By Capil Bissoon
PNM sleeper cells are now in full battle cry. They seem to be everywhere, operating on cue, in the most surprising places and are shamelessly singing from the same hymn-book.
When I listened to retired Justice Sebastian Ventour, deputy chairman of the Integrity Commission, uttering the tell-tale mantra that he believed not in the form but in the substance of evidence, I shook my head. He spoke with such conviction that I did verily believe he was a lifelong advocate of this new-found theology.
When I beheld the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions genuflecting before the altar of the form versus substance argument and a strange perspective of going beyond the four square of the evidence, I knew I was on to something. Not to be undone was the acting Commissioner of Police.
So when it dawned on me that a Deputy Commissioner of Police was, in the morning so to speak, an unbiased very senior police officer and therefore an impartial public servant (like the acting Commissioner of Police) and, in the afternoon figuratively speaking, morphing seamlessly into a PNM candidate for Toco/Sangre Grande, I literally, like the little boy from Scotland, stood in my shoes and wondered.
When I was reminded that a former chair of the Integrity Commission held a clandestine meeting at his residence with the Leader of the Opposition Dr Keith Rowley when the same body was to investigate a matter in which he (Dr Rowley) was involved, I knew I was in PNM country.
When I saw a very distinguished member of the clergy marching in front of our Parliament thereby adopting a posture identical with that of the PNM, I knew that even the hallowed walls of the clergy had been breached.
In the interest of balance, that selfsame clergyman, much younger then, did not see it fit to march when former minister Sadiq Baksh was the victim of a certain cell whose job, in my view, was to frame the minister with a cocaine possession charge.
Many of us will recall the late Friday evening of July 2006 when the police attempted to arrest a sitting Chief Justice, the Head of the Judiciary, one of the three arms of government. Everyone knows the significance of a Friday evening arrest.
This attempted arrest occurred after the then Prime Minister summoned the Chief Justice to his office and demanded his resignation. How did the sleeper cell know to make what appeared to be a very timely arrest.
As a teenager, I recall that fateful April 1975 morning known as “Bloody Tuesday” when the police came out in full force to beat people. The victims included trade union leaders, one of whom, George Weekes, was fond of telling any who would listen about the might of the PNM. Until that day, he never knew what police could do in support of their beloved PNM.
PNM apologists are most energised when they repeat their mantra: “Great is the PNM and we shall prevail”. I now know whereof they speak. Their tentacles are everywhere and have infiltrated almost every institution. The PNM invented the concept of sleeper cells even before Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda.
It is no wonder that Rowley myopically did not want us to co-sponsor the UN resolution on terrorism. He perhaps did not wish others to learn about the sleeper cells concept.
Sleeper cells by definition blend into the community in which they live. They do not stand out. They are indistinguishable from others. They go about their lives normally and for all intents and purposes are normal everyday citizens. The only difference is that they owe a primary loyalty to an organisation, a religion or a cult.
There are many otherwise normal citizens in Trinidad and Tobago and even in the Diaspora as well as public servants who owe a primordial and cult-like, primary loyalty to the PNM. This by itself is not strange, since the PNM has been in power for most of the 50-plus years since Independence.
Sleeper cells are trained to await a signal to act either on offence as in the case of the person who fabricated the e-mails; or on defence as in the case of those who uncritically have adopted the form versus substance mantra.
This is why our country needs a further five years of the People’s Partnership Government to wipe out all vestiges of the sleeper cells and inculcate a spirit of loyalty first to Trinidad and Tobago.