posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 04:22 AM
Aprently the guy is backpedaling furiously now
Foreign nations not cosy enough with Canadians to name names, says spy chief
at 01:00 on June 24, 2010, EDT.
Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press
Share|OTTAWA - Canada's top spy briskly backtracked from his suggestion that he's working to oust politicians under the influence of foreign
It was the latest head-scratching twist in a cloak-and-dagger drama that confused spy-watchers, elicited a terse response from the Prime Minister's
Office and raised the ire of two western premiers.
Dick Fadden, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, said in an interview with CBC-TV Tuesday that he was in the process of warning at
least two provinces, through the Privy Council Office, that members of their cabinets are under the influence of foreign governments.
Fadden said CSIS also has suspicions about a number of municipal politicians in British Columbia.
He declined to name the elected officials or countries involved but when asked whether China was one of them Fadden said that recent media reports on
China's economic espionage in Canada were not "entirely incorrect."
Fadden rarely speaks publicly and when he does he weighs every syllable before uttering a word. So the Ottawa guessing game centered on speculation
about why the spy chief would choose to make his accusations on the eve of a visit by the Chinese president and one day before Prime Minister Stephen
Harper would apologize for the botched Air India investigation.
An extensive inquiry report recently blamed CSIS, among others, for errors that set the stage for the terrorist attack that killed 329 people on Air
India flight 182 a quarter-century ago. It capped a year in which CSIS was harshly criticized by courts for miscues in cases and the watchdog over the
agency took it to task for interrogating a teenaged Omar Khadr.
Liberal public safety critic Mark Holland said the Fadden comments had "profound security implications."
"It's deeply disturbing. The idea that two cabinet ministers could be under the influence of a foreign government is not something you sit on.
"The government seems ready to jump at any other security risk. Why not this one?"
But Fadden backpedalled furiously Wednesday.
He said in a statement he had "not apprised the Privy Council Office of the cases ... mentioned in the interview on CBC."
"At this point, CSIS has not deemed the cases to be of sufficient concern to bring them to the attention of provincial authorities," he added.
Fadden, a career public servant, said foreign interference is common in many countries around the world and CSIS has been investigating such threats
All this came on the eve of the G20 and G8 summits, as well as a visit by China's President Hu Jintao, raising questions about the timing of his
remarks and whether they could poison all of the talks taking place in Canada in the next week.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's spokesman Dimitri Soudas offered Fadden little in the way of solace or protection. Soudsas said the PMO had "no
knowledge of these matters."
In British Columbia, Premier Gordon Campbell said Fadden's statements were inappropriate.
"He's provided neither the head of our public service, nor me, nor our solicitor general, nor our attorney general with any evidence of this
"Candidly, I think this really was not just unprecedented, but it is incredibly unprofessional, and I think it calls into question how this
organization is working."
Campbell said he was waiting for an explanation from Fadden.
"We have to hear what justification there are for these kinds of doubts and aspersions being cast on people who are trying to serve the public. If
there is direct evidence if someone is under the influence of a foreign government that should be dealt with."
Campbell harshly criticized Fadden's warning that some politicians and officials could be linked to governments of their "homelands."
"Canadians deserve a complete, a thorough and a substantial explanation of those comments," said Campbell. "This is a country that welcomes people
from all over the world."
An international security expert at the University of Victoria called on Fadden to provide more evidence of his foreign influence allegations to
Political science Prof. Scott Watson said without evidence it is difficult to reach any conclusions on the matter.
"It's the nature of (CSIS's) work to not do it in public, but him raising this in public, then I think he brought it on himself that he needs to
provide public evidence of his claims."
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty also said the spy agency owes Canadians more information so any concerns can be addressed.
McGuinty said the province hasn't been contacted so, from Ontario's perspective, "no news is good news."
In Edmonton, Solicitor General Frank Oberle said Alberta has no evidence that a provincial politician is in league with foreign powers and has never
been informed of such by CSIS.
Oberle, said it's "curious and unfortunate" that Fadden has made the comments on TV in the run-up to Canada hosting world leaders at the summits in
Huntsville, Ont., and Toronto.
He says Fadden needs to do more than just backtrack on the remarks.
"He's made some very, very serious allegations. He should either substantiate them or withdraw them and if he's backtracking a bit I'd say that's
inadequate. He should withdraw and he should publicly apologize.
"It's outrageous to make such allegations, and the particular forum he chose makes it all the worse."
-- With files from Dean Bennett in Edmonton, Colin Perkel in Toronto and Dirk Meissner in Victoria.
perhaps hes just looking for a headline.....and got his self in a little deep,
The allegations seem a little chickenpoop now
[edit on 24-6-2010 by stirling]