Ms. Vanier is now in jail in Chetumal, Mexico, accused by the Mexican authorities of being the ringleader in a scheme to bring fallen Libyan dictator Moamer Gaddafi's third son, Saadi Gaddafi, 38, to Mexico. La politica es la politica has conducted extensive interviews with people familiar with Ms. Vanier and her circumstances. Whatever one may think of the amount of money she was paid, and the work she was doing, one thing is now clear to us: the Mexican authorities and INSET, Canada’s “Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams”, have been sent on a wild goose chase.
And, in chasing that goose – and in mixing our metaphors to show how confused everyone is about what the hell is going on – the Canadians and Mexicans alike have been chucked down the rabbit hole by one unreliable source, Gary Peters, who provided “CP” (close protection) to Ms. Vanier in Canada and Libya. La politica es la politica will in due course lay out the broader story that confirms Ms. Vanier’s innocence, but for now we have to make do with a poison-pen report on that sloppiest of Canadian companies, SNC-Lavalin. The multi-billion dollar company is in the midst of a class-action suit for “alleged misrepresentations”, which is code for the recent revelation that its construction wing booked $35 million in undocumented payments last year.
So, what have the poisoned pens been telling us?
Surprise: Former SNC-Lavalin executives Stephane Roy and ben Aissa did not resign – they were forced out, as have been many executives in the past. Officially, sure, they were given the option to resign, and they took it. But it was either resign or get fired; there was no door number three that represented a continued career at SNC-Lavalin.
Some of the e-mails we receive are quite eloquent, even funny, such as:
As an SNC employee on the Benina Airport project at Benghazi I'm starting to understand now why we were fed stale Fruit Loops for breakfast on a half billion dollar project and why the Gaddafi project manager had two inch white shag carpeting in his construction project office and his own marbled floor/walls etc in his private eating facility.
Some of the recounting is dire, and shows the unfathomable depth of cynicism toward SNC-Lavalin:
I understand now why we were not evacuated before 24 Feb 2011 (which SNC had no part in btw, we managed our exit on a British warship via SAS). Saadi Gaddafi would have been reassuring SNC that they would slaughter all the protestors and there was no need to evac all employees. He was in Benghazi during this time.
And despite our belief in Cynthia (Cyndy) Vanier’s innocence in the non-plot to bring Saadi Gaddafi to Mexico, we can’t find much disagreement with this next post, which points to the absurdity of attempting to mediate the conflict between the Gaddafis and the rebels, and of accepting any “evidence” and “testimony” in areas held by the regime, in which authorities could manipulate a terrified populace to perform on demand. This resulted in poor analysis of the role of NATO, too, which is offensive to those citizens of member states who are proud of the role played by their armed forces.
To quote from an email, with typos cleaned up:
This report Ms Vanier created is just nonsense, I have a copy. Now I say that because I worked closely from April thru August with people who were on the ground in area of Jalu (gialo). I worked closely 24/7 with German contact calling in air strikes when Gaddafi thugs were attacking Jalu (I recall 30 April first strike when NATO hit convoy of 45 vehicles and the last strikes in August) but NATO did not publicize these actions. I transferred ground GPS coordinates to 'eye in the sky' (23 sat passes per day) for verification then they forward to NATO planning. All the Libyan people thank the countries who supported the no fly and the air strikes to prevent killing by Gaddafi of more citizens.
Here is more, for what it’s worth:
I have documentation of times when hospitals and schools were used by Gaddafi soldiers to hide ammo and tanks and to hide from NATO which were then hit by air strikes. There were no patients or children in these places it was the thugs. In fact I have been told of times when pilots (Canadian, for example) refused to complete a bombing mission because of sighting of civilians in this area. Gaddafi would plant evidence for example clothing and little child toys. In some cases even the body of civilians that Gaddafi had killed was placed at these bomb sites. It is propaganda that Ms Vanier created for the regime. It’s all about the money, everything is about greed and power. This bodyguard says he was well paid and look at how much she submitted for...Almost half million dollars?? For what? This report? Nooooo...This Mr ben Aissa, bad news this guy, he stormed into our safety manager’s office one day and screamed at him for 30+ minutes. He is the main problem and Gaddafi supporter for the money and you will see big bribes and payoffs exposed I hope in the future.
For what it’s worth, that email came in before SNC-Lavalin started its investigation into the $35 million improperly “expensed” from its construction arm.
The Fruit Loops seem to have left a lasting impression – they might have an effect on you, too, if it was all you had for breakfast for weeks on end:
Yes we were fed a bowl of Fruit Loops for breakfast for weeks (yes, I do have photos ha ha) and when they are all gone then a banana for breakfast. This is a major construction project but all management is from Tunisia so I think maybe Montreal can’t know what we are being fed. When some guys from Montreal office came to visit in January 2011 they seemed shocked at what they eat for breakfast (6am) then wait till noon for some real food. So maybe somebody skimmed off from the food budget, this is what I think. I will say the Tunisian people I worked with were very good people, it was management who were a problem. Then of course on 20 Feb we were overrun at Benina by militia and everything taken food, vehicles, and all heavy equipment placed on runways to prevent more mercenaries from landing so maybe that saved us.
And for those convinced of Ms. Vanier’s guilt, or simply suspicious of the money and planes involved – (I had a news editor to whom I sometimes feed info laugh spontaneously as I tried to say how there could be an innocent explanation for Ms. Vanier’s role, “Come, on!”) – then this e-mail from an SNC-Lavalin employee in North Africa will resonate:
My question has been why SNC would hire this woman who knows nothing about Libya to travel in July to view these sights and create this report of propaganda when all along there are still SNC employees who are in Tripoli who could accurately tell Montreal the security situation? By July everybody knew the regime was going down...it just seems so odd to send this woman. Maybe a report is just an excuse to be there? Why did Roy decline to pay Ms Vanier for this huge bill of $395,000 and say that her work was unsatisfactory or incomplete? And what was this huge bill for?
There are theories like the one provided below that come close to the thesis that La politic es la politica is developing –
I think SNC did know what the situation was in Libya during July and perhaps they hire Ms Vanier as a decoy to get Peters into Libya so they can try to remove the family to safe location. This could be arranged or financed by ben Aissa because of this close association.
That makes some sense, except that it assumes SNC-Lavalin actually cares about anyone, and there is little evidence to support that. In fact, with the regime on the way out, one wonders why they would bother with Saadi. Unless, of course, ben Aissa was freelancing his own interests, and on SNC’s deep pockets – he knew that Saadi still had piles of money stashed somewhere, and was therefore happy to extend a lifeline via Gary Peters (though La politica es la politica has some evidence that Mr., Peters possibly did not drive Saadi to the border with Niger).
More opinion about the report and NATO:
...this report is not worth anything it’s just propaganda that the bodyguard or regime would request her to write to make it appear NATO was killing hundreds or thousands of civilians and children. I remember getting reports that NATO was using precise guided kinetic concrete bombs to hit tanks in Tripoli so there was no damage to surrounding buildings or people. Remember all the western media was being confined to the Rixos hotel so they could not report what was really happening. Everything points towards ben Aissa masterminding all this and maybe Ms Vanier was blinded by the thought she could make a lot of easy money through a connection with this bodyguard. She just seems like the wrong person to be travelling into a war zone, I think this bodyguard must have convinced her everything would be fine and she would make a lot of money from Saadi to tell a story of lies to convince govts to stop supporting NATO actions.
There is a lot of common sense in that email, but it might give too much credit to Gary Peters. In fact, La politica es la politica knows that Gary Peters was stripped of the contract that Cynthia (Cyndy) Vanier had with SNC-Lavalin – both she and SNC-Lavalin were unhappy with his work, particularly after his second trip in August, when he claims to have taken Saadi to the border with Niger. That is perhaps not possible: Saadi was moved there on September 11 when Mr. Peters was by some reports back in Cambridge, Ontario, and under INSET scrutiny. Mr. Peters has refused to sign a statement of facts for Ms. Vanier’s lawyer. And he has been caught out on many lies, one of which is a claim by the New Zealand-born Peters, who grew up in Australia, that he trained with the Australian Army.
Gary Peters - He doesn't always tell the truth
We have, now, the beginning of a motive from the one man demolition crew that is Gary Peters: he’s been cut off from the gravy train, and blames Ms. Vanier. Suddenly, Border Services is ripping planes apart and “anonymous” is leaking information to the Mexican government. There is much, much, more to this, and much that La politica es la politica has that it is not releasing, including an explanation for the forged Mexican documents. But we must wait until more dots are connected. The truly sad part of this story is that a life – lives, really, because an entire family is being affected – are being wrecked because the Mexicans and the Canadians can’t get themselves down from the magic tree they’ve grown and then climbed into.
Money makes the world go around, but it can also stop us in our tracks:
I know people from SNC who worked in Libya for years are not happy about Gaddafi being removed because now they don’t know if they can return to work. They are all blinded by money. I hope all the truth surfaces and these people will be punished if they are proven to have committed crimes. I feel sorry for these parents of Ms Vanier as they must suffer terrible to see her in a Mexican prison and now her financial problems will destroy her business. This bodyguard must know how much wealth Saadi was able to carry to Niger...gold, US currency etc...all these tons of gold Gaddafi had, even some hidden at the Tripoli airport....money money money greed... all stolen from Libyan people.
There is more to come from the poison pen(s). Stay tuned.
(TE Wilson is the author of Mezcalero, a Detective Sánchez novel.)
(TE Wilson is the author of Mezcalero, a Detective Sánchez novel.)
Email: lapoliticaeslapolitica [at] gmail [dot] com
N.B.: If you are having difficulty submitting to the e-mail feed at the top of this page, press "enter" on your keyboard instead of the "submit" button.