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‘Tendentious and sensationalist’


 

Maxime Bernier responds to today’s Le Devoir report.

The journalist grounds his assertion not on the nature of the information itself – which he has not seen – but on the fact that the word “Secret” is marked on sections of the documents, which was obviously already known; and on the fact that paragraphs were taken out by civil servants before he obtained the document, which was totally predictable since we’re talking about secret documents. The civil servants simply deemed it prudent to keep the content of these sections secret, even if releasing it would not cause any significant injury to national interest.


 

‘Tendentious and sensationalist’

  1. Anyone who works anywhere remotely sensitive in the civil service will tell you that EVERY DOCUMENT is marked "secret" no matter how unimportant.

    • Particularly with Harper's Government… Where information is a privilege.

      I wouldn't doubt it if his poor children receive censored birthday cards, to go with a nice firm handshake!

  2. I'm confused. If "releasing it would not cause any significant injury to national interest", and the information is requested under Access to Information, aren't the civil servants involved obliged NOT to redact it?

  3. I'm thinking this may be a ploy to get Bernier out of the riding by the Harperissimo himself. Why else would one pick on a dead politicial duck?

    • Beauce is the most bulletproof Conservative riding in Quebec, largely because its residents love the Bernier family. Not for the first time, your theory doesn't add up.

      • You can tell the Anon's apart?

      • You can tell the Anons apart?

        • Sure! There's the cynical one who hates Macleans, PAP funding, Blogging Tories, the kakistocracy, Republicans, Democrats, petulant pundits, people with "bright boy" syndrome, most aspects of popular culture, and anyone who snickers at Rick Salutin.

          Then there's the other guy (the one I just responded to).

          • I can tell them apart too, but you have to admit it's something of an arcane science. Once thing they clearly have in common is a love of their nickname.

          • Get a life! ;)

        • Most of the time. I posted a longer response, but the filter blocked it for some reason. Check my comment history for more details.

          • Ya have been getting that lost comment thing too occasionally. Some times they show up after a while , sometimes not.
            May be a blessing I don't know.

          • Ya I have been getting that lost comment thing too occasionally. Some times they show up after a while , sometimes not.
            May be a blessing I don't know.

          • Sounds like the censor is three tiered. The first tier automatically takes out comments with clearly vulgar content, the second scans for potentially vulgar content and sends it off for a humanoid review for context. The third one is pre-summer vaycay Ignatief.

          • Not that simple. There seems to be a predilection for bouncing out comments of
            surpassing insight and intelligence worded with Hopkinsian flow and lilt.

            And sometimes it kicks out mine too.

      • Beauce is not a bulletproof conservative riding. Beauce is a bulletproof government riding. The last exception was Bernier père as an independent in 93.

        If the Libs are in front, Bernier is outta here and whatever is running for the Liberals is coming in.

        Bulletproof? Hah!

        • Bernier père was an exception, so even in the event that the Liberals are in front (which I consider unlikely), what's to prevent Bernier fils from becoming an exception just like his father? Beauce loves the Berniers.

    • Ya right, like Harper's going to dredge up a Con scandal, especially right now.

  4. The Le Devoir article may be tendentious but it is hardly sensationalist given that they passed on showing the dress.

  5. I'm sure I'll get a lot of flack for saying this, but Bernier is probably telling the truth. I don't believe that the secret documents he was carrying would have caused any significant injury to Canadian interests, even if they fell into the hands of a spy, rather than a voluptuous biker moll. Even the most mundane NATO documents are marked "secret" by bureaucrats. The civil servants who released the documents to journalists probably redacted the tuna special on the lunch menu. (metaphorically speaking)

    That said, Bernier is clearly out of his league. He may be the Beauce Golden Boy, but his careless conduct in this matter was simply unacceptable for a Minister of the Crown. Sheer incompetence. Hopefully Ms. Couillard was worth it, because whatever ambitions Bernier might have had have now been torpedoed.

  6. I'm sure I'll get a lot of flack for saying this, but Bernier is probably telling the truth. I don't believe that the secret documents he was carrying would have caused any significant injury to Canadian interests, even if they fell into the hands of a spy, rather than a voluptuous biker moll. Even the most mundane NATO documents are marked "secret" by bureaucrats. The civil servants who released the documents to journalists probably redacted the tuna special on the lunch menu.

    That said, Bernier is clearly out of his league. He may be the Beauce Golden Boy, but his careless conduct in this matter was simply unacceptable for a Minister of the Crown. Hopefully Ms. Couillard was worth it, because whatever ambitions Bernier once had have now been torpedoed.

    • Wasn't there talk after the Lisa Raitt/CTV document episode that the PMO had undertaken the practice of stamping SECRET on mundane documents to play with the Access to Information rules and resist releasing info? Honestly asking here – not leading.

      • Yes. In some cases it`s the only way to protect internal documents (caucus memos, that sort of thing) that rightly have no requirement of public scrutiny. But I think the practice predates the Conservatives.

    • Sorry, I'm going with 'Le Devoir' on this one. It's not necessarily directly to Canadian interests he may have done damage – given the subject matter, probably more directly to almost all of our allies. Which of course damages our relations with them, as in, they don't trust us with their secrets any more. That could have a direct impact on our own security interests, but it's much more likely that, as a power tending towards the smaller side of medium, we get excluded from participating in important decisions because we can't keep a secret. So it hurts Canada.

      • Unless you have some sort of evidence to support the theory that "Bernier hurt Canada", like an example of Canada being excluded from something, I'll have to go with my default assumption that the rest of the world didn't give a sheet, as usual. The NATO decision makers probably assumed that it was a one-time thing linked to an individual politician, Maxime Bernier, who resigned because of it. Problem solved.

        This sort of thing could have just as easily happen in England, France, and Italy, where politicians routinely get in trouble for boffing the wrong person or for classified information scandals. In fact, the stuff that politicians get in trouble for over there makes the stuff over here look like kindergarten follies.

        • This was not me. Who the hell is commenting as me? Please stop.

          • Whoops – it was me. I accidentally posted without logging in, so IntenseDebate remembered what I typed into the Name and Email fields the very last time I posted without logging in – the Steyn column back when you were on vacation and I was demonstrating to sea_n_mountains how easy it was to impersonate someone.
            Sorry! I swear I wasn't trying to be satirical or anything. It was a purely accidental ID login fluke.

          • It's impossible to give examples of where security cooperation is withheld because your allies cannot trust you with sensitive information, but a quick read through the book 'Spycatcher' will give you a few examples of this in operation, mainly in the very technical area of communications. Canada gets an honourable mention.

            I follow European news quite closely and I can't think of an example of classified information being left laying about by a government minister like this. If you have an example, please cite it.

  7. Oh, sorry, CR! I was going to emend "the hell" to "the heck" in case it was you. Actually you made a very good point. Showing me up again — as myself!

    • Thanks, you're too kind! I'm looking forward to reading "A Loaded Anniversary", btw. Congratulations!

  8. Props to Le Devoir, though, for testing the assertion that "nothing" in there was sensitive and potentially detrimental to the interests of Canada or her her allies.

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