Requiem: Random Meditations for Perplexed Pilgrims
by Kevin D. Annett
Prime Minister Jean Chretien shows a protester who’s the boss, 1996
It takes only one man to commit a crime but an entire community to conceal it. – Krishnamurti
Evil is unspectacular and always human, and shares our bed and eats at our own table. – W.H. Auden
(Readers may wish to consult the July 8, 2016 news posting atwww.itccs.org .)
Dateline: Ottawa, Today – Somewhere in the Prime Minister’s Office
Little Justin Waterhole suddenly stopped preening himself at his mirror after a hurried rapping sounded at his door. It turned out to be one of his senior assistants.
“You’d better read this, Mr. Prime Minister” panted the flunky, thrusting a piece of paper at him.
Justin read it.
Hardly the brightest light bulb on the Hill, Justin needed an explanation.
“It’s an internal CSIS memo sir, from April of 1998. Somehow it got leaked out”
Uh huh? said Justin’s confused bovine gaze. The assistant, whose name was Dick, explained.
“It describes the Chretien containment operation, sir … You know, regarding the Indians”
“What Indians?” squeaked Justin nervously.
“The residential school Indians, sir. This memo laid out how they were to be stopped.”
“Oh yeah …” murmured the Prime Minister, glancing back at the mirror and adjusting his hair. “I remember hearing something about that. I think Daddy mentioned it once.”
Dick looked surprised but said nothing, hoping his boss would continue. But Justin only gave him a sad and empty smile.
“Mr. Trudeau sir, this memo implicates a former Liberal Prime Minister, Jean Chretien – one of your close political backers, sir – in a plan to harass, shut down and even do away with witnesses to residential school crimes. It’s being called a black ops plan of state terrorism, sir”
Justin frowned slightly and remarked,
“Who’s saying that?”
“I told you sir, the memo was leaked from somebody in CSIS. It went out on July 8. The CBC may look into it. The thing’s being quoted all over the internet!”
“Huh. Weird. I never saw it” replied Justin.
“The internet freaks are even running the news of the memo alongside that picture of Mr. Chretien choking that protester, sir …”
Justin laughed and uttered,
“Yeah, that was cool …”
Dick drew a heavy breath and continued,
“Well, anyway sir, this is bound to come up in question and answer period in the House, and you’d better be ready with an explanation!”
Justin frowned again.
“Oh yeah? Well, like what should I say?”
“I’ve already drafted something for you, sir. You’ll deny everything”
“Sure, okay” Justin replied, gazing furtively back at the mirror.
Dick seemed perturbed, but Justin didn’t seem to notice.
“Don’t you want to know why, Mr. Trudeau sir?” asked Dick.
“Why you have to deny the existence of the memo or the Chretien black ops plan, sir” Dick replied, his patience thinning.
“Yeah, okay, why?”
“Our friends at Cameco and Power Corp would be very upset if you didn’t , Mr. Prime Minister”
Justin stared blankly at Dick.
“Uranium, sir” Dick explained. “Hydro electricity”
Justin actually shrugged, as Dick wondered painfully to himself why he had ever turned down the Bay street consultancy offer.
“Well don’t leave me hanging here, Dick …” exclaimed Justin, donning the same cute smile he flashed at reporters.
“Mr. Chretien and several of his senior cabinet ministers were all heavy investors in those companies, sir. They still are. Their plan to silence the Indians wasn’t just a matter of political expediency.”
Justin still didn’t get it. Dick continued,
“The natives are in the way, Mr. Prime Minister. They’re even more in the way when they start yapping to the press about mass graves at residential schools. I assume your predecessor knew he had to do something about that before things got out of hand.”
“Wow” said Justin.
“Yes sir” replied Dick.
The dialogue is fictitious, perhaps, but the story is not.
The novelist William Styron wrote that the only thing holding back absolute hopelessness in life is either a happy marriage or a good book. And I would add, or kicking the biggest butt in town.
I first heard about the CSIS memo in question the day the news broke from Europe, where the opaque Canuck government insider who leaked it is apparently hiding out under police protection. I guess he or she just doesn’t trust Canada’s reputation for niceness, or something.
So what does it mean, anyway, when an entire nation and its churches kill off countless children as a matter of course and then with equal deliberation buy off or knock off the eye-witnesses?
My naïve answer is that whatever is responsible for such a crime has to be brought to an end. Stopped for good. Dismantled. Broken into little pieces so it can never harm again. Then something has to arise to replace it that is not murderous and criminal.
This attitude makes me a very unpopular man, here in Canada. People don’t like talking to me anymore, including my friends. Hell, even my political sympaticos won’t even write to me directly but do so through somebody else, since – you know – they might get targeted too, right?
I have a lot to say to our mystery man or woman who leaked the CSIS memo about the Canadian government’s plan to crush the truth tellers of the church-state massacre of brown children. Like for one thing, friend, stay in Europe.
You see, Canada’s too pleasant a place for whistle blowing. Canadians just don’t like a disturbance. We’re like the two grinning figure heads I once saw adorning a Haida longhouse, depicting slaves about to be sacrificed at a totem pole raising.Just keep smiling, everyone, and it’ll all be okay!
Twenty years ago I was stupid enough to think that publishing deadly truths that indict the powerful would change things more than window dressing. Dumbness has its purpose, of course, since none of my digging into those mortuary holes of Indian kids would have happened at the hands of a wiser man. But world enough and time hopefully awakens even the most die-hard activist to what he is swimming in. It took a lot of kicks to my head by the beast called Canada for me to grasp what was really going on.
When I was stupid and approachable, and deeply engaged in uncovering residential school atrocities, the government-pumped CBC used to phone me up every few months to see what I’d unearthed about our homegrown slaughter. Some new, eager-sounding voice would assure me that the CBC was planning a “major story” on the Indian school crimes (not their word for it, of course). Then after pumping me for information they’d always vanish: gone as quick as a Member of Parliament’s promises, and never a word of what I’d shared and proven would ever grace the evening news.
Nowadays, of course, I don’t get any such calls from the media. The official story is set in stone.
All of that ran through my head this week when I had passed on to me that a Montreal CBC reporter was “interested” in interviewing the CSIS-memo stool pigeon. Uh huh.
Don’t you hate it when the bad guys still try to treat us like idiots?
I’ve learned not to take it personally anymore. Reporters, politicians, Popes or Prime Ministers are all the same, especially during their first term on the job: they want to make a splash and be remembered. And the way to do that here in the Great White North is to keep things placid, dead and most of all, uncontroversial. Nobody in a prison likes too many questions, after all.
It was a brave soul indeed who released the CSIS memo on the Chretien plan to silence forever the witnesses to our own Genocide and shut down any inquiry into the same. I only hope their valor is matched by a trace of political realism that even the most seasoned Canadian activist seems to lack when it comes to the nature of their own country.
Realistically, the truth teller in question should expect nothing better from his revelation than a dead-end “official inquiry” into the matter by the very people who are guilty. That’s the Canadian way.
That said, I encourage the same whistle blower to go ahead anyway and kick the biggest butt here in town with everything he knows. My only regret is that by doing so he may attain the honor of becoming an even more hated figure in Canada than I am.