column was published in the
Sept. 22, 1999)
friends in high places
By Leo Knight
world is a dangerous place to live. Not because of the people
who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything
genius Einstein was recognized for his scientific prowess but,
as the quote above shows, he had incredible insight into mankind
quote was sent to me by Brian McAdam, the former Foreign
Services Officer who, along with suspended RCMP Cpl. Robert
Read, is fighting to get someone to pay attention to their
allegations of corruption at the highest levels of the Mounties
and External Affairs.
first raised the alarm about Asian organized crime penetration
of Immigration Canada's CAIPS computer system way back in 1992.
When the matter was investigated and subsequently covered up, he
did his best to get the senior people of External Affairs to pay
attention to the corruption he'd uncovered. But he was lied to,
marginalized then maligned for his trouble.
Read met much the same fate. After discovering huge holes in the
original investigation, he tried to raise the flag, but the file
was taken away from him and he was transferred to a
paper-shuffling desk job.
a tenacious, honest cop, Read kept trying within the system he
swore an oath of loyalty to, meeting nothing but brick walls.
finally went to the media to focus attention on what is,
arguably, the biggest story of the decade and was suspended from
active duty and charged with a couple of trumped up service
Read and McAdam believed in the system they toiled in for so
many years. Now they have found out the system itself is corrupt
and the good guys have been made victims of the corruption.
have to admit, it's all I can do to write about this situation
and contain the anger I feel.
commissioner Phillip Murray should be ashamed of himself. While
it's fair to say the genesis of this scandal began when Norman
Ingster was the commissioner and not Murray, it's also fair to
say that Ingster politicized the office of the commissioner to
the point that he was little more than a lackey to his political
masters, ultimately, the prime minister.
for his part, appears to still wear his predecessor's knee pads.
question remains, as we ponder Einstein's quote above, why
didn't Murray act on Read's investigation findings?
did the External Affairs minister do nothing in the face of
McAdam's stunning allegations? And why did the prime minister
condone the inaction?
McAdam has written a manuscript that is, frankly, shocking.
outlines how elements of Asian organized crime have bought and
sold this country with the knowledge and complicity of our
Cameron's book On the Take, the blistering condemnation
of Brian Mulroney's term in this country's highest office, reads
like a Boy Scout manual in comparison.
can only hope McAdam can find a publisher with the requisite
"cajones" to take on the project.
on the subject of leaders who deliberately ill-inform the
public, can there be a sadder case than that of Edmonton police
chief John Lindsay?
the spring, two veteran detectives charged that senior members
of the police department leaked information to the Hells Angels,
and Lindsay did little to investigate the allegations.
charges inspired an investigation by the RCMP.
for his part, immediately filed a civil action in an attempt to
limit the scope of the Mounties' investigation of corruption
into his department.
circling the wagons, Lindsay was forced to pull his head out of
the sand on the issue of gang activity in the City of Champions.
With nearly 20 gang-related shootings over the course of the
summer, Lindsay was finally forced to form a task force
responsible for dealing with the street war for control of the
lucrative heroin and cocaine trade.
week, barely two weeks after the formation of the gang task
force, Lindsay stood up in front of the media, and with a
straight face, announced the gang problem was in decline.
bullets have been flying all summer in Edmonton. They are using
weapons like Mac-11 machine pistols. One drive-by shooting
resulted in a stray bullet narrowly missing a five-year-old girl
in her bed.
dealer was hacked open by assailants with a meat cleaver and
there's the chief law enforcement officer for the city saying
the problem is in decline.
Vietnamese gangs are duking it out with the Chinese. The native
thugs like the Red Alert and the Warriors are struggling for
recognition, while the West End Boys are doing their best to
ensure Darwin's legitimacy and Lindsay says everything's all
spent an hour last week talking to a street cop who works out of
Edmonton's West Division. He told me, officially, there is no
gang problem in Edmonton. He then went on to tell me chapter and
verse of the problems he and his colleagues have trying to keep
the lid on a bubbling cauldron of organized crime wars trying to
seize control of the lucrative drug trade in the gateway to the
every ounce of heroin or cocaine sold in Alberta originates in
Vancouver and one of the shooting victims this summer is a
suspect in a B.C. homicide, I'm thinking Lindsay had better
extract his head from his anal cavity.
he may be trying to deflect attention from the allegations made
by the two detectives who, like Read and McAdam, are just trying
to do the right thing.
Fisher, the Vancouver Police sergeant recently gagged by the
RCMP for doing his job, says the situation in Edmonton is
identical, and with some of the same players, as Vancouver had
five years ago.
crime is more prevalent in our cities -- all of our cities --
than ever before. It affects each one of us whether you realize
it or not.
soldiers in the war against the forces of darkness are being
gagged, maligned or condemned.
Some of the people at the head of our governments, police forces and civil service are protecting the bad guys and, frankly, I don't understand why we are letting this happen.