Canada's Chief of the Defence Staff, Rick Hillier, has been told to tone down his political interventions after he spoke out last week on the direction of the Afghanistan military mission, sources have told The Globe and Mail.
“He got his marching orders,” a senior government official said Wednesday. “He was reminded what his role is. His role is not to be the chief spokesperson for the mission.”
“He pulled in his horns, but there has to be a recognition that he may have gotten away with this once, he's not going to do it again,” the source said.
“He needs to do his job and leave the politics to those who are assigned to that task and who have the elected mandate behind him.”
Hillier's comments weren't political, they were simply an assessment of the situation. The government reaction demonstrates that message control and propaganda, sanitized for public consumption is the guiding force. Hillier isn't a "spokesman", he just so happens to be the leader of our military and his perspective should take precedent. Muzzling people in the field, because it doesn't jive with the spin in Ottawa is a very disturbing development. Another example of the Conservative hypocrisy on transparency and openness. Apparently the government has decided we can't handle the truth.