Thursday, April 07, 2011

Harper's guy on the Afghan file had no Top Secret clearance

More Carson revelations today that go, once again, to the Harper judgment question, big time. Canadian Press has more of an interview with Carson where the topic of what kind of clearance he had, i.e., Secret, is discussed:
Brodie said everyone in the PMO required a Secret clearance.

"There was only a handful of people in the office with Top Secret clearance. When I talk about a handful I mean, probably, five," Brodie said in an interview.

Carson, now 65, said there was never any discussion of a Top Secret clearance for him.

"No, not at all, ever. For the kind of work I was doing that seemed to be sufficient, I guess. I don't know."

One former staffer who worked in the PMO under a different prime minister finds that astonishing.

It is "absolutely implausible" that Carson could have been able to function as a senior official with only a Secret-level clearance, said the one-time staffer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The level of scrutiny for a Secret-level clearance is much lower than that for Top Secret.(emphasis added)
So the Secret level was sufficient for Carson, to the astonishment of another former PMO staffer. Well that former staffer should be prepared to be much more astonished, joining a whole host of other officials mentioned in this Star report today: "Carson was ‘Harper’s guy’ on Afghan file." Handling sensitive military information, including those pertaining to Afghan detainees presumably, participating in daily briefings on the mission, etc. The kicker from the Star report, and relevant to the Canadian Press excerpt above:
But news of the added criminal charges are raising red flags among those involved in the Afghanistan file, as they question how a man with such a past could have obtained the security clearances needed to participate in the calls — and gain access to their secrets.

Those on the call typically required a “top secret” clearance since the sensitive information being discussed involved not only Canada’s military but also those of other nations too.
Yes, Mr. Harper, why didn't Carson undergo the necessary background check for a Top Secret clearance that he should have had? Or do we really have to ask. Wonder if anyone will be able to get an answer to this in the four question clampdown Harper has going on.

Incompetent leadership that left the highest, most sensitive affairs of Canada in Bruce Carson's hands without the proper security clearance.