This only makes us look even worse in the eyes of others. Will this become the Future of all people around the world will be to take Canadian identities to do their dirty work ?
He drilled down to the very heart of Hamas, spending 50 hours in a Syrian bunker with its leader. He went just as deep into the inner workings of Israel's famed spy service, the Mossad, with the most embarrassing of questions.
But could author Paul McGeough penetrate the layers of secrecy in Ottawa to get the rest of his riveting inside story of global espionage involving fake Canadian passports?
Yes, but it was difficult – more difficult even than unearthing all that he found in the Middle East itself.
"Canada, I discovered, is a place where information held by the government appears to be deemed the property of the government, rather than the property of the people," McGeough, one of Australia's most respected journalists, told the Toronto Star.
"Even 10 years after the fact, trying to glean answers to the most basic questions from the Canadian foreign ministry, it was like throwing a bomb. There was a lot of anxiety. But ultimately I managed to get the inside Canadian account from, well, some very good sources."
The result – excerpted exclusively in today's Star – is the newly published Kill Khalid: The Failed Mossad Assassination of Khalid Mishal and the Rise of Hamas, an unsurpassed telling of how Israeli spies masquerading as Canadian tourists all but ignited a Mideast war in 1997.
The audacious Israeli plan was to spray deadly nerve gas into the ear of the then-middling Hamas operative. This, they managed – but as the stricken Mishal took ill in the Jordanian capital of Amman, the "Canadians" were captured. And that is when all hell broke loose.
McGeough's gripping account spares no detail, providing a fly-on-the-wall vantage of the rising diplomatic panic that sent shudders through world capitals.
In a span of hours, the story went from empathy – one Canadian diplomat went so far as to fetch one of her husband's shirts for the battered "tourists" – to outright fury, as Jordan's King Hussein ordered his troops to rotate the guns defending the Israeli embassy, putting the Israelis in the crosshairs.