Citizen Action Monitor

US suckered Canada into proceeding with illegitimate extradition of Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou

“We aren’t courageously standing on principle, we’re tip-toeing around Donald Trump, while our own citizens rot in a Chinese prison.”

No 2638 Posted by fw, June 30, 2020 —

Sandy Garossino

“The warning signs should have flashed red across the federal government that this request would likely result in the seizure of Canadians in China. As outraged as all Canadians rightfully are at the conduct of President Xi Jinping’s government, our own leadership should object to being strong-armed by our supposedly closest ally in a way that jeopardized our citizens’ safety. Sermons about the rule of law unfairly distort the bigger picture that the public is entitled to know. … In criminal terms, Meng’s indictment is almost entirely gratuitous [unnecessary]. While she may be technically guilty, the US has traditionally only charged corporate entities and not individuals for Iran sanctions violations. There is no defensible rationale supporting the endangerment of other civilians just to lay inconsequential charges. The DOJ doesn’t need the Meng charges at all. They can easily proceed against their main target, Huawei, without her. … Our justice system, and the federal Crown have been hoodwinked into participating in a show trial and shakedown, against our own national interests and risking our citizens. … We aren’t courageously standing on principle, we’re tip-toeing around Donald Trump, while our own citizens rot in a Chinese prison. The time has come to put an end to this cruel charade. End these extradition proceedings now, and bring our Michaels home.”Sandy Garossino, National Observer

Sandy Garossino is a former Crown prosecutor and prominent media commentator.

The above excerpt is from Garossino’s provocative article on how Canada got hoodwinked in the Washington’s Meng Wanzhou shake down.

Below is my abridged repost of her article, featuring my added subheadings, text highlighting, some reformatting and images. As well, at the end of this repost is a copy of my comment that appeared below the Observer’s article.

To read Garossino’s full piece on the National Observer’s website, click on the following linked title.

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Canada got hoodwinked in the Meng Wanzhou shake down and show trial by Sandy Garossino, National Observer, June 30, 2020

US suckered Canada into participating in an extradition show trial of Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou

Canada’s calamitous approach to the crisis of the two Michaels began on November 30, 2018, the day we received an explosive U.S. extradition request for an emergency arrest of Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou, to be carried out the very next morning, when her flight from Hong Kong landed in Vancouver.

Trudeau government missed warning signs that extradition would lead to seizure of Canadians in China

The warning signs should have flashed red across the federal government that this request would likely result in the seizure of Canadians in China. As outraged as all Canadians rightfully are at the conduct of President Xi Jinping’s government, our own leadership should object to being strong-armed by our supposedly closest ally in a way that jeopardized our citizens’ safety. Sermons about the rule of law unfairly distort the bigger picture that the public is entitled to know.

It’s past time for Canadians to know the truth about “this foolhardy extradition”

Canadians deserve to know that the Americans ginned up [aroused support for] this foolhardy extradition application, possibly for political purposes.

Our justice system, and the federal Crown have been hoodwinked into participating in a show trial and shakedown, against our own national interests and risking our citizens.”

They should know the history of America’s noble, but ultimately failed strategy behind these indictments.

Meng’s indictment for violating US sanctions against Iran could have been made against Huawei

In criminal terms, Meng’s indictment is almost entirely gratuitous [unnecessary]. While she may be technically guilty, the US has traditionally only charged corporate entities and not individuals for Iran sanctions violations. There is no defensible rationale supporting the endangerment of other civilians just to lay inconsequential charges. The DOJ doesn’t need the Meng charges at all. They can easily proceed against their main target, Huawei, without her.

Extradition request misleading

US DOJ’s claim of “urgency” to proceed with arrest of Meng misled Canadians

Nor was there any urgency to her arrest, and the DOJ appears to have misled Canadian authorities in claiming that there was. The Globe and Mail reported that the American warrant stated: “Unless Meng is provisionally arrested in Canada on Saturday, Dec. 1 … it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to secure her presence in the United States for prosecution…This was not true at all.

Meng could have been arrested in any number of countries, so why pick Canada for this request?

As a senior executive of a major multi-national corporation, Meng travelled routinely all over the world, and maintained two homes in Vancouver. As the Globe reported, she had recently traveled to the U.K., Ireland, France, Belgium, Poland and Japan, and was slated to next visit Mexico, Costa Rica and Argentina. All have mutual U.S. extradition treaties. Why pick Canada for this request, since we’d just gone through years of hostage imprisonment on another U.S. case? And why the unseemly rush?

What was Washington’s hidden agenda in choosing December 1, 2018 to push Canada to make the arrest?

There was no hint of time pressure, unless Americans had another, undisclosed objective in mind in urgently seeking a Dec. 1 arrest.  Which as it turns out, they very probably did.

Meng’s arrest a glorified public display for a G20 show

It’s showtime just days after the G20 – Trump publicly offers to trade Meng for trade concessions

Mere hours after Meng’s arrest in Vancouver on Dec. 1, 2018, presidents Trump and Xi sat down to dinner with their trade teams at the G20 in Buenos Aires. What could be a better pressure tactic in trade talks than to orchestrate a surprise glorified public display on the global stage? Meng’s arrest wasn’t important, necessary or urgent. It was a show. Emerging from the meeting, Trump and Xi announced a cease-fire in the impending trade war. But days later, Trump twisted the knife into Xi by publicly offering to exchange Meng for trade concessions.

It’s Ukraine déjà vu all over again – Trump gets his DOJ henchman to make a deal with China

Just as he [Trump] did with Ukraine, or with Turkey (for whom he fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara as a favour), or firing FBI director James Comey, or having his henchman AG Bill Barr get Mike Flynn’s charges dropped and Roger Stone’s sentencing manipulated, or unilaterally cancelling hard-won sanctions against China’s ZTE, Trump’s relationship with his DOJ and foreign relations is a study in dominance and self-dealing.

From the moment the DOJ presented misleading evidence to Ottawa, the provisional extradition warrant was illegitimate

The moment Trump bartered Meng for a trade deal, he turned our justice system into his personal hostage-keeper. From that moment on, indeed from the moment the DOJ presented misleading evidence for its provisional extradition warrant, this proceeding has been stripped of legitimacy.

It was after this that China seized the two Michaels.

Ottawa was suckered into participating in a show trial

Our justice system, and the federal Crown have been hoodwinked into participating in a show trial and shakedown, against our own national interests and risking our citizens. And we’ve been roped into a cartoonishly two-dimensional portrayal of the global dynamics at play. China bad, Canada good.

How did we get suckered so badly? How did we fail to protect our own citizens and courts from this reckless insult and abuse? How can we continue to dignify it by cloaking it in the robes of our judicial system, and lip-sync “rule of law” bromides?

“End these extradition proceedings now, and bring our Michaels home”

We aren’t courageously standing on principle, we’re tip-toeing around Donald Trump, while our own citizens rot in a Chinese prison. The time has come to put an end to this cruel charade. End these extradition proceedings now, and bring our Michaels home.

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MY COMMENT

Great analysis. As Garossino notes: “We aren’t courageously standing on principle, we’re tip-toeing around Donald Trump, while our own citizens rot in a Chinese prison.”

And while we’re talking of “our citizens rotting,” let us not overlook the devastating impact US sanctions have had on Iran, suffering which Trudeau has wilfully ignored or simply dismissed from his “bowing to Beijing” line of reasoning.

After pulling the US out of the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, consider the impact of Trump’s May 2018 sanctions on Iran:

  • its economy has fallen into a deep recession;
  • oil exports have plummeted;
  • its currency has hit record lows recently;
  • living costs have risen dramatically; and
  • Iran’s health infrastructure is being destroyed, leading to immediate deaths and suffering of the Iranian population. (Source: Common Dreams, Nov 7, 2019)

Moreover, PM Trudeau should not overlook January 3, 2020 when the US, our professed military ally, assassinated Iran’s top military commander, Gen Qasem Soleimani, in a drone strike.

Bowing to Beijing is one thing. Being suckered by an extradition ploy conceived by Trump, a conniving bully, is quite another.

Insert that factor into your rationalization equation if you dare, Mr. Trudeau.

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