"Security experts and those responsible for security at the Games frankly acknowledge
they cannot rule out another underwear bomber
slipping past the extensive measures they have planned."
ORWELLIAN SECURITY OLYMPIC GAMES
Canadian Forces will have 4,500 members in army, navy & air force;
RCMP will have 4,200 officers supported by 1,800 officers from other policing agencies;
private security companies will have 5,000 people handling searches at gates of each venue;
an undisclosed number of CSIS agents will be providing intelligence related to threats;
deep sea frigates carrying helicopters, defense vessels & patrol boats will be off the coast,
medium-range radar system connected to NORAD will be set up at the airport,
CF-18s will be on standby to intercept private planes that enter restricted airspace at venues;
yellow CH-146 helicopters with infrared sensors will transport security officers;
fencing will stretch more than 40 kilometres going around 30 venues;
$30-million for perimeter detection intrusion systems wrapped around fencing;
500 walk-through metal detectors, 1,100 hand-held wands, 900 security cameras at venues;
soldiers on skis, snowshoes, snowmobiles & in Swedish vehicles with enclosed cabins;
a blimp will be tethered with a surveillance system to keep watch over approaches to venues;
only those people who are registered and need access will be allowed to enter....
Whenever I read or see the news these days - about the massive police-state military-war-zone the powers-that-be are setting up in Canada's third-largest city under the guise of "keeping people safe from terrorists who might attack us during the Olympic Games" - I'm reminded of the 60's Buffalo Springfield song "There's Something Happening Here" with the line "What a field day for the heat, thousands of people in the street....".
Turning Canada into a Soviet Union on steroids also reminds me of the line from Manchurian Candidate where Communist agent Angela Lansbury (dead ringer for Hellery Clinton) says (while programming a mind-controlled Korean POW to assassinate the president, ie JFK when the movie came out): "...We will rally a nation of television viewers into hysteria to sweep us up into the White House with powers that will make martial law seem like anarchy." See MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE ASSASSIN MOVIES & UNCLE SAM SAYS POW DESERTED
I'm also reminded, of course, of "1984" by George Orwell and about surveillance and thought police and crimestop and reality control and hate week volunteerism and everything else Winston Smith warned us about in his diary up to and including Big Brother Tells Why. See also AIRPORT NAKED-SCAN POLITICIANS
It occurs to me, and I assume it must occur to others, that if there really are terrorists "out there", wouldn't they be more likely to be planning an "attack" at some place other than the Vancouver Olympics where the whole world is allegedly waiting and watching for them? ~ Jackie Jura
by Robert Matas, Globe & Mail, Jan 16, 2010
Securing the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics will bring out the largest military and police presence on Canada's West Coast since the end of the Second World War. More than 15,000 people from the Canadian Forces, private security companies, the RCMP and other policing agencies from across the country will be working to ensure that the Winter Games will be remembered as a sporting event and nothing more.
The federal and B.C. governments have set aside $900-million - five times their initial estimate - essentially to purchase a top-notch security blanket for the Olympics. Their efforts will be augmented by an elaborate air umbrella from NORAD, stepped-up security at non-Olympic sites and the work of private security firms hired by high-profile multinational corporations. Armed foreign security services may accompany some heads of state at the Games.
AND YOU THOUGHT SECURITY AT THE AIRPOT WAS TIGHT?
Security measures at Vancouver's 2010 Olympic sites will be as tight as resrictions at the airport terminal. Sports fans will be stopped at the gate, required to pass through metal detectors and prohibited from taking little more than a sealed bottle of water into the competition venue. "If you would not bring it on a plane with you, don't bring it into a venue," Constable Mandy Edwards, spokesperson for the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit, said in an interview. Bottled water is being allowed in as long as its manufacturers seal is intact, she added. Personal water bottles or any other liquid will be confiscated at the gate.
The security gates at the venues will be staffed by 5,000 people employed by a private security firm and brought in from across the country. Scanners and X-ray operators will be paid $16 an hour; their supervisors $20 an hour. Constable Edwards declined to say anything about how anyone fared on their background checks. The security unit has done 110,000 background checks so far for the Olympics and expects to complete up to 130,000 by Games time. Police have said they check all suppliers, site workers, media and staff associated with the Games.
The Mounties remain in charge of security at the sites. Their responsibilities begin with the erection of fencing around the venue. Surveillance cameras are placed around the perimeter, pointing into the venues, not out at the street, Constable Edwards said. The fenced-in area is searched, with the help of police dogs, to ensure it is clear of potential problems. The RCMP then controls access around the clock until the competitions at the venue are completed. Local police forces will be responsible for security outside the official Olympic venues. Vancouver police say they will be out in force on foot, on bikes, on horseback and in patrol cars.
BUT HOW SAFE WILL IT BE?
Security experts and those responsible for security at the Games frankly acknowledge they cannot rule out another underwear bomber slipping past the extensive measures they have planned. With the world coming to Vancouver, anything can happen. "It is impossible to totally secure an event like that," Ray Mey, an international security consultant, said in an interview. Mr. Mey, a former manager with the FBI, was involved in planning security for the Salt Lake City Olympic Games in 2002 and worked with Italian authorities in 2006 on the Winter Games in Turin. He also worked on preliminary plans for upgrading security on public transportation in B.C. "You can do the best you can, you can take extraordinary measures to do as much as you can to protect the public and protect the event. But there is no way you can completely secure an event like that," he said. The challenge is to find a balance between a celebration of sport and protection of the public, he added. "You do not want to make it so people will not have an enjoyable experience."
Canadian Forces personnel began arriving this week at the Abbotsford airport, setting up their quarters in armouries and camps throughout the region. Many are staying on cruise ships, the first of which sailed into Vancouver this week. Deployment of military personnel will be complete by the end of next week. RCMP and officers from 118 law-enforcement agencies across Canada have also begun to arrive. They will be at full strength by the end of the month, two weeks before the opening of the Olympics. All law-enforcement officers will wear their home uniforms, providing a vivid illustration of national involvement in the Games. RCMP Constable Mandy Edwards, spokeswoman for the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit, said the security forces have planned for "what is possible and what is plausible." Their mandate is protection of the Olympics venues and the people: the athletes, spectators, Olympic officials and international dignitaries who come to the Games. The security unit has "close daily co-operation" with the U.S., she added. Authorities continue to work with partners in Canada and abroad to monitor potential risks to the Games. "We are thoroughly examining all risks and determining what is needed to keep people safe," Constable Edwards said.
The Olympics are spread out across 10,000 square kilometres. The Canadian Forces, playing a supporting role at the Games, will be at sea, in the air and in the back country outside Whistler. "Our focus is on doing what only we can do, providing unique capabilities to support the RCMP in securing the Games," said Major Dan Thomas, a Canadian Forces public-affairs officer working with the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit. The Canadian Forces will predominantly be the eyes and ears, and, to some extent, the legs of the RCMP in the back-country venues, he said. The military has the mobility and other skills required to help patrol areas around Cypress Bowl, Whistler Olympic Park and Whistler's athlete's village, Major Thomas said. The military's response is "scalable," he added. "If it needs to be increased, we have the resources. We have the flexibility and depth to adapt on short notice, if need be."
SURVEY: IS TOO MUCH BEING SPENT ON GAMES?
About two-thirds of British Columbians and 48 per cent of Canadians overall say too much is being spent on Vancouver's 2010 Games, says a national poll by Ekos Politics released yesterday. "Perhaps the most startling element of the poll is that in B.C., there is a veritable landslide for those saying that too much is being spent on the Olympics," Ekos president Frank Graves said. The pollsters asked a random sample of 3,730 Canadians from Jan. 6 to Jan. 12 whether they thought too much, too little or just the right amount of taxpayer money was being spent on the Games. Some unofficial estimates place the cost of Olympic-related spending at close to $6-billion.....
The federal and B.C. governments have committed $900-million for security at the Olympics. Additional funds will be spent on security by police departments and government agencies. Here's where some of the money goes:
$78,943,750 - accommodations for police and Canadian Forces personnel on three cruise ships.
$30,473,669 - equipment to detect intrusions at perimeter of venues.
$97,419,000 - contract with private security firm to hire 5,000 people.
$29,030,090 - computer mainframes and desktop computers for security operations.
$6,660,639 - voice communications equipment for officers.
$15-million - upgrading security on B.C. Ferries, including 400 surveillance cameras
$15-million - ramping up services at Canada Border Services Agency
$17-million - paying for transit police and security guards on TransLink vehicles as well as Olympic-related advertising and increased services on public transit to handle larger crowds.
MILITARY WILL BE RCMP'S EYES AND EARS
CANADIAN FORCES - will have 4,500 members in army, navy and air force
RCMP - will have 4,200 officers from B.C. and across Canada...supported by 1,800 officers from other policing agencies around the country
PRIVATE SECURITY - will have 5,000 people handling searches at the gates of each venue under the supervision of the RCMP
An undisclosed number CSIS agents will also be providing intelligence related to threats.
All law enforcement officers will wear home uniforms.
ON THE WATER - Deep sea frigates such as HMCS Regina that are capable of carrying helicopters will be off the coast. Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDV) and Orca class patrol boats will be in Howe Sound, George Strait and English Bay.
RADAR SURVEILLANCE - A temporary medium-range radar system called TPS-70 integrated into NORAD operations has been set up at an airport in Pitt Meadows, outside Vancouver. The radar system will maintain a picture of the air situation over the Lower Mainland and northern approaches into the Fraser Valley. Earlier this year, satellite photography of the geography was done to enable security forces to know where the venues were and how to move officers and troops, if necessary, to all the venues.
AIR SECURITY - CF-18s will be on standby, ready to intercept private planes that enter restricted airspace over Olympic venues. Yellow CH-146 Griffon helicopters with infrared sensors will be available for medical emergencies in the mountainous backcountry and additional Griffons will be ready to transport security officers to venues if necessary. Air restrictions mean small planes not normally screened must now be screened at smaller airports outside Vancouver.
VENUES - Fencing stretching more than 40 kilometres going around 30 venues. $30-million for perimeter detection intrusion systems wrapped around fencing. 500 walk-through metal detectors and 1,100 hand-held wands. 900 security cameras at Olympic venues.
MOUNTAIN SECURITY OUTSIDE WHISTLER - Soldiers will be on skis, snowshoes, snowmobiles and in PV206s, Swedish-designed vehicles with enclosed cabins that travel over the snow.
A BLIMP - A blimp will be tethered over Whistler's athletes' village. The airship will have a surveillance system to keep watch over approaches to venues and the backcountry.
ADDITIONAL MEASURES- Crackdown at Canadian Border Services Agency. Upgrade Immigration Canada to handle increased security screening measures and possible uptick in refugee claims. Upgrade security measures at B.C. Ferries, Translink's public transit operations and E-Comm emergency response centre. Upgrade in public safety measures to respond to floods, earthquakes, fires, snow storms, highway disasters, bridge problems, landslides. Increased security at non-venue measures: 50 to 60 surveillance cameras in entertainment district along Granville Street and at other locations.
WITHIN THE CITY - RCMP marine patrol vessels will provide waterside security in Coal Harbour outside the Main Media Centre in Vancouver, the east basin of False Creek near the Vancouver athlete's village and on the middle arm of the Fraser River near the Olympic Oval. Only those people who are registered and need access will be allowed to enter. New barrier will be erected at Cambie Street Bridge to control access to water by athlete's village.
Where are our priorities Canada?, by George Pohl, Letter-Editor, SunshineCoastReporter, Oct 1, 2010
The Terry Fox Run took 30 years to amass $500 million. In Toronto, our federal government spent $2 billion on security for a showcase for Canada. The police must have been thrilled to receive overtime and great new toys to control a non-problem. Vancouver’s Olympic party cost more than $1 billion for security, and even if a problem arose, the cost to repair would probably be far less costly. We have spent $2 billion and counting to make law-abiding people register long guns, presumably to keep them out of criminal hands. Never was a problem. Anyone wanting a long gun can still own one if he or she has no criminal record. Are we stupid enough to think criminals will register? Long guns are not the choice of criminals, hand guns are, and they are very tightly controlled in Canada, but not registered by criminals. My point in all of this is that it is easy to spend other people’s money, as more can be generated by higher taxes. Wake up Canada, and stop being afraid.
Olympic cauldron, now with spy camera
by Bob Mackin, 24 hours, Jul 8, 2010
Nearly 1,000 surveillance cameras were installed for the 2010 Winter Olympics, which were held in February amid the backdrop of Canada’s poorest neighbourhood. Security and poverty intersected again on Wednesday at the Olympic cauldron in Jack Poole Plaza. While technicians installed a spy camera under the cauldron’s central burner, Downtown Eastside activist Robert Bonner passed the Poverty Olympics torch to Manchester, England anti-poverty activist Elizabeth Hogg. London hosts the next Olympics in summer 2012. “With this torch I shall take it to London and pass it on to the next generation and hope that poverty will be history!” said Hogg, holding the decorated toilet plunger above her head. Local anti-poverty activists held the satirical Poverty Olympics annually from 2008 to 2010 in the Downtown Eastside and organized a pre-Games tour of B.C. last January and February. Hogg said if governments solved poverty and homelessness, they could spend less on security. Vancouver 2010 was dubbed “the surveillance Games” by Queen’s University sociology Prof. David Lyon. The RCMP Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit had a $900 million taxpayer-funded budget and spent at least $30.5 million on 900 cameras supplied by Honeywell. Honeywell subcontracted some of the work to American military contractor Science Applications International Corporation.
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