New information released on Delisle’s case
By Eric Wilkins, Staff Writer
Due to a series of documents recently made public, more light has been shed onto the Jeffrey Paul Delisle case. Earlier this month, Delisle pleaded guilty to the charges laid against him under the Security of Information Act in Nova Scotia Provincial court. From his position at the Trinity naval intelligence centre inside CFB Halifax as a threat assessment analyst, Delisle had been selling sensitive information to the Russians, specifically the GRU, Russia’s main intelligence collective, since 2007 for approximately $3,000 a month until his arrest in January of this year.
The transcript from the RCMP interrogation of Delisle reveals a man with a troubled personal life. He stated that, “I thought of suicide so many times, so many times. I just couldn’t… So I committed professional suicide,” citing his wife cheating on him as the main reason. From there, he describes the beginning of his espionage simply as, “I walked right into the embassy and I said: ‘Here I am.’ It wasn’t for money. It was never for money. The money was nothing compared to what I know… what I could have sought.”
Delisle’s method of communication with GRU was startlingly easy: copy the information from his classified computer onto a floppy disk, transfer the information onto his unclassified computer, download the information to a USB drive, and then email the data. Even his lawyer, Mike Taylor, remarked, “It’s amazing he wasn’t caught long before he was—absolutely amazing. There are lots of things about security at that place that would make you shake your head.”
Delisle apparently tried to end his connection with the GRU at one point, saying, “Initially, [the payment] was monthly. Then I stopped and they wouldn’t pay. And then they got pictures of my daughter. I started again.” His downfall would be triggered by a trip to Brazil to meet with a GRU agent. They wanted to make him their “pigeon” (someone who works with all of the agents in an area) for Canada; Delisle agreed. However, the money paid to him for this ($50,000 in prepaid credit cards and cash) brought suspicion on him upon his return to Canada, and ultimately led to his discovery and arrest.
While Delisle says that, “The stuff I sent them … wasn’t a risk to our security,” CSIS is of a different mind, stating in a report, “Based on CSIS analysis and our current knowledge of the totality of the compromise, Delisle’s unauthorized disclosures to the Russians since 2007 has caused severe and irreparable damage to Canadian interests.”
Canadian officials are worried about the position this places Canada in, since Delisle had access to information from the “Five Eyes” community (which includes the U.S., Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand). Brigadier General Robe Williams commented, “The release of this information by the accused puts Canada’s relationships with our partners in jeopardy.”
Delisle will receive his sentence in January of the coming year.