Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Insecurity Vetting

For something that supposedly died with (former) Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier's resignation on Monday night, the scandal he left in his wake is curiously healthy. The PMO's dismissiveness of the issue notwithstanding, the questions that continue to come up around the Bernier scandal are just too glaringly weird to ignore. Ms. Couillard's loveliness has kind of overshadowed some of the many loose ends in this idiosyncratic little ball of wool, including what's easily the strangest aspect of the scandal -- the issue of security vetting. As I mentioned before, CSIS and the RCMP keep detailed files on bikers and their associates. That includes not just wives and girlfriends, but friends, hangarounds, and anyone who even attends one of their parties. (Entering an HA's bash sometimes entails running a gauntlet of cops writing down license plate numbers, taking photos and video and generally being pains in the ass.) I could be wrong, but for security reasons I'd think that there'd also be a security vetting process for the "associates" of MPs. So there's absolutely no doubt that Julie Couillard was on file somewhere deep in the bowels of Canada's police apparatus.

I'd be the last person to cast aspersions on Ms. Couillard's past, and that's not my intention. But the question's been banging around in my head ever since this story broke two weeks ago, and I have to ask it. How does someone with Couillard's background make the security cut to attend not only Canada's state functions, but up-close encounters with people like Georgie Bush, the Leader of the Free World? In a world where the security environment is everything, it seems like a major ball to drop.