Out of England comes a disturbing story of top level secret documents being left on a train.
Keith Vaz MP, chairman of the powerful Home Affairs select committee told the BBC: “Such confidential documents should be locked away…they should not be read on trains….” [link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7449255.stm]
Ya think? “… These documents are described as a security breach:”
One, on Iraq’s security forces, was commissioned by the Ministry of Defence. According to the BBC’s security correspondent, Frank Gardner, it included a top-secret and in some places “damning” assessment of Iraq’s security forces,
The other document, reportedly entitled ‘Al-Qaeda Vulnerabilities’, was commissioned jointly by the Foreign Office and the Home Office. [link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7449255.stm]
The official responsible for this appalling lapse in judgment has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. [more on the story here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7449255.stm]
These revelations in England follow on the heels of an apparent security breach in Canada.
Maxime Bernier, former foreign affairs minister in the Canadian government, resigned his post after it was revealed that he had left security papers in an ex-girlfriend’s apartment – for FIVE weeks! This breach on his part was the last in a long line of mis-steps by Bernier. It seems that one of his biggest mis-steps was in the choice of girlfriends. Initially, when this story first broke, Prime Minister Harper insisted that M. Bernier’s private life was nobody’s business, and accused clamouring opposition parliamentarians of being “old busybodies” as they challenged the record of events in the House of Commons. Riiiiight. Ultimately though, as things got worse, and it was revealed that nobody was even aware that government documents were missing, Bernier was left with no option but to step down. An investigation is also underway for this transgression.
Scandals based on ministers’ private lives – choice of ‘partners’ – is not new. Can we say “Profumo Affair”?
In the early 60’s, Profumo had a liason with a ‘model’ called Christine Keeler. All well and good, but it came to light that Keeler was also involved with a Russian senior naval attache, Yevgeny Ivanov. A tangled web evolved, but ultimately unraveled with major ripples within Harold McMillan’s government.
The expression “you are known by the company you keep” springs to mind here. Are we being salacious busybodies when we demand details of MP’s private lives? I think not. Whilst I really don’t need all the sordid intimate details, I do think we should hold our politicians to a high standard of accountability. Yes, Pierre Trudeau DID famously say: “The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation”, BUT when the business in the bedroom affects the nation’s affairs, time to rethink our choices.
Of course, I don’t need to remind readers about a US President whose philandering almost toppled HIS presidency. “Blue dress” anyone? We don’t know, despite Ken Starr, what else besides cigars was shared with Lewinsky. We already have to contend with the main stream media sharing mission logistical details on an almost daily basis, endangering our troops’ lives. It is imperative that our politicians exhibit sound judgment that does not imperil allied interests. Leaving top secret documents on public trains, or in paramour’s apartments, does not qualify as good judgment. Coupled with the msm help, this loose behaviour aids our enemies. Fact is, when a politicians are elected, their behaviour has to be above reproach. Especially in a time of war. And yes, people, we ARE at war.
Another common cliche from WW2 is “loose lips sink ships”. I suggest we rework that to: “Loose zippers sink ships.” Especially in a time of war, discretion IS the better part of valour.