Old Age Claims RCMP "Mole" of Cold War Era
ronjackbc at yahoo.ca
Sun Apr 4 00:05:55 EST 2004
I thank Mr. Mulvenna for his thorough response to my
very brief 'heads up' on a notable death. Of course
the name is spelled BENNETT. I apologize for failing
to strike that second "T". No slight intended, to the
dead. If you do wish to clean up the spelling
record in Mr. Bennett's memory, the better search
engines will show you where the surname has been
I must be candid and admit that my little note was
intended to draw a response from some kind soul. I
am grateful that it was you who took the time, but I
wish you were just a bit more forthcoming. You do
hint that you are privy to documentation that might
indicate grounds for removing Bennett'sa security
clearence, but insist there was no substance to the
foreign accusation that he was a mole for the Soviet
bloc. You suggest that there are "important aspects"
to the case which
are kept from the public record. Why? Given, a
recent and 'newsy'
example, that our newly minted Prime Minister just
released Cabinet Minutes
scarcely five years old in order demonstate that
criminality was not orchestrated by federal Cabinet,
can you, a retired officer still cling to the
position that burial of key Cold War files is in the
Your praise for the John Sawatsky book (FOR SERVICES
RENDERED: Leslie James Bennett and the RCMP Security
Service, Doubleday 1982), is deserved. It
is in fact one of only a half dozen works on Canadian
Intelligence which are of lasting importance. He does
deal with the official coverup and if I take the time
type out a short extract, perhaps you would tell us
what became of some of Bennett's colleagues? Please?
Page 325 : "The cover-up could not last. Rumours
overcome any bureaucracy and, once started, the
speculation could not be stopped. Bennett had
disappeared too quickly and too completely; the
Force had not given him a visible send-off party.
All kinds of of wild stories about Bennett as a
Soviet agentstarted to spread. Many people knew
about the investigation but only a few knew the
results. Many questions were asked. ....
Nobody believed the denials, especially when
a general housekeeping removed Bennett's closest
friends and colleagues from their operations.
Joe Yablonski, one of Bennett's two senior NCOs,
was removed to Vancouver. Vic Wallwork, his
other senior NCO, was transferred to Halifax but,
suffering from terminal cancer, was allowed to
stay for the remaining months of his life.
Dick Rowan, a colleague and close friend, was
transferred to A Division. Dorothy McDonald
was moved. So were friends outside of E Branch
such as Ken Green and Aussie Gee. Janette Keir,
one of his closest friends, was herself inter-
rogated but deflated the allegations against her
and was rehabilitated. Of Bennett's close
friends, only Howie Jones, who collaborated with
OPERATION GRIDIRON, kept his position. "
The great "tragedy" of the Bennett case is the way
(Sawatsky aside) it has been packaged for the
historical record. The further pity is that most
of the existing gaps in our history will eventually be
filled by British or American expertss, and not by our
'old boys' who started counting their pension points
the moment they took the oath.
I don't wish to be rude but it is not sufficient for
members of the old S.S. to congratulate themselves
for a job well done when there are so few Cold War
successes which can be boasted of.
As a Canadian myself I have to smile broadly when you
suggest that Mr. Bennett was "finally and fully
exonerated" in our National Parliament. Whatever
institution may represent it is not a platform or a
repository for truth, justice and the Canadian way.
> contrary to what has been written in several books
> (Mangold's Cold Warrior
> among others), the CIA and James Angleton, the Head
> of the CI Staff at CIA,
> did not initiate, control or otherwise unduly
> influence this investigation.
Are there no American authorities you agree with?
Do they never get it right?
> The only news we had of him was through his family.
> His death was not "kept
> secret for over five months" (by whom?).
NATIONAL POST had this:
"Much of Jim Bennett's life as a spy
remains shrouded in mystery - even the news
of his death last Oct. 18 in Melbourne was
a tightly guarded secret for months ...
News of his death at 83 following a lengthy
illness was kept quiet at the request of
Hilary Bennett, one of his two surviving
daughters. Ms. Bennett, a Melbourne lawyer,
didn't return (N.POST) phonecalls."
Thanks for your commentary Mr. Mulvenna. I don't
agree with everything you suggest, but I
do salute your service to Canada.
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