Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Do the rules not apply to Helena Guergis?

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 Afghanistan during a visit last weekend.

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 Afghanistan:
"Only upon leaving Europe were 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.

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4 comments:

Canajun said...

With an election seemingly imminent, perhaps it's time for the RCMP to publicly announce an investigation. It's been done before.

JimBobby said...

Does Harper not think his ministers should at least be held to the same standard he would hold the media?

Nope.

Harper's the host of his own TV show: Tiny Talent Pool. Mostly, the performers are contortionists. Biggest problem: they keep gettin' their feet stuck in their mouths.

Time fer Canajuns to have our own TV program: The Gong Show.

JB

Jeremy said...

Good post!

I dare you to complain to the RCMP. They might write you back mid campaign!

A BCer in Toronto said...

I dare you to complain to the RCMP. They might write you back mid campaign!

Only if Judy Wasylycia-Leis lets me use her fax machine.