WASHINGTON — Can Canada be trusted?
In the midst of what turned out to be a bogus espionage scare over commemorative coins, senior Pentagon officials speculated whether Canadians — widely considered to be among America's closest allies — might be "bad guys" involved in the spy caper. "Who knows?" one official wrote in secret e-mails obtained this week by The Associated Press.
The espionage warnings from the Defense Department caused an international sensation a few years ago over reports of mysterious coins with radio frequency transmitters, until they were debunked. The culprit turned out to be commemorative "poppy" quarters with a bright red flower manufactured in Canada.
But at the height of the mystery, senior Pentagon officials speculated about Canada's involvement, according to e-mails marked "Secret/NoForn" and obtained by the AP under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. The messages reflect the no-holds-barred attitudes over an inherent lack of trust within U.S. spy agencies.
"I don't think it is an issue of the Canadians being the bad guys," the Pentagon's counterintelligence chief wrote, "but then again, who knows."More...