The Commodore Would Approve.

Ezra Levant is best known outside Canada for the astonishing series of youtube videos he released documenting his defense before Canada's Human Rights Commission on charges that Levant's republication of the Danish Muhammad (pbuh) cartoons amounted to a hate crime. Levant does not accept the charges, but more importantly refuses to accept the legitimacy of the Commission as a court, nor the law in question, which allows prosecution for mere expression of opinion. Or cartoons.

Mr. Levant has a blog well worth reading to those concerned about erosion of free speech rights in the west. This week Levant has a couple of posts which may be of particular interest to lawyers, concerning one Richard Warman, a lawyer employed by Canada's Department of Defence [sic] as "Director of Special Grievances," – in other words, a hate crime prosecutor. Warman has in the past been a hate crime litigant himself, filing these complaints and encouraging others to do so, a business which can result in monetary gain to the complainant, who like a government whistleblower may be entitled to a percentage of any penalties imposed.

My point? Warman has in the past advocated a strategy he refers to as "Maximum Disruption" in dealing with ideological opponents. Maximum disruption, as documented in Warman's speech on the topic, includes any means of harassing, intimidating, slandering, suing, or otherwise destroying the lives of one's opponents, possibly including violence. (Warman not cleverly dances around this, condemning a mail bomb sent to holocaust denier Ernst Zundel as "indiscriminate" violence which endangers "other people," not saying whether "other people" included Zundel). Warman gives some pretty nasty examples of what "maximum disruption" means in his speech, which you can read from the link above for yourself.

While Warman's targets include some loathsome people, the conduct he advocates is equally loathsome, particularly toward people who have done nothing more than express their opinions, no matter how wrong. It's of particular concern coming from a lawyer, who in the United States anyway owes a duty of fairness to opponents which certainly prevents advocacy of frivolous suits, harassment, pie-throwing, and, just possibly, discriminate violence. While I don't know what the profession's ethical standards are in the banana republic up north, it seems particularly disgraceful that a man who advocates this sort of conduct has been hired to direct investigations and prosecutions for a government, with all of the power and potential for abuse that entails.

The Church of Scientology has a policy, seemingly identical to what Warman suggests, for dealing with "Suppressive Persons." Perhaps they should sue Warman for stealing their copyrighted doctrine of "Fair Game." I can't tell the difference between them.

Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White


  1. Patrick says

    I will point out that, as with all material on this site, access or use of this post by Canadians is governed by the Popehat End-User License Agreement. Any use of the material in violation of this agreement will be litigated most vigorously.

  2. says

    Some two or three months ago, when I made a pathetic and abortive attempt at a free speech week here, I promised to Patrick that I would do something about Ezra Levant's adventures. Apparently Patrick has grown tired of waiting,

    Let me say:

    1. With respect to our new Canadian End-User Agreement: Patrick, you are the wind beneath my wings.

    2. The saga of what Levant has faced is fascinating and abhorrent. His blog has a lot of materials about the HRCs operating in Canada, which in terms of due process and respect for freedom of conscience resemble the bastard offspring of John Yoo, James Dobson, and a DMV employee. Levant's defiance of the HRC in the YouTube videos Patrick references are infuriating in their depiction of the HRC's implacable smugness about being above any childish notions of fairness or freedom.

    3. As is the case of many free speech heroes, Levant is kind of a dick. Case in point — after a fatal bus crash, he saw a picture of the driver and leaped to the conclusions that (1) the driver looked like she was wearing a hijab, (2) the hijab must have blocked her vision, causing the crash, and (3) sic semper all societies that cave to the evil Muslim hordes. I'll cut him a little slack, as some Muslims are trying very hard to use Canada's embarrassingly backward laws to suppress what any free society would recognize as protected expression. But he's still kind of a dick.

  3. Patrick says

    I'd venture to say that most, not many, free speech heroes are kind of dicks. Aberrations at Indiana colleges aside, polite, meek people don't say the sorts of things that have one hauled before a human rights commission or court.

  4. says

    By the way, just as a reminder, and as a further example of how Warman is a detestable thug, see my post from November about how he sued for libel — and won — when someone called him a censor.

    Warman, I understand, files about half of all the cases before the Canadian HRCs, and profits from them.

  5. Patrick says

    I remembered the post, but not the name. Thug is too kind a word. He's the sort of lawyer who inspires people to quote that misunderstood line from Shakespeare, you know the one.

  6. wild bill says

    Warman's internet libel chill tag-team mate is a Kanukistani self-styled iconoclast-punker-come-blog censor who's last opus was entitled "Kicking (kissing?) ass in Canadian politics". This was a self congratulatory celebration of practical immorality and dirty tricks against political opponents…need we say more about these fecal-wallowing leftoid lawyer-things plaguing Canada's political culture?

    Basically the amoral unprincipled snotty little kids from a few decades ago have law degrees and are using axe grinding politics to satiate their pathalogical malevolence

    And don't you dare blame me for it! I never voted for one of them! ;-)

  7. says

    I noticed this awhile ago to:

    Richard Warman couldn't be $cientologist, could he?

    The recent attack on the Church of $cientology by Anonymous is because the "Church" exhibits the following:

    1. Inability to handle criticism
    2. Overblown sense of self-importance
    3. Panicky reaction when private information on them is released
    4. Frantic attempts to cover up the aforementioned information
    5. Fondness for threatening legal action
    6. Hypocrisy
    7. Love for spouting repetitive, idiotic rhetoric
    8. Suppression of free speech or free will

    Except for 3 and 4 (we have no idea if he is, in fact, panicked or frantic yet), I think this is also a fit for Richard "What benefit can there be in allowing him to speak?" Warman as well. I mean, numbers 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are spot on. And number 1 would appear to be a given.