Himself Still Investigating Himself

Kamla announcing SoEDespite the AG’s bold and brave response to Opposition Leader Rowley a few weeks ago in Parliament that the emails were fraudulent and he (and his govt) have nothing to hide; all the actions thus far of both him and his Prime Minister are forcing me to draw a different conclusion: like people have cocoa in the sun?

In the aftermath of Rowley’s allegations, instead of the government listening to the requests of

DCP Mervyn Richardson

DCP Mervyn Richardson

the population and calling for an independent investigation and stepping aside, they have instead asked Mervyn Richardson, the man responsible for investigating Assassination Gate, who is on contract, to spearhead another investigation involving Kamla and the AG.

And if it wasn’t bad enough that we have a police officer with questionable investigative skills leading the investigation, the AG and the PM are now trying to influence and thwart the investigation at every stage of the game.

Thus far we have had:

The AG.....

The AG…..

1. Richardson seizing Rowley’s compute: I can only assume it is to ascertain that Rowley didn’t create the typed transcripts himself. Yet he didn’t seize the printer to examine it to see if the documents were printed from it…because you do know printers have their own identification marks…..Richardson baffles me, he truly does. Mind you he hasn’t seized any computers from the AG, the PM, Suruj Rambachan of Gary Griffith just yet.

2. The AG paying two local IT persons to produce reports to say the typed e-mails are fake.

3. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, through her lawyer Israel Khan hiring a foreign IT Expert, Jon Berryhill, to say that the documents presented in Parliament by Rowley are fake. Mind you in his report he does say: “The authenticity of an e-mail message requires corroborating information from multiple sources. “If the authenticity of an e-mail is in question, a single-source printed copy would never be sufficient to resolve the issue,” it added. “The analysis of printed e-mails in the absence of other data can never prove its authenticity.”

4. The PM refusing to have her data devices examined unless she and her attorney are present. So much for a free and fair investigation by the police.

So, unless Persad-Bissessar and Ramlogan provided a digital archive for Berryhill to sift through how on earth can we know what is or isn’t authentic?

The saddening thing is the government will continue to interfere with this investigation and try to influence its course.
We have had Anand and Kamla bring in local and foreign experts. What next? A keynote address from a Steve Jobs hologram to say Apple thinks the e-mails are fake based on typed transcripts?

And while they are busy trying to skewer this investigation they are also fighting the Integrity Commission on another front. And making much of the meeting between Rowley and Gordon. If it’s that problematic then replace the chairperson, Kamla…but stop tampering with the investigation. And stop investigating yourself so publicly. It isn’t solving anything for anyone.

To the members of the media, I truly hope you ask Mr Berryhill the right questions:

1. What were his instructions? To form a view on the authenticity of the document handed to him or the method to authenticate the existence of the emails?

2. If his job was just to examine the printed documents, then what is the point of his report and investigation?

3. If he had access to digital files, why was he given access and not the police who are investigating?

4. Did he access reports from Google, Microsoft and TSTT, and if so, through what channels.

5. Why are the PM and AG investigating Emailgate themselves? Are they attempting to pervert the course of justice and influence the outcome of this case?

See Kamla and Anand, your hope is that the public either too stupid or too tribally  loyal to ask the right questions. But we see this for what it is….whether or not those emails are true….you and your government are acting very guilty.

herbert volneyPity the Law Association, DPP, President and Chief Justice wont step forward and tell the Silkened AG and PM to cease and desist. Because it seems that the silkened twins are attempting to pervert the course of justice and no one is pulling them up. Pity too that Herbert Volney of all people seems to be the most sensible voice in this enter fiasco.

Step Down and Step Aside AG and PM….or else I might start to think you’ve got something to hide.

Like we heading to Perversion of Justice in Full Dotish Mode!

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Distract and Discredit

Ken GordonEver since the last Motion of No Confidence wherein Keith

Rowley revealed the possibility of an exchange of emails between 3 senior government officials and their favourite lap dog, Kamla’s Fete Match Side has been in Distract and Discredit Mode…..going at Full Dotish pace too.

The discovery that Rowley and chairman of the IC had a twenty-minute meeting at Gordon’s private home to discuss whether or not Emailgate was a matter before the IC has played itself nicely into the government’s hands as yet another tool to discredit the validity of the alleged e-mails; and now, to discredit the IC and perhaps avoid going the route of an independent investigation. And while they aren’t in the wrong to question the occurrence of the meeting, the irony of this government querying private meetings is too rich. And it’s so obvious that their tactic will now be to use this meeting to avoid what the public and Opposition has been clamouring for: an independent investigation.

It didn’t take the AG more than a hot minute after Roodal Moonilal’s announcement of the

The AG.....

The AG…..

meeting in Parliament – complete with side (and snide) comments from the PM egging him on – to imply that Chairman Ken Gordon was compromised. And if you have followed the fate of this Integrity Commission it is always mired in mud and controversy….from inception. The Government knows well that the country has little faith in it; and further that UNC supporters will use any excuse to blame and label anyone and anything as PNM…..and so, a private meeting about a public matter between the Opposition Leader and the chairman of the IC takes on a particularly questionable face.

rowleyYou would think that seasoned men and politicians like Rowley and Gordon would be incapable of what is obviously a very rookie move. You’d also think that Rowley, fully aware of how the last Prime Minister shot himself in the foot would avoid moves that so remind one of Patrick Manning for its abject carelessness. You would think too that Rowley by now would realise that because he is a very black Tobagonian (yes, I said it…there is a lot of colour prejudice involved here where Rowley is concerned) he is always held up to a different and much higher standard by both PNM supporters and the rest of the country.

It is unfortunate, but that is the truth of it.

Kamla announcing SoEYou would also think too that UNC supporters and Government ministers would have less to say about public meetings being kept in private homes when:

1. Cabinet Meetings are held in the Prime Ministers home regularly.

2. The last emergency meeting to determine what happened to a Government Minister and MP was held in the Prime Minister’s home.

3. The State of Emergency was announced from the PM’s private home.

4. Budgets announcements are made from UNC political rally stages

5. The Prime Minister – a public official – works from her home and keeps sensitive and important public material there.

For the last 3 years protocol and good sense have been tossed to the wind, and because there is no Constitutional law that prevents it, the Prime Minister has gotten away with administrative murder.

Mind you, Gordon and the IC ensured there was an aide memoire that recorded the meeting. I wonder if we ever get minutes of Kamla’s private Cabinet meetings?

The AG’s hounding of the Integrity Commission’s Chairman today will have an impact on Emailgate. Two days ago the AG announced rather loudly that he was recusing himself from Emailgate. He was handing over the investigation to the Central Authority, a body that falls  within his Office of the Attorney General and headed by Netram Kowlessar. The AG has pointed out that the Central Authority is independent. My concern now is how independent is Kowlessar: a man who first shot to public attention as a member of the Anti-Kidnapping Squad in 2002, thereafter became a defence attorney and after a handful of cases was appointed by this regime as the head of the Central Authority. I’m concerned. I hope in his case it was merit and not cronyism that got him the job.

Having now raised questions about the integrity of Ken Gordon and the independence of the Commission itself, I feel quite certain that any call for an independent investigation into Emailgate by an Integrity Commission will be shot down by the AG and his government using this meeting as the reason.

I continue to maintain that the only thing that will lay Emailgate to rest is an independent investigation that allows us to get at DIGITAL files……but in the meantime we do have a by-election in Chaguanas West to entertain and distract us, not so?

 

De Vice Cyah Done!

Himself Investigating Himself

The AG.....

The AG…..

I’ve been watching Emailgate evolve, because I really wanted to see if the PP Govt would actually launch an independent unhindered investigation….and Kamla and her Small Goal squad haven’t let me down.

The PM at a press briefing. Photo courtesy Jyoti Communications website.

The PM at a press briefing. Photo courtesy Jyoti Communications website.

Today’s Express story should get you angry…because we have yet another instant of the Attorney General interfering with an investigation.

The AG says the emails are fake.Now In a serious and sensible country lemme tell you what would have happened.

1. The investigation would have been suruj in orange shirthanded over to an independent body.  If not, it certainly wouldnt be put into the hands of a police officer whose credibility is already compromised in the public’s mind and who is on contract with the Police Service and therefore dependent on the good will of others for his job to be renewed.

2. The investigators would be attempting to determine if the PHYSICAL TRANSCRIPTS that Dr Rowley produced actually have DIGITAL versions. Not the bullshit we have been getting over the past weeks of people looking at type written pages to determine whether they are real or not. There is NO WAY you can determine if the e-mails are real from typed pages. Instead, what is needed is an expert in Forensic IT, someone who can tests the computers/cellphones/ipads etc of the various parties involved to find the corresponding digital files. Instead we have Kamla, Anand and Suruj making asses of candidate_keith-rowley-lgthrough Richardson. To date the only computer he has seized is Rowley’s. Is Rowley’s name on the e-mail thread? Then why was his computer seized? Why haven’t the computing devices of the folks named in the email threads seized?
Why are typed pages the only thing being examined by Richardson?

Is Richardson trying to make this investigation fail?

3. If I am to believe everything written in that Express story today, then it seems too that the AG is spearheading this investigation. The Office of the AG doesn’t have the power to investigate an alleged crime…that is the DPP’s job, yet here we have a case of Ramlogan not only providing a statement, but:

1. Drawing a conclusion in his official statement, while a matter is still under investigation.

2. Hiring his own “experts” and paying them to produce a report that says typed pages are not the real emails. Is a court case going on that we don’t know about? Why are experts being paid to give evidence? Why are experts being hired to examine typed pages?

How can a public official who is under investigation be leading and influencing the investigation? Is that legal? Is it ethical?

Why is it that the Police investigation refuses to do the first practical thing and seize the computing devices of the persons named on the email thread and have the email archives for these people retrieved and checked?

In short….why is the Investigation being done Ass Backwards?

Is it that the Government wants it to fail?

Is it that Kamla and Co have something to hide?

anthony carmonaWhy wont President Anthony Carmona appoint a new board at Ken Gordonthe Integrity Commission so the public has the chance to call for an independent investigation? The powers we think he have disappear?

Full steam ahead in Full Dotish Mode!

Happy Sunday!.

Firetrucking Nonsense!

kamla and jackI remember the first time I paid attention to “firetruck” in the news papers.

The Express/Guardian/Independent/Express/Guardian columnist BC Pires had used it. It was his euphemistic way of saying fuck in the newspaper. Firetruck, firetrucking and firetrucked!

Almost 20 years later BC Pire’s firetrucked is so apt I can’t even smile.

In our latest Adeventures of Squandermania with Kamla we’ve got a damaged firetruck that cost $6m to wreck.

Yes, you read that correct. A fire tender….and get used to the word tender because it is going to feature regularly today….fell off the side of the road in Blanchisseuse, Trinidad…an area known for its narrow, poor roads. It went down the side of a cliff by a couple hundred metres on November 17th, 2012 and by November 19th had been removed to the tune of $6.8m.

Now let’s add in the rest of the salient details. The Minister of National Security under whose remit the Fire Services fall was then Jack Warner…remember him?

The company that did the lifting and wrecking was Junior Sammy Multilift.

If the name Junior Sammy sounds familiar to you it might be because the company gets contracts to pave roads and highways here all the time…except in Blanchisseuse obviously…or because Junior Sammy was once held for questioning in a murder.

Folks are rightfully upset about the obscene amount of money used to wreck a fire truck….but let me give you the other reasons you should be upset.

This is a contract that cost more than a million dollars. According to our laws any contract over $1m has to be put out to tender. So in short the job to wreck the fire tender had to be tendered for offers. Junior Sammy isn’t the only company in Trinidad that does this kind of wrecking…and the Trinidad Guardian, who broke this story, quoted at least 2 businesses that said the job could have been done for between $25,000 – $50,000.

So ask yourself this…if the truck fell off the side of the road on November 17th….did the government have the opportunity to get 3 quotes in time to do the job on November 19th?

And since we heard the original quotation was for $10m exactly when in that 2-day period did Cabinet meet to review the $10m quote from 1 company and then review the $6.8m quote from the same company? Or was a snap decision made to select a company to do a job and the assurance given that you will do the job and we pay you $10m and get everything approved afterwards?

Are you beginning to see that a job that cost us tax paying folk $6.8m never went through the proper procedure?

To thicken the sauce you have Fire Services submitting a report on November 29th giving the recommendation to not salvage the fire truck, but in fact abandon it and purchasing a new fire truck that would have cost us significantly less than $6.8m.

And despite this recommendation from the Fire Services, Cabinet still came after November 29th and gave the approval for $6.8m to wreck a firetruck.

COP JackSo let me ask some more questions.

Who in the Ministry of National Security took the decision to wreck the fire truck without the initial assessment report from Fire Services?

Who gave the go ahead to wreck and salvage by November 19th?

Was a tender for the job put out for wrecking and salvaging or was one company…Junior Sammy Multilifts….selected for the job?

If a company was selected without a tender process who did that selection and on what grounds?

Did the selector not find the $10m wrecking and salvage fee astronomical? If not, why not?

Why was the recommendation of the Fire Services to not salvage the fire truck ignored by Cabinet when they had to approve payment for the wreck and salvage?

Which Cabinet members were a part of the approval? All? Some? One?

Did the Cabinet members not raise red flags about the tender process, the recommendation by the Fire services and the price?

If this is what we paid to wreck 1 fire truck….what else is going on that we don’t know about?

How many other processes are being abused and ignored while Kamla and her Small Goal  Side keeps wasting our tax dollars?

Ken GordonThe hard part about all of this firetrucking nonsense is anthony carmonathat ideally the Integrity Commission should be investigating this because all the signs point to a breach in public life…but the new President, whose powers we don’t know he has, isn’t using his powers that we know he has to appoint a new Integrity Commission….so we could cuss and rant and rave as much as we want about this firetrucking nonsense…..but not one firetruck will be done because the President’s inaction has immobilised us. We are no longer in a position to even pretend we give a firetruck about the corruption because there isn’t the masquerade of the IC to hide behind.

So now that we have a clear as day story showing that Cabinet members and public servants misbehaved in public life and an entire Cabinet got together to approve the misbehaviour…..what are we going to do?

We Firetrucked and Loving It!firetruck (1)

 

The Rogue Prime Minister

The PM at a press briefing. Photo courtesy Jyoti Communications website.

The PM at a press briefing. Photo courtesy Jyoti Communications website.

Trinidad and Tobago is no longer a banana republic…..as of last night with Reuters news service confirming that Warner’s son, and possibly Warner himself, are indeed under investigation, her vague press release in which she says she will wait on an official corroboration is just too hollow for words.

The Prime Minister spent last month in Haiti, right next to the US AG and even members of the FBI. Talk of Daryan Warner’s detention in the US had begun since December 2012 on the day he was caught at the airport with an alleged lump sum of money he had failed to declare at customs….allegedly. And yet in February, with the US AG sharing the same meeting space as you, not a question was asked?

kamla and jackThen you return to Trinidad and the Leader of the Opposition asks you to follow up on these allegations and still nothing?

You’d think that we don’t have diplomatic relations with the US….that they don’t have an Embassy here.
You’d also think that Kamla Persad-Bissessar is daft, or slow minded that she would still have someone with as much shadows over his head as Jack Warner still serving as a government Minister.

But, you see, we aren’t a banana republic anymore…we are THE BANANA REPUBLIC.

In future when films are being made where the setting or crime taking place in a banana republic, it is Trinidad and Tobago’s name that will be used. The film companies will spend their money and go somewhere safe, and name the location Trinitario…watch and see.

But the question we should be asking ourselves this morning isn’t so much will Kamla fire Jack, or will the Prime Minister act on this latest report.

Rather ask yourself why is the PM not acting?
Why is she continuing to keep Warner on as Minister of National Security?
Is she protecting him….or is she really protecting herself?

And then ask yourself this….if the Prime Minister is putting herself, or her minister, before the good of the entire country….what does that make her?

At the time of writing, Communications Minister, Jamal “Insignificant Muslim Coolie” Mohammed has announced that the Cabinet….complete with COP members like Prakash Ramadhar and Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan….stands firmly behind Warner.

 

We in Full Dotish Mode this Easter Weekend, folks…find ah bobolee and beat it!

Police State Inna 4D!!!!!

Daphnee Bartlett, head of the South businessmen association who thinks a Police State is the best option to dealing with crime spikes. Intelligent folk everywhere should be up in arms!Women should be applying to change their gender!

Daphnee Bartlett, head of the South businessmen association who thinks a Police State is the best option to dealing with crime spikes. Intelligent folk everywhere should be up in arms!
Women should be applying to change their gender!

There are daft people sitting in positions of power in this country and we’d better be afraid…truly afraid.

Imagine the San Fernando Businessmen ASSociation, comprised no doubt of businessmen and women from South Trinidad is eagerly proclaiming Better a POLICE State than a CRIMINAL State.

I immediately harked back to the SoE of 2011 when on the night Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her Small Goal Team made the announcement many members of the middle, upper and business classes heaved huge sighs of relief because finally some government was brave enough to lock up all them black people and them….oh yeah…you better recognise that that is what all the relief about the SoE was…..that’s the same thing that fuelled the anti-Sea Lots rant by Darryll Heeralal and Renuka Singh the other day too….all these damn black people…let’s kill them and plant cabbage on them! YEAH!!!!!

Now, we have a group of businesspeople, or the body that represents them coming out to endorse a Police State because the PPG’s Defence Amendment Bill, is under siege both inside and outside the Parliament….and for good cause.

Apparently Daphne Bartlett’s knickers are in a knot about why we don’t want soldiers to have powers of arrest….and like the political leader of this country, Daphne Bartlett has just dealt a severe blow to all intelligent women in the world every where who happen to be attractive, for her colossal intellectual laziness.

I say this because I want to believe Ms Bartlett doesn’t know what a police state is and in her ignorance does not know what she is encouraging or endorsing.

The version of the Defence Amendment Bill that I accessed online says the following:

The Bill seeks to amend section 5 of the Defence Act,
Chap. 14:01 to confer on any member of the Defence Force who is
engaged in assisting any member of the Police Service in the
maintenance of law and order, with the same powers, authorities,
privileges and immunities as are given by law to members of the
Police Service.

In plain wording…the Bill wants to give the exact powers of the Police to a Soldier once he is on patrol.

One of the clever little things that this pdf of the legislation doesn’t quite outline is that Soldiers by law do not fall under the Commissioner of Police, rather authority for soldiers fall under three people: the Chief of Defence Staff, Minister of National Security and ultimately the President, who is Commander in Chief.

Soldiers searching a civilian during the 2011 SoE.

Soldiers searching a civilian during the 2011 SoE.

So the soldier will have all of the powers of a police officer: the ability to detain you, search you, arrest you, question/interrogate you, charge you and lock you up. But he doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Police.

Says it right here:

When any member of the Defence Force
having been charged under subsection (2) with
Enactment Short title Section 5 of
Chap. 14:01 amended the duty of assisting any member of the
Police Service in the maintenance of law and
order and is engaged in so doing, he shall have
the same powers, authorities, privileges and
immunities as are given by law to members
of the Police Service.”.

If he cocks up on the job he is only likely to face a court marshall. If you think Police doh face prison here…wait till Soldier Police arrive!

Now let me explain how a soldier getting these privileges amounts to a Police State. Last night in Parliament Roodal Moonilal was again less than honest with the nation when he said even security officers are precepted. What he failed to explain is that precepted security officers….those allowed to carry weapons and make arrests are actually called Estate Constables and operate by a slightly different set of rules to regular security guards.

This Government, in trying to shove this bill down our throats, has gone into all kinds of arguments about how the army here has no purpose because we have no war for soldiers to fight except the war on drugs. Now, lemme ask you this…when this Government starts its “WAR on DRUGS” and deploys its soldiers to attack the citizenry….which citizens you think will be attacked? The people who bringing in the shipments of drugs….or the people who are used to control the drug blocks?

In all sane and proper countries the purpose of the army is to defend the citizens of a country, not attack them. If Kamla and Jack were serious about fighting crime and waging a war on drugs the country would have three OPV Vessels with a joint patrol of Soldiers and Coast Guard members on board these vessels protecting our borders from traffickers or drugs and guns….but the point of precepting soldiers and making Soldier Police here isn’t to fight crime or to wage a war on drugs….

If you believe that, then you believe the SoE was about fighting crime, protecting the PM from several assassination attempts and preventing Beetham from bunkering fuel.

This precepting of soldiers and making soldiers into police is about something deeper and far sinister. It is about controlling the State.

From as early as June 2010 this government has faced Opposition. The first active opposition came from the THA. And to date the people of Tobago are down on record as having been the most successful at resisting this government thanks to solid legislation in the THA Act and a Chief Secretary who knows his Constitution and isn’t afraid to assert himself. But this Defence Bill will affect Tobago too…and I am yet to hear its position.

Persad-Bissessar announcing the SoE...pretty dangerous!

Persad-Bissessar announcing the SoE…pretty dangerous!

For several months the PP administration enjoyed a delicious honeymoon with both the citizens and the media. People couldn’t get enough of Kamla dashing about in hard hat and OSHA gear by day as she swooped in on  a helicopter to aid the flood afflicted, and by night would transform into an elegant Prime Minister. Haven’t we been accused often enough of “jealousing the PM because she pretty”?

But then came the Reshmi Ramnarine incident….the hiring of telephone operator to run the country’s highest intelligence -gathering agency. What accompanied it too was the thorough and deliberate dismantling of all the country’s security apparati: Blimp, OPVs, Surveillance Equipment, SAUTT.

Then the government brought in a CoP they could manipulate and under whom they could promote and appoint their own select police officers into positions of authority. We have on record a letter from a mid-level police officer who appears to be giving advice to the Prime Minister on who to hire and fire in both the SIA and the Police Service. The basis given for firing people is political. According to the letter, Persad advises the PM to fire people because they seem loyal to the PNM. And we were angry at the Jamaica Observer for talking about ethnic cleansing in our Public Service why?
What that letter outlined was that this is a government bent on political retribution and there is no space in the country for anyone who is PNM or resembles a PNM….and in Trinidad to resemble a PNM you need only have Afro-centric features….if that isn’t both partisan and racist, I don’t know what is….but that is the government we have…a government that is only for it’s people: the UNC/COP Base!

It doesn’t surprise me at all that both the PM and this Police Officer share a last name.

But I digress…I need to explain how precepted soldiers and Police State are linked.

Everywhere you turned during the SoE were images like this one....and oh how the middle and upper classes felt safe!

Everywhere you turned during the SoE were images like this one….and oh how the middle and upper classes felt safe!

So the Reshmi incident happens followed fast and furious by many scandals and then comes the SoE. From August 2011, I said the SoE was only the beginning of the Constitutional ills of this government. The SoE got citizens used to the idea of detaining and locking up people who “look” like criminals. In Trinidad a criminal “looks” like a black person, usually from depressed poor areas. Trust me, the stereotypes are there. In the very first days of the SoE I had several women of Indo descent telling me about how safe they were feeling….not a crime had been solved…but the mere fact that the government had taken upon itself to lock up people who “looked” like criminals made these women happier. And that’s when I realised that Hulsie Bhaggan’s myth of the African rapist who lusts only after Indian women was still alive and well. You go girl!

During that SoE we got accustomed to images of black men in the back of trucks; we got accustomed to images of the AG and Minister of National Security on our tv sets regularly. The AG went after a 14-year-old girl who used YouTube to verbally attack and curse the PM for the SoE….and on Facebook you had feminists lamenting how the PM and Indian women have no voice in Trinidad and couldnt speak out on issues.. they didn’t seem particularly perturbed that an impressionable 14-year-old, who did shit, now had the might of the State in the form of the AG trained on her. You see, these women were all glad that at long last something was being done about the crime….and that something was the random and baseless locking up of people who look like criminals….black people.

Granny Killa...the reason for the SoE????

Granny Killa…the reason for the SoE????

The next threat during that SoE was intimidating people on FaceBook and other forms of Social media. Social media takes power out of a government’s hands and puts it in the hands of its citizens. Imagine tens of thousands of Trinis able to say what they like about the PM and AG and Jack can’t stop them? Madness!

So they began to attack people on Social Media and trained their paid bloggers to attack folks who spoke out against the government.

What became apparent and obvious was fear…people became concerned about what they were posting and saying to each other online. Because folks began to lose jobs or get threats.

Now jump forward to Warner becoming National Security Minister. UNC people were joyful, they knew their government wasn’t performing and because Warner talks a good talk, without having little to show for any of it, they believed Jack would solve the crime problem.

Activist Wayne Kublalsingh at a protest sign in Mon Desir, the site of the controversial multi-billion dollar highway.

Activist Wayne Kublalsingh at a protest sign in Mon Desir, the site of the controversial multi-billion dollar highway.

Within three days of becoming Minister of National Security what did Warner do? He used the might of the army to attack not criminals….protesters. Try and see the trend here folks….at every turn the people being attacked as criminals by this government are the people who are either seen to be PNM or to be opposing the government. anything remotely resembling Opposition has to be squashed.

Warner has since issued threats to a female journalist, the Opposition Leader and a private citizen, Donald Bell. The journalist was targeted in a live, state-sponsored broadcast featuring the Minister of National Security and several other government ministers all hell bent on attacking a journalist. The other two people he attacked under the privilege of Parliament.

On all three occasions what is implied is that Warner has tremendous state apparati at his disposal. He can spy on people and intercept information and use it to intimidate people.

To date, Warner, as National Security Minister hasn’t used any of the surveillance equipment at hand to uncover details about any criminals or to crack any cases….but we know that he knows who having meetings in their homes and who attending…right?

jack-warner-press-conferenceThe same man who doesn’t know a thing about the Flying Squad, can use intelligence to spy on private citizens.

So now we have a situation where a National Security Minister drunk on power and a Prime Minister drunk on….sighh….have taken it upon themselves to precept soldiers and give them powers of arrest and detention.

In a country where a State of Emergency can be called without due process or a valid reason and 8000 people, of whom 80% were of African descent, can be detained without evidence, do we want Soldier Police?

In a country where a Minister of National Security can use state surveillance equipment to spy on and intimidate citizens do we want Soldier Police?

In a country where a secret police Unit can be set up under the same Minister of National Security, complete with 75 officers and a private detention prison in Arouca that no one in the country knows about, do we want Soldier Police?

In a Police State the government controls the social, economic and political life of the citizens.

In a Police State the government imposes these controls on you claiming it is for you own security that your rights are being taken away.

In a Police State after you have given away these rights, even more rights are then taken away….at each point the state claims it is for your own good, for teh safety and security of the NAYYYYSHUN!

The first people targeted are those who oppose the Government publicly…thereafter anything goes as the government becomes more and more paranoid about the perceived enemies of the state.

Think of Nazi Germany, South Africa under apartheid; Haiti under Duvalier…..think Ton Ton Macoute, SS Officers. Think people being quietly arrested and detained and you don’t know which prison cell they are being held in and eventually their beaten or dead body shows up…their one crime being they didn’t agree with the government’s position on an issue.

A five-year-old can tell you that there are a number of ways this government could be tackling crime. Start with the money launderers and see where the trail ends. Clean up the police service so that corrupt officers are no longer protecting drug lords and their turf. Restrict the flow of arms and ammunition across our borders; improve detection skills in the police force and at forensic technology at crime labs.

But putting 1000 soldiers with the powers of arrest under the Ministry of National Security to wage a war against citizens isn’t the way. This isn’t about Warner alone….CDS Kenrick Maharaj doesn’t inspire me with confidence either, nor does Stephen Williams. And I won’t even bother to discuss PM Kamla. This is about an entire government  and its cronies that are drunk on power and will do everything to hold onto it, including removing the rights of its citizens. Section 34 ring a bell?

There is a reason the Sunset Clause lasts two years….by that time a new election is called. Two years to lock down and terrorise a country with an unofficial SoE. Two years to have the government’s specially picked Soldier Police run riot in this town.

If in 3 months the SoE managed to lock up 8000 people, imagine what this government will do in 24….

And this is the asinine decision that Daphne Bartlett and Associates are supporting?

Full Dotish Inna 4D!!!!!!!

Barbed Messages

Liana ramsahai being consoled by Priya Ramnarine. Photo courtesy Express newspaper website.

Liana ramsahai being consoled by Priya Ramnarine. Photo courtesy Express newspaper website.

On July 23, 2010, Liana Ramsahai, then an unknown attorney, received a Death Threat. In that story the young man who issued the threat indicated that the threat wasn’t for Ramsahai, but for, “The Prime Minister, yuh family…” The curious thing about the Express story then was that it never bothered to clarify if Ramsahai was indeed the Prime Minister’s relative and what exactly was the nature of the connection. Of course it hasn’t escaped my notice that yet another relative of the Prime Minister sits in a cushy job on a state board. Government is Family Business and Family Business is Government in Trinidad and Tobago as Persad-Bissessar, Manning and of late Orville London are only too happy to demonstrate.

What I’ve noted between 2010 and the present is how often the PMs life has been threatened. On May 15, 2010, just two weeks before the General Elections there was a kidnap attempt. The kidnappers seized Persad-Bissessar’s official Prado, in it was her niece and official driver who were held up and robbed of the Prado. The vehicle was found two hours later in Valsayn.

The PM at a press briefing. Photo courtesy Jyoti Communications website.

The PM at a press briefing. Photo courtesy Jyoti Communications website.

Now jump forward to that weekend just before the illegal State of Emergency. We had a shipment of cocaine confiscated and a 19 year old boy arrested for it. We then had 11 people murdered over a weekend and nebulous rumours of a diverted shipment of guns. The Government gave all kinds of excuses, in between they mentioned Columbians invading the country…then the SoE became about a clear and present danger, bunkered diesel several failed assassination attempts. Each claim more hysterical and more shrill than the last; but absolutely no one touched the confiscated cocaine and diverted container of guns story.

This morning we have the grisly murders of two male cousins: wrapped in barbed wire and burnt to death at intense heat levels. Were they still alive when wrapped in the barbed wire? Were they still alive when the car was set afire?

And who was the message for? Because a message was being sent by their killers. The killers or their handlers are pissed off….what are they pissed off about or who are they pissed of at?

Is it the immediate family of the Ramsahai cousins or the extended family of the Ramsahai cousins? Will the extended family of the Ramsahai cousins acknowledge the relationship anytime soon?

COP JackWill relatives of the PM continue to sit on state boards?

Will the PM and Warner continue to say they were ignorant of the secret police Flying Squad?

Will the ethnic cleansing at the SIA…because make no mistake…that is what it is….continue unabated?

Will we ever know the truth about why the PM’s life is always in danger?

So much to blog about….so little time.

Full Dotishments in this place, oui?

Legislating the Police State

20130222-161439.jpgI got up this morning and it seems like Full Dotish is the mode for Lent….the government is going to table legislation to give soldiers powers of arrest.

Wednesday January 08 2012If we as citizens sit by and let this happen we are agreeing to a full fledged Police State!

Since taking office this government has sought to undermine our national security systems at every turn. At the Prime Minister’s residence security cameras were removed.

On our coastlines patrol vessels were removed because the PM insisted that the war on crime and drugs was on land, not at sea. Yet last week in Haiti she was agreeing to more marine patrols in the region.

National Security helicopters have become her own private shuttle service. SAUTT has been dismantled to be replaced with an illegal police unit. SIA was headed by a woman with few qualifications than a cashier at a fast food restaurant. And this week we hear of a mid-level police officer who was advising the Prime Minister on how to reconstruct the police service and every new suggestion he made involved firing someone who was considered PNM and instead hiring someone who was loyal to the UNC. By happy coincidence, all the people fired or removed were afro-descended and all the new people hired were Indo……but we dont have a race problem here…Trinidad is a happy multi-ethnic space and this government is an all-inclusive government….right?

So now we going to give soldiers powers of arrest. why? Because SoE has failed, Flying Squad is now national news and Kamla knows that with crime spiralling out of control her days are well and truly numbered.

Smell the fear folks…..and now they want to create a gang of Police Soldiers? What next? Military Dictatorship?

Trinidad, this is where we reach? This is the change Kamla promised?

The Myth of the Amazing Crime Plan

The new Top Cop? Photo Courtesy Trinidad Guardian website.

The new Top Cop? Photo Courtesy Trinidad Guardian website.

This Friday on the Trinidad Guardian’s front page, PSC Chairman Professor Ramesh Deosaran was quoted as saying the crime plans have failed. I didn’t even know we had a crime plan presented to us, far less multiple ones. What I do know is that since being appointed Minister of National Security, Jack Warner has announced the coming of a crime plan and even released a long list to the media of many crime initiatives that are under consideration. But to date, neither Warner nor the National Security Council has come forward and outlined for the country what will be the actual thrust to stem criminal activity in the country. And I mean all kinds of criminal activity: from corruption in public office, to the drug trade, to gang warfare to murders to robbery. Because you see, whether the government will be so bold as to admit it or not, everything is related.

 

On the Express’s front pageas well a severed head made the waves. The last time I saw a severed head on the front page of the newspaper it was in a whisky box at a cremation site and belonged to Thakoor Boodram, relative of convicted criminal kingpin Dole Chadee. Back then severed heads were a message; this week I wondered who exactly the message was being sent to and why. And while the nation gasped with shock over the severed head left in plain view of the public, with the body some miles away in a cane field, the town of Phillipine, the Prime Minister’s back yard, was rocked by the murder of a 70-year-old grandmother ostensibly for her car. Could that car have been stolen to commit a crime? Could the crime have been drug-related? Might gang members be the foot soldiers of the drug trade? And if they are the foot soldiers, then who are the middle managers and king-pins? Anyone seeing dots that might be connectable?

 

We are currently grappling with the possibility that our recently appointed Minister of National Security may have authorized an illegal police unit. Why is it every time Warner’s name is mentioned in the same sentence as the word Squad it leaves a bitter taste in our mouths?

The news papers claim to have documents sent to them. Contracts on NFSIU letterheads. There is evidence to show that newly-appointed director of the National Security Operations Centre (NSOC) Garvin Heerah gave the go-ahead for a fleet of vehicles to be released to the New Flying Squad Investigations Unit. As soon as Heerah started commenting on the Unit, he had to go to Argentina. And clearly internet and telephones don’t work in Latin America, so he can’t be reached for further comment.

Each news report or denial on the matter is carefully worded. Collin Partap, reports claim, was meant to oversee the unit; then got fired a month later for failing to take a breathalyzer test. Under his tenure the unit had no name. In the aftermath of his firing it assumed the name we now call it.

From Mervyn Cordner’s initial claim to the present, CoP Stephen Williams has been careful to say that HE, the Commissioner of Police, doesn’t know anything about the Unit. He never says the wider Police Service doesn’t know. After answering questions before the Police Service Commission last Thursday, a statement was issued that claimed they believed the Police Commissioner had no knowledge of the Unit. Not a person has yet denied the existence of the Unit or that Police know about the Unit. But everyone is denying knowledge of the Unit. And in a place like Trinidad and Tobago it is easy to believe that an entire illegal investigative unit would set itself up, get offices and other resources from the State, even liaise with members of the Ministry of National Security, and yet, the Ministry remains totally in the dark about the Unit.

This is Trinidad and Tobago, a country where an entire State of Emergency can be called without a plausible explanation. The same SoE will then be used as a crime fighting tool, target very specific neighbourhoods, arrest 8000 people without evidence, then release them; and at the end of it the country is still crime riddled and none the wiser as to the reason for the SoE.

Ish and Steve on Newday Front Page courtesy Newsday's Website

Ish and Steve on Newday Front Page courtesy Newsday’s Website

This is the type of country where the Cabinet can conspire secretly proclaim a law before the stipulated time and everyone points fingers at each other. This is a country where the Minister of National Security, a man with allegations of fraud and corruption hanging over his head, can calmly say to the country he is precepting soldiers and not a civil society body will make a sound. The same bodies that once howled for the heads of Howard Chin Lee and Martin Joseph, are now begging us to not blame Warner and give him a chance.

And if the story of this country not sweet enough, we suffered the exquisite irony this week of witnessing the Prime Minister deliver a speech to the region about crime fighting initiatives; quote unknown statistics about what crime is costing us; then return to Trinidad and announce boldly that her government is NOW ready to do something about the crime situation.

The same Prime Minister, who presided over the dismantling of SAUTT because it was illegal, now seems confused about the Flying Squad. So to make things better she has asked Minister Warner to investigate himself and report to her.

jakkam copy The same Prime Minister who cancelled the OPV contracts from BAE is now seeking to find new ways to protect the borders she left unguarded for 32 months. The same Prime Minister who called Manning a dictator is now endorsing soldiers having the same powers as the police. The army whose responsibility it is to protect citizens from external attack may now have the right to attack its citizens.

And Professor Deosaran thinks the crime plan has failed. I’ll ask again: what crime plan exactly?

….Aaaand She’s Back!

The PM at a press briefing. Photo courtesy Jyoti Communications website.

The PM at a press briefing. Photo courtesy Jyoti Communications website.

Did you think Kamla’s Full Dotish mode went away? Did the appointment of Tony Carmona in the face of the 12-Zero SmackDown make you think that Kamla had decided to wake up and smell the coffee as opposed to sipping the Grey Goose?

Suckers!

We’re not even a good month away from the THA Annihilation and already the government is back to its old tricks. But let me commend HRH for giving me a Kamla-free Carnival. Whereas from 2011-12 you couldn’t attend an event without tripping over the lady or her entourage, this year the Kamla Posse  was as scarce as Traditional Mas in Tribe.

The one finals event the Rani showed up to was the stickfighting finals in Debe….indeed, public appearances for this government seem constricted to Debe since the Hunger strike of last year. Neither Kamla nor her Small Goal Crew seem capable of holding meetings or rallies north of…ummm….hmm….well…Barrackpore, anymore. Even Rienzi Complex and Mid-Centre Mall Carpark, once sanctuaries for the Rani, have become tainted grounds.

The PM in fete gear...

The PM in fete gear…

HD no longer has her as a special surprise act at his Machel Monday show. She no longer chasing him from fete after fete after fete to hand over checks. She isn’t performing as Queen of the Band in the People’s Band. Not even onstage at the Dimanche Gras with half the Cabinet behind her to yet again hand out checks while chipping. It’s almost as if the Most Carnival of All Cabinets forget it had Mas to play this year?

Or maybe the cutass on January 21st woke them up enough. I noticed the annual I Beat Bas January 24th celebrations (which technically should be January 25th, because that’s when the elections were held) didn’t happen this year. In fact, not a peep was heard about it. And I am now waiting patiently to see whether the annual victory rally at Mid-Centre starring Aloes and HD will come off.

There is no denying that the nation heaved a sigh of relief in the aftermath of the Carmona appointment. From all accounts, Carmona is a suitable candidate. However, this is the judge that ruled to set Panday free from jail time on grounds of health, and a week later Bas was on platforms speaking. It is also rumoured that he and the PM are friends from way back. Both lawyers from south Trinidad etc etc. Nothing wrong with being friends, nothing wrong with being a lawyer, nothing wrong with being from south….but this is Trinidad and this is Kamla and the UNC. So, for now I will reserve judgement on Carmona. The shoe bound to drop. If Carmona is as he appears, then it will only be a plus for the nation because God knows Max Richards was the biggest let-down as a President….ever!

Emmanuel George: Works Minister and Misinterpreter of Reports

Emmanuel George: Works Minister and Misinterpreter of Reports

But just as we began to think that the 12-Sero Smackdown had finally put some sense into the PM and her Small Goal Posse’s head up comes the Highway Review Report….and before Emmanuel George respected the arrangement and hush he mouth until NIDCO and the JCC sign off on the report, up jumps the boogie being done by Emmanuel as he misleads the public…oh hell, lemme say it plain….as he lies to the public about the contents of the report.

What baffles is this….What exactly did Emmanuel think he would achieve? Didn’t he realise the truth about the report would be revealed? That Kublalsingh would respond? That the report would leak? That we would find out?

What on earth has he really achieved by lying about the report?

Why is Full Dotish such an easy default position for this Government?

Nat Sec Minister.....

Nat Sec Minister…..

And if Emmanuel George aint have it hard enough I see Captain Flying Squad in hot waters this morning with a Guardian story that linking his Ministry firmly to the Flying Squad.

What angers me as a citizen is all the people involved who only now coming forward with information because money not spending. So all of a sudden we have people who ready to do the right thing for Trinidad and Tobago and not help to impose a Police State on us…..after Jack aint pay them. That is Patriotism in yuh gaaar!

So between the Hafizool CV, the Flying Squad and the Misinterpreted Report….how many missteps we up to in 33 months?

Hold on tight folks, we back in Full Dotish mode and it’s going to be a Bumpy Ride!