Monday, March 03, 2008

The Cornered Animal

You know the old saying, the most dangerous animal of all is the one that is cornered. That is how I read Harper's attempt to sue the Liberal leadership, an act of desperation, the counter-attack to try and change the channel. What the suit demands be posted on Liberal.ca:
Last week Mr Ignatieff, Mr. Goodale and myself made defamatory statements falsely claiming that Prime Minister Stephen Harper acted illegally in matters concerning former British Columbia M.P. Chuck Cadman. Today, we acknowledge had acted ethically, morally and legally and retract the statments we made to the contrary. We apologize to the Prime Minister for the unfounded attacks we made on his reputation.

I'm not sure how the Liberals could post this demand on the website, given that we don't know that the PM "acted ethically, morally and legally", if that was the case, I suspect the RCMP wouldn't be investigating.

One of the articles in question, quotes Goodale, who details Harper's response in the audio interview, wherein he never denied the existence of a insurance offer, in fact he simply argues why he thought it was a bad idea. Can you be sued for simple deduction, can you be sued for asking pointed questions? I really have no idea, but I know one thing, Harper's own words damage his reputation, not the Liberals for pointing out the obvious.

We will have to see how this plays out, this is the first time a sitting Prime Minister has sued a Leader of the Opposition. I see this response as predictable, Harper loves to play hardball, when faced with a challenge, it's a tactic he prefers. Apparently, Dion was served bright and early this morning at Stornaway, which speaks to a weekend of Harper's inner circle developing a counter strategy. We have Cadman on Mike Duffy, that didn't work... The tape is altered, nope, sorry... Lets sue, developing...

If Harper is so interested in protecting his reputation, then maybe his two henchman could quit hiding and come forward to talk to the media, with Harper in tow, clear up this whole misunderstanding. Maybe Harper could give us a timeline, of what meetings took place, dates, who was present, because afterall, nothing to hide here right?

This suit is diversion, plain and simple, the last ditch effort to stop the slide. Anyone who is following this story, knows that in the end, it may be hard to prove in a legal sense. Cadman's daughter has alluded to the endgame, there is no paper trail, no emails, just the word of several people. The Conservatives have made this calculation as well, which is why they feel comfortable going on the offensive, assuming there is no smoking gun, beyond what we know.

27 comments:

Honest Troll (aka Not Wilson) said...

Word has it that the Neo-Cons did this because the liberals are getting to much traction with this issue. I believe Fife said this. Not one mention of it being false, just too much traction.

Steve V said...

I know you're not wilson, you actually made sense. It's a distraction. One thing for sure, QP will be great viewing today.

RuralSandi said...

Distraction? The legal suit only makes me more curious - why aren't they prepared to go along and prove they are innocent?

Nothing to hide - then let the investigations begin.

Reminds me of Mulroney's legal suit for $2.1 million for same thing and then it comes out that he lied and took the money all along.

Steve V said...

I just saw a story on the CBC, wherein Keith Boag was very hesitant to say too much about content. Maybe part of this angle is to put some fear in everyone about what they say on this matter.

MarkCh said...

How could they prove they were innocent, even if they were? Would a statement by Flanagan and Finley do it? Nope, that already exists. How about a TV appearance by Cadman himself? Nope. It's pretty hard to prove that something was not said.

Trevor said...

Markch is correct, there is no way for either side to prove anything. In the meantime don't be surprised that Harper is stopping people from making accusations based on heresay evidence. Whether you think he is guilty or not doesn't change the fact that he has a right to defend his reputation. This affair reminds me of the Salem witchhunts, throw him in the water with a stone tied to him, if he sinks he's innocent, if he floats he's guilty.

Ontario said...

"Mr. Harper knew that envoys sent by him attempted to buy a man who was on the verge of death. He knew that was immoral. He knew it was unethical. He knew it was illegal. It was a violation of section 119 of the Criminal Code. Why did the Prime Minister authorize this type of tactic that was as immoral as it was illegal?"

In this excerpt from a press release the Liberals have stated, outside the immunity protection of the HOC, that Harper is a criminal by violating the criminal code for sending Tory officials to supposedly do what they did.

So who is cornered now? Dion, you better get the salt shaker, because man, you are going to be eating that foot.

mississaugajoan said...

There is a line between offering to have someone rejoin the party and offering to buy someone's vote. The Conservatives will argue that it is the former, not the latter. It is now Dion's responsibility to prove the latter. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

When Dona leaves conservative party and goes as Independant maybe that conservative assistant that was in the office at the time of the big MEETING will finally "TALK"..that is if she takes him with her.

Ontario said...

Better stay current with the news anon; Ms Cadman isn't going anywhere.

Oops! Looks like Dion extended himself and his party just a little too far. Now the shit is going to hit the fan for the Liberals. Looks good on them for trying to make hay out of something that will go nowhere. They were desperate before. Just watch them flail now!

A BCer in Toronto said...

How could they prove they were innocent, even if they were? Would a statement by Flanagan and Finley do it? Nope, that already exists.

Under Canadian libel law the onus of proof is on the accused, not the accuser. Which means it's the Liberals that need to proof their allegations are true. The Conservative do not. In the absence of definitive proof one way or another, its libel.

Ontario said...

Bingo.

Steve V said...

"Now the shit is going to hit the fan for the Liberals."

She re-iterated that the offer was made, in fact she confronted Harper on it.

Calgary Junkie said...

This just in ...

Dona Cadman says P.M. not linked to alleged insurance offer to Chuck Cadman

SURREY, B.C. — The wife of former Surrey-North MP Chuck Cadman says she believes Prime Minister Stephen Harper had no knowledge of any inappropriate offer to her husband.

Dona Cadman says she spoke with Harper more than two years ago about the alleged offer of a one million dollar insurance policy to her husband.

In a statement to Canadian Press, Cadman says Harper looked her straight in the eyes and told her he had no knowledge of an insurance offer.

Cadman says she believed Harper and put the entire incident down to the overzealous indiscretion of a couple of individuals who were never named by her husband.

....

Steve V said...

Hey, you guys are alive! Wow.

Ontario said...

She re-iterated that the offer was made, in fact she confronted Harper on it.

Thats nice. But it wasn't Harper was it? Must be "rogue elements" within the Tory party. Hey, that line was uttered somewhere before didn't it? Hmm, now where oh where did I hear that before? ;)

Then he stated that he knew nothing about it. And she believed him. And after that, she stated that Mr. Cadman liked and respected Harper and that she still does, otherwise she wouldn't be running for the Tories.

So calling Harper a criminal when nothing has been proven, and in fact, from what we now know, is totally untrue is going to rebound on the Liberals and Dion big time. If you thought that internal strife and questions regarding Dion's leadership were a problem before, just wait, the storms a comin'. Your party gambled big and now its going to lose big.

Steve V said...

lol ontario. When the dust settles, we shall see who "lost big".

A BCer in Toronto said...

Ah, it's the throw the little people under the bus defence. Will we be told who these "rogue elements" are? Will they be held to account?

Steve V said...

Yes, Harper allows rogue elements, that's clearly his style. My goodness.

Koby said...

This is a very clever ploy for more reasons than one.

There is more than enough evidence on the Harper tape to conclude that Harper sanctioned something that was patently illegal. However there is not enough evidence to prove that Harper new of the specific offer. In fact, Harper said he did not know the details. The Liberals got greedy.

Harper is thus well positioned to win a such a libel suit, should it be allowed to go forward, well all the while being guilty as sin.

Steve V said...

"There is more than enough evidence on the Harper tape to conclude that Harper sanctioned something that was patently illegal. However there is not enough evidence to prove that Harper new of the specific offer."

That sounds about right.

Gayle said...

Here is an interesting take on this:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080303.WBwbradwanski20080303120022/WBStory/WBwbradwanski/

Also, if this liben suit goes ahead, expect Bains and Gerard Kennedy to go ahead with theirs. When all these suits go ahead, Harper will be forced to testify, under oath, about what really happened. He will have to disclose who approached Cadman, and he will have to disclose any and all documents in relation to this matter.

Somehow I do not think it will go ahead.

And if it does, and the liberals are guilty of libel, perhaps they can deal with it the same was Stockwell Day dealt with it when he was an Alberta cabinet minister.

Gayle said...

aargh - check out Radwonski's (sp?) blog in the Globe.

Steve V said...

gayle

He suggests this libel suit could blow up the Cons faces, is that what you mean??

Gayle said...

Yes

Steve V said...

When the dust settles, I think the worst decision Harper ever made, will be his off the cuff remarks in a driveway, on tape.

burlivespipe said...

It really puzzles me how so many members of the media were jumping to incredulous about the bribe accusation -- Harper, he who had Grewal try to work a 'Maxwell Smart-ish' sting in a bribe situation, Harper, a man who has shown no shyness in throwing around accusations under the safety of parliamentary drapings. A 'leader' who, when his decision to close off the ceremony of returning dead soldiers, acted as though someone else made the decision, and then took a potshot at the family of a dead soldier. Harper, he who told a premier 'so sue me'.
This is a man who screamed outrage at a member crossing the floor into a cabinet post, and proceeded to extract the same the day his gov't was sworn in. Harper, who derided the appointed and partisan senate for its unaccountability, who immediately put a bagman into the senate and made him a minister.
None of these prove him to be guilty, but they certainly display the traits of a man with no ethical spine, or honest bone in his doughy body.