*Dispersing the Fog written by Paul Palango and published by Key Porter in 2008 incorrectly identified Julie Van Dusen as the source of a question posed by a member of parliament at the ethics committee into the Mulroney-Schreiber affair. Ms. Van Dusen reported on the proceedings but was not the source of any questions. Key Porter and Paul Palango apologise for this mistake.
: October 16, 2008
“This all begins with a single typo, a simple misprint, which seemed to have slipped by everyone.”
With that intriguing opening line author Paul Palango sets the tone for his latest book – which promises to be one of the most explosive, controversial and insightful books ever published in Canada.
In Dispersing the Fog, Palango’s definitive book on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, he invites the reader to look over his shoulder as he conducts an unprecedented investigation into the relationship between politics and the justice system in Canada since the 1980s.
From its humble beginnings in 1874, the RCMP has evolved into a hugely complex police force with almost 16,000 officers and nearly 10,000 civilians with an annual budget of $4-billion. There is no police service in the world like it and no institution in Canada has enjoyed more trust, admiration and respect than the Mounties, with their almost mythical international reputation.
But the public record shows that the RCMP’s collective reputation is undeserved. For more than 35 years the force has found itself mired in a seemingly unending litany of organizational, legal and political controversies, the kinds of scandals that would have ruined a similar-sized corporation.
In Dispersing the Fog Palango provides a thorough and conclusive debunking of the many myths of the RCMP, which, over the years, the federal and provincial governments have encouraged and nurtured for their own political purposes. He takes the reader on a step-by-step, virtually invisible process whereby one Prime Minister after another toyed or parried with the RCMP in pursuit of his own respective agenda.
Palango builds on the powerful and influential arguments made in his first two RCMP books, Above the Law and The Last Guardians, to show Canadians why they should be concerned about the RCMP, its mandate, its performance and its relationship to governments and politics. He provides the answers to questions that have long simmered in the consciousness of Canadians including:
§ What did the O’Connor Commission cover up about U.S. rendition victim Maher Arar who received a public apology and $10.5 million payout without ever answering a question about his past?
§ What was the true relationship between then Prime Minister Jean Chretien and RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli and how could that have influenced the Income Trust scandal that helped to get Stephen Harper elected Prime Minister of Canada in 2006?
§ Was Brian Mulroney an innocent victim of biased journalists in the ongoing Airbus imbroglio as he and his supporters have argued?
§ Why did successive governments cover up the truth in Project Sidewinder, a joint RCMP-CSIS investigation conducted in the nineties?
§ When Stephen Harper appointed a civilian to head the RCMP in 2007 was it his ultimate plan to fix the RCMP or exert more political control over the force?
§ How does the RCMP rank in comparison with other police forces around the world when it comes to protecting citizens and solving crimes?
§ Why is it so dangerous being a Mountie?
§ Has the rule of law been compromised by the refusal of successive governments to implement necessary checks and balances in the Canadian system of government?
Dispersing the Fog is not just a book about the RCMP; it addresses the consequence of too much unchecked power being placed in the hands of too few people. It’s also about politicians and the media in general, who have failed to recognize the many concerns Canadians have about the RCMP’s ability and willingness to carry out its duties.
Most importantly Dispersing the Fog is about our justice system in general and a wake-up call for any Canadian concerned about the security and integrity of the country in our post 9/11 world. No one who cares about democracy and the health of the country’s guardian institutions can afford to ignore this book.
Dispersing the Fog: Inside the Secret World of Ottawa and the RCMP
By Paul Palango
544 pages - $32.95
Published by Key Porter Books – October 27, 2008
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Palango is an author and investigative journalist. His two most recent books—also about the RCMP—are Above The Law and The Last Guardians. His stints as a journalist include the Hamilton Spectator and the Toronto Sun. From 1977 to 1990 he was a news reporter, sports editor, city editor and national editor at The Globe and Mail—where he supervised the investigative journalists across the country. In 1989, on behalf of the Globe and its staff, he was selected to accept the Michener Award from then Governor-General Jeanne Sauvé.
After leaving the Globe, he worked as a freelancer, writing a city column for Eye Weekly magazine in Toronto for almost five years. He has worked on investigations for the fifth estate, as well as investigative journalist pieces for Saturday Night, Maclean’s, Elm Street, Canadian Business and Hamilton Magazine, among others. Palango also worked as a fraud investigator for a leading forensic accounting firm.
In recent years he has published numerous articles in newspapers across Canada and has been a frequent commentator on matters involving the RCMP and policing in general. In that capacity he has appeared more than 300 times on radio and television in Canada and the United States. He lives in Chester Basin, Nova Scotia.
From Palango's Desk: November 5, 2008
PAUL PALANGO RESPONDS
Dear members and interested parties
In recent days Commissioner Elliott and various commanders have issued statements attacking my book, Dispersing the Fog: Inside the Secret World of Ottawa and the RCMP. They claim there are distortions and errors in the book.
I believe I have created a fair impression of the RCMP in my book. My main contact with the force has been DCOMM Bass. As I told him in an e-mail, the force is throwing up a smokescreen to conceal the real issues. To use a baseball analogy, the RCMP brass is arguing about balls and strikes when the real issue is the steroids and corked bats and the integrity of the entire sport.
Furthermore, I had an exchange of e-mails with Bass over the weekend when he alerted that the force would be issuing a statement.
Here is my response to him:
Gary: Glad you read the book. I think I’ve created a fair impression of the RCMP. You can quibble about details but when you issue your press release, please refer to the previous time(s) you have issued press releases about me and others that were inaccurate and misleading, like those detailed in the book.
You can also include former RCMP member Leo Knight’s review on Primetimecrime.com or Morley Lymburner’s from Blue Line Magazine. One said I had done a great public service while the other said I should receive the Order of Canada.
Meanwhile, as part of my response, please include the following excerpts from e-mails I have received in the past few days.
A RCMP member (edited to protect identity) had this to say:
“I am hoping this email will reach Paul Palango. I have read the book and am amazed to how well written and interesting it is. As an RCMP officer I would have first shunned your books and not believed that there is a "secret world", that is full of dysfunction…. Ottawa won't even return my calls. Anyhow, I realized in the last four years that they do not want someone doing the right thing if it means extra work for them. They do not want to believe there is corruption in the Force. And it does not get any better when dealing with higher ranking members.
Thank-you for writing a book that should be read by all Canadians. Hopefully some good will come from the RCMP in the future. There are some great men and women working the front line. I do not have anything positive to say about the upper management, here in … Div or Ottawa. I would love to say that I hope they learn from the book. But... I think that may be wishful thinking. I hope one day to have a book of my own out there discussing the corruption from the inside (cause God help there is a lot).
Or how about this one from another RCMP member:
Mr. Palango. I … have been unable to put it down…..
As I have yet to finish the book, I have no doubt that the Government of Canada has diminished the organization that I worked for and continues to do so through it's political activities but, Commissioner Zaccardelli, in my view, was the worst Commissioner that I ever served under.
The future doesn't look all that rosy either!
…. I look forward to finishing and sharing the book with others.”
The following came from a retired RCMP Staff Sgt.
“Thank you for putting to paper what is long overdue.”
Then there is this one from a former Canadian police chief:
“The book is brilliant. I can’t believe how you touched on all the important issues and some that most have not even thought about. I’m very impressed. I hope Canadians read it and take the time to understand these important issues.”
A prominent former judge said this:
“Congratulations on an impressive piece of work…”
So, I will not engage at this time just as the RCMP has been unwilling to engage me in the past (see Curt Petrovich’s recent story in the CBC about e-mails). When I appeared on The CBC show the Current in November, 2007, the RCMP decided not to oppose me because, as the e-mail pointed out, the RCMP felt it was in a no-win situation.
Unfortunately, the RCMP through its own actions has lost credibility. It has a track record of speaking in “shades of truth” to defend itself. That the leaders of the force cannot see the evident problems and are unprepared to admit the shortcomings and failings of the force is one of the main points (and certainly not the only point) of the book I have published.
I could go on, but you should get the picture. There are good people in the RCMP but it is clear that upper management is more interested in protecting the institution than the public interest.
Yes, I stand behind my story. You are entitled to have your say, but I wrote this book in good faith and in a disinterested fashion. The RCMP was anything but co-operative.
I warn you in the clearest terms that if you or the force falsely and maliciously attack me for my professionalism or integrity in an attempt to diminish the sales of this book, I will respond in time and in a manner fitting the situation.
That being the case, Gary, please feel free to include this with your press release as my response to your inquiries. If you don’t, I will.
November 1, 2008
So, I’ve done what I said I would do. I invite you to read the book for yourself and draw your own conclusions. I welcome your responses and criticisms, but the healthy thing to do right now is for all Canadians to debate the state and future of the RCMP. We can’t continue to muddle along as we have.
October 18, 2008
My latest book, Dispersing the Fog: Inside the Secret World of Ottawa and the RCMP, is in some ways a natural conclusion to my first two books, Above the Law and The Last Guardians. The difference this time is that the story has reached an explosive level and the impact of the political process on policing is all too evident. The threat to the rule of law is apparent and I lay out the case, I believe, in a clear, thorough and objective fashion.
From the opening line of the book: “This all begins with a typo, a simple misprint, which seemed to have slipped by everyone,” I have attempted to take the reader on a guided tour of what has happened to policing in Canada. I explore not only the implications for Canadians but for others, particularly Americans, who often cannot fathom what goes on in this country.
While there are thousands of dedicated police officers trying their best to do the job, it becomes clear that the problems begin at the top and with the outdated structure of law enforcement in Canada.
Those who have read advance copies of the book were unanimously supportive and enthusiastic. Morley Lymburner, publisher of Blue Line, called the book “phenomenal….. Palango has done a great public service.”
Former police officer Leo Knight, publisher of www.primetimecrime.com said: “Palango deserves the Order of Canada.”
Over the next few weeks and months please tune into my website: Dispersingthefog.com. There I hope to bring together experts and commentators in the field and develop an ongoing forum to discuss the real issues.
I invite you to read this book and come to your own conclusions. Let me know what you think. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dispersing the fog. A new book on the RCMP is full of explosive allegations of what's wrong with the force, especially here in B.C., we talk to the author.CBC Radio Interview
DISPERSING THE FOG:
“A story that should worry all Americans”
For anyone in the law enforcement world, Canada is a bit of a conundrum. It looks like a pleasant, safe country, but when its justice system seems slow, erratic and entirely peculiar. When it comes to the investigation and prosecution of high-profile criminals like Conrad Black, organized crime figures and national security threats, Canada doesn’t seem all that interested in doing the job.
Why has Canada become a haven for third-world terrorist groups?
Why does Canada allow fraud artists to pray across the border on American citizens?
Are Canadians uninterested in solving crime or is there something else going on?
In his third book on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Dispersing the Fog: Inside the Secret World of Ottawa and the RCMP, author Paul Palango takes a definitive look at what has gone wrong in his country and why the rest of the world, especially the United States, should be worried about it.
Palango shows conclusively how Canada is a country without checks and balances, a third-world-like country where political control is deftly wielded by the government to protect itself and its friends. It has become a country where trans-national crime is not considered to be a serious problem, a country where foreign intelligence agents can roam about with impunity.
The 550-page book is like three books in one in which the RCMP is a thread linking a wide-range of issues.
In the first third, Palango begins to build his case by examining the history of the RCMP and its relationship to government. This foundation provides a way for the reader to understand the complex case of Maher Arar.
As you may know, Arar was a Canadian caught in the “extraordinary rendition” process and shipped to Syria where he was allegedly tortured for a year. Back in Canada, he was exonerated by a judicial commission and awarded $10.5-million dollars in damages, without ever having to submit to a physical examination or answer a question under oath.
After finding a supposed typo in the official report on the matter, Palango digs deeper and makes the case that Arar had a history with links to a convicted arms dealer to Iran. Why was this never addressed? Palango relies on facts, a mountain of circumstances and the obvious inferences from them to make the case that Arar may well have been a secret operative, likely for FBI co-intel, which raises questions about the actual intent of the rendition program.
Was it designed to capture al-Qaeda sympathizers and agents or a clever way to insert operatives in prisons around the world – or a bit of both?
In part two of the book, Palango shows how political control of the RCMP works in Canada to the detriment of the rule of law. He takes the reader inside the RCMP and lays out its dysfunctional state for all to see. It is an unwieldy organization with jurisdictions and policies that make little sense in a modern democratic country.
In the final leg of Dispersing the Fog, Palango explores a number of cases to illustrate the continuing crisis in Canada, which has implications outside the country for anyone contemplating doing business there.
For example, in his two-chapter discussion of the ill-fated Project Sidewinder, Palango describes how the Canadian political and business establishment gained control over the RCMP and CSIS, the country’s counter-intelligence agency, to thwart a ground-breaking investigation into espionage and criminal activity conducted by the Chinese government and its surrogates. He explains conclusively why Canada is the only democratic country in the world that has not uncovered and prosecuted Chinese spies. Why? The business interests of a very few powerful people would be affected by any such actions.
In Dispersing the Fog, Palango takes no prisoners. He comes right down the middle, as one police expert put it, and shoots every culpable person or body from the far right to the far left of the political spectrum.
Dispersing the Fog is perhaps the most controversial book ever written in Canada, an eye-opening experience that states boldly what American law enforcement officials have until now only surmised about the state of law enforcement in Canada.
It is a must read for anyone, but none more so than those concerned about organized crime and threats to national security.
Dispersing the Fog
Inside the Secret World of Ottawa and the RCMP
Dec. 17, 2008
Paul Palango is the author of three authoritative books about the RCMP. His latest, Dispersing the Fog, is an expose of the relationship between politics and the justice system in Canada since the 1980s. Anyone who cares about the rule of law in Canada will find this book an extraordinary eye-opener.
China-watchers will be especially interested in the references to Project Sidewinder, the ill-fated inquiry triggered by whistleblower Brian McAdam's discovery in the early 1990's that the Canadian immigration system in Hong Kong had been infiltrated by organized crime. Hundreds of Chinese triad members were having their criminal records expunged from the mission's computers so that they could migrate to Canada and set up shop here.
McAdam's career came to an abrupt end when he tried to get this problem dealt with, and several subsequent 'investigations' failed to avoid finding anything amiss. The RCMP's Project Sidewinder came closest, but was abruptly shut down when it began to confirm McAdam's claims. The Sidewinder report was ordered destroyed, and the mass of documentary evidence McAdam had provided was shredded.
Who were the people behind this apparent obstruction of justice, and how could they exert such influence over our national police force? Palango's book provides plausible – and disturbing – answers.
The following two excerpts from Dispersing the Fog were published in the National Post:
Excerpt 1: New Man on Top
Excerpt 2: The Perfect Trap
Also, three articles about Brian McAdam's career, published in the Ottawa Citizen:
The price of fighting for what you think is right
One man's China crusade
Former diplomat says West has 'fantasy' view of China
Time for alberta to turf the dysfunctional rcMp
By Barry Cooper December 17, 2008
Stan Lowe announced last week on behalf of the B. C. attorney general that no RCMP officer involved in the death of Robert Dziekanski in October 2007 would face criminal charges. Readers of Paul Palango's latest book, Dispersing the Fog: Inside the Secret World of Ottawa and the RCMP, would not be surprised.
In an earlier book, The Last Guardians, he provided ample evidence for the decline of the ethos and effectiveness of the RCMP. What once deserved the respect of Canadians does so no longer. What once put fear into the hearts of outlaw bikers and white-collar criminals now inspires mirth.
Instead of dealing with the dysfunctional reality the RCMP has become, the Mounties have responded with massive PR-offensives. The result is an epidemic of scarlet fever among politicians the likes of which used only to be found among small-town high school girls for the local constable.
"We love our Mounties," they say in chorus. But why? "What is there to love?" asked Palango. His answer: precious little.
Palango provided evidence beyond a reasonable doubt in support of his thesis. The heart of the story, as both former RCMP inspector Bill Majcher and Dorothy Franklin, a former director of law enforcement in the federal Solicitor General's office, said: "the RCMP is a cult." At the centre of any cult is the oath. An ordinary cop swears allegiance to the sovereign or to Canada, but the RCMP oath "is essentially an oath of allegiance to the RCMP." That makes the Mounties unique. "There is no police force like it in the world, and for good reason."
Two accounts stand out. The first occurred to the unfortunate Dziekanski (you can watch it on YouTube). Police self-defence instructor Robbie Cressman said "one properly trained officer" could have handled the situation at the Vancouver International Airport. Instead, one finds "an excellent example of improper training and the application of that poor training." The four horsemen of Dziekanski's apocalypse "did nothing right." Not a single procedure in the National Use of Force Framework protocol was followed.
But then, a Singapore Air-lines jumbo jet had just arrived and the airport wanted the area closed. Zap! No wonder the locals started throwing eggs at RCMP cruisers.
In Kamloops last May, Frank Lasser, 82, was thrice Tasered in his hospital bed after wielding not a stapler, like Dziekanski, but a jack-knife. "Get him," said the sergeant, "we got more important work to do on the street tonight."
Palango provided a politically incorrect but commonsensical explanation. Instead of big guys in their 20s, the RCMP now takes 48-year old cadets and little guys and gals. Unable to defend themselves physically, they rely on technology.
You don't have to be big to zap somebody. Even more politically incorrect, Palango questioned the presence of women Mounties. According to former Mountie Bill Majcher, "it's rare to find a woman doing a dangerous assignment at 3 a. m. That's not fair to anyone." Especially not to the men who have to take up the dangerous slack and end up in controversial situations, "the kiss of death to a career." Women avoid trouble and get promoted.
The other big story concerned Maher Arar. He explained how yet another massive PR campaign made Arar and his wife Monia Mazigh "politically bulletproof" and discussed the limitations of Justice Dennis O'Connor's report that investigated selected aspects of the Arar affair. He raised questions about Arar's experiences in the U. S., Syria, and Canada that no official has. Indeed, he pointed out that Arar has never answered a single question under oath.
For example: Palango analyzed Arar's famous Oct. 12, 2001, lunch at Mango's Cafe in Ottawa with Abdullah Almalki, a person of interest to CSIS because of his association with the notorious Khadr family, and their walk in the rain to converse--a bit of elementary tradecraft designed to prevent electronic eavesdropping. Second, he raised a commonsensical question: if Arar had been tortured in Syria, why has no one seen the physical evidence?
Since Ottawa is unlikely to do anything about the RCMP, it's up to the provinces. The renewal of the RCMP contract in 2012 provides the occasion. It turns out that it takes less than $100,000 to put a sheriff on the QE2, but $160,000 for a Mountie.
Why should Albertans waste money for the next 20 years with these incompetent agents of Ottawa? Someone should give Premier Ed Stelmach Palango's book for Christmas. He could perform a service both to Albertans and the rest of the country.
Barry Cooper, PhD, Is A Professor Of Political Science At The University Of Calgary
Dispersing the Fog examines growing political tyranny in Canada
REVIEWED BY: Charlie Smith
DATE: November 6, 2008
The Mounties have fallen on hard times. The national police force has received a black eye over the tasering of Robert Dziekanski, the scandalous handling of officers’ pensions, and the sharing of information with U.S. authorities about Canadian communications engineer Maher Arar, who claimed he was tortured after being deported to Syria.
In Dispersing the Fog: Inside the Secret World of Ottawa and the RCMP, Paul Palango demonstrates how municipalities that contract RCMP services are getting ripped off. He also shows how former RCMP commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli’s political naiveté and love of perks led to his downfall in 2006.
The most stunning revelations involve Arar’s past as a high-tech worker in cities where the FBI was monitoring Islamists. Palango, onetime Globe and Mail national news editor and author of two other acclaimed books on the RCMP, recounts Arar’s career and movements in such a way that some readers may be left with the shocking suspicion that Arar was in fact an FBI agent assigned to keep radical Muslims under surveillance in Canada and the United States. Palango also raises doubts over whether Arar, who never testified under oath, was tortured in Syria. The Conservative government paid Arar a $12.5-million settlement after a commission of inquiry determined that Arar was tortured and did not pose a threat to national security.
But the real bad guys in Palango’s tale are politicians, including Premier Gordon Campbell and John Les, who have indulged the image-obsessed RCMP. Former prime ministers Brian Mulroney and Jean Chrétien aren’t spared in connection with the Airbus affair and a torpedoed probe into Chinese espionage.
Following Zaccardelli’s resignation, Prime Minister Stephen Harper installed his national security adviser, veteran bureaucrat William Elliott, as RCMP commissioner. Earlier this year, Palango reports, Elliott planned to create a new position of assistant deputy minister of public affairs, which would vet all public comments by the RCMP. According to Palango’s sources, the job was going to go to Keith Beardsley, who operated a political war room for the prime minister. “In an underhanded fashion, Harper was clearly seeking absolute control over the police,” he writes.
There are a couple of errors in the book. UBC vice president Stephen Owen is misidentified as a former attorney general; deceased businessman Peter Toigo is falsely described as a former cabinet minister. Despite these blunders, Dispersing the Fog is a frightening examination of growing political tyranny in Canada.
After 25 years of police service with the Metropolitan Toronto Police he decided to dedicate himself full time to publishing and left active police work. (more
TITLE: "Dispersing the Fog"
AUTHOR: Paul Palango
REVIEWED BY: Morley Lymburner
DATE: October 8, 2008
What a revelation! Every Canadian will ignore this book at their peril. It needed to be written and needs to be read. There has never been a better opportunity for revamping and re-casting the RCMP and Canadian policing in general. Let's hope that this book will be the catalyst.
Building on two previous books, "The Last Guardians" and "Above the Law," Paul Palango has brought together a wide array of facts, figures, statistics, inferences and especially informants to tell this tale of two Canadas and two RCMPs.
The first Canada is the one we all see in the daily news or political campaigns; information that is processed, homogenized, spun and packaged for our delicate eyes and ears. We accept the shoving, bump and grind of elections designed to push us into the left or right side of every argument so that we can all feel we're the power brokers of government.
The second Canada is the secret side that sees us as nothing more than a life-support system for its greed and power. What the average citizen wants or needs is secondary to its needs and it transcends all political stripes. The political right and left mean nothing. It simply throws money at the problem, and no amount is too much, to get what it wants. Everyone has a price; it's only a matter of discovering what it is.
These people insinuate themselves into unelected and unseen power. Protected through secrecy legislation, it and its corporate interests thrive and prosper. Canada is described as the best fertilized and plowed field on the globe for this and Palango's book pulls no punches in naming them all.
In the midst of all that is powerful we have the much revered and loved RCMP also revealed as a tale of two RCMP's. The first is the much revered and loved RCMP in the midst of all that is powerful. The first RCMP is the hardworking contract police that make up the majority of the rank and file. They are on the treadmill, under trained, stretched too thin, pushed too far and cared for too little.
The second RCMP is the upper management – the privileged "carpet cops." This group has learned that the halls of power have a narrow door with no windows, and those of the second Canada hold all the keys.
Once through the door, temptations abound. An individual hungry for power or wealth can easily grow and blossom, feel entitled and use their power of executive privilege and secrecy to cover their tracks.
There has never been a Canadian expose as complete nor as explosive as "Dispersing the Fog". Revelations abound. This book will leave no head in Ottawa unturned. Its revelations will either change the RCMP or plow it under, because there is no other option left.
A few examples:
<> The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have an oath of office radically different from every other Canadian police service. It translates into an oath of loyalty to the force rather than the people of Canada. Obeying orders is placed as the highest level of importance.
<> The unseen powers in Ottawa have used the RCMP as dupes. The Mounties have become the perfect fall guys for controversies surrounding such affairs as Maher Arar, Karlheinz Shrieber, Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien.
<> Members have been manipulated to the point of paralysis in investigating any major incident involving high profile, politically sensitive issues.
<> Anyone showing initiative or investigative skill in controversial investigations is moved along or promoted into other assignments before any revelations are made public. In one particular politically sensitive investigation, 12 officers were rotated in and out of the file to keep the investigation off balance and out of the news.
<> Who are the backroom Ottawa boys and what are their motivations? How much money changes hands and who are the payers and payees?
<> Why can Canada not convict the high rollers in stock market scams or political hierarchies while other countries do it routinely?
<> Who really paid the bill for the Maher Arar case? Why was a settlement reached so quickly and for such a record breaking amount?
I actually felt a knot in my stomach - or is that anger? - as the book connected the dots and finally shed light on why things are the way they are in the RCMP, Ottawa and across the country. As prim and proper Canadians we have a smugness of "it can't happen here." We never look to others to see how they have overcome the same concerns because we have never acknowledged the problems.
Palango's book raises a huge number of questions which need answering, and answers a lot of questions we have not thought to ask. It also supplies solutions, if we will only listen. Ignore this book at your peril, because it will not go away.
Leo Knight, a former Canadian police officer, security expert and media commentator
Prime Time Crime's - Crime & Punishment
Comment and discussion about crime, justice and related issues.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I have just finished reading an advance copy of Paul Palango's new book: entitled Dispersing the Fog: Inside the Secret World of Ottawa and the RCMP.
Palango, who is no stranger to anyone interested in the RCMP and the problems that have befallen this national icon, walks the reader through a series of cases that have dominated the news headlines. From the Mahar Arar debacle through Project Sidewinder and up to the murder of the Mayerthorpe Four, Palango looks carefully at the reasons the RCMP keeps taking it on the chin.
But it is so much more than a look inside the travails of Canada's national police force. It is really an examination behind the scenes and the politicization of the RCMP to suit the needs of the real power behind the throne in Canada and he lays bare the systemic corruption that has everything to do with power and money for a small group and little or nothing to do with what is right for the country.
Palango methodically strips away the layers of obfuscation and lays bare the fabric of lies that ultimately ensures the RCMP can never be what Canada really needs of our national police force.
I have long described the RCMP as 133 years of tradition unhampered by progress and Palango nails it as he takes the reader on a roller coaster ride through some of the biggest headlines of the last decade.
The book, published by Key Porter Books, will be in bookstores in early November. If you care about Canada, read this book. Palango takes the reader inside the corridors of power and shines a light on the cockroaches that inhabit them.
The RCMP have already begun discreet inquiries to try and determine who may have given Palango information used in this book. And that, in and of itself, illustrates what is wrong with the Force. They are a fundamentally flawed, dysfunctional organization. Instead of trying to fix their myriad of issues outlined by Palango, they initiated a witch-hunt to find out who let the cat out of the bag.
Palango has done a significant service to the country with his work on this book. He should receive the Order of Canada for his efforts. Instead, I fear he will be attacked mercilessly for his efforts by those who believe they are entitled to their entitlements.
Wait for it, unfortunately.
Robert is a published author and editor with more than 250 books to his cred
Robert Lecker: ROBERT LECKER AGENCY Literary Management and Consulting
Date: September 26, 2008
In 1874, the first contingent of the North West Mounted Police headed out from Ontario, following the Dawson Trail to their new posts in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Over the next 133 years, the Mounties evolved from those 150 cavalry men to become a police force with almost 16,000 officers and almost 10,000 civilians with an annual budget of $4-billion. There is no police service in the world like it, and for good reason. Over time the NWMP became the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, an iconic police force with a mythical reputation. The reality, however, is that the Mounties rarely got their man and that their collective reputation was undeserved. For more than 35 years the RCMP has found itself mired in a seemingly unending litany of organizational, legal and political controversy, but the Mounties always managed to survive virtually unscathed.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, however, long had a plan to stop the Mounties in their tracks. After taking office in early 2006, the pieces of that plan began to fall into place, as Harper shrewdly began the process to deconstruct and reform of the RCMP, specifically, and the country in general. Did he do it for the right reasons or the wrong ones? Did he go far enough or not? Will Canada be the better for it?
In Dispersing the Fog, Paul Palango builds on the powerful and influential arguments made in his first two RCMP books, Above The Law and The Last Guardians, to show Canadians why they should be concerned about the RCMP, its mandate, its performance and its relationship to governments and politics. No other author knows the subject matter better than Palango. Once a voice in the wilderness, many Canadians now have come to believe what he has to say. Dispersing the Fog is not just a book about the RCMP, but a story about the justice system in general and a wake-up call for any Canadian concerned about where the country seems to be headed.
It’s thorough debunking of the many myths of the RCMP, which the federal and provincial governments have encouraged and nurtured for their own political purposes. It takes the reader on a step-by-step, virtually invisible, process which Stephen Harper and his allies from the former Alberta Reform Party have taken to make true their vision of Alberta, having the same rights and status in Confederation as Ontario and Quebec. It addresses the role played by politicians and the media, in general, who have collectively failed to recognize and address the very real and articulate concerns of Canadians from coast to coast who have long questioned the ability or willingness of the RCMP to carry out its duties.
No one who cares about democracy can afford to ignore this book
RCMP Report: Rebuilding Bridges
Nov. 5th, 2008
Report on Consultation of Employees and
Managers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police – C Division
RCMP Report: The RCMP Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Nov. 2nd, 2007
An Independent Report concerning Workplace Issues
at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police