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Investigation into possible war crimes by Canadian officials

For more than two years John McNamer, an independent journalist and human rights activist has been investigating possible war crimes by Canadian officials.

I. REQUEST FOR RCMP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION JAN. 31, 2012
(second request for judicial inquiry to Privy Council attached Jan. 25, 2012)

January 31, 2013

Bob Paulson, Commissioner
RCMP National Headquarters
Headquarters Building
73 Leikin Drive
Ottawa  ON  K1A 0R2

RE: Request for RCMP investigation into possible war crimes by Canadian officials

Dear Commissioner Paulson:

I hereby request a formal RCMP investigation into possible war crimes by Canadian officials and military personnel related to complicity in torture and related to certain other illegal activities involving the so-called war on international terror during the years 2001-2013.  In support of this request I am able to cite ample credible evidence that Canadian government and military officials have violated international law and related domestic law stemming from legal obligations of the Convention against Torture and the Rome Statute specifically forbidding torture and complicity in torture. 

Copied below as “ATTACHMENT 1.)” is my January 25, 2013, request to the Privy Council asking for a full judicial inquiry into these matters, which I copy to you to provide evidence of criminal actions that require RCMP investigation.  I draw your attention to the paragraph beginning "Possible criminal actions":   1.)  Canada’s complicity in illegal abuses as an active partner in the U.S. Coalition forces in Afghanistan, including but not limited to, the illegal transfer of Afghan detainees to United States and Afghanistan authorities when there was, and continues to be, an extreme risk of torture. This was first publicly documented by a 2005 UN report.

According to the Report of the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in

Afghanistan, M. Cherif Bassiouni, to the UN Commission on Human Rights, March 11, 2005,

U.S. Coalition criminal actions documented at that time included:

                   I. ILLEGAL ABUSES -- Arbitrary arrests and detentions above and beyond the reach of law under conditions commonly described as constituting gross violations of human rights law and grave breaches of international humanitarian law.  Documented reports of serious violations by Coalition forces from victims, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, NGOs and others include: Forced entry into homes; arrest and detention of nationals and foreigners without legal authority or judicial review -- sometimes for extended periods of time; forced nudity; hooding and sensory deprivation; sleep and food deprivation; forced squatting and standing for long periods of time in stress conditions; sexual abuse; beatings; torture, and use of force resulting in death.  There are at least 8 cases of prisoners who have died while in United States custody in Afghanistan… Coalition forces act in support of and collusion with the internationally widespread and systematic U.S. practice of  “extraordinary rendition” – the covert practice of kidnapping suspects and their subsequent rendering to countries known to use torture to extract information. (ICC #1)

2.) Canada’s active participation in the covert illegal “extraordinary rendition” scheme of kidnapping, torture and indefinite detention of detainees from around the world by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and its Coalition collaborators.

  3.) Canada’s transfer of child detainees to authorities of these same countries when there was an extreme risk of torture, and an extreme risk of sexual abuse.

  4.) Canada’s specific complicity in the torture and the abuse of the human rights of Canadian citizens Omar Khadr – by the U.S. – and of Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad Abou Elmaati, and Muayyed Nureddin – by Syria and Egypt – following the extraordinary renditions of all four.

   5.)  Failure to comply with legal and credible demands to obey Canada's obligations under the Convention against Torture by submitting self-confessed torturer George W. Bush for prosecution when he visited Canada in October 2011, with the Harper Government refusing to take action.  Faced with privately initiated charges on the same matter, the Attorney General of British Columbia intervened to shut down that case.

   6.)  The participation of Joint Task Force 2 Special Forces (JTF2) in the secret transfer of detainees to authorities of other countries when there was a risk of torture, and risk of rendition to torture.

   7.)  The failure to pursue charges after the secret investigation of allegations that members of JTF2 saw an American soldier killing an unarmed man during a joint mission and also after an earlier investigation into allegations that a member of JTF2 shot and killed an Afghan who was surrendering in 2006.

   8.) The participation of Canada's spy agency, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, in secret interrogations to pre-screen captured Taliban fighters and other detainees.  Detainees were then subjected to possible illegal extraordinary rendition to CIA “dark sites” and the risk of torture when covertly transferred to other authorities.

   9.) The Harper government’s recent authorization directing Canada’s national police force and the federal border agency to use and share information that was likely extracted through torture, coupled with the recent introduction of Bill C-42, which lays out sanctions including dismissal for those who might openly question the illegal nature of this practice.

10.)   Canada’s failure to establish effective independent monitoring mechanisms to ensure that intelligence gathered by Canada’s drones in Afghanistan which was shared with NATO and ISAF allies has not been used to attack and kill helpless civilians on the ground.

I am fully aware of the serious nature of these allegations of possible criminal wrongdoing, and I am prepared to submit all complete documentations about these issues – as they have been submitted to the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court – in the form of a legal affidavit.   I am a Canadian citizen and a decorated military veteran, having been awarded a Bronze Star Medal for service in Vietnam.  I have followed these issues closely and lobbied responsible authorities since 2005.

A report I authored was prominent among those utilized by the UN Committee against Torture last spring when it pronounced Canada to be "complicit in torture."   The report, entitled "Canada’s failure to comply with legal obligations under The Convention against Torture and the Rome Statute which prohibits the transfer of detainees into danger of torture at the hands of other authorities" can be accessed by clicking on "John McNamer" after scrolling down to Canada on the committee website

at http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cat/cats48.htm

A written copy of this report is attached to this document, and I ask that it be considered to be part of the formal submission of evidence contained in this document demonstrating possible illegal activities on the part of responsible Canadian officials and military personnel.

I further request that any RCMP action on these matters include an investigation of the orchestrated cover-up of possible criminal activity through actions of top government officials, to determine whether these actions in and of themselves constitute criminal activity.  Please see further information related to this request which is contained in the Privy Council request below.

I draw your attention to the attached Index of Submissions, which summarizes and dates the many documentations I have personally sent to the International Criminal Court (ICC) supporting my 2009 request for an investigation into possible war crimes by Canadian officials and military.  I hereby request that this Index of Submissions be taken to be part of the evidence submitted in this document to support the request for an RCMP investigation.  (Please Note: A copy of this request for an RCMP investigation  is being forwarded to the ICC and relevant UN authorities.)

 A careful reading of just the one-line capsule summaries in the Index quickly reveals that it is quite a disturbing compendium demonstrating a large-scale, long-term systemic violation of international and domestic law forbidding complicity in torture.  And it also reveals a secretive, extreme serial abuse of power to hide possible criminal activity by Canadian officials apparently committed to pursuing by any means – illegal or otherwise – active participation in the “dark side” (the secret illegal side) of the so-called war on terror.  In my view, it’s a true horror story that shocks the conscience, morally as well as legally, and it demands an immediate RCMP investigation.

With respect,
John McNamer

January 25, 2013

Mr. Wayne G. Wouters
Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet by the Prime Minister
Privy Council Office
Room 1000
85 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Canada K1A 0A3                                             

RE:  Request for judicial inquiry into possible war crimes by Canadian officials and military

Dear Mr. Wouters:

I earlier wrote and provided extensive information to Governor General/Commander-in-Chief David Johnston and Attorney General/Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson, asking them to initiate a full judicial inquiry related to possible war crimes involving Canada’s participation for the past decade in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and in other events of the so-called international war on terror.  Though there has been no reply from Governor General Johnston, I am now writing to you in light of the response from a spokesperson for Minister Nicholson indicating I should contact the Privy Council with my request:

“On behalf of the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, I acknowledge receipt of your correspondence of April 30, 2011, requesting a judicial inquiry into the Afghan detainees issue.

As Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Minister Nicholson does not have the authority to order a federal government inquiry into this matter.  Federal commissions of inquiry are governed by the Inquiries Act.  Section 2 states, ‘ The Governor in Council may, whenever the Governor in Council deems it expedient, cause inquiry to be made into and concerning any matter connected with the good government of Canada or the conduct of any part of the public business thereof.’”

Formal requests.  I therefore now wish to formally request with this correspondence:  a.) That the Privy Council take the actions necessary to initiate an independent full judicial inquiry related to possible war crimes involving Canada’s participation in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Canada’s participation in the so-called international war on terror during the same time frame, specifically 2001-2013;   b.) That the Privy Council remove itself from deliberations on this request by asking the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada for an advisory opinion on how to proceed with this matter.

The request that the Privy Council remove itself from deliberations is very important.  I have been reluctant to approach the Privy Council because I see a very real potential for a conflict of interest on the part of Governor General/Commander-in-Chief David Johnston and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  Both are intimately involved with the Privy Council and both have been intimately involved in processes directly related to possible violations of international law and related domestic law, as was Mr. Johnston’s predecessor and as has been the current attorney general/minister of justice; and 

c.)  That any judicial inquiry that might go forward include an investigation of the orchestrated cover-up of possible wrongdoing through actions of top government officials, to determine whether these actions in and of themselves constitute criminal activity.  The Harper government has used its vast array of resources to quite effectively bludgeon, kill and deeply bury any and all legitimate attempts to bring forward any sort of effective legal inquiry leading to the hard evidence of illegal actions.

This includes the arbitrary shutting down of a special parliamentary investigation, which happened immediately after an election gave the ruling Harper government the ability to use – and quickly abuse – the power of majority status to prevent the workings of justice.  Other abuse of power includes the threat of criminal prosecution for anyone in the government or military who might bring forward possibly incriminating information – even in the form of sworn evidence to an official government body with a parliamentary legal mandate to gather such evidence, e.g., the Military Police Complaints Commission and the aforementioned special parliamentary investigation. 

Perhaps the most egregious example of this abuse of power was when the Prime Minister and the Governor General (coincidentally also Canada’s “Commander-in-Chief”) went so far as to collaborate to prorogue the House of Commons, effectively shutting down democratic process and effectively killing the House committee which was actively threatening to uncover information on possible illegal activities related to detainee torture.

Possible criminal actions. There are numerous credible documentations and formal findings by relevant international bodies to demonstrate a grave concern about possible criminal behavior with apparent legal impunity on the part of high-level Canadian officials and members of Canadian Forces.  The evidence indicates possible systemic violations of international law and related domestic law which were overseen by government and military officials at the highest levels.

Such possible criminal actions include, but are not limited to:

              1.) Canada’s complicity in illegal abuses as an active partner in the U.S. Coalition forces in Afghanistan, including but not limited to, the illegal transfer of Afghan detainees to United States and Afghanistan authorities when there was, and continues to be, an extreme risk of torture. This was first publicly documented by a 2005 UN report. 

According to the Report of the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan, M. Cherif Bassiouni, to the UN Commission on Human Rights, March 11, 2005, U.S. Coalition criminal actions documented at that time included:   

                  I. ILLEGAL ABUSES -- Arbitrary arrests and detentions above and beyond the reach of law under conditions commonly described as constituting gross violations of human rights law and grave breaches of international humanitarian law.  Documented reports of serious violations by Coalition forces from victims, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, NGOs and others include: Forced entry into homes; arrest and detention of nationals and foreigners without legal authority or judicial review -- sometimes for extended periods of time; forced nudity; hooding and sensory deprivation; sleep and food deprivation; forced squatting and standing for long periods of time in stress conditions; sexual abuse; beatings; torture, and use of force resulting in death.  There are at least 8 cases of prisoners who have died while in United States custody in Afghanistan… Coalition forces act in support of and collusion with the internationally widespread and systematic U.S. practice of  “extraordinary rendition” – the covert practice of kidnapping suspects and their subsequent rendering to countries known to use torture to extract information. (ICC #1)

   2.) Canada’s active participation in the covert illegal “extraordinary rendition” scheme of kidnapping, torture and indefinite detention of detainees from around the world by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and its Coalition collaborators.

  3.) Canada’s transfer of child detainees to authorities of these same countries when there was an extreme risk of torture, and an extreme risk of sexual abuse.

  4.) Canada’s specific complicity in the torture and the abuse of the human rights of Canadian citizens Omar Khadr – by the U.S. – and of Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad Abou Elmaati, and Muayyed Nureddin – by Syria and Egypt – following the extraordinary renditions of all four.

   5.)  Failure to comply with legal and credible demands to obey Canada's obligations under the UN Convention Against Torture by submitting self-confessed torturer George W. Bush for prosecution when he visited Canada in October 2011, with the Harper Government refusing to take action.  Faced with privately initiated charges on the same matter, the Attorney General of British Columbia intervened to shut down that case.

   6.)  The participation of Joint Task Force 2 Special Forces (JTF2) in the secret transfer of detainees to authorities of other countries when there was a risk of torture, and risk of rendition to torture.

   7.)  The failure to pursue charges after the secret investigation of allegations that members of JTF2 saw an American soldier killing an unarmed man during a joint mission and also after an earlier investigation into allegations that a member of JTF2 shot and killed an Afghan who was surrendering in 2006.

   8.) The participation of Canada's spy agency, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, in secret interrogations to prescreen captured Taliban fighters and other detainees.  Detainees were then subjected to possible illegal extraordinary rendition to CIA “dark sites” and the risk of torture when covertly transferred to other authorities.

   9.) The Harper government’s recent authorization directing Canada’s national police force and the federal border agency to use and share information that was likely extracted through torture, coupled with the recent introduction of Bill C-42, which lays out sanctions including dismissal for those who might openly question the illegal nature of this practice. 

10.)   Canada’s failure to establish effective independent monitoring mechanisms to ensure that intelligence gathered by Canada’s drones in Afghanistan which was shared with NATO and ISAF allies has not been used to attack and kill helpless civilians on the ground.

I am fully aware of the serious nature of these allegations of possible criminal wrongdoing, and I am prepared to submit all complete documentations about these issues in the form of a legal affidavit.   I am a Canadian citizen and a decorated military veteran, having been awarded a Bronze Star Medal for service in Vietnam.   I have followed these issues closely and lobbied responsible authorities since 2005.

UN Committee against Torture.  A report I authored was prominent among those utilized by the UN Committee against Torture last spring when it pronounced Canada to be "complicit in torture."   The report, entitled "Canada’s failure to comply with legal obligations under The Convention against Torture and the Rome Statute which prohibits the transfer of detainees into danger of torture at the hands of other authorities" can be accessed by clicking on "John McNamer" after scrolling down to Canada on the committee website at http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cat/cats48.htm

A written copy of this report is attached to this document, and I ask that it be considered to be part of the formal submission of evidence contained in this document demonstrating possible illegal activities on the part of responsible Canadian officials and military personnel.

Last June, Canada’s actions over the past five years were closely examined by the UN Committee against Torture, one of the world’s most knowledgeable and respected bodies with respect to obligations of international law. The committee regularly examines the compliance of nations which are signatory to the Convention against Torture and the Rome Statute.  In a report that was shocking to many, this committee not only found Canada to be “complicit in torture,” but it also told Canada it “should adopt a policy for future military operations which clearly prohibits the prisoner transfers to another country when there are substantial grounds for believing that he or she would be in danger of being subjected to torture, and recognizes that diplomatic assurances and monitoring arrangements will not be relied upon to justify transfers when such substantial risk of torture exists.”

Almost equally shocking was Canada’s sole public response, a June 2, 2012, media foray splashed across international press pages in an Associated Press story with the headline:  “Canada criticizes UN report accusing its troops of complicity in torture in Afghanistan.”   In that story a spokeswoman for Canada’s Public Safety Minister said it is “disappointing” the UN committee spent time condemning Canada “when there are serious concerns regarding human rights violations across the world,” adding that “Canada is a nation of laws and the actions of our Government uphold the highest standards in the protection of human rights.”

Canada, however, has since made no public effort to remedy possible illegal actions in light of the committee’s very serious and disturbing findings. Quite the opposite, in fact, for Canada has quietly defied the CAT recommendations by continuing to have an official policy of transferring Afghan detainees to the U.S., a nation known to torture.  Also Canada has just recently issued new guidelines approving and directing the use by national police and border officials of evidence likely obtained through torture.

Collaboration with Extraordinary Renditions.  Further evidence strongly indicating possible intentional systemic criminal activity by Canadian officials was contained in a highly critical UN report in March 2009 by Special Rapporteur Martin Scheinen , which said that actions by countries to send interrogators to Guantanamo Bay – which Canada did with Omar Khadr –  "can be reasonably understood as implicitly condoning torture and ill-treatment.” 

The report went on to specifically cite Canada’s “collaboration” in illegal extraordinary renditions:

While the practice of extraordinary rendition was put in place by the US, it was only possible through collaboration from other countries, the report says. It identifies the UK, with ¬Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Georgia, Indonesia, Kenya, Macedonia and Pakistan, as countries that provided "intelligence or have conducted the initial seizure of an individual before he was transferred to (mostly unacknowledged) detention centres in Afghanistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen,  Syria, Thailand, Uzbekistan … or to one of the CIA covert detention centres, often referred to as 'black sites'".

The report continues:  ‘The active or passive participation by states in the interrogation of persons held by another state constitutes an internationally wrongful act if the state knew or ought to have known that the person was facing a real risk of torture or other prohibited treatment.’" (#163, attached Index)

Conclusion

The above documentation of wrongdoing, which is just a very brief representation of available evidence, surely begs the question:   Is Canada truly a nation of laws?  There is plenty of evidence to indicate that this is not the case when it involves torture or rendition of detainees and other activities which are part of a clearly constructed plan to intentionally attempt to circumvent Canada’s obligations to abide by the Convention against Torture, the Rome Statute and related domestic law. 

Officials of the government of Canada have demonstrated time and again that they have contempt for international law and related domestic law forbidding complicity in torture, and that they cannot or will not act with legal and moral integrity on these issues.  It is painfully apparent that the only way the truth will be found about possible systemic criminal violations – short of intervention by international authorities – is through an independent full judicial inquiry with a special prosecutor who is given the power of subpoena and the power to lay charges when warranted.

The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has publicly indicated at least four times in recent years that it is considering an investigation of possible war crimes in Afghanistan related to torture. In April,  2011, former Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo was quoted in the Toronto Star specifically stating that if the Canadian government won't look into how Canadian soldiers handled detainees in Afghanistan for possible war crimes violations, the prosecutor’s office will.  “We'll check if there are crimes and also we'll check if a Canadian judge is doing a case or not. . . if they don't, the court has to intervene," Moreno-Ocampo said.  Even though a new prosecutor was recently appointed, current information on the public record indicates that the possibility of an investigation into Afghanistan has not been dropped by the OTP.

(Note:  Please be aware that a copy of this document will be submitted to the ICC and relevant UN agencies as part of the ongoing documentation of evidence about Canada’s involvement in detainee torture and other violations.)

There is much more that can be said, but for now I draw your attention to the attached Index of Submissions, which summarizes and dates the many documentations I have personally sent to the International Criminal Court supporting my 2009 request for an investigation into possible war crimes by Canadian officials and military.  I hereby request that this Index of Submissions be taken to be part of the evidence submitted in this document to support the request to the Privy Council for a judicial inquiry.   

A careful reading of just the one-line capsule summaries in the Index quickly reveals that it is quite a disturbing compendium demonstrating a large-scale, long-term systemic violation of international and domestic law forbidding complicity in torture.  And it also reveals a secretive, extreme serial abuse of power to hide possible criminal activity by Canadian officials apparently committed to pursuing by any means – illegal or otherwise – active participation in the “dark side” (the secret illegal side) of the so-called war on terror.  In my view, it’s a true horror story that shocks the conscience, morally as well as legally, and it demands an immediate independent full judicial inquiry.

With respect,
John McNamer,

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

II. FURTHER EVIDENCE TO RCMP COMMISSIONER May 29, 2013

To: Bob Paulson, Commissioner RCMP
Re:  Request for Criminal Investigation into Extraordinary Renditions

Dear Commissioner Paulson:  Please find below an email today to responsible Canadian officials drawing their attention to indisputable criminal actions related to Canada's collaboration in illegal extraordinary renditions.  I submit this as evidence further to my earlier request to you for a criminal investigation into Canada's complicity in detainee torture.
With Respect,  John McNamer

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: John McNamer

To: Attorney General/Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson ; Governor General/Commander-in-Chief David Johnston ; The Queen's Privy Council for Canada ; Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin ; Prime Minister Stephen Harper ; NDP Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair ; Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau ; BQ Parliamentary Leader Louis Plamondon ; Green Party Leader Elizabeth May ; MP Cathy McLeod ; Sen. Nancy Greene Raine

Cc: UN Committee against Torture ; International Criminal Court ; Special Rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights ; Special Rapporteur on Torture ; Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions ; " This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " ; " This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " ; cbc ; " This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " ; " This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " ; Toronto Star ; " This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " ; " This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " ; " This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " ; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Sent: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 6:17:31 PM Subject: Canada's Failure to Investigate Extraordinary Renditions

TO: Official addressees responsible for ensuring Canada is complying with international and related domestic law Please take note of the several items below: 1.) UN documentation of Canada's indisputable collaboration in extraordinary rendition; and 2.) Recent news story about Scottish Justice Secretary pledging that police and prosecutors "will not hesitate" to take action if there is evidence that Scottish airports were used for extraordinary rendition.

WHY DOES CANADA NOT HAVE A SINGLE RESPONSIBLE PERSON OF AUTHORITY WILLING TO ACT TO ENSURE THAT CANADIAN OFFICIALS ARE BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR "WRONGFUL" COLLABORATION WITH EXTRAORDINARY RENDITION? IS THERE NO ONE IN OTTAWA WITH THE LEGAL AND MORAL INTEGRITY TO SPEAK TO THIS MATTER ? CANADA IS VIOLATING INTERNATIONAL LAW.

Yours truly, John McNamer, Kamloops, BC, Canada

1.) Canada’s active role in support of the extraordinary rendition program was documented in 2009 by UN Special Rapporteur Martin Scheinen in a report to the UN General Assembly: While the practice of extraordinary rendition was put in place by the US, it was only possible through collaboration from other countries, the report says. It identifies Canada as prominent among the countries that provided "intelligence or have conducted the initial seizure of an individual before he was transferred to (mostly unacknowledged) detention centres in Afghanistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Thailand, Uzbekistan … or to one of the CIA covert detention centres, often referred to as 'black sites'". The report continues: "The active or passive participation by states in the interrogation of persons held by another state constitutes an internationally wrongful act if the state knew or ought to have known that the person was facing a real risk of torture or other prohibited treatment." http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/09/torture-guantanamo-rendition?INTCMP=SRCH

2). Action on US rendition claim By Calum Ross Published: 29/05/2013

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has pledged that police and prosecutors “will not hesitate” to take action if there is evidence the CIA used Scottish airports for extraordinary rendition. The SNP minister was quizzed at Holyrood yesterday after the Press and Journal revealed new details linking US security service flights to Wick, Inverness and Aberdeen airports during the “war on terror”. Pressure is mounting on the authorities to launch a fresh investigation into rendition – the illegal and secret kidnap, detention and transfer abroad of terror suspects by the US after the 9/11 attacks. http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/3256515  

III.  RCMP SUPT. CARRESE RESPONSE  July 2, 2013

ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE 
Security Classification:  Routine
Our File:  2013-193166

Biage Carrese, Superintendent
Officer in Charge
Sensitive and International Investigations
National Division
155 McArthur Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1A 0R4

July 2, 2013

John MCNAMER
P.O. Box 845, Stn Main
Kamloops, B.C. V2C 5M8

Re: Request for Criminal Investigation Into Extraordinary Renditions

This is to acknowledge receipt of your e-mail of May 29, 2013.  In your correspondence you request that a criminal investigation be initiated with regard to allegations of Canada’s extraordinary renditions.  You further state that you included “evidence” supporting your allegations.  A review of the material you supplied did not include any evidence or basis for your allegations.  The internet articles you cite in your e-mail refer, at large, to the illegality of the transfer of detainees from one country to another “extrajudicially,” and the international community’s universal recognition of torture as a crime.
In short, your correspondence failed to provide a reasonable basis upon which to initiate a criminal investigation.

Sincerely,
Biage Carrese, Superintendent

IV.  CARRESE RESPONSE AS SENT TO ICC, JULY 18, 2013

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: John McNamer < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
To: International Criminal Court < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Cc: UN Committee against Torture < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >; Special Rapporteur on Torture < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >; Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >; Special Rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2013 12:39:23 PM
Subject: Canada detainee torture #253

ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE
Security Classification:  Routine
Our File:  2013-193166
Biage Carrese, Superintendent (letter truncated)

V. QUERY FROM RCMP WEBMASTER JULY 19, 2013

From: Webmaster Webmaster < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
To: John McNamer < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Sent: Friday, July 19, 2013 8:32:55 AM
Subject: Re: RCMP Web Comment

Hello Mr. McNamer,

Based on this message, do you have a specific question or comment that you would like addressed?

Thank you
Webmaster
National Communication Services | Services nationaux de communications
Royal Canadian Mounted Police | Gendarmerie royale du Canada
73 Leikin Dr., Ottawa ON  K1A 0R2 | Government of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada 

VI.  SPECIFIC QUESTIONS IN RESPONSE TO QUERY July 19, 2013

Re: RCMP Web Comment

Dear RCMP Webmaster,

Yes I do have a further question and comment for the RCMP, thank you.

The facts on record in the public realm provide clear evidence that Canada has systematically violated international law and related domestic law forbidding complicity in torture under the terms of The Convention against Torture and the Rome Statute.  This has occurred since 2001 in relation to Afghanistan with Canada's transfer of detainees (including child detainees) into the extreme danger of torture at the hands of authorities of other nations, and with Canada's long-term active support for and collaboration with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's worldwide program of "extrajudicial" extraordinary rendition of detainees into the danger of torture. As well, recent Canadian government directives and legislation have directed border officials and RCMP to utilize information that was likely obtained by torture.

These are all violations of international law authorized by responsible Canadian officials and I am simply asking that the RCMP investigate and bring charges forward as appropriate.

There is ample evidence, which I will briefly mention here, to support the above assertions and more.  I would be pleased at your request to prepare and submit a formal brief summarizing all relevant information, and/or to transmit everything in my archives related to these matters for your inspection.  I have gathered a significant amount of documentation, as I have been following this issue closely since 2005 and also have extensively communicated with responsible authorities while lobbying for legal integrity and accountability.  For more than two years I have been submitting the most relevant documentations (now numbering 253) to the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) at the International Criminal Court following an invitation to do so from the OTP.

I also submitted a formal brief on these matters in May 2012 to the UN Committee against Torture (UN CAT), which I request that the RCMP now examine for a summary of evidence compiled to that date.  The report, entitled "Canada’s failure to comply with legal obligations under The Convention against Torture and the Rome Statute which prohibits the transfer of detainees into danger of torture at the hands of other authorities" can be accessed by clicking on "John McNamer" after scrolling down to Canada on the committee website at:   http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cat/cats48.htm 

This committee not only found Canada to be “complicit in torture,” but it also told Canada it “should adopt a policy for future military operations which clearly prohibits the prisoner transfers to another country when there are substantial grounds for believing that he or she would be in danger of being subjected to torture, and recognizes that diplomatic assurances and monitoring arrangements will not be relied upon to justify transfers when such substantial risk of torture exists.”  This has not been done, as Canada continues to have an official policy of transferring Afghan detainees to the U.S., which subsequently has now turned most detainees over to Afghanistan, even though both of these nations are widely known to torture and there is plenty of credible evidence to substantiate this. 

This link from a related CBC story should open up the full UN CAT report: Read the UN Committee Against Torture's report (.doc)

Extraordinary Renditions

There is substantial evidence to indicate Canada's active participation in wrongful activities related to the extraordinary rendition program.  For starters, I refer the RCMP to this link to a highly critical UN report Feb. 4, 2009, from Special Rapporteur Martin Scheinen, which specifically cites Canada's collaboration in support of extraordinary rendition:  http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2009/03/09/ahrc.pdf 

To quote from that report:

 "51. The Special Rapporteur remains deeply troubled that the United States has created a  comprehensive system of extraordinary renditions, prolonged and secret detention, and practices  that violate the prohibition against torture and other forms of ill-treatment. This system required  an international web of exchange of information and has created a corrupted body of information which was shared systematically with partners in the war on terror through intelligence cooperation, thereby corrupting the institutional culture of the legal and institutional systems of  recipient States.

 52. While this system was devised and put in place by the United States, it was only possible through collaboration from many other States. There exist consistent, credible reports suggesting that at least until May 2007 a number of States facilitated extraordinary renditions in various ways. States such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Georgia, Indonesia, Kenya, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Pakistan and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and  Northern Ireland have provided intelligence or have conducted the initial seizure of an individual before he was transferred to (mostly unacknowledged) detention centres in Afghanistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Thailand, Uzbekistan, or to one of the CIA covert detention centres, often referred to as “black sites”.  In many cases, the receiving States reportedly engaged in torture and other forms of ill-treatment of these detainees.

 53. The Special Rapporteur reminds States that they are responsible where they knowingly engage in, render aid to or assist in the commission of internationally wrongful acts, including violations of human rights.

 59. Accordingly, grave human rights violations by States such as torture, enforced disappearances or arbitrary detention should therefore place serious constraints on policies of cooperation by States, including by their intelligence agencies, with States that are known to violate human rights. The prohibition against torture is an absolute and peremptory norm of international law.

 60. States must not aid or assist in the commission of acts of torture, or recognize such practices as lawful, including by relying on intelligence information obtained through torture.

 61. States must introduce safeguards preventing intelligence agencies from making use of such intelligence."  

As further evidence regarding extraordinary rendition, I quote from my previously cited brief to the UN Committee against Torture:

"The Canadian government is also in a position of legal liability from actively participating in or facilitating by default the illegal CIA “extraordinary rendition” process by allowing private CIA aircraft used for this purpose to utilize Canadian airspace and to land for maintenance and refueling at Canadian airports.

 A St. John’s, Newfoundland, airport has been publicly identified as having been a “hub” for covert American air operations and a DeHavilland DHC-6-300 aircraft owned by a reported CIA front in the U.S. landed at Bar River airport near Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, in early October, 2005, after taking off from Michigan. The Bar River airport is home to a company that specializes in work on DeHavilland aircraft. An airport official who asked not to be named said “I have no knowledge of any CIA aircraft,” and told an inquiring reporter “I suggest you don’t pursue this any further.”

 Montreal’s La Presse newspaper reported in 2005 at least 55 flights operated by the CIA had passed through Canada. Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan acknowledged in an article December 7, 2005, that she had ordered officials to track down details of the 55 flights. However, a spokesman for the Canadian government said in a story published the very next day that the government had no intention of questioning the U.S. about the flights, saying a preliminary review had turned up no evidence of illegal U.S. activity. There has since been no public discussion or disclosure about the issue by responsible Canadian officials.

Other declassified memos obtained under the Access to Information Act in the past have revealed government knowledge of at least 20 planes with alleged CIA ties having made 74 flights to Canada. Considerable portions of the memos obtained were blacked out for secrecy reasons."

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

John McNamer

VII. FURTHER EVIDENCE TO SUPT. CARRESE Aug. 17, 2013

August 17, 2013

Re:  RCMP File 2013-193166

Dear Superintendent Carrese: 

I appreciate your July 2 response to my request for a criminal investigation into Canada's collaboration in illegal extraordinary rendition and complicity in torture of detainees; however, I wish to note that your letter seems to be based only on my submission of two news articles about extraordinary rendition May 29 which were providing additional information to my earlier January 31 formal request for a criminal investigation to RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson.

In the interest of ensuring that you are more fully informed, I am therefore transmitting below the series of emails following my forward of your letter (which is at the bottom) to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the RCMP Webmaster.  I request that you act on my July 19 requests (as seen below) to the RCMP Webmaster and I also wish to draw your attention to the following additional information, which I will be pleased to document more fully upon your request:  1.)  My Jan. 31 request for criminal investigation to Commissioner Paulson, including a copy of an earlier request for a judicial inquiry on these same issues to Canada's Privy Council, which has a mandate to conduct such inquiries.  These both included an index of more than 250 documentations of evidence of possible criminal activity that have been submitted to the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICC, which I offered to make fully available to the RCMP and the Privy Council.  In spite of this and several follow-up communications on my part to the Privy Council, I have yet to have received the courtesy of a reply from them.

2.)  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr/16/us-torture-prisoners-indisputable-report

In this report found at the link above, an authoritative independent study found that Canada is a prime collaborator in the CIA extraordinary rendition program, and that there is no doubt that torture is involved.  This is in addition to many past documentations of similar credible evidence included in my submissions to the ICC.

3.) http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/may/22/uk-support-cia-rendition-flights

The link above provides information about The Rendition Project, a credible study earlier this year about the CIA extraordinary rendition program.  Please note the reference to Canada (emphasis added) in the article:  "Some 51 different UK airports were used by 84 different aircraft that have been linked by researchers to the rendition programme. Only the US and Canada were visited more frequently... The Rendition Project suggests aircraft associated with secret detention operations landed at British airports 1,622 times."

4.  Please note in the information below that a.) the UN Committee against Torture in June 2012 found Canada to be "complicit in torture" in its June 2012 report, and also, b.) that a highly critical UN report Feb. 4, 2009, from Special Rapporteur Martin Scheinen specifically cites Canada's collaboration in support of extraordinary rendition.

I will be pleased to provide you any specific documents that have been referred to as evidence of criminal activity, upon your request.  I once again request that a criminal investigation be launched by the RCMP to look into possible criminal activity by responsible Canadian officials related to complicity in torture and illegal extraordinary renditions.

Sincerely,
John McNamer
Cc:  RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

VIII. SUPT. CARRESE RESPONSE OFFERING CFNIS Sep. 10 (sic), 2013

September 10, 2013 
Your File

John McNamer
P.O. Box 845, Stn Main
Kamloops, B.C. V2C 5M8

Re: Request for Criminal Investigation into Extraordinary Renditions

This is to acknowledge receipt of your e-mail of August 17th, 2013. In your correspondence you requested that a criminal investigation be initiated with regard to allegations of Canadian Forces extraordinary renditions of prisoners with the knowledge that the prisoners would then be tortured. This request is not within the purview or jurisdiction of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.   

The body responsible for investigating your allegation is the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNSI). CFNSI is the investigative arm of the Canadian Forces Military Police. CFNIS, an independent Military Police unit, provides an independent investigative capability for the purpose of fair and impartial administration of military justice. Respectfully your complaint should be directed to the CFNIS.

Sincerely,
Biage Carrese, Superintendent 

IX. REQUEST COMMISSIONER TO ACT ON FILE Sep. 9, 2013

September 9, 2013 

Bob Paulson, Commissioner
RCMP National Headquarters
73 Leikin Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0R2

Re: Investigation of Canada's complicity in torture & extraordinary rendition

Commissioner Bob Paulson:

        I request that you as Commissioner take personal action on my request for a criminal investigation by the RCMP.  I am unsatisfied with the handling of this file by your staff, as there is an attempt with today's (Sep. 9) letter from Supt. Carrese to abdicate RCMP responsibility to enforce the law by directing me to take the matter to the Canadian National Force Investigation Service (CFNIS).  This is a failure of duty on the part of the RCMP, an apparent genuine unwillingness to examine possible war crimes on the part of top officials within the Government of Canada who have responsibility for foreign and military policy and related actions that violate the Convention against Torture and related Canadian domestic law arising from treaty obligations of The Rome Statute explicitly forbidding complicity in torture.  

        I am providing to you with this communication a link that opens my Dropbox folder containing all files (Submissions) that I have submitted to the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court over the past several years.  I submit these files to you in support of my request that the RCMP undertake a criminal investigation in this matter, which I now reiterate.  You can find these Submissions by clicking on this link:  ICC Submissions, Cdn Detainee Torture

       By examining the evidence in these files submitted to the ICC (beginning with Submissions #1, 3, 17, 20, 24, 29, 38, 39,  66, 72, 82, 84, 94,  99, 106, 122, 125, 126, 134, 144, 167, 171, 176, 181, 185, 192, 197, 199, & 240 request to Privy Council), you will find that it is indisputably shown that responsible Canadian elected and appointed officials have had substantial knowledge for many years -- at least since 2005 -- that Canada is systematically violating international law and related domestic law forbidding complicity in torture and have been responsible for possible criminal actions, or have failed to properly exercise their duties to insure that actions of Canadian Forces and other Canadian officials are lawful.  These officials include, but are not limited to a.) the Prime Minister, who has ultimate responsibility for unlawful government and military policy; b.) The Governor General, who is the Commander-in-Chief of Canadian Forces; c.)The Minister of Defence, who controls military activities, and, d). the Attorney General/Minister of Justice, the highest law enforcement official in Canada. 

       The CFNIS has no jurisdiction nor interest in examining the activities of these officials.  As well, I have already had dealings in 2009 with the CFNIS on the issue of military personnel handing detainees over to the risk of torture and found the token "investigation" by the CFNIS to be wholly inadequate, essentially a secretive cover-up of wrongdoing without addressing my very substantial factual concerns in any way.  (Submission #28)

         Furthermore, there are several ongoing longstanding violations of international law by Canada related to complicity in torture that do not involve actions by military personnel:  A.) The use of Canadian airspace and airport facilities in collaboration with the illegal U.S. "extraordinary rendition" program (please see Submissions #163, 186, 201, 242, 1, 3);  B.) The use of torture-tainted evidence by Canadian border agents and the RCMP because of ministerial directives and legislated mandates (Submissions #2, 115, 209, 211, 212, 217, 234);  C.) The failure to exercise "universal jurisdiction" required of states who are party to the Geneva Conventions by investigating and prosecuting accused torturers such as former U.S officials George W. Bush and Dick Cheney upon their entry into Canada (Submissions 154, 113, 233, 198, 52); and D.)  Canada's specific complicity in the torture and abuse of the human rights of Canadian citizens Omar Khadr -- by the U.S. -- and of Abdulah Almalki, Ahmad Abou Elmaati, and Muayyed Nureddin -- by Syria and Egypt -- following the extraordinary renditions of all four.  Read the UN Committee Against Torture's report (.doc)  (Submissions #97, 143, 146, 208, 219, 222, 230)

Thank you for your attention to these matters.  Please be aware that this correspondence is being submitted to the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court and being made available to the media.

With Respect,
JOHN MCNAMER

(Hard copy to follow via Canada Post Express Mail)


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