"Everyone talks about the weather,
but nobody does anything about it."
Points to Ponder: State Secrets - State Lies.
This information will be of greatest interest to the Canadian visitors to these pages as it is specific to their government. Nevertheless it does offer some explanations that others may find worthwhile pursuing in their own jurisdictions - why State Secrets become State Lies.
I have been searching for hard evidence as to why politicians, indeed the government in general, including the Opposition parties, refuse to acknowledge matters that are so plainly obvious to any observant citizen. Obviously here I am focusing my attention on the issue of the illegal high altitude spraying by large military type aircraft of unknown substances - commonly referred to as 'chemtrails' and that is taking place on a daily basis somewhere in the skies over Canada.
I decided to look into the Oath Of Allegiance Act and the Official Secrets Act now known (after 9-11) as the Security of Information Act and discover who in government might have their lips sealed.
I have now obtained copies of the various Oaths and extracts of the appropriate sections of the House of Commons Procedure and Practice manual plus the handbook on Public Administration in Canada by Kenneth Kernagan and Davis Siegal of Brock University.
For example, Members of Parliament are sworn in to office by reciting and signing this oath of allegiance:
I, (the member) , do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors. So help me God.
The oath of the members of the Privy Council:
I, (P.C.) , do solemnly and sincerely swear that I shall be a true and faithful servant to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, as a member of Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada. I will in all things to be treated, debated and resolved in Privy Council, faithfully, honestly and truly declare my mind and my opinion. I shall keep secret all matters committed and revealed to me in this capacity, or that shall be secretly treated of in Council. Generally, in all things I shall do as a faithful and true servant ought to do for Her Majesty. So help me God.
Through the latter act a Minister is bound to maintain cabinet secrecy and cannot reveal any information about cabinet proceedings.
I also have an extract from the Public Service Employment Act including the actual form that would be signed and witnessed where a public servant: "...on appointment from outside the Public Service, take and subscribe the oath or solemn affirmation of allegiance and the oath or solemn affirmation set out in Schedule III."
The actual form states: "I, (our servant) solemnly and sincerely swear that I will faithfully and honestly fulfil the duties that devolve upon me by reason of my employment in the Public Service and that I will not, without due authority in that behalf, disclose or make known any matter that comes to my knowledge by reason of such employment. So Help Me God."
As further background here is a summary of the Security of Information Act on the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) web site: Security of Information Act. The page will open in a separate window of your browser - it may be kept open, minimized or closed to return here.
Presenting another view on all of this, the Globe & Mail, a Canadian national newspaper published a report from Canadian Press: "Federal secrecy law mums officials for life". I have included the pertinent section in the panel below but here is the link to the full story if required: Globe & Mail. (Now requires Login.)
This Canadian Press report supports my overall concerns in that it focuses upon the fact that any response to a question that a citizen may address to government has no guarantee of receiving a truthful answer due to the fact that the subject of the question may be "classified".
Given that (as the report states) this includes the very broad "net" of: "Other individuals, including federal public servants at various agencies, provincial and municipal employees, and temporary contractors, will be bound to secrecy on a case-by-case basis." then it must follow that this could include just about any individual who has any retainer relationship (except as a humble taxpayer) with any level of governments in Canada.
This is unfortunate because it means that any alert individual will be obliged to constantly question the validity of any statements made by their various representatives - at any level.
So, for example, even if a federal Minister claims to be presenting the truth, as he is aware of it, those who provide or provided information and advise the Minister may be obliged to present facts to the Minister that, to use the parliamentary term, do not conform to reality. For example, see letter from Minister of Defence at the time, John McCallum: Government correspondence - McCallum where the Minister is advised by his "air staff": "...there is nothing to indicate that these contrails are anything more than harmless vapour trails...".
I am not questioning the need for State Secrets in matters of national security - that is elementary, but rather pointing out that anything stamped with a classification of any level must therefore become the subject of State Lies. Simply be aware of this fact in your dealings with government.
I believe that this is what I (and others) have repeatedly encountered in the last few years in exchanges with government and that are detailed in part here: Government correspondence.
Also, see sample Access to Information documents in these pages: Access to Information plus the government response to our Official Petition: Response to Petition. Many fine examples of State Lies. These various pages will open in a separate window - and may be kept open, minimized or closed to return here.
With the public at large preoccupied with earning a living and paying taxes along with daily life being all-consuming - plus, with the mainstream media muzzled, controlled and self-censored - little truthful, meaningful information filters through to us... look at the sky.
Federal secrecy law mums officials for life
By Canadian Press published in the Globe & Mail
Sunday, 7 March 2004
Ottawa - Thousands of Canadians involved in the hunt for terrorists and spies will be forbidden from ever discussing sensitive aspects of their work under a new federal secrecy law.
The government expects between 5,000 and 6,000 current and former security and intelligence officials to be designated as persons "permanently bound to secrecy," internal memos obtained by The Canadian Press reveal.
The move to make officials take secrets to the grave is being ushered in under provisions of the Security of Information Act, part of a package of anti-terrorism measures passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
The security act, which contains a wide range of tools to safeguard federal information, was recently invoked by the RCMP to search the home of Ottawa Citizen reporter Juliet O'Neill.
But little attention has been given to other elements of the law that demand permanent secrecy with the aim of shielding "special operational information" about covert intelligence gathering and military battle plans.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service will store the names and related records of those sworn to silence in a database. Compilation of the list, which is ongoing, began last March, according to memos and briefing notes released through the Access to Information Act.
Under the Security of Information Act, people automatically bound to secrecy include current or former members of CSIS, certain sensitive RCMP departments and intelligence watchdog agencies.
It also covers members of the Communications Security Establishment - the government's electronic spy agency - as well as former employees of the Communications Branch of the National Research Council (the forerunner of CSE, defunct since 1975) and the RCMP Security Service (disbanded in 1984).
Other individuals, including federal public servants at various agencies, provincial and municipal employees, and temporary contractors, will be bound to secrecy on a case-by-case basis.
"Special care must be taken to ensure that the designation is warranted because of the permanent nature of the designation," says one briefing memo.
Federal officials in charge of hand-picking these individuals "have only recently started the process," said Mario Baril, a spokesman for the Treasury Board Secretariat, which is administering the secrecy initiative.
Among the types of "special operational information" people formally bound to secrecy cannot discuss are:
- Past or current sources of confidential data.
- Names of spies involved in secret intelligence collection.
- Plans for armed military operations.
- Places, persons or groups who were - or are intended to be - targets of covert intelligence efforts by Canadian spy services.
A person bound to secrecy who reveals such information "without authority" could face up to 14 years in prison. It is unclear how one might obtain authority to disclose a secret, though one insider has suggested persons sworn to silence could discuss sensitive matters once they are declassified.
Still, intelligence experts question whether it is sensible, or even possible, to maintain a broad permanent veil of secrecy.
"It fails to reflect the reality that, while there are categories of information which are important to safeguard, secrets don't stay secrets permanently," said Wesley Wark, a University of Toronto history professor.
The new secrecy regime is "Draconian and nonsensical," and could prove to be a bureaucratic nightmare, Prof. Wark said.
Reid Morden, a former head of CSIS, said the provisions could conflict with other legal measures, such as access-to-information laws, intended to increase government transparency.
"I don't know whether people will be able to make this [prohibition] stick in terms of 'until the grave.' "
In 2002, federal officials recommended the new law be interpreted narrowly to include only certain key kinds of information, thereby limiting the number of people covered by the secrecy clauses.
"Nevertheless, approximately five to six thousand people are currently targeted by the legislation," says a 2003 memo prepared by the Treasury Board Secretariat.
The secrecy provisions were among several elements of the 2001 anti-terrorism bill intended to modernize the decades-old Official Secrets Act.
(End of selection from the Globe & Mail.)
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