The National Post has a column by self-declared former Mossad officer Michael Ross complaining that he cannot understand how we could allow someone with dubious ties to an international lobbyist — not to mention a second job as ambassador plenipotentiary for Sierra Leone — to chair the Security Intelligence Review Committee, the small outfit which is responsible for complaining powerlessly whenever CSIS breaks the law. Ross also sounds another increasingly familiar note: that we need to get our act together so we can create a proper foreign intelligence service, like all grown-up countries have.
Now, I’m not sure why exactly Ross feels he can share the contents of the Mossad’s presumably secret watchlist in this article, but I can answer the other part of his question. I imagine that Arthur Porter was cleared for SIRC in exactly the same way that Bruce Carson was cleared for work in the Prime Minister’s Office (in that case, apparently fraud convictions and other problems don’t discount you from holding one of the highest jobs in the country). This “amateurishness” isn’t going to go away while the Harper regime is in command (and possibly not after they leave, either). What Ross calls amateurishness, they call loving one’s friends. It’s very Christian of them, really.
I can’t help wondering whether the real reason people in the intelligence community are so anxious about this isn’t that Porter was a security problem in the first place, but that the whole world found out about it thanks to some uncharacteristic derringdo from our usually placid and complacent media.Tweet