It’s the tale of little six-year-old Jacob, who really likes spies. So much so that he wrote to CSIS to ask if they could help him set up a spy club. Little Jacob did not know, perhaps, that CSIS is an agency found to be complicit in a variety of illegal acts, from complicity in torture and recording solicitor-client legal calls to uttering threats, coercing Muslims into spying on their own communities, and lying in front of judges during secret hearings.
After a four-month delay, Canada’s spy agency, perhaps sensing a wonderful whitewashing opportunity, sent Jacob a CSIS hat, medallion, and patch. In a classic example of servile stenography to power, a CBC reporter then produced a puff piece celebrating an agency littered with human rights abuses (as confirmed by two judicial inquiries, Supreme Court and Federal Court decisions, and even the agency’s own weak review committee and since-disbanded inspector general).