Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A thankless job for spy chiefs

The Canadian experience of engaging China should serve as a warning to intelligence officers in Taiwan: The closer you get to China, the less room to maneuver will your political masters give you

Canadian Security Intelligence Service director Richard Fadden could very soon find himself out of a job, after a parliamentary committee last week said he was responsible for fostering “a climate of suspicion.”

Fadden’s troubles began when he alleged during an interview in June last year that federal and municipal politics were the object of foreign interference and that Chinese embassy and consulate officials had helped fund protests against the Canadian government.

No sooner had the words left his mouth than Chinese officials and the parliamentary opposition accused Fadden of lying. Not only had Fadden created suspicion, the committee concluded, he had also “plant[ed] doubt about the integrity” of elected officials and Chinese-Canadians.

If opposition lawmakers have their way, Fadden will be fired for doing his job, which is to alert government officials and the public about threats to national security.

My editorial, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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