Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Canadian News Roundup

A few news stories to catch up on:

- Canada to seek clemency for Montrealer facing beheading. The Conservatives - for the death penalty before they were against it. (See this post as well.)

- I have a hard time believing that Harper is serious about taking Dion to court over the Cadman affair when he and his minions continue to talk about it in the house. It seems to be they would instead be saying that "this matter is before the courts" if they intended to go ahead with the suit. On the other hand, if it does go to court, he and his operatives will be forced to testify under oath under the threat of perjury charges. Stock up on popcorn for that case. Lastly, insinuating that their Conservative candidate Dona Cadman (who is the source of this bribery allegation) is a liar does them absolutely no favours in that riding. How can the Conservative party support an alleged liar as their candidate? They've hung her and their party out to dry. This is a no-win situation for this government and they know it. Lather. Spin. Repeat.

- Even though Harper has denied that his chief of staff, Ian Brodie, was responsible for leaking the Obama/NAFTA story to CTV, he still refuses to name the person responsible. If the opposition (and concerned Democrats) can make a case that the leak amounted to political interference (a criminal offence), there may be a role for the RCMP to check into it.

Harper announced today that "an internal security team has been called into the Foreign Affairs Department to investigate one of the leaks". That's not enough.

Mr. Harper didn't address the original leak, but said the government will use “every legal and every investigative technique necessary” to find the source of a second leak — of a private Canadian diplomatic memo — to a U.S. media outlet.

Harper is only interested in finding out who leaked the memo, saying that may be "illegal" but the fact that his government may have planted that CTV story to interfere with the US election is just as serious and must be investigated as well.

Beyond that, as has been extensively reported, the optics involved in showing that Canada's government officials can't be trusted not to reveal private communications between representatives of our country and the US (or any other country) has damaged our international reputation.

There's also concern being expressed that the leak may have influenced the outcome of the Ohio primaries on Tuesday, where Clinton was victorious over Obama, but there's absolutely no way to quantify how that story may have affected Ohio voters.

It should also be noted that the Obama campaign completely mismanaged this story from the moment it broke with its economic adviser Goolsbee asserting that he just said "hello" to Canadian representatives - a claim he had to change after it was revealed that the meeting he had with them actually lasted 40 minutes and resulted in a 1,300 word memo that the AP released details of this past week.

This story is far from being over.


CBC News video on the Obama/NAFTA story-

Update #2:

The Globe & Mail has a new story up that (according to one unnamed source) points the finger at Ian Brodie as being the source. The G&M story needs more analysis so I'll get into that in a separate post on Thursday.

No comments:

Post a Comment