'The benefit of the doubt' - Macleans.ca

‘The benefit of the doubt’


Without commenting on Abousfian Abdelrazik, mind you, Jason Kenney suggests we put our faith in the government in cases such as his.

“I read the protected confidential dossiers on such individuals, and I can tell you that, without commenting on any one individual, some of this intelligence makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck,” he said. “I just think people should be patient and thoughtful and give the government and its agencies the benefit of the doubt.”

But, as Campbell Clark notes in that story, the leak of CSIS documentation raises plenty of questions. Indeed, supporters of Adil Charkaoui want an inquiry into that leak.


‘The benefit of the doubt’

  1. So Jason Kenney, a Conservative, heck, a Reformer thinks we should just “be patient and thoughtful and give the government and its agencies the benefit of the doubt”. 

    We live in strange times. 

    • The Lord gives patience and thoughtfulness with one hand, and drowns you in the bathtub with the other. With not a corpus callosum in sight.

      • I’d hope that the corpus callosum is never in sight, because that would require one’s brain to be removed from one’s head.

        • Which is what makes it the perfect analogy.

  2. Can we give citizens the benefit of presumption of innocence until proven otherwise?

    • Only some citizens, I’m guessing based on shading.

  3. I feel sorry for Abdelrazik and Charkaoui.   The poor guys just wanted to blow up an airliner, for Pete’s sake.  Why is CSIS giving them such a hard time?

    • I feel sorry for CSIS, since they apparently can’t keep a secret.

    • But there’s the problem right there, Crit.  If these guys really were aiming to bed their 72 virgins on a YUL-CDG flight, they belong in jail or under ongoing secret surveillance.  Neither of these is currently happening.

    • How quickly we forget the smearing of Maher Arar.  I am certainly not going to take Kenney and CSIS at their word on this.

  4. Secret govt, no scrutiny, no accountability ….and ‘trust us’ he says!

  5. Again with the references to secret material and more leaks of secret material by the officials charged with safeguarding it. Material is either secret for reasons of national security or it is available to the public.

    It’s absolutely not secret so that it can released selectively to manipulate public opinion or undermine the results of the courts, as in the case of Abdelrazik. If it’s secret then it can’t be discussed publicly or leaked to La Presse, and it shouldn’t be used to score petty partisan points with this “if you knew what I know” peekaboo game.

    The officials responsible should be charged under the Official Secrets Act and dismissed from the service and the Minister should be reprimanded by the Prime Minister for even mentioning secret scare information in public.

  6. Perhaps Mr. Kenney should write a letter to CSIS.

    • Balderdash!

  7. “So why then, I ask, are those accused of terrorist offences often portrayed in media as quasi-folk heroes, despite the harsh statements of numerous judges? Why are they always photographed with their children, given tender-hearted profiles, and more or less taken at their word when they accuse CSIS or other government agencies of abusing them? It sometimes seems that to be accused of having terrorist connections in Canada has become a status symbol, a badge of courage in the struggle against the real enemy, which would appear to be, at least sometimes, the government. To some members of civil society, there is a certain romance to this. This loose partnership of single-issue NGOs, advocacy journalists and lawyers has succeeded, to a certain extent, in forging a positive public image for anyone accused of terrorist links or charges.”

    Richard Fadden, head of CSIS

    • Good to hear from an impartial, disinterested party. I’m sure room will
      be made for him at Something or Other Institute upon retirement.

    • You know, I used to have a great deal of respect for CSIS and the RCMP.  If there were organizations I thought I could trust to protect me, they were it.  And yes, there was a certain romance to it–Dudley DoRight both doing right and always getting his man and all.

      But my trust is earned, and it is equally possible to unearn my trust.  And in recent years, actual EVIDENCE of wrongdoing on the part of CSIS and the RCMP has become at least as regular as reports of terrorist cells and activities being intercepted and ended.  These comments you’ve quoted from the head of CSIS appear to be whining that the Canadian public should continue to trust in everything they say and do in spite of concrete evidence, court rulings, etc. which in some cases have proved the ‘terrorist’ right.

      I don’t want our rights and freedoms taken away.  I don’t really care if they are taken away by terrorists or those charged with upholding our rights and freedoms.  But at least the terrorists would be less hypocritical.

    • Fadden?  The same Fadden who claims some Canadian politicians are under the influence of some foreign  governments, but can’t tell us which ones. I had hoped he’d retired.

    • Ever since the Maher Arar incident, I hear the Benny Hill theme in my head when I think of Canadian Intelligence handling so-called ‘terror suspects’.

      • It’s called Yakety Sax.