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Who Infiltrates the Infiltrators?

Perhaps the 'Nades were spending so much time and energy on plans to infiltrate their neighbors to the south, they neglected to properly close the door of their own henhouse. In any case, there is a major scandal underway in the Great White North right now, thanks to a new report from the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP). To translate that into American terms, that is the Canadian equivalent of a Joint Committee on Intelligence, if Congress HAD a Joint Committee on Intelligence (it does not; it has the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence). What the NSICOP report reveals is that some Canadian MPs have been working (or, if you prefer, collaborating) with agents working for the governments of India and China. Allegedly, those MPs have traded inside information gained from their official position in exchange for financial and other support for their electoral campaigns, along with (possibly) outright cash payments.

We recognize that paragraph is rather unspecific when it comes to exactly what happened and who was involved. That is because the report itself is unspecific. In particular, while noting that China and India were the foreign actors, it does not "name names" when it comes to their Canadian accomplices. It's also very unspecific on exactly what information was shared and exactly when it was shared.

At the moment, the matter is in the hands of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). If the RCMP decides to file charges, then the names of the allegedly guilty parties will become publicly known. However, there is no guarantee that the RCMP will pursue that course of action. Canadian law is not particularly well set up to charge, or prosecute, this particular constellation of crimes. And, as readers of this site know well, prosecutors around the globe generally don't pursue criminal charges unless the case is a slam dunk.

If there are no charges, then it is possible that the names of the allegedly guilty parties will never be publicly known. For security reasons, the Canadian government is not eager to share that information, since that would effectively be providing a list to foreign adversaries of the very best targets in Parliament for any shenanigans they might want to undertake. On the other hand, revealing the chicanery would help to get these folks voted out of office, so... maybe the names will be released. It's a tricky enough question that the various party leaders in the Canadian Parliament are wrestling with an offer to be granted the proper security clearance and to be advised of the names. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Party co-leader Elizabeth May, for example, have said, "Yes, please." On the other hand, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is thus far not interested, saying he does not want to be constrained in his public remarks on the matter. It may also be that he doesn't want to know if some of his members have been implicated.

Bringing this back to American politics, all joking aside, the U.S. has been dealing with these sorts of problems for generations, which is why the U.S. has pretty clear laws on the books, and why it's possible to prosecute someone like Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). American laws and institutions are hardly perfect here, which is why Donald Trump has not come close to paying, and will presumably never pay, a price for his dalliances with Russia and Ukraine. But still, from ABSCAM to Michael Flynn, it's much harder for an American to get away with acting as an unregistered foreign agent. Vigilance is one of the prices of being a superpower.

Canada is not a superpower, but now, even they are being targeted. And if that is the case, then it is clear that, with apologies to Tip O'Neill, all elections are now international. If China and India are mucking around in Canada's elections, then we find it hard to believe they didn't try to muck around in the recent Mexican elections. And they'll probably take a shot when Britons head to the polls on July 4, and when the French head to the polls on June 30/July 7. And certainly, we do not imagine that China and India are the only dirty tricksters in the world. There's Russia, of course, and we would be stunned if the CIA, along with other U.S. agencies, is not tinkering around in at least a few nations' elections. Probably more than a few. Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, North Korea and the U.K. are also obvious candidates for a bit of monkeying around. That's life in the 21st century, it would seem. (Z)

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