First Canadian WikiLeaks cable

CSIS predicts Canadians having “paroxysms of moral outrage” over Khadr video

by Luiza Ch. Savage

In July 2008 2009, James Judd, then the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, complained to an American diplomat that Canadians and their courts had an “Alice in Wonderland” worldview that was endangering efforts to stop terrorism in Canada, according to a secret American diplomatic cable included in the Wikileaks release.

The cable, which was posted by The New York Times on Monday afternoon, quotes Judd as telling an American State Department official, Eliot Cohen, that Canadian judges “have tied CSIS ‘in knots,’ making it ever more difficult to detect and prevent terror attacks in Canada and abroad.”

CSIS, Judd also told Cohen, was “was ‘sinking deeper and deeper into judicial processes,’ making Legal Affairs the fastest growing division of his organization. Indeed, he added, legal challenges were becoming a ‘distraction’ that could have a major ‘chill effect’ on intelligence officials,” the cable said.

Judd also predicted that the release of a video showing Omar Khadr, a Canadian detainee at Guantanamo, crying during an interrogation by Canadian officials “would no doubt trigger ‘knee-jerk anti-Americanism’ and ‘paroxysms of moral outrage, a Canadian specialty,’ as well as lead to a new round of heightened pressure on the government to press for Khadr’s return to Canada. He predicted that PM Harper’s government would nonetheless continue to resist this pressure.”

(Khadr pled guilty to terrorism offenses last month at a military commission in Guantanamo under a deal that would allow him to eventually be transferred to Canadian custody.)

The full cable is here.




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First Canadian WikiLeaks cable

  1. I think it's 2008?

  2. Reminds me of the previous Australian administration commenting back in the day that the Canadian Government acted more like an NGO than a G.

  3. It's CSIS's mandate to be paranoid, and the public's responsibility to recognize that CSIS is paranoid.

    • And CSIS's responsibility to remember that it answers to the citizens of Canada and that WE not IT are the boss.

      • Maybe we should avoid putting people who wear jackboots in charge of CSIS.

  4. Huh…And we were told that it would be the Americans insulting Canadians!

  5. Dude! Talk about burying the lede, from current Canadian perspective: "it is clear that the "Iranians want ISAF to
    bleed…slowly."" Old news, often forgotten. Pakistan & Pushtun to the East, Iran to the West, others messing about. Canada in Afghanistan, huge mistake or HUGEST mistake ever?

  6. Imagine "Canadians and their courts: preventing csis from doing whatever they want to whoever they want.

    People like James Judd, then the director of the Canadian Security, need to google "Democracy".

    • or at least "rule of law" and "fundamental justice"

  7. What do people understand by the term “Alice in Wonderland world-view"? What does it mean?

    • A completely distorted view of everything.

    • Means he has the hots for the Red Queen …

    • Have a mushroom, then find out….

    • It means. unless and until we have something akin to 9/11 in this country.We are living in an Alice in wonderland world.Its disjointed and slightly whimsical.Thats the Canadian view on terrorism, I fully agree with the guy

    • Judd probably never read the book, but he's a big John Mayer fan and had spent the morning he sent the cable Googling images of Jennifer Love Hewitt.

    • A Drug induced world views (The lala land).

  8. Judd is right – too many Canadians are unrealistic about domestic terrorism. Some still refuse to believe that the 1985 Air India bomb that murdered more than 200 Canadians was hatched in Duncan, BC.

    • Yes, we've had people here since the original Irish who have continued to fight battles in the old country. This is very old.

      Takes 2 or 3 generations

    • Nobody refuses to believe that terrorism exists. The idea is to refuse to renounce your fundamental human rights in the so called name of security. If democracy is to continue, no one man can be in charge of the rule of law. Freedom has a price. The Canadian way is not about denying the risk. It's about accepting it in the name of democracy. Canadians want to have Security, Law enforcement agencies and a strong military. We just want them to fight for us, not against us. It is a dangerous thing to have the head of such a powerful agency be against the will of the majority. To me, that's terrorism too.

      • Canadien is absolutely correct. Said much better than I could express it. When we have the head of our security system having thoughts like that, then we are in danger of losing both our security and our freedom.

  9. I've never understood the 'inferiority complex' nonsense.

    We have a 'superiority' one actually

    • Our political, business and media elites have a pathetic inferiority complex. See Harper's speeches when he was in the opposition or the writings of John Ibbitson, Margaret Wente, the National Post, etc.

    • Couple the sanctimoious, holier-than-thou attitude of most left wing Canadians and their inferiority comes across as superior, that is, unless you are ablel to think for yourself.

      • Someone who names himself after Judge Roy Bean probably has a fairly broad definition of left wing.

  10. Jim Judd was a Liberal government (Paul Martin) appointee. Why is the media trying to lay this on Harper?

  11. I think this once again shows why we need to actually find an answer to the old question about who will guard the guards.

    • Who is watching the watchmen?

      • Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

      • I dunno, coast guard?

    • There you go again with your Wonderland view.

  12. "Indeed, he added, legal challenges were becoming
    a ‘distraction' that could have a major ‘chill effect' on intelligence
    officials,” the cable said."

    I read comments like these and I thank my lucky star that I live in a democracy where people like Judd are kept in check.

    • That is not going to last much longer with Harper in control. And I doubt that Ignatieff would be that much beter at preserving our democracy.

  13. judd sure called that one. i remember thinking exactly the same thing and then watching it play out in these comments.

  14. I am always amazed at how afraid conservative supporters are. They quake in their boots at practically everything.

    A terrorist says "boo!" and they hand over their freedom without a thought.

    Pathetic.

    Those who give up freedom for security shall have neither.

      • Isn't that the bombing that influenced the elections right after, tossed the incumbent out, and rethought involvement in the Iraq war (eventually pulling out)?

        Great courage indeed. You couldn't have picked a better example of terrorism working to cow a populace.

  15. 8. (C) Judd said he viewed Khawaja and his "ilk" as outliers, due in part to the fact that Canada's ethnic Pakistani community is unlike its ghettoized and poorly educated UK counterpart. It is largely made up of traders, lawyers, doctors, engineers, and others who see promise for themselves and their children in North America, he observed, so its members are unlikely to engage in domestic terror plots.

    Now, there's some good news.

  16. Gee, CSIS doesn't like checks and balances. Big shocker.

    Meanwhile they've been caught aiding and abetting extraordinary rendition or versions thereof in several cases, being involved in "coercive" interrogations that defy our constitution and god knows what in Afghanistan since taking over the prisoner interrogations in 2006, where it's their job to determine who ends up in the SDS prisons.

    Ever wonder if the cure might be worse than the disease?

  17. Judd was in , when Paul Martin was in power, can we turn back the clock! the wiki leaks are boring

  18. Are we to believe that only the Americans have documents that are less than flattering to the countries they deal with? I'm quite sure us Canadians may wish to keep some from public view as well….we just keep it covered better

    • And lets face it… poeple are a lot less interesed in us.

      (must be that damn inferiority complex again)

  19. Apparently Mr. Judd is really afraid of democracy where rule of law overrules appointed hacks and where common decency is unacceptable. Our politicians never tire if bragging about our great democracy and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms while at the same time giving licence to the Mr. Judds to undermine them. If nothing else the court ordered video actually did wake us up by reminding us that we must always be sceptical and realize that politicians' rhetoric has little to do with their actions when they get hold of the reins of power.

  20. Who exactly are the terrorists again, and what negative ramifications have terrorists had in Canada?

    • The families of the Canadians who died in those towers have suffered some serious "negative ramifications".

      Did you even give that a thought? I don't think you did.

  21. I think KOL is onto something. Like most nations Canada has a mix of nationalists and non-nationalists. However, in contrast with the United States, our nationalists are on the left, while our right is continentalist (and previously was imperialist). This is not unlike the many Democrats in the US that yearn for a country more like Canada or France. That said, Harper has put in great efforts in constructing a right wing nationalist vision for Canada. He would rather avoid the fate of Mulroney – ie. being called a traitor and a sell out at every turn.

  22. I'm outraged by these obvious inaccuracies. The witches and warlock judges on the courts have a Pierre Trudeau in wonderland attitude, not this Alice person. Sure we're sinking deeper and deeper into judicial activism, but that's the way Pierre created us. What are we supposed to do, not listen to Pierre? I think not! Pierre was anti-American and so are we. Poor little Omar the terrorist should run for PM, that would show those Americans that there is nothing knee-jerk about our reactions. How dare people complain about the cult Pierre created!! I'm outraged!!

  23. Yep, the moral outrage will be amusing for the next few days

    • I look forward to the right wing Tea Party North on here lamenting the lack of hangings without due process and promising to personally hunt down Khadr when he is released. It's very amusing.

    • But man, 2.5 million people have access to the info, including an army private – like keeping a secret among a population the size of Vancouver.

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