On Mr Manning’s Secret Service

Express Editorial
November 13, 2010 – trinidadexpress.com

SpyingAs the country watched in fascination, former prime minister Patrick Manning showed signs of having been stung into replying to his successor’s revelations about the telecommunications intercepts perpetrated for five years under his rule . Until Friday, Mr Manning, now just another MP, had been mostly silent in the House. It was unseemly of the 39-year parliamentary veteran to insist on an unentitled opportunity to reply, thereby earning the rebukes and an eventual ejection threat from the Speaker.

Evidently, Mr Manning felt targeted by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s revelations of indiscriminate monitoring of citizens’ private conversations, conducted with his authorisation, implicit or explicit.

That he remains personally answerable was later confirmed by statements of former national security minister Martin Joseph. The Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) interception facility had not reported to him, Mr Joseph said, but to the Prime Minister.
Full Article…

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Correcting Wrongs

Newsday Editorial
November 14, 2010 – newsday.co.tt

When we thought Patrick Manning could not sink lower in public esteem, his disgraceful statement on Friday about the People’s Partnership Government proved how wise the majority of citizens of this country were when they voted him out of office six months ago.

Cornered by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in Parliament on Friday on the scandalous revelations of the PNM Government’s unconstitutional violation of rights by the illegal tapping of public and private citizens’ phones, and unable to intimidate House Speaker Wade Mark into allowing him (Manning) to disregard parliamentary procedure which permits no debate or comment on a minister’s statement, Mr Manning rushed to have a press conference in a committee room of the Red House even as the House was still in progress.
Full Article…

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Spouses As Spies
SIA hired friends and relatives to be ‘informants’ at $20,000 a month

By Akile Simon
November 13, 2010 – trinidadexpress.com

THE Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) which was financed by the Ministry of National Security with no level of accountability, paid as much as $20,000 a month to “informants”, who supplied no creditable information in the fight against crime.

The unit, which was not known to citizens or even police officers, consisted of close to 200 civilians and personnel from the Army and the Coast Guard. According to a reliable source close to the Canadian team hired by the Police Service to conduct a forensic audit on the SIA, allegations of corruption within the unit, “smell to the high heavens”.

Speaking with the Sunday Express on condition of strict anonymity, the source said many of the agency’s “informants” were friends, relatives and spouses of SIA personnel. These “informants” were paid in cash so that their identities would not be compromised by the tracing of bank records. The SIA had several bank accounts which were concealed as company accounts to avoid the exposure of the secret agency.
Full Article…

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Patrick Manning distances himself from SIA controversy

22 Responses to “On Mr Manning’s Secret Service”


  • The $M price of spying
    WITH FUROR still mounting over the practice of illegal wiretapping, the Government will move to introduce stiff criminal penalties – in some cases involving million-dollar fines and five- year jail terms – for those who engage in illegal wiretapping or commit related offences.

    Kidnap victim family cries shame
    The troubling disclosure of a spying and wiretapping practice by a Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) is a slap in the face for families of kidnap victims and victims of crime.

    Ferdie Ferreira: Spying an embarrassment to the PNM
    People’s National Movement (PNM) founding member Ferdie Ferreira believes that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s revelations of a secret surveillance exercise, carried out under the former Government, will have an adverse effect on the party during its rebuilding process.

    Tobago’s Jack: I feel violated
    ‘…ex-PM Manning paranoid, too much time on his hands’

    Spying victims express outrage
    Contractor Emile Elias says confirmation that his telephones had been tapped by the Special Intelligence Agency (SIA) came as “a great shock” to him, and he is looking to take legal action.

    As bad as Muslimeen attack on Parliament
    Saying the “spying scandal was as bad as the Muslimeen attack on Parliament, in terms of its constitutional implications”, criminologist and former independent senator Ramesh Deosaran yesterday called for a commission of enquiry into the matter.

    AG may refer spying scandal to the DPP
    Fresh on the heels of revelations of a covert wiretapping operation by the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) to monitor the private conversations of prominent citizens, under the former PNM administration, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan yesterday signalled his intention to refer the matter to Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard.

    …AG to refer spying to DPP

    …AG may send wire-tapping report to DPP

    MATT condemns wiretapping
    The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) has condemned the reported wiretapping of phones belonging to some journalists.

    Finance, Phones and Fazeer
    Last week it often seemed like a pitched battle between politicians – both in and out of Parliament – to vie for the headlines and airwaves.

    Judy Raymond: Manning…neither shaken nor stirred

  • It is sickening to know people were dying on the floor outside wards in Sando General without a bed, kidnapping was going on “en masse” and money was being given to a spy agency with absolutely no accountability. Up to $15,000,000 cannot be accounted for,hmmm.

  • I am apalled at the level of critism aimed at the SIA for ‘sying’ on citizens in a country like Trinidad. First of all National Security is not the ministry of Works, CEPEP Health or URP! The single most important ministry (or department) in any country is National Security. In these days of Spies, DRUGS, Money Laundering, Illegal Immigration, Trading of Humans (and yes Human Parts) give rise to the notion that surveilance is an imperitive NOT a choice and it is high time that we as a public be informed of these matters and how easily it is to undertmine the freedoms that we take for granted with the work of secret agencies getting information ahead of time (instead of after the crime). It is not how much was spent because no amount is too much, if it was spent to prevent a catastrophy, it was well worth it. If there is evidence to prove and show that Mr.Manning abused his power by taking the information gathered and using it against any citizens then by all means take him to task BUT if it is merely a dossier on the activities of ordinary citizens be there ‘important’ or unimportant then that is a good thing. Which one of those critizing the operations can say without any reservations that those whom we consider important would not do anything to imperil the national security of this country? This country is awashed with drug money, it is awashed with illegality, awashed with money laundering, awashed with people who are here without proper documentation, awashed with the country being used as a staging point to commit international crimes, do any of those who are so eager to criticise the use of surveilance know anything about the people who finance our malls, our huge buildings, our banks and our financial institutions? In case the answer is in the negative, the use of surveilance will give an idea who they are. What is done with the information gathered is another story but there is NONE of us including the prime minister who can stand up and say for certain that one citizen is more patriotic than the other and therefore will not sell us short. It is therefore of extreme importance that we have secret agencies who are aware of what we as citizens do with our time and who we interact with both nationally and internationally. To pretend that a recording of our telephone conversations is somehow lawless or an infringement of our privacy is ludicrous, as recently as a month ago a shipment of drugs was tracked from Chaguaramas to Spain with a cargo worth over $2B. This could not have been achieved without ‘surveilance’ and when you start by pre-determining who should be watched and who should not be watched then you are mixing mortar with flour. What Kamla’s expose and acions have done is more damaging to national security than what is purpurtedly done by Manning, she has created a void for cooperation with like-minded foreign entities who have Trinidad on their radar. Whatever cooperation existed between us and other agencies have now been compromised because she sees politial gains from a people who are still naive to the dangers of not knowing who our enemies are. We now have to look forward to more spying by international agencies because the local ones have been called out by her. Trinidad is a key player in international crimes and whether the local citizenry likes it or not the foreign spy agencies MUST operate here to tract illegal and international crimes. So, Kamla did us a dis-service, it may have gained her a bit of political mileage but it has certainly NOT done this country any good.

    • Kian said “I am apalled at the level of critism aimed at the SIA for ‘sying’ on citizens in a country like Trinidad”.

      My understanding is that the former Minister of National Security said he was not aware of spying against honorable citizens.So technically there was no spying going on, because if he did not know then who knew???

    • “To pretend that a recording of our telephone conversations is somehow lawless or an infringement of our privacy is ludicrous, as recently as a month ago a shipment of drugs was tracked from Chaguaramas to Spain with a cargo worth over $2B. This could not have been achieved without ‘surveilance’ and when you start by pre-determining who should be watched and who should not be watched then you are mixing mortar with flour”

      You miss the point totally. Trinidad is governed by the rule of law, those laws are there to safe guard individual rights. The government does not have a right to gather intelligence on ordinary citizens. That right could only be afford by the legal system and with just cause. There was no legislation to afford the government such right, in fact Parliament which is the hall-mark of democracy was by-passed completely.

      Now a lil lesson for you Kian. Parliament consisted of elected representatives that are suppose to look after the best interest of the nation. Those elected representatives pass laws, put into place a system of governance that is transparent. It is absolutely necessary Kian in a democracy that there are checks and balances. People must be made aware of the functioning of all secret services.

      The lil tin pot dictator Mr. Manning created several security organisations that function directly under his behest. He did not go through Parliament to debate the “modus operandi” of these secret services. In fact what he did was in serious violation of the democratic functioning of T&T. This he did when over 500 citizens were violently murdered each year, while hundreds were kidnapped and criminality was at an all time high. Did the SIA and SAUTT all funtioning under direct command of the dictator Manning assisted in solving crime and making T&T safe??? Absolutely not!!!

      In fact Manning secretly adopted his friend Fidel Castro style of governance. To all of that Kian there were secret police units functioning going out and executing all percieved threats. Is that the way a democracy functions??? If you mix with a dictator you become one. I can safely say T&T first dictator was Mr.Manning. Meeting with gang leaders in posh hotels employing known terrorist Mr. Bakr to help him win elections. Deliberately underminding the authority of the police force.

      This Kian is the work of dictator or maybe you think like most PNMites he was the best P.M. T&T ever saw, that would not be unusual because your tribal brain functions in a similar manner.

    • What a lame, partisan, and stupidly loyal rationalization for a gross invasion of privacy.

  • It is difficult to understand how some can be so naive. The SSA, SIA and SAUTT were all creations of the PNM. Manning used these agencies to keep himself in power. Billions were poured into them and what was it used for? It was not used to fight crime and assist the Police in fighting crime. It was used to spy on members within the PNM, the Opposition, prominent citizens and private citizens. There is no legislation or oversight on the SIA and SAUTT and therefore they carried out their ‘operations’ without any accountability. This is why the PM had to bring this out into the public arena, the Country has to know what its political leaders, especially one who has led us into economic and political ruin.
    Can anyone tell us was were the mandates of the SIA and SAUTT? I would like to know what they are. If they were used to combat crime then how did they impact of bringing crime down? How did they assist the Police in this?
    With all of the intercepts they made, how did all of this impact on fighting crime? Where are the records of this?
    Let us not compare ourselves to International agencies,as we always tend to do. We did not have the legislation nor the oversight to control these groups. They were a power unto themselves, created by an autocrat with selfish views, that he was going to be in power for life and create his own Federation. This is why he allowed the SIA and SAUTT to conduct such operations, this is why he spend billions on OPVs and helicopters. He allowed SAUTT to take the political brunt of things while the SIA did his bidding. We have not yet considered the SIA connections to foreign entities and those in CARICOM, Venezuela, Cuba, Latin America, China and the EU. So this fiasco is far from over.

  • TSTT, Digicel Commanded to Spy
    Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday said Trinidad and Tobago’s (TT) two main telecommunications providers, government-owned Telecommunications Services of TT (TSTT) and private-owned Digicel were “commanded” to facilitate wiretapping of public and private citizens by the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA).

    …SIA directed TSTT, Digicel to monitor cellphones—PM

    PM wants probe
    PRIME MINISTER Kamla Persad-Bissessar said yesterday she wants a full probe into the operations of the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA). She said this was critical because of the issues of “misuse of public funds and “misbehaviour in public office” emerging from an initial look into the operations of the unit.

    Martin Joseph: I did not authorise wiretapping
    Former Minister of National Security Martin Joseph yesterday denied giving instructions to the then director of the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) Nigel Clement to wiretap the phones of high profile persons, and to intercept their emails.

    My home was under siege, says Coudray
    SAN FERNANDO Mayor, Marlene Coudray, says she was not surprised by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s statement in Parliament on Friday that she was one of the people being monitored by the Strategic Intelligence Agency (SIA).

    Pundit condemns illegal wire-tapping

    Joseph: SIA helped in crime fight
    FORMER national security minister, Martin Joseph, has “categorically denied” that the director of the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) reported to him. He also denied authorising the “wiretapping of any citizen of Trinidad and Tobago”.

    Rowley does damage control
    Two days after he expressed shame and sadness at the revelation of the PNM government’s illegal wiretapping of the phones of citizens, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley yesterday went into damage control mode, when he addressed members of the PNM Women’s League at SWWTU Hall on Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain.

    ‘Kamla must come clean on what she knows’
    Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley is calling on Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to refrain from misleading citizens about her knowledge of the existence of the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA). “Every single arm of national security have been spying on the population, the army intelligence, the Coast Guard and the police. They need to be aware of what is going on in this country,” Rowley said.

    …Kamla knew what spy agency doing—Rowley

    Senior counsel: State must act swiftly on SIA
    SINCE there was no legal basis for the existence of the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA), persons who were in its employ and engaged in wiretapping should be arrested and charged.

    Griffith: PM did the right thing
    SECURITY adviser to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Gary Griffith, yesterday said the PM had an obligation to inform the citizens about the illegal activities that took place at the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA).

    Who will guard the guards?

    Begging for a ‘bligh’
    In the wake of the revelation in Parliament by the Prime Minister that there had existed over the past five years, a secret agency in this country, which had systematically and illegally spied on the private communications of prominent citizens, including the President himself, the Leader of the Opposition was quick to try to distance his party from any culpability in the matter.

    Citizens must have trust in leaders, says PM

    State security and campaign financing
    I must be honest and confess that I was not at all shocked by the revelations that were made by the Prime Minister in Parliament last Friday.

  • Lord put ah hand , as to ‘de machinations oh dem square pegs ,in round holes!’ And dey say that globalization is a myth , yeah folks, tell me about it.
    This is such a ludicrous ,and inconsequential non issue, by an ideas depraved, desperate bunch ,of clueless leaders, parroted by their ardent, rabid fans, that it does not even deserve any serious discussion by those of us more concerned with factors related to hopefully seeing our underachieving nation ,finally get on a positive course to real, and concrete , sustainable development.
    You guys are worst than dem crazy Americans, when it comes to matters pertaining to security or lack thereof. Even after 9/11, and the barrage of repeated attempts by sometimes illiterate , or brain dead ,neo -terrorist individuals and or groups,over the past 9 years, Yankees today ,are actually bellyaching about having to be subjected to body scans, and other forms of modern technologically oriented searches to their person,by concerned officials ,to keep criminals from destroying lives.

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/03/11-more-us-airports-get-body-scanners/

    Trinis, aka Baby Americans likewise, choose to complain like over pampered kids , about spy networks by our dedicated , hard working security forces,whose sole aims are to preventing over ambitious , criminal minded elements , from all across the business, political , and so called spiritual spectrums, from doing another Abu Bakr , pseudo religious break dance, on our nation,as was done during his now famous 1990 debacle.- go figure.
    Can someone tell the latter, that ‘whosoever digit a pit ,shall fall in it?’ “Me think,” that it was a certain nepotistic , and criminal cuddling ,Couva North MP, in his capacity as Minister of National Security Minister ,that set the train in motion, to keep tabs on citizens across the nation, yes Andy Johnson?
    You might still have a few sources on your flash drive, of unpublished stories ,pertaining to this and similar situations, back when you still considered yourself an independent, objective ,journalist , and the majority of your fellow nationals , also thought that there was some merit in such characterization, hmmmmm?
    I stand corrected!
    Love country over tribe, as the consequences of doing otherwise are indeed dire.
    Yours truly ‘de-global-political- animal,’ & only true ‘voice of reason,’ that can still be found driving on this here information highway.

  • DPP to decide on charges of wiretapping says PM
    Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard will decide if criminal charges are to be laid against anyone for illegal tapping of citizens’ phones by the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA), Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said yesterday.

    …’Law will take its course’

    …We Didn’t Spy
    The country’s top telecommunications companies have both distanced themselves from any involvement in the illegal wiretapping of their customers’ phones.
    “In light of the reports in the media on the issue of wiretapping, Digicel would like to reassure its customers that Digicel never monitored its customers’ accounts or is aware of any details emerging from the surveillance of such by the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA). In addition, Digicel does not have the capacity to carry out these actions,” a statement from the company said.
    The company added: “Further, the equipment used for national surveillance was purchased and is therefore owned and operated by the Ministry of National Security. Digicel has had no control or insight into who has been monitored. Digicel was also assured that the equipment would be used solely for investigating issues of national security and our compliance was therefore in keeping with our licence to operate.”

    Digicel deny spying, TSTT stays quiet

    …TSTT stays silent on issue

    Sandy to pilot spy bill in the House
    Minister of National Security Brigadier John Sandy is expected to lead off the debate for the Government on the Interception of Communications Bill, on Friday, as attempts are now being made to regulate wiretapping.

    Wiretapping bugs Warner
    WORKS and Transport Minister Jack Warner is livid that his phone and as those of members of his family were tapped by the Special Intelligence Agency (SIA). For this breach of his and his family’s rights, he has put the blame squarely on former prime minister, Member of Parliament for San Fernando East, Patrick Manning.

    …Manning should be punished—Warner

    Maha Sabha set to take legal action
    The Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha Inc of Trinidad and Tobago has initiated legal action against the State, former prime minister Patrick Manning and former minister of national security Martin Joseph for being spied on illegally.

    …Sat, Devant sues Manning
    TWO executive members of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha will be initiating legal action against the State, former prime minister Patrick Manning and former national security minister Martin Joseph, for invasion of their privacy, after it was revealed that the former administration sanctioned illegal wiretapping of their telephones.

    PM: Victims to be contacted
    People who were being monitored by the Strategic Intelligence Agency (SIA) will be personally contacted and told that their privacy was being invaded, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said yesterday.

    PNM MP: Protect intelligence agencies
    DIEGO MARTIN North/East MP Colm Imbert yesterday appealed to the People’s Partnership Government not to dismantle this country’s national security intelligence capabilities because of several citizens, including himself, being under surveillance by the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA).

    Surprised Imbert: Somebody should have told me
    Diego Martin North/East MP Colm Imbert said yesterday he would have thought that if his phone were tapped, somebody would have “whispered” it to him.

    Undermining the information flow
    With the revelation that private communications of editors, reporters and broadcasters have been intercepted by agents of the state, one aspect of the enormity of damage wrought to the public good comes into sharp relief. Though media operations derive legitimacy from the constitutional press freedom and free expression guarantees, it is from the willingness of the public to accord its trust that the media enjoy credibility.

  • Neal always say “love country over tribe”. Khem, TMan and Jeet, I’m sorry to say this BUT you guys definitely love tribe over country. I will not waste my precious time to ‘defend’ MANNING. As a matter of fact I think he ‘deserves’ all the crap he is getting now, had it not been for his vindictiveness he would have been enjoying the reins of governance. I will re-emphasize my point ‘surveilance’ is a necessity for any country (large or small). When you broadcast to everyone that you are taping their phone calls or taking ‘illegal pictures’ of them you are being STUPID not smart. In Trinidad one would be absolutely stupid to a magistrate, judge, justice, lawyer, justice of the peace, police or politician to seek legal approval before “spying” on anybody. Everyone in Trinidad has a price and no serious national security expert would follow that rule (getting ok from a court of law) before “spying”. There are very serious problems in our region of the world and we neither have the equipment, saavy, sophistication, spy intelligence or maturity to gather and make useful decisions on what we know. This means that this prime minister is so naive and self indulging that thye only thing that is important to her is seeing her “numbers in the poll”. We should not take our individual self too serious in the whole scheme of things. Yes, we have oil, gas, petro chemicals and other strategic products products BUT we also happen to be in an advantageous position for those who make a living in dealing with “illegal commodities” and those are NOT JUST local but international as well. The fairest and best way to deal with this threat is “spying” and only the government and specificically thre national security minister has that right to do that. I hear all the sentiments about “their rights” and “privacy” expressed but keepoing the country safe is more important than our individual pleasures. That my friends are what I am thinking about. It is so easy to call names. Maybe it gives people like Khem, Jeet and TMan a feeling of entitlement and power because of the rise in stature of of people like Sat, Suruj, Jackdeo, Kamla and many more while those of us who continues to care what happens to our country are called “PNM”, “PNMites” etc. The only thing that should be important to us all is truth. If you see that in our current governance then hats off to you BUT dont be against me if in my assessment, truth becomes evasive.

    • Kian said “I will not waste my precious time to ‘defend’ MANNING.”

      Kian it is okay to defend Manning is just that some things are indefencible. He did some good things and some bad things. A man can only function according to the limitations of his own knowledge. Why he did not go after criminals and reduce the crime rate is anyone’s guess. Why he did not instruct the security agencies to catch kidnappers? Why he did not manage the excesses of corruption is anyone’s guess. Maybe we expect too much from the worst Prime Minister T&T ever had, but that Kian is not to say that he is not a personally likeable person who started out right and ended up bad.

      I remember him telling his ministers if you tief you will go to jail. So in a sense he did start out on the right foot. However, his cancerous kidney, along with heart problems compounded by a job that is very demanding may have affected his judgement. Besides Kian you are only as good as the people who are working for/with you.

  • Montano vows not to sue State
    ATTORNEY Robin Montano, who was among those whose phone conversations were being monitored by the Strategic Intelligence Agency (SIA), intends to take civil action against those responsible for carrying out the “dreadful and heinous act”.

    Sat: Spies targeted Hindus
    This is how Satnarayan Maharaj, the secretary general of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS), has described the “illegal espionage” carried out by the Strategic Intelligence Agency (SIA) under the former Patrick Manning led-government.

    Maha Sabha seeks answers from DPP on case against SIA

    SIA tapped phones of wife, sons
    Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner said the phones of his close relatives were wire-tapped by the Strategic Intelligence Agency (SIA).

    Minister to seek advice on TSTT
    PUBLIC UTILITIES Minister Emmanuel George will seek advice from Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and Minister of National Security Brigadier John Sandy over what action he should take in relation to now disclosed links between TSTT and the wiretapping operations of the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA).

    Serious spying scandal issues
    By now even Colm Imbert must realise that the spying scandal has serious substantive issues to be addressed and is not just a distraction from other serious issues facing Trinidad and Tobago. Perhaps it is ironic that his name is one of the many listed in Parliament as having been subject to phone tapping or other electronic monitoring. When we have finally thought through all the implications we may come to realise that this scandal is our very own Watergate, and may be one of the most serious outrages perpetrated by previous governments.

    Opposition Leader not aware Manning was meeting the press
    OPPOSITION Leader and head of the People’s National Movement (PNM), Dr Keith Rowley, has confirmed that former prime minister and MP for San Fernando East, Patrick Manning, never informed either him, or Opposition Chief Whip, Marlene McDonald, that he was going to hold a press conference at the Red House last Friday.

    Caricom’s interest in ‘spy politics’

  • ‘Shocking’
    ON THE EVE of a planned debate on legislation to regulate wiretapping, the Judiciary and the legal fraternity yesterday condemned the practice under former Prime Minister Patrick Manning, with judges saying it demonstrated “a shocking disregard for the rule of law” and was an “unauthorised, unwarranted and untrammelled” violation of citizens’ rights.

    Judiciary: Destroy all illegal ‘spy material’
    The Judiciary of T&T is calling for the destruction of all illegally obtained material gathered by the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA).

    CJ Slams Ex-PM
    …wants illegal spy information destroyed
    The Judiciary, headed by Chief Justice Ivor Archie, yesterday slapped down the position taken by former prime minister Patrick Manning that no law-abiding citizen had anything to fear (from wire-tapping by the (Strategic Intelligence Agency) SIA), saying that this “bold assertion” (by Manning) was “insulting” and “displayed a shocking disregard for the rule of law”.

    Govt set for marathon sitting
    Ministerial travel has been cancelled in order for People’s Partnership (PP) MPs to attend today’s Parliament debate of the “spy” bill and Government is prepared for a marathon sitting, PP officials said yesterday. Works Minister Jack Warner and Parliamentary secretary Jairam Seemungal had been scheduled to travel to Zurich and Mexico, respectively, officials added. But this was rescheduled in favour of today’s debate since the Government will need all 29 of its MPs present for passage of the special majority bill. The bill requires a three-fifth vote for passage. The PP Government has enough to pass the bill once all MPs are present.

    Law Association: Loopholes in wiretap bill
    In a statement signed by its president, Martin Daly, the Association yesterday deplored the violations on the fundamental rights of citizens and considered the surveillance revealed by the Prime Minister in the Parliament last Friday to be “a direct attack on the Constitution”.

    PM says ‘spies’ will be jailed
    Persons found guilty of spying on private citizens will be prosecuted, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said on Wednesday evening.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMlqUYB_D3w

    Now that we are in the business of passing new laws at the drop of a hat it seems , and finally settled on one of the most pressing issues that’s apparently affecting our country -in the estimation of our new ,progressive ,regime. Some say it is perhaps appropriate that new focus be placed on other affairs of state.
    I am referring of course to important discussions on a more perplexing question of race ,powerlessness , and equitable sharing of our national scio- economic com political spoils ,that confronts our nation of competing tribes ,since white Massa decided to leave us up to our own whims and fancies.
    What we go do to fully satisfy dem 25% or more , of growing, and fast influential, yet often neglected , and or expendable-in the eyes of some -swing vote?
    We wish our country well!
    Sing Brother Dougla.

    • To what question of race are you referring to? And which race? I am perplexed. EVERY one knows that the Syrians, Caucasions and East Indians are among the most influential groups in our society. If the race issue was to be addressed, which race are you suggesting is underprivelidged and what type of help would you recommend?

      • When I was a kid , there used to be a cartoon in one of our dailies entitled, Mutt and Jeff. I always remembered one of the most hilarious encounters , that still remained with me up to today. Mutt once told Jeff the following:- “If you ask me foolish questions , I will give you foolish answers.” Are you certain that you want me to respond to your absurd question dear Beatrice?
        Since Syrians ,Caucasians , and Africans , were not running to foreign lands, and crying before global communities about genocide,blatant discriminations ,and lifetime sufferings in their country , and you still cannot appreciate ‘tongue in cheek,’ nuance writing ,then we might have to address the question of low end education as well, since you Beatrice , either recently landed from Mars , or perhaps did not advance too far in our educational system ,that was inherited from Massa England, yes?
        A word of caution my dear, just stay in your lane , while driving on this here information highway.
        Make your comments , and address your concerns to the pitiful political leaders that you’ve supported via your votes that are in or out of power, then ask yourself what you ,can do to make the country, and no one else.
        Failure so to do may one day find you, and the so called other privileged ,in a precarious situation, as you might not be in a position to escape with the loot ,and or wealth , that were often obtained through chicanery , and similar questionable means.
        I wish you well.

  • No one likes to be spied on. Particularly, drug lords, kidnappers and murderers. Without wire tapping strategies, how will we distinguish them from upstanding citizens? Wire tapping has been responsible for the arrests of many perpetrators. Take away wire tapping and resort to the psychic network? If you want to leglislate the thing then do it. There was an attempt to do so in 2007. No doubt Mrs. Bissessar and her colleagues opposed it for no other reason than political milage.

    Mrs Persad Bissessar refused to state that the present and former Prime Minister, Manning himself was tapped because everyone from the President to the man on the street could knowingly or unknowingly place this country in jeopardy. She has raised these issues to smoke screen the Fazir Issue, Her insensitive statements which soured the Caribbean relations, Jack Warner’s awarding of several contracts without boards and 2.5 billion missing from the heritage and stabalisation fund etc. etc. 6 mths into their administration and their bafoonery has cost us billions.

  • Guys there are more important things to debate about. Get over it/ if you had nothing going on in secret you have nothing to worry about. This is just a distraction to get your poor little eyes off the real issues that are going on. Please open up your eyes and see the real deal. God is the only one to be trusted.
    Love my sweet T&T.

  • When are people in T&T going to understand that justice has to be not only done but seen to be done in T&T. Nobody wants to look into the affairs of this foreign company operating in T&T that has destroyed my human rights as a born trinidadian. This judiciary are aiding and abetting this company who has shown worldwide they hate black people and only use them to gain power worldwide. Do we want another Rwanda here. Are we so smart we are stupid? They are raking in billions of USD from our cheap gas and labour allowed so by the corrupt PNM. We get nothing for it in return.

  • Jerry Hussain said,“When are people in T&T going to understand that justice has to be not only done but seen to be done in T&T.” We feel your pain brother Jerry C H, after all many across our nation ,are still awaiting the moment when Uncle Panday would finally be led away in some prison blues ,for ripping off our country with that notorious airport scandal/ English foreign bank account deal.
    We empathize with his two UNC party financial backing , fraudulent buddies, Ishwar Galbaransingh, and Steve Ferguson, as they try to stay away from Yankee prisons, and hopefully spend some good times with size 20 length shoes , mostly Africans ,fellow prisoners in Carerra instead.
    We are not too trill to see that top notch economist, Uncle Dookie ,our still ambitious Minister of Finance,has to manufacture money , in our allegedly broke country,to help bail out desperate ,fleeced, Caroni workers ,who were the victims of HCU Harinarine ponzi schemes, the latter who it seems, would never see a criminal charge brought against him ,by this tough talking ,pro justice PP crew.
    Don’t forget your loving chicken farmer business man ,fellow national ,cousin Carl Khan , his foreign , former Malaysian wife Sharrine Hart , and foreigner ,Uncle Hart ,de crooked Canadian, eehhh?
    Now the coup de gra for me at least is all dem low cast, kinky head Africans, and poor , catch tail Indians ,throughout our country ,devoid of papa 400 aches of land , with a deed title, or TT $500 ,000 loose change, under dem old rickity beds, to pay Ramesh or one oh dem similar baracuda Trin lawyers ,who can cry police brutality all the way to the 80 year old average Privy Council to walk free.
    I agree with you my brother ,dey are destroying our human rights as born Trinis. What you see ain’t always what you get, or as you put it, justice is often seen , but not always done ,especially in dis beautiful country of our birth. We wish dem well, yes?

  • Spy Games

    Whistle-blower alerts Govt to Israeli agents destroying files

    By Camini Marajh Head Investigative Desk
    December 18, 2010 – trinidadexpress.com

    The police crackdown on a rogue Government spy agency at the break of dawn on October 23 this year was compromised by a police double agent, who tipped off agency head Nigel Clement that a high-level police swat team was on their way.

    Sunday Express investigations into the unfolding spy drama involving the abuse of secret wiretaps sanctioned by the Patrick Manning administration, have found a tangled web of shadowy political and intelligence figures; Israeli operatives; a stunning amount of intercepted data that has little or nothing to do with crime; the whistle-blower intelligence analyst who called attention to the Government’s secret electronic spying on citizens, including President George Maxwell Richards; a slush fund that ran well over the seven-figure mark; a coded message sent to the Israeli spy equipment manufacturer for urgent sanitisation assistance; and police spies.
    Full Article : trinidadexpress.com

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