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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another









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6/03/2005

Grewaling

The Liberals are running the full court press on the Grewal tapes and there seems to be some evidence of tampering, or, at the very least, hamfisted editing.

Which, if true, will mean that the story will shift from what a sleazy operation Martin, Murphy and Dosanjh were running to a technical analysis of any edit job Grewal or the CPC may have been assinine enough to perform on the tapes.

Which would take Harper from the offensive to damage control mode in a pico second. After all, if Grewal or the CPC have altered the tapes to implicate a Minister of the Crown and the PM's Chief of Staff in criminal activity, then issues of criminal conspiracy and fraud arise. You're not allowed to fake or alter evidence and, if you do, you go to jail.

Nothing is proven yet but the CPC should learn a critical thing from the Rather affair: if there is a reasonable technical basis for doubt toughing it out is not an option. Get the tapes to a properly qualified forensic audio expert and a competent translator immediately.

Which, bluntly, is what they should have done as soon as the tapes existence came to light.

Once again, the utter corruption of the Liberals may get a pass because the Tories really are thicker than the proverbial sack of hammers.

(I note that any editing of the originals of material which may be evidence in a criminal matter cannot be justified. there is a very thin argument for editing a transcript to make points clearer so long as the edits are clearly marked; but the original tapes themselves should never have been touched. And,realistically, as soon as their existence surfaced, Harper should have taken steps to secure them and to establish a chain of custody. And he should have ensured that the originals of the tapes were lodged with an unimpeachable person - retired Supreme Court judge - more or less instantly.

Does the CPC have legal counsel??)

Update: Lorne Gunther points out that it really doesn't matter if Grewal did or did not alter the tapes: the Liberal smokescreen was already thick on the ground.

What is important in all this, though (and the reason I predict Murphy and Donsanjh will never face any consequences) is that the Liberals (who used the CFRA story in the Commons Thursday) have succeeded in confusing voters and reporters about the authenticity of Grewal's entire tape collection.

Never mind that the allegedly alteration is in just 40+ seconds out of four hours. Reporters won't be too curious whether those are the only 40 seconds (they are not) in which Murphy and Donsanjh engage in questionable behaviour. They weren't really that curious from the start about whether the two Liberals may have violated the Criminal Code's provisions against buying an MP's vote. And now they have an excuse to be entirely uncurious.

'Well, the tapes are like, tainted, aren't they?"
lorne gunter