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Honest Politicians and Truthful Spies

Note: This column was first posted 12 Oct. 2013.

[The claim by Brazil President Dilma Rousseff that Canada is committing “cyberwar” by spying on her country’s mining ministry has provoked hysterical suggestions that our spy agencies are running amok.

The chorus of condemnation from opposition politicians and peaceniks has been thunderous.

But who speaks in defence of the spies?….The bleatings of those bleeding hearts who would weep for a stranded jellyfish is that Canada is breaking international law by spying on other countries. In fact, espionage and international law are not in harmony. Spying is judged by most legal scholars to be neither legal nor illegal — in many ways, beyond the law. While the Brazilians clearly feel their country’s laws were broken, there are no specific allegations of Canadian law violations.] excerpt from the article.

Spying is an extension of politics. Both are amoral activities in which people supress their individual ethics and values to function. Expediency and a backroom deal rule. It is astounding that so many people resist this inescapable fact and yearn for honest politicians and truthful spies.

I don’t know which is worse; the articles that tell the stories of corrupt government and secret surveillance or the comments that follow the articles which vent naïve, empty notions of fairness, individual bias and prejudice, and a hopeless expectation that ‘things will change after the next election.’

Too many people want to believe that Trudeau will ‘change the way politics is done in Ottawa.’ Yes, he will try, but he cannot do the impossible. Spies will do what they always do. Politicians will do what they always do. Trudeau will come and go and leave a mark that few will remember without criticism in future generations.

For politicians and spies, rules are meant to be broken. Getting caught is the sin. About that fact, Ivison is right.

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Professional. Retired. Canadian.

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