More information on the "Statement of Operational Requirements" , a formerly dry document that is quickly becoming intriguing because of its absence. It would appear the government's own website completely contradicts their arguments for withholding this crucial documentation:
The Department of National Defence says it is hiding a key F-35 document from the public because that type of document is classified. Yet its own website hosts many of these same types of papers for public downloading, almost all of which are marked as "unclassified."
"SORs are classified documents" that are "not disclosed publicly," added spokesperson Evan Koronewski.
However, those claims don't appear to hold water as the government's own publicly accessible website currently hosts at least four of these types of documents, three of which explicitly state that they are unclassified. One such document even concerns another recent Air Force equipment purchase.
What's more, their publication dates show that the department has often declassified and released versions of these documents before signing any contracts.
The "classified" defence falls apart, using the government's own website to show a disconnect. Once you incorporate the public debate here, the government defence becomes that much more suspect:
Military experts are calling for the release of the operational requirements document as they say if it is not released, the heated political rhetoric in Canada over the F-35, which could spill over into an election as early as next month, will continue to be based on merely speculation and allegations.
They say the onus is on the government to release the military's requirements in order to clear the air.
The situation is even more pressing after media reports last fall showed that the military had been recommending the F-35 as far back as 2006, even though Lt.-Gen. Deschamps said in November that the document was finalized internally in early 2010—meaning that the military bypassed its own procurement process.
Quite common to release the Statement of Operational Requirements under normal circumstances. Add on the very public debate, the correct "onus on the government" to tell Canadians why we need these planes, and it would seem release of the SOR should be an automatic given. Questions have been raised, the SOR would clear up certain concerns, and yet the government departs from apparent standard practice, keeps the documents hidden from view? Why? Does this present reality lead to unnecessary speculation and innuendo? Any suspicion is solely a reaction to government actions, they are creating this climate of uncertainty because of the lack of transparency, because they will not use the common underpinning to support their claims.
Again, nothing to hide, then why are hiding? And, why are you hiding something you normally don't? Doesn't add up from here.