Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Conservatives’ independent tape expert was a Republican donor and organizer

One of the independent experts the Conservatives put forward in their dog and pony show today, according to the documents posted by Conservative Blogger-in-Chief Stephen Taylor, is Thomas Owen of Owl Communications.

According to the Owl Investigations Web site:

Owl Investigations, Inc. offers one of the most sophisticated digital audio and video processing laboratories presently available. Thomas J. Owen, a nationally known expert, served for many years on the Board of The International Association for Voice Identification. He currently serves as Chairman of the Audio Engineering Society's Standards Group WG-12 on Forensic Audio, and is the Chairman of the American Board of Recorded Evidence. Tom Owen is also the Head Instructor for the New York Institute of Forensic Audio from 1992 to the present.

He certainly sounds qualified, I don’t doubt his qualifications and I don't want to suggest or imply that I in any way doubt his qualifications. There’s just a few things missing from his bio though. For example, he used to be head of the Woodbridge Township Republican Organization, an important regional organization role with the party (from 2004):

Four months after the Republicans failed in their bid to oust incumbent Mayor Frank Pelzman or four Democrats from any of the at-large council seats, Thomas Owen, a forensic scientist who was at the helm of the Woodbridge GOP since 2002, resigned citing business obligations. Owen runs Owl Investigations Inc. out of his Colonia home. He specializes in voice identification and audio and videotape analysis. His clients include major federal and state agencies.

"I got involved in several major cases," he said. "Being a chairman takes time. The business had to be put on the back burner."


Owen said he supports Paone’s chairmanship.

"There’s no bad will or anything," Owen said. "Nobody wanted me to resign. In fact, I put [Paone] in there. I mean, I suggested he be the one. He’s always been a hard worker and I think he wanted it. That’s half the battle — someone who wants it and wants to be active."

And according to Campaign Money, he donated $1000 to Republican candidates in 2000.


I like, though, that Owl Communications has a MySpace page. Yes, a MySpace page. That plays the CSI theme song when you open it.


Just seven friends though? If you actually still have a MySpace account, do him a favour and add the Conservatives’ independent audio expert to your friends list.

Oh, and wondering how much the Conservatives might have paid to hire their audio investigator? Here’s his rates. Not cheap. Wonder if the Cons used PayPal?

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21 comments:

McLea said...

Was he a Conservative donor and organizer? No? Then why should we give a shit?

escapegoat said...

The analysis is meaningless. They didn't have the original recorder that the tape was recorded on, and the tape itself is a copy. A lot of the "doctoring" that these experts cite could also be caused by that cheap microcasstte recorder you've returned to Staples for a third time.

Jason Hickman said...

No mud to throw at the other expert cited [Alan Gough], or are you still looking?

CWTF, who'd you have in mind?

(In fact, I don't think raising this story from the near-dead was a great idea for the Tories. But this effort to shoot at least one of the messengers makes me wonder.)

A BCer in Toronto said...

Cherniak_WTF I deleted your comment as I felt it to be potentially libelous. Please feel free to re-word and repost.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Actually I'm making dinner now Jason, maybe later. And no one is throwing mud, I'm just adding context, and I think the fact one of the experts whose independence the Conservatives are touting was an elected Republican organizer is relevant context to be considered.

Loraine Lamontagne said...

The tape was obtained from the author Zytaruk by the Conservative Party of Canda. If there was doctoring, it could only be from:
a) Zytaruk
b) the Conservative Party of Canada
d) the experts

knb said...

You delete comments?

Not good.

I didn't see what he'd written but he owns it and is not afraid to speak.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Every once and awhile I need to delete a libelous comment, since as the blog owner I am just as legally liable as the commenter would be, and I'd rather not get sued.

knb said...

You have some good content here, but sadly with your censorship comment, I skipped it.

Come on people. If we are to get serious about this stuff, get out of high school so to speak, we have to start debating.

A BCer in Toronto said...

You're entitled to your opinion knb, and if you want to call not publishing libel censorship, then you're free to do so. Unless you're willing to pay my legal fees though when I'm sued for a few million dollars though, then I'm going to keep on not allowing libelous comments.

CWTF is free to rephrase and repost his or her comment so it snot libelous. Or libel people elsewhere.

I allow pretty much everything else. You can call me names, say I'm stupid, even a little light profanity is fine. Agree with my arguments, disagree with them, knock yourselves out. But libel, however, is where I need to draw the line. And I'm perfectly comfortable with that.

And it's quite easy to debate without resorting to libel. Heck, on the issue CWTF and I were on the same side. There's a line though between debate and lawsuit, and I think we're all mature enough to know where it is.

Lizt. said...

What I cannot understand is this: the TV stations,radio stations and the Liberal Party have the same tape, as I presume the other parties do. Now if they are all the same..how did the Liberal party alter everyone's, including the Cons?

knb said...

As I said Jeff, I didn't see the comment.

It's your blog, so it's your rules. That is fact and that I respect.

CWTF just doesn't strike me as a libel(ous) kind of guy. Straight forward, yes. Looking to set you or anyone up? No.

James Curran said...

Is this the same guy that confirmed Bin Laden's tape for George Bush's neverending Iraq war to continue?

CfSR said...

Is this the same guy that confirmed Bin Laden's tape for George Bush's neverending Iraq war to continue?

Ka-ching!

James Curran wins the thread.

Barcs said...

"He certainly sounds qualified, I don’t doubt his qualifications and I don't want to suggest or imply that I in any way doubt his qualifications."

At which point you spend several paragraphs and pictures detailing why we should doubt his findings and therefore call his qualifications/service into doubt. (reminds me of Dion's rant against the budget he chose not to vote against)



Does any of the rest matter if you "don't doubt his qualifications"?



And Mr. Escapegoat... if the tape isn't the original (I think the one everyone has was released by the publisher).... then what is the author of the biographies trying to hide??? Why doesn't he release the original to be analyzed? Is it because the tape actually was altered? Why wouldn't he put it out to clear his own credibility?

Aren't these the type of questions you are demanding of Harper? Why not demand them of your own evidence? Why not make sure it actually is real and not as the experts (whose qualifications you don't doubt) say doctored evidence?

(Yes I know... it doesn't fit the evil conservative narrative if you accidentally prove nothing happened)

burlivespipe said...

Doubt his qualifications? I don't think that's what Jeff is throwing out there... Doubt him as having an unbiased and purely financial interest in this, yes. People who'll do work for Dick Cheney will screw their own mother over for power.
Just listen to the 'ignorant' prattling by the other CON-bots who've tried to jump the shark on this, which according to their talking points, equals the Liberals doing some doctoring. Harper, during the Grewal days, has proven he's not above tampering and then lying.
But by all means, continue with the talking points. I almost can't see your lips moving...

bigcitylib said...

I have some material on Gough.

Although I don't think Owen's Republican connections should really be an issue here. The issue here is that (as Gough notes) the analysis was performed on a copy of the tape.

Luke said...

Reference Stephen Taylor’s website:
Raymond Novak’s affidavit Para 3. “I was either sitting in our vehicle or standing beside it during the entire interview. At no time did Mr. Harper come to the vehicle and then return to Mr. Zytaruk to continue the interview.” Novak can’t recall if he was sitting in the car during the interview or standing beside the car. But yet he can remember when Mr. Harper came to the car. Strange

Pg 26,27 Fm Raymond Novak “ In the end, Mr. Harper did agree that Doug Finley and Tom Flanagan could meet Mr. Cadman…I contacted Doug Finlay to inform him that Mr. Harper agreed that he and Mr. Flanagan could meet Mr. Cadman. This meeting occurred on May 19, 2005.” Harper is giving his permission for the meeting?
Pg 59 “Harper said he didn’t send the party representatives over to Chuck’s office …”

Pg256
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."

Why did Harper ask if the interview was for publication when his aids told him the interview was for a book. Isn’t that publication?

Pg 5 Tape expert Mr Gough believes the tape was made with 3 recordings. He is not positive, not much of an expert. Does Owen conclude the tape was made with 3 recordings?

Just wondering if both experts came up with the same conclusions with the tape. They should since both are experts.

Owen says the tape was edited and doctored to misreprsent the event as it actually happened. Was he at the interview? Does he know what the actual events were?

Probably alot more holes.

Mike514 said...

The Tories are forcing the Liberals to prove that the tape is authentic.

In other words, the Liberals need to show that the tape is unaltered as the Tories' experts allege, probably with their own experts.

How do the Liberals respond? By deflecting attention away from the tape. On ctv.ca: "Tories using Cadman to distract from Bernier: Grits"

This is bloody ironic, considering how many weeks we had to endure of Liberals making reference to the tape. Now the Libs don't want to discuss the tape? They don't care enough to hire an expert and determine that the tape is authentic? They're moving onto another "scandal" after berating Layton for not giving Cadscam enough attention? Strange....

Luke said...

“The Tories are forcing the Liberals to prove that the tape is authentic”
Don’t think so.

Libs just require Zytaruk to say the tape he gave to the Cons was a copy of the original tape and was not doctored.

Where are the sworn affidavits from the Cadman family denying they had a conversation with Chuck Cadman reference a bribe offered to him from members of Conservative party?

Mike514 said...

It's easy for the Libs. Just find some expert (maybe one who donated to the Democrats?) to say the tape is un-doctored. Or ask Zytaruk to say the tape is un-doctored.

Either way, it's easy enough to prove in court.

Unless the tape was doctored...