Bites the Dust
During the last four years, Bill Tieleman writing in 24 hours and the Tyee, has been the most consistent journalist at covering the glacial progress of the Basi et. al. or B.C. Rail trial. Recently he even suffered the indignity of having his office burgled and messed up/vandalized in an effort by someone to either find information or send a message, or perhaps both. Then over at BC Mary's Legislature Raids blog, Mary posted some musings by three concerned Canadians with the headline -Before police raided the B.C. Legislature, there was time to destroy evidence. Now all of a sudden Mr. T seems to have turned into a concern troll, accusing those who have an interest in the BC Rail/BBV Trial of rushing to conclusions. BC Mary posted Bill's comment regarding the musings of Three Concerned Canadians on her front page and essentially rang the bell for Round Two in what is obviously not a closed discussion.
I must admit that since Bill has been the only journalist/pundit to consistently even pay attention to this issue I find it particularly disappointing to see him take this approach to those who are only exercising their right to hold and express opinions. I also take issue with his claim that these individuals are expressing any kind of CONCLUSIONS. The only way to deal with this will be to act like I am replying to an e-mail. The ">" symbols precede lines of Bill's original offensive (to me) comment.
>While I appreciate that the lack of complete information
>and even more importantly, lack of a trial, four years
>after the raid on the BC Legislature is highly frustrating,
>it is critical that the facts be examined before
>conclusions are drawn.
>Unfortunately the Three Concerned Citizens have made
>some errors in their posting here.
>First, the Crown Counsel Act
>is clear about Special Prosecutors
>– they are appointed by the
>Assistant Deputy Attorney General,
>Criminal Justice Branch.
>That lawyer must not be in the employ of the
>Attorney General – i.e. an outside counsel
>is required, as we’ve seen previously.
>The idea that Geoff Plant appointed
>Bill Berardino is therefore wrong.
Who cares who "officially" made the appointment. The more important question is:Whose interests does the appointment serve? Bill is mainly constructing a convenient "straw man" here, that he can later chop into pieces and hopefully convey the impression that he has proven meaningless what the Three Concerned Canadians were saying.
>Secondly, the fact that Bill Berardino and
>Geoff Plant once practiced law in the same
>very large law office before Plant
>went into politics in 1996 – is meaningless.
>Most obviously, if the defence team who have been
>exceptionally vigilant in pointing out the flaws in the
>Special Prosecutor’s approach and that of the RCMP
>investigators thought Berardino was in some conflict,
>they would have filed an objections years ago
>. They have not.
Bill, you're not young enough to convince me you think 1996 was a long time ago and therfore any connection "way back then" is as you put it "meaningless." Hogwash. It is common knowledge that the legal community is an old boys' club, with some token women allowed today, with connections that go back to law school and before.Consider the example of Erik Bornmannnnnnnn, self admitted break and enter artist (tho not in a court of law, perhaps) and tenderer of bribes, though not charged.
As far as the defense filing an objection, who can say that they won't sometime, IF THE CHARADE EVER GETS FAR ENOUGH ALONG. Ol' Bill is kind of an SP in name only anyway, as he hardly bothers to show up.
>Thirdly, David Harris is a law partner
>of Berardino and was
>originally appointed Special Prosecutor,
> with Berardino later taking over.
>Nothing unusual here. Andrea Mackay,
>also with the firm, has taken over
>the case at times in Berardino’s absence.
>It simply seems to mean the firm is
>acting as Special Prosecutor.
>Janet Winteringham, who is not part
>of the firm, is also a senior lawyer
>acting as part of the Special
You certainly want to harp, and harp on the law firm and its connections or lack of connections. I didn't realize that "firms" were appointed as S.P.s either.
>Fourthly, the publication of the appointment
>of a Special Prosecutor in the Gazette
>may “delayed if to do so would be
>in the interests of the administration of
>justice.” This makes sense, as media
>immediately begin speculating and
>investigating whenever a Special Prosecutor
However it doesn't make sense to delay the announcement to everyone EXCEPT the SUSPECTS. Political aides like Basi and Virk don't so much wield power as control access to those who do. Nobody was likely to bribe David Basi to influence a decision that he could make. Perhaps someone said:
" So let's appoint a Special Prosecutor and keep it secret, but let's let the suspects like gordo and Gary the Ferret et. al. know in advance, just in case there is any embarrassing paperwork laying around. Oh yeah before I forget, let's call that surveillance off on the Finance Minister."
Then again, perhaps not!
>Lastly, the Three Citizens write:
>“Look: There was time.
>There was a motive.
>There was opportunity.
>There was a team. There was
>the quietness of the Legislature at
>Christmas when many people were
>off duty.”I’m sorry but the
>idea that a group of politicians and
>political staff subverted the course
>of justice by sneaking around in
>balaclavas shredding evidence and
>no one to this day found
>it simply beggars the imagination!
You think this is "unimaginable?" BTW Bill, if indeed "no one to this day (has) found it (the evidence)" that would indicate that the shredding (if any) was successful. It's difficult enough to get information that hasn't be lost, shredded or misplaced as you can attest from the success (or lack of same) of your Requests for Information under Freedom of Information legislation. And where did the guys in balaclavas come from Bill, your imagination, or are you not sharing some information with us?
This government hasn't been particularly known for its respect for the law and the justice system as a whole. This is illustrated by their court squabble with their own Crown Attorneys, their slashing of the poor's access to legal representation, closing of courthouses across the province and their repeated refusal to abide by court decisions that go against their policies. When condemned by the UN itself, the Campbell & Cronies response is "Who are the UN, they ain't the boss of me!"
>The real “conspiracy” if there is
>one is that the defence has been
> consistently frustrated in
>receiving evidence that
>truly exists and is in police files;
>that documents were
>marked by RCMP “do not disclose”;
>that 100,000 pages or
>more of evidence has been produced,
>swamping the defence in
>paper; that the RCMP has a series
>of conflicts of interest
>to explain on the stand in
>front of Justice Elizabeth
>Bennett; that key political figures
>have to explain their
>actions in a court of law regarding
>the $1 billion privatization of
>BC Rail and much, much more.
Bill, are you suggesting that "only" what you can imagine, or list above rises to the level of "conspiracy" or wrongdoing? I agree that each thing you describe above is a problem and requires further investigation and explanation. However I refuse to accept your arbitrary limits on the degree and/or amount of wrongdoing this government "may" be found to have committed. The whole purpose of "shredding" paperwork is to cause it to cease to exist. You should remember that it is extremely difficult to prove a negative or the existence of that which has been destroyed. Are you saying the lack of a pile of paper shreds proves no shredding occurred?
>Allegations of shadowy men in a
>shadowy Legislature shredding
>documents and Special Prosecutors
>who are connected to government
>figures are not helpful to figuring
>out what happened.
So Bill, did you just wake up like the fellow in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis and discover you were turning into a concern troll?
The government tries to keep everything secret, the media aids and abets in this effort and the court system seems to be stalled at the discovery phase perhaps forever. Of course I guess you don't want to put your access at risk, or were there even more serious threats made in the course of your "break in?"
I think everyone has the right to speculate about this. Until someone, the government, the media or the courts provide some facts, speculation is all there is and you debase yourself and insult us, by trying to belittle everyone's speculations.