PRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley has revealed “top secret” files to describe the former director of the Strategic Services Agency (SSA) Carlton Dennie as a “dangerous liar.”
He called a press conference on Tuesday at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s saying he was compelled to reveal the contents of “secret files” to expose the character of Dennie, who spoke on a United National Congress (UNC) platform on Monday night.
Speaking at the Debe High School meeting, Dennie said as director of the SSA, he was asked to fire all people on East Indian descent in the agency.
Dennie said, “I am the person that they asked to fire all the East Indians from the SSA. I told them no! This made the daily newspapers. I reminded Rowley and the then minister of national security (Edmund) Dillon that in this country, every creed and race must find an equal place. I told them no! I am not firing any Indians.”
But at the news conference, Rowley condemned Dennie’s statements saying they were dangerous to the social fabric and promoted racial strife in the country.
Rowley denied any interaction with Dennie and refuted the claim that he and Dillon had asked Dennie to fire Indians. He described it as a “categorical lie.”
Rowley said, “It is a most dangerous statement to be made by any officer no matter how aggrieved he or she is.”
He quoted from a document of the Security Intelligence Agency dated October 23, 2009, when Patrick Manning was prime minister and he sat in the backbenches of the Lower House.
Rowley said the document was written to then permanent Secretary at the National Security Ministry Mrs Bucoo-Blake.
Excerpts of the document stated that Dennie displayed repeatedly unacceptable forms of behaviour primarily in the areas of insubordination, task avoidance and inciteful disruptive activity.
But despite this, Dennie got his contract renewed, Rowley said.
Speaking during the Monday Night Forum, Dennie said Rowley was the “worst” Prime Minister and head of the National Security Council with whom he worked.
Dennie said, “I am the person that they asked to fire all the East Indians from the SSA. I told them no!
“This made the daily newspapers. I reminded Rowley and the then minister of national security (Edmund) Dillon, that in this country, every creed and race must find an equal place. I told them no. I am not firing any Indians.”
He said of the four different prime ministers who chaired the National Security Council during his tenure at the intelligence agency, former prime mister Basdeo Panday was a “bright and intelligent man” while Patrick Manning was a “diplomat and man with class.”
Dennie said Persad-Bissessar was an “esteemed lady full of ideas, willing to listen and work with National Security.” But Dennie described Rowley as “arrogant.”
He said, “I served under him for a little under four months, and I can tell you that he is the worst head of the National Security Council ever. He is the only head who knows nothing, wants to know nothing and does know not one thing.”
Dennie said, “He (Rowley) did not know that ‘emailgate’ was fake, he said he don’t know who gave him ‘emailgate,’ he said that he did not know that Stuart Young’s ministry was investigating Marlene (McDonald), he said he did not know the Stuart Young Police Service was planning to lock up Marlene. Well, if he don’t know I will tell him… because I know he is the worst Prime Minister in the history of Trinidad and Tobago. The worst!”
He said he was invited to join the Security Intelligence Agency in 1997 due to his vast knowledge in electronics and communication technology. Then he went over to the SSA where he served as director of intelligence.
Saying he was “ashamed” of the tenure of former national security minister Dillon, Dennie said he took Dillon to court and “the court opined that Dillon could read, but he cannot understand.”
Dennie said, “Being a former soldier myself, I felt so ashamed of Dillon’s tenure as minister of national security, which was a total disaster. The murder rate went up, the detection rate went down, while Dillon kept mumbling and fumbling about his security apparatus, until he totally lost his way, and Rowley had to run him from the ministry.
“As a former soldier, can you imagine how I am feeling, seeing a soldier fail so spectacularly. Well I want to tell Dillon, I mean soldier to soldier, you will go down as the worst minister of national security in the history of Trinidad and Tobago.”
He said at the SSA he had introduced an anti-crime measure called the virtual police officer – ViPO – to help increase the presence of police officers.