Friday, October 25, 2013
What If WE Demand Answers?
There are a number of aspects of the Wright-Duffy-Harper-Perrin-LeBreton-Tkachuk-Stewart Olsen-Novak affair that seem tinged with possible criminality. What if we prepared a shopping list for the RCMP and the public demanded they be investigated?
We know the Mounties are investigating the wayward senators and their expense claims. That might be enough to sweep the floor to Stephen Harper's requirements but surely there's plenty more that needs to be explored.
We need a full and expansive investigation into Nigel Wright's $90,000 under-the-table "gift" to senator Mike Duffy. Giving or lending money to a sitting member of the Senate in connection with his/her office is prohibited. That's plain as day, right there in the statutes. We don't permit that sort of thing because money could then be used to extract favours or terms from the senator whose pockets are suddenly stuffed with cash.
We know the money Duffy received wasn't really a gift. It came with strings attached. There were conditions. There were inducements also attached. And then there's Duffy's quite plausible claim that he didn't want the money, that he was extorted into taking it on the threat that, if he didn't, he would be stripped of his seat in the Senate. That's pretty serious stuff. This is no longer a glorified whip-round to help a guy settle his bar tab.
Now when you've got more than one person in a deal and the deal isn't criminally kosher then you might have a conspiracy. That would extend to everyone who initiates the action plus those who later facilitate it. It might even include those who launder reports to fulfill the inducements in the original transaction.
And what of those who swept Stephen Harper's PMO of all traces of documents pertaining to this under-the-table deal? Somebody had to get rid of the e-mails, memos, notes, and other records that would be generated by this sort of thing. Who did that, on whose orders, and when? Was this in contemplation of an obvious criminal investigation? Was it done before or after CTV's Bob Fife was fed that first Duffy e-mail? This has a pretty strong smell of an attempt to obstruct or pervert justice. It reeks of desperation.
You might expect the RCMP to have a field day with this scandal. It practically begs an investigator to start overturning rocks, to ask no end of obvious questions. Over here, over here, look at ME!!!
Now if you had a lot of confidence in the RCMP you might comfortably expect them to do that, to dig deep, to get all of this out in the open. You might have confidence in them. I don't.
I could be wrong but, to me, that the fix was in from the outset was apparent from a leaked internal memo sent by Commissioner Bob Paulson to his senior officers. In this memo Paulson put his senior officers on clear notice that they were forbidden from any contact with MPs or Senators without his express permission. Paulson's memo, like Duffy's e-mail, was never intended to see the light of day. Someone chose to leak it.
I'm worried that Harper's pet Commish is going to keep us from getting the answers we deserve about what may be the broadest corruption case in parliamentary history. All he has to do is confine the investigation into the expense claims of Duffy, Wallin, Harb and Brazeau.
Ooh, I've got an idea. We need a thorough, wide-reaching investigation of everything that happened in the PMO and in the Senate. Rather than have to sit by and watch that never come to be, what if the Canadian people petitioned Commissioner Bob Paulson demanding, basically, that he do his bloody job?
Now I don't know anything about setting up one of those petitions or circulating it or getting effective results but there are a few who seem really good at this. What if one or more of them were to collaborate on getting such a petition out for the public to endorse, getting the results out in the media and delivering the demand petition to Paulson himself?
Let's get Bob Paulson out of the shadows and straight in the public eye. Let's make sure he does his job.