Comment: US helped Canada nab accused spy Jeff Delisle

Jeffrey Paul DelisleBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | |
Back in January of this year, when the Jeffrey Delisle spy affair made headlines around the world, I spoke with several journalists from The Globe & Mail, The Canadian Press, and other Canadian news outlets. Most of them were –rightly– curious about the role of the United States in the affair, in which Sub-Lieutenant Delisle, who had been employed at Canada’s ultra-secure TRINITY communications center in Halifax, was accused of spying for a foreign power. I told them that, given that Trinity handled –aside from Canadian– NATO communications, Canada was in fact obligated to notify all of its NATO partners about the suspected penetration. That aside, I said that it could be “safely assumed” that US counterintelligence agencies were “fully involved in the Delisle case, and probably ha[d] been for several months”. By the latter phrase, I implied that US counterintelligence agencies had been closely involved in helping their Canadian counterparts build their case against Delisle. Now a new report in The Globe & Mail suggests that US counterintelligence officials “supplied vital information” to their Canadian colleagues during “the early days of the investigation” into the Delisle affair. The article says that the full extent of what the Americans told Canadian authorities remains unclear; but it quotes “a source familiar with the matter”, who claims that the US “helped Canada build its investigation”, not necessarily by providing a single tipoff clue, but through “an accumulation of information”. The paper adds that Washington’s involvement in the investigation from an early stage “adds a key new detail to [the] story”. Not necessarily, I would argue. The involvement of the US in the case should be taken as given, considering the importance of HMCS Trinity in maritime intelligence collection in the Arctic. A far more important subject concerns the degree in which this alleged penetration has affected Canada’s intelligence-sharing relationship with its NATO partners, particularly with the United States. Another vital question concerns the extent to which the Delisle affair has affected Ottawa’s relations with Moscow. As most intelNews readers will know, Canadian officials have privately identified Russia as the country that secretly employed Delisle, but Ottawa has refrained from officially linking its former Cold War adversary with the spy affair. The Toronto Star reported this week that the Canadian government has decided to remain mute on the subject, instead of risking “alienating Russia”. The latter scenario could “potentially set off tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions” and would have “more downsides than upsides”, said the paper. Delisle, who was charged in January with passing state secrets to a foreign country, remains in custody. His next court appearance is expected to be in June.

5 Responses to Comment: US helped Canada nab accused spy Jeff Delisle

  1. Kidd says:

    must be the new intel way. come in from the cold and lip off about how they were on top of it the whole time. i still find the 2.0underwear bomber story very fishy . this almost seems a ruse to conflict the minds of the bomb makers and enlistment folks. wanting this info leak out there for news. normally we’d not hear that for decades. a joint effort no less to put doubt into the minds those so called ‘warriors’.

  2. pickle head says:

    he made the headlines? he didnt even make it to wikipedia! in my book, youre no one if u havent made it to WP. i dont even remember ever hearing of this guy, and i thot i was fairly attentive to the spy circus and its clowns. i guess that’s b/c this is CANADIAN news and that barely makes the back page of american newspapers. i think there’s a secret usa policy to ignore canada, or, at most, dismiss it as a trifling, insignificant country. the strategy is to diminish canadian nationalism and cripple their confidence. it wdnt do for canada to get too big for its britches, and the usa is canada’s britches.
    are there any more than no [0] people who believe anything that comes out of the spy folks? they put out an image that they are always lurking around alleyways, uncovering some villain’s plots and saving the good folks just in the nick of time. i think they make half of those phony foiled plots up, just to tell their bosses that they are on the ball or to fool the public. [like that iranian/american unemployed shlameel who was going to blow up the saudi ambassador and the israeli embassy and kill lots of people who got in the way] it’s a good strategy; it keeps the public nervous and feeling dependent, just like mafia protection-they scare you and make u believe that u need their protection. and the plots that they dont just make up, they seem to really muck up,like the keystone cops or the gang who cdnt shoot straight. there was the iranian nuclear science defector amiri who defected back to iran and there was that cowboy clown, ray davis.
    if these spies were the brilliant sleuths that they pretend to be, braver,more courageous, cleverer than anyone else, why cant they find s.ivens and who shot the iranian girl in texas?
    maybe this Delisle story was co-authored by canadian and usa spies as a show of unity against the godzilla/king kong monster always stomping its way from the east. its getting very hard to take this stuff seriously. its like being transported into a fantasy world created by not nearly as smart as they think they are gamers.

  3. TFH says:

    @ Pickle Head. If there is a conspiracy in the US media to ignore Canada it is because most things are better in Canada, especially for the ordinary citizen. And that is embarrassing to the media of the few, brave etc. Not something to report to the sponsors.

  4. TWH says:

    Very small detail, but since this story is sure to be of some note for the foreseeable future, the institution is simply referred to as TRINITY (with no HMCS). Common misconception, but it isn’t a ‘stone frigate’.

  5. intelNews says:

    @TWH: Thanks very much for the correction. A small detail, as you say, but still important. We’ve corrected the article and modified the tag. [JF]

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