Posts Tagged ‘CSIS

COLUMN: Agar – Terrorism on the homefront

- April 22nd, 2013

Terrorism can happen here

by Jerry Agar

Numbers remain uncertain, but the RCMP is reporting that deaths in the horrific bombing Monday of a VIA Rail train and the bridge trestle that plunged the train and its passengers into the Niagara River will most certainly be in the hundreds.

No suspects have been arrested.

Of course, I made that up. It didn’t happen. But according to authorities Monday, that type of attack was planned by two al-Qaida-assisted, terror suspects.

Strangely, despite the horror we saw last week in Boston, too many people, many in the media, believe it couldn’t happen here.

Why is that? Is it the triumph of hope over experience? Read more…

Spies among us

- March 2nd, 2011

Start talking about spies and most people will think of James Bond, car chases, high-stakes poker games and martinis. Oh and lots of beautiful people.

Few people think of Canada.

“On the contrary,” said former CSIS agent Michel Juneau-Katsuya when asked if Canada is too peaceful and boring a country for spies to target. “There are lots of diplomats that have been deported or declared persona non grata.”

In addition to diplomats who continue to spy on Canada to this day, there have been sleeper agents planted in this country and even Canadians convinced to hand over secrets to foreign governments.

Last week QMI Agency released the RCMP’s secret Tommy Douglas files. The Mounties followed Douglas for decades trying to prove that he was a communist and looking for anything that might hint at espionage.

While it looks like agents did collect enough information to show that Douglas was a communist early in his career, and therefore of interest to a police force concerned with the “red scare,” no evidence released suggest Douglas ever spied on Canada for another country.

While Douglas wasn’t a spy, plenty of others have been. Here’s a selection.

via Spies among us – A Canadian history | Canada | News | Calgary Sun.

Tommy Douglas, Stephen Harper and spy files

- February 21st, 2011

A former associate of Douglas’ from his days studying in Chicago was contacted about his former Communist ties. According to the letter, Douglas was an active Communist during his days in Chicago circa 1931.

We’ve been hearing about the fight to release the secret files the RCMP for years.

This past weekend we released them online, at least what the RCMP has released so far.

Tommy Douglas is far from the only politician to have been followed by the RCMP or CSIS but given his iconic stature with many Canadians his files have attracted plenty of attention.

What might be surprising is the possibility that the current prime minister, Stephen Harper has secret files about his early political activities.

We were able to ask the PM about this possibility and about releasing secret files while he was in Vancouver today.

Stay tuned for more.

I spy something stupid – Grits put politics ahead of national security

- October 30th, 2010

CSIS boss Richard Fadden under questioning from MPs in early July. Photo: Andre Forget

Perhaps the most offensive thing in Canadian politics is ethno-politics, the attempt by parties to buy voting blocks from immigrant or ethnic groups.

All parties play the game and, regardless of the player, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but this week the Liberals took the rotting, rancid cake.

Putting partisan politics above national security, the Liberals announced they would table a motion to call for the resignation of CSIS director Richard Fadden.

His alleged crime? “Smearing the Chinese-Canadian community.”

Fadden, you may recall, spoke bluntly and publicly in June about the problem of foreign governments attempting to influence Canadian politicians.

“We’re, in fact, a bit worried in a couple of provinces that we have an indication that there’s some political figures who have developed quite an attachment to foreign countries,” Fadden said in an interview with the CBC.

“There are several municipal politicians in British Columbia and, in at least two provinces, there are ministers of the Crown who we think are under at least the general influence of a foreign government.”

We’re not used to this type of talk from our top spies, we’re used to them hiding in the dark shadows. While Fadden spoke bluntly, he didn’t smear any Chinese-Canadians.

The only time Fadden referenced China during his CBC interview was in response to a direct question from anchor Peter Mansbridge who asked whether China was one of the countries trying to influence Canadian politicians. The word China never even crossed Fadden’s lips, he simply told Mansbridge that media stories on other countries are accurate and that some of those stories included the country Mansbridge had named — China.

At no time did Fadden say that any Canadian politicians were acting as spies, in fact he called the Canadian officials victims unwittingly groomed by foreign governments.

If the Liberals really think there are not foreign agents either openly or covertly trying to influence Canadian political leaders, then Michael Ignatieff’s team is in worse condition that I thought.

“There are thousands of Canadians who feel slighted and humiliated by a senior government official who deliberately cast suspicion on their loyalty,” Liberal MP Joyce Murray said in a statement announcing the motion to have Fadden fired.

Really?

A senior government official, Fadden, said there are foreign governments trying to influence Canadian politicians and people are upset about this?

What they are likely upset about, if they are bothered at all, is by the spin coming from the likes of the Liberals and others fishing for votes from Chinese-Canadians.

Anyone who doesn’t think there are Chinese spies or agents operating in Canada needs to give their head a shake. There are also Russians and agents from countries in the Middle East. One security expert even told me there are French agents at work in this country.

We can argue about whether Fadden should have made his statements to the media, but the idea that there are no spies in Canada is ridiculous.

The idea that the career civil servant smeared Chinese-Canadians is even more ridiculous.

Instead of fishing for votes, perhaps the Liberals should speak to Chinese-Canadians who are spied on by Beijing — Chinese-Canadians who are harassed in this country for their beliefs.

The type of pandering the Liberals are involved in should be below them, it should be below Ignatieff.

Canadians and Richard Fadden deserve better.