Tuesday, November 25, 2008
More about the RCMP and Paul Palango
From: Prime Time Crime (Nov. 1, 2008)
Paul Palango Responds
Dear members and interested parties;
In recent days Commissioner Elliott and various commanders have issued statements attacking my book, Dispersing the Fog: Inside the Secret World of Ottawa and the RCMP. They claim there are distortions and errors in the book.
Please allow me to give you some background. This was a very difficult and comprehensive book. It was written and edited in an extremely short period of time. There are some typos in the book, but mostly in the index. The story was put together so quickly that I was not even given a chance to review the index, which would have helped me catch some of those problems in the first edition. I plan to make corrections in the next edition of the book.
I believe I have created a fair impression of the RCMP in my book. My main contact with the force has been DCOMM Bass. As I told him in an e-mail, the force is throwing up a smokescreen to conceal the real issues. To use a baseball analogy, the RCMP brass is arguing about balls and strikes when the real issue is the steroids and corked bats and the integrity of the entire sport.
Furthermore, I had an exchange of e-mails with Bass over the weekend when he alerted that the force would be issuing a statement.
Here is my response to him:
Gary: Glad you read the book. I think I’ve created a fair impression of the RCMP. You can quibble about details but when you issue your press release, please refer to the previous time(s) you have issued press releases about me and others that were inaccurate and misleading, like those detailed in the book.
You can also include former RCMP member Leo Knight’s review Tilting at windmills with effect on Primetimecrime.com or Morley Lymburner’s from Blue Line Magazine. One said I had done a great public service while the other said I should receive the Order of Canada.
Meanwhile, as part of my response, please include the following excerpts from e-mails I have received in the past few days.
A RCMP member (edited to protect identity) had this to say:
“I am hoping this email will reach Paul Palango. I have read the book and am amazed to how well written and interesting it is. As an RCMP officer I would have first shunned your books and not believed that there is a "secret world", that is full of dysfunction…. Ottawa won't even return my calls. Anyhow, I realized in the last four years that they do not want someone doing the right thing if it means extra work for them. They do not want to believe there is corruption in the Force. And it does not get any better when dealing with higher ranking members.
Thank-you for writing a book that should be read by all Canadians. Hopefully some good will come from the RCMP in the future. There are some great men and women working the front line. I do not have anything positive to say about the upper management, here in … Div or Ottawa. I would love to say that I hope they learn from the book. But... I think that may be wishful thinking. I hope one day to have a book of my own out there discussing the corruption from the inside (cause God help there is a lot). Respectfully submitted…”
Or how about this one from another RCMP member:
Mr. Palango. I … have been unable to put it down…..As I have yet to finish the book, I have no doubt that the Government of Canada has diminished the organization that I worked for and continues to do so through it's political activities but, Commissioner Zaccardelli, in my view, was the worst Commissioner that I ever served under. The future doesn't look all that rosy either! I look forward to finishing and sharing the book with others.”
The following came from a retired RCMP Staff Sgt:
“Thank you for putting to paper what is long overdue.”
Then there is this one from a former Canadian police chief:
“The book is brilliant. I can’t believe how you touched on all the important issues and some that most have not even thought about. I’m very impressed. I hope Canadians read it and take the time to understand these important issues.”
A prominent former judge said this:
“Congratulations on an impressive piece of work…”
So, I will not engage at this time just as the RCMP has been unwilling to engage me in the past (see Curt Petrovich’s recent story in the CBC about e-mails). When I appeared on The CBC show the Current in November, 2007, the RCMP decided not to oppose me because, as the e-mail pointed out, the RCMP felt it was in a no-win situation.
Unfortunately, the RCMP through its own actions has lost credibility. It has a track record of speaking in “shades of truth” to defend itself. That the leaders of the force cannot see the evident problems and are unprepared to admit the shortcomings and failings of the force is one of the main points (and certainly not the only point) of the book I have published.
I could go on, but you should get the picture. There are good people in the RCMP but it is clear that upper management is more interested in protecting the institution than the public interest.
Yes, I stand behind my story. You are entitled to have your say, but I wrote this book in good faith and in a disinterested fashion. The RCMP was anything but co-operative.
I warn you in the clearest terms that if you or the force falsely and maliciously attack me for my professionalism or integrity in an attempt to diminish the sales of this book, I will respond in time and in a manner fitting the situation.
That being the case, Gary, please feel free to include this with your press release as my response to your inquiries. If you don’t, I will.
November 1, 2008
RCMP Commanding Officer’s Communiqué .pdf
Thank you, Anonymous 9:49. Your comment is very much appreciated here, especially as most of us realize how difficult it must be for you to step forward in this context. Bravo!
Battershill and Palango, eh? And Robin Mathews. What a book that would be.
This morning I got a silly idea. While doing dishes, I began to imagine writing a play -- one of those plays where the audience shouts out additions, corrections, or witticisms as the narrative develops.
William S. Berardino, who enjoys a leisurely work-life as Special Crown Prosecutor on the Basi-Virk Case
Paul Riley, lawyer from the Public Protection Service who has come to Vancouver to protect the RCMP from ... well, shout out your guesses.
Vancouver Supreme Court, hearing pre-trial arguments about how to present the trial of Basi, Virk, Basi if it's ever presented.
Bill: And who is this?
Paul: I am a stranger in this court, requesting "standing", so that I may protect the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Bill, spluttering with outrage: A stranger? In this court? To protect the RCMP? From what? From whom?!!
[The crowd in the Public Gallery begins to laugh, shouting out suggestions ...]: The BC Liberals, King Gordo, Gary Collins, Glen Clark!]
Bill: Stop it. Stop it, I say! I'm the Special Crown Prosecutor here! [He looks wildly around for support, but everybody is laughing ...] You can't run a trial with TWO Prosecutors!
Paul: I've been sent here by your superiors in Ottawa. My mission is to ensure that justice is done ...
A piercing shriek is heard. It came from the Special Prosecutor (Bill, not Paul).
Bill: Quick. Hurry to the King and tell him that the jig is up. Tell him to catch the next flight to Hawaii. Tell him to save a seat for me ... the trial? what trial ...
[He falls to the floor ...]
Paul looks up at Judge Bennett with a winning smile: Milady, my Learned Friend is unable to continue. I place myself in your hands, prepared to serve ... uh, serve the RCMP.
Aw shucks, Koot ... [blush] ...
actually, I think that being a playwright is probably an Occupational Hazard for anybody trying to report on the Basi-Virk story.
Robin Mathews, who IS a playwright, should be able to fill the theatres with "I Know Nothing -- and the Prime Minister Knows Nothing Too!"
Probably shortened to "It's Before The Courts" ... a mime, without dialogue of course.