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Spy agency fights release of Tommy Douglas file...homage to Hemingway [View All]

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shockedcanadian Donating Member (224 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 12:16 AM
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Spy agency fights release of Tommy Douglas file...homage to Hemingway
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Paying homage to the posting below that showed the release of files from the FBI on Ernest Hemingway. In Canada we have CSIS (formerly the RCMP espionage arm); they have been aggressively fighting the release of files, some 80 years old! It harks back to the time of Stalin and East Germany.

This second link illustrates an even more startling and more recent development, as the battle to have the release of these files is going on in the court, files from Tommy Douglas's file have suddenly and conveniently gone missing:

Pages missing from intelligence file on Tommy Douglas

If anyone has any illusion of democracy in Canada, the handling of this mans case should debunk the common belief. He is the father of Canadian Health Care, he was recently voted greatest Canadian by the country...below are two excerpts from both links, there is more detail in the links of course...great reads.

1. OTTAWA Canadas spy agency is pulling out all the stops to block the release of decades-old intelligence on socialist icon Tommy Douglas.

In an affidavit filed in Federal Court, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service argues that full disclosure of the file on Douglas could endanger the lives of confidential informants and jeopardize the agencys ability to conduct secret surveillance.

Indeed, CSIS suggests its very raison dtre would be imperilled by releasing the information compiled on the one-time Saskatchewan premier and federal NDP leader, widely revered as the father of medicare.

Secrecy is intrinsic to security intelligence matters, Nicole Jalbert, the agencys access to information and privacy coordinator, says in the affidavit filed late last month.

The requirement for secrecy with respect to past and current activities of a security intelligence agency is essential; the origin of information, its extent and the methods by which it was obtained must remain a secret.

In an apparent reference to the precedent CSIS fears might be set if the Douglas files were released, Jalbert adds: The routine, full disclosure of security intelligence information would, in certain circumstances, prevent or severely hamper the services ability to discharge its statutory mandate.

The lawyer for The Canadian Press reporter who initiated the battle over disclosure of the Douglas dossier said CSISs argument would essentially mean all intelligence files must remain secret in perpetuity.

The suggestion that anything that intelligence agencies do must be secret for all time I think is contrary to basic democratic principles, Paul Champ said in an interview.

He said its ironic that former Soviet Bloc countries have opened up their old intelligence files to public scrutiny while the security intelligence file on Tommy Douglas, one of Canadas most loved political icons, remains closed.

Its pretty unbelievable.

Champ last year filed affidavits from Wesley Wark, a renowned security intelligence expert, and historian Craig Heron, both of whom maintained its absurd to keep the Douglas file secret so many years later....

2. OTTAWA Dozens of pages from a decades-old intelligence file on socialist icon Tommy Douglas have mysteriously disappeared.

The disappearance came to light during a lengthy court battle over the federal government's refusal to fully disclose the RCMP dossier on the former Saskatchewan premier and one-time federal NDP leader.

Library and Archives Canada, which currently holds the 1,142-page dossier, initially released just over 450 heavily censored pages in response to a request by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

But the government partially lifted the shroud of secrecy a week before a court hearing into the matter began in February, releasing almost 400 additional pages under a new, more relaxed policy governing the release of historically significant documents.

It was only then, with fuller access to the file, that Paul Champ, lawyer for The Canadian Press, realized about four dozen pages were missing.

What disappoints him is that no one at the archives nor in the Canadian Security Intelligence Service -- which had supposedly thoroughly reviewed and vetted the original documents -- appears to have noticed.

"It's just disappointing that at the end it seems like this important file was not reviewed with the thoroughness we would expect," he said in an interview.

"It does seem like no one really seemed to care that pages were missing."

After Champ notified Federal Court, Judge Simon Noel ordered the government to look for the lost pages. The search didn't turn up any of the missing pages identified by Champ but it find seven other additional pages of material in the original Douglas file, which somehow hadn't made it into the digitally scanned copy used in responding to the access request.

In a written submission to the court earlier this month, the government insisted "there is no evidence of a lack of good faith" in its handling of the Douglas dossier...
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