Friday, November 22, 2013

"Minutiae" Don't Matter.

When a mob boss orders a hit, he may not know or even care whether the victim gets a knife in the back, a bullet in the brain or a bomb beneath a car seat.  He's just as guilty of murder one way or the other.  If he orders a guy shot and the hitman chooses to use a knife instead, it doesn't matter.   Can you imagine defence counsel standing up and saying, "But, your honour, if my client had known this guy was going to use a knife instead of a gun, he would have stopped it right there on the spot."?

Nigel Wright says Harper never knew about his decision to give Duffy $90K. Harper did know about and did approve of funneling money to Duffy to clear his Senate tab.  Harper, ergo, did approve and direct the giving of money to Duffy in connection with his office.  That's the offence of bribery and corruption.  It's also pretty clear that Harper likewise approved the "stipulations" under which the money was to be given.   These could only have been that Duffy play along with the cover story, stop talking to the Deloitte auditors and that top Tory Senators be told to make the Duffy audit problems go away.   That too is squarely on Harper.

If the amount changed and the source of funds changed, it doesn't matter.  That's the difference between a knife and a bullet and a car bomb.  It doesn't matter. Minutiae don't matter.

What is demonstrably clear from Wright's e-mails is that he would not have acted without the knowledge and approval of his prime minister.  He wasn't going to do anything behind Harper's back.  He wasn't going to deceive him.  To the contrary he was going to clear the illegal payment with Stephen Harper and obtain his approval before acting.

Constable Greg Horton may be right that there's not sufficient evidence that Harper knew the "minutiae" of the bribe but that doesn't matter.   The prime minister not only knew of the plan to bribe the senator and corrupt the Senate, he approved it.

When the charges come down, the first one named should be Stephen Joseph Harper.


the salamander said...

.. caught a bit of Even Solomon's show yesterday ..
I was surprised to hear various explanations, that a 'chief of staff's main purpose' in PMO & Parliament, was to keep dangerous knowledge away from their boss (PM)

That's nonsense.. the correct terms or description are 'insulation'.. 'firewall' .. 'separation' .. 'distance' .. deniability .. 'buffer zone'

To even attempt to imply Nigel and Stephen Harper didn't communicate constantly re all key matters.. is absolute nonsense & quite disingenuous. To suggest Ray Novak.. as well as Benjamin Perrin & Jenni Byrne & Arthur Hamilton were integral parts of the primal conduit or communication matrix along with Nigel is far more appropriate. This was/is a big, polished, expensive governmental machine, fully meshed with the 'Conservative' party machinery..

So where are these particular persons currently? Any sightings of Arthur Hamilton, Benjamin Perrin (Solicitor/Client Privileged) .. Ray ? Hello? Jenni ?? Hello .. Nigel ? Hello ? Stephen Lecce? Hello ?

We're not seeing too many Ministers step up to defend Stephen Harper.. running for cover or cravenly positioning is a better description. Certainly trying to avoid being caught up as 'collateral damage' is the mode de jour .. Opposition punching bag MP Paul Calandra aside

The Mound of Sound said...

No, you don't see many (any?) of Harper's cabinet rallying to Steve's side on this. Then again, Harper is the ultimate transactional prime minister. Who would want to get tarred with this scandal, even by association, on behalf of a man with zero loyalty?