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CSIS 'vigorously harassing' Hezbollah, got help from Iran: US cable
OTTAWA - The former head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service confided the spy agency was "vigorously harassing" known Hezbollah members in Canada, reveals a newly disclosed diplomatic note.
Jim Judd, then CSIS director, also lamented that a soon-to-be released video of young Omar Khadr's interrogation at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, would trigger "knee-jerk anti-Americanism" and "paroxysms of moral outrage, a Canadian specialty," says the July 2008 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa.
Though "very worried" about Iran, the spy service secured a promise from the Iranian intelligence ministry to "help" on Afghan issues, including information about potential attacks, adds the note, obtained by online whistleblower WikiLeaks and posted Monday by the New York Times.
WikiLeaks confirms there will be as many as 2,648 documents referencing Canada among the quarter-million it plans to release in coming days.
The cable disclosed Monday, classified secret, recounts a July 2, 2008, meeting between Judd and State Department official Eliot Cohen.
It clearly conveys the former CSIS director's frustration with legal requirements that made the spy agency's efforts to combat terrorism more difficult.
"Director Judd ascribed an 'Alice in Wonderland' worldview to Canadians and their courts, whose judges have tied CSIS 'in knots,' making it ever more difficult to detect and prevent terror attacks in Canada and abroad," the cable says.
"The situation, he commented, left government security agencies on the defensive and losing public support for their effort to protect Canada and its allies."(we want us to fail?what?)
According to the document, Judd "derided" recent Canadian court rulings that threatened to undermine foreign government intelligence-and information-sharing with Canada.
"These judgments posit that Canadian authorities cannot use information that 'may have been' derived from torture, and that any Canadian public official who conveys such information may be subject to criminal prosecution," the cable says.
"This, he commented, put the government in a reverse-onus situation whereby it would have to 'prove' the innocence of partner nations in the face of assumed wrongdoing."
Judd also took a dim view of progress in Afghanistan, the cable says, due in part to President Hamid Karzai's "weak leadership, widespread corruption, the lack of will to press ahead on counter-narcotics," limited Afghan security and policing and, most recently, the spectacular mass escape from Sarpoza prison.
"He commented that CSIS had seen Sarpoza coming, and its link to the Quetta Shura in Pakistan, but could not get a handle on the timing."
The cable says Judd told Cohen that he and his colleagues are "very, very worried" about Iran.
"CSIS recently talked to Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) after that agency requested its own channel of communication to Canada, he said. The Iranians agreed to "help" on Afghan issues, including sharing information regarding potential attacks."
However, Judd allowed that CSIS had not "figured out" what the Iranians were up to, since it is clear they want the international security forces in Afghanistan to "to bleed ... slowly."
The WikiLeaks website has offered some additional hints about the broad range of Canada-related topics the document cache covers, including arms control, CBC coverage, consular matters, energy technology and foreign trade.
There are also references to Haiti, intelligence, military nuclear applications, provincial affairs, Syria and terrorism.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton telephoned a number of her counterparts, including Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, on the issue before the documents began trickling out.
Cannon said Monday that information in the WikiLeaks documents would not affect relations between Canada and the United States.
The two countries have always had "great" relations and any diplomatic cables that surface this week won't change that, Cannon said, nor should they be a matter of national concern.
"These leaked documents that pertain to Canada, in my view, it's not something that will harm relations," he said.
"I want to assure everybody that I don't think this is going to change the strong relationship that we have with the United States."
wow. These wikileaks will seriously be The News for the foreseeable future...
(if *latest news* MSN/BBC is any indication...)
That being said, some genuinely interesting stuff there. Like the China correspondences concerning North Korea...