TORONTO STAR EDITORIAL: CSIS’s changing role
From Toronto Star
Canada’s spy agency has just celebrated its 25th anniversary. But there’s little cheer in a damning report from the watchdog Security Intelligence Review Committee.
The committee’s survey of the role of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in the case of Omar Khadr says that it’s time for a “fundamental reassessment” of the way the service operates and that it should undergo a “cultural shift” to keep pace with the political and legal developments of the post 9/11 era.
These are not the opinions of some left-wing group. The watchdog committee is chaired by Gary Filmon, a former Conservative premier.
The committee focused on Khadr, who was arrested by American forces in Afghanistan at the age of 15 and has spent the last seven years in Guantanamo Bay. CSIS agents travelled to Guantanamo to interrogate him amid widespread allegations of detainee abuse in the military prison. Documents have shown that during his detention Khadr was threatened with rape, confined in isolation and subjected to sleep deprivation.
Nor did the agents take into account his rights as a minor, which he would enjoy in Canada.
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