When the RCMP announced they arrested two suspected train bombers the other day, many people questioned the timing. They claimed they had been following them for a year, and yet there was no immediate danger to public safety. Announced in the week following the Boston Marathon bombing, many suspected the RCMP were either just trying to prove that they were doing their job too, or that they were getting pressure from above to at least give the public some kind of show, to show that they were supposedly doing their job. Either way, the timing seemed odd.
Whether or not Canada wanted to show with this announcement that we were doing a better job at finding our terrorist plots before they hatch is now moot, as the reason why the announcement was made became apparent today. There was no investigative reason why the announcement was made, as many of us suspected. No, the reason was political, but it wasn’t some kind of half-assed attempt to one-up Homeland Security or to reassure the Canadian public that the RCMP really does try to prevent terrorism against Canada, if there is indeed such a thing.
No the real reason the announcement was made had to do with internal politics. You see, the Government of Canada wanted to introduce a bill on increasing anti-terrorism powers a little while back, but it was pretty unpopular.
It was pretty unpopular because Canada doesn’t actually experience terrorist attacks. We have homegrown lunatics and gang violence – and though we continually insist that, had we not prevented them, the inept “terrorists” the RCMP grabs years prior to any risk to the public with their current levels of police powers really would have killed us all – we still don’t seem to experience terrorists attacks. And so government critics ask, “Why the new anti-terrorism legislation?” And rightfully so. And so even with a majority, the government’s bill stalled.
But then the Boston Marathon got bombed.
- So we must presume that this Government of Canada, being ever-opportunistic, contacted the RCMP and asked, “Got any open terrorism investigations?”
- And the RCMP presumably responded, “Uh well we’ve got two guys we suspect of maybe trying to bomb VIA.”
- “VIA? Is that all you got?” we might guess the Government inquired.
- The RCMP might then have responded, “Yes, that’s it. And they have just been scouting.”
- The Government’s sigh was likely audible but “Oh alright, close the case and announce you caught some terrorists” likely came from their side.
- And after some internal grumbling among the RCMP about not being allowed to pursue an ongoing investigation for stupid political reasons, the RCMP hung their heads and announced they had caught a couple of potential VIA Rail bombers.
And we all were a little puzzled as to why the Government wanted them to announce the plot until we found out about this: the attempt to push through the anti-terror bill [link 404s so I removed it].
And when a lot of people said “Really???” the Government just pointed: “Look: the Boston Marathon just got bombed. And VIA Rail – Canada’s very own VIA Rail – might have been bombed if the RCMP hadn’t been on those guys. We need this!” It is so obviously necessary. Think of the children.
We should expect this maneuvering of politicians, especially these politicians, but that doesn’t mean we should just let it happen.
I for one am disgusted, yet again, with Mr. Harper’s version of the Government of Canada. I hope others are too. Let’s vote these guys out next chance we get.