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Canadian coins transmit secret messages to our terrorist overlords

At least, that’s what the US Defense Security Service believed.

The silver-coloured 25-cent piece features the red image of a poppy – Canada’s flower of remembrance – inlaid over a maple leaf. The unorthodox quarter is identical to the coins pictured and described as suspicious in the contractors’ accounts.

The supposed nano-technology actually was a conventional protective coating the Royal Canadian Mint applied to prevent the poppy’s red color from rubbing off. The mint produced nearly 30 million such quarters in 2004 commemorating Canada’s 117,000 war dead.

“It did not appear to be electronic (analog) in nature or have a power source,” wrote one U.S. contractor, who discovered the coin in the cup holder of a rental car. “Under high power microscope, it appeared to be complex consisting of several layers of clear, but different material, with a wire like mesh suspended on top.”

The confidential accounts led to a sensational warning from the Defence Security Service, an agency of the Defence Department, that mysterious coins with radio frequency transmitters were found planted on U.S. contractors with classified security clearances on at least three separate occasions between October 2005 and January 2006 as the contractors traveled through Canada.

One contractor believed someone had placed two of the quarters in an outer coat pocket after the contractor had emptied the pocket hours earlier. “Coat pockets were empty that morning and I was keeping all of my coins in a plastic bag in my inner coat pocket,” the contractor wrote.

But the Defence Department subsequently acknowledged that it could never substantiate the espionage alarm that it had put out and launched the internal review that turned up the true nature of the mysterious coin.

I believe this is a sign: Somewhere in the Defense Security Service, a spawn of the Bush cabal has a cushy ‘service’ job which will keep him far, far away from Iraq. Unfortunately, that same spawn is responsible for assessing threats close to home. That’s my theory, anyway. It’s more comforting than my other theory: This represents Millitary Intelligence at it’s best.

Mmmm!!!  Live savers!

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4 thoughts on “Canadian coins transmit secret messages to our terrorist overlords

  1. It’s really too bad that we’re too far from a presidential election to have the Homeland Security colour-coded threat warning up and running – surely this would get us at least to orange – provided there was a candidate debate coming up or something.

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  2. “At least, that’s what the US Defense Security Service believed.”

    No, actually it’s not. If you read the story it’s pretty clear that this whole thing turned into an Urban Legend that certain people really, really wanted to be true. The DSS admitted a long time ago that the Coin Story was added to one minor published report by mistake, which was then quickly cleared up… some Americans got weirded out by the coins (remember, these were the first ever to have a painted insert) and reported them to their embassy. The US government were not responsible for those reports, private citizens were… all of which was buried in the bottom third of the AP, CP and Globe & Mail stories:

    “The Defense Security Service disavowed its warning about spy coins after an international furor. The U.S. said it never substantiated the contractors’ claims and performed an internal review to determine how the false information was included in a 29-page published report about espionage concerns.

    “The Defense Security Service never examined the suspicious coins, spokeswoman Cindy McGovern said. “We know where we made the mistake,” she said. “The information wasn’t properly vetted. While these coins aroused suspicion, there ultimately was nothing there.””

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  3. “The confidential accounts led to a sensational warning from the Defence Security Service, an agency of the Defence Department, that mysterious coins with radio frequency transmitters were found planted on U.S. contractors with classified security clearances on at least three separate occasions between October 2005 and January 2006 as the contractors traveled through Canada.”

    They believed it before disavowing it, Feartheseeds.

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  4. “The [DSS] never examined the suspicious coins, spokeswoman Cindy McGovern said. “We know where we made the mistake,” she said. “The information wasn’t properly vetted. While these coins aroused suspicion, there ultimately was nothing there.””

    Sensational is the reporters word, not the DSS’s… . the DSS admitted in writing to having made a mistake back in its 2006 Annual Report, released this past January, but the mistake and retraction were first made public much earlier in 2006. What made the story resurface this week was the origial docmuments were attained from Canada and the US under Access To Infomation requests. The first reports, and there were very few, surfaced in 2005, ignored, then accidentally made it into a minor report, the DSS apologized and retracted, the 2006 Annual Report explained the mistake, an access to information request was made by reporters, four months later the related documents were released, AP/CP write a story about the documents, here we are.

    The problem with the AP/CP story, which is the one most papers are reprinting and the TV stations are using as their source material, is the language in some of the reporters introductions into the quotes from emails not sent to the reporter… for example:
    Quote…

    Meanwhile, in Canada, senior intelligence officials expressed annoyance with the American spy-coin warnings as they tried to learn more about the oddball claims.

    “That story about Canadians planting coins in the pockets of defence contractors will not go away,” Luc Portelance, now deputy director for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, wrote in a January e-mail to a subordinate. “Could someone tell me more? Where do we stand and what’s the story on this?”

    End Quote.

    It sounds almost like the Canadian official is annoyed at the Americans for believing the coin story, but he’s annoyed with the Urban Legend — already debunked at the point when this email was actually sent — coming back, and it actually sounds like he’s asking for a PR Flack to help him with a sound bite.

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