Friday, August 24, 2007

And now, the questions can begin.

And given the following claim:

Quebec police released a statement Thursday night saying its officers posed as protesters but did not act illegally.

"At no time did the Quebec provincial police officers act as agents provocateurs or commit criminal acts," the force said.

one might then reasonably ask, then why were they "arrested?" Hmmmmmmmmm?

AND LET'S NOT STOP THERE. The most obvious question to ask is, "When exactly did the Quebec police know that those three men were undercover agents?"

Recall, if you will, the original, adamant denials:

Officers never posed as protesters: Quebec police

The RCMP and Quebec police force have denied allegations their officers posed as protesters to try to provoke peaceful demonstrators at the recent Montebello summit.

"I confirm (to) you that there is no agents provocateurs in the Surete du Quebec... It doesn't exist in the Surete du Quebec," spokesperson Const. Melanie Larouche told The Canadian Press.

That's a clear and unambiguous denial, wouldn't you say? But after the unrelenting pressure builds for a day or two, there's no way to maintain that hilarious fiction any longer. However, how do the Quebec police come clean without having to admit they lied? Easy: they claim that they only found out about this after the fact:

Police said that after viewing the [YouTube] clip, they were able to confirm the men were Quebec provincial police officers.

Admittedly, it's the only way the Quebec police can take the position that they never lied in their original denial but, sadly for them, it just introduces more problems.

First, it makes them look unspeakably clueless in not even knowing that they had some of their own undercover in the crowd, and that's something someone should have to explain in some detail. But that's not the best part.

If the Quebec police want to take the position that they had no idea the three men were undercover, they now have to explain their exceedingly bizarre treatment of them, up to and including the "arrest."

If the police simply admitted that they knew about the infiltrators from the beginning, then they (the police) would at least have a rationale for their out-of-character behaviour in not seeming the least bit alarmed by masked and menacing individuals carrying rocks, followed by a weird "arrest" and subsequent disappearance of the culprits. If those men were already understood to be undercover, then all of that makes perfect sense.

But if the police want to maintain the fiction of ignorance, then all of that makes no sense whatsoever, and definitely requires an explanation. Quite simply, the Quebec cops have painted themselves into a very, very tiny corner.

P.S. I think it's painfully obvious that the police knew about the undercover officers from the beginning, but if they prefer to play the ignorance card, they should be forced to live with the consequences.


malkie said...

Maybe the real problem is that the uniformed QPP officers don't know how to work with undercover guys.

During the FLQ crisis, my sister's boyfriend was working undercover for the RCMP, and was part of several demonstrations. He showed me the bruises he got all over his body from his colleagues' night sticks, and told me how much they enjoyed roughing him up to ensure that nobody would "make" him.

After all, it's only an issue if you get caught, right?!?

MgS said...

What I want to know is who gave what orders for this particular little game of charades?

Anonymous said...

The CBC news report this morning also suggested the Quebec police were claiming that these undercover guys were outed when THEY refused to throw objects (still trying to imply that the real protestors wanted violence).

Whereas in fact, it was the real protestors who were insisting that these guys put down the rocks and NOT get violent.

So the cops are still trying to make the protestors out to be the bad guys.

CC said...

But that argument doesn't fly since you can't claim that the provocateurs were "outed" during the protest while simultaneously still insisting that you didn't know they were provocateurs until much later.

Another bit of illogic bites the big one.

Fake Pierre said...

The argument also doesn't fly because you can clearly hear Coles on the youtube footage yell "Put the rock down, man! Put the rock down! This is a peaceful protest!" Then mutters something about "coward".

Does anyone else sense something of a Rodney King moment with this episode? The police suddenly realize, too late, that new technology is putting a limit on their goonish tactics.

Anonymous said...

CC, what I'm waiting for, all tappy-footed, is for the Quebec police to DISCIPLINE these goons, if they were doing this unbeknownst to their superiors!

The very fact that these guys aren't being raked over the coals for unprofessional off-duty behaviour speaks volumes to that official public position.

Liars. Liars, liars, and more liars.