Leaked diplomatic cables obtained by the National Post reveal that American diplomats are upset with Canadian television portrayals of US security and intelligence officials, reports the Toronto Star.
Citing a Canadian "inferiority complex" and an "Alice in Wonderland" world view, the cables contain complaints that Canadian TV portrays "American security officials as unyielding, faceless thugs with dubious morals and scant respect for international law".
The second cable deals with American stereotypes on CBC television shows, including one episode of the border that deals with CIA rendition flights which spirit terror suspects off to countries that practice torture for deep interrogation.
This is a peculiar complaint, given that we're all well aware of the US policy of "extraordinary rendition". The CIA does, in fact, ship terrorism suspects and "unlawful enemy combatants" to prisons in countries outside of US legal jurisdiction, where they are subsequently interrogated using harsh techniques and even tortured.
But the problem US officials have is the way this is portrayed.
Apparently they would prefer it if Canadian television showed a kinder, gentler form of extraordinary rendition. Perhaps actors could portray caring security operatives whose only concern is the comfort and wellbeing of the people they're hooding and shipping off for interrogation in a secret prison in Syria or the brig of some ship.
Then again, fiction is usually more compelling when it has the ring of truth.
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