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Monday, July 12, 2010

Ex-spy chief defends CSIS chief

Globe and Mail: Friday, July 9, 2010 11:38 AM - A former senior operative with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service has jumped to the defence of beleaguered spy chief Richard Fadden, saying everyone in the intelligence community knows foreign countries are trying to influence Canadian politicians.

Michel Juneau-Katsuya, who was Asia-Pacific bureau chief for CSIS, says in a video interview on The Mark that Mr. Fadden has been unfairly maligned.

“He went a little bit too far in talking to the details. If he would have stopped just a little bit before, he would have been home free,” Mr. Juneau-Katsuya said.

Mr. Fadden said in a speech to police chiefs and security experts in March that two unnamed provincial cabinet ministers and a number of municipal politicians from British Columbia are being influenced by foreign governments.

He then repeated that assertion in a televised interview that aired in June. He was dragged before the Commons public security committee this week by angry MPs who accused him of smearing all politicians with his allegations against unnamed individuals.

“Some of the questions that were asked [by committee members] were totally inappropriate and they were the ones putting the security of Canada at risk and the security of Canadians at risk by asking names of people, asking files, asking evidence and everything,” Mr. Juneau-Katsuya said.

Some people, he said, are trying to suggest that Mr. Fadden has tainted all politicians with his allegations.

“This is a lie, this is not what he’s done,” Mr. Juneau-Katsuya said. “He’s talked about specific individuals, to a certain extent, without naming them. And he talked about a specific problem.”

And that problem, the CSIS operative said, is real.

Rather than attack the messenger, he said, it’s time that Canadians understood the substance of Mr. Fadden’s statements – and that is that foreign intelligence agencies are trying to gain control of Canadian politicians.

“This is a reality, this is happening, this is a threat that can affect all elected officials at all levels and that is something that we need to talk about and need to be able to discuss,” Mr. Juneau-Katsuya said.

“On the international scene everybody is looking at it and saying ‘yah, duh, it’s happening. … And it’s happening in our country as well. This is happening. Only the naive or the idiots are not willing to admit that it’s happening.”

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