A disturbing authoritarian direction.
National security is the most important function of government. And part of that involves protecting information that could put national security at risk.
With that said, there is a difference between prudent measures to secure information, and using national security as an excuse to hide politically damaging information.
A new report by Dean Beeby shows the Trudeau government is doing the latter.
Rather than usher in a new era of openness and transparency as promised in the election, Trudeau is issuing an ever-increasing number of lifetime gag orders. In some cases, the gag orders are retroactive – meaning they apply to what people may have said before the gag order was even issued.
According to the government, the gag orders apply to those who “had access to confidential, security-related information while working at the Privy Council Office or the Prime Minister’s Office, and some were served with official notice of the gag order after they had left their jobs.”
Those who do not comply with the order could be jailed for up to 14 years.
Disturbingly, some of the gagged individuals could have been part of the Prime Minister’s Office, meaning the government is silencing individuals who weren’t silenced by the previous executive.
Is Trudeau hiding something in the fighter jet program?
According to the report, the government has permanently silenced over 200 people who are part of the program to replace the CF-18s. And before the government tries to say it’s all about security, keep in mind that those involved in military procurement report lifetime gag orders have not been used in procurement projects like this before, meaning the Trudeau government is going way over the line to hide information. Two officials “said the decision to force officials to a lifetime of secrecy was worrying and a heavy-handed attempt to keep them on a tight leash.”
Obviously, there’s something they don’t want Canadians to see.
Trudeau made openness and transparency a centerpiece of his campaign. He regularly attacked Stephen Harper for “secrecy.” And while the previous government certainly failed to decentralize power, the Trudeau government has taken things to a new extreme.
Bringing in lifetime bans – and using national security as the pretext – is a very deceptive and manipulative move. It shows the government is hiding something serious – either incompetence, or worse.
And not only is the lifetime ban creepy and authoritarian, but it is also unnecessary according to Wesley Mark – a Security and intelligence historian. Mark told Beeby that the idea of eternal secrets, “robs Canada of an ability to learn from the experience of officials with a deep knowledge of security and intelligence issues” and “creates a chill around the publication of memoirs and other forms of organized memory and commentary.”
Mark is absolutely right. Consider the following scenario: Imagine that in the 1980’s, someone involved in the design of the British Spitfire planes used in World War II wants to write a book about the intricacies of the design. Would it make sense for them to be banned from writing about it in detail? The Spitfire was obsolete by that time, and there’s no strategic advantage to be gained by any adversary reading about it.
The same goes for any military procurement today. In 30 or 40 years, the process of Canada buying planes in 2017 won’t be of much strategic value. However, there would certainly be a political risk to the legacy of those in power currently – if the process was corrupted or mismanaged.
And that’s what this is really about.
The Trudeau government is afraid of Canadians finding out what’s really happening with the CF-18 replacements, and they are using every tool at their disposal to keep it a secret.
To make the hypocrisy even worse, keep in mind that Trudeau let China purchase a Canadian company that conducted highly sensitive work with the military and security services. National security experts advised Trudeau against the sale, but he ignored them and sold it anyway. So clearly, Trudeau’s lifetime gag orders are not about security.
All of us should be deeply concerned when the state insists on locking away information on a permanent basis for political reasons, and it can only make us wonder what else the Trudeau government is hiding.
The elites want to hide their many failures behind political correctness, deception, and manipulation. We need to push back and spread the truth.
That’s why I write.
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