One of the many stories that has fallen under the radar over the past few weeks, given all cavalcade of embarrassing news the Conservatives have been facing, is the case of Conservative junior minister Helena Guergis.
She released information to the press that potentially endangered the safety of Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff, as well as the soldiers protecting them during their visit to Afghanistan:
In a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Dion said Guergis, the secretary of state for foreign affairs, put his security at risk by revealing details publicly of his itinerary in
during a visit last weekend. Afghanistan
Information on such visits is usually blacked out to protect dignitaries, and the soldiers accompanying them, from attack by Taliban insurgents. But in an email to reporters on Saturday, Guergis discussed plans of Dion and deputy Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff to visit the Provincial Reconstruction Team before the two men revealed them.
The response from the Conservative ranks, and Guergis herself, has of course been nothing but righteous indignation. I just came across this passage from a CP story (via On the Hill) that exposes yet another Conservative double standard. The story, from last May, is about the secrecy that surrounded a visit by Stephen Harper to
"Only upon leaving
Europewere the journalists informed of the final destination. They were warned in a briefing by security officials that they risked arrest and prosecution under the National Defence Act and the Official Secrets Act if they did one of two things: mention the prime minister's itinerary during the next layover, or describe the location of that layover to anyone. Reporters were told they could wind up in handcuffs for breaking the rules."
Sounds pretty harsh, and pretty clear. Does Harper not think his ministers should at least be held to the same standard he would hold the media? Is there some exemption to the National Defence Act and the Official Secrets Act for politicking Conservative ministers?
I hope the appropriate authorities are investigating. If not, the appropriate parliamentary committee should get on the case. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers