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November 19, 2014

Harper, The Ottawa Shooter, and the Selling of War - Part I

Anthony Hall

More by this author...

Remembrance Day, Nov. 11, 2014, Ottawa Canada. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Takes Part in a Commemoration of Canada's War Dead on the Site Where, Days Earlier, a Canadian Soldier's Life Was Taken. The Same Day, Nov. 11, the Harper Government Names Canadian Military Bases After Corporal Nathan Cirillo, the Soldier Killed at the War Memorial, and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent. The New Canadian Military Posts, Base Cirillo and Base Vincent, are in Iraq and Kuwait Respectively. Both Canadian Soldiers Were Reported to be Murder Victims of "Recent Coverts" to Islam. Both Lethal Events Were Immediately Defined as Terrorist Attacks Carried Out by "Radicalized Muslims." This Misrepresentation, Without any Impartial investigation Whatsoever, of Crimes as Acts of War Re-Enacts the Same Sleight of Hand as 9/11. The Military Effort Being Mounted in the Name of Fighting ISIL is a Concocted Psychological Operation Demonstrating Enormous Hubris on the Part of Those Putting Together an Elaborate Military Operations on the Expanding Eastern Frontiers of Greater Israel.

The sensationalized media coverage of the police and military responses to the violent actions of one or more shooters in the Canadian capital of Ottawa Canada on Oct. 22 was truly global in scope. Among the newspapers that used on their front pages dramatic photographs of the elaborate militarization on Canada’s Parliament Hill were the New York Times, New York’s Daily News, the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, UK’s The Guardian, Madrid’s El Pais, France’s Sud Ouest, Belgium’s De Morgan, Netherland’s de Volkskrant, Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine, Kuwait’s Arab Times, the Kuwait Times, Lebanon’s Daily Star, and Pakistan’s Dawn.

The geographic outlines of this story’s dissemination correspond fairly well with the list of countries lining up to go to a war with the non-state entity being regularly described to the world as “the Islamic State,” ISIL, or, in the Arab-speaking and Farsi-speaking countries, DAESH. The countries that have declared war on ISIL include United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Australia, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, Denmark, Czech Republic, Italy, and, in very qualified ways, Germany and Turkey. The government of Kuwait is allowing its military air bases to be used by the jet fighters, including those of Canada’s Armed Forces.

Very significantly the government of Iran has joined forces with American forces in Iraq to oppose the incursions of the Sunni-based ISIL. Indeed, the Shia-oriented Islamic Republic of Iran has committed members of the Quds Force, an elite unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, to the conflict under the direction of the “chief technician,” Commander Qasem Soleimani. A much-lionized military figure in his own county, Commander Soleimani helped advise Hezbollah on its military defences against the incursions of the Israeli Defense Force. He is also credited with helping in the defense of the forces of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad against Western-backed al-Qaeda mercenaries, some of whom have recently  joined ISIL.

Among countries who have declared some sort of moral support on ISIL are Israel, Bulgaria, Egypt, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Oman, Poland, Croatia and Ukraine. The Arab League is also aligned itself against ISIL. Among the countries whose governments and/or whose private citizens have been accused of helping to recruit, organize, train, arm and finance ISIL are the United States, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates. This occasion would not be the first time in history when powerful interests backed both sides in a conflict. Certainly the governments of most of the countries accused of being on both sides of the conflict with ISIL were backers of the campaign to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria. Ironically, Syria’s Armed Forces right now are bearing a large part of the burden of the military campaign to fend off the territorial incursions of ISIL.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/11124070/Who-is-in-the-anti-Islamic-State-coalition-and-what-they-are-contributing.html

After 9/11 there was much discussion about the need to transform the international rules of war to facilitate military campaigns against non-state entities capable of operations across many international boundaries. In spite of this discussion the US-led response to 9/11 was characterized by attacks on sovereign states, namely Afghan and Iraq. New governments were imposed on both countries as an outcome of the US-led military invasions.

The international war on ISIL now formally ushers in the new type of conflict so much discussed since the transformative events of Sept. 2001. The multilateral invasion of what is essentially a club or an association of a transnational assembly of fighters raises many fundamental questions about what might, in the light of future history, be looked back upon as the formal end of an international order based on the concept of the juridical integrity of sovereign states. In this regard Russian President Vladimir Putin was seemingly far ahead of many other world leaders with his penetrating analysis at the Valdai Club of the unparalleled dangers engulfing humanity at this time when the whole notion of international law has seemingly been renounced by the coalition of governments taking radical direction from the US and Irsaeli governments.

Selling War; Selling the Loss of Civil Liberties; Selling the End of Habeas Corpus; Selling the Further Expansion of the Surveillance State

The huge coverage afforded the Ottawa shooter episode in the world press might be interpreted as a means of publicizing the launch of yet another US-led invasion of Iraqi territory.

The graphic photographs proliferating throughout the global media depicting the militarization of Ottawa’s Parliament Hill could be seen as a means of dramatizing the preferred narrative of those with responsibility of guiding public opinion to support the War on ISIL. The effect of the pictures was to dramatize the anti-ISIL campaign as simultaneously a domestic anti-terror operation as well as an international anti-terror military operation.

Certainly Stephen Harper has tried to emphasize the dual character of the anti-ISIL campaign in a speech he presented in the Canadian House of Commons about three weeks before the Ottawa shooter incident. He described the ISIL’s intentions to target Canadian citizens and families, to create conditions where “Canadians should not feel comfortable in our own homes.”

ISIL. A Very Well Funded, Well Equipped Military Force. Who is Providing the Financing, the Arms, and Help with Using the Social Media? What Do Those Providing this Backing Expect to Gain in  Return? What is the Backers’ Agenda? Why so Much Emphasis on Takfiri Politics? Who Stands to Gain? Who Stands to Lose? When War Wins, Truth Loses.

The Canadian prime minister accused ISIL of torturing and beheading children, raping women and selling them into slavery, and engaging in the wholesale slaughter of minorities. A month prior to his Oct. 3 speech Harper had already committed without any parliamentary debate whatsoever Canadian troops to conduct reconnaissance missions on ISIL. Just as the events of Oct. 22 unfolded Harper was engaged in expanding the police powers of his own executive branch to “monitor aspiring terrorists.” http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/10/03/canada_in_iraq_text_of_stephen_harpers_speech.html

Shortly after the events of Oct. 22 on Parliament Hill I was contacted by Manuel Ochsenreiter, a friend and colleague I met recently at the New Horizon conference in Tehran. One of the subjects we addressed in Tehran was the subject of the disproportionate influence of Israeli lobbies on many of the governments lining up to fight ISIL. For this the conference was condemned in predictable terms by the Anti-Defamation League and others as being “anti-Semitic.” It will be interesting if this kind of predictable knee-jerk anti-Iranian rhetoric will continue now that the anti-ISIL campaign has been joined by some of the most elite fighting forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Questions and Answers

Manuel Ochsenreiter, chief editor of Zuerst magazine in Germany, posed to me the following questions

1.Ochsenreiter: Prof Hall, Canada had a reputation for being a peaceful, harmonic and—boring– country. Then came the shooting event on Parliament Hill that shattered old stereotypes around the world. What is going on in Canada? Before we get into the details of the outburst of gunfire on Oct. 22 in the formerly peaceful constitutional monarchy covering the northern half of North America, can you give us some context and historical background? Can you tell us something about what is behind the events that connect this violent outburst with the changing political culture in Canada?

 Hall: In a nutshell, the tectonic transformations in Canada’s political landscape are being engineered by Stephen Harper and the political cabal he embodies, serves and represents. Harper is a neocon extremist who entered the political scene as the Canadian franchise holder of the US Republic Party led by the Bush-Cheney gang of operatives. In my view, Harper’s move from the margins of Canadian federal politics to his seizure in 2011 of a majority of seats in the Canadian House of Commons took place with the help of an array of dirty tricks, some of them administered from outside Canada. These dirty tricks include the wholesale importation into Canada of the US Republican Party’s comparative advantage in election fraud.

Here’s how it went. In 2003 the Liberal Party government of Jean Chretien had control of a firm majority of seats in the House of Commons. Although the Chretien government did join in NATO’s invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11, the Chretien Liberals refused to join the US-led invasion of Iraq. The then- Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, Stephen Harper, objected strongly. He went so far as to co-author an article in the New York Times indicating that the refusal of the Canadian government to join the US-led invasion of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was shameful and a betrayal of the underlying principles on which Western civilization is based.

Now Harper is getting his wish. Under his leadership of the federal government, Canada is joining the United States and other polities in yet another US-led invasion of Iraq. This time around the agenda seems to be to include the objective of overthrowing the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. Ironically Syria’s Armed Forces right now are shouldering the main military brunt of opposing the incursions of ISIL, the weird non-state entity that misrepresents itself to the world as the “Islamic State.”

The violent events in Ottawa, including the death of Canadian soldier who was ceremonially protecting Canada’s main war memorial, are in my view deeply bound up with Harper’s very zealous efforts to follow the US example of putting Canadian Armed Forces primarily in the service of Israeli plans for expansion. I would say a very rapid Israelification of public discourse is taking place in Canada as those in Harper’s circle, including a large swath of the Canadian media, engage in increasingly broad and open-ended references to “terrorism” as the justification for a huge expansion of police powers of the federal executive branch.

There are reports circulating in recent days that by executive order a whole new system of command in control is being set up in Canada that mirrors the so-called Homeland Security regime in the United States that has arguably not returned since 9/11 from the state of emergency declared that day. This initiative is being informally dubbed Track B.

Without any parliamentary or judicial oversight whatsoever, and before any credible third-party investigation has taken place of the violent events in Ottawa on Oct. 22, Track B is reportedly being put in place. It would equip police and special para-military units with unlimited powers of arrest and detention. It would authorize the creation of Canadian secret prisons, the kind of black sites notorious for the sadism of their jailers and the stink of their torture chambers.

Track B would advance the issuing of open ended warrants to incarcerate anyone indefinitely without due process or Habeas Corpus.

2. Ochsenreiter: Before we get into the details of what did or did not happen in Ottawa on Oct. 22, are their other contextual comments you would like to make.

Hall: Yes. I think it instructive to do a fast history of the rapid-fire alterations in Canada’s political culture between 2003 and the most recent federal election of 2011 that gave Harper his majority of seats in the House of Commons. It should be underlined, however, that this win gave Harper a tainted mandate because of judicial findings that the election of 2011 involved fraud. Similarly a court in Canada ruled that the federal election of 2006, when the Harper’s party first replaced the Liberals in a minority government situation, involved accounting fraud and overspending.

A colleague of mine, Prof. John McMurtry, has introduced his essay on the suspicious nature of the Oct. 22 shooter episode by describing the role of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in installing the Conservative Party of Canada into minority government status in the federal election of 2006. Prof. McMurtry has written,

Harper also owes his political life to the RCMP. After a after non-confidence vote triggered the 2006 election, RCMP commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli instructed his staff to include former Liberal finance minister Ralph Goodale’s name in a news release announcing a criminal investigation. This reversed the stench of the Harper regime’s continuous scandals and corruption onto the Liberals by a false RCMP smear. As a former top insider of the Tory party advised me, “the RCMP won the election for Harper”. The elected Harper regime then surrounded the RCMP with blocks to silence all facts – the signature operation – so the truly deepest scandal of the era proceeded with impunity to the present day. So it is not surprising that CSIS, the RCMP and Harper are collaborating to get more secret powers for the police and spooks in return for serving Harper’s underlying agenda. http://www.globalresearch.ca/decoding-harpers-terror-game-beneath-the-masks-and-diversions/5410373

In 2003 the Liberal Party, who in that era was sometimes referred to as Canada’s natural governing part, held 172 of 301 seats in the House of Commons. In 2011 the Liberal went down to 34 seats and the Conservatives took 166 seats. This fundamental reconfiguration of Canada’s political landscape didn’t happen without a lot of help from outside powers. As part of the process the centrist Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, an indigenous organization rooted in Tory opposition to the revolutionary secessionists who founded the United States, was basically eliminated. The Progressive Conservative Party was brought to an end to be replaced by a political operation which is best understood as a Canadian branch plant of the US Republican Party. The new entity significantly dropped the word “progressive” from its label, advertising itself simply as the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC)

In my view the deeper meaning of what transpired began to come into sharp focus early in 2014 when Stephen Harper addressed the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, the first time a Canadian prime minister has ever done so. Harper was accompanied in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv by an entourage of 200 supporters. This entourage was made of up leading representatives of his main political base composed primarily of Jewish and Christian Zionists. Harper was given a standing ovation led by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The politicians followed Netanyahu’s lead in rising to their feet when Harper took such a hard line on the issue if the Israeli settlements that two Palestinian members of the Knesset walked out in protest.

In the speech Harper promised that he would never criticize the Israeli government publicly, a promise whose meaning would not become fully clear until July when the Canadian government fully sanctioned the Israeli line that the murderous invasion of the Gazan concentration camp in Operation Protective Edge was an act of Israeli self-defense rather than a war crime. Harper condemned those that do criticize Israel for violating the human rights of the Palestinian people as purveyors of a sophisticated new form of virulent anti-Semitism.http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stephen-harper-s-speech-to-the-israeli-knesset-1.2503902

Up until this past week, 2014 has not been a good year for Prime Minister Harper politically. He has been dogged by a scandal involving certain payments from his office to Senator Mike Duffy, formerly a famous TV commentator employed by CTV. The CTV’s Lead Reporter on Parliament Hill was Mike Duffy. CTV’s Mike Duffy unethically used his journalistic podium to help transform Harper’s political party into Canada’s governing party. Harper has been lagging in the polls behind the Liberals, now led by Justin Trudeau. Now in his mid-40s, Justin is the bright and very telegenic son of Canada’s former prime minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Many see the elder Trudeau as the most dynamic personality ever to lead Canada, the very embodiment of almost everything Harper entered politics to change.

The next Canadian election is scheduled for just under a year from now so the political season is upon us. There is a court case where Senator Duffy is being prosecuted for accepting a bribe from the prime minister’s office, a trial that seemed guaranteed to put Harper in even deeper political trouble. But of course it’s highly possible that Harper will be able to divert attention from the scandals engulfing him by changing the subject to war mania. The war agenda involves the Prime Minister granting his own executive branch greatly expanded police powers, the public aspect of which coincidentally came before Parliament just as the Ottawa shooter episode flashed into the headlines.

http://freethepresscanada.org/2014/10/23/government-passes-anti-constitutional-surveillance-law-during-ottawa-shooting/

Predictably the mainstream media here immediately fell into line, eschewing all skepticism while peddling flag waving patriotism aimed supposedly quelling “homegrown terror.” Meanwhile Canadian jets, military adviser and special forces join the international coalition of assault squads pointed against the weird ISIL concoction whose aim seems to be to express in real life every Islamophobic stereotype cultivated over the years by Hollywood and, since 9/11, by almost every major media venue in the so-called Western world.

Harper is quite simply infatuated by the mystique of war and the added executive powers his office can claim domestically and internationally in a wartime environment. As I see it, Harper came to power on 2006 riding the wave of militaristic energy generated by a specious interpretation of what happened on 9/11. To this day this pivotal event has never been subjected to a credible, third-party investigation unconnected to partisan political agendas. On becoming Prime Minister Stephen Harper increased his Liberal predecessors commitment to NATO’s war mission in Afghanistan. He visited the Canadian contingent in the Eurasian country often and built up his warrior’s personae by having himself filmed frequently with Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan.

As is being well reflected in the coverage of the lethal events at the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa, Harper is trying to blank out the reputation of Canadian Armed Forces as peacekeepers rather than belligerents. This image of Canada as a peace keeping nation goes back to the term of Liberal Prime Minister, Lester Pearson. Pearson first suggested a UN peace keeping mission at the height of the Cold War to ease tensions in Egypt after the government of Gamal Abdul Nasser seized control of the Suez Canal in 1956.

Harper has been very much a war hawk when it comes to the conflict in Ukraine. His foreign minister, John Baird, is very aggressive in highlighting Canada’s unconditional support for Israel as the primary centrepiece of Canada’s orientation to the rest of the world. Harper himself seems to picture his role as a Canadian equivalent to that of the US president who derives enormous power from his or her dual role as US Commander-In-Chief. Harper’s immersion in the military aspects of his executive power translates into his awkward relationship with the unwritten constitution Canada inherited from Great Britain and the parliamentary democracy of the Westminster system.

In spite of the fact that citizens do not vote directly for a Canadian prime minister like they do for an American president, Harper’s self-conception as chief executive officer of a Canadian republic, but without the checks and balances, puts him at odds with the oldest strains of Canada’s constitutional heritage. Harper’s contempt for Parliament was reflected in his repeated shutting down of Canada’s Parliament under an element of the unwritten constitution known as prorogation. In Canada the decision to shut down a parliamentary session prematurely technically belongs exclusively to the Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty the Queen delegates this power of prorogation to her regal representative in Ottawa, the Governor General of Canada.

The first prorogation took place in late 2008 under conditions where Harper’s Conservative Party was about to lose power through a coalition of three opposing political parties that collectively held more seats than the Conservative Party. Very clearly Harper imposed improper political pressure on the Queen’s representative to block a vote of no confidence in the Canadian House of Commons. Harper would have no longer been prime minister if such a vote had been allowed to go forward, which it should have been if Canada’s constitution had been respected. In 2008 and 2009 Harper again applied inappropriate political pressure on the Queen’s representative just as a parliamentary committee was turning up persuasive evidence that Canadian Armed Forces had been regularly handing over prisoners to Afghani forces for torture. If this line of disclosure had continued it is perfectly possible that Canadian officials right up to the prime minister would have faced criminal procedures at the International Court of Justice in the Hague for violating prohibitions on torture.

Thanks to Tigana for sharing this thought-provoking image helping alert us to the emergency Canada is facing with right now under Stephen Harper’s reign of terror policing.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/tiganatoo/4123300210/in/set-72157627623830175/

The current session of Parliament was just about to begin when the shooting episode at the war memorial and in the hallways of the Canadian Parliament broke out. The late start of the current Parliament on Oct. 22 came about because of yet another Crown decision to grant Stephen Harper his request for prorogation. The whole delicate structure of Canada’s parliamentary democracy depends on the capacity of the Queen’s representative to exercise a form of judicial and non-partisan independence distinct from the branch of the Canadian government devoted to partisan politics.

This political independence of the Governor General’s office has become a sad hoax ever since the practice developed of the Queen accepting automatically the advice of successive prime ministers in filling the job of Canadian Governor General. This appointment procedure has politicized the Office of Governor General. The Queen’s representative in the Dominion of Canada is meant to exist outside of political influence peddling. In Canada at this time the Governor General is His Excellency David Johnston. The current Queen’s representative won the current prime minister’s approval when Mr. Johnson, then a private citizen, drew up the terms of reference for an investigation into the role of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in Air Canada’s purchase of a number of European Airbuses. The affect of Johnston’s intervention was to distance Stephen Harper from the scandal that developed after it was shown that Mulroney had accepted kickbacks from the European airplane manufacturers through the agency of Karlheinz Schreiber and Bavarian premier Franz Josef Strauss. (Harvey Cashore, The Truth Shows Up: A Reporters’s Fifteen-Year Odyssey Tracking Down the Truth About Mulroney, Schreiber and the Airbus Scandal (Toronto: Porter Books, 2010), pp. 498-499

This background information I hope helps establish that Canada as we have known it is profoundly imperilled by an unscrupulous prime minister who, I am convinced, would have no qualms whatsoever to violate any rules or laws, domestically or internationally, if he deems that such action is necessary to retain the country’s top job or to expand his own prime ministerial powers. I hope this background information helps expose that conscientious citizens in Canada and international observers outside have every reason to be deeply skeptical of the explanations officialdom has given us concerning what happened on Oct. 22.

 3. Ochsenreter: So explain for us please what you understand to have happened or not to have happened on Oct. 22 just as the Canadian government was about to open a new parliamentary session. We understand that the main agenda item was to put in place the complex of policies and laws surrounding the federal government’s commitment to invade Iraq and Syria in the name of fighting terrorism both internationally and domestically. Who was the shooter, what happened in the prelude to Oct. 22 and how credible or not is the government’s account of what happened?

Hall: As I awoke on the morning of Oct. 22 the regular hourly news broadcast by the Crown Corporation, the Canadian Broadcasting Company, featured a live report of the shooting at the War Memorial, the main War Cenotaph in Ottawa just a short distance to Parliament Hill. I know the site well. It is much less than a mile from Parliament Hill. When I heard the initial radio report there was no information about the subsequent drama about to break out in the main citadel of Canada’s diminishing democracy. Presumably the shooting in the Parliament Building had not yet happened.

Significantly the information on the alleged shooter’s identity initially came from unnamed US government authorities that are said to have fed the story to Reuters. Many reports also cite the American broadcaster CBS as the originating point of the widely reported story on the alleged shooter’s identity. In an early CBS News report the alleged shooter’s name was given as Michael Abdul Zehaf-Bibeau. His birth name was reported as Michael Joseph Hall. These same US sources described the alleged shooter as a “recent convert to Islam,” a person on a watch list of “high-risk travellers” deemed suspicious and dangerous by the FBI.

The family connections of the accused man deserve some careful and explicit attention. The accused individual is now supposedly dead, although as far as I know no body has been produced to support the claim. No explanation has been produced to account for the transformation of Michael Joseph Hall into Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. The name of the alleged shooter’s mother is Susan Bibeau. The name of Michael’s father is Bulgasem Zehaf. Bulgasen Zehaf was born in Libya. Michael’s parents divorced in 1999 when their son was 17.

From whence came the name Michael “Hall”– assuming Zehaf-Bibeau was once Michael Hall? Is the accused’s adoption of the name Michael Zehaf-Bibeau or, as initially reported, Michael Abdul Zehaf-Bibeau, somehow connected to his alleged conversion to Islam? What motivated the alleged-and-now-deceased shooter to want to become a Muslim? Where did he convert? How? Did the alleged shooter have any teachers or instructors or mentors or spiritual advisors in his alleged conversion to Islam? What evidence is there that the alleged shooter was a recent convert to Islam?

Susan Bibeau is Director General of Canada’s federal Immigration Department. In other words, the alleged shooter’s mother is the top administrative official in Canada overseeing the issuing of all passports. Susan Bibeau’s position near the top of the Canadian civil service makes her a top ranking administrative official in Stephen Harper’s government. Ms. Bibeau’s position might have implications for the claim that the alleged shooter was not able to get a Canadian passport. The US sources reported that Michael wanted a passport to go to Syria to join ISIL. Susan Bibeau has explained that the report of her son wanting to go to Syria is wrong. She says her son wanted to travel to Saudi Arabia.

The media’s quick adoption of the ISIL/Syrian twist to the story, without a shred of evidence, is in itself enough to raise serious suspicions. To say the least, this particular twist in the official story is immensely fortuitous for those seeking to exploit the episode as the perfect event to intensify the beating of the war drums. The Ottawa shooter event is a big Canadian story. But more than that was in play on Oct. 22.

The way the story was covered internationally helped dramatize the larger framework of the mounting blitz of war propaganda on behalf of the most recent US-led invasion of the Middle East in the name of anti-terrorism. The imagery of Canada’s Parliament Hill under heavy police and military siege helped publicize the new war as a conflict that is at once external to the North America and Europe and yet internal at the same time. The meaning of the term “terrorism” continues to be manipulated and expanded to serve better a whole range of political agendas whose main capital is the currency of fear, but especially the artificially inflated fears of Islamophobia.

Michael’s father is reported to have left Libya for Canada because he was unhappy with the somewhat socialistic government of the late Muammar Gaddafi. It is reported that Bulgasen Zehaf returned to Libya in 2011 to join the actions of the NATO-backed so-called “rebels” who wanted to overthrow Gaddafi’s regime. Many of these anti-Gaddafi groups were at the time identified as being connected to al-Qaeda. In other words, the father of the alleged shooter was associated with the al-Qaeda-related groups of mercenaries supported by NATO that did overthrow the government of Gaddafi. The rebel activities culminated in Gaddafi being sodomized and then murdered in cold blood to the applause of many governments including that of Stephen Harper in Canada. Some of the paid mercenary soldiers in Libya moved onto Syria where they received support from Turkey, Western governments, and the city state sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf. Many of the foreign-backed fighters in Syria were also connected to a-Qaeda, the alleged culprits of 9/11. The rise of ISIL can be interpreted as a sort of rebranding of Islamic fighting forces previously associated with al-Qaeada.

It was reported in the Washington Times that Michael’s father, Bulgasem, spent time in a Libyan prison having been arrested in his native city of Zawiya. When he returned to Montreal after his ordeal it was reported that, “Mr. Zahaf said the main prison in the city was overflowing with inmates who were forced to live in subhuman conditions and were routinely tortured by their captors”

The son of Bulgasem and Ms. Bibeau spent much of his own life committing criminal acts, some of which earned him criminal charges. Among the crimes he committed were credit card fraud, drunk driving, theft, possession of a deadly weapon, escaping custody (twice) and possession of marijuana and PCP. In late 2011 he was charged with robbery in Vancouver. He plea bargained, pleading guilty to the lesser charge of uttering threats. In spite of his very long record the Judge sentenced the convicted man to one day in jail. It was after this day in jail that the alleged shooter allegedly converted to Islam, apparently acting in a way that raised red flags about him at the mosques he attended.

The author of the blog from whom I have gleaned much of this biographical information asks, “Did they use him like our FBI uses various career criminals who are facing a shit-load of serious time, to run around trying to find Muslims to set-up in entrapment schemes so they could create a looming terrorist attack and then foil it at the last minute?” http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/ottawa-shooting-the-really-really-really-odd-story-of-michael-zehaf-bibeau/

Rather than stay with his mother while he was in the Ottawa area the alleged shooter is said to have stayed in a homeless shelter. Nevertheless it is said he was able to purchase a car the day before he allegedly shot Corporal Cirillo. Then it is alleged that Zahef-Bibeau was himself shot inside Canada’s core Parliament Building. The person credited with killing the alleged killer of Corporal Cirillo is the Sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons, Kevin Vickers.

Because of his criminal record, the alleged shooter was prohibited from having firearms. Much debate has ensued about whether or not the alleged shooter was motivated by a clear political agenda of engagement in terrorism or whether he should be understood as a drug addicted and very confused man whose crimes had more to do with his own personal crisis that some desire to join ISIL and take part in violent jihad.

4. Ochsenreiter: There are some reports of some major drill involving police and Armed Forces that were underway on Oct. 22. Some investigators associate staged violent events with drills approximating the course of violent events. Could you please enlighten us on this subject. 

The fact that US sources were the originating site of the basic explanation of the violent acts in the Canadian capital may well be connected to the existence of a major Canada-US “Homeland Security” Drill codenamed Determined Dragon. This drill was underway when the shooting occurred. The period between Oct. 20 and Oct. 29 is described as the “execution phase” of the drill meant to improve the “interface” of emergency measures operations for “homeland defense and homeland security missions” in “defense of North America and global defence”

The drill linked something known as the Canadian Joint Action Command with NORAD (North American Areospace Defense Command), the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and the United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). Some observers of the events of Oct. 22 were fast to point out that the concurrence of military and police “drills” involving scenarios similar to actual acts of unexpected violence are often the hallmark of false flag events.

False flag events are those where individuals or groups are covertly manipulated to commit or seem to commit heinous acts in order to justify various actions including ramping up police powers, surveillance powers, and the initiation of aggressive warfare. In his volume Synthetic Terror, Webster Tarplay pointed to 46 drills that ran concurrently with the events of 9/11. Some of these drills approximated some of the scenarios that unfolded on 9/11 creating understandable confusion and chaos among, for instance, air traffic controllers.

The concurrence of the events in Ottawa on Oct. 22 with a drill based on a similar set circumstances has been the subject of an essay by Brandon Martinez who focused on a CBC report done by Adrienne Arsenault. In her report Arsenault explained to The National’s Anchor, Peter Mansbridge, that

They [Canadian authorities] may have been surprised by the actual incidents but not by the concepts of them. Within the last month we know that the CSIS, the RCMP and the National Security Task Force … ran a scenario that’s akin to a war games exercise if you will where they actually imagined literally an attack in Quebec, followed by an attack in another city, followed by a tip that that ‘hey some foreign fighters are coming back from Syria.’ So they were imagining a worst case scenario. We’re seeing elements of that happening right now. … [Canadian authorities] may talk today in terms of being surprised but we know that this precise scenario has been keeping them up at night for awhile. http://www.globalresearch.ca/canadian-authorities-ran-war-game-drills-depicting-isis-attack-scenarios/5409707

In reflecting on this overlap of drill exercises and live events Joshua Blakeney has observed,

What an amazing coincidence that Canadian intelligence ran a drill envisioning an attack first in Quebec, then another city. What are the chances that these mock terror drills are just a coincidence? In nearly every instance of a major terrorist occurrence in the West, it has been revealed that intelligence services were conducting war games exercises mimicking the very events that later come to pass. And now we have confirmation that Canada’s intelligence services were doing the same thing. http://truthandshadows.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/canadas-false-flag-terror-fingerprints-of-u-s-involvement/

 One could easily imagine that these four similarly dressed individuals were part of a drill when they assembled on Parliament Hill just before the alleged shooter arrived by car to carry out the second phase of his supposed jihadist mission. The widely reported story is that Zehaf-Bideau shot Corporal Nathan Cirillo at Canada’s War Centotaph. He allegedly attempted to shoot and kill a second soldier but missed. There are contradictory accounts of what the surviving soldier then did. After allegedly shooting Cpl. Cirillo, Zehaf-Bibeau is said to have gotten back in his Toyota Corolla sedan, which he apparently purchased the day before.

In any case it’s interesting that the alleged shooter had the means to purchase a used car even though he was reportedly staying at a homeless shelter. The official account would have the alleged shooter of Corporal Cirillo, whose death was reported upon almost immediately on national radio, get into his car and drive undetected, unchallenged and certainly unobstructed to Parliament Hill.

The film above includes material that was released by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The main body of video is described as the recordings emanating from security cameras on Parliament Hill. In the You Tube above four young and very fit young men, all similarly turned out in suits and brief cases, act at first as a greeting party, seemingly waiting for the newly-purchased vehicle to arrive. When the car does pull up to the big park area in front of the Parliament Buildings the four men all approach the vehicle in unison. They then run away in unison when the individual subsequently identified as Zehaf-Bibeau gets out. Are these apparently related individuals so-called “crisis actors?”

The next scene shown by the RCMP pictures the alleged shooter running along the wall of one of the outlying Parliament structures. This area in front of the Parliament Buildings is heavily traveled by staff and by tourists. Many police are regularly assigned to watch this area. How was it possible for the alleged shooter, who is said to have been carrying a rifle, to prance around this very closely scrutinized public space without being noticed? Or was there some determination on high that he should not be noticed, that he should be allowed entry into the main entrance way of the main Parliament Building?

In the RCMP’s video presentation allegedly showing the sequence of events following the alleged shooter’s arrival on Parliament Hill, the subject is so far from the security camera filming him that he cannot be clearly identified. The subject is shown approaching a high-end car whose driver is said to be on call to transport a high-ranking government of Canada official. After commandeering the car, rifle openly in hand, the supposed jihadist then drives towards Parliament’s main entrance way.

One might think in watching the RCMP’s video that the alleged shooter is getting a police escort during his short trip. Two police cruisers pull in behind the commandeered vehicle and drive slowly behind it. No sirens are blaring or police lights flashing. A bus, truck or large van pulls in behind the commandeered car in a way that seems almost designed to shield it from any disruption in its short trip. The alleged Shooter then parks the vehicle and enters the hallway separating the House of Commons Chamber from the Senate Chamber. At a leisurely pace police officers subsequently emerge from their own cars, having followed the subject to his destination.

There is a lot of video tape giving various angles of what happened inside the central Parliament building although none of it that I have seen gets anywhere near the alleged killing of the alleged shooter of Corporal Cirillo. Many camera crews were on site and their members were not evacuated in whatever police procedures took place culminating in many shots being fired. allegedly somewhere in the area of the internal entrance way to the Parliamentary Library.

Many other facets of the government story of the events of Oct. 22 are far from having been proven conclusively. There are, for instance, many strange elements in the videos of the para-medical treatments meted out after the shooting on the site of the War Memorial took place. For instance Cpl. Branden Stevenson, the second soldier guarding the sacred monument, is not among those pictured in the group trying to save Cpl. Cirillo’s life. Where did he go? One report said he chased the alleged shooter but that account seems contradicted by another video of the alleged shooter supposedly entering his parked car immediately after the alleged shooting. No one is following him although the car is a very short distance from where the shooting is alleged to have taken place.

The efforts to pump the victim’s chest cage in the area of his heart in order to revive him seem demonstrably problematic. The video scenes of what happened after Zehaf-Bibeau entered the Parliament also raise many questions. Like officialdom’s story of what happened on 9/11, almost every aspect the official account of what happened in the area of Parliament Hill on Oct. 22 seems to cry out for skeptical, evidence-based investigation.

The government/police sources on what did or did not happen are all clouded by the appearance or substance of conflict of interest. This conflict of interest is rooted in the fact that the official version of events justifies the extension of enlarged powers and budgets to those so-called national security police currently monopolizing the Crown’s interpretation of the events of Oct.22. It is imperative, therefore, that the events of Oct. 22 be investigated by a genuine third-party adjudicator without any vested interest in any given interpretation of what did or did not transpire.

As the primary political beneficiary of the first reports of what happened on Oct. 22, Prime Minister Stephen Harper relationship to the Ottawa shooter story is especially deserving of scrutiny by a third party adjudicator with the appropriate powers to subpeona evidence. In the investigation of any crime one of the first questions that needs to be addressed is: Who benefited? Stephen Harper obviously benefited.

5. Ochsenreiter: How did the media report the events?

Hall: In Canada there is a well-known deference to authority that tends to preclude the asking of awkward and possibly embarrassing questions of public officials especially in times of emergency and tragedy. That is certainly the case here. The night of the tragedy Rex Murphy did one of his frequent commentaries on the nightly national news report of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Murphy made his mark at the CBC praising Stephen Harper when he travelled to Afghanistan to embrace Canada’s military role in combatting what were initially depicted as the Islamic terrorist forces said to be primarily responsible for the attack on the United States on 9/11. His role at the CBC has been the subject of considerable controversy after it was reported that he accepts significant sums of money from oil companies on whose activities he reports on the CBC. http://www.vancouverobserver.com/news/cbc-should-stop-journalists-rex-murphy-taking-speaking-fees-obudsman-review

Murphy depicted the alleged shooter as a psychotic monster whose depravity he contrasted with the heroic greatness of fallen Corporal Cirillo and the Sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons, Kevin Vickers. Vickers is credited with shooting the interloper at point-blank range although some reports indicate that many individuals had a hand in killing the supposed jihadist. Murphy’s reporting epitomizes the diagnosis of many that the CBC is fast becoming a state broadcaster rather than an impartial public broadcaster devoted to balanced reporting. This diagnosis is similar to that often applied to the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

In another era the CBC might have been considered the progressive wing of Canada’s constellation of media outlets. That situation, however, is changing rapidly. The reporting of Sun News, which is in the process of amalgamating with PostMedia Corporation, has been predictably inspired by the war agenda. Its operatives are firmly behind Harper’s desire to amplify the terrorist threat as the key to his transformation of Canadian institutions into his own personal medium of unassailable authority. The Sun Media-Post Media print publications and TV outlets predictably push an Israeliocentric line of analysis that conforms quite consistently to the propaganda for aggressive warfare whose most iconographic expression is the media empire of Rupert Murdoch and especially Fox News in the United States.

There has been some commentary putting in the forefront the fact that Zehaf-Bibeau is, or has been, addicted to crack-cocaine, and that he may suffer from mental illness. This line of analysis is leading some to question how the alleged actions of a troubled individual who seems to have fallen between the cracks of an impoverished and radically downsized Canadian system of social services can really be held up as the reason to further empower the Canadian police state in the name of the latest iteration of the so-called Global War on Terror. Linda McQuaig has gone beyond this discussion in her article, “For Stephen Harper Fear Works.” She writes, “The real danger here is that we will be terrorized — not by terrorists or mentally ill killers, but by Stephen Harper — into accepting an aggressive ‘war on terror’ agenda. Those who don’t jump on board will soon get the message: ‘If you’re not fighting terrorism, you’re with the terrorists.'” http://www.ipolitics.ca/2014/10/29/for-stephen-harper-fear-works/

Andrew Mitrovica, who used to work at Canada’s Globe and Mail in the days before those directing this influential Canadian media outlet abandoned their journalistic integrity, did a significant commentary on how Canadians have been betrayed by a press corps that operates primarily as stenographers for officialdom’s press releases. In a fairly popular web publication entitled, iPolitics Mitrovica explained that “Canada’s so-called media and political ‘elites’ abandoned” any semblance of “history, context, perspective, understanding, skepticism and thoughtfulness…. In their stead, we got a week-long diet of chest-thumping patriotic clichés, cheap, meaningless hyperbole and tropes that, taken together, have already manufactured widespread consent for what will surely be another assault on our rights and freedoms engineered by a cynical Conservative government.” http://www.ipolitics.ca/2014/10/26/never-let-the-facts-get-in-the-way-of-a-good-cronkite-moment/

Veteran Canadian investigative reporter Barrie Zwicker brought his important perspective to the Ottawa Shooter story in an article entitled, “Canada’s False Flag Terror: Fingerprints of U.S. Involvement.” In describing the main issues addressed in his assessment, Zwicker writes,

This article delves deeper into the timing including that the events happened, to the day, as military-intelligence “exercises” were taking place that precisely mirrored the “surprise” events. Other hallmarks include the prior involvement of government agents with both of the supposed jihadists, the fact that both were easy-to-manipulate “human wreckage” and the early “terrorism” branding led by the Prime Minister. Other hallmarks include the unfolding parade of memorable iconic elements and images, the “lone wolf” narratives, the dual role of the media in general to both to reinforce the official narrative and to fail to ask fundamental questions about it. http://truthandshadows.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/canadas-false-flag-terror-fingerprints-of-u-s-involvement/

Zwicker’s final point about the mainstream media’s role in reinforcing the official narrative, in part by failing to ask even the most rudimentary questions concerning internal contradictions in officialdom’s version of events, needs to be emphasized. Like Andrew Mitrovica, Zwicker used to work for the Globe and Mail in the days when it still retained some credibility as Canada’s national newspaper of record. A former teacher of journalism at Ryerson University, Zwicker has all the experience and credentials to be considered a senior statesman of investigative reporting in Canada.

Because of his conscientiousness, Zwicker emerged as one of Canada’s leading public voices of 9/11 skepticism following the initiation of the Global War on Terror based on an unproven and unprovable account of what happened on Sept. 11, 2001. The implications of our not coming to terms with the truth of what did or didn’t happen on 9/11 is demonstrated once again with this new cycle of interpretation that puts on the sidelines the analysis of one of Canada’s most important senior investigative reporters even as the stenographers of officialdom’s press releases are treated as the highest currency of fact.

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