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Mr. Cole is a thoughtful and valuable critic of the national security scene in Canada. His descriptions and analyses jibe exactly with my own in my own terrible ordeal with that groups flatfoot. They didn't deserve Cole. Buy it. Keep it. It will be a reference.
This book was not what I expected it to be. The author describes problems within the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in a tone that comes across as sore and whiny. He continually berates the organisation, although does include pepperings of actual insight that are enough to keep the reader involved in his personal vendetta against his former employer. The author makes the mistake of using an academic writing style to convey his greviences. The title of the first chapter: 'the totalitarian system', reeks of hyperbole and sniveling disgrace. Also, this book is inundated with speling erors, makimg it dificult to reed at times.
That said, he also offers common-sense recommendations for improving the efficiency of the organisation, some of which are actually now in place. The author also examines, albeit briefly, the group of seventeen incident, and uses that as a jumping-off point from which to launch a tirade about racism in the Canadian security apparatus.
Despite the annoyances, I would recommend this book to anybody interested in contemporary intelligence issues in Canada, and feel like many Canadians should read it to help dispel many of the myths surrounding our chief intelligence organisation (while creating a few new ones). Once the reader is able to ignore the whining, some rather good analyses will blindside you. I must admit that, as much as I now dislike J. Michael Cole, he does have some good ideas. I particularly like his views on 'militant islam' (admittedly not his own), which he characterises very cleanly before regressing back into the complaining.