Ethics & Morals

Arrest warrant for Canadian soldier

A Canadian Army trooper faces charges of aggravated sexual assault and forcible confinement following an Ontario court’s hearing in a private prosecution. The accuser’s lawyer said the civil action was initiated after the Department of National Defence declined to prosecute after an investigation in 2018. A warrant has been issued for Corporal Oleksii Silin, based at CFB Gagetown. [node:read-more:link]

Wagner Group a criminal body

The Russian mercenary Wagner Group has been designated by the U.S. Treasury Department as a “transnational criminal organization” responsible for atrocities in Ukraine. Molly Dunigan, senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, a California-based global policy think tank, says Wagner “historically has just been . . . no-holds-barred in terms of brutality against civilians in the population in which they operate.” [node:read-more:link]

ISIS repatriations a thorny issue

The legal and safety implications of a Federal Court order to the government to repatriate four alleged Canadian members of ISIS are quickly becoming an issue for debate at home. The Ottawa lawyer who represented the men and other Syrian-held captives says the government can prosecute them if they’re held responsible for terrorist activitities but a former CSIS officer says an effective prosecution needs evidence and witnesses in Syria. Moreover, says Phil Gurski, “the supporters of these men and women have portrayed them as victims that need to be rescued.” [node:read-more:link]

No military discipline for Fortin

Seven weeks after a Quebec civil court found Major-General Dany Fortin not guilty of sexual assault more than three decades ago, the Department of National Defence has effectively echoed that ruling, saying January 23 that there would be no administrative action. But Fortin said his professional situation remains unresolved and he is continuing with an official complaint about how Military Police handled his case. [node:read-more:link]

Former CAF reservist guilty of fraud

Micheline Pollock, a former Canadian Armed Forces reservist who pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Army and Navy in connection with her Dubai-headquartered company’s construction projects in Africa, has been sentenced to time served and ordered to pay nearly $7.2 million in restitution. Arrested in Tbilisi, Georgia, in September 2020, she was extradited almost immediately and, after her grand jury indictment, was held pending trial. [node:read-more:link]

DND continued data collection effort

Six months after stating in November 2020 that it was shutting down collection of Canadians’ social media data, the Department of National Defence evidently continued its efforts by funding private sector development of new ways to analyze social media data. [node:read-more:link]

Wagner Group executing own militia

A former commander of the Wagner Group used by Russia in Ukraine says it has been mistreating and killing Russian ex-convicts recruited to fight there. Andrei Medvedev, a former prison who joined Wagner in July 2022 on a four-month contract, is seeking asylum in Norway. [node:read-more:link]

Sexual misconduct in cadet corps?

Michel Blois, a veteran representing former cadets in a $300-million class-action lawsuit, says the cadet program is grappling with sexual misconduct he calls cultural “overlap” with the Canadian Armed Forces. The statement of claim says the federal government has failed when it comes to “systemic sexual assault, sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination” in the civilian program supervised by CAF personnel. [node:read-more:link]

Save the Canadian Military Colleges

Action on the Arbour Report is likely to begin soon, LGen Michel Maisonneuve and Dr Danic Parenteau provide suggestions for consideration by the different committees engaged in these changes. Read on for clarification, and more details, pursuant to comments received after publishing (Oct 2022) their five general recommendations for any review of the Canadian Military Colleges.  [node:read-more:link]

Navy veteran fined for assault

A 24-year Royal Canadian Navy veteran who retired in 2017 has been reprimanded and fined $7,000 for repeatedly assaulting a 20-year-old female cadet aboard HMCS Oriole, the navy tall ship, in 2006. James R. Levesque, 59, who had pled not guilty to all charges, was found guilty last May of assault, sexual assault and uttering threats during a summer training voyage to Alaska from Victoria. [node:read-more:link]

White supremacy in the military

A University of Alberta professor in international relations, is being funded by the Department of National Defence for a year to assess the extent of white supremacy in the military. Andy Knight, the university’s first provost fellow in black excellence and leadership, approached DND last fall after noting that a number of soldiers participated in the “Freedom Convoy” protest in Ottawa 11 months ago. [node:read-more:link]

Cold War spy released

Ana Montes, arrested in the U.S. in 2001 for spying on behalf of Cuba, has been released from prison. Now 65, she was working at the time as a Defense Intelligence Agency analyst and Michelle Van Cleave, then head of counter-intelligence said Montes had “compromised everything - virtually everything - that we knew about Cuba and how we operated.” It turned out that she was motivated by ideology, partly her opposition to U.S. activities in Latin America. [node:read-more:link]

Troubling questions for CANSOFCOM

A U.S. military operation code-named Talon Anvil, accused of killing Iraqi and Syrian civilians in 2015, is reported to have had a Canadian Special Operations Command element. The Department of National Defence has confirmed that a CANSOFCOM member was embedded with the operational team while other Canadians were in supporting roles or briefed on the team’s activities. [node:read-more:link]

AI a growing challenge for NATO

The growing role of artificial intelligence in cyber attacks is a “double-edged sword” and a “huge challenge” for NATO, according to David van Weel, Assistant Secretary-General for Emerging Security Challenges. ““Artificial intelligence allows defenders to scan networks more automatically, and fend off attacks rather than doing it manually,” the Dutch national says. “But the other way around, of course, it's the same game.” [node:read-more:link]

Double jeopardy for Dany Fortin?

Even though Major-General Dany Fortin was acquitted by a Quebec judge earlier this month of sexual assault, the Department of National Defence is undertaking a mandatory administrative review, a process based on a burden of proof which is easier to meet than in civil criminal trials. In the meantime, Fortin remains a senior advisor to the head of Canadian Joint Operations Command in Ottawa, Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, who will conduct the review. [node:read-more:link]

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