Thursday, February 24, 2011
The BC Rail Scandal. “When It All Becomes Clear….”
An Era Ending in Chaos.
By Robin Mathews
February 24, 2011
We walk through the obvious, not seeing what is falsely imposed upon us as reality. Then tiny, troubling pieces of falsehood fit together … or a large piece falls into place, and the whole pattern of false reality becomes exposed. That’s “when it all becomes clear….”
The BC Rail Scandal is a part of the moving evolution and revolution sweeping the globe – in the Middle East, in parts of Europe, in parts of South America, even now in some U.S. states.
That is – more and more plainly – because two gigantic forces are in conflict. One is the force moving Private Corporate Power into control of governments, to wring from their territories whatever wealth can be torn from the backs of ordinary people. The other is a growing resistance movement welling up from (genuinely) oppressed peoples who are being sacrificed to the greed and rapacity of the small-group alliance. [Yesterday, calm announcers reported home electricity bills in B.C. will rise ten percent each year for the next three years – to pay, in fact, the Private Corporations who are more and more in cut-throat control of B.C. natural wealth.]
Consistently serious work of communication, truth-seeking, comprehension of the scene (across the world) is falling upon the “social media” not upon the Mainstream Media. That is plainly the case in British Columbia.
Wikileaks, for instance, is credited with providing information that may have ignited the Middle East spark, the cry for the end of oppression, and for the opening of genuine democratic processes.
Well before the “press of the world” reported Tunisia – before Tunisia became “news”, “Anonymous” (a silent social network force) was there in Tunisia, informing, assisting, reporting….
The conflict between the social media and the MSM, here in B.C., as elsewhere, is said to stem from an “old order” and a “new” one facing off for ‘reporting rights’. Careful, experienced experts and professionals of the Mainstream Media (MSM), it is said, are coming up against mavericks, ungrammatical newbodies, not trained to do ‘responsible’ coverage. Conflict erupts …..
Except that simply isn’t true. The cause is deeper, darker, more dangerous. The MSM is, quite simply, a part of the gigantic Private Corporate force moving on governments to own and control their directions. The MSM chides ‘the rulers’, pretends … to appear “representative”, but it can’t help letting its mask slip at important moments. It lets a large piece of the false reality fall into place – for all to watch – and then the jig is up … “all becomes clear”.
The large piece of false reality that just fell into place here in B.C. is an almost incredible piece of theatre, highly controlled, almost – one thinks – rehearsed, when the Globe and Mail and CTV requested of the B.C Supreme Court (unopposed) that the RCMP investigation documents alone (called ‘everywhichway’) dealing with the personal, wrongful connections, associations, and acts of Dave Basi, Bob Virk, and Aneal Basi be released.
What I believe was a Private Corporate, MSM, RCMP, cabinet, Court game was played out – so obvious that the moves to keep everybody else outside the group away from the documents were and looked ridiculous. The speed with which Globe and Mail and other reporters had enough to unwind blood-curdling stories from the revealed wire-taps belied the statement that they did not have the material before it was “released” in court.
There seems to be a genuine claim that a few, hand-picked (insider) reporters were given exclusive access to the documents before the application to release them was addressed in court. All the processes and careful, protective means of bringing court materials to public light were, apparently, trashed in this case. Private Corporate rule erases law and due process.
The story of the released documents is much, much worse than it seems.
Dave Basi, Bob Virk, and Aneal Basi were accused and tried. Convictions came down for two of them in a “deal” that was ridiculous, farcical beyond rational belief. Justice was not done, and it was widely seen to have been thwarted. The administration of justice in Canada was brought flagrantly into disrepute. That truth is becoming clear to more and more Canadians.
The trial was finished. Social media insisted the conclusion was a farce bordering on bribery, buried in secrecy, allegedly covering up for harsh, major, high-level criminal action: “the BC Rail Scandal” in fact. That perception will not go away.
Which top-level strategists went to work to “change the optics” cannot even be guessed at. They were some very, very stupid people. Because to get the results they thought they could get [but couldn’t], they had to bare the fact that almost all the people suspected of chicanery (and much more) in the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR had to be “in on” the move they set up. It all becomes clear.
The Globe and Mail lost its credibility totally and, one hopes, forever. CTV (the other applicant for the documents) had little credibility left to lose. Mark Hume’s (Globe and Mail) “stories” must be kept and treasured as examples – I believe – of the complete debasement of serious journalism. The story of the Globe and Mail.
Mark Hume’s work is paralleled, I believe, by that of Ian Mulgrew (The Vancouver Sun, Feb 18, 2011, A4). Mr. Mulgrew tells his readers that “the public finally got an uncensored view of the backroom shenanigans that occurred in the controversial $1-billion sale of BC Rail assets in 2003”.
How can Mr. Mulgrew say that unless he is actively wishing to mislead? How can he know “the backroom shenanigans that occurred in the controversial $1-billion sale of BC Rail…” when cabinet documents weren’t released, BC Rail documents weren’t released, third party documents weren’t released – when none of the major actors in the transfer appeared in the trial that was slammed shut precisely (many believe) to protect them from ever revealing “the backroom shenanigans that occurred in the $1-million sale of BC Rail assets in 2003”? When none of the documents were tested for truth?
The story gets worse. The MSM people stepped away from their keyboards, from telling their tales of outright fantasy – based on ‘facts’ supported by RCMP investigation documents. Then a chorus of questions began to rise…again.
What I say here is not intended to cast aspersions on ‘independents’ and ‘bloggers’. It is said to show the chaos that has entered law, the courts, the RCMP – in front of our eyes!
One blogger appears with (leaked) copied documents of RCMP wiretap information (from where?) showing – at the very least – imperfect, muddled evidence taking. Promising more. Another contacts Dave Basi and a friend (for ‘exclusive’ interviews!) to report the wiretap materials involving them are completely misread by the MSM reporters.
Frustration grows. Leaks open. Clowns dress in high court robes. Top RCMP officers pose like Banana Republic thugs. Lies and lock-down increase popular rage.
There is more.
Back in early 2010 (if not earlier), the accused decided they wanted to “re-elect” from judge alone to a trial by judge and jury. Negotiations went on, various agreements were made, the accused and their lawyers signed an admission of facts (in February 2010) which covered “a range of topics, including wiretap, search warrants, exhibits, documents, employment of the accused and financial matters”.
The accused and their counsel agreed that the materials were correct.
In May of 2010, however, the accused (Dave Basi and Bob Virk) applied to withdraw certain admissions especially related to wiretaps and emails. Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie denied the application.
I don’t have to report anything that went on in the courtroom because foyer and hallway conversation – and mere observation of body language – showed all that needed to be shown. Dave Basi and Bob Virk had set to work to study hard the material admitted as fact, in preparation for the trial. To their dismay, they alleged they found so much of it faulty they felt they couldn’t proceed as if it were correct. (The dribs and drabs leaked and being argued over now apparently are part of a much larger body of questionable material.) And ‘faulty’ email reproduction, apparently, also was included in the questionable material. Carelessness? Bad organization? Shoddy workmanship? RCMP intention? Basi and Virk in error? Who knows?
And so they instructed their counsel of the dilemma. But their counsel had also signed that they would proceed with the admissions. And so counsel were ready to proceed; the accused were not. The atmosphere grew thick and heavy in the lounge area … for at least a few days. Everything seemed to stop. The accused were advised to “seek advice”. “Advice” was not easy to come by. I was convinced that the accused believed they had come upon irregularities of kinds they considered very serious in the apparent “evidence”. Eventually, the accused decided, as I remember, to proceed and to tackle error when and if it appeared in “evidence”.
My point is that the release of the documents from the RCMP that came about on February 16, 2011 was a release of documents many of which had been called into question, which had caused a huge flurry in trial activity, and which have never been tested in a trial brought to any kind of reasonable completion.
And yet those documents were released, without qualification, to a limited group of trusted journalists who would handle them, apparently, in the right way. We have been witness to “the right way”: flamboyant cover-up.
Unfortunately, there is more. In that same month of May, 2010, Defence counsel received a large cache of cabinet documents they felt was overwhelming. They asked on May 13 to have a week of adjournment to read and assemble the large body of material (about 18,000 pages). Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie dismissed the application with reasons.
In her Reasons for Judgment [2010 05 18, Docket 23299] she wrote a few interesting things. “The defence know the Crown’s case against their clients, and what evidence the Crown will lead in its attempt to prove that Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk disclosed sensitive and confidential information about the BC Rail bidding process to Pilothouse. Whether others may also have done is an entirely separate issue; the persons on trial are Mr. Basi, Mr. Virk, and Aneal Basi.
 As the defence contends, the credibility of the principals of Pilothouse is seriously at issue and may well be the most important issue in this case.
First, “Whether others may also have” … disclosed sensitive and confidential information is NOT an entirely separate issue, I would say, with respect. Indeed, if the trial had proceeded, and if Defence had been able to show that the persons on trial did not disclose, but others did, those others would have had to be, somehow, addressed.
If Dave Basi and Bob Virk were shown to have disclosed sensitive and confidential information among several who also did so, that would have thrown a different light on the charges – for the jury if not for the judge. Whatever the judge has written, a jury of reasonable men and women might have seen the meaning of such added evidence quite differently than she would.
What is more, if the trial had continued – as it began – and the jury had continued being subjected to top-level politicians and corporate actors who, over and over and over, used every ruse and trick and ploy to avoid providing truth in answers, the jury would have grown tired very soon. It would likely have made judgements quite different than those the presiding judge would have considered ‘fitting’. [Was that why the trial was aborted?]
Notice in the passage quoted above, Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie also writes: “As the defence contends, the credibility of the principals of Pilothouse is seriously at issue and may well be the most important issue in this case.”
That is the judge on the case making a statement about the credibility of “the principals of Pilothouse”. But when she released the RCMP investigation documents – I am not aware that she included a word of caution about the veracity of the statements, none of which was tested in trial and found true or found lacking in truth.
With respect for the Associate Chief Justice, I am alarmed she released a large amount of material – in contention from the start of the case – to a highly restricted, in-group, without, it appears, a word explaining, defining, cautioning that all of the material was untested and some of it she herself described as “seriously at issue”.
The whole situation, I believe, is most unusual, almost inexplicable. Shouldn’t the RCMP have presented objections? It had to know many statements it was given were doubtful, at least. Shouldn’t the judge herself have entered objections on the basis of her own recorded doubts about truthfulness of at least some testimony given to police? Shouldn’t the Crown – which has the role of protecting good process as well as conducting prosecution – have entered objections on the grounds that the materials have never been tested for truth in the only place they could be – a trial completed rather than cut off in what many believe was a shameless piece of skullduggery?
Dave Basi and Bob Virk, (the convicted) to their credit, urge that all the disclosed material be protected, all be available for a Public Inquiry as the only way of coming to understand the full scope of corruption and wrongdoing in the BC Rail Scandal. They are saying, in effect, that all the disclosed material should be tested for truth under rigorous judicial or semi-judicial conditions.
We are surely inside chaos when the apprehended and convicted criminals are calling for full, fair, open, democratically driven judicial examination of the BC Rail Scandal. Chaos is surely here if (as I believe) the “guardians of our society”, the RCMP, the (wrongfully-appointed) Crown, the cabinet (in silent withdrawal), the Associate Chief Justice of the B.C. Supreme Court and judge on the scandalously aborted trial, and the Mainstream Media give every appearance (to me) of working together to defeat justice by whatever means they can.
Can a reasonable British Columbian believe that cabinet interests, RCMP, the (wrongfully appointed) Prosecution, the Court, and the Mainstream Media all agreed to select a distinct portion of documents disclosed to the Court and to release only them – regardless of their possible biased, incomplete, and potentially misleading quality – to a small, selected, in-group propaganda team - access denied to all others?
That is very, very hard to believe.
But in a world in which Private Corporations are fighting for the control of governments – and are winning the fight – the scenario is entirely possible.
In a world exploding under the thrones of dictators the real owners of the dictators are fighting to keep supremacy … and are showing their hands.
In a world in which the grip of a toadying and sycophantic Mainstream Media is loosening daily, its lunge for central position in the handling (and mishandling) of information is becoming more brutal and more obvious.
An aroused public is becoming more informed and more and more alarmed at alliances for dominance among previously democratic institutions and Private Corporate exploiters. Such alliances as the one I suggest may have formed – to engage in the release of partial, biased, incomplete, misleading, and diversionary RCMP gathered materials – become wholly possible in our time.
The present picture of the BC Rail Scandal seen with clear eyes is a picture of unfolding Chaos.
The democracy we think we have is in collapse. Brutal force is struggling for dominance. That surely means an Era is ending. The pained and struggling state of peoples in all parts of the world today suggests – that despite disaster - a better Era may lie ahead.
I think we need to act locally, municipally and let the democracy blossom, like a dandelion through a crack in the pavement of Howe Street.
I don't think we have had democracy for a long time. As Laila said recently, "We are all Egyptians".
They know there is nothing in there that will exonerate them or implicate anyone else. Yet there they go grandstanding an shill game on us all, trying very very hard to convince us otherwise.
Mathews so wants to beleive them. That much bleeds from his essays.
Just as was the fishing expedition for emails and documents that they said would provide their defence, yet in the end, didnt nor did they point to evidence that their bosses were okay with then leaking info and taking inducements, hiring hookers, talking to drug dealers, etc and nephariously so forth.
So let the public inquiry begin and let the chips fall where they may.
The independent eyes of citizens need to judge for themselves.
The measure now goes to the Senate, where minority Democrats have been missing for a week, preventing a vote in that chamber.
No one knows when — or if — the Senate Democrats will return from their hideout (what a phrase, only in the press---hideout?) in Illinois. Republicans hold a 19-14 majority but need a quorum of 20 lawmakers to vote on spending bills.
(BC Legislature hadn’t sat in 250+ days)
Republicans who control the chamber SENT STATE TROOPER OUT LOOKING FOR THEM AT THEIR HOMES on Thursday, but they turned up nothing.
People had better be thinking and paying attention, it is only a matter of time before they’re at your door.
Never say never
liberals/republicans/conservative. All the same.
One of my favorite programs is the Keiser Report on RT. Episode #124 has some disturbing things about the internet and blog posters in it. Made me wonder how many people like JeeJim and others are in fact real. Those who may be offended by Max and Stacy bad mouthing sacred American financial institutions can skip to the second half of the program and the Glenn Greenwald interview. Could there be lay-offs coming at the PAB if all that's necessary is some software?
But as far as human-generated discord, I bet Dave Basi could tell us a thing or two about the manuals of political-campaign bullying; and I don't mean that critically so much as in "gee, Dave, what else could you tell us about what goes on behind closed doors, and what other dirty tricks you played". All is forgiven, Dave, if you just "tell all", totally and completely, as you're indicated you're ready to...and I understand why you'd want to do it at a public inquiry, which might be the only place you won't be breaking any kind of secret interdiction you have about saying too much; hopefully that wasn't a condition of your conditional sentence of the secrecy of the plea bargain, er, switch, er...whatever it was. You hold the keys to the kingdom, brother - they're at your mercy, if you want. Tell us all, we DO want to know; what other dirt is there beside from BC Rail?
They live in a glass house, you've got some big rocks handy, no doubt....
One other comment; long ago I remember a letter to the editor, from South Africa, about how it was well-known internationally that in British Columbia, anyone could exercise their prejudices to the maximum (in the context that Canadians were unfairly critical and unreflective on constantly deriding white South Africans). In the Maritimes these last years I hear that and more affirmed about how "we" are seen; not just that our prejudices, on all sides, are extremes, but people in BC will inflict their prejudices on you, as a matter of course. It's not surprising at all to see bullying the blogs when you consider the nature of "debate" in the House.....
"Idiots provocateurs" is a term I came up with a long time ago, perhaps it's worth recycling (though proper French I think would be "fous provocateurs").