How Secret Was My Mission?

OK, here’s the almost breathless lead paragraph from a CanWest news service story from Afghanistan:

“Canada wrapped up a secret mission this week that provides the country’s military a greater intelligence role in Afghanistan – literally from a Canadian perspective.

Two Canadian Aurora long-range patrol planes have spent the last month flying over southern Afghanistan on highly precise grid-like routes, snapping quick-fire pictures of the land below….”

Funny, it appears Canada’s Defence Minister let the “secret” out early, by way of a news release on 8 May 09:

“The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, today announced that two CP-140 Auroras deployed overseas yesterday for approximately two months to produce maps for Joint Task Force-Afghanistan.

The Auroras and their two crews will produce high-resolution, colour and stereo imagery in support of Operation ATHENA, the Canadian contingent to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan. The type of imagery that will be gathered will promote interoperability and operational success since it can be shared across the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), including the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF)…..”

Or did the reporter mean the MATERIAL COLLECTED was secret?

The public can’t have a peek at the maps. But the accurate pictures can be used for military or humanitarian purposes by coalition partners, including the Afghanistan government.”

Although the headline is incorrect, I can’t blame the headline writer for this one.

“Secret” mission?  Uh, yeah, right.

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