Wednesday, April 16, 2008

From Eighteen to Eleven

I must say that I am very disturbed that what began as the "Toronto Eighteen" is now eleven. Four more defendants accused of organizing what could have been the worst terrorist attack ever visited upon Canada had their charges dismissed yesterday for lack of evidence.

I am disturbed not just because of the rush to judgment in this particular case, although the authorities had to act against what was a real threat. I am disturbed because some who were falsely accused will never be able to have the "terrorist" label taken away from them, particularly by the Exempt Media and the religious right.

I also am disturbed because this might give aid and comfort to sleeper cells which continue to operate under the radar and who the police might not even be looking at and will wish they had when it's too late. We need to enforce our anti-terrorism and anti-racketeering laws and stop the terrorists whenever and wherever we can. We also need to make sure that we actually have a case when charges are laid.

Otherwise, Canada's justice system will be seen as a mockery; just as the US system has become.

As with some of the other most serious cases, terrorism is too important a case to be dealt with by the regular prosecution service. We need a special prosecutor who can examine honestly evidence from both sides to make sure the evidence is real and the threat is imminent. I will always support due process but not at the expense of creating kangeroo courts.

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