Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence
Issue 16 - Evidence
OTTAWA, Monday, June 3, 2002
The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence met this day at 6:00 p.m. to examine and report
on the need for a national security policy for Canada.
Senator Colin Kenny (Chairman) in the Chair.
The Chairman: Our committee's mandate is to examine subjects of security and defence. Recently, we concluded a
seven-month study of the major issues facing Canada, and we produced a report entitled, ``Canadian Security and
Military Preparedness.'' During our study we met for over 170 hours with 204 persons from coast to coast and in
As the committee's work proceeded, it became increasingly evident that executive direction and coordination of
activities is required when dealing with national incidents, whether natural, such as ice storms, floods, or earthquakes;
accidental, such as toxic derailments; or premeditated acts of terror, such as those of September 11. However, we found
that there is no national security policy that helps agencies at all levels of government to coordinate their efforts
effectively. Thus, the Senate asked our committee to examine the need for a national security policy.
Our first witness this evening is Mr. Martin Rudner from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at
Carleton University. Professor Rudner has authored more than 50 books and scholarly articles dealing with Southeast
Asia, development studies, international affairs, and security and intelligence. One of his recent articles was entitled,
``Canada's Communications Security Establishment from Cold War to Globalization,'' published in Intelligence and
National Security (2001). Mr. Rudner has organized and contributed to numerous conferences in the field of security
and intelligence during the 2002 conference on Terrorism, Law and Democracy sponsored by the Canadian Institute
for the Administration of Justice.
We have asked Mr. Rudner to address the need for a national security policy, and the elements of one.
Mr. Rudner, the floor is yours.
Dr. Martin Rudner, Director, Centre for Security and Defence Studies, Norman Paterson School of International
Affairs, Carleton University: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for the honour and privilege of appearing before
this committee, which is unique in the Parliament of Canada as it has a special mandate to address issues of national
security and defence.
I will focus my remarks on two of the terms of reference before this committee, the term of reference (b), which is to
examine the working relationships between the various agencies involved in intelligence, and term of reference (c),
which is to examine the mechanisms to review the performance and activities of the various agencies involved in
I will address four parameters, which I believe should be part of the committee's considerations of intelligence in the
context of its mandate to look at national security and defence. The four parameters will be: Intelligence coordination,
intelligence fusion, international arrangements for the sharing of intelligence; and public confidence building with
respect to intelligence.
Regarding the parameter of coordination, one of the responses of Canada to the attacks of September 11 has been a
substantial expansion of our intelligence capabilities. This has taken three forms. First is the expanded budget and
capacity of the existing intelligence-collecting agencies, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, CSIS, and the
Communications Security Establishment. Second is an expansion of other departments into the realm of intelligence.
The Department of Transport, Canadian Revenue and Customs Agency, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada
have all expanded their units dealing with intelligence collection, analysis and assessment. Third, Canada has
established new, dedicated intelligence agencies. FINTRAC, the financial tracking agency, monitors financial
transactions, and OCIPEP, the Office for Criminal Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness, are two
One of the concerns is that with the expansion of capabilities and the creation of new entities, there is an increasing
problem of intelligence coordination. Who coordinates the activities of vastly expanded instrumentalities?
Up until now, the coordination responsibility has been vested in the Privy Council Office, PCO, under the
coordinator for intelligence. However, PCO possesses no mechanisms of its own to ensure coordination other than
moral suasion. One can meet, consult and cajole, but there are no instruments, either financial or policy based, which
can, in fact, be used by the PCO and the coordinator to ensure the types of collaboration, interaction and sharing that
are essential in the struggle against terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and in the efforts of the
intelligence community, to constrain transnational criminal activity, its three major agenda items for the new threats
We have seen and experienced instances, both in Canada and the United States, where, absent coordination,
intelligence falls between the slats. Intelligence gathered by one agency was not remitted to others for whom this
information was pertinent. Efforts of agencies sometimes overlap in areas deemed to be urgent at the moment, while at
other times there are failures to collect intelligence in areas that arise suddenly and shock us, as in the attacks in the
United States on September 11. It is imperative that one of the concerns of the committee should be to address the issue
I have no simple solution, and I do not wish to imply that the PCO is in any way remiss in fulfilling its tasks.
However, it does not have the mechanisms to ensure a coordination of a vastly expanded intelligence capability at a
time of threat and crisis. I would urge the committee to consider the possibility of having an intelligence policy review,
similar to the kinds of policy review which take place in the areas of foreign affairs and international trade and national
defence, but specifically addressing the requirements of the intelligence community, which is a significant instrument of
our national security and our foreign policy.
We have never had such a review, and I believe the time is appropriate and the need is urgent. One focal point of
such a review should be on ensuring the coordination capabilities of the Government of Canada over its expanded
efforts in intelligence.
The second parameter is fusion. During the Cold War — and I will just go through this briefly as there is
documentation before the committee which examines this in greater detail — the major function of intelligence in
Canada and our allies was collection of communications intelligence or signals intelligence, so called SIGINT with
respect to Soviet and Warsaw Pact diplomatic and military intentions and capabilities. Canada, and our allies, allowed
our human intelligence to wane by way of comparison. In the struggle against international terrorism, it is clear to us
that while SIGNET may still be of high value, it is no longer sufficient, and there is a requirement for an enhanced
human intelligence capability to penetrate terrorist organizations and networks in order to collect crucial intelligence
on the threats posed.
Once again, I have no simple answer on how to achieve this fusion between technical and human means of
intelligence collection, but an intelligence policy review would be the mechanism through which Canada can best
explore the options for fusion in order to meet our needs for intelligence with the resources and capabilities at our
A third parameter is that of international arrangements. It is not a secret that Canada is a trader in intelligence. We
collect relatively little intelligence and we rely upon our allies for the bulk of intelligence resources available to the
Government of Canada. This is an arrangement that worked well in the Cold War. It worked well under a secret, long-
standing treaty, the terms of which have never been published. .
Yet, since the end of the Cold War, we have embarked on a much expanded network of international intelligence
liaison and sharing arrangements, bilateral and plurilateral, involving some 140 countries. Some are actually dormant.
Since September 11 we have become part of a coalition engaged in intelligence-sharing with some countries which, up
until now, would probably not have been partners in such arrangements, but which seem to have a comparative
advantage in accessing the kinds of terrorist groups which we are currently targeting. Suddenly we are entering into
intelligence partnerships with countries and governments of a very different political and ideological complexion, and
quite different value systems than our own.
While international intelligence sharing is indeed important, it must be based on a principled policy framework. I
would like to see a Canadian intelligence policy review that would lay down policy guidelines for the sharing of
intelligence, not only with our closest allies of over 50 years, but also with governments with whom we now find
ourselves in an urgent coalition and whose political cultures can differ from our own.
The fourth parameter I should like to focus attention on is the need for public confidence building. Unlike the
United Kingdom and the United States, we do not have an intelligence culture among our public. Most Canadians are
not knowledgeable about intelligence, and many, in fact, are suspicious of intelligence. Be that as it may, it is important
to build up public confidence at a time when new and strengthened legislation has been adopted to equip our
intelligence services and law enforcement agencies with more intrusive powers to obtain the intelligence they deem
necessary for national security and public safety.
This can be done in three ways.
First, intelligence oversight should be enhanced. As it now stands, there is executive oversight of the intelligence
services through the Security Intelligence Review Committee, the Inspector General of CSIS, and the Commissioner of
the CSE, but these are forms of oversight which report to the government executive, to the Prime Minister and to
cabinet. Parliamentary oversight has been weaker and, some argue, deficient, and needs to be strengthened in order to
build up the public confidence of Canadians in our intelligence effort.
Parliamentary oversight of intelligence does not come easily within the Westminster model, on which the Parliament
of Canada is based. However, some of our Commonwealth allies have achieved more effective oversight arrangements
than we have. The British Parliament, for example, has instituted a special type of committee of parliamentarians from
the House of Lords and House of Commons in an innovative approach to the exercise of oversight authority. The
American congressional system has a way of its own.
An intelligence policy review would explore the best practices of our allies and other democratic and parliamentary
countries to find an appropriate modality for parliamentary oversight that would help build enhanced Canadian public
confidence in our intelligence services, while understandably maintaining the level of secrecy necessary for intelligence
purposes in the intelligence domain.
A second instrument of public confidence building to which I would like to call attention is a national organization
called the Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies, CASIS, of which I am currently president.
CASIS is a unique organization that brings together academics, officials and practitioners in the security and
intelligence community, media representatives, parliamentarians and staffers, and others sharing an interest in
CASIS serves to help build a public knowledge base about intelligence and security matters among Canadians and
internationally, through its annual conferences and specialized seminars with distinguished speakers. Despite its
impressive functions and achievements, CASIS has a very modest organizational structure and a minimalist, part-time
secretariat. It would be appropriate for an intelligence policy review to examine the status and role of this organization
as a means of enhancing public knowledge of and confidence in the security and intelligence community.
Third, I should like to call attention to the need for an enhancement of Canada's academic capabilities in the areas
of intelligence studies. We have a small number of scholars across Canada who teach a relatively small number of
courses on intelligence at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Intelligence is the ``missing dimension of international
affairs,'' to use a phrase coined by Professor Christopher Andrew of the University of Cambridge. It is indeed the
missing dimension of Canadian academic programs in Canadian and international history, foreign policy studies, and
It is important to build up the capacity of Canadian universities to undertake teaching and research in intelligence
studies. Canadians should be teaching and learning, in history, political science and international relations, about the
Canadian experience in the field of intelligence and about the contemporary role of intelligence in statecraft and
international affairs. An intelligence policy review could consider whether existing government instruments used to
support security and defence studies, such as the Security and Defence Forum of the Department of National Defence,
could serve as a model for supporting the development of Canada's academic capabilities also in intelligence studies.
I welcome questions and observations from members of this committee.
Senator Day: You have some interesting proposals for us. I am sure that following this meeting we will have an
opportunity to discuss those proposals.
I understand how you put the Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies into context. What are
you proposing that association should do in terms of expansion of its role?
Mr. Rudner: As it now stands, this organization has an annual meeting. Every two years, the meeting is held in a
different location. Last year, for the first time, it was held in Halifax. It attracted approximately 100 people from the
government and from the academic community, including students from across Atlantic Canada. It took place three
weeks after September 11. This year we will meet in Ottawa. We are planning a program of some 20 panels, including
some of the most distinguished speakers from across Canada and the world, and we expect an attendance of about 350.
Yet an organization that implements programs of this scale and this significance requires more than a casual
administrative structure consisting of eight or nine academics, government officials and retired practitioners, and a
part-time coordinator. It must have a capacity to plan one or two years ahead in order to plan and design conferences
and seminars of significance to the informed public and to the security and intelligence community. It also requires
stable and predictable funding. In Halifax, CASIS did remarkably well on a budget of about $5,000.
If Canada is going to have a capacity to build up a knowledge base through an organization like this that achieves
world level significance, it is appropriate that an intelligence policy review explore and identify a suitable channel for
assisting with forward funding so that CASIS can develop an enhanced capacity to meet Canada's requirements for
knowledge building and public confidence building.
Senator Day: The reason you mentioned the group is because you said it was important to build public confidence in
intelligence in our country. Are you suggesting that financial assistance should come from the government? Would that
not be counterproductive to your long-term objective of building confidence?
Mr. Rudner: I would prefer it to come from a parliamentary channel. This is unusual.
Senator Day: Could you elaborate on that?
Mr. Rudner: There are several ways to fund an organization of this kind. One way would be for government
departments to fund it directly. Currently, that is what happens because we get people attending from the security and
intelligence community. However, government departments cannot make a financial commitment for organizational
capacity building or for programming beyond the current year. CASIS requires support for both core funding and
forward program development.
A second possibility would be funding from the research councils. Currently, the research councils in Canada will
not fund topics like security and intelligence. They have never funded them. That may change in the future, but that
remains to be seen.
A third option would be to treat CASIS as a special function taken on by Parliament, akin to some of the other
intelligence functions that emanate from Parliament. For instance, the Security Intelligence Review Committee reports
to Parliament through the Solicitor General of Canada. The Auditor General of Canada, whose office has audited the
security and intelligence community, also reports to the Parliament of Canada.
I urge the Parliament of Canada to see intelligence as a topic not just of governmental interest, but of parliamentary
and public interest for all Canadians, and to consider supporting CASIS through its own mechanisms in order to
promote the objective of building up Canada's knowledge base on intelligence and security in the national interest.
It requires innovation and creativity. Let me give you an example of what has been done by the British Parliament.
When the U.K. government was looking for a way to provide intelligence oversight, it would not give such
responsibilities to an existing House committee for a variety of reasons to do with the secrecy element.
Therefore, they created a committee of parliamentarians, reporting neither to the House of Lords nor to the House
of Commons but to Parliament in a broader sense.
A unique mechanism was created to meet a unique purpose. What I suggest is that we should be thinking
innovatively and creatively to find new ways of achieving parliamentary oversight and public knowledge building,
precisely because intelligence is a very distinctive policy domain in that it must be secret in certain operational aspects
but also transparent in its policy essence. The intelligence function must be transparent and open so as to build public
confidence, to provide proper accountability, to provide a democratic framework for these functions that are
important for national security and public safety, although some elements must be secretive.
We must be creative in bringing the two elements of transparency and secrecy together, and CASIS is an important
instrument in that regard. I am hopeful that this committee can address this public requirement creatively and
Senator Cordy: I do not quite understand the parliamentary oversight concept. I do not get a clear picture in my
mind when you explain it. You talk about public confidence-building. When you talk about parliamentary oversight,
do you envisage that it would be the responsibility of a committee? You said that it would not be a committee of the
Senate or House of Commons. Would this be a joint committee, and to whom would it report?
Mr. Rudner: Let us look at the British and Canadian experience in this regard. Currently, in the House of
Commons, oversight of the Canadian intelligence community is divided into several House committees, according to
the department that is accountable to the particular organization. For example, Communications Security
Establishment is subject to oversight by the Standing Committees on National Defence and Foreign Affairs. CSIS
is accountable to the Standing Committee on Justice. In effect, there is no one committee of the House of Commons or
of the Parliament of Canada that provides an overall oversight for the security and intelligence function as a whole. It
goes by default in Canada.
The Chairman: I would invite you to look at our terms of reference.
Senator Cordy: Yes.
Mr. Rudner: That I shall do.
Senator Cordy: In the case of the Senate, it seems it would be a fit with our committee, which is a national security
and defence committee.
Mr. Rudner: Yes.
Senator Cordy: That is what you would see, that we would be the overseers for?
Mr. Rudner: You would be the overseers of the security and intelligence function for the Parliament of Canada.
Senator Cordy: Would we report to the Senate or to the House of Commons and the Senate? The House of
Commons may be a little upset if we start reporting to them.
Mr. Rudner: Your committee must report to the Senate of Canada, obviously. The British model is somewhat
different. Britain decided to set up what they called a committee of parliamentarians on intelligence and security. It
consisted of members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
Senator Cordy: Was it a joint committee?
Mr. Rudner: It was not called a joint committee because it was not directly accountable to either House. It reported
first to cabinet, which received the details of its reports, and then an edited version was tabled in the House of Lords
and House of Commons. In that sense, they were privy to clandestine or secret information.
Senator Cordy: If it is secret information, how would it filter down to the public in order to instill public confidence?
Mr. Rudner: The secret information does not filter down to the public, but the parliamentarians who get it have
public confidence. In effect, we have a two-tier system of accountability and, therefore, of confidence-building. People
have confidence in the committee of parliamentarians because they have a distinguished membership and enjoy
privileged powers of oversight, even though in reports that are published for the House of Lords and House of
Commons the classified information is asterisked out. One sees the asterisks on those elements of information that
must remain secret.
It is an interesting innovation in oversight because they do have access to clandestine information from the British
intelligence services, in a way in which, in Canada up until now, our intelligence services have not been willing to share
with parliamentary committees of oversight.
Senator Meighen: We have asked this question before. To follow on from Senator Cordy's line, would I be correct in
presuming that in the British model the parliamentarians have top secret clearance?
Mr. Rudner: They were appointed by the Prime Minister. I could not tell you whether they have had security
clearance in the formal sense, but they would certainly have the confidence of the Prime Minister in the ability to
maintain discretion in the performance of their function.
Senator Meighen: We are told here that there is a limit. We could get security clearance and receive information that
we would not otherwise be privy to, and then not be able to use it. The general view, from what we have heard, is that
we are better off not to have clearance and be able to use and convey the information that we receive. In many
instances, it is just names of people, and perhaps it does not matter to know it is Mr. Smith rather than Mr. X.
Mr. Rudner: There are also budgetary matters and other resource questions that are classified. However, your point
is well taken. To be honest, I am not familiar with the procedure through which the British parliamentarians receive
appointments to the committee, whether it is the confidence of the Prime Minister or whether it is a formal security
clearance. I do know that it is a committee of parliamentarians that does get access to secret information, which
provides that information to the cabinet as one level of oversight. Therefore, the cabinet has a parliamentary channel
to ensure compliance and conformity of the intelligence services to law and public policy; and then there is an editing
process with respect to public reporting. The editing process is semi-transparent in the sense that the information that
is edited out is asterisked. One sees that something is missing, though one does not know precisely what it is. There is a
degree of security and transparency, which is innovative. Perhaps it behoves a Canadian intelligence policy review to
examine that British experience in detail and its appropriateness for Canada.
Senator Day: You can see, Professor Rudner, all of the inquisitive minds on this committee. That is why it is such a
sought-after and coveted position to be on this committee. We are reviewing very interesting subject matter.
I have one other area of questioning that I would like to ask you about, the first question flowing from your remarks
and from other information we gathered earlier. How many different government organizations and departments or
subdepartments would you estimate are independently gathering intelligence and information at the present time?
Mr. Rudner: We have the two major collection agencies, CSIS and CSE. I also understand that the Department of
Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Department of Transport have their own intelligence capabilities
Citizen and Immigration Canada has an intelligence capability. National Defence has a military intelligence capability.
CCRA has intelligence capability. FINTRAC, which reports to the Department of Finance, has an intelligence
capability. The RCMP has an intelligence capability.
Senator Day: What about the Department of Agriculture?
Mr. Rudner: I am not aware that the Department of Agriculture or Industry Canada have, explicitly, an intelligence
Senator Day: We understand that they do, as do many other departments. The Chairman has indicated that also
applies to the Department of Environment. The problem, as you point out, is that they are gathering that information
for their own purposes. However, if that information were properly coordinated and exchanged, it could be valuable.
The information is gathered for different purposes, and with different philosophies in terms of sharing. We have been
following the issue with respect to September 11 and the information that the FBI may or may not have had prior to it,
and why a police organization may or may not have the psychological predisposition to share information with other
What is your assessment in Canada, at this time, as to whether or not an organization like the RCMP would be
predisposed to sharing information beforehand rather than keeping it in order to allow for prosecution?
Mr. Rudner: I would be reluctant to speak on behalf of the RCMP, but I can understand why there is a major
important difference between intelligence collections and the gathering of evidence for legal proceedings. That
difference is not only important important in terms of law enforcement, but it is vital in terms of the intelligence
An intelligence agency has to go on a range of clues and cues. It has to have its ears to the ground and be able to
work with people whose background and whose present may not be untainted. One knows that sometimes one has to
work with people whose hands may be unclean in order to obtain information about nasty things. Intelligence requires
that ethos of gathering information because the issues involved touch on the security of our nation. Law enforcement
agencies must work on the principle of prosecution, and the evidence has to be untainted for prosecution. For these
reasons, there is a difference between the two functions. A police force or a law enforcement agency would not want to
taint its evidence because that would undermine its ability to seek prosecution and, ultimately, conviction.
A different thing worries me in terms of sharing. An organization such as Agriculture Canada, for example, being
responsible for the well-being of our agricultural economy and, particularly, animal husbandry, will have a mandate to
gather any information that might taint Canada's ability to trade in agriculture products and livestock. One can
imagine a situation of bioterrorism where a group that is a threat to Canada chooses to infect our livestock with a
disease whose mere suspicion in Canada could terminate our capacity to trade with the United States and any other
country. That would be catastrophic for the Canadian economy. As a police matter, one could not take steps until one
had evidence to bring to court. Agriculture Canada may pursue seeking such information through more or less open
type sources. An intelligence service would approach this threat quite differently, seeking out the information from any
source anywhere in the world through whatever means.
From the Canadian point of view and the national security perspective, it would be folly for us not to ensure that
our intelligence capability is fully developed and able to operate against any such threat and be willing to share
information among all the relevant services. Yet we understand that there are operational reasons why law
enforcement and intelligence may be reluctant to share information because of the problems of legal evidence. We do
not want to compromise our constitutional and legal systems, which ensures justice. On the other hand, we cannot
allow ourselves not to be responsive to the real threats that require our intelligence services to perform their function as
Senator Day: Just to finish off my question, are you suggesting, from a coordination point of view of intelligence
gathering, that any organization involved in policing cannot conveniently coordinate its activity with an intelligence
Mr. Rudner: It may be reluctant to because it does not want to taint its evidence. That is where the coordinator's
function is important. The coordinator is the interlocutory between the law enforcement agencies, the line agencies and
the intelligence agencies. The coordinator can ensure the information does flow as appropriate.
Without that, one depends on each agency to determine whether the particular exchange of information is consistent
with its own particular mission. One can understand where a police agency might say, ``This may violate our mission.
Therefore, we cannot share or borrow evidence that was obtained through means which the law does not recognize.''
Law enforcement agencies would correctly say that. Intelligence agencies have different operating norms in the
collection of intelligence. The coordinator's job is ensuring that the synapses connect.
Senator Day: Do we need a new direction to the RCMP in Canada, similar to the new direction of the FBI, in order
to fight terrorism?
Mr. Rudner: I would not rush to such a judgment. In my view, we need an intelligence policy review that would look
at Canada's legal, policing and intelligence capabilities in detail and consider what has worked best in responding to
Canada's security and intelligence requirements. Are there problems? If there are, where are they? How are they
resolved within the framework of our parliamentary system, our federalism and the values we have in Canada through
our Charter of Rights and Freedoms? We need all of these things, and I am not in a position to rush to judgment as to
what the right trade-offs are.
Senator Forrestall: You talked about the need for some oversight and the difficulties, given the nature of our
political parliamentary structure, and the need for sustaining secrecy while protecting the rights and privileges of
people, ensuring that they receive justice in this changing world of ours. One is tempted to ask if that is more important
in the next 25 years than a viable armed force, because it is apparent that we will not have enough money to do both.
In your judgment, do we need a legislative authority to do the type of review that you are suggesting, or is a
parliamentary committee, such as this particular Senate committee, capable of doing it?
Mr. Rudner: My judgment is that I would like to see this committee initiate the process. If the government and the
House of Commons were to say that it could be a joint enterprise, by all means. However, I would like to see this
committee initiate it.
We are, I believe, about to see the commencement of a review of National Defence. It has been signalled to us as
academics. As well, there is consideration being given to a review of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. We have
not had one since 1993-94. We have never had a review of intelligence in this country, and this committee could be the
initiator of such a review.
Senator Forrestall: There is, of course, no mention of the need for continuing intelligence in the area of illicit drugs
and other importations into our country, including illegal immigration. It is an interesting point of view.
Would we be able to or would we need some extra authority to enter into discussions with the Americans? As I
understand it, the Americans love to hear what we have to say, but they are not interested in discussing it with us. They
accept what goes into their mill, and we get back what they choose to send back, whether or not it is directly related to
our input and the need for feedback from our input. That is a convoluted way of doing things and leads me to ask this
question: Are we sufficiently coordinated in these activities with our U.S. friends and allies, or should more be done in
Mr. Rudner: My understanding is that in the salient issue areas of intelligence, we work in very close collaboration
with the United States, as well as the United Kingdom. My understanding is that we have a very fulsome sharing of
intelligence between the parties.
There is concern, at least among Canadian academics who study intelligence, that the Americans might at one point
come to the conclusion that there is an unequal trade in intelligence information between Canada and the United
States. At one time we were very important for various signals intelligence facilities, which we had in the North, which
provided valuable communications intelligence on the former Soviet Union. That may no longer be required. What we
have now to offer would be secret, but there is great concern that it may not be of a sufficient value in terms of trade.
Incidentally, there is great concern with respect to Britain. As we speak, the European Community is in the process
of developing an integrated European intelligence capability. There is some concern this may draw Britain into a
European intelligence community and away from its transatlantic alliance. Were Britain to lessen its ``transatlanticity''
in intelligence sharing in favour of greater Eurocentricity in intelligence sharing, this would leave Canada exposed.
Yes, there are important international intelligence issues at stake for Canada.
Senator Forrestall: I would like to ask you about training. When I say ``training'' I mean in the sense of analysts. Do
we have sufficient capacity in Canadian universities and other specialized institutions to train to the level that is
required with the growing sophistication in technology? Can we bring the numbers that we do have up to an acceptable
speed in these areas? Is it satisfactory? Is the process good enough for us?
Mr. Rudner: Senator, you ask a challenging question. Let me preface my answer with a comment.
Last week, I was in Falls Church, Virginia, at the Sherman Kent Center for Intelligence Analysis, which is a CIA
university on intelligence analysis. The American intelligence community was meeting on exactly this question.
Some of the questions being asked were: First, how does one refine and develop the capacity for intelligence
analysis? Second, what is the role of colleges and universities in assisting the creation of the skills and talent needed to
fill those functions? I made a presentation on behalf of my centre at Carleton and, indeed, on the role of Canadian
universities in intelligence services.
I will answer the question in this way. From the point of view of the Canadian security and intelligence community,
as I understand their needs for training, first, what they need most is language skills. Up until now the language skills
that are required by the security and intelligence community have been relatively obscure to most Canadians, including
Canadian universities. Second, what is needed is area studies of regions of the world which we have not covered well up
until now. That includes their politics, history and culture. Third, intelligence analysis as methodology is needed.
In Canada, we are not strong on language training. We have underinvested in this area in all our universities over a
period of a generation. We have underinvested and non-invested horrendously in area studies. On intelligence analysis,
we have some capability, but only in certain places.
At Carleton University, we have set up a new Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies. It was
established this past March. We will hold our inaugural conference on June 12. I am happy to invite all members of this
committee to attend. This centre would see itself as one of the mechanisms that academe brings forward to best meet
these types of needs, including enhancement of the training capabilities in universities to address the knowledge
requirements of Canada's security and intelligence community.
Senator Forrestall: You speak about a shortfall in the language area. Do we have skills in dialects?
Mr. Rudner: It depends on which dialects you are talking about. For example, at Carleton University, which I know
best, one floor below where I sit, we teach Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Malay, Indonesian, Hindi, Punjabi, Arabic,
Persian, Hebrew and Turkish. We teach to a high standard. Paradoxically — and this shocks me and it may shock
members of the committee — we are not allowed to teach these languages, by Ontario provincial regulation, to
graduate students in international affairs.
Senator Forrestall: Why?
Mr. Rudner: When you start studying, for example, Thai or Farsi, you must take a first-year course. We are not
allowed to count first-year courses as graduate credits. This makes sense, except for exotic languages that one would
only learn at a graduate level when one were studying, for argument's sake, Farsi, Iran and Iranian history, politics and
foreign policy, and Islam.
On one hand we offer the capability to area studies, yet we deny the language. We are not coordinated either. Once
again my plea for a policy review would be to treat these languages, these area studies, as being of interest and
relevance not just to the provinces and to undergraduate education; these are national resources that ought to be seen
as assets for the development of Canada's capabilities for intelligence and national security.
Senator Forrestall: We have the resources to teach the people. However, we are not applying them as well as we
Mr. Rudner: We cannot apply them as appropriate because of our structure.
Senator Forrestall: That is somewhat of a shock. I must think about that for a while.
In this plethora, if you will, of intelligence-gathering agencies and departments and so on, is it correct, as I
understand it, that some are anxious to enhance and improve their intelligence-gathering capacities but that many are
sceptical about its value and use, certainly when it comes to the division of the resource, the dollars, that is, what you
apply and where? Is there a mixed attitude towards the development of intelligence capacity and capability?
Mr. Rudner: My sense is that all the agencies concerned recognize that intelligence is vital, but there are two
dichotomies, so to speak, to which I think you may be referring.
The first dichotomy is between intelligence services and other components of the Government of Canada managed
by Treasury Board, where the question is: Should we be spending hundreds of millions of dollars to monitor 30 or 40
suspected terrorist groups in Canada? On September 9, that was a very powerful argument — should we be spending
hundreds of millions of dollars to monitor something like 30 to 40 suspected terrorist groups in Canada as against
development of our national health requirements, educational requirements or infrastructure? We all know the list of
things that need doing by the Government of Canada and the provinces. The answer on September 9 would have been
that we could be a bit more modest on the intelligence account. After September 12, that is not said any longer.
Within the intelligence community, the question is this: Should we have a specialized agency responsible for the
collection of foreign intelligence through human intelligence means? In fact, our conference on June 12 will focus on
exploring options in this area.
I should like to comment on one of the answers to that question and express one of my concerns.
There is no question that we could collect foreign intelligence through a specialized agency or by enhancing the
capabilities of an existing service. One should remember that the collection of foreign intelligence does not necessarily
have to always take place abroad. The best example of this is the United States, where a published source, three or four
weeks ago — I believe it was Los Angeles Times — made the point that the main source of intelligence collection by the
CIA on Iran today is not agents operating in Iran — apparently they do not have any in place — or in Western
Europe, where they no longer have them in place, but through the very large Iranian community in Los Angeles, the
largest Iranian diaspora in the world. They have extensive connections, economic, family, et cetera, with Iran and are
loyal to the United States. They apparently share intelligence with the United States intelligence collection authorities.
Apparently that is the main source of American intelligence on Iran.
A policy review on intelligence would creatively examine the best practices of others, which may depart from our
usual notions on what constitutes human and foreign intelligence collection.
Senator LaPierre: I never cease to be amazed at the asinine ways that universities do things. You have confirmed my
faith of the ``asininity,'' if that is a word, of university management and so forth.
I have a question in three areas, and the first has to do with oversight. We have a minister, named yesterday,
responsible for security and intelligence. It was in the shop of Mr. Manley, who has given it up in order to give it to the
President of the Treasury Board. We have an oversight committee in CSIS, which is headed, I understand, by a
Canadian citizen and made up of Canadian citizens who look at what CSIS does so they will not start a war on their
own. We have an oversight of some sort in the Privy Council Office. We have oversight in all the departments that have
intelligence through their minister, and they are responsible for the conduct of the affairs of their ministries. Therefore,
we are ``oversighted'' to death. Yet I gather from what you have told us that that is not enough.
The only way out is to abolish all these other things and bring them together under one head, so that the RCMP will
not have any intelligence except to gather information in order to bring a case to justice. Everybody else would operate
out of a central office in order to be able to have immediate access to those who have to make the decisions in one
place. Is that a possibility or a stupid dream?
Mr. Rudner: It is a possibility and certainly not a stupid dream. Let us look at best practices.
In the late 1940s, when the United States envisaged its intelligence capabilities, it went the path you are suggesting
by creating what is called the Central Intelligence Agency under a Director of Central Intelligence. Looking at that
organization in its historical evolution, we see it is not the one central intelligence agency in the United States. There
are approximately 21 intelligence agencies of the United States government, and the Director of Central Intelligence
has not been the central authority in the coordination and management of the American intelligence function — not at
all. For a variety of reasons — some good, some perhaps not so good — the centralization function does not work like
that in the intelligence domain.
Let me return to something you mentioned because I think we have to clarify this concept of oversight. To my mind,
there are two types of oversight, and they are very distinctive because they respond to different needs in a democracy.
One is executive oversight. That is the concern by the government of the day that here you have instrumentalities with
large budgets and the normal autonomy of a department, but which have a legal mandate to conduct clandestine
affairs, which is very different from anyone else. How do you ensure that these clandestine affairs conform to law and
policy? It is not an easy thing to manage. There are executive oversight institutions in place to ensure that that
compliance takes place.
Let us take CSE as an example. There is a CSE commissioner, who is a judge, whose job it is to go through and
review all the activities of CSE and to issue an annual report, which is public, which ensures that the activities of CSE
have conformed to law and to policy and that our relationships with our allies have never been used to circumvent the
law. That satisfies the executive.
Then there is another type of oversight, and that is parliamentary. One of the interesting things is that the CSE
commissioner has never, to my knowledge, been before a parliamentary committee to answer questions. Only once in
history has the chief of the CSE been before a parliamentary committee.
Senator LaPierre: I will interrupt you. We had people here last year to whom we wanted to ask real questions, but
we were unable to ask them because we were told that the information was classified.
Mr. Rudner: That is what I am saying now. We need a mechanism for the parliamentary oversight precisely to build
public confidence. I can understand the reasons for secrecy, and I do not challenge that there needs to be secrecy on
methods and targets in intelligence. We understand that. However, there is also scope for transparency.
In this, Canada has lagged behind our allies. We lag behind the United States and the United Kingdom, and it may
well be that there are other democratic societies — Australia, New Zealand, Israel and other places — which have had
more or less effective parliamentary oversight, and we might want to learn their best practices. Not everything is
Senator LaPierre: Therefore, you are suggesting that this committee, or a committee analogous to us in the House of
Commons, or a joint committee of both houses, should be able to sit down and question the spies.
Mr. Rudner: Effectively, yes. It would have to be based on a framework that says, ``This is the way we understand
what we can ask and what we can do with the answers,'' and we learn that framework from the best practices of other
countries in similar circumstances that have done it.
Senator LaPierre: I wish to ask you about policy review. Cardinal Rumpole was talking with an archbishop of
Montreal or Quebec City who had come to him following a big parade of various archbishops to discuss the question
of church and state relations in the 19th century. The little man got up on his chair and said:
I have stacks and stacks and stacks of briefs on Quebec!
He jumped on his desk, which was higher than his chair, to demonstrate essentially that he had a lot of information,
which he did nothing about.
We have had policy reviews, sir, coming out of our ears. We are promised policy reviews that are never done. We do
policy reviews and nobody acts on them. In fact, we have published a report that is, by all accounts of the experts —
the public, media and so on — a very thorough and good report. We have not yet heard from the government.
Why do you put a great number of your eggs in the policy review? Can you not think of something else that would
be more useful?
Mr. Rudner: I will make two comments on this committee's public review, of which I am aware, and my proposal.
First, there has never been a comprehensive review of intelligence in Canadian public policy.
Senator LaPierre: We should do one just to have it; is that what you are suggesting?
Mr. Rudner: Just to have it so that we can organize our knowledge and experience.
Let me address the two audiences. One is the government of the day, where one wants to influence the way things
are done. Your report has immense bearing on the other audience — the broader public through the media and
through the universities that use these as a way of teaching and research. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians are
knowledgeable about security and defence, and about intelligence, through these means.
True, it may take time before this unfolds into direct action. The soft action and influence that you bring to bear by
educating people is, in a democracy, no less important. In my view, the building of public confidence and a public
knowledge base are valuable objectives, in their own right, for a policy review.
Senator LaPierre: You are speaking like Senator Kenny, who tells me this every day.
Mr. Rudner: This is not coordinated.
Senator LaPierre: I want your views on cooperation, fusion and sharing. I think this animal has too many heads. Do
you think that theses things happen because of human nature where the tendency is: ``I don't want to share my secrets
with you because you might tell somebody''? Is it about power? Information is power. The power you have will
determine the amount of money you will receive from the treasury in the process of doing that.
There is also the issue of loyalty to one's service — the people of CSIS say that the RCMP are probably no good.
They try to see a conspiracy between computers that deal with intelligence but that do not talk to each other, which
seems to be the norm in this country. Obviously, it does not take a rocket scientist to know that, if you have
intelligence, you want to share it. It ought to be a criminal offence not to share it. Should we not go the way of the
criminal offence to get it done?
Mr. Rudner: Part of the problem, of course, would be to find evidence of a criminal act.
Senator LaPierre: They do not do it.
Mr. Rudner: Part of the problem, senator, in my opinion, is that it is a job for a coordinator. It is the orchestra
conductor who brings together the instruments and ensures they work in harmony. You have to understand the
violinist will be a specialist on the violin.
Let me make the case about the sharing function. You are right in that we could husband our resources. We do not
have to give it to others. In intelligence and security today, we are dealing with a very different type of enemy, and they
will attack. In a catastrophe, if we do not defend, we will feel the pain. As we know now from the experience of the
United States, the pain was horrendous. The discovery of who was accountable for causing that pain, as we see,
continues every single day. Institutions are being brought into disrepute, and organizations will be forced to change
against their preferences. Anybody who looks at the American experience leading up to September 11 will realize that
the old way of doing things is no longer viable, even for them. Therefore, we have hope.
Senator LaPierre: My last question deals with the magnificent word you use, ``Eurocentricity.'' Do you remember
Mr. Rudner: Yes.
Senator LaPierre: Eurocentricity, American-centricity, Asian-centricity, African-centricity — they are new words
for ``borders.'' We live in a borderless world, but now we are developing a centricity-oriented world with the same
results as borders created. You are telling me that Britain is moving towards Eurocentricity and will consequently have
to deal with American-centricity. Canadians will lose on that. All of this is creating new borders that endanger us,
rather than make a world more secure for the children of the planet and for our country, to boot.
Mr. Rudner: I do not think we are talking about borders; rather, we are talking about exchanges and the sharing of
information. I will give you an example. Currently, we have an arrangement with Britain, the United States, Australia
and New Zealand such that, in certain areas of intelligence, virtually everything is shared, and almost automatically. If
Britain should enter into a similar arrangement with Europe — Europeans, led by the French in particular, are inviting
them to join — it is unlikely that the French and the other European allies will be eager for the British to share
everything that they collect necessarily with the Canadians, unless the Canadians have something to offer them.
Our problem will be: How much can we offer them? What can we offer them? Currently, in terms of trade, our
collection of intelligence is not sufficient, in my view, to entice Europe to share everything with us. Therefore, our
problem will be: How does a country that is, frankly, modest in intelligence collection, invite large partners to share all
the things that we need with us? The Americans and British share with us, mainly because of the legacy of the Cold
War. As Senator Forrestall mentioned, they need some of our resources in the North. That is history. Fortunately,
history works in our favour: the British and the Americans are willing to trade with us on less than equal terms of
trade. However, Europe has no interest in those terms, I believe. Why should they? The reason, then, is not borders but
Senator LaPierre: I understand that. The point I was trying to make was that, if the nations of the world or the
powers of the world do not share the information that they have, little children will die. Little children will be bombed.
In the final analysis, it seems to me that the same stupid, centrifugal force that was the blame and the curse of the
nation state is about to be visited upon us. This committee will no doubt turn to the question that you have asked:
How do we protect ourselves should this development of centricity affect the information that we receive?
Senator Meighen: Mr. Rudner, your information has been fascinating and I read your paper with great interest. As
you may have noted, your call for an intelligence policy review is something that struck a responsive chord here.
I have a few specific questions. In one of the end notes of your paper, you make reference to the Cabinet Committee
on Security and Intelligence. You list the participants, some of whom, regrettably, are probably no longer sitting on the
committee, as of a few days ago. How often does that committee meet and who briefs them? It consists of senior
ministers, of course.
Mr. Rudner: Thank you for your kind comments on the paper, which was completed at the end of January and
formally published last week. That is the normal lead time for an academic article, unfortunately.
When the Commons committee was struck, it was my understanding that it had met once, at least until February, so
I was told. At that point, there was some doubt that this committee would persist in its existence. I am not sure how
many times it has meant since then. I understand that its channel for briefing is the Privy Council Office, PCO,
although I may be wrong about that.
I had hoped, when the committee was called into existence and when that article was written, that this committee
would exercise, at the ministerial level, the coordinating function, which I think is vitally necessary for Canada. That
function would be shadowed by a bureaucratic committee and even by an enhanced capability at PCO to perform the
coordinating function. That has not yet come to pass, to the best of my knowledge.
Senator Meighen: Is there any reason for us to believe the information about whether the committee meets on a
regular basis? Is it secret information?
Mr. Rudner: No, it should not be secret.
Senator Meighen: If the committee had met, you would have heard about it.
Mr. Rudner: I do not think I would have heard because I did not ask.
Senator Meighen: Our other witness tonight, Mr. Campbell, will talk about the question of ``telling truth to power,''
which I think is a very interesting phrase. I want to find out how to ensure that the truth is told to the power, to the
best of one's ability. It may not be an easy thing.
Do you have any observations on how to protect the informants, and to encourage them to tell it as it is, rather than
what they think their bosses would like to hear?
Mr. Rudner: It is absolutely vital for intelligence, senator, that the collection, analysis and assessment sides of the
intelligence community be immune to politics.
I will give you a famous example of telling the truth to power, and what happens if you do not. It is well known that
in the Soviet Union the KGB could not inform the Politburo of intelligence without having it tailored to what the
Politburo expected and wanted to hear. In reviews of the Soviet experience, Russian scholars will say that the major
failure of intelligence was that the KGB, despite its immense power, could not tell the truth to power; it had to tailor it.
Our strength must be that our intelligence community is capable of collecting what it needs to collect, analysing it as
best as it can, assessing it in the most professional way, and telling the story. Politicians, at the political level, may or
may not want to act on this intelligence. That is a judgment for them to make as political leaders. We are not saying
that they have to act upon all the information they receive. They may decide for reasons of good policy that this should
not be done. That is fine; that is their role as political leaders. However, telling the truth to political leaders is the role
Senator Meighen: When we were talking about more military than intelligence matters in Washington, we came
across a phenomenon that never occurred to me before, which is the technological gap. How can we, or for that matter
any other Western country, keep within sight of the United States in terms of technological development? They are,
being the only superpower, so far ahead and getting farther ahead of everyone else. I imagine this pertains to the
intelligence world as well.
You pointed out the importance of sharing, and the historical tradition of sharing between Canada, the United
States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, but I hear you saying that, if we do not enhance our intelligence gathering
and sharing capability, sooner or later the disproportion will become too much to bear, and the United States will say
we are not providing them with adequate intelligence. You emphasized the need to enhance our human intelligence as
well as our SIGINT. Can you put a figure on what it is costing us now, and what it would cost us to get to a respectable
level within this context?
Mr. Rudner: The numbers are classified, senator.
Senator Meighen: Would you have a multiplier number?
Mr. Rudner: We do know that CSE has approximately 900 to 1,000 employees. One could come to an assessment on
the administrative costs. On the technologies, there is no question we are net importers, not only of the information but
also of the sophisticated technologies available from the United States, and some from the United Kingdom, but this
does not mean we do not have our own capabilities.
In fact, one should think about our abilities to use two languages and what this leads to in terms of our ability to
offer translation and other high-speed language identification technologies. We are a multicultural, multilingual
society, and there are areas in which we could provide exchanges of high value to our allies, if never totally equal.
I am not pessimistic about that. One should think of intelligence as a knowledge sector, probably the leading
knowledge sector. Our investments in technology, for example in high-speed language transcription, would enable
communications intelligence to, first, identify a language which is encrypted and then translate it into a language we
could understand. Whether that has been done, I do not know. Whether it should be done is imperative today, given
that some of the communications we must access are in obscure languages. I have confidence that we in Canada can
contribute to this. Our solutions may be found together with our allies, but we have a role to play in knowledge
Senator Meighen: Is the cost of CSIS checking immigrants coming to Canada, which takes up to two years, a
Mr. Rudner: No, it is not. Most of our international liaison, as the Security Intelligence Review Committee tells us,
is taken up with immigration matters, rather than transnational crime, terrorism or other matters. That is a certain
disproportion in terms of today's need, but that is also a need. One should not minimize the need for proper security
clearance for intending visitors and immigrants to Canada.
Senator Meighen: In reference to the bombshell that you dropped on us — that you cannot teach unusual or exotic
languages because of provincial educational requirements — can you tell me whether any application for an exemption
has been made? If so, I am sure Senator Atkins and I would be happy to take it to the Minister of Education for
Mr. Rudner: Carleton University is in the Province of Ontario, and our regulations are of the Province of Ontario.
Senator Meighen: That is our point. We are offering to explore that for you.
Mr. Rudner: As a school of international affairs, our function is to teach students international affairs, including
area studies in the regions of the world, and the languages are taught 15 stairs below.
Senator Meighen: Have you applied for an exemption?
Mr. Rudner: There is no mechanism to apply.
Senator Meighen: I think I have your authority to explore the question.
Senator Atkins: Each university has its own charter, does it not?
Mr. Rudner: Yes, but how we define what an academic credit is and at what level we can offer it, is regulated by
provincial legislation. You cannot offer a graduate credit for a 100-level course.
Senator Cordy: This is fascinating. I wish to go back to a topic raised by Senator Meighen and others, that is, the
coordination of intelligence.
You very clearly itemized things that have happened, particularly since September 11, increased budgets, increased
intelligence, expansion of departments and so on, which makes coordination of intelligence that much more essential.
Currently, the Privy Council committee is the one designated to do that, and looking at it on paper that would seem to
be a natural fit, but if they are not meeting, then it is either not a natural fit or it is not working.
Can you see another way of coordinating the intelligence being gathered by government departments, or is this
something that a policy review for intelligence would determine?
Mr. Rudner: I would not want to rush to judgment on whether they are doing the job well. My concern is that there
is no mechanism for them to do their job other than moral suasion. Yes, the Privy Council policy group on intelligence
could bring together senior officials of the various agencies and departments concerned, and they could have a
consultation. The Coordinator of Intelligence could cajole or beseech people, but he has no instrument — budgetary,
bureaucratic or policy — to require one agency to interact with another, other than if they agree to do so. While we
hope that people agree on some things, as we all know, you need instruments of coordination, mechanisms, to ensure
it. Sometimes, you have to impose it, and that we do not have.
It could be that the Privy Council Office is the appropriate high level forum for coordination to take place, but I
personally, as a scholar of intelligence, would like to see them have the tools required to do the job, beyond moral
Senator Cordy: You would want to see mechanisms put into place.
Mr. Rudner: Perhaps budget and policy instruments.
Senator Cordy: A budget is always persuasive.
I return to the topic of traders of information, about which Senator LaPierre and Senator Meighen spoke. That has
been done historically, particularly with the United States and Britain, as you mentioned earlier.
You also mentioned that we are now trading information with countries with which we would not have
communicated intelligence information in the past. Will this be a long-term thing? What are the ramifications of what
is happening now?
Mr. Rudner: I believe it will be a very long-term thing. Let us talk about an instance we know of from our allied
experiences. One of the difficulties confronting human intelligence is gaining sources within the network of al-Qaeda.
These are tightly bound networks where family clan and national origins determine who gets into those cells and who
has access to those activities run by the cells. It is very difficult for a person of Canadian traditional francophone or
anglophone descent to penetrate such a cell. We see today that countries such as Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey have
been able to penetrate those cells and gain intelligence and share it with others.
If a country, say Iran or Syria, gained and shared such intelligence that may be pertinent to the national security of
Canada, we would be happy. However, what if they say that they have given us information and now expect
information regarding a group of people who constantly malign their president and who happen to be living in
We would be confronted with a dilemma. Do we secure intelligence that would compromise the rights of Canadians
living here who may hold views and have opinions pertaining to a foreign country that is perhaps a brutal dictatorship?
I would not want to be in a position of making that kind of decision.
We need a policy framework to enable us to make decisions in our national interest, balancing the range of interests,
objectives and rights concerned, rather than have it done on an ad hoc basis.
To give an example, a while ago there was a report of al-Qaeda operatives in Indonesia who were arrested at the
request of the United States. They were flown by an American plane to Egypt for interrogation, knowing that Egyptian
methods of interrogation are different from those applied by the United States or the Indonesians. The intelligence is
important. They did not go through the exercise without making sure that these were the persons who had that
intelligence. Yet that raises very important questions.
Once again, I would like to see a policy framework for Canada so that, if we were ever in such a situation, we would
not have to rely on ad hoc decision making. There would be policy parameters to be used by intelligence services and
political leaders of the day to make the correct assessments in terms of what to do and how to do it.
I do not envy the people who will do that, but we need the framework.
Senator Atkins: I have enjoyed Mr. Rudner's presentation and comments. On the subject of ``truth to power,'' is that
not why the Solicitor General or the Minister of Justice in any government is supposed to be sort of arm's length to the
traditional activities of Privy Council?
Mr. Rudner: Indeed.
Senator Atkins: There are things that they know that they do not necessarily have to relay to the Prime Minister or
the Leader of the Government.
Mr. Rudner: That has been the principle of our constitutional and parliamentary system in Canada. Intelligence
falls, to my mind, in the same area. We want them to be professional in the gathering of information, just as we expect
the RCMP to be professional in the pursuit of law enforcement.
Senator Atkins: You talk about a coordinator of intelligence. In our situation now, any intelligence is through a
Privy Council committee, and chaired by the leader of government. Is it not?
Mr. Rudner: Yes.
Senator Atkins: Do you think that is a good thing?
Mr. Rudner: Currently, I am not sure that there is coordination by that committee.
Senator Atkins: That committee exists.
Mr. Rudner: It has met, to my understanding, but once. Its job was not coordination of the intelligence collection,
assessment and analysis function, but to coordinate high-level policy to ensure that the various components of the
Government of Canada were pulling in the same direction. That is different from the coordination we are addressing in
this committee and during my remarks.
Senator Atkins: Is the model that the Americans are trying to use with Governor Ridge closer to what you are
Mr. Rudner: Not quite. Governor Ridge's mandate is very much oriented to the defence of critical infrastructure and
other components within the United States. He does not have an intelligence collection responsibility as such, to my
understanding. He will assess intelligence that is given to him by the collection functions.
I am concerned about how we ensure, in Canada, that we have a coordinated collection and analysis of intelligence
coming from foreign, domestic, policing, agricultural, immigration and transport sources. It is a large waterfront, and
each component has to be covered because any chink in our armour will be immediately identified by people who are a
threat to us. We will be vulnerable through that chink in our armour.
That coordination function must be performed within the security intelligence community to maintain
professionalism. We do not want party politics of the day deciding whether or not there is a threat to the port of
It should not be dependent on the professional assessment of the security intelligence community. It should be
dependent on the professional assessment of the security intelligence community. Transport, policing, CSIS and CSC
must cover that part of our waterfront. It is too important to leave to chance.
Senator Atkins: That coordinator should not have any other responsibilities?
Mr. Rudner: It should be the Coordinator of Intelligence.
Senator Atkins: I take it from your comments that you do not think that we have sufficient human resources and
finances in our system at the moment.
Mr. Rudner: I would not want to give that impression. I do not know whether the security intelligence community
requires more money to fulfil its mandate. I do not believe money would be their problem. In my interpersonal
communications with the scholarly and professional community, I have not heard that money is the constraint. I think
that they would be of the view that they want to enhance training, especially language. There is no question of that.
There is a view that they would want to maintain and update analytical capabilities.
They would not consider that, within the community, as an insurmountable challenge requiring large infusions of
either additional money or people. Were Canada to decide that we need enhanced foreign intelligence capability, either
within existing organizations or by setting up a separate organization, additional capabilities would require additional
resources, including people. That is a different decision.
I personally would want to await the debates and discussion that will take place at my university on June 12 before I
come to a conclusion on that.
Senator Atkins: I have a final question. We are all amazed by your comments about language training and that sort
of thing. Is there room for a modern day ``Camp X?''
Mr. Rudner: To be honest, I think not, for three reasons. One is that to get someone to teach Pashto in Camp X
would be a high-cost venture. Why not have the language and area capability based in an existing institution whose job
it is to also deliver language and area knowledge to the government community? In that sense you spread the costs. In
effect, you create economies of scale, so that instead of having three people in the classroom, you have five. How many
more people would take Pashto in any one year is a guess, but we are talking about that order of magnitude. That can
be accommodated in the university system.
Senator Atkins: It is efficient and effective.
Mr. Rudner: However, it is high cost.
Senator LaPierre: It would also make a good documentary.
Mr. Rudner: I am also of the view that a very high proportion of the teaching about intelligence comes from
American sources, open source intelligence. Some have said it is as high as 90 per cent. This is different from the period
of the 1940s. The university system, again, is competent and capable of integrating open source knowledge and
providing it to the intelligence community. They know how to get access to the secret sources that they require. The
challenge is bringing together the open source with the secret sources to make a fulsome analysis and a proper
assessment. The universities can do this at relatively low cost. I speak not just as a university person. My concern
would be to get the intelligence issue right, first and foremost. I speak not out of self-interest here but looking at the
appropriate role for different institutions in meeting a particular need in the most efficient and cost-effective way.
The Chairman: Dr. Rudner, on behalf of the committee, I would thank you very much. We have found your views to
be most helpful.
For those of you at home watching our work, please visit our Web site at email@example.com. We post
witness testimony as well as confirmed hearing schedules. Alternatively, you may contact the Clerk of the committee by
calling 1-800-267-7362 for further information or assistance in contacting members of the committee.
Our next witness, Mr. Anthony Campbell, is Vice-President of the Canadian Association for Security and
Intelligence Studies. After studies at Queen's University and the University of Toronto, during which he was a
commissioned officer in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve, he entered into a 34-year career in the public service. He
has worked at senior levels in a succession of nine federal departments and agencies dealing with economic policy,
international negotiations, federal-provincial relations, regulatory policy, executive development and foreign
Welcome, sir. We are pleased to have you with us, and the floor is yours.
Mr. Anthony Campbell, Vice-President, Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies: I will begin by
thanking you for inviting me and for the excellent work you are doing. Those of us who have been in the intelligence
services have known — and it was confirmed after September 11 — that one of the fundamental problems in this
country is the remarkable ignorance, if not deplorable ignorance, about intelligence and its link with security.
Much of that deplorable lack of understanding is entirely the fault of the intelligence community. If it puts up a huge
wall marked ``secret,'' is it any wonder that people know about it? That is a paradox that one has to deal with. The
work of your committee is a great contribution.
I am here to contribute to this process of public discussion about something that matters to the future of the
country. It is as simple as that.
It is difficult, after 34 years in the public service, to actually speak in public, let alone before a committee of
Parliament. You have been trained to follow party lines. This is a debut for me.
Nonetheless, I must put some limits on my answers to questions because I have been involved in intelligence, and I
am subject to the Official Secrets Act. I believe secrecy is, within limits, in the interests of the public. As Professor
Rudner said, the tension between transparency and the need to be able to keep secrets is a difficult area. In my
experience in government, unlike the general take in the media, I believe that we err more on the side of openness than
closedness. However, the problem is that we sometimes tend to be closed when we should be open, and we tend to be
open when we should be closed.
September 11 happened for many reasons. Of all the contributing factors, the leak by people in the United States
Congress that revealed that bin Laden's phone calls were being intercepted was probably the single biggest contributor.
After having had a steady flow of information, he heard about it in the media, and he stopped talking. The issue of
how far an oversight capacity can keep its mouth closed is a central issue, and in that sense, any balanced approach to
this issue is not about slogans. Balance and wisdom must be sought.
My biography makes no mention of the fact that I have been in the information business from a young age. I
delivered three different national newspapers, if you count the Ottawa Citizen and The Globe and Mail, for about five
years. In that sense, I am surprised at the end of my career to see the degree to which my involvement in the military,
which began with the militia and then with the navy, and my involvement in information, which began as a newspaper
boy and then led to the Department of External Affairs and subsequent things, culminated in the intelligence field.
Then my involvement in regulatory and teaching issues all converged. The world is all about knowledge and
information. It was totally by accident that I was well prepared for this. I did not plan it that way.
These are some of the threads that have come together and that lead to some questions I want to address. Most of
the answers to the 10 questions I have raised in my proposed agenda are perhaps obvious, but I want to make a point
in each case.
I asked the following question: If information is power, is information also security? I suppose one thinks, if it is
power, it must be security. I would say no, that is not so. Information is not security because information does not
equal knowledge. That may sound like semantics, but it has become extremely important in understanding the
information world and the knowledge world to make distinctions starting with the word ``data.'' Data has no content.
It is neutral.
One definition of information is that it is a distillation of data. There is a big difference between information and
knowledge. There are other ways to subdivide what we are talking about, but I think it is important for us to get at the
meaning of the words.
One of the things you do not hear very often is that, for example, the British intelligence services, which in many
ways invented modern intelligence, do not define intelligence in the same way as the Americans. The word
``intelligence'' has an entirely different meaning, but the meanings are crucial.
In the case of the British the word ``intelligence'' means ``secret information.'' The intelligence services in Britain are
in the business of collecting information, not analyzing it; they pass it to other units of the government which do that.
In the case of the United States, the CIA was created as a result of the attacks on Pearl Harbour. They wanted to
ensure that that would not be allowed to happen again. The analysis of why Pearl Harbour happened, as far as
intelligence was concerned, led to the conclusion that it was not because there was no information — there was tonnes
of information. The problem was that the information had not been put together and turned into knowledge.
In the United States, a director of intelligence in the CIA is the head of the analytical wing. The analytical wing
generates knowledge from data. The DO, the director of operations, in the CIA searches for secret data, just like the
In Canada, we mix both definitions of ``intelligence'' quite cheerfully and get along with everybody. I would like to
table the distinction between data, information and knowledge as an important one when you are thinking about
national security in 2002.
We had the information to foresee September 11. We did not have the knowledge. Why not? The answer is central to
the future of the national security policy that I would like to talk about.
I will not go into each of my 10 questions because I have a feeling your own questions will lead to them, but I do
want to look at the words ``national security policy'' and make a couple of points.
The difficulty in talking about a national security policy is that it almost automatically entices you to distinguish it
from foreign policy, trade policy and defence policy. When you ask the wrong questions, you will get the wrong
answers. In that sense, the direction I would like to encourage your thinking to go in is that these old categories,
patterns and concepts with which we approach the organization of government are probably out of date. We can use
these terms, but what we are really looking for is something that will probably involve different terminology or a
different fundamental conception of how government needs to organize itself.
In trying to explain what is a national security policy, I was interested in the definition in your report, along with the
definition of some of your witnesses. They show that it is an extremely difficult concept to define.
If it is about the safety and security of Canadians, then it has to focus both at home and abroad. How do you
produce that? The basic point I would like to make is there is no way you should distinguish between security policy,
defence policy and foreign policy because they are all interrelated in a globalized world.
While one has to look at these issues in an interrelated way, we do have to organize our work in manageable
categories, including having different committees. Traditional categories will continue to serve a purpose. However, I
welcome the fact you are approaching a fairly broad cross-section of people and issues in the committee's work because
the answers to the future security of Canadians will transcend borders, including jurisdictional and constitutional
borders. At this time there are many mental blocks, including legal blocks, to achieving the security that Canadians
need. Consequently, I wanted to suggest that a national security policy for the future — which is something we
definitely need; it is long overdue — will be something ``horizontal'' that will entail radical differences from the way we
look at our ``vertical'' world right now. I will finish on that note.
We must recognize that an information world is no longer an industrial world. It is no longer a world of the
enlightenment that spawned most of our institutions. In that sense, when I try to think my way into the future, I am
looking for the institutions that reflect the knowledge and the information world that Marshall McLuhan anticipated,
but which we still have not defined.
Senator Meighen: I appreciated the clarity and brevity of our witness. I read the paper he delivered at the National
defence University in the United States, which I thought was insightful and interesting.
I do not mean this at all disrespectfully, but where does what you have described and pointed to leave us in terms of
the immediate problems that we are faced with in Canada? For example, where does it leave us in terms of some of the
issues that Professor Rudner discussed with us? I am thinking of intelligence policy review and the apparent
multiplicity of intelligence-gathering agencies, which is not unique to Canada; the United States has an unaccountable
number. How do you coordinate all that in your new world? What are your thoughts along that line? Do you share the
view that we will have to ramp things up, if we are not to fall too far behind the United States, let alone Britain,
Australia and New Zealand, in intelligence-gathering operations, so that we can continue to provide information and
thereby be on the receiving end of information they have gathered and which is so important to us?
Mr. Campbell: Those are practical questions.
If you do not have vision and flights of fancy, you will just be adjusting the chairs on the Titanic. Do we need an
intelligence policy review? Of course we do. It does not necessarily have to be called that. However, it is pretty clear
from just about every headline of the last two weeks in much of the world that the failure to anticipate September 11
has something to do with how we organize information or knowledge or intelligence. In other words, intelligence seems
to be one of the signs of fire.
I am not of the view that one should look at September 11 as an intelligence failure by itself. It was a structural
failure in our society, where there were multiple contributors. In that sense, I think a review of the way we go about our
security is an excellent way to approach the multiple contributors. Yes, an intelligence policy review within the context
of a national security policy review, which brings in defence and foreign policy, is not only desirable, it is crucial. The
only question is how it will come? Will it be forced on you or will you have people who actually do it before there is no
I will be happy to discuss issues such as coordination of intelligence, how we are organized now and how we could
be organized better. I want to make it clear that the way we have been organized up to now is not because of stupidity.
It is the inheritance of a whole series of policies and ideas that go back in the history and culture of this country. I think
it is fair to say Canada has been an anti-intelligence country. One of the first problems we have in dealing with the
United States, and even more so with Britain, is we have always tended toward a little hold-your-nose-and-think-of-
England attitude to intelligence. One of the questions is: Will we now get serious? It has been ``Amateur Hour'' much of
the time throughout our history because we were uncomfortable with the unsavoury sides of intelligence.
Personally, I very much respect our intelligence services, the ones with which I am familiar, for having achieved a lot
under difficult circumstances and with inadequate resources. However, almost always, the institutions in which they
are located are looked upon as second class. For example, if you are in intelligence in the military, you are not planning
to go to the top. If you are in intelligence in Foreign Affairs, you are not planning to go to the top. Those departments
rotate their intelligence people, so you have two-year experts — people who are assigned for brief stints before moving
on to something considered more career friendly. Is that serious?
There are many reasons for this situation, and they are mainly an inheritance of larger national attitudes that we
must re-examine. However, I believe that we have already changed. September 11 is just a symbol, but we lost our sense
of sanctuary that day, and we are now talking about how Canada should deal with a reality that much of the world has
already dealt with for centuries.
You can take each of the practical issues of what would constitute an effective national security policy — who is in
charge, how is it coordinated, what are the resources, where do you place it, what do you do with your former
institutions that played a role in these things — and each one is worth pursuing and thinking through and then pulling
together into a whole.
At the end of the day, my feeling is we will end up turning the pyramid upside down. Whereas now intelligence is a
subordinate function within larger ministries, I think we will see intelligence becoming a central element, and not just in
the secret sense, the James Bond sense. It is about knowledge and information and being in touch with the world, and
being in touch really fast. Our whole approach to knowledge and information in government is likely to change.
In the realm of intelligence proper, to my mind, the single biggest error in, apparently, the FBI and, certainly, in
Canada is that we have completely downgraded intelligence analysis as a contributor to what I said was the American
interpretation of intelligence, which is the creation and acquisition of reliable knowledge through analysis and
Look at the September 11 warnings. I have been out of the intelligence field for two years now, so I can say things
that should not be taken as if I know anything more than the man on the street. It is within the nature of the
intelligence world that massive numbers of warnings are floating around all the time. The question is what they mean
and what you do with them.
I studied the issues of deception and propaganda for a number of years. You may be interested to know that a
Canadian was the originator of strategic deception as a concept in international affairs. His name was Colonel
Campbell Stewart from Montreal. I learned that when I was teaching at Cambridge a few years ago.
Before September 11, the interesting thing was the degree to which the intelligence services of the world were
apparently all looking out at Asia. We should consider why that was. The answer is probably, when you get
underneath it, an intentional deception exercise. Part of the bin Laden strategy was possibly to completely divert
people in the wrong direction based on strategic principles that came from Canada and Britain. These are perhaps
reflections of a world we have to catch up with, and our institutions have to get us there.
Senator Meighen: Could you make a brief comment on the idea of parliamentary oversight of intelligence activities?
I was quite taken, I must confess, by what Professor Rudner described to us as the British model where we would have
a joint committee, I suppose, of members of both the upper and lower houses reporting to the cabinet. That seemed to
be a neat way of getting around the question that we have had raised before us from time to time about whether we
should have clearance to receive top-secret information and thereby not be able to use it, or are we better off just
proceeding the way we are proceeding without such clearance. By reporting to cabinet, they obviously were able to
access certain information that you might classify as secret and discuss it at the cabinet level, and then the non-secret
matters could be disseminated publicly. It rather intrigued me.
I believe Canadians feel very strongly that there has to be oversight, and there is to some degree through the
committee that used to be chaired by Mr. Bassett. There is some, but it is not parliamentary.
Mr. Campbell: Oversight is essential, and so is doing it better than we do it now; but that understates the issue and is
unfair because we do it in so many different ways. Some of our models are good and some not so good. Having been in
intelligence, I know that any form of concentrated power can corrupt, and therefore it is important to have ways of
When I think about oversight, though, I look at the House of Commons as an institution and at the British model.
The one the British have been experimenting with remains in the realm of experiment, and it remains to be seen if it will
be seen as a success story. At the moment, the fact that the British do it does not necessarily mean it is good.
When you, as a legislator, are sworn in and become part of the oversight system, along the lines of the American
model, you actually become part of the process. Currently, one of the fascinating things to watch in Washington is the
passing of the buck that is going on because, presumably, the Congress in its involvement and the Senate committee
with its involvement in oversight share some of the responsibility for intelligence failings that may be revealed. That is
not the way the founders there intended it to work.
The third issue is the matter of security clearances and whether that is something you should ask a parliamentarian
to go through.
My conclusion is that you want oversight, you want parliamentary oversight, but you also want the wisdom of
experience and the democratic controls. However, you also want secrecy. How are you going to put it altogether?
One idea I have had, and in some ways it is the way the Senate has worked in the past, is that you can have Senate
committees that are sworn in that have a formal oversight responsibility, but a secret one. In that sense, it would reflect
the nature of the Senate as an institution. You could choose the people according to their background in the way the
Senate allows. Then you would have an oversight committee of some sort in the House of Commons that was not
sworn in and did not have access to secrets. The two of those together would provide a kind of a check and balance
We need oversight, yes, and better oversight than we have now. I should say that the oversight we have now, and in
particular SIRC, I actually admire as a kind of specially Canadian approach. On the whole, CSIS is well oversighted, if
not over-oversighted. What is not oversighted and what you are looking at here is the overall intelligence community.
That is why we talk about an intelligence policy review. We stare at the parts, but we do not look at the whole.
Senator Meighen: Finally, Mr. Campbell, having read your paper, obviously there is the one rather stark conclusion
you reached with respect to the increasing need to integrate security measures between Canada and the United States.
It does pose a challenge to the maintenance of our independence as a sovereign state. This committee has heard this in
one form or another in all areas, including that of the military. To put it in the vernacular, you can draw the conclusion
that the Americans are going to do it anyway. The question is whether we should jump in with them and participate,
which will inevitably bring about a diminution of our ability to act independently, or whether we resist by not
participating. If you are not a participant, you are not in the know, in many cases. It is a dreadful dilemma.
I am sure that what you wrote is not necessarily what you wish. Have you any thought as to how we can at least
endeavour to balance these two imperatives without necessarily and inevitably reaching the conclusion to which you
Mr. Campbell: I agonise over this issue. It is the single biggest issue we face as Canadians. I have only thoughts, no
solutions to the agony. My paper was to an American audience. In that sense, I would have to review it. I do not think
I pulled any punches. In fact, I was told I should not to say to the Americans that the terrorists won.
Senator Meighen: You said it in there.
Mr. Campbell: I do not think I pulled any punches. One of the ways I am looking at the world right now is I am
trying to figure out what is going on under the surface of events. That is part of the fun of being a security and foreign
policy analyst. We are at a very exciting time in history.
We have to do in theory what we already do in practice, which is to divide the world into three different arenas or
faces. One arena is globalization, which is economic and technological, and it is one in which we have a strategic
advantage because of the multilateral system.
The second arena is ``business as usual'' bilateral relations with individual countries, whereby ``cocktails will be
served at 7:00 at the embassy.'' That system is close to obsolete, but it still goes on and you have to deal with it.
The third arena is the relationship with the United States, which is an issue for the entire world but a special one for
us. Canadians have a lot of experience in this area. The Americans were a superpower in our view a long time before
they were a superpower in the view of anyone else. Your question raises the issue of how to deal with not only our
neighbour, which is a long-standing problem, but with the superpower. I can only hazard a few points on that
First, we are not currently organized to do it properly. Second, we operate far too much in a responsive, defensive
mode. We adopt a tactical, not a strategic, approach to the U.S. They move here, and we move there. We should be
more strategic, and I do not see any signs of an emerging strategy.
Third, the United States is willy-nilly about the world. If you travel abroad, you had better have a Canadian flag on
your shoulder because otherwise, you will be mistaken for an American. We are with them whether we like it or not,
and they know it. The United States has some fundamental problems of stability of its own right now, and they are
stressed. As we have seen in other experiences historically, they will be tricky people to live with while under stress.
That is the background. If we keep that in mind and if we want access to their economy and to their border, how far
do we go? To what extent do we stretch the concept of sovereignty? I suspect the average American does not want to
see Canada sucked into some kind of impossible situation such as a puppet state. We are close to that now. In the
military context, we have been the puppet for too long, in the military sense. NATO did that to us. I like the fact that
we have pushed back a bit in that area. You want to be interoperable, but it is in no one's interest that we become an
extension of the United States.
Senator Meighen: You said that NATO did that to us. How would a multilateral alliance do that?
Mr. Campbell: NATO is an American institution. It is the place where the United States meets Europe, and Canada
is sometimes there. In fighting the Cold War, we faced institutional changes under duress. NORAD is a wonderful
institution, but it is not necessarily the ideal institution for a Canada that wants to maintain its independence.
The point I want to make is that, for the same reasons, in the fields of intelligence, all the stovepipes are well
connected. We are extremely effective and good at cooperating with the Americans, and we contribute a great deal.
The Americans respect our contribution much more than the academic community realizes, for various reasons.
Certainly it helps that we speak their language, but we also share their interests.
We are having the problem in the same area that they are having the problem — the link between foreign and
domestic, or what I call the ``intermestic`` realities.
For example, having provincial and federal police forces reflects constitutional realities and problems. Just
remember the issues we had at Oka and the horizontal cooperation needed to deal with that situation. The institutions
deserve medals for sorting that out, but we have not permanently institutionalized the solutions. Hence, developing
institutions of cooperation that do not require you to sell out and become a puppet is the challenge for the new
national security policy.
The Chairman: I cannot help but intervene here, Mr. Campbell, and ask you to elaborate on your statement. I would
like you to explain why you believe NORAD is not good for a country that wants to maintain independence. How is
the American independence harmed?
Mr. Campbell: Someone came up with the formula: ``Why not just join the Americans and call it Canada?'' NORAD
is a solution in that direction.
The Chairman: I am curious to know why you do not feel that we have a significant benefit from NORAD?
Mr. Campbell: That would be to overstate it. If you do a cost analysis, there are lots benefits at several levels. My
tone of criticism arose from the fact that, in order to cooperate and work with this large and powerful country, we have
gone down slippery slopes without realizing how difficult they were to climb back up.
NORAD, for its particular purposes, was wonderful, but it led us into habits of cooperation with the Americans in
the military. Those habits have left me with the view that there is almost no difference between the U.S. military and
the Canadian military, except for some of the badges. When that starts to affect your mindset and you are unable to
distinguish between the two countries, then it is not right. I am not saying it has reached that point with everyone, but
it has reached it with some. The Canadian military's envy of the American military capacity reaches into other areas,
and it has become an issue affecting the whole relationship between the countries. In my view, it has gone too far.
Senator Atkins: Mr. Campbell, you referred to the kinds of things that we have been hearing over the last two weeks
about what the United States knew and about what they did not know. Are you surprised by that?
Mr. Campbell: No. Right after September 11, I actually said on a television program that I was certain the
information was out there in various forms. I also know the context in which that kind of information comes in. For
example, you may receive a memo from Phoenix and a note about a small protest in Minneapolis. That information
goes into the machinery and once it is analyzed, it is found to be information that has been well known, for a long time.
The FBI is a police agency that has almost no time for intelligence in the American sense of the word — knowledge.
They have no analytical capacity. In my view, because they have just hired 400 people, they will not achieve that
capacity overnight. It is a cultural change and is not an easy transition to make.
The United States was a country in which there was no way to transmit crucial information to the cerebral cortex.
At Pearl Harbour, the same problem existed in the foreign intelligence and military intelligence communities. The CIA
and the Defence Intelligence Agencies fixed it. For foreign intelligence, the Americans were in good shape on
September 11, but the blind spot was in domestic intelligence. We do not have the same problem in Canada because we
are not blind domestically, but we are a bit blind internationally.
Senator Atkins: You are saying that there is the potential for another major incident to occur. Regardless of how
you try to fix it, something will fall between the chairs.
Mr. Campbell: Sorry, I am saying the potential is there and if we do not change anything, it will fall between the
chairs. If so and if there is another incident, we will have more enquiries and more beating of the breasts. The
Americans are really serious about change, although it will be difficult for the FBI to take 400 people and turn them
into analysts because you cannot do that overnight. You must invest in and develop the system, which they are doing.
Steps are being taken. The Americans are serious about trying to fix the problem and, in that sense, I am more
optimistic than I am pessimistic.
Frankly, it is not our capacity to detect and deter that scares me; it is the weapons that people are talking about
obtaining and using that scares me. In that sense, the balancing and the reintroduction of an equilibrium in
international affairs is paramount. As long as there are people wanting to martyr themselves, the world is in trouble.
The fact that they are out to martyr themselves for reasons they consider to be sufficient means that we will not be
secure, so we have to find the global wisdom to re-establish a peaceful equilibrium. In the meantime, there is an
interconnection between our capacity to detect violent adversaries and a need for policies that will dissuade them from
their distorted ideas, and that is where my hope lies.
Senator Atkins: If you had a choice of which model to choose, would it be the British model?
Mr. Campbell: No, that is the worst of models. They do not analyse enough. Perhaps that is an exaggeration. They
do have offices, including a central office, that does a very good job of analysing information. There is the basic idea
that you have people who will develop the deep expertise and the language skills, the analytical training. Someone
mentioned teaching dialectics, and wouldn't that be lovely. The British have a fine educational system and they
produce excellent analysts, but there needs to be more.
Not a single country has it right for the world we are in now. We do not have to berate ourselves, in many ways
Canada can be proud of itself. For the money we put into intelligence, we get a good return.
Senator Atkins: Are we overreacting?
Mr. Campbell: No, we are under-reacting. We are only a few months away from September 11, 2002, and I know
things are happening in the background. Like many citizens, we sit back and wait for the outcome.
One of the most horrible things I experienced in my years in intelligence was being told by Americans friends,
around 1993, 1994, that we are not getting intelligence right. Islamic fundamentalism was a big issue at that point, but
they thought that it would take another Pearl Harbour before they got it right.
I have been around the United States, and to a certain extent in Canada as well, and people are now saying that it
looks like even two Pearl Harbours will not do it. I would like to think that is wrong, but still the jury is out.
Senator Atkins: What about the effect on our civil liberties?
Mr. Campbell: The issue of civil liberties is the central paradox. The reason you have secrecy on one side is to have
the advantage of secrecy in dealing with violent adversaries. The reason you want transparency and not secrecy is that
secrecy allows for abuse, and as soon as there is power concentrated, we have seen historically that there is abuse.
However, we have erred on the side of civil liberties for several years, and a little correction now in the other direction
will not hurt.
If you do an analysis of the various decisions that led to the vulnerability of September 11, civil liberties, as an
emphasis of policy, was one the smoking guns. Finding the right balance between civil liberties and the needs of the
community to protect itself is one of the two or three big challenges that your committee faces.
Senator Atkins: The other argument is that you can go too far and you can never find that balance.
Mr. Campbell: That is absolutely true. I just read I Claudius, and if you read about the issues of the Caesars and how
they moved from near-constitutional democracy to dictatorship, you will see all the issues you are concerned with. At a
certain point, the public insists that central authority should deny civil liberties in the defence of the community. At
that point, it risks being taken too far.
It is a perennial problem of government, but Canada could hardly be accused of going consistently in the wrong
direction on that. Finding the balance now will lead us to trade-offs that, two years ago, would not have been thought
How do you find the balance? We have to adopt and approach a balance. We have to say ``civil liberties'' and
``secrecy'' in the same breath, not take sides on the issues. If one is good and the other is bad to a person, you are in to a
dialogue of the deaf. For the safety of Canada you need both.
Senator Atkins: Putting on your old hat, were you comfortable with the intelligence assessment secretariat apparatus
in which you were operating, or did you find it frustrating? Have you any suggestions as to how you would organize it
in terms of the coordination of intelligence?
Mr. Campbell: I was brought into the intelligence assessment secretariat when it was created. When they decided, as
a peace dividend, to collapse the foreign affairs intelligence and analytical capacity, and the PCO coordinating capacity
by cutting them in two-thirds and putting them together, was I frustrated? Yes, I was frustrated and often upset.
On my first weeks on the job, Rwanda broke out and we had almost no capacity to deal with it. According to all the
wise heads, and from an accounting point of view, it was the sensible thing to downsize and so we did not have anyone
to deal with Africa. That was not the only one. It went from one thing to the next. You found that you had one person
covering a region, and if they were getting burnt out you did not have a second person coming up behind. The bottom
line is that, during most of the 1990s, we took a peace dividend that amounted to dismantling our analytical capacity,
and I presided over that.
I am happy to say that there has not been a change in direction in terms of resources, which was the central issue.
However, there is also an attitudinal issue and an issue of where the institution fits into the process.
Mr. Rudner mentioned the KGB and the problems it had with intelligence analysis. Stalin was famous for being his
own analyst, and there were people executed for holding a view different from his. He did not believe the evidence of
excellent espionage from his KGB that the Germans were going to attack. One of the things you never hear in the
Soviet histories is that Stalin was probably single-handedly responsible for ignoring the information that came in.
My experience with policy people just about everywhere, and with people in general, is that nobody one wants some
expert telling him or her what to think. That is a problem. During the Cold War you probably did not need a whole lot
of analysts to tell you what to think, what the Americans were thinking was more important. Where we are now is no
single person in any point in government can know everything that needs to be known for critical issues. People are
saying that the information revolution is flattening everything out, I do not believe that at all. We are having to invent
new forms of hierarchy.
Right now, based on the British intelligence system, our intelligence analytical system takes the classic rank structure
and applies it to analysis. If you are a beginner you are a captain, and if you are getting good, you are a major.
However, as soon as you are a colonel you have to manage, you cannot do analysis. That is a variation of the idea of a
graduate not studying languages. As soon as you are a graduate, the hierarchical system says you should not be
Intelligence analysis is crucial to understanding what is going on in the world. Right now, we do not have the
resources. We have a rotational system that weakens us. It is important to recognize that we do not need a foreign
intelligence service or new approaches to intelligence because we already are a major collector of international
information, but we do not capture it and share it. You have many people in agencies all over the world, like CIDA,
who would not dream of passing on information. If they did, they would know where to send it outside their own
We have information about agriculture, health and immigration. We have an immense amount of information. The
problem is how to do anything with it as opposed to just feed it up the stovepipe for its own purposes.
Yes, I get heated about intelligence analysis, because I can see places where it could have made a difference. How
could we have prevented September 11? I can actually cite people who could have had the capacity to come into that if
they had had extra resources. Instead of being able to spend the time on that, they were spread over the entire Middle
East on the crisis of the day.
No matter what else happens, I know that it will have to be fixed, because otherwise we will face more trouble. We
are just lucky that September 11 did not start here.
Senator LaPierre: I view of the time, Mr. Chairman, I would suggest that we invite this witness back.
The Chairman: That goes without saying. Have you questions?
Senator LaPierre: If you think, sir, that the Government of Canada will give access to secrecy to a group of senators
and not give it to the members of the House of Commons, I can tell you the government will be defeated an hour after
it has signed the order.
However, that is not what I wanted to talk to you about.
We have had intelligence since the beginning of New France, in fact, before that. The native people had intelligence.
They had scouts everywhere on the trade routes. Canadians served as scouts with the native people and so on. We had
scouts in 1759. We had scouts in 1812. In other words, we have a history of gathering information. In the nineteenth
and twentieth centuries, we used missionaries in Africa and Latin America to do that. We have had a tradition of
gathering information, but what we do with it is another matter.
I would like you to think seriously about the fact that our trouble is not that we are negligent about our security; our
trouble is that we have just discovered the extent of our vulnerability. We have discovered the extent of our
vulnerability not because of ourselves, but because of our geography. The people who live to the south of us have a
dimension of reality across the world that impacts upon us. If any one attacks the Americans, we shall be involved in
Consequently, we are caught in that. It is not a question of our rights and values. It is a question of coming to terms
with that vulnerability and how to deal with it.
Furthermore, 40 per cent of our people do not have the traditions of the democracy that we have. They come from
countries where police and secret agents gather intelligence to use primarily against people's families. Consequently,
they freeze when you talk about these things. They come to this country because this does not exist here. We are now
asking them to look at this vulnerability, and to grant powers to the police and to the intelligence-gatherers, which
situation they have lived with in their countries. We have a tremendous amount of opportunity to expand the horizons
of our freedoms rather than limiting them.
How do we do that after September 11 even though, I believe, the impact of September 11 has been exaggerated? We
often hear we must do this or that because of September 11. I find that to be an absurdity.
We now have to face this tremendous imperative of our vulnerability with a population that is not divided about the
security of Canada. It is not divided about the values of Canada. It is not divided about helping the military and doing
the right thing in the world. However, it is divided about the meaning of that vulnerability and the relationship of that
to the dream that children will grow up not having to fear the police. Today that is not entirely the case if you are a
The Chairman: We need a question.
Senator LaPierre: This is so important that I have asked you to invite this witness to come back. This is important to
security and the notion of security. How do we reconcile all these things with the security phenomenon?
Mr. Campbell: I will come back to the last point, but I will start with the first one with which I do not agree. It shows
a problem, which is the problem of thinking things are impossible.
We are in a new ball game. Therefore, we should stop building mental blocks on possible alternatives. One of the
mental blocks we should not allow to continue is that the Senate will be treated in the way that you suggested.
We are talking about the institutions. I said earlier that we had structural and institutional problems. Did you know
that the airplanes not having locked pilot doors, contrary to the ICAO convention, signed by the Americans was one
the central reasons for September 11. Using ``September 11'' is a symbol of a lot of institutional failures.
It comes back to your last question. How will we find the institution to provide balance? I have served in three
countries, and I am fourth generation South American. I know a lot about intelligence services as they are used in
repressive regimes. When people get here, the last thing they want is to be exposed to that.
The intelligence services in the nasty sense were tolerated in many of those regimes because they were the alternative
to some things that were worse. At the point where you cannot get on a plane safely, many Canadians, new and old,
are likely to say this balancing act needs to be adjusted.
How do you do that? I am more worried about the Caesar issue. How do we avoid having too much power and too
much enthusiasm to hand over liberties? How do you check that? I see that as a difficult problem. If there are no
further atrocities, it may not be a problem. There is a half-life to a crisis.
I go back to the first point. The House of Commons is supposed to be very sensitive to the people, in an immediate
sense. Getting the thing right in the long term requires people who do not have to worry about going back for a new
mandate every few years.
Regarding September 11, I agree with us being careful not to dramatize that too much because there is a problem
with metaphors. I find it interesting that we seem to have missed the single most important thing that happened in
September. It was not planes flying into the World Trade Center or Pentagon. The most important thing from a
security point of view was the anthrax attack. That is the one that threatens the future of Canada, not the planes.
Senator Cordy: This has been a most interesting evening. I think we are all secret agent ``wannabes.''
I want to get back to the topic of public confidence building about our intelligence. Both you and Mr. Rudner
mentioned bodies that would oversee the intelligence institutions. CSIS has a body that oversees it.
Mr. Rudner made mention of a parliamentary joint committee or a committee of either the House of Commons or
the Senate similar to the British system. That would be fine for parliamentarians. However, what about the average
person on the street? How do they gain confidence in the intelligence institutions that we have? You spoke about a
balance between secrecy and transparency. How do we accomplish that?
Mr. Campbell: That is one reason I complimented the Chairman before we started, and I compliment you as a
committee. I do not like using the word ``ignorant,'' because we are not; we are smart and we have lots of information,
but we are not worldly wise. With regard to the issue of vulnerability that Senator LaPierre talked about, I use the term
``the end of sanctuary.'' If we have had a sense of sanctuary, like all societies who have had that, we have trouble taking
intelligence seriously. The problem in Canada is that we have never had much of an intelligence idea.
We began intelligence, in its current manifestation, in the Second World War. Senator LaPierre is correct in saying it
has been around a long time. In effect, we did it in the Second World War, and we did it brilliantly. At the end of the
war we started to dismantle, but then we got into the Cold War; we then made significant contributions to Cold War
intelligence. We reached the end of the Cold War and began saying, ``Well, there is a new world order; we do not have
to worry about it.'' We started dismantling.
That has been the pattern in nearly every country that does not have a sense of vulnerability. As soon as you feel
safe, you down tools. For that reason, Canadians generally have not been exposed to intelligence as an idea. When it
has been necessary, it has been kept behind closed doors for a particular purpose. How do we change it? That is your
I see it related generally to the knowledge levels of our country about the world. We are radically more informed
about the world than the average American. One of the things I worry about is American policy-makers not knowing
enough about the world to make the decisions. They have lots of power, but if they do not have the experience, it is a
very worrying issue.
It is pretty clear that most Canadians, if they can get away without worrying too much about the world, will do so.
Certainly intelligence comes across more as a Hollywood issue than anything else.
How do we change it? We do it by public leaders speaking about it and becoming informed themselves. In
September, one of the remarkable things was to see how ignorant our media were. They could not even formulate a
question. They would say, ``What area of intelligence were you in?'' I would say, ``I was in intelligence analysis.'' You
could see the snore starting almost immediately. They wanted to create a way to communicate that. I sympathized with
My answer is short. It is about speaking publicly, debating publicly, have intelligence review and security review, but
I think it must be built into educational programs. We are dealing with a prejudice inside our culture. I used to be a
vice-principal of the Canadian Centre for Management Development. I taught the most senior programs for four
years. Nobody wanted to hear about intelligence. It is a slightly dirty word, and it has been so, partly for the reasons
Senator LaPierre suggested. We know historically that after the war, Norman Robertson, Pearson and St. Laurent sat
down and discussed the future of intelligence. The main operative issue in External Affairs was how to keep that power
away from the military. That is how it ended up in PCO.
Senator Cordy: What we are doing is almost changing the mindset of Canadians. You look at the vast amounts of
money that the Americans spend on intelligence and innovation. We were in Washington at the end of January and
February. The amounts they spend on innovation for defence or security are phenomenal. I am not sure that
Canadians are at the point where they would be willing to spend vast amounts of money on military or security.
Mr. Campbell: Canada did not have Pearl Harbor. I think Canada did have September 11. I do not know how far
that went into our soul. However, I see a change in the public. I see a change in the sense of invulnerability. We see it in
the students in courses. They are much more open to a discussion of intelligence as an issue. You also see it in
I do see movement. Once there is a sense of how it plays, there is a lot of information to come out. That is why I am
pleased with Professor Rudner's new institution. It is extraordinary. It is 2002 and we are only now opening the first
institute of intelligence studies, not just in Ottawa but in Canada. Is that not shocking?
Senator Cordy: Are we becoming blasé even in the few months that have passed since September 11? Will we say,
``That was a long time ago''? Will it happen again?
Mr. Campbell: The psychology of the public is fascinating. We all have it. The sooner I can deny something I do not
like, the better. I think we are doing a good job of denial. That is why the question: Are we going to face another kick
at that cat?
I am in the analysis business. One of the dimensions of that is to look to the future. You ask yourself, ``Was that just
an aberration?'' I do not think so. I am sure it will not hit us the way we envision it now. It will hit us in some other
way. When it does, how will we react? That is where I come back to the point of the fear that the public will then press
power on government. That is where you need your institutions.
Senator Forrestall: I thank you for the last 20 minutes. I thank Senator LaPierre for getting us off into a thoughtful
discussion. Please do come back and we will go inside and shut out the world.
Mr. Campbell: We will go into semi-denial.
Senator Forrestall: You say integrated national security measures are being called for in defence of the homeland to
deal with the poised, serious challenges to Canada's viability. Why did you use the word ``challenges'' and not
Mr. Campbell: That is a good question. No doubt I struggled over that at the computer.
Senator Forrestall: I am sure you did.
Mr. Campbell: I do not like using the word ``threats.'' I do not tend to use it, even though it is central to the purpose
of intelligence and national security, because I am persuaded that a threat is something to fear, whereas a challenge is
nearly always also an opportunity.
Senator Forrestall: It is solvable.
Mr. Campbell: It is solvable.
Senator Forrestall: The threat frequently is not.
Mr. Campbell: It is something coming at you. I would like to think that Canadians can come at it.
Senator Forrestall: If you wonder why it is 2002 and we are just seeing the development of the centre, believe me, my
tulips are that high and this is June 3, so anything is possible.
I like your choice of words. In the old days we built fences around airports so people would not walk into the
propellers. Were we protecting planes? No, we were protecting people from planes. Now we are protecting planes from
people because the plane poses a challenge or a threat. I can deal with the challenge. but I cannot deal with the threat.
Do we have the training capacity to do the type of analysis and assessment of that analysis that is required to enable
us to learn from our experience? We were able to sort out the difference between a fence around a plane to protect
people from walking into the propellers from what we face today.
Do we have enough trained people and enough institutions capable of maintaining a high and increasingly higher
level of training and education, general education sometimes? What are we doing about encryption and decryption,
some of these other areas? I will feel comfortable if I know we have the tools to overcome the challenge. Only God in
heaven is going to protect us from the threat.
Do we have that level? Are we spending enough money?
Mr. Campbell: The answer to all your questions is no. When we were in the navy, we used to hitchhike to Halifax
from Cornwallis, and we went past the Greenwood base. They had a sign out there saying, ``You can sleep well tonight
because we are on duty.'' After a little while in the navy, I started to wonder about that assurance. At that time, we
could not even afford to put ships to sea.
For the same reason, we have shrunk our knowledge capacities, and in some cases, we never began them. We do
have kernels of excellence. What is happening now, as far as I can see, is they are being inflated and, in a sense,
strengthened. You cannot strengthen them too quickly. You certainly cannot do it overnight. You can build a lot of
long-term trouble into an institution by just taking a run at it. The kind of targets and levels I have heard spoken about
publicly in terms of the response to September 11 are inadequate, not just at the federal level, but also at the provincial
and municipal level.
Back to the vulnerability issue, the single biggest scare reminds me of our favourite intelligence service. It is the
weather service. With the Ice Storm, we came close to disaster. Disaster would have been defined as a major substation
being knocked out.
We must change. There is a step-jump that we have to take in defending ourselves in this gigantic country.
Senator Forrestall: Are we inbred in our teaching? Should we recruit offshore?
Mr. Campbell: No, we are good at our recruiting. We have some excellent people, and there is a great deal of
diversity. We do use and we are aware of the immense advantage Canada has with languages and cultures. My son goes
to a high school here in Ottawa where there are 49 languages. We have a huge resource.
Where that would take me — and the Americans are confronting this also — is that, if intelligence services are
defined as places where you keep secrets, you will have trouble getting at new Canadians because it is very hard to get a
security clearance back 20 years on people who have only been here five, and they come from places where you will not
get it. The only way around that is to have new ideas about what intelligence is and, in my opinion, 90 per cent of the
useful intelligence in Canada could be done entirely from open sources. Then you bring in the people with the
languages, and you create new institutions instead of plugging them into all these secret services.
Senator Day: I was following your logical, well-reasoned paper, and I congratulate you on the paper you presented
to us and to the National Defence University recently.
When you discuss hammering out change, the four points you raise that are transforming international relations and
national security issues are globalization, the U.S. evolving as the sole superpower, September 11, and information
technology, the area I would like you to focus on. You give us many different, fascinating points in relation to
One point I had not thought about that I would like you to expand on is your concerns about the concentration of
media and convergence in various forms of media services. That issue is of interest to a number of us from a different
point of view. I would like your comments on whether you feel that our regulators, nationally and internationally, have
gone too far in allowing for that convergence. Can you also elaborate on where our intelligence people are now and
where we are likely to be in the future, if this continues, in terms of being to analyse the information that they will be
receiving, and the dangers of propaganda and misinformation. Can you elaborate on that?
Mr. Campbell: That is a terrific question. Among other things, it pulls together four parts of my career. I spent eight
years doing regulatory policy. I will move away from national security and say that, as a person who spent eight years
looking carefully at regulatory structures, the answer to the question about whether our regulators have gone too far in
sleeping through a convergence transformation is yes. It is something that must be corrected.
That links to the national security dimension of your question because I think we watched and are still watching,
especially in the United States, but also in Canada, a remarkable period — I have never seen one like it — where we
stopped being able to tell ourselves any truths.
What do I mean by that? In the United States, when I presented the draft paper that you have been given, I was told
that it was just far too early to talk about the terrorists' victory, because that is a harsh word, and it belittles the people
who were killed. There are very many reasons for that, and I can understand the emotion. The point I found important
was that I believe that, for eight months, we have been suppressing the truths that we have to deal with. The notion of
an axis of evil, even the ability to coin that idea, is a sign of major problems, and that the institutions in the States did
not call it is just remarkable.
It comes back to the issue of concentration of media because the North American media are highly concentrated
now, and they have, for a variety of reasons, been forced to adopt a kind of party line. They do it for markets or for
ownership or because of the way they see the world.
I was interested by this issue of truth to power. We are not talking the truth just about anywhere. We are sleeping
through some of the most dramatic moments in international affairs that I have ever seen.
At the level of analysis, it only reinforces the need for some place in government, and that is the great glory of the
Anglo-American concept of intelligence, unlike other countries. The French, for example, do not have this idea: truth
to power. It is accepted and encouraged, and it is important. The idea itself goes back, fundamentally, to Churchill,
who was just as bad as Stalin at interpreting cables for himself, until he had a few ships sunk because of his doing so.
That is the reason for Parliament. That is why you have freedom of expression. I do not know whether I am being
controversial, but I am not trying to be. My observation is that most of us have not used adequately the freedom we
have to address the world we have been dealing with for the last eight months.
Senator Day: Having waved the flag on this issue, are the analysts of the strategic intelligence community sufficiently
aware of this? Do they appreciate the potential for manipulation by virtue of this concentration?
Mr. Campbell: I probably have not done justice to the information technology side of your point. My specialty is
deception and propaganda. I do not think, in Canada, we begin to understand the degree to which deception has
become a high science, a high art. We are in Madison Avenue and advertising and we are able to cope with that, but we
are not aware of the degree to which it is being used actively in international relations. I used to think it came out of
Madison Avenue and it then translated into war. However, the concept of information warfare is now alive and well.
We have people in Canada who understand the concept and are capable of talking about it inside the military, in
I do not think we as citizens, and I do not believe people in public authority, have any idea of the degree to which
they are susceptible to it.
Do the analysts know? Yes, by and large they do. There are just not enough of them. Let me take it a step further.
When I talk about analysis, people have this image of, perhaps, information coming together and these guys
crunching it. It is like the baker taking flour and turning out a loaf of bread. Compared with 1990, although even then
with the Cold War you had a problem, the task of the analyst is not synthesising information, it is validating it, to try
to figure out what are the lies. It is a very important function. I am glad you have touched on it. To have the skills to be
able to spot a piece of deception is very rare.
As I said, it was a Canadian who invented the principles of deception. We lost track of the people who could do that
because we dismantled after the First World War.
Senator Day: I have a question in relation to your use of the term ``deception.'' By virtue of concentration, it might
not be overt deception. It might just be that the first person in there was not as perceptive and analytical as he should
have been in generating the information, and others are just repeating the first comments that were made. Thus, the
mistruth becomes a reality, not by virtue of a desire to deceive, but by sheer laziness.
Mr. Campbell: You are right, and there is a big difference. People around the table will be aware of what Larry Zolf
called the ``punditi'' in the media who set the agenda, that is, establish an idea and watch everyone imitate it. When an
idea is released, when media are so busy and so pressured and concentrated, they copy each other. It is like a virus. As
soon as somebody shoots a lie into the system, intentionally, and it does not happen all the time, all they have to do is
hit one of the ``punditi'' who passes it on. Thomas Friedman in the New York Times must be manipulated all the time
because of the power his articles have to influence media everywhere.
You have convergence, coming together, with deception and the war against terrorism. It is a major, major issue.
The Chairman: Colleagues, we have had before us Mr. Anthony Campbell, the former executive director of the
Intelligence Assessment Secretariat of the Privy Council Office from 1993 to 2000, where he produced and coordinated
interdepartmental foreign intelligence and security analysis for the Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and
senior officials across the government.
Mr. Campbell, we found this to be a most worthwhile session. We appreciate your appearance before us. I will be
the third member of the committee to say we would like to have you back. On behalf of the committee, I would thank
you very much.