One of the crime scenes

Friday, May 07, 2010

Assaulted by

When I was younger, they hadn't invented the internet, hell, even computers were new, rare and esoteric and you had to know how to program to even use one. But we had access to actual news. We could pick up the old Vancouver Sun, the San Francisco Chronicle (ah an old fav of mine - Herb Caen and Ralph Gleason) or we could check up on what Woodward and Bernstein were revealing that day about Watergate in the Washington Post.

In the years since though the Post has become a stenographer pool for the Republican Party, the New York Times wins Pulitzer Prizes thanks to Judith Miller wearing out kneepads and spinning fiction to support the warmongers in the Bush Administration and the Vancouver Sun has become a privatized contractor to Gordon Campbell's Public Affairs Bureau and promo flyer for the real estate industry and car dealers of BC.

If we turn on the TeeVee, instead of Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, or Dan Rather, we get Katie Couric, Bill not so Good or worse yet Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck. Don't even mention radio and creatures the likes of the Cluffmaster or Rusty Limpballs the Pillhead that keeps promising to leave America if certain things happen like the passage of Obamacare - and then WON'T!

Fellow Blogger Norm Farrell sums up the Global TeeVee (no)News operation this way.
Global TV BC already broadcasts little hard news, despite almost 40 hours of broadcasts labeled news each week. Removing duplications, commercials, promos, sports, weather, human interest and other soft news leaves less than 90 minutes a week of hard news that includes the five Ws: who, what, when, where, why. And, that's during a busy week for the news department.

And I think Norm is being to kind with the 90 minutes per week estimate - the only thing you can generally trust at Global BC is the scores from Canucks games - everything else is either ignored or spun beyond recognition.

Either we have Keith Baldrey pooh poohing almost anything as not really important after all, or we are treated to Vaughn Palmer showing off his lack of mathematical skills as he explains why he can't decide if Kash Heed is the third or fourth or third AND fourth Solicitor-General appointed in the last little while in BC under the corrupt Campbell regime. It doesn't do much for BC news, but in the USA one is better informed by watching the Daily Show with John Stewart than the major networks, CNN and Faux, combined.

On their website Canwest brags about having 1,200 journalists deployed across the nation. I wonder where they hide them and what they do - maybe a quarter of them labor in the basement of the Ledge for the PAB and read my blog. Often these so called journalists seem little more than "concern trolls" as in Ian Mulgrew, who today figures that we are stuck with Terrence Robertson's findings in the Kash Heed affair because of.....just wait.....the Terrence Roberson precedent. Terrence Robinson was also the THIRD special prosecutor in the Bountiful polygamy case that finally came up with the findings that Wally Oppal was looking for. In Special-prosecutor system badly damaged by solicitor-general affair, Mr. Mulgrew demonstrates that the only logic in his cubicle or office is in the computer chip running his word processor.
Unfortunately, it may be very difficult to disturb Robertson's recommendations.

In the polygamy case, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Sunni Stromberg-Stein suggested in her ruling that the government could not go to a second special prosecutor if it didn't like the findings of a first:

"The harm in the appointment of successive special prosecutors is that it undermines the administration of justice by leaving the perception, if not the reality, of political interference and of an oppressive or unfair prosecution."

She said Robertson's appointment in the polygamy case was unlawful and he had no power to recommend charges -- the initial special prosecutor's decision was final.

It's hard to see how this case is different.

Okay Mr. Mulgrew, this is how it is different, please pay attention. In the Bountiful case Wally Oppal was obviously going to keep appointing a new prosecutor until he got the finding he wanted, even if he had to reach out to the last para-legal in the country to get his way. There was nothing smelly about Peck or Daoust, the first two SPs in the case, other than the fact Wally didn't like their findings.

In this case it seems that Mr. Robertson should not have been in the postion to start with so his findings are of no probative value - or of no more worth than yours or mine, or maybe even less than yours or mine. It was Robertson himself who was in at least an apparent conflict of interest and in my opinion an ACTUAL conflict.
Though a review of how Robertson exercised his discretion might be well-meaning, I think Justice Stromberg-Stein's ruling prevents meddling with it.

I disagree, as I explained above.

The panoply of prosecutorial independence that Robertson has so badly tarnished may ironically be the shield that renders his recommendations untouchable.

Yes Ian, it would be ironic, because it DEFIES logic!

And let us not forget that Terrence Robertson was also the go to guy when it was necessary for a special prosecutor to find that charging Ken Dobell with violating lobbying rules wouldn't be in the "public interest," despite the implication that he had actually violated the legislation.

Then there is the bandied about fact that William Berardino FOR SURE isn't in a conflict of interest in the Basi-Virk case, even though he made a significant donation to the Liberal Party of BC AFTER taking on the case, not to mention being the former law partner of both the current AG Geoff Plante and man of many hats Allan Seckel. But according to Wild Bill, he got an opinion from former Justice Thomas Berger that everything was cool and he wasn't in conflict - at least regarding the donation. However, Thomas Berger stepped down from the bench almost thirty years ago and today is just a lawyer, albeit a highly esteemed and respected one.

But no matter how respected Mr. Berger may be, his opinion is just that, and I could retain my own counsel or consult an attorney friend for an opinion that could possibly be different. Until it goes to court, an opinion is just that, an opinion. Of course if Mr. Berger had been commissioned to conduct an "inquiry" into the issue, his opinion at the end of that might actually have weight, depending on the parameters of the inquiry, of course. But in what passes for media in this province that "due process" forgot, this sort of generalization passes for fact.

Breaking News

According to the Times-Colonist an hour or two ago:
Peter Wilson, a senior Vancouver lawyer, has been appointed as independent special prosecutor into alleged offences involving the campaign office of Kash Heed, the Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of Attorney General today.

So I imagine, just to level the playing field that Mr. Wilson, the new oh so Special Prosecutor has probably donated $100,000 dollars to the NDP, Green or Marijuana Party. I imagine the Elections BC database will be humming tonight. (Maybe there are six lawyers in BC named Peter Wilson, not an uncommon name after all, and it will be difficult to pin this one down as far as political ties without capturing him and subjecting him to harsh interrogation - or as my uncle Dick Cheney like to say "resorting to the darkside.")


Blogger Gary E said...

This should prove interesting Koot.
From the G&M.

"Mr. Wilson has been involved in several high-profile cases, including defending Allan Schoenborn, who was found not criminally responsible for killing his three children in Merritt, B.C., and Kelly Ellard, who was convicted of killing Victoria teen Reena Virk. He also took over as convicted serial killer Robert Pickton's lawyer in 2008."

Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 7:38:00 PM PDT  

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