Canadian security allowed use of intel gained through torture
By: Jim Kouri, CPP
According to those who’ve seen the document, it stipulated that in “exceptional circumstances where there is a threat to human life or public safety” urgency may require the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to “share the most complete information available at the time with relevant authorities, including information based on intelligence provided by foreign agencies that may have been derived from the use of torture or mistreatment.”
Although the language in the 2010 directive doesn’t allow CSIS agents to use “torture” on suspects in their custody, it does permit the CSIS to accept and use information from agencies that may have used torture to gain operable intelligence.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told the news agency that to ignore such sensitive information would be ”an unacceptable risk to public safety.”
“Therefore, in situations where a serious risk to public safety exists, and where lives may be at stake, I expect and thus direct CSIS to make the protection of life and property its overriding priority, and share the necessary information — properly described and qualified — with appropriate authorities,” he wrote.
According to the Canadian Press report, the directive stipulates that ”the final decision to investigate and analyze information that may have been obtained by methods condemned by the Canadian government falls to the CSIS director or his deputy director for operations — a decision to be made in accordance with Canada’s legal obligations.”
Speaking in Parliament Tuesday, Public Safety Minister Toews told lawmakers that the information obtained by torture “is always discounted. However, the problem is whether one can safely ignore the information if Canadian lives and property are at stake.”
He and Jason Kenney, Canada’s Immigration minister, confirmed the directive is government policy. Besides intelligence, CSIS is also responsible for Canadian border security.
“In situations where a serious risk to public safety exists and where lives may be at stake, CSIS should make the protection of life and property its overriding priority,” Kenney is quoted as saying to lawmakers.
“Of course we oppose the use of torture but we believe that Canada’s security agencies should prioritize the protection of life,” he added.
In 2009, then-Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loon vowed that the Canadian government would refrain from using any and all information obtained through torture, either in Canada itself or in another country when interrogators are allowed to use such methods to interrogate suspects.
However, officials at CSIS issued a statement in 2010 that said “the Canadian people would not forgive the intelligence service if it completely ignored information that could have been used to prevent a terrorist attack because that tip came from a country with a suspect human rights reputation.”
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.