Fire this man immediately
MP’s secret affair with Chinese journalist leaves way too many questions to keep him around
By Ezra Levant ,QMI Agency First posted: Saturday, September 17, 2011 08:00 PM EDT
Bob Dechert is disloyal to his wife and derelict in his duty to his country.
So why is Stephen Harper standing behind him now?
Dechert is Canada’s parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs. It’s a position of trust. Dechert has a secret security clearance. He sees things that are confidential. He is in a position of responsibility and discretion.
He is checked out by the RCMP. When people meet with him to lobby him, by law those meetings have to be publicly disclosed in a registry.
In other words, Bob Dechert is kind of a big deal.
He’s influential on China policy. He is the vice-chair of Parliament’s Canada-China Legislative Association. He accompanied Prime Minister Stephen Harper on an official trip to China.
Which is precisely why the Chinese dictatorship sees him as such an ideal target.
CSIS estimates China has 1,000 agents in Canada working not just to undermine us militarily, but also to steal useful information. CSIS estimates China steals a billion dollars each month in technological and industrial secrets -- which is about as much as they buy from us legally.
It’s so bad that CSIS spends 50% of its counter-intelligence efforts battling against Chinese spying.
Which is why Bob Dechert’s secret affair with a Chinese agent named Shi Rong is so unacceptable.
Shi is the Toronto boss of Xinhua, the Chinese press agency. Of course, there is no free press in China, so Shi actually works for the Chinese government -- the Chinese Communist Party, to be accurate. Xinhua was set up by them as a propaganda arm. But it is now also a de facto spy agency -- not just gathering news, but gathering secrets. Dechert knows that. But he decided to have an affair with her -- a secret affair.
And it was only when Shi’s husband found out about their affair by reading her e-mails, and then sent copies of those e-mails to everyone on Shi Rong’s e-mail address list, that the world found out about it.
In other words, Dechert didn’t come clean about this relationship on his own. CSIS and the RCMP didn’t detect it -- even though they gave him security clearance. It was only an angry, cuckolded husband that revealed this disastrous security breach.
Asked about it by reporters, Dechert admitted the e-mails were from him. But he said it was no big deal -- he said they were merely “flirtatious.”
Telling someone their hair looks nice is flirtatious. Telling someone that you love them, you miss them, you can’t wait to see them again is not flirtatious. It is an intimate relationship. Whether or not Dechert had a physical relationship is not known to us -- Dechert has been hiding from the media.
But the Chinese government surely knows. And if they did have physical contact, if they slept together, or even if they just had a private date, it’s surely all photographed by the Chinese government. Probably videotaped, too.
It’s called a honey trap. It’s the oldest trick in the book.
Dechert should be fired for sheer stupidity for having an affair with a Chinese government agent. That’s not just stupid, it’s malicious -- because he clearly knew it was wrong, since he kept it hidden. So he knew he was doing something improper, but still did it anyway.
There are many unanswered questions. When did the relationship start? Who initiated it? Besides love letters, what else did Dechert send her? Did they ever talk about Canada-China relations?
What did she ask him about? Since their affair began, what input has Dechert had into Canada-China policy? What has he said in caucus, or to the prime minister? Or as vice-chair of the Canada-China committee?
And here’s the most important ones: What else is he hiding? Did he do things that made him susceptible to blackmail? Is he being blackmailed with photos or phone call recordings or videos, right now?
Fire him immediately. Then have CSIS and the RCMP investigate the depth of his damage.