This lighthearted regular feature isn't exactly groundbreaking, but who doesn't enjoy a choice quote? We at X-Ray are intrigued by what falls out of the mouths of our leaders, figureheads, functionaries and even, occasionally, our top spies. In an age when sound bytes are the rule, every once in a while some bite back...
“It may have been good for some of my farmers in Arkansas, but it has not worked. It was a mistake.” --- Bill Clinton, now UN special envoy to Haiti, tells the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee he was wrong to force cheap American rice on Haiti during his presidency (Mar 10)
“The (Border Security Force) has engaged in systematic attacks on civilians and has been responsible for systematically torturing suspected criminals." --- An unnamed Canadian diplomat in India rejects an immigration application from retired Indian BSF Constable Fateh Singh Pandher. Our High Commission in Delhi rejected Pandher and other military personnel who served in Kashmir, essentially accusing India of human rights abuses (Dec 9, 2009)
“The Government of Canada… deeply regrets the recent incident in which letters drafted by public service officials during routine visa refusals to Indian nationals cast false aspersions on the legitimacy of work carried out by Indian defense and security institutions, which operate under the framework of democratic processes and the rule of law.” --- Immigration Minister Jason Kenney apologizes to an angry Indian government (May 28)
“We're in fact a bit worried in a couple of provinces that we have an indication that there's some political figures who have developed quite an attachment to foreign countries.” --- Richard Fadden, CSIS chief and Canada’s Top Spy, effectively accuses China of spying and running agents (sorry, politicians) in two provincial legislatures. His sensational remarks were made just days before Chinese Premier Hu Jintao arrived in Ottawa (June 22)
"At this point, CSIS has not deemed the cases to be of sufficient concern to bring them to the attention of provincial authorities." --- Fadden climbs down somewhat, though apparently the “cases” were of sufficient concern for the spy chief to raise the public alarm. Embarrassing to be sure, yet there was no international outcry, nary a whimper from China, and no public apology. Spooky. (June 23)