The Biden administration may have used it as a test to suppress dissent in the United States.
Not surprising, but significant.
The Biden administration is still limited by what it can do at the national level. Like the Clinton and Obama administrations, it has pushed the limits of what is possible, surveilling and prosecuting political opponents nationally in the name of counterintelligence, pressuring tech companies to suppress opposing viewpoints in the name of of misinformation, but there are still many limits. . However, there are none abroad.
And anyone who has seen Canada’s ruthless crackdown on Freedom Convoy civil disobedience as the kind of thing leftists would love to do on a large scale in the United States has more reason than ever to worry.
The investigation is required by law as a result of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to invoke the never-before-used Emergencies Act on February 1. 14 to end the protests.
Powers provided in the law were used to freeze bank accounts, ban travel to protest sites, and force trucks to tow away vehicles blocking streets. The commission must determine whether the Liberal government was justified in using those measures.
Freeland told the inquiry about a February 2. Phone call on January 10 from Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council and chief economic adviser to Biden, who expressed urgent concern about the border blockades.
“They are very, very, very concerned,” Freeland wrote in an email to his staff. “If this is not fixed in the next 12 hours, all of their Northeast auto plants will close.”
Brian Clow, Trudeau’s deputy chief of staff, had already heard from White House officials, including Juan González, special assistant to the president and the National Security Council’s senior director for the Western Hemisphere.
González wanted to connect Trudeau’s national security adviser, Jody Thomas, with officials from the Department of Homeland Security.
US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was also concerned about the border blockades. The same day Deese called Freeland, Buttigieg contacted Transport Minister Omar Alghabra to press his counterpart for “a plan to resolve” the outages.
Buttigieg initiated the call, an interaction that Alghabra told the commission was “unusual.”
During his testimony Thursday, Freeland told the commission that the pace of cross-border interactions during the crisis was unusually fast. Meetings that normally required advance notice and effort to organize were held within 24 hours.
In an email to staff, Freeland noted that Deese had requested daily updates, a clear sign that a “difficult-to-reach” White House adviser was following him closely.
Those records never happened. Four days after Deese’s call and three days after Trudeau contacted Biden, the government invoked the Emergencies Act.
Was the Biden administration really concerned about shortages in the auto industry? Shortages of food and supplies, including fertilizer, don’t seem to cause this administration much trouble.
Instead, the Biden administration threw everyone into the mix, including national security advisers to pressure the Canadian government to coordinate a “fix.”
And it seems as if Biden has interconnected the US anti-lockdown protests and the Canadian ones.
After the Trudeau-Biden conversation, Clow followed up with Freeland.
“POTUS was quite constructive,” he wrote. “There was no reading. Biden immediately agreed that this is a shared problem.”
The president reportedly alluded to trucker convoys rumored to be heading to the Super Bowl in Los Angeles, as well as the streets of Washington.
Clow’s text said Trudeau spoke to the president about US influence on the Canadian blockades, including “money, people and political/media support.”
This was not a reaction to an economic problem, but a political one. Maybe House investigations will find out, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Biden’s administrative papers on the situation were read with claims of Russian disinformation networks and national security threats. They likely launched counter-intelligence operations and provided the Trudeau government with a variety of information that would not otherwise have been available.
The doomsday scenario here is that Biden’s administrators saw this as a test to stifle dissent in America.