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NDP & Liebrals Leak Confidential Documents

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Fishbone Jones

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Ezra Levant

20 hrs ·

Liberal, NDP MPs leak classified defence briefing notes

Canada has been at war against jihadists for years now, but you'd never know it, after what happened today.

PM Harper held a confidential meeting about the war for opposition MPs from the Liberals and NDP, and briefed them on state secrets.


What happened? One of those classified briefing notes was leaked to the Ottawa Citizen.

What's even crazier is that Liberal defence critic Joyce Murray and NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar talked about this meeting on the record with their friends in the Media Party.

How can we trust the Liberals and NDP and possibly take them seriously on matters of national defence and security?
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ezra-Levant/131404586952777

Canadian diplomats have quietly warned members of Parliament that the “best weapon” for fighting the Islamic State is diplomacy and finding a “political solution” — a message that appears to run counter to the Conservative government’s emphasis on military action.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced earlier this week that the government would extend its military mission against ISIL to the end of March 2016, and authorize Canadian air strikes in Syria as well as Iraq. He said the objective was to “degrade” ISIL so it can no longer launch attacks, either in the region or abroad.

But a memo provided to opposition MPs by the Department of Foreign Affairs during a closed-door briefing Wednesday says “the best weapon against ISIL is good governance and inclusiveness.” The memo adds that a “political solution is critical to degrading ISIL and stabilizing the Iraqi state.”

“Military operations are a key component in defeating ISIL, but ultimately only political reconciliation and government inclusiveness will determine Iraq’s stability and Iraq’s future,” says the memo, which was obtained by the Citizen.

“Further, a lasting resolution to the crisis requires a supportive regional environment, where Iraq’s neighbours support these goals of reconciliation and inclusiveness.”

The briefing was organized by the government, and included presentations by Mark Gwozdecky, director general of Foreign Affairs’ Middle East bureau, and Maj.-Gen. Michael Hood, whose unit provides strategic direction for the military.

The memo reflects concerns raised by analysts and regional experts, who say ISIL has been able to draw strength from disenfranchised Sunni Muslims. It also reflects different countries in the region, such as Iran, vying to come out ahead when the dust settles.

For example, it notes the Iraqi government has been relying on Iranian-backed Shiite militias in its fight against ISIL, and worries what will happen if those militias are able to penetrate deep into ISIL territory, which is predominantly occupied by Sunni Muslims.

The Foreign Affairs memo says Canada has developed “a comprehensive program” to help Iraq, but offers few details. Canada has given $102 million to Iraq since January 2014, mostly in emergency aid such as food and shelter, the memo says. It has also provided $800 million since 2011 for the crisis in Syria.

The memo, which goes on to describe the military mission as “one of the key elements of our strategy,” does note some successes. For example, it says the Iraqi government has adopted and started to act on a four-year plan to strengthen the economy, tackle corruption and be more inclusive.

Yet the memo doesn’t provide any specific explanation for what Canada is doing to address those and other issues such as ethnic and cultural divisions.

Government ministers have talked about the need for more than just military action in the region, including humanitarian aid and diplomacy. But the emphasis has largely been on the need to resist ISIL with force, while there has been little to no discussion of reconciliation.

In opening debate on expanding the war into Syria on Thursday, Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson told the House of Commons that Canada “is pursuing a multi-faceted approach in the face of this crisis.”

Nicholson said Canada has “heightened its engagement with regional leaders,” noting he recently met with allies from the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Iraq, as well as officials from the Kurdish regional government, “and we’ll continue to work closely with them.”

“But the fact remains that in responding to this threat, Canada stands at a crossroads of history,” Nicholson added. “We can either stand on the sidelines, or take real and measured actions.”

In his own speech, Defence Minister Jason Kenney described ISIL as “the enemy,” and said ISIL has “explicitly declared war on Canada, has called on its supporters to kill Canadians wherever they find them.”

University of Waterloo Middle East expert Bessma Momani said the memo’s focus on political reconciliation speaks to the very real ethnic and political divisions that have contributed to conflict in the region for more than a decade, and which supported ISIL’s rise to power.

Momani said the Conservative government has been emphasizing “hard tools” when it comes to fighting ISIL while giving short shrift to the non-military actions that will be needed to bring lasting peace to the region.

“Does every Sunni family that pledges allegiance to ISIL to save their daughters from rape count as an ISIL member?” she asked. “And as horrible as ISIL is to our eyes, the Assad regime and Shia-backed militias are just as bad, if not worse.

“I have no problem with bombing the hell out of ISIL, but what comes after? The Harper government likes moral clarity, but in this situation, that doesn’t exist. And short-term liberation of ISIL territory is actually a long-term problem.”

Liberal defence critic Joyce Murray said she believed Canadian diplomats were doing what they could to address the issues raised in the memo, but suggested the government wasn’t highlighting the work because it didn’t fit with the Conservatives’ “fear-based” narrative about the war.

NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar said the Conservative government’s approach to date suggests it “fails to understand the complexity of the problem.”

“The military strategy they’ve put forward is not sufficient when it comes to an overall plan in the region,” he said. “While they say what has to happen, there’s no evidence that there’s a plan.”

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/politics/best-weapon-against-isil-is-political-solution-foreign-affairs-says

I can think of two people who likely won't be invited back.

The Conservatives didn't have to invite the other parties, to a confidential meeting, but did.

There is a certain amount of trust that is expected, even if unspoken.

The NDP and Liberals have shown they can't be trusted to help protect Canadians, or our deployed service people.

Their only goal is points in the polls and smearing the Conservatives.
 

Inspir

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And they want to be involved with more oversight of CSIS/CSEC?  ::)
 

Sythen

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Occam said:
Sorry, I tried, but I was unable to muster any GAFF after reading that far.

I also like to attack the messenger instead of the message.
 

brihard

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Sythen said:
I also like to attack the messenger instead of the message.

I'd still like to see other sources on this before I form an opinion on it. Levant's credibility is justifiably shot. Not many 'journalists' end up on the wrong and losing side of a defamation lawsuit for making stuff up. When a judge rules someone to have a 'reckless disregard for truth', and when their political leanings are well known and decidedly oppositional to the politicians being written about, I'm going to err on the side of skepticism. That's just me though.

So where's the beef? What's the word from other sources on these allegations?
 

FSTO

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Brihard said:
I'd still like to see other sources on this before I form an opinion on it. Levant's credibility is justifiably shot. Not many 'journalists' end up on the wrong and losing side of a defamation lawsuit for making stuff up. When a judge rules someone to have a 'reckless disregard for truth', and when their political leanings are well known and decidedly oppositional to the politicians being written about, I'm going to err on the side of skepticism. That's just me though.

So where's the beef? What's the word from other sources on these allegations?

John Ivison of the National Post mentioned it.
http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/03/27/john-ivison-leaks-opposition-antics-c51/

"Just this week, we have seen the opposition parties leak the details of a closed-door briefing on Iraq given to MPs by Mark Gwozdecky, director of the Middle East bureau at the Department of Foreign Affairs. The briefing note, which suggested “the best weapon against [the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham] is good governance and inclusiveness,” was used as a stick to beat the Harper government’s strategy of using only “hard tools.”

Earlier in the week, details of the Conservative motion on extending the mission in Iraq, which had been provided to the opposition in advance, were leaked, with the government blaming the opposition.

The leaks have only added to the Harper government’s genuine determination to keep the opposition parties, and the NDP in particular, far away from any decision-making role in the security of the country."
 

dapaterson

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And how many articles cite "unnamed government sources"?

Everybody leaks, and everybody claims to be shocked, SHOCKED to discover that it's happening.
 

Fishbone Jones

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Brihard said:
I'd still like to see other sources on this before I form an opinion on it. Levant's credibility is justifiably shot. Not many 'journalists' end up on the wrong and losing side of a defamation lawsuit for making stuff up. When a judge rules someone to have a 'reckless disregard for truth', and when their political leanings are well known and decidedly oppositional to the politicians being written about, I'm going to err on the side of skepticism. That's just me though.

So where's the beef? What's the word from other sources on these allegations?

How about the Ottawa Citizen article cited in the same post?
 

Occam

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recceguy said:
How about the Ottawa Citizen article cited in the same post?

After searching, the only reference I can find to "Ottawa Citizen classified briefing notes" leads to Ezra Levant's website(s).
 

Ostrozac

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dapaterson said:
And how many articles cite "unnamed government sources"?

Everybody leaks, and everybody claims to be shocked, SHOCKED to discover that it's happening.

From Yes, Minister:

Bernard: That's another of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I give confidential press briefings; you leak; he's being charged under section 2A of the Official Secrets Act.
 

The Bread Guy

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Ostrozac said:
From Yes, Minister:

Bernard: That's another of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I give confidential press briefings; you leak; he's being charged under section 2A of the Official Secrets Act.
:nod:

Brihard said:
I'd still like to see other sources on this before I form an opinion on it.
My personal beef:  is ANYONE who's "obtained" the briefing note sharing the note with the readers/viewers/listeners?  Or do the media think we can't understand these documents, so THEY know what's best from them?
 

George Wallace

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Occam said:
After searching, the only reference I can find to "Ottawa Citizen classified briefing notes" leads to Ezra Levant's website(s).

Other than Ezra Levant, do you think any of the other news agencies will admit to posting "Leaked Confidential Documents" or the information held within?  They will creatively editorialize what was leaked to circumvent the obvious.
 

Occam

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George Wallace said:
Other than Ezra Levant, do you think any of the other news agencies will admit to posting "Leaked Confidential Documents" or the information held within?  They will creatively editorialize what was leaked to circumvent the obvious.

Yes, I understand that - but I don't even see any articles on the Ottawa Citizen site that refer to being in possession of leaked classified documents.
 

George Wallace

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Occam said:
Yes, I understand that - but I don't even see any articles on the Ottawa Citizen site that refer to being in possession of leaked classified documents.

???
George Wallace said:
Other than Ezra Levant, do you think any of the other news agencies will admit to posting "Leaked Confidential Documents" or the information held within?  They will creatively editorialize what was leaked to circumvent the obvious.

If they are not likely to admit to posting "leaked confidential documents", why would they admit to being in possession of such documents?

They have so far skirted around the issue in their writing/releases, hiding/omitting/disguising the fact that two members of Opposition Parties divulged sensitive information to them.  Plausible deniability?    :dunno:
 

Halifax Tar

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Anything written by or with Ezra Levant's name anywhere near it is suspect to me and probably just right wing trite, of little value.
 

Occam

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George Wallace said:
???
If they are not likely to admit to posting "leaked confidential documents", why would they admit to being in possession of such documents?

They have so far skirted around the issue in their writing/releases, hiding/omitting/disguising the fact that two members of Opposition Parties divulged sensitive information to them.  Plausible deniability?    :dunno:

So we're back full circle to Ezra Levant making an unverifiable claim.  There doesn't appear to be any evidence supporting his claim of leaked classified documents, either the Ottawa Citizen posting excerpts or admitting they have them, for that matter.
 

Brad Sallows

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http://ottawacitizen.com/news/politics/best-weapon-against-isil-is-political-solution-foreign-affairs-says

The article doesn't mention "classified".

Everyone is welcome to assume for his own satisfaction whether a memo presented at a closed-door meeting and "obtained" by the media without attribution was intended to be publicly distributed or not.  Your decision may be influenced by your understanding of whether everything not classified is automatically a good go for promulgation.  Ezra Levant's involvement is irrelevant.
 

McG

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The article is three days old, and I have seen no statement from the government objecting to classified information being released.  If there were validity to the claim, I would have expected several headlines of PM and cabinet ministers publicly decrying the leak. 

According to what is in the media, the memo's thesis is that the Middle East crisis requires a solution with military and political components.  This is not new thinking from which Canadians should be shielded; it is practically dogma.
 

Occam

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Brad Sallows said:
http://ottawacitizen.com/news/politics/best-weapon-against-isil-is-political-solution-foreign-affairs-says

The article doesn't mention "classified".

Everyone is welcome to assume for his own satisfaction whether a memo presented at a closed-door meeting and "obtained" by the media without attribution was intended to be publicly distributed or not.  Your decision may be influenced by your understanding of whether everything not classified is automatically a good go for promulgation.  Ezra Levant's involvement is irrelevant.

Thanks for the link - using the various search terms I tried, it's obvious why I wasn't able to find it myself.

As MCG pointed out, nobody else (government included) seems to be making much of this except for Ezra Levant.  It's for precisely that reason that it's entirely relevant that he's the source of a story alleging that classified info was divulged to person(s) not cleared or authorized to receive it.  There are certain journalists (and I'll use that term loosely) whose works need to be taken with a healthy dose of salt because of their blatant political spin - he's but one of them. 
 
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