Lorne Waldman seems to me to be particularly well situated to comment on the recent misadventures of CSIS. As the lead counsel for Maher Arar at the O'Connor Inquiry he was involved in an exhaustive review of Canada's intelligence and law enforcement agencies. And as counsel for Hassan Almrei, one of the five men who have been the subjects of the infamous Security Certificates, Waldman has had every reason to stay up to date. In an op-ed in today's Toronto Star he reviews the recent troubled history of CSIS and raises an important point:
...what is of even greater concern here is the absolute silence of the political overseers. Public Security Minister Peter Van Loan has been invisible and mute. So has the minister of justice.
And now that I think about it, Waldman is absolutely correct. As he points out, in just the last few weeks we've seen the courts find that CSIS was complicit in the detention of Abousfian Abdelrazik in Sudan and that the agency supplied tainted testimony in two Security Certificate cases. And the government appears to be too busy handing out novelty cheques to even acknowledge that there might be a problem here.
Is it because Van Loan and Nicholson are dodging the questions? Or is it because no one is asking them?