Monday, April 23, 2007

 

Robin Mathews says: Welcome to Beautiful British Columbia

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Robin Mathews: CORRUPT CABINET. CORRUPT RCMP. CORRUPT PRESS AND MEDIA

The corrupt cabinet announced its presence early with the lie that B.C. Rail would not be privatized, third largest rail system in Canada - a guarantor of B.C.'s economic health. Then came the lies and manipulations about B.C. Ferries, B.C. Hydro, B.C. Forest codes, the B.C. Children and Families Ministry, the Gateway Project, TILMA, and on and on and on.

Lies and sell-outs and corruption. Unnecessary deaths mounting in numbers. Rotten criminals slipping into the shadows. Fake "commissions of inquiry" disguising truth. A private corporate press and media covering, propagandizing, lying, faking, for the corrupt - a sad spectacle of human beings without self-respect. Ugh.

Present focus is on B.C. Rail, its dirty sale, and the one trial rising out of that, struggling from the B.C. Rail cesspool, struggling to reach British Columbians with some information - a little information - about the destruction of the province in the hands of a corrupt government.

Lawyers in courtroom 54 of the Supreme Court of British Columbia this week can only do so much before Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett. (A corrupt Supreme Court?) The focus this week is on the Basi, Basi, and Virk "trial", the dirty sale of B.C. Rail and what it says about the corruptions noted already. The Defence has to defend the three men charged, and get them liberated if possible.

The Defence is NOT an unimpeded Commission of Inquiry into the dirty sale of B.C. Rail. That kind of Inquiry has been scotched by Gordon Campbell. And it's been forgotten quickly, conveniently, by the private corporate press and media. Hand in hand.

But the Defence has to extract the story of the men for whom it is acting from the dizzying whirlpool of government, police, and media corruption that they lived in and that surrounded them. Extracting the men's story means pulling out some of the larger story. To understand the story, we have to know what Defence can't say in court and what it has said or will say.

What Defence can't say.

(1) The corrupt cabinet. Gordon Campbell is alleged to have gained leadership of his party by "bulk membership" votes that cannot be traced to people. The "case" against innocent Glen Clark, premier of B.C., surfaced in Gordon Campbell's constituency office, leading to a long media frenzy, irregular RCMP investigation, and to a trial (presided over by Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett) that destroyed Glen Clark and the ruling NDP.
(2) The corrupt police. In 1995 the RCMP used a (largely staged) "stand off" with 30 or so Natives and non-Natives at Gustafsen Lake to unleash a media campaign of "smear and disinformation" - the RCMP's own words.

From that series of events a major RCMP player moved to key place in the Glen Clark affair, perfecting RCMP "smear and disinformation" tactics and protracted evidence-gathering suggesting guilt. The investigation of that activity, following my complaint to the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP was, I was informed, "wrongfully" terminated by B.C. RCMP officers.

What the Defence can tell.

Preparing for the search warrant "raids" on B.C. legislature offices on December 28, 2003, the RCMP held a number of "media (smear and disinformation?) strategy" meetings to shape ways to control and allegedly to falsify information about the reason for the raids. At one of those meetings Beverly Busson, present replacement for disgraced RCMP Commissioner Juliano Zaccardelli, was in attendance.

A chief investigating officer in the B.C. Rail scandal was Sergeant Debruyckere, brother-in-law of Kelly Reichert, Executive Director of the B.C. Provincial Liberal Party and member with Finance Minister Gary Collins on the Provincial Liberal Election Campaign Team. Hand in hand?

According to the Defence, Sergeant Debruyckere enabled information about the investigation to get to Kelly Reichert and to Gordon Campbell, and - one may assume beyond what Defence alleges - to many others in Liberal and cabinet circles. The overall investigation began well before December 28, 2003, of course. Debruyckere didn't formally declare his connection to Reichert until March of 2004 - which does not mean the connection was a secret.

A very strong peculiarity of the investigation and especially of statements after December 28, 2003, was the emphasis by RCMP upon the wonderful cooperation provided by the Campbell cabinet and the repeatedly stated insistence that no elected politician was involved or under examination. Apparently, whatever wrong-doings surfaced, they were completely (the public was supposed to believe) separate from real political power in the province and from, especially, members of cabinet - like Gordon Campbell.

Special Prosecutors (appointed as independent agents when politicians are involved) changed rapidly in the early investigation period, a few suggesting, apparently, that their "independence" was imperilled. From a print-out I have of 11/17/06 from http://www.bcrevolution.ca/bc_government htm I will quote a passage apparently written just after the "raids" on legislature offices. I'm sure it is spurious, but it suggests the role of Special Prosecutor can be put into question. "Vancouver lawyer William Berardino has once again been appointed 'an independent Special Prosecutor' in the case which is a common procedure when criminal investigations may involve politicians. This makes cover-up easier, when you have a 'go to guy' we can rely on - said a crown source who wished to remain anonymous."

The police strategy was to connect the accused with organized crime apparently, and it was - Defence states - completely successful, taking in the gullible, reactionary press and media. Defence counsel remarks, however, that the "connection between organized crime and the search of the Legislature was false and misleading and completely deleterious to the fair trial rights of the Accused".

Corrupt press and media.

To detail the lies, misrepresentations, half-truths, cover-ups, and failures to report information of the private corporate press and media in B.C. would take volumes.

We need only look at Vaughn Palmer's column for April 21 07. Chief political columnist for the Vancouver Sun, Palmer is the journalist I call "Gordon Campbell's personal representative at the Vancouver Sun". Palmer's scatter-gun approach separates the story into fragments. Moreover he writes "the defence concern is not with what the police said after the raid". That statement is completely false. As I read the column, Palmer also extenuates the contortions the RCMP used to preach that no elected officials were involved in the raid. If as Defence alleges, Gary Collins was being investigated on the 12th of December, and if he ceased to be investigated, a reason should be available. Palmer doesn't give one, nor does he seem vaguely interested in the subject.

What is more, if Debruyckere was talking to Reichert who was informing Gordon Campbell and others, some elected officials would have had to be part of the raid operation in the respect that they would have known about it and approved of it. In that case the search warrants would "involve" elected provincial politicians.

One of the search warrants, we are told, was for the home of deputy premier Christy Clark and her husband Mark Marissen. It was not used in that form, Defence argues, because Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm talked the police out of using it. The police, instead, visited the home and talked to Marissen - which Palmer of course doesn't tell readers.

Christy Clark was careful to say she was not interviewed by police. Did the police telephone and ask for an interview? Does that mean incriminating evidence might have been removed that would not have been if the search warrant route had been followed? If such evidence had been found, does anyone believe Marissen's wife, an "elected official" would not have been "involved in the investigation"?

Quietly and conservatively, I would say that Vaughn Palmer introduces a falsehood into his column, fails to report information that links important parts, and introduces what many would call misrepresentation - that last because he nowhere suggests that when he mentions information going from "the investigation to a party operative and then to the premier" that it apparently did so because a chief investigator was a relation of a top Liberal with whom there was allegedly contact over a long period.

Crucial matters are at stake for democracy in B.C. Don't look to Vaughn Palmer to find out what they are. Look to Palmer if you want to see how CanWest journalists dumb things down. When he should be calling for a full-scale, high-level, no-holds-barred, impartial Inquiry to answer the questions the Defence is throwing up, Vaughn Palmer dumbs down, dumbs down. As we would expect.

A corrupt Supreme Court?

Finally, we have to ask if the court is corrupt, too. Desperately hoping it is not, we can't find reason to base the hope upon. The Basi, Basi, Virk charges were laid more than three years ago. What facts do we face?

Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm has imposed an odious and intolerable gag order on documents that are on public record.

Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett has said - in this case - that documents are to be released. She said that six weeks ago. I cannot get her to tell me the status of documents now.

Associate Chief Justice Dohm signed the search warrants for the "legislature raids" and more. He then defied law and practice and kept the search warrants secret for months. Defence argued on April 20, 2007, that the RCMP did not want the warrants released as they should have been. Was Patrick Dohm working for the RCMP which, itself, was too closely connected to top Liberals and Gordon Campbell? Looked at now, I cannot see a single legitimate reason for Patrick Dohm to have refused British Columbians the right to see the search warrants immediately.

Patrick Dohm, Defence alleges, talked RCMP out of serving a search warrant on the home of Christy Clark, deputy premier, and Mark Marissen on December 28, 2003. Why? If the RCMP had a list, possessing integrity, of people and places to be investigated by search warrant, why did Patrick Dohm say, in effect, I will separate out one of the destinations. Especially when he admitted in a news story two months later that he still didn't know the matter well. (Vanc. Sun, Mar 3 04 A3) Was Dohm providing a little bit of help to his friends?

Indeed, on March 2, 2004, Dohm had William Berardino write out the odious summary of the search warrant information Dohm was keeping from the public. And apparently Dohm had Berardino do the job because he, himself, didn't know enough about the matter. As Dohm said: "they know the material better than I do".

Defence has sought reasonable information for many months, information that has been obstructed, delayed, shoddily produced, and sometimes apparently unfairly denied. The delay has wounded the process and delayed justice. The person chiefly responsible for the delay is Madam Justice
Elizabeth Bennett who could have ended the delay months ago.

What is going on in courtroom 54 of the Supreme Court of British Columbia? What are the Basi, Basi, and Virk charges all about?

Let us remember that the sale of the Roberts Bank rail spur was cancelled because "confidential information regarding the sale had been leaked to at least one of the prospective bidders". The sale would, therefore, have obviously been invalid.

In the case of B.C. Rail, let us remember, the Vancouver Sun trumpetted (Mar 6 04 H1) "CN got private information". "The British Columbia government ҆ released confidential information to Canadian National during a critical stage of the bidding."

In addition CPR alleged the Campbell group gave CN an "unfair advantage҆" So much so CPR withdrew from the bidding. CPR claimed Campbell and his boys made a "clear breach" of fairness. And more. The Basi, Basi, and Virk matter concerns a claim that a U.S. bidder was promised a consolation prize if it would pretend to stay in the bidding after the CPR blew the whistle. It also concerns an allegation that bribery was involved in the U.S. bidder's interests. Does that show lawlessness in the sale of B.C. Rail? Was Gary Collins the promiser? Heated argument will be heard on that subject.

If the Roberts Bank spur line sale was cancelled, the B.C. Rail sale should have been cancelled too. The sale of B.C. Rail stinks of gigantic lawlessness.

Could that explain the behaviour of a corrupt cabinet, a corrupt RCMP, a spineless and complicit private corporate press and media? And could it point to a corrupt Supreme Court - all playing the Basi, Basi, and Virk game - with endless planned delays - to hide a crime of huge proportions and have British Columbians forget it - the real crime, the dirty sale of B.C. Rail?

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Comments:
Another despicable aspect of the Gustafson Lake stand-off was that Ujjal Dosangh was posing to look tough on separatists: First Nations politics in BC is often treated with Punjabi separation interests in mind. Wally Oppal stood against First Nations taking more responsibility for managing their own police forces while he was still a judge. Who knew that he was feathering his nest to become a hack for the anti-aboriginal Liberals.
 
When Christie Clark said she was not interviewed by the police did she mean she invoked Parliamentary Priviledge.
 
Outstanding article, Robin. Thank you for never failing to say what so desperately needs to be said.

On another thread here I posted this question:

"My question is: Who makes the final decision as to "how" the entries on The Supreme Court Criminal List will appear.... or be worded? Under whose "authority" does this fall?"

The reason I asked it is because the court list has been such a telltale sign - from the very beginning it seems it has been all about obfuscation. Why is that? Why has the ease of clarity, not to mention access, been such a struggle all along?

Surely a court stenographer would have no authority as to how the list is worded nor would he/she be allowed to purposely obfuscate the court list, so who exactly is authorizing the way the court list often reads or the way it is presented specifically regarding the Basi, Basi and Virk trial - and how is this affecting the right to know and the ease of "public access" to the trial of the century?
 
Thank you, Robin, for taking the time & energy to post your thoughts. What you have written - the linkages are crystal clear, correct. My fires are stoked. I wish to add some gravity to this "the Big Lie" revealed in this case & others.

Speaking personally, we are in a situation of having been blatantly abused by all of the 'systems' being targets of top levels of corruption in the BC Government; every rotten linkage of that circle you listed we have experienced the same stink, including the courts, the Govt., the RCMP et al. There is nothing like experience as a teacher. What you have written truly resonates.

This BC Rail 'deal' IS a cesspool. It is also proving to be the spark to ignite the putrid manner in which the people's trust in public office has been betrayed by the BC Government in so many other areas of public process.

There are other cesspools that are rotten & need to be aired. The key is to UNCOVER THE ROT. It is shameful that these 'games of deceit' have been allowed to continue by persons who are charged to know better: the Supreme Court, Special Prosecutors et al.

Sadly, the agenda of the BC Supreme Court is one of manipulalation & supprssion of the truth, to protect misconduct of high profile reputations, when politics rears its ugly head. They use every 'trick' of their trade to whitewash.We've been there. Not all Judges stoop to these tactics, just the ones hand picked. Not good enough, folks.

Details are different - same sanitized results. It is sick scene.

The name of the game is to block & suppress at all cost to these 'players' own integrity & the public's best interests. One cannot turn away in the face of this stench.

Every word - every voice that is raised against this corruption, in ALL corners of our systems, is the cure for this cancer. It motivates other voices & creates an unstoppable force of good. People do have power - they must use it.

WE ARE - whatever it takes.
 
I wonder how long it will take the big 3 papers to start reporting the truth. Sorry folks we don't read your papers anymore. In fact some of us even boycott your advertisers products.
What is there next spin going to be and how long can they hold out against the truth?
 
anon 2;43pm sez:
"I wonder how long it will take the big 3 papers to start reporting the truth."
It is difficult to imagine the "big 3" papers will ever begin reporting the truth. Unfortunately they are not an independent entity whose job is to report the truth. They are a complicit participant in the criminal activity currently taking place in our province.

They (the big 3) are more accurately described as part of a massive interconnected multi-media Public Relations firm, posing as independent news media.
 
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