Thursday, April 3, 2008

MACLEANS: That poor woman down the street: Apparently it's perfectly okay for the CHRC to hijack its neighbour's computer system

That poor woman down the street

Apparently it's perfectly okay for the CHRC to hijack its neighbour's computer system

MARK STEYN | April 2, 2008 | Macleans Magazine

I should begin with a correction. Last week, I was at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal hearing for the case of Warman vs. Lemire. Richard Warman is the Canadian Human Rights Commission's plaintiff on every single complaint filed since 2002, and Marc Lemire is a supposed white supremacist on trial for the "hate messages" at his Freedom Site — or, at any rate, the handful of "hate messages" on his Freedom Site that weren't posted by undercover CHRC operatives whiling away an idle afternoon. Apropos the defendant, I wrote:

"Who is Marc Lemire? Ah, well, he's not the poster boy one would pick for a campaign to restore Canadian liberties, particularly if the poster shows him in the quasi-Nazi get-up he's wearing in that picture of him standing behind Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel."

The photograph in question was emailed to me by readers of Warren Kinsella, former hit man for Jean Chr├ętien, and Mr. Kinsella's friend, the blogger "Dr. Dawg," accompanied by messages on the lines of: "How do you feel about the company you and your fellow 'freespeechers' are keeping now, Steyn? The Ernst Zundel Road Show revival tour has a new member, eh?" Etc.

Actually, I had a good old laugh about it. The black fascist garb would be more menacing if it didn't have the cute little Maple Leaf blaze on the shoulder, which makes the uniforms look like costumes for some post-Anschluss dystopian rewrite of Rose-Marie played in summer stock at Totleigh Village Hall by Sir Roderick Spode's Black Shorts. But the same types who email me scoffing that Bush's so-called "war on terror" is just a racket to boost Halliburton's stock price and enable Dick Cheney to find out what library books Americans are reading are nevertheless convinced that there is a clear and present Nazi threat to the wee delicate Dominion that can only be prevented by dragging every two-bit Internet poster up before the thought-crime enforcers.

Unfortunately, Mr. Lemire is insistent that the swarthy fellow in the reflector shades standing behind Herr Zundel is not him. He claims he was 17 at the time and had never met the celebrated neo-Nazi. "Dr. Dawg" says he got the picture from the Nizkor website, which he describes as "impeccable." We sent off an email seeking clarification to Ken McVay, who runs Nizkor, and it seems he has now withdrawn the identification of the man in the picture as Marc Lemire. I regret the error.

I regret it mainly because I should have known by now that on verifiable stuff involving facts, dates, evidence and whatnot Mr. Lemire tends to be right, and his naysayers wrong. Back during the O.J. trial, there was a well-retailed crack about the LAPD: a police force so incompetent they can't even frame a guilty man. That would seem to be the case with the Keystone Kops of Kanada's Human Rights Kommission. Let's take it as read that Marc Lemire is guilty, if only because, if you're unfortunate enough to attract their attention, you're guilty: in the entire history of the CHRC, not a single defendant charged with a federal Section 13 "hate messages" crime has ever been acquitted. The sole exception was the "Canadian Nazi Party," which got off scot-free on the technicality that it did not, in fact, exist. But, if you do have the misfortune to exist, Section 13 has a 100 per cent conviction rate that the justice systems of Kim Jong Il and the Burmese junta can only envy, which you'd think might be a tad embarrassing to the justice system of a free country. Au contraire, the bald statistic most damning of the entire enterprise is a source of pride to the enforcers. As the CHRC boasts in its 2007 annual report, the conviction of every single defendant to come before the tribunal is "sending a powerful message of social solidarity," which is a nice fluffily collectivist way of expressing the system's contempt for individual liberty.

So Mr. Lemire is guilty, just as Maclean's is no doubt guilty (our own case comes up before the thought police in a few months' time). Section 13 is so poorly drawn, requires no evidence of any crime or likely crime, and does not recognize truth as a defence. That being so, how difficult can it be for a money-no-object agency of the Canadian state to convict a schlub like Marc Lemire?

Well, evidently it's trickier than it looks. Even in an ersatz legal system with a 100 per cent conviction rate, and none of the traditional demarcation lines between plaintiff, prosecutor, judge and jury, plus a serial plaintiff who is a former employee of the prosecutor, and no due process or otherwise objective procedures, even with the deck stacked overwhelmingly in its favour, the Canadian Human Rights Commission felt its "case" against Marc Lemire was a little weak. So they resorted to entrapment, telecommunications fraud, and identity theft. And at no point in their fun 'n' games did anyone think, "Whoa, I wonder if this is in compliance with our procedures." Why would you? How can you be in breach of your procedures when there are no procedures? You can do whatever you like to whomsoever you like.

So, in order to goad their target into saying something just a teensy-weensy bit offensive, both the chief investigator, Dean Steacy, and the "complainant," Richard Warman, began logging on to Mr. Lemire's site under their respective aliases. I say "respective aliases" but at one point Mr. Warman was logging on to Internet "hate sites" under Mr. Steacy's secret identity, "jadewarr." He'd misplaced some "hate message" or other, and so strolled over to the commission and was allowed to use the government's computers, passwords and covert hate-site membership ("jadewarr") until he'd found what he was looking for. Richard Warman is supposed to be a private citizen who has filed a "complaint," yet he's allowed full access to the state's investigation. If Mr. Warman got mugged, would he be permitted to wander into the Ottawa police forensics lab and fiddle around with hair and fibre samples from the scene? Dean Steacy denied in court that there was any collusion between the CHRC and their lone plaintiff, and one can see his point: who needs to "collude" when Mr. Warman enjoys open access to the system?


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