Lessons

Experts list hard lessons of post-9/11 world

Experts list hard lessons of post-9/11 world
Safeguarding rights best way to fight terrorism, writes Haroon Siddiqui

Dec. 10, 2006. 01:00 AM
HAROON SIDDIQUI


The threat of terrorism is real. It is the duty of the state to ensure the safety of the public. The only real difference of opinion is over whether the job is best done within the rule of law or by running roughshod over people's civil rights and, in some cases, ruining their lives, as was done to Maher Arar.

The wrongs done to him have been laid bare by Justice Dennis O'Connor. RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli has since quit. O'Connor will file another report Tuesday, outlining ways to better protect civilians.

He will likely recommend strong civilian oversight for the RCMP and the nearly two dozen other agencies and departments that do security, intelligence, police, immigration and other related work, including the Canada Border Services Agency.

Now only the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Communications Security Establishment (CSE, the secret cyberspace spy service) are subject to civilian scrutiny.

There's an RCMP Complaints Commissioner but he/she has been rendered toothless by the stonewalling Mounties.

I asked two Torontonians of impeccable credentials what post-9/11 lessons we've learned.

Here's what Paul Cavalluzzo, lead counsel for the Arar Inquiry, and Ron Atkey, former head of the agency that monitors CSIS and who was a "friend of the court" at the inquiry, said in separate interviews.