One of the crime scenes

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Another One
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.

News, Views and Attitudes

>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
>Prosecutor team.

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.

Red Herring on toast anyone?

>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
>is appointed.

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done, kootcoot.

It is only through open discussion from everyone's point of view that a broader perspective is gained; not just what Mr. T believes is important. Everyone's point of view is valid.

You bet there are all too many shadows that are covering up the truth re: what really happened behind those Govt. closed doors.

Bill T. is not naive but he seems to be speaking with unusually limited vision & constraint re: the obvious in his comments on the Three Concerned Citizens Editorial, which btw, I enjoyed immensely!

I don't usual bother but out of curiosity I tried to listen to Bill Good this morning, while Bill T. was on talking about everything BUT the Raid on the Leg.: the agenda clearly set which as usual did NOT include the biggest issue pending for most British Columbians today: the strong perception that corruption is alive & well under the roof of the BC Legislative Buildings, EVERYWHICHWAY.

Monday, January 21, 2008 at 1:50:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you're a bit off about Bill, Koot. My take on his comment was that he was advising us to exercise caution. I commented on it at Marys' place. I personally think that with the info Bill has and we have not received, he has an entirely different picture of this case.
I know you and I and a few others have commented considerably about the (lack of)media reporting as well as any reporting they do is blatantly biased. But with Bill there seems to be just a few things hanging in the backdrop. Probably until he gets confirmation. But Bill Tieleman is a professional comunicator. Something which I, and I'm sure others who comment on this case, are not. So I think I'll just take a second look at how I comment. And when and if I'm in court again I'll try to get more facts written down. That is if Lizzy will have the mics turned up.

Monday, January 21, 2008 at 5:22:00 PM PST  
Blogger kootcoot said...

Gary E,

Just what is this magic species, the "professional communicator?" Are we describing something along the lines of Ronald Ray-Gun, the Great Communicator, who never necessarily had much to say that was TRUE. Or are we talkin' about the 185 "professional communicators" that WE as taxpayers already have working for us in the Premier's Office, thanks to Orders in Council. In spite of all 185 of them I certainly don't feel any better informed - dizzier from spin, perhaps.

Rona Ambrose, ex Minister of the Environment and Big Hair studied communications - did that help you believe what she had to say about the environment and how Alberta was a leader in environmental something or other?

I could do with less communicators and just a simple reporter or two reporting on facts that weren't considered the secret privileged property of either government or the corporate elite.

As far as I'm concerned none of the speculations of the Three Concerned Canadians were beyond the realm of possibility based on the paucity of facts which we all have had available to consider after all these years. Did it ever occur to you that the government, the media and the justice system might not be as interested in the dissemination of information as they are in the shaping/massaging of public opinion?

Good luck with those mics, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for "Lizzy" to turn them up. I'd be less surprised to see the judge, the clerk and the lawyers wearing headphones, headphones unavailable to the public. Quite likely they haven't given up on their dream of secret sessions, even if they have to play nice and allow a defense attorney to be present.

The only thing held in contempt in this court is the idea of justice!

Caution is an over used word among concern trolls! F*** caution, how about OUTRAGE, now there's a word that fits these circumstances.

F*** = Fry Nicely

Monday, January 21, 2008 at 6:09:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bill Tieleman said...

Kootcoot - I could react with predictable outrage, feigned indignation, false bravado or complete disdain to your comments about me.

But I choose not to do so.

I will say that when I question The unknown Concerned Citizens hypotheses I get the third degree from you and others - almost every one of which is Anonymous.

I use my real name, I go to court, I report in two publications plus my blog. I do not hide from anyone, including those thugs who broke into my office to trash the place.

This is a big important case. I suggest those who want to make contributions - as I hope you all will - develop a little thicker skin than some of you obviously have.

I have insulted no one, I have debased no one and I have belittled no one. I have posed questions and given my opinion.

Get used to it and get over it or read someone else's stuff that conforms to your suspicions, because mine isn't going to change.

Monday, January 21, 2008 at 9:35:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems to me you are getting twisted out of shape because Tielaman is reporting things as he sees them. He doesn't see a comspiracy each time the judge does something or some lawyer doesn't attend. He has a lot of experience as a communicator, attends the work up to the trial on a regular basis and has the courtesy to hand his comments directly over to someone elses blog. I really don't think your blog gains much by insulting the fellow. Debate is one thing, this is not debate. I do read BC Mary often and have provided the odd article to her site. Yes it's a good thing she started tracking the events a long time ago. But I rather doubt the trial would not have occured with or without a blog or two. Yes the work up to the trial has been long but lets not try to attack the guy bringing the message to us, who either can't or won't attend the court proceedings. Sure I support Bill Tielemans posts, maybe you don't agree with his thoughts but that's an opinion developed over time. If all of us had the same opinion on the subject it would be a pretty dull world. and yes the three concerned folks have a position that some of us don't agree with. That doesn't make them or us better just because we might disagee. Just because he didn't discuss the Basi Basi Verk case on the local radio is no great deal. I don't think the guests can always direct the fellow running the program to zero in on one issue. The T/C has had Paul wilcox discuss the case a couple of times lately and the Province has Mike smythe on the same subject a couple of days ago. There is other news besides this mixed up court case.

Monday, January 21, 2008 at 9:45:00 PM PST  
Blogger BC Mary said...

Where in the world did anybody get the idea that Bill Tieleman had been "attacked" over at my place?

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Bill visited The Legislature Raids and volunteered his own critique of the essay written by "Three Concerned Canadians". Have a look at what he said.

Instead of squabbling, I saw it as an opportunity to begin a wider discussion.

I told Bill what I was planning and then I did it: I posted Bill's comment front and centre on the main page followed by the responses of commentors.

The whole discussion is there in a package -- each polite comment appreciative of Bill and his work, although each commentor is expressing another constructive point of view. They put in hours of work to make those excellent contributions.

I was immensely proud of the way the contributors handled that challenge ... with dignity, hard work, intelligence, and concern for Bill and for one another. Please don't spoil it now.

That's all I want to say.

Thanks, Koot.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 7:04:00 PM PST  

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