Sunday, February 03, 2002

I first noticed the Vreeland case in October and didn't think much of it. Months later, it's still around, and starting to stir up interest. Vreeland is in a Canadian jail and in the middle of a hearing to extradite him to the U. S. for trial on credit card fraud. He claims this is an excuse for U. S. authorities to get their hands on him and presumably kill him. He claims to be a U. S. naval intelligence agent, which they deny. In a bit of wonderful courtroom theatrics, his lawyers used a speakerphone in court to phone directory assistance for the Pentagon, and obtained a rank and phone number for him. The lawyers for the U. S. government lamely responded that he had somehow hacked into the U. S. government records and phone system to create an intelligence identity for himself. Vreeland claims that his secret mission was to uncover information on the Russian response to the American missile defence shield. He would pass this information to a CSIS (the Canadian equivalent of the CIA) agent in Moscow, thus allowing Canada to take credit for 'discovering' the Russian plans, and putting Canada in agreement with U. S. plans for the missile defence shield. (Canadian agreement hasn't been forthcoming, but is important to the U. S. as: 1) they may want to put some of the system on Canadian soil; and 2) Canadian foreign policy is incorrectly seen as being somewhat independent of the U. S. and being somewhat more morally based, and thus Canada can help sell the concept of missile defence to other countries.) Canada would have been much more likely to go along with American plans if Canada were to receive U. S. praise for uncovering Russian plans. Vreeland claims that the Canadian agent, Marc Bastien, who mysteriously died in Moscow, was murdered. It now seems that Bastien may well have been murdered. The real kicker in all this is that Vreeland claims to have had pre-9-11 knowledge of the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon, knowledge obtained in the course of his espionage activities. He was in a Canadian jail in August, but his jailers wouldn't listen to his warnings, so he wrote them down and sealed them in an envelope and gave it to the jailers. The envelope was opened on September 14. If all this is true, Vreeland is the 'smoking gun' to tie at least some elements of U. S. intelligence to the terrorist attacks. The combination of knowing that Bastien was murdered (when there was no report of this in the media), and being able to show that Vreeland is recognized as having rank and phone number in the Pentagon, especially coupled with his highly nuanced understanding of the insecurity of Canadian politicians and public opinion with respect to the United States, gives him a great deal of credibility.