First Canadian WikiLeaks cable

CSIS predicts Canadians having "paroxysms of moral outrage" over Khadr video

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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