Imprisoned and Tortured in a Canadian jail and alienated from his wife and son, whom he hasn't seen since, Scott Loper was denied access to the outside world, including any means of legal protection.
Washington D.C. (Feb 6, 2009) In a stunning statement today, Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA), co-chair of the Human Rights Commission, said that U.S. Citizens are on their own if their rights to consular services are violated when they are detained in a foreign country.
C. Scott Shields, a civil rights attorney defending one of those victims, former Sheriff's officer Scott Loper, said Wolf made the statement during a conversation in which Shields was pressing Wolf as to why Loper's case was stagnating. According to Shields, Wolf replied in anger; “Don't tell me I don't want to protect my constituents! The Government – the State Department will not pursue Vienna Convention violations against any country on behalf of Scott Loper or any American!”
Shields said he responded by saying “Then, basically, Americans around the world are on their own?”
“That's right”, was Wolf's reply.
Wolf is apparently frustrated after trying unsuccessfully to obtain some real action from the State Department in the Loper case. He is not alone. He was preceded by attempts from representative Robert E. Andrews (D-NJ) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). All have tried and failed to get beyond the State Department's acceptance of an invalid document produced by the Canadians as a waiver of Scott Lopers Vienna Convention Rights.
Wolf's statement packs a powerful punch, declaring that no citizen of the United States is safe when arrested or detained by another government and denied his or her right to contact their consulate or embassy.
Former New Jersey Sheriff's officer Scott Loper knows full well the possible repercussions of that policy.
In the year 2000, Loper was imprisoned on questionable charges, denied his right to consular services, and tortured in a Canadian Jail by a gang of crooked police.
Four years later he was left near a U.S. Border Patrol office, handcuffed and shackled, with no identification, the whereabouts of his wife and child unknown.
Inching his way into the patrol station under the restraint of his shackles, Loper then spent hours trying to prove his identity and citizenship.
The U.S. State Department is aiding the Canadian government in covering up the affair by accepting as valid a document fraudulently portrayed by the Canadians as a waiver of Loper's Vienna Convention rights.
Article 36 of the Vienna Convention, signed by 164 nations in 1967, states that those nations are bound to notify foreign nationals, when arrested, of their right to contact their embassy or consulate, and to provide the means of communication, allowing that embassy or consulate the ability to assure that their citizen is treated properly.
The Canadian government says Scott Loper waived those rights. However, they could produce no signed document as proof of this statement. The reason, says Loper, is that no such signed document ever existed.
Here is the unsigned document, finally delivered to the State Department by the Canadian government, that holds absolutely no credibility. Notice that Scott Loper's signature appears nowhere on this document and, as mentioned above, the document is dated three years after his arrest in 2000. This is an extremely absurd representation of an excuse. Even if it were not, three years is hardly the requirement of notice “without delay” as described by Article 36. However, the State Department apparently thinks it is good enough for them.
While living with his Canadian wife in the Durham Region of Ontario, Canada, Loper discovered a police-run narcotics ring. A dedicated law enforcement officer, Loper set up a trap to provide evidence to Canadian authorities, but his surveillance devices were discovered by the ring.
This gang of criminal police officers arrested Scott and took him to nearby Whitby Jail, a small facility primarily used for housing the accused awaiting trial, where they tortured him, attempting to force him to reveal the location of the evidence that could lead to their conviction for criminal activities. By the time he went to trial, they had fabricated evidence to convict him of “Criminal Harassment”. [DETAIL] Loper was returned to the Whitby Jail, which was close to the Durham Regional Police headquarters. There he was tortured further, to the point where he often questioned his ability to make it out alive.
The police officers Loper was about to expose were after the evidence - audio and video recordings he had made of their illegal activities. Knowing they could not hold him forever, they also wanted to assure that Loper kept his mouth shut.
Torture and prolonged solitary confinement are a very effective combination in breaking a victim's will.
After months at the Whitby Jail, and then under threats to keep quiet, “or else”, Loper was transferred to another facility. There, he wrote to a relative of Carolyn's, pleading for her to go to authorities. This brought on a second violation and another two year sentence on the same trumped-up charges. At this time, Loper was also notified that Carolyn had filed for and been granted a divorce.
Scott Loper's continued requests to be allowed to contact the U.S. Embassy or consular services were ignored, as they were previously and through the remainder of his incarceration.
Meanwhile, as Loper's four-year incarceration was coming to a close in 2004, things in Durham Region had gotten even more out of control, forcing the Ontario Provincial Police to launch their own investigation into activities within the Durham Regional Police Department. Once the investigation began to take place, Loper's sentence was cut short, and he was taken out of prison and literally dumped, still shackled and without identification, at the U.S. border - the fate of his Canadian wife, his three-year-old son and all of his worldly possessions left to mystery. As is usual with these types of whitewash investigations in Canada, some resigned, and most were reassigned.
Loper sought help from the U.S. Government.
According to a State Department official who was originally dealing with the case, when confronted with a State Department inquiry, the Canadian government denied that Loper had ever even lived in Canada - let alone been incarcerated there. The Canadians had to back-track when Loper was able to provide proof of his imprisonment from some of the few scraps of documentation he had managed to keep in his possession.
The ongoing series of articles on the right are written by World Net Daily staff writer Bob Unruh, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Toronto Star. Unruh's articles describe an amazing story of U.S. officials and Congressional representatives failing to accomplish justice in an important matter of international relations and protection for U.S. citizens, while the Canadian pieces tell of the increasing problem of police corruption in the Toronto/Durham Region area, and the extent to which Canadian authorities will go to cover up that activity.
Canadian officials then tried to pass off a phony document as a waiver of Scott Loper's Vienna Convention rights. The document, dated three years after his incarceration, does not bear Loper's required signature, but the state department has ignored this important qualification, accepting the document as valid. Congressman Steny Hoyer seemed content to go along with the ruse. His official response; “The Congressman has done all that he can do.” Frank Wolf became involved when Loper moved into his district, but soon came up with a similar response.
The fundamental point here is that we elect our representatives to represent us - not special interests; not foreign governments; not the State Department or the current administration. It is the explicit duty of those we elect to Congress to represent the interests of U.S. citizens. We are left with no conclusion other than the congressmen have failed in this duty.
The Canadian government does not want Scott Loper's story to be told. The U.S. government seems happy to oblige.
Whitewashing corruption in Canada is nothing new. It is built into the system. For an understanding of just how true that statement is, read Canada's Approach to Battling Police Corruption, a study conducted by the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law, based in Vancouver, B.C. This organization consists of Crown prosecutors and other attorneys and legal experts.
The pages of this report provide an amazing study of a system designed to provide whitewash exits all along the path to the courtroom, created specifically to avoid prosecution. It becomes clearly obvious that the goal is to keep corruption cases out of the court and, if prosecution is unavoidable, hang it all on a single scapegoat. Other officers are transferred, forced to resign or, as a last resort, dismissed. A quick study of corruption cases in Canada (at least, the ones that have seen the light of day) will prove this out.
There is a larger issue here that affects the safety and well-being of every U.S. citizen who ventures into another country. As congressman Wolf stated, other State Department priorities apparently circumvent the protection of U.S. citizens.
The only resolution here is to force our government to do what it is supposed to do. In the case of Scott Loper, the U.S. needs to demand of the Canadian government the admission of illegal imprisonment and torture as well as compensation and help in locating his lost family.
As referred to above, the method of dealing with such issues in Canada is to cover them up. Where Canadian citizens are involved, it is up to those citizens to demand integrity from their government. When it involves a citizen of the United States, it is the duty of the U.S. Government to demand that Canadian authorities respect international agreements and are held accountable for their actions against a U.S. citizen.
There were more elements to the torture Scott Loper experienced while in the Whitby Jail. Scott would prefer to avoid reminders of some of these elements. Others we have omitted in the interest of prudence.
The question of the government's response to the Scott Loper Story was brought up at a White House press conference with Press Secretary Dana Perino.
Perino was obviously unaware of the Loper situation, yet seems to be a bit uneasy in discussing the case of Mexican national Jose Medellin, a child murderer who's death penalty was a point of contention between George Bush and the Texas judicial system, due to the alleged failure on the part of the State of Texas to satisfy Medellin's Vienna Convention rights.
Medellin never claimed he was a Mexican citizen until he received the death penalty - some 10 years after being arrested for the crime. Nevertheless, the government of Mexico initiated proceedings against the United States in the International Court of Justice. This was followed by the filing of an amicus curiae brief by the European Union and Members of the International Community.
A U.S. government brief, filed by Solicitor General Paul D. Clement directed toward the Texas Court, states that ignoring the World Court's decision that the conviction should be overturned would “frustrate the President’s judgment that foreign policy interests are best served by giving effect to that decision.”
President Bush went to bat to uphold the dubious rights of a confessed child murderer, yet Washington seems unwilling to hold the Canadian government to the same standards in defense of a U.S. citizen who was DENIED those rights. Medellin wasn't DENIED anything - he never claimed to be a foreign national until 10 years after his arrest, and then only AFTER his conviction.
Had Scott Loper not survived the torture he was subjected to at Whitby Jail, there would have been no one to overturn his death penalty.