Monday, June 22, 2009
Robin Mathews: Blood on the Walls of Courtroom 43 today
Today it happened. We've waited to see how - to see what the game plan would be. Increasingly, it's become clear the Gordon Campbell forces are cornered. What - we have wanted to know - will the snarl of the beast look like. Today we found out....
The most obvious sign, to date, has been what might be called 'lack of cooperation'. It cannot be repeated enough that if Gordon Campbell - in his full innocence - instructed all those responsible to him and cabinet to produce requested (evidentiary), Basi, Virk, and Basi materials without delay or obstruction, the disclosure fights would have been over at least six months ago, perhaps earlier.
It cannot be repeated often enough that the Gordon Campbell forces, in failing to produce, are - to my mind - obstructing justice and costing the taxpayers of B.C. huge, unnecessary sums. In short, you and I pay for the Gordon Campbell cover-up - in more than financial ways.
The Gordon Campbell tenure and the fights for what is called "transparency" (the public seeing and understanding what government is doing) have become an extended "Cops As Robbers" game. (No. Not "Cops AND Robbers".)
Cross the city briefly - to the Robert Dziekanski Inquiry - for another "Cops As Robbers" scene. A wonderfully thespian federal lawyer, Helen Roberts, poured down tears on Friday as she revealed - Surprise! - that a key e-mail between top Mounties had only just come to light. Implications for the Inquiry are huge and will delay matters ... of course .... (How to kill an issue of fundamental importance to justice and democracy in the province!) The point here, Commissioner Art Vertlieb said, "is that the RCMP did not flag the document for the Justice Department". Over in courtroom 43 we know all about that kind of behaviour.
This morning Mr. George Copley carried the can for the Gordon Campbell Forces. The materials requested (principally e-mail records) from the Premier's office, Public Affairs, Ministries of Finance, Transportation, Attorney General, Solicitor General, Education - involving of course particular and key people are "not" - Copley reported - "recoverable". Counsel for the Defence learned that claim for the first time and were "shocked".
Except for the fact that formalities are strictly observed in courtrooms, huge guffaws should have echoed through the Supreme Court building.
Mr. Copley, of course, could barely be heard. Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett, of course, did nothing to make him speak so he could be heard. Why should either of them concern themselves about the public in the gallery - the canaille (as the French say). [meaning the rabble, the riffraff, the scum.]
The attitude of Copley and Bennett, I insist, is not a sign of benign neglect but a part of the "Cops As Robbers" game in B.C.
Mr. Copley, counsel for the cabinet, speaks almost in a whisper, as I have pointed out before. I believe the reason may be that he has engaged in so many conspiracies with members of cabinet that his natural speaking voice has become a whisper. That may be a reason why he had a Gordon Campbell good service medal conferred on him about a year ago. (I am not kidding: Joseph Stalin would approve.)
The sinuous trail to this moment doesn't matter. The fact that ten of the 33 people particularly of interest to the Defence gave one or more statements to the RCMP concerning the Basi,Virk, and Basi case doesn't matter. The fact that nothing was done "inside" to prepare for the disclosure request doesn't matter. The fact that Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett suggested that the issue might be one best placed in the hands of "the trial judge" doesn't matter. The fact that Mr. Copley seemed to suggest that e-mails are not kept after 13 months doesn't matter - or that his statement implies that all the e-mail transactions of Gordon Campbell and the group moving to dump BC Rail on to CN - from 2001 to 2005 - are declared "not recoverable".
What matters, of course, is the sham of the whole proceeding.
In brief, government documents are not - in truth - the possession of those who create them. They are documents belonging to the province and to the people of the province. I don't believe for a minute they are "not recoverable". If they are really not recoverable, the Gordon Campbell cabinet works as a rogue force in B.C. democracy, acting as if its own interests come before the interests of the people of B.C., their democracy, and justice for the community.
Now, let us look at the claim of George Copley very briefly. Gordon Campbell calls in an aide. "I had an e-mail correspondence with the governor of the State of Washington in 2001, an e-mail exchange with the premier of Alberta about labour movement in 2002, a long exchange with men in Stephen Harper's PMO in 2003 about how to cooperate with them and double-cross the federal Liberals, and in 2004 an extended e-mail exchange with Native leaders about the possibility of a new policy. Get me all those e-mails." Does anyone believe the answer of the aide would be, "Sorry Gord, they are 'not recoverable', they've all been dumped?"
No one believes that. But - as a result of George Copley's whispering today - Defence must write a letter to him, setting out all the questions they have for the 33 key people so they may prepare answers. Mr. McCullough for the Defence declared those people will probably have to undergo cross-examination. And he declared that the original application will not be withdrawn, and Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett will be called upon to rule on the "likely relevance" of the materials.
"There is no way we're not doing this application" is, I believe, what Mr. McCullough said.
Mr. Bolton added, from reading the affidavits on the matter submitted by Mr. Copley, that there is no way of knowing if individual searches of individual computers were made or if any such real survey was conducted.
Apparently, the relevance argument will go into next month, and then...and then...and then....
Whenever Gordon Campbell believes political dissent may be uttered or that demonstrations of disagreement with policy may surface, he arrives with a team of RCMP bodyguards. Strange behaviour. One might ask why the RCMP is willing to play personal-bodyguard to Gordon Campbell.
Can anyone explain?
As Robin also points out, these government documents are not some private docs of Gordo's Boy's Club but "They are documents belonging to the province and to the people of the province." If indeed they are not recoverable, that ALONE should be sufficient cause to IMPEACH the whole damn criminal organization that is posing as our democratic government!!!!!
It's certainly not surprising that Gordon Campbell would feel like his well being was at risk when out among the citizens of BC who aren't part of his favored clique. In my region alone (the Kootenays) there are people who justifiably consider his government's health service cuts responsible for the deaths of loved ones. Myself, I've just been inconvenienced so far, like by having to drive for hours through blizzard conditions on mountain roads to access services I could walk to a few years ago.
I feel so benevolent this aftenoon toward Gordo the Greedmonger that I not only don't begrudge him his bodyguards at my expense, but if he ever does get to go where he belongs, I won't begrudge him protective custody either. After all, he deserves at least equivalent treatment to Clifford Olsen, though not much more!
I agree this is just a load of horse puckey. But it comes as no surprise to me.
Right from the getgo i have been waiting for the Richard (I am not a crook) Nixon, missing 27 minutes of tapes.
Well folks. Kootcoot is right. They impeached Nixon and we can do the same to Campbell. The time has come and we now have proof that this farce has been delayed by the Campbell Lackies and his Propaganda Machine.
Is the a Woodward or Bernstien out there in the MSM. I think not, so we'll just have to do things with the citizen journalists. Thanks for this report Robin.
And exactly, Kootcoot and Gary E: Impeach Campbell. ( I was thinking of those crucial missing minutes from the Watergate tapes as well - and how in the end they sunk Richard Nixon and all involved.)
The cover-up this whole gang in BC is involved in is most telling and implicates them all. Cover-ups have all the treacherous qualities of quicksand.
They delete everything after 11 months? Including things that they knew were relevant to a pending court case? "We can't comment, it's before the courts" is now complemented with "we deleted it, even though it's before the courts".
What a load of hogwash; I hope McCullough finds an expert witness in email forensics to dispute the claim that these are "not recoverable". Even hard drives that have been repartitioned over and over again - "digital shredding" - are still recoverable, with the right software and analysis. What the costs of such an undertaking might be are another matter; but that raises further questions about this government's quest of "efficiency" at the expense of justice and legality....
I think Copley is whispering mostly because he knows what a foolish pretense he is acting on behalf of. And it all reminds me of the First Qin Emperor (the guy with the terra cotta army) ordering all records of the Xsia and Zhang Dynasty eras destroyed so history would only know about his own version of the way things were.
If the Iranian government can't silence and block emails and social networks and likewise the Chinese government - how can it be that the BC government, with a smaller budget and smaller staff - can pretend to have done that very thing?
Perhaps someone should put up an internet prize for the hackers who crack the deletions and produce the documents on a "wildcat" basis. They may not have any weight in court if recovered that way, but damn it would be interesting to see what would turn up.
This happened much more than a year ago and subsequent to the 'officially retired' gentleman's (George Copley that is) assignment as a representative of the Executive Council - so the allegation that there has not been time to secure and preserve these records for the court is absurd.
Did Gordon Campbell's Office receive said directive?
That, is an interesting question.
Especially considering the 'attitude' of a former deputy in that office relative to email records and their integrity.
Regular readers of this blog will know exactly who I'm referring to...
"Oh, we auctioned off the hard drives that had all that on it".
Yeah, uh-huh. That's probably a good thing, as somebody else who has them now could be persuaded - subpoenaed - without privilege protection - to produce them to data forensics people appointed by the court...
It is also time for the Supreme Court of Canada to take some very loud and public actions on behalf of democracy.
It is time for a group of senators to stand up and make noise. It is the perfect time for the senate to get off its backside and actually be relevant. Though it would be unprecedented as far as I can tell, is this not why we pay great gobs of money to those 105 Senators? They can make noise that gets heard, if they care to do so. BC is still part of Canada. BC is not North Korea, Kenya, or some other rogue nation. It is time for swift action by Canada's leaders on behalf of all Canadians. If this sort of thing is permitted in BC, it can happen in other provinces. It must be stopped.
Now you're talkin' ... especially para. #1.
Every street corner, every church doorstep next Sunday, every hamburger stand at the beach, every baseball game, Tim Hortons ... we have so little time.
Maybe Justice Bennett will hear about paragraph #2.
But if anybody on God's green earth can activate the Senate (not counting HMTQ), it would take far, far longer than we can afford.
We have only until July 14, 2009 before it's Game Over ... no more options for the people of BC.
Our best hope, so far as I can see, is to activate Leonard Krog (lawyer and Opposition critic for all this stuff) ... make him see that July 14 will be Doomsday but that HE can prevent that, on our behalf.
His e.mail is:
Thanks again for caring, S.I.G. We can do this, if we keep pressing on.
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