It has often been stated that we Canadians are a gentle lot; slow to anger and quick to apologize. These are admirable traits that lead to the type of society we enjoy. But when it comes to issuing alerts, a bit of bravado is essential.
In the wake of the recent hit-and-run killing of 53-year old, 28-year Canadian Armed Forces veteran Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent by Martin Rouleau, Global News reports that the Integrated Terrorism Assessment Center (ITAC) made up of security intelligence organizations from across Canada, “quietly” issued an increase in the domestic terrorism threat level from unlikely to “could occur” days before the incident. Quietly? Huh?
If this gauge of threat is intended as an internal tool, it should be kept internal. If the safety of the public is involved, it should be made public. I’m sure glad it’s Environment Canada and not ITAC that issues hurricane warnings in advance of a potential threat.
If one had a tendency to be skeptical, one might think the government was using an old CIA ploy here; CIA as in Covering Its Ass. Did the folks at ITAC concoct talking points to feed to inquiring journalists? “If anyone asks just tell them we were not caught off guard, in fact tell them we upped the threat level just before the attack, we just did it quietly, nudge nudge, wink wink and Al-Shabaab’s your uncle!”
The US and UK have elaborate scales of the degree of potential terrorist threat. When there is a change, either up or down, it is breaking news. For some reason ITAC chose to keep mum about this perceived increased threat, slight though it was. The Global article states “Unlike the United States, Canada does not use a public terrorism threat level system. The U.S. makes a change in threat level public.” All fine and dandy, but don’t tell us afterward.