hand), was caught up in a scandal several years ago. He was a puny business man involved in lower levels of government. He and his wife owned a small shop as well. In other words, not a "huge cheese", just a regular joe.

Being somewhat in politics, I’m sure there were some things that would be deemed scandalous by the general population if it got out. But who’s to know? Here’s the rub: someone of unknown origin and by unknown design sicked the police on our man to dig up some dirt.

To make a long sordid story short, the cops seized everything: moneys, the kids’ computer, assets, basically turned his life and that of his children completely upside down and inside out. The investigation went on for months, if not years really. Under such brazen attack he was forced to resign and his business was totally washed out.

He was, and in a sense still is, ruined.

He was treated as a common criminal. His rights were disregarded and in effect he was prevented from defending himself. They broke him, pure and simple.

The cops found nothing. NUH-thing. Nada. Squat. Dick. Goose egg. Zilch.

It is my firm belief that nobody can be that good at hiding stuff from such an investigation. So if the police didn’t find anything, that’s because there was nothing to find.

To this day it is unclear why this civil weapon was levelled against out man. He was a minnow in a basically meaningless position. I suspect, through ulterior knowledge, that it may have been drug-running related, and he needed to be removed from his post because he was unlikely to play ball. This is speculation of course as no evidence was ever turned up.

The point I am trying to make is that he was deemed guilty from the onset. In Canada we have the philosophy of innocent until proven guilty, which guideline was clearly lacking in this case. Who the hell needs due process and jails when you can ruin someone just as effectively with well placed police action.

It could be argued that he could take the gubmint to court over something like this, with a simple slander case for example, but against who? Anyways, he no longer has the means. Dare I say, the lesson has been learned, a few more threats from the cops and he would fold like a deck of cards. He would be insane not to. Shocking though the case may be, no one would be stupid enough to independently take it on because it just doesn’t have any sex-appeal.

And oh joy - oh bliss, he wasn't the only one being targetted, so he needn't take it personally. (I'm not sure whether this makes it better or worse really!)

There is no real and effective check and balance for something like this. Sure Mr. Arar pulled it off but only because he got lucky that a major-newspaper reporter got hold of insider information. Otherwise, his injustice and suffering would have been in silence. I won’t speak further to Mr. Arar’s case because I just don’t know what really happened.

I have another story of identical ilk, which I will not discuss openly. The common thread is that if you are standing alone, you are well and truly fucked, and David kisses Goliath's ass.

Anyway, let’s just say that guilty until proven innocent was the order of the day in all these cases. Examples abound. Reminds me more of third-world dictatorship than civilization.

Due process is totally unnecessary, and often is counter, to a good business case. It’s much cheaper to ruin someone and just as effective. For criminals, hell it’s what they deserve! But for the rest of us? It’s a hell of a price to pay, assuming it was a mistake; I still contend it was Machiavellian manipulation.

This is a round-about example of why I despise allowing the gubmint to acquire more powers over its people, and it’s worse in my opinion if it’s under the auspices of security. They already have more than enough as it is.

Besides, they can’t even use it properly; an example that I’ve used before: About a year ago there was some sort of violence by youngsters against an elderly couple (I’m not sure of the details of the attack any more). But firearms were involved, and I’m immediately thinking to myself, “oh yeah baby, throw the book at them, on the firearms related charges ALONE they could be put away for 20 years apiece! Go for it!” Nah. Never happened.

But a bona-fide, honest-to-goodness middle-manager and storeowner? Woohoo, let’s go to town on his ass!


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