With the Bernier scandal not quite beginning to die down the Conservatives are doing their best to revive another one of the many scandals they’ve been implicated in, the Cadman affair.
You can read some analysis of today’s events from Scott and Steve and Impolitical and Red Tory and Calgary Grit, and some live blogging of the surreal presser by Kady here. I just have a few, I think rather obvious, questions about all this.
Let’s grant the Conservative premise that the tapes were “doctored” or otherwise manipulated for a few minutes. WHO do the Conservatives contend did the doctoring?
Given the chain of evidence on the tapes as laid-out by the Conservatives at their presser, the tape went straight from the publisher to the CPC lawyers to their unnamed experts for testing. Assuming nothing was done to the tape while in CPC custody, that would seem to mean they are alleging any doctoring was done before or while the tape was in the publisher’s custody. The possible conspirators would then, I suppose, likely have to either be the publisher and/or the journalist/author that made the original recording. Or, perhaps, the Liberals have a mole in the publishing house, or sent a secret agent to break-in during the night and replace the originals with a phony edited version.
Here's the thing though. If a third-party doctored the tapes, wouldn't the journalist and/or the publisher stand-up and say "hey, that's not what I recorded, I call shenanigans! Shenanigans, I say!"? And yet, they both stand by the tape. Which would mean according to tortured Conservative logic they either did it or they're part of some sort of cover-up.
Again, if the Cons allege doctoring, just who do they finger as the culprit?
Once you answer the who you need to answer the why. Motive. Why would the alleged conspirator in the pantry with the candlestick have edited the tapes? Was it the Liberals to make the Conservatives look bad? Ample motive, but where’s the opportunity? The author and the publishing house had better opportunity, and a decent motive, selling more books. It still doesn’t pass the smell test though. Would a journalist and/or a publisher really risk their careers/business and invite multi-million dollar lawsuits by doctoring a tape of the Prime Minister? I don’t buy it. Just doesn’t pass the smell test.
If this alleged editing or doctoring or what have you is so bad, why are the Cons just trying to exclude the tape from being used by the Liberal Party? Why aren't they going after the author/publisher for using it in the book, and for selling copies to the national media? Why didn't they do that MONTHS ago, when it was being shopped around and written about? If their expert evidence is so compelling, why aren’t they taking legal action against whomever they believe did the doctoring?
So, you say the tape is doctored. OK then. What did Stephen Harper say that was edited out? And how does that change the meaning of the clip of what he said that we do have:
Zytaruk: "I mean, there was an insurance policy for a million dollars. Do you know anything about that?"
Harper: "I don't know the details. I know that there were discussions, uh, this is not for publication?"
Zytaruk: "This (inaudible) for the book. Not for the newspaper. This is for the book."
Harper: "Um, I don't know the details. I can tell you that I had told the individuals, I mean, they wanted to do it. But I told them they were wasting their time. I said Chuck had made up his mind, he was going to vote with the Liberals and I knew why and I respected the decision. But they were just, they were convinced there was, there were financial issues. There may or may not have been, but I said that's not, you know, I mean, I, that's not going to change."
Zytaruk: "You said (inaudible) beforehand and stuff? It wasn't even a party guy, or maybe some friends, if it was people actually in the party?"
Harper: "No, no, they were legitimately representing the party. I said don't press him. I mean, you have this theory that it's, you know, financial insecurity and, you know, just, you know, if that's what you're saying, make that case but don't press it. I don't think, my view was, my view had been for two or three weeks preceding it, was that Chuck was not going to force an election. I just, we had all kinds of our guys were calling him, and trying to persuade him, I mean, but I just had concluded that's where he stood and respected that."
Zytaruk: "Thank you for that. And when (inaudible)."
Harper: "But the, uh, the offer to Chuck was that it was only to replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election."
Zytaruk: "Oh, OK."
Harper: "OK? That's my understanding of what they were talking about."
Zytaruk: "But, the thing is, though, you made it clear you weren't big on the idea in the first place?"
Harper: "Well, I just thought Chuck had made up his mind, in my own view ..."
Zytaruk: "Oh, okay. So, it's not like, he's like, (inaudible)."
Harper: "I talked to Chuck myself. I talked to (inaudible). You know, I talked to him, oh, two or three weeks before that, and then several weeks before that. I mean, you know, I kind of had a sense of where he was going."
Zytaruk: "Well, thank you very much."
It seems from my reading of the press conference coverage that they don’t allege the portion we have has been doctored in a, shall we saw, Grewalian fashion (words added or deleted mid-sentance), but rather, they allege the rest of the interview that we don’t have someone puts these comments, such as “replace financial considerations” and “they were legitimately representing the party” in a different context , that somehow the meaning was changed. Pray tell, how? Did he say at the end “just kidding” or something? What did he say in the rest of the tape?
This is all a load of horse hooey, and I feel bad for James Moore being forced by Harper to go up there and shovel it when he had to know better. Ah James, you once had such promise. What happened? Steve isn’t going to put you into cabinet unless you move to
Oh, and no, the tapes weren't doctored. Either way though, Steve Harper still has some explaining to do... Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers