So, the Stó:lō fish story continues- this time on the PressTV supported publication Veterans Today. Anthony James Hall, a professor at the University of Lethbridge, writes for Veterans Today, and has often appeared on PressTV- both publications have been backing the Stó:lō fish story. The big question I’ve been wondering is why has a government owned Iranian TV station put so much energy into this story? Well, the answer is quite shocking…
The title of Hall’s latest story explains it all From British Columbia to Israel/Palestine: The Trail of Kwitsel Tatel in Historical Context. You see, relations between Iran & Canada aren’t so good these days– and the key issue is over the Israel/Palestine conflict. Prime Minister Harper has joined the US in a call for attacking Iran, and the Iranians appear to be retaliating by creating division between the Canadian government and indigenous people. Professor hall appears to be working on the side of the Iranians.
For a man who is getting a government paycheque, it is rather astounding to see him work against his country on behalf of a foreign government- regardless if if he is wrong or right. In many countries this would be considered to be treason- perhaps even in Canada. Either way, to side with a foreign government in a subversive and divisive activity is a rather dangerous game.
Hall has been promoting a rather shaky court case- where Patricia Kelly (a.k.a Keitsel Tatel) was charged with a crime for illegally catching, and selling, salmon from British Columbia’s Fraser River. He starred in a news segment on PressTV a few weeks ago talking about how the Canadian government was intentionally trying to make salmon extinct as a way of punishing indigenous nations. This is the quality of education one gets at the University of Lethbridge.
A couple of weeks ago, Kelly was arrested for assault on a peace officer after she walked into the courthouse with a friend banging a drum and she got into a kerfuffle with the court’s sheriffs. It was an obviously intentional provocation- but, this didn’t stop PressTV from covering the story saying that she was ‘brutalized’. She ended up going to her court hearing wearing shackles and handcuffs.
Hall is trying to get recognized as an expert witness in Kelly’s case, but the court doesn’t seem to want to have anything to do with it. The court has been saying that Hall is not acting as an independent expert witness, but that he is biased and involved in her case. The court is right on the money with their assumption- and this article of Hall’s is perfect evidence of that. Reading it, there is no way one could could think he is an independent witness.
The article ends with a very long, and fishy, letter that Patricia Kelly (supposedly) wrote to the judge. The problem is that the letter is rather self-contradictory. Let’s look at what Kelly says in the fourth paragraph when she complains that the judge and prosecutor were speaking in legalese that she couldn’t understand:
“With Professor Hall off the stand you and Mr. Jensen entered into an extremely significant closed dialogue as if the matters the two of you were discussing in your own esoteric language were of no consequence for me. You excluded me from the dialogue. Neither you nor the federal Crown’s prosecutor attempted to clarify for me in layman’s terms the subject matter of your closed conversation and its implications for the entire course of this second stage of the trial.”
What’s curious about this statement is how it conflicts with the rest of the letter. If one is to believe that Kelly wrote this letter, then she does have a quite good understanding of legal language:
“Mr. Jensen may not view such testimony as “necessary” to the cultivation of the understanding you need to decide on the relevant facts of this case and then arbitrate them. The forces seeking to criminalize me through the denial and negation of my Aboriginal rights obviously want a very narrow circumscription of the relevant facts. But that type of tight circumscribing of what happens in your court will not serve the cause of justice or reconciliation. There is a significant imperative of necessity in giving a wide birth for an exploration of the relevant facts in this matter. Alternatively there would be much to lose if you were to choose to constrain the discussion of the constitutional dimensions of my case, one that unfortunately for me captures the essence of so many contemporary tensions in the ongoing history of Crown-Aboriginal relations.”
For someone who claims to have a poor understanding of legalese, Kelly has written a rather coherent letter. Something smells fishy to me. So, I pulled-out my favourite new online resource- the Language Style Matching tool created by James W. Pennebaker, a professor and chair of Psychology at the University of Texas in Austin. The tool takes two samples of writing and compares their similarity- giving a rating between .60 & 90. The average score is .78. This is a tool often used by professors to identify cases of plaguery.
When I compared the text in Hall’s article with the text in Kelly’s letter, the rating was an astonishing .86- so, it is highly likely that both writing samples were written by the same person. There are other clues here too- that the letter is incredibly long-winded (a trademark of Hall’s writing), and it mentions all of Hall’s pet concepts and ideas.
When the hearing re-convenes in two weeks, and the judge is ready to make his decision- he should ask Hall (under oath) if he wrote Kelly’s letter. If this is true, then the judge’s decision about letting Hall testify as an independent witness will be a no-brainer. Hall certainly couldn’t be considered an independent expert if he is writing letters for Kelly.
I’ll keep you updated as the drama progresses- this is one fish story I won’t let get away…