THE MOST APPOSITE and indicative comment on this profoundly important, tautly written, and absolutely necessary book is that certain people are attempting to discredit it and dismiss its findings. Indifference is the only indicator of a bad book; enthusiasm, positive or negative, invariably signifies triumph. And triumph is most certainly what the Ottawa journalist and Liberal Party special assistant Warren Kinsella has achieved with this expose of Libyan intelligence's covert activities and secret operations within Canada.
One does not have to be a conspiracy monomaniac to believe in plots; one does not have to be paranoid to believe that evil is waiting just around the comer. It has taken Kinsella several years of research, rejection by at least one pusillanimous publisher, and a nose-to-nose battle with libel chill to reach this stage; praise is due the author and to Lester Publishing for having the courage to conclude the project. Unholy Alliances chronicles a horrendous story, telling of how various Canadian federal and provincial officials, numerous front companies, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), and a host of neo-Nazi organizations were deeply involved in Libyan espionage, propaganda, and illegal undertakings. Moreover, most of the activity took place within easy reach of the RCMP and CSIS. Much of the duplicity was known, claims Kinsella, but nobody was willing or able to do anything about it.
The author convincingly documents his charges, presenting an impressive selection of facts, names, and figures. He establishes that the Manara Travel Agency, which had branches in Ottawa and Washington, was owned by Mousa Hawamda, one of Qadhafi's leading spies; he would later escape from the FBI. Kinsella goes on to claim that Alberta's commissioner-general for international trade and tourism, Horst Schmid, paid a Libyan agent $25,000 for what were ostensibly telephone bills and health-care premiums; that the Oka Mohawk Warriors as well as the Nationalist Party of Canada received direct funding from Tripoli; that the death of the Southam News writer Christoph Halens in Tripoli in 1987 was certainly not an accident nor, as the Libyans alleged, a case of suicide; and that the 1988 Lockerbie bombing terrorists were closely connected to the controllers of Canada's Libyan espionage network.
Kinsella also leaves us with a caveat, a warning that if we presume that the dangerous antics of the Libyan government are a thing of the past, we should think again. "In Qadhafi's Libya, there will always be many others eager to take up the banner of the Green Revolution," he writes. "For those Libyan men who agree to go abroad to battle the United States and its allies -'the enemies of humanity,' as Hawamda. once called them - there is the promise of riches, power, and respect back home."
In a world where selective morality and ethical cowardice are prevalent we would do well to ponder Kinsella's statement, and do even better to read his book. These facts certainly are stranger than fiction. John LeCarre will never seem the same again.