|Where's Vic's Other Hand?|
At this point, it wouldn't matter if Duffy went to the gallows. Hank Paulson, Commissioner or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, has some explaining to do.
Just on email evidence alone, the Duffy case is emerging as a political prosecution. A stench fell over the RCMP investigation right from the start when Paulson sent an email to all his senior officers absolutely forbidding contact with MPs and Senators without his (Vic Toews') express approval.
...the commissioner said that meetings or lunches with parliamentarians "can have unintended and/or negative consequences for the organization and the government. Therefore, should you or your staff receive such requests, I am directing that you advise my office and the chief strategic policy and planning officer."
Some recipient of that email thought it ought to be leaked - to the CBC. It was conclusive of nothing but it did raise a few eyebrows. Then followed the investigations - of Duffy, Wallin, Harb, Brazeau. When it came to Duffy it showed that the mounties always do get their man - but just the one. Cash comes out of the ether - innocent enough - until it reaches Duffy's hands and then it becomes a bribe. Who says alchemy isn't real? Why it was positively Biblical, in the Immaculate Conception sense. A bribe with only one criminal, Duffy. There you have it - an Immaculate Investigation followed by an Immaculate Prosecution of an Immaculate Offence.
It takes a curious mind, perhaps bordering on the unhinged, to abuse logic this badly, to stand it on its head. And where do we see that today? In a prime minister who "rejects the premise" of the facts that just keep mounting up, pointing an ever bigger finger right at him. I remember reading about a fellow who was trapped in an underground bunker as enemy troops moved in who rejected the premise of what was happening in favour of magical thinking, imagining divisions of soldiers that no longer existed would come to his rescue and miraculously turn the tables just in the nick of time. His senior commanders also had to stand by his side, anxiously eyeing the exits as they wondered when he would finally end it.
Meanwhile, in a courtroom in Ottawa, Donald Bayne is just beginning to unpack email and documentary evidence of what really went on in Shifty Harper's underground bunker, the PMO, and it bears no resemblance to the fables spun by the prime minister. He's got a stack of documents, about 800 in all, mainly generated by Harper's own General Staff, and he's using them to great effect to undermine the credibility of the government's witnesses, Harper's generals, to lay the foundation for impeaching the credibility of prominent generals yet to be called, and to steadily bolster his client's defence that it wasn't a bribe, it was a deal that was forced on the Cavendish Cottager. It must be dispiriting to Harper's generals knowing that soon they too will have to run the gauntlet of their own words.
Bayne has only gotten into Nigel Wright and a bit of Novak and just a smattering of Perrin and already the PMO narrative is beginning to succumb to inconsistencies and contradictions even concealment of evidence and outright lies to apparently cooperative investigators - the very stuff of obstruction of justice. Yet no one was charged - except Duffy. It's as though some power from above drew a cordon sanitaire around the PMO, the Tory Senate and the Conservative Party executive.
Seasoned investigators are trained to detect the faintest whiff of these things. Yet this carried the gut-wrenching stench of a tannery and somehow passed the investigatorial smell test. How? How out of this steaming pile of offal could emerge the theory of the Immaculate Bribe, Precium Immaculata?
Why were none of these others not charged, if not for conspiracy then for obstruction of justice? With these characters you could stage a Wagnerian opera. These are not the sort of insignificant issues that lend themselves to forgetfulness. Not with that many people in on it, not with that mountain of emails. This was a major deal involving a bevy of very powerful, prominent individuals each acting in concert with the other. If their stories don't match up seamlessly, chances are it's because some of them, perhaps all of them, are lying to manipulate investigators, to obstruct justice, to obtain a perverted judicial outcome.
The alchemists have failed. Lead (Pb) and Gold (Au) are distinct elements on the Periodic Table. You can't turn one into another. And if you "reject the premise" then people are going to have to conclude that you're either crazy or hopelessly bent.
The state police must be investigated this time. There has to be an enquiry into these shenanigans that goes straight to the top. It's overdue. It is time for Paulson and company to explain themselves, to answer tough questions with credible, verifiable answers. We need to know if Duffy was made a sacrificial goat and why the others were shielded behind such a flimsy, incredible "premise."