Monday, September 30, 2013

Dear Commander Dress-Up : Whiskey Tango Foxtrot


First you claw back veterans' benefits and AG lawyers try to have their class-action lawsuit about it thrown out of court for not being "the appropriate way for veterans to express their concerns", then you want them to sign a form promising not to complain about it in public .

We have a social contract with the Canadian Forces to care for them after they have risked life, limb, and mind for us. Doesn't matter if we think the wars and policing actions our government sent them off to were crap - that's the fucking contract. They have the right to fair benefits under that contract and we have the right to hear from them whether or not it's working.


Severely disabled vets take financial hit in old age under new system: report

"Some of the country's most severely disabled soldiers will take a major financial hit once they arrive at old age and risk living out their final years in near-poverty, Canada's veterans ombudsman has concluded.

[His report] shows that roughly 406 severely disabled veterans, mostly from Afghanistan and recent peacekeeping missions, will be left out in the cold because they don't receive certain allowances -- or a Canadian Forces pension.

"It is simply not acceptable to let veterans who have sacrificed the most for their country -- those who are totally and permanently incapacitated -- live their lives with unmet financial needs," said a leaked copy of the report.

Almost a full one-third of the nearly 1,500 soldiers, who have thus far been declared permanently disabled, could also be at risk, depending upon their circumstances. Many of them receive only small allowances and pension entitlements."


"A B.C. Supreme Court justice says current and former members of the Canadian Forces who were injured in Afghanistan can continue their class-action lawsuit against the federal government. 
The lawsuit was filed last fall, with plaintiffs arguing the new Veterans Charter and the changes it brings to the compensation regime for members of the Canadian Forces violate the constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  
Lawyers for the Attorney General of Canada asked the court to throw out the case, arguing it had no chance of success and was not the appropriate way for the veterans to express their concerns."



"The Canadian Forces is requiring physically and mentally wounded soldiers to sign a form acknowledging they won’t criticize senior officers or discourage others in uniform with their comments on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The form, given to military personnel who are transferred to the Joint Personnel Support Unit, was sent to the Citizen by military members upset with what they see as a threat to their right to speak out about the failure of the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces to take care of the wounded.

The Joint Personnel Support Unit, or JPSU, was created to help the wounded and it oversees support centres across the country."

Update yesterday from David Pugliese , who wrote the above article.

Retired Brig.-Gen. Joe Sharpe : "I see us falling back in the trap where the public perception comes first and the soldiers come secondSenior leadership today is focused on resources, media and public perceptions. It's a recipe for disaster."
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Friday, September 27, 2013

Stephen Maher interviews Del Mastro on his elections violations



Fifteen months ago, Stephen Harper's Parliamentary Secretary and robocalls pointman Dean Del Mastro made an unscheduled surprise visit to CBC's Power and Politics panel to defend himself against a breaking McMaher story that he was being investigated by Elections Canada for allegedly incurring costs that breached the spending limit for his 2008 election campaign. EC laid charges against him yesterday.

Stephen Maher was on that June 2012 panel and this is a rare opportunity to hear DM using his indoor voice.
Excerpted from above : 
Maher: If you look at the campaign statements, the expence statements, there's a record of $1500 going to this company Holinshed but not a record of $21,000 and I don't know if you've had a chance yet to look back and see what that $21,000 was for.
Del Mastro : They undertook a small amount of work during the campaign, during the actual campaign writ, that's reflected in that campaign expenditure. They did also undertake some work at various times both for, well, for my [riding]association, so they would be on separate statements. As you know, expenditures incurred during a writ period are reflected in the election return, and campaign, er, expenses that are incurred outside of a writ period for an association are reflected on the association's files.
Campaign expenses outside of the writ? 
Jennifer Ditchburn : "Was there a total amount of $21,000 that was paid to this particular company over a period of time?
DDM : There was a relationship for services that had been completed by this company for various services that they had done, both for my MP office - at one point I had a very small contract with them for that for the association which is not me, this is the Conservative association - and a small contract that was undertaken for my 2008 campaign.  Those were paid. There is no question as to whether or not they were paid - in fact Mr Hall [Holinshed] indicated that in his filing on a separate matter.
JD : So you're saying that the financial records will ultimately reveal that although you paid out of your pocket, all of that $21,000 was paid back to you at certain points. [clever girl.]
DM : I've always been reimbursed, whether it's by the campaign or by the association for any expenditures I've incurred.
What DM is pushing here is that the $21,000 cheque covers both work done during and outside the writ period for both himself and the riding association, so he's not actually gone over the election spending limit.

However from the McMaher story the same day :
After the election, Hall [of Holinshed] claimed, Del Mastro asked him to do $1,500 of additional work using some of the election data and to backdate the invoice to the election period.
Hall later checked Elections Canada filings and found that the Del Mastro campaign had declared only the $1,500 payment for the extra Holinshed work — a payment Hall said he never received — and not the $21,000 of work he performed during the election.
And as Stephen Maher pointed out on CTV's PowerPlay yesterday : 
 "One of the key documents is a piece of paper which purports to be paperwork from Holinshed to Del Mastro saying 'oh we've received this payment and returned it to you' - which appears to bear the signature not of someone from Holinshed but of someone from Mr. Del Mastro's campaign.  This is what the investigator called a false document and this is what makes it serious." 
A look at the GeoVote and GOTV work Frank Hall at Holinshed possibly did for Del Mastro in 2008 here
GeoVote was an interactive voter-tracking system like the Cons CIMS, pinpointing how voters voted in each house in a riding on a map. Despite receiving a six-figure Economic Action Plan grant to develop the project in 2009/10, Holinshed disappeared in 2011.

Three months before his 2012 Power and Politics appearance, Del Mastro stood 16 times over two days in the House of Commons to read the same identical talking points off a script about election fraud allegations against the Cons being "baseless smears". 
The sad thing is he had to read them off the script every single time, only allowing himself very minor variations :



P.S. What a complete prat Norquay is in the P&P segment at top - he's absolutely outraged that an investigative journalist would actually do his job.

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So how are you feeling lately?

"It was Krishnamurti, the great Indian philosopher, who said 'It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.'

I submit to you, if you’re willing to take your hand off the throttle of your life, that there is intelligence in anxiety.

This intelligence, so familiar to teenagers, yet misinterpreted by adults, is knowing that things aren’t supposed to be this way. 

Work isn’t supposed to suck.  Styrofoam isn’t supposed to last hundreds of years after minutes of use. The Gulf of Mexico isn’t supposed to be drowning in spilled oil. And we aren’t supposed to accept how many species have gone extinct since the sun rose this morning.

If you really let these proclamations hit you, if you stop, it can take your breath away. In fact, it’s supposed to break your heart.

Take care of your inner self, yes, but know this: there’s nothing fucking wrong with you."

This great post is from Adbusterswhich I have pillaged here in its entirety minus their very evocative accompanying picture, so please click through to show them some love. Thanks.

h/t my dear friend West End Bob
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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Get Your NSA On, Romulans!


Techdirt: NSA Chief Begs His Public To Help Agency 'Get The Facts Out'
Apparently sitting in the captain's chair on the bridge of the USS Surveillance* has lost its thrill.  
Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency, called Wednesday on the public to help defend his agency's powers as Congress mulls restrictions aimed at protecting privacy. 
He warned that if Congress hampers the NSA's ability to gather information, it could allow for terrorist attacks in the United States similar to last week's massacre in a mall in Nairobi, Kenya. 
"If you take those [surveillance powers] away, think about the last week and what will happen in the future," he said. "If you think it's bad now, wait until you get some of those things that happened in Nairobi." 
Yeah, just you wait. 'Some of those things' like the Boston Marathon bombing or the Navy Yard shooting - things like that. 


Meanwhile here at home, it has now been two weeks since Canadian media declined to make any mention whatsoever of an NSA agreement purporting to share raw data with Israel  - data which 
"includes, but is not limited to, unevaluated and unminimized transcripts, gists, facsimiles, telex, voice and Digital Network Intelligence metadata and content."
So - likely emails and phone calls as well then.
Not to worry though. 
The Israelis were required to “destroy upon recognition” any communication “that is either to or from an official of the US government“. Such communications included those of “officials of the executive branch (including the White House, cabinet departments, and independent agencies), the US House of Representatives and Senate (member and staff) and the US federal court system (including, but not limited to, the supreme court)”.
So that's the important USians taken care of. What about the rest of us?
The doc specifies that US citizens are not to be targeted and that the NSA has agreements with its Five Eyes partners - Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK - to protect information on their citizens and that Israel should respect those privacy agreements when looking through the data.

That must be why our media wasn't fussed enough to mention it.


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Monday, September 23, 2013

Dennis Edney on Omar Khadr



Reposting this moving clip of Omar Khadr's lawyer Dennis Edney from 2010 :
"We cannot rely upon governments or others to help us make society better. Each and every one of us has to be our own leader."

Today :
Michelle Shephard :
"Khadr’s legal odyssey began when he was shot and captured at the age of 15 following a July 27, 2002, firefight with U.S. Special Forces. U.S. Delta Force soldier Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer was fatally wounded by a grenade blast at the end of the battle. The Pentagon accused Khadr of throwing the grenade and charged him with “murder in violation of the laws of war,” attempted murder, conspiracy, spying and providing material support to terrorism. 
His case is the only instance of a U.S. captive being tried for murder for the death of a service member fighting in Afghanistan or Iraq. He is also the first juvenile convicted for war crimes in modern-day history."
"This is an individual who, as you know, pled guilty to very serious crimes including murder and it is very important that we continue to vigorously defend against any attempts, in court, to lessen his punishment for these heinous acts."
“Canadians should be concerned with the interference of our government in the judicial system,” he told journalists. “This is not about guilt or innocence, it’s about where he gets placed.”
He was eligible for full parole in July but hasn't applied, said Edney, because "he hasn't got a chance."   He said because Khadr has been so isolated, he hasn't been eligible for prison programs. And that's what he needs in order for the parole board to release him.   If Khadr continues to be labelled as a maximum security inmate, "he'll never get out," said Edney. 
"This government is running out the clock on him for the next five years."
Update : OMAR KHADR: WAR CRIMINAL, CHILD SOLDIER... OR NEITHER?

Update Sept.30 : Stephen Harper has appointed Justice Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice Morris Fish. In 2009 Nadon provided the dissenting opinion that the Con gov did not breach Omar Khadr's Charter rights in refusing to demand his repatriation from a U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay.
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Update Oct.18 : Edney's motion denied 

Omar Khadr to remain in maximum-security prison

Alberta Judge rejects application to move former Guantanamo Bay inmate to provincial jail

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Made in the USA : Tim Hudak



Teahadist Tim Hudak, former Walmart manager and leader of the Ontario PC Con Party since 2009, doesn't much care for the term "right-to-work" laws, preferring instead "worker's choice reforms".  
Well, OK then - Workers' choice of the right to work for less money, reducing wages for union and non-union workers alike and pitting worker against worker.

On Friday, LauraK went to hear Chris Hedges in Toronto and provides an excellent overview of his talk on Syria, Chelsea Manning, the surveillance state, corporate and media ownership, the liberal class, and organized labour.
Laura's piece really worth a full read but here excerpted : Hedges :
"It's amazing. We do everything wrong in the United States, and 10 years later, Canada copies us.    Do you have 'right-to-work' laws here yet?" The audience answered that we do not.  And Hedges replied: "The minute Harper passes those laws, if you guys don't have a massive general strike, you're finished." He said, "You still have enough organized labour in Canada to mount a resistance."
Trapped in a Whirlpool : The Power of Irrationality 

And a reminder of Steve's 2011 bid for a Harper Hudak Ford "hat trick" :

video
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Friday, September 20, 2013

CSEC presents Hackfest


Nope, not a photoshop this time. It's CSEC, the Canadian government's version of the NSA, presenting a hacker conference for computer security enthusiasts this November in Quebec. [h/t Lux ex Umbra
Events scheduled for Hackfest Strikes Back include :
And a panel discussion : "How can researchers make money selling vulnerabilities? Should they or is it extortion?"

A talk titled Why the NSA should have every vulnerability by now explains :
"High budgeted intelligence organizations, such as the NSA, will not help fix vulnerabilities, only find as many as possible. The intention is to use these vulnerabilities for offensive operations and fixing them is counter-intuitive to that goal."
Difficult to escape the irony here.

In 2006 CSEC was entrusted with overseeing the global encryption standards process for 163 countries. CSEC handed those keys to the NSA, which promptly used them to insert vulnerabilities and backdoors to allow them to spy on foreign companies and governments. The NY Times quotes an NSA memo on how they pwned CSEC:
"... beginning the journey was a challenge in finesse. After some behind-the-scenes finessing with the head of the Canadian national delegation and with C.S.E., the stage was set for N.S.A. to submit a rewrite of the draft … Eventually, N.S.A. became the sole editor.”
And now CSEC presents workshops and panel discussions on the efficacy and ethics of profiting from those same backdoors and vulnerabilities. 
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Update : Dear CSEC : Stop bullshitting us.
When Clapper was asked by the US Congress if the NSA spies on Americans he said no.
When CSEC was asked, CSEC chief John Forster answered :
“CSEC does not direct its activities at Canadians and is prohibited by law from doing so."
which completely ignores Part C of CSEC's own 3-part mandate in law [emphasis mine] :
1. to provide technical assistance to CSIS and Canadian law enforcement agencies;  
2. to assist CSIS under s. 16 of the CSIS Act; and  
3. to assist CSIS and Canadian law enforcement agencies by intercepting the communications of a Canadian/person in Canada that is subject to a CSIS warrant or authorization from law enforcement agencies.
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Monday, September 16, 2013

Get Your NSA On - Star Trek Fantasy Spy Centre



"When he was running the Army's Intelligence and Security Command, [Gen. Keith] Alexander brought many of his future allies down to Fort Belvoir for a tour of his base of operations, a facility known as the Information Dominance Center. It had been designed by a Hollywood set designer to mimic the bridge of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek, complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a "whoosh" sound when they slid open and closed. 

Lawmakers and other important officials took turns sitting in a leather "captain's chair" in the center of the room and watched as Alexander, a lover of science-fiction movies, showed off his data tools on the big screen.
"Everybody wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard," says a retired officer in charge of VIP visits."


Detailed photos of the Star Trek Fantasy Spy Center. 
Can't say I recognize the ubiquitous logo though. Anyone?



Meanwhile, up here in Canada - there's this morning's G&M :
"For nearly two decades, Ottawa officials have told telecommunications companies that one of the conditions of obtaining a licence to use wireless spectrum is to provide government with the capability to bug the devices that use the spectrum...
 ... including eavesdropping, reading SMS texts, pinpointing users’ whereabouts, unscrambling some encrypted communications, phone logs and keystrokes. ...
Carriers that help their customers scramble communications must decrypt them. "Law enforcement requires that any type of encryption algorithm that is initiated by the service provider must be provided to the law-enforcement agency unencrypted."
 This in addition to Canada's CSEC partnering up with the NSA to weaken Internet encryption standards.

Yet somehow the real Pierre Poutine still eludes them.
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Thursday, September 12, 2013

O Canada! Our home and wasted land!


O Canada! 

Our home and wasted land!

True populist love in all thy folks command.

With angry hearts we see thee fail!

The Bitumen North bane and bond

From near and narrow,

O Canada, we stand no guard for all.


Tar keep our land vainglorious and thrall!

O Canada, we stand no guard for all.

O Canada, we stand no guard for all.


 ~ From a reader, writing in response to Alberta's reception of Neil Young's comments about the tar sands being a wasteland.


Neil Young, speaking at the U.S. National Farmers Union conference in Washington on Monday:
“Yeah it’s going to put a lot of people to work, I’ve heard that, and I’ve seen a lot of people that would dig a hole that’s so deep that they couldn’t get out of it, and that’s a job too, and I think that’s the jobs that we are talking about there with the Keystone pipeline.”
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Get Your NSA On, Zombies!


NYTimes: New iPhone's Fingerprint Scanner : "Coming just one day after leaked documents suggested that the National Security Agency is able to hack into smartphones, the unveiling of a new iPhone with a built-in fingerprint scanner prompted dismay and mockery..."


See the NSA slides at both links above.



And, as noted by Agent Smith above, it's all turning into a giant hairball :
The NSA Machine: Too Big For Anyone to Understand ... including the NSA
Ok, the Canadian CSEC connection ...

The NSA has deliberately weakened encryption on the net by, among other attacks, introducing encryption vulnerabilities and an NSA backdoor into the standards set by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and used by banks, corporations, governments, and individual people to protect sensitive data sent over the internet.
NY Times, Sept 10 :
"Canada’s Communications Security Establishment ran the standards process for the international organization, but classified documents describe how ultimately the N.S.A. seized control.  
"After some behind-the-scenes finessing with the head of the Canadian national delegation and with C.S.E., the stage was set for N.S.A. to submit a rewrite of the draft,” the memo notes. “Eventually, N.S.A. became the sole editor."
Bill Robinson at Lux ex Umbra, a Canadian authority on CSEC, does not believe CSEC was duped into this by the NSA but rather 
"CSE and the NSA worked hand-in-glove to game the standards process."
Update : CSEC responds to Jesse Brown at Maclean's and declines to deny that they were "finessed" by the NSA into betraying global encryption standards.
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Friday, September 06, 2013

Steve & Barry do the 2013 G20


Barry's crew : 
"America’s credibility will be an immediate casualty if the U.S. fails to respond to Syria now with military action."
This after 2 years and 200,000 casualties and UN reports two months ago that nerve gas attacks were perped by the *rebels*
And I'm sure the Syrians about to be bombed will be gratified to ensure America's credibility does not become a casualty.

Meanwhile ...
Harper offers Obama climate plan to win Keystone approval

Sources say PM willing to accept emissions reduction targets proposed by the U.S.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has sent a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama formally proposing "joint action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas sector," if that is what's needed to gain approval of the Keystone XL pipeline through America's heartland.

Photo : Adrian Wyld/CP
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NSA is breaking the internet

Testifying before the US Senate last month, NSA Deputy Director John Inglis conceded that the bulk collection of phone records of millions of Americans under Section 215 of the Patriot Act has been key in stopping only one terror plot.

But then it never was just about phones and national security, was it?

In his 2013 Budget Intelligence Request, NSA director James Clapper - who lied to the US Congress under oath about the scope of secret surveillance and was then appointed by Obama to an independent review board to investigate his own agency - advised :
“We are investing in groundbreaking cryptanalytic capabilities to defeat adversarial cryptography and exploit Internet traffic." 
"The SIGINT Enabling Project actively engages the US and foreign IT industries to covertly influence and/or overtly leverage their commercial products' designs. These design changes make the systems in question exploitable through SIGINT collection with foreknowledge of the modification. To the consumer and other adversaries, however, the systems' security remains intact."
"the consumer and other adversaries"

Under a section for release to Five Eyes - that's us!
Insert vulnerabilities into commercial encryption systems, IT systems, networks ...
Collect target network data and metadata via cooperative network carriers...
The joint Guardian NYTimes ProPublica release yesterday doesn't tell us who those "co-operative" network carriers and IT systems are - publish the names! - but the NSA is pretty clear about their own role - weakening encryption standards and writing code with backdoors in them for security vendors . 
The NSA/GCHQ help them build the locks to keep your data safe; then the government gets one key and you get the other one.

The possibility for corruption and breaches of security built into a system that includes scoping out cell phones, tablets, Facebook, emails, web searches, medical and banking data are endless - industrial espionage, blackmailing political figures, fixing elections, corrupting markets, internet scams ...
"Snowden, one of 850,000 people in the US with top-secret clearance..."
And have any of these other 850,000 top-secret clearance people in what is already a massively corrupted security system taken it one stage farther and facilitated an internal black market for information about stocks, patents, trade deals, etc. within the larger market? Would there be any way of knowing? The NSA wouldn't know - they've already admitted to having no clue what Snowden took.

9/11 changed everything.  The Five Eyes govs upped the spying on their own citizens and started locking up whistleblowers while simultaneously supplying AlQaeda et al with arms, training, and money.

Nothing in the Canadian media about yesterday's release yet.
Update : National Post : NSA has now cracked common Internet encryption, including personal email and online banking
CBC : NSA cracked most online encryption says report

My fear is that we'll agree to ignore this assault on our privacy as long as the roving supply of cat videos doesn't dry up.

Ok - gotta go.  Some adversarial consumer Windows security patches have just automatically downloaded themselves onto my computer and I have to reboot for them to take effect. hey wait a minute ...
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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Outsourcing to surveillance mercenaries

Claudio Guarnieri @ Big Brother Awards 2013 from Bits of Freedom on Vimeo. opens his talk with an ad from a surveillance company billing itself as "The hacking suite for governmental interception". 


Obama's first question from the press in Sweden today was on NSA spying.
Barry still going with :
"What I can say with confidence is that when it comes to our domestic operations, the concerns that people have back home … we do not surveil the American people or persons within the US. There are a lot of checks and balances in place designed to avoid a surveillance state. 
"We." Does that include the surveillance mercenaries that collect data for you?
"And I can give assurances to the public in Europe and around the world that we're not going around snooping at people's emails or listening to their phone calls. What we try to do is to target very specifically areas of concern."
"Specific areas of concern" apparently include alleged snooping the email correspondence and listening in on the private phone calls of the presidents of Mexico and Brazil.

Last month Obama appointed NSA director James Clapper- who lied under oath about the scope of secret surveillance - to an independent review board to investigate his own agency.
Hoo ha.
In his last budget request Clapper wrote : 
 “We are investing in groundbreaking cryptanalytic capabilities to defeat adversarial cryptography and exploit Internet traffic."

Also today WikiLeaks published 249 documents from 92 global intelligence contractors.
"These documents reveal how, as the intelligence world has privatised, US, EU and developing world intelligence agencies have rushed into spending millions on next-generation mass surveillance technology to target communities, groups and whole populations."
If you click on the handy map provided at WikiLeaks, you can check out the three Canadian companies named.

I've written before about US corporate surveillance of Creekside here.
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Sunday, September 01, 2013

Bomb bomb bomb Iran Syria


Three days ago Mint Press News out of Minneapolis published a story written by MidEast AP reporter Dale Gavlak based on eyewitness accounts from relatives of Syrian rebels killed in the Aug. 21 chemical 'attack'. They contend that what actually occurred was an accident caused by the rebels mishandling their Saudi-supplied chemical weapons cargo : 

Rebels and local residents in Ghouta accuse Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaida linked rebel group.
“We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions.”
That it could have been the rebels who set off the chem *attacks* is not without precedent. The Independent, May 6, 2013 : 

A United Nations inquiry into human rights abuses in Syria has found evidence that rebel forces may have used chemical weapons, its lead investigator has revealed.
Carla Del Ponte, a member of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria, said that testimony gathered from casualties and medical staff indicated that the nerve agent sarin was used by rebel fighters.“This was used on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities,” she added.
The White House immediately issued a statement that if chem weapons were used in Syria the Assad regime was responsible. Both sides have accused the other of the use of such weapons since the US-backed civil war began two years ago.  

Obviously I can't assess the credibility of Gavlak's report but I'm posting a link to it because Canadian media has been happy enough to report on John Baird's support for the US position two days ago :
"U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry publicly outlined details of how they concluded that the Assad regime flagrantly used chemical weapons against its own people, causing wide-scale death and devastation in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21, 2013.  Along with its international partners and allies, Canada has condemned this despicable and abhorrent act."
but has yet to mention Gavlak's report.

Very good article from FAIR : Which Syrian Chemical Attack Is More Credible?
ending with this :
This humility about the difficulty of reporting on a covert, invisible attack in the midst of a chaotic civil war actually adds to the credibility of the Mint account. It's those who are most certain about matters of which they clearly lack firsthand knowledge who should make us most skeptical.

Tangental fun facts : 
In 2011, Saudi Arabia received one-third of Canada's total $12-billion in arms exports
"The total in government-approved arms export licences for Saudi Arabia was more than 100 times the $35 million approved in 2010."

Up until Aug 2011, the Government of Canada Canada-Syria Relations webpage read
"Canada is now the 3rd largest foreign direct investor in Syria due to a $1.2 billion Suncor/Petro Canada gas project."
Canada's reluctance to make public last week's military co-operation agreement with China is possibly due to Beijing's close ties to Assad's regime.
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