Sunday, December 24, 2006

 

Merry Christmas, and trial completed 2007

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Season's Greetings, everyone. It's a time of year for looking back, hoping we've done our best. And for looking forward, hoping the new year unfolds with fairness for all.

The first posting on this blog was dated 11 May 2006, and we were expecting a June 2006 trial. It seems such a long time ago, with almost 100 postings. But we're still waiting for that trial. Next pre-trial conference is 15 January 2007.

People tell me they visit this blog regularly. It's great when they add their comments, often with good information. This blog gives us the opportunity to discuss points which worry us. Generally there is a sense that this small news service is doing a necessary job. I like that. It keeps my spirits up.

In yesterday's Globe and Mail, Gary Mason wrote a story about Basi and Virk as if they are victims of something very bad indeed; as if they had no idea why their lives had imploded. He spoke of their ordeal being "splattered" across the newspapers, and of headlines which "blared" ... while we, on the other hand, have complained that there's so little, if any, news coverage about the Legislature Raids.

Gary Mason's story left me feeling as if British Columbia has no rights in the BCRail Case, and that we should not disturb Basi & Virk & their children any further. At first, I was cynical: "It's a paid political announcement," I said. But Gary's interpretation of the Basi, Virk story also left me feeling uneasy.

Where I had previously felt an empathy with Basi and Virk, I now began to question Mason's point of view story. Why the big, teary-eyed spread (beginning in bed with Mr & Mrs Basi) at Christmas? How is it possible that government employees are arrested, hundreds of thousands of documents are seized and studied, and Gary Mason's story implies that this shouldn't have happened? It's all about "nothing" ... ?

Well, that's partly what this Legislature Raids blog does: it allows us to talk things over amongst ourselves. So I offer Gary Mason's story, and this paragraph, from one of the first postings of this blog's life ... something that helps us understand:


"So now, everything depends upon how politically valuable these former ministerial aides still are. They entered the B.C. Legislature as part of the Gordon Campbell regime and from Day One, they knew every political detail worth knowing: everything about the Gordon Campbell government, every decision, every important discussion, every going-out and coming-in. Their on-the-spot knowledge extended far beyond their Ministries of Finance and Transportation, beyond the B.C. Legislature, into the electoral process, right up into the Prime Minister's office. Top-rank aides like these are walking encyclopedias. Or time bombs. But are they unique? No, they are not."


Let's hope that Basi, Virk, and Basi actually are unique in the sense that at trial, they will tell under oath everything they know about the B.C. Rail Case ... and will let British Columbians see the right or the wrong of it for ourselves. We could love them for that.

But for now, it's Christmas. It's OK to rest. It's OK to celebrate the joys of our lives even as we quietly mourn the sad spots. And it's OK to hope that the new year brings new hope for us all. Yes, all. -- BC Mary.

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Comments:
Merry Christmas Mary to you and yours. Maybe the sock you hung by the fireplace will include a trial date that won't move again. Let's all hope this thing will end soon. Let's face it, there has never been a raid on a Legislature in Canadian History. It's getting embarrassing to all of us who simply believe such things never happen. well it did, and it will take a long time to forget seeing the Cities finest, all senior NCO's hauling those big piles of records away.
 
The Globe article by Gary Mason is yellow journalism at its worst. Now we're suposed to feel sorry for these guys and focus our anger at the RCMP? That is just too much. I'm sure the RCMP have better things to do than just dream up ways of framing mid level political operatives. This story is way out of line.
 
Maintaining this web-site requires a fair amount of work, which I'm glad to do when people tell me that it helps them understand the issues involved in the Legislature Raids and the B.C. Rail affair.

But this site is not available for hate-mongering.

Today -- Christmas Day -- there were 5 comments posted here in which irrational and libelous remarks were made about the R.C.M.P. I have removed them all.

This site does not allow statements which attempt to pre-judge the trial of Basi, Virk, and Basi ... or which try to force a dismissal.

This site will not accept comments which obviously follow someone's personal agenda by attempting to influence public opinion against any segment of our society, be it the police, the lawyers, the government, the opposition, or the media.

I don't mind doing the work to keep this web-site going. I don't even mind if 5 people can't enjoy that Christmas Day means Peace on Earth for a few hours. But I'm damned if I'm going to work to provide angry commentors with a way to hurt others.
 
Hi Mary. I really respect your website and what you stand for. However, I respectfully disagree with your post and cast my vote with the post's you have deleted. I do not trust the rcmp and base upon what I have read and witnessed in the previous months would actually agree with what the previous posts wrote about the rcmp and their true motivations. I hope you don't censor me. If you do, then you are no better than the people you criticize on this blog!
 
Sorry, guys. If you want to try that stuff, find yourselves a billboard.

Two more hate comments deleted. Sigh.

Tell me something: did you read Gary Mason's story in the Globe and Mail about Basi and Virk? What did you think of it?

Oh. And Merry Christmas.
 
Mary,
I disagree profoundly with the two posters above.

The RCMP have not been charged with anything relative to the Legislature raids and you were absolutely correct to remove the 5 posts which were irrelevant to this case and its long-awaited date in court.

I've been following this case, and your blog, from the beginning. I think it is no coincidence that thinly veiled attacks on the RCMP should suddenly appear on this website at the same time as others have tried to downplay Mark Marissen's connection to Basi and Virk at Wikipedia. All of this occuring at precisely the same time that the accused begin a public program to rehabilitate themselves in the press.

Very strange, but not too surprising. Some people would very much like to change the subject apparently.

Stick to your guns. Your credibility is unimpeachable.
 
Hi Tim:

Your comment came up while I was writing mine.

I'm curious: why all this "Bad Cop, Bad Cop" stuff that's suddenly spilled over today. What's changed?

It's been 3 years since the police raided the B.C. Legislature. Why are all you guys on the same bandwagon on Christmas Day, 3 years later? Can you tell me that?

And by the way, it was RCMP and Victoria Police sergeants who undertook the raid.

And I don't much like your ad hominem remarks about my integrity. The simple fact is: I won't accept attacks on anybody (including Basi and Virk, did you notice that?).

I surely didn't descend to insulting your integrity, so what's got you so steamed up to be so rude, all of a sudden?
 
Dear Christmas Anonymouse:

Thanks ... your encouraging comments are very much appreciated.

That's a lovely Christmas deed and I feel a lot better for it.
 
I did not and would not attack your integrity Mary. I just don't subscribe to the people who think the rcmp are pure and above reproach. Sorry, but I don't happen to subscribe to the theory that says if you have a badge you are holier than thou!
 
Tim:

I truly resent having to spend Christmas defending my right to free speech and a free and fair press.

If you want to slag the 37,000-member RCMPolice force, do it on your own time, and try it somewhere else. Try "Prime Time Crime", why don't you.

My blog has a very specific purpose: information-sharing about the raids on the B.C. Legislature, the sale of B.C. Rail, and how our system of government functioned around those events.

I want everybody who reads this blog, to feel as if the issue is being examined -- not that anybody or any group is being attacked (as you're attacking).

I won't pre-judge the trial, and I certainly won't try to damage any sector of the society we live in.

You falsely accuse me of suggesting that "if you have a badge you are holier than thou!" which makes you sound like an idiot, Tim. Have you madeany of these accusations anywhere else?

I'm going to continue removing comments which attack any person or any group. Got it?

Now, would you kindly answer my questions: 1) why are you guys suddenly steamed, 3 years later, on that single idea: that bad cops are the cause of Basi & Virk's situation? 2) have you read Gary Mason's story about B&V in the Globe and Mail? 3) If so, what did you think of it?

If you want to talk about integrity, come clean on why all 5 of you suddenly on Christmas Day 2006 decided to try to influence this trial. I find that disturbing. Who do you think you are, anyway? Some kind of vigilante?

Two more questions: who benefits, if you succeed in damaging the police force? And again: who will you call, if a child goes missing, a revolver is pointed, or a drunk driver is careening down your street?
 
Mary, stick to your guns.

Merry Christmas :)

JM
 
I agree with the post from Tim you just deleted Mary. Sorry, just expressing my freedom of speech rights!
 
Three kisses and a hug, JM.

As for you, Tim ... please pay attention. This simply is not the time or the place to be saying the things you're saying. And gosh, bm, why am I not surprised that you agree with Tim. Sheesh.

You guys are on a witch-hunt and it makes me very uneasy. This just isn't the way to make a better, cleaner society. I absolutely can't imagine why you'd be trying to get this trial dismissed. Surely all sides of this issue need to have their day in court, under oath.

Gary Mason's story in the Globe and Mail had the same fatal flaw: no mention of British Columbia or the public interest. Still no mention of this from you, either. Nor an answer to my question: did you read Gary's story? I bet you did. And you swallowed it, hook, line, and sinker. Except you forgot the part about the Bad Media. Maybe you'll go to work on that next week. Right?
 
I read Mason's story and was fascinated to hear some details of what was happening behind the scenes. I believe at one point you defended Mason as one of the very few people that was reporting the facts. Are you stating otherwise now? I don't want to get in the middle with you and tim. I just happen to agree with his position. This morning in the times/colonist there was an excellent editorial about the rcmp spying on Tommy Douglas. The editorial rightfully expressed indignation at this infringment on his rights. What did Tommy Douglas do that was so bad, advocate for the working people of this country and demand better working conditions and wages for them? I didn't swallow anything from Mason's story, all I know is there is more to this than we are being told.
 
I read the editorial this morning and was pretty shocked by it.
 
Mary how do we get a "better, cleaner society" when people like this bormann character are given immunity despite admitting to bribing people? Same goes for brian keeran.
 
bm:

I figured as much. I figured Mason got all 5 of you guys steamed up. And I think you are chumps.

On my first read-through, when the household was busy with Christmas, I felt as if something was wrong. After all, it was headlined THERE IS NOTHING TO THESE CHARGES! How impartial is that, eh?

All I said was, "It's a paid political announcement." I didn't know how right I was.

Later, I did a careful analysis of the whole article -- which began (for chrissake! Clue #2, chumps) in bed with Mr & Mrs Dave Basi. We're IN BED with the accused and his wife! I mean, literally ...

Then I decided I was being too serious during holiday time, and that nobody would be fooled by the tears, the sneers, the contradictions, and the obvious agenda. So I discarded my working analysis.

Well, bm, Tim, John, Anonymice ... you've forced me into reconsidering this analysis. But first, because it is Christmas (remember that, chumps? Christmas!!) I have to participate around the kitchen table in another unit of Dungeons & Dragons ... then, I promise you, I'll reconstruct that analysis.

And I'll show you guys that you've been had. Royally had. Watch for it. And pay attention.
 
I look forward to your analysis. Obviously you are no longer a fan of Mason's. As for who is really the chump, I think you may have to reconsider your position.
 
Morning Mary. You really are a valiant standard bearer. I was surprised to see so much nasty comment activity on your site over the holiday weekend. Keep you chin up!

Tim, John, and the above Anonymie are probably in fact the same party (if you get my drift). After reading the Globe I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. Sadly I think it is the later.

I would be interested to see if there is a connection between the reporter and Basi and Virk. Both the accused refused to speak to the media, but then make themselves available for photos and a fireside chat with one specific reporter. Something stinks.

There was NOTHING substantive in the Globe story telling us why they choose not to speak the police or what really happened. If they want a human interest story the Globe should come to our house and I can tell them about the uncertainty created by the silence of the accused and others.

It looks like the accused are starting a bit of a PR campaign (blame anyone but us), so we might be seeing more of this unfortunately.
 
Your paranoia and ignorance are stunning Roger, absolutely stunning! I am my own person, I think for myself, act for myself and do not let others lead me down the garden path. Tell me, since you are obviously such a learned individual, when Arar spoke to the media when his ordeal started, was that a PR campaign? When Glen Clark spoke to the media after being charged was that PR?
I am thankful we have somebody like Mary who asks the questions nobody wants to ask and has a forum for open thought and free speech.
 
Comparing this situation with the Arar tragedy is not only inaccurate, but also somewhat offensive. I don't remember Arar refusing to speak with Canadian authorities. Arar was deported because "legally" there was "nothing on him". This was a sickening chapter in our history. However, in the BC Rail case it appears that a police force, a crown prosecutor, and even a court think there is enough to criminally charge Basi and Virk with very serious criminal charges.
 
Before this comments thread turns into a referendum on the value of the RCMP I'd like to make some quick points:
1. This is the BASI/VIRK/BASI trial blog. If some people want to debate the problems of the RCMP there is an active thread at theTYEE.ca which would be better put to that service;
2. The story about the RCMP and Tommy Douglas is 'old' - it started with a CP story from Jim Bronskill on the 18th of December. Typical of the Times Colonist, it has just reached Victoria apparently.
3. Anyone who doesn't see Mason's article and the 'human interest' aspect of the story (contrasted with a complete absence of substantive content about the actual charges in this case) should stick with the Times-Colonist. This little puff piece would have been better written above Leah McLaren's byline.
4. There appears, both here and in the commentary at the Globe, to be a small but growing group of apologists who are prepared to accept the claims of the three accused without any substantive evidence other than the 'facts' in Mason's article. To all those people, I suggest you read Mason's column again to see if there is any mention of the actual charges which have been leveled at the principals here. You can find those charges very clearly delineated on Mary's site.
5. Ask yourselves why a dropped drug charge is about the only thing these guys mention.

Then give your heads a shake.

My advice Mary, ignore 'em. They're like ants at a picnic.

Have a Happy New Year!
 
Check your facts Julie. Who is refusing to speak with authorities? Do you know something that we don't about the bc rail case? In the Arar case the police force, a judge, senior officials in the justice system all thought Arar was a terrorist worthy of deportation to Syria. In the Glen Clark case it was the police and a crown prosecutor who thought there was enough to criminally charge a sitting Premier. What happened in these cases, the rcmp had egg on their face yet again!
 
Didn't somebody talk about the cancer of organized crime? I noticed drug charges against people caught red handed with a boat stuffed with pot were dropped. Brilliant police work!

you are right anon, this blog is about the bc rail case.
 
bm
Mary should block your posts. If you want to nail the RCMP this is not the place to do it. My only conclusion is that you too have an axe to grind. Your points are irrelevant and out of line, Arar, Air Indian, Tommy Douglas and every other RCMP screw up is a legitimate subject of discussion. But not here.

So, head over to Tyee and mix it up there or 'get your own blog'.

Period.
 
Mary I apologize for creating such a stir with my previous postings. I had no idea it would result in going off topic.
 
Just in case anyone else (including Gary Mason) thinks the cops and the justice system are dragging the Basi Boys backward through the mud over a phony charge centered on a rented grow op, here are the charges again.

Strange that they aren't mentioned in the Globe's human interest story.


HMTQ v. BASI, Aneal
Charges:
011 - accepting bribe as government official
012 - breach of trust by public officer


HMTQ v. BASI, Udhe S.
Charges:
001 - accepting bribe as government official
003 - accepting bribe from person dealing with government
005 - offering to influence government official
007 - breach of trust by public officer
009 - fraud over $5,000.
010 - fraud over $5,000.


HMTQ v. VIRK, Bobby S.
Charges:
002 - accepting bribe as government official
004 - accepting bribe from person dealing with government
006 - offering to influence government official
008 - breach of trust by public officer
009 - fraud over $5,000.
010 - fraud over $5,000.


Followed by 6 pages of disclosure items, very difficult to know what it's about. Except for one:

23299-3

002 - Special Prosecutor to provide call logs for Authorizations P32 and P53 to defence counsel on appropriate undertakings.

Two counts against two of the men in more detail:
Count 9

Udhe Singh (Dave) BASIS and Bobby Singh VIRK, between the 1st day of April, 2002 and the 28th day of December, 2003, at or near Victoria, or elsewhere in the Province of British Columbia, did by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, defraud Canadian National Railway Company, Canadian Pacific Railway, CIBC World Markets Inc., and the Government of British Columbia, of an amount exceeding $5,000.00, by recklessly putting at risk the bidding process for the Freight Division of BC Rail in disclosing to interested third parties confidential government documents and confidential government information including Cabinet confidences, contrary to Section 380(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.

Count 10

Udhe Singh (Dave) BASIS and Bobby Singh VIRK, between the 1st day of January, 2003 and the 28th day orf December, 2003, at or near Victoria, or elsewhere in the Province of British Columbia, did by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, defraud(1)Macquarie North America Ltd. and OmniTRAX Inc.,(2)a consortium which included Canadian National Railway Company, Canadian Pacific Railway and the Vancouver Port Authority,(3)TD Securities Inc., and(4)the Government of British Columbia, of an amount exceeding $5,000.00, by recklessly putting at risk the bidding process for the Port Subdivision of BC Rail in disclosing to interested third parties confidential government documents and confidential government information including Cabinet confidences, contrary to Section 380(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.


Are we clear on that now?
 
Very clear.

Thank-you, Anon-Above, for pulling all of that out of the quickly deepening Memory-Hole.

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