Omar Khadr interrogation – supporting documents

Tomorrow, video of the Canadian/American interrogation of Omar Khadr at Guantanamo Bay will be released to the public. DVDs containing the video are said to run 7.5 hours long and Khadr’s defence team will be releasing a “highlight” video for the media.

Here are the documents describing Khadr’s interrogation

Read this document on Scribd: omar-khadr-interrogation

Tories say Cadman tape was doctored: Supporting documents

Today, at a press conference at the Conservative Party war-room on the east side of Ottawa, reporters were given supporting documents for the latest Conservative volley in the Cadman controversy.

Here is the record of motion to request an injunction against the Liberals from distributing the Cadman tape. It was filed on behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice today. The document includes sworn affidavits from the Prime Minister, Dona Cadman (wife of Chuck Cadman), Ray Novak (Executive Assistant to the Prime Minister), Carolyn Stewart-Olson (press secretary to the Prime Minister), Dan Wallace (former assistant to Chuck Cadman), Jeffrey Ballingall (Conservative Resource Group employee), Vicky Edgecombe (articling student at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP), Tom Owen (Chief Engineer and President of Owl Investigations, a forensic consulting firm), and R. Alan Gough (Integra View Inc., a statement analysis, video and audio forensics firm).

Pages 27-60 are in reverse order and can be found between pages 26 and 61 (the page order is 1-26, 60-27 and then 61-336.

Read this doc on Scribd: Record of Motion

The following is a summary of the Conservative’s argument and highlights that they’re emphasizing from the record of motion.

Read this doc on Scribd: Highlights

Harper serves Dion

Today, the Prime Minister served notice to Liberal leader Stephane Dion, Michael Ignatieff, Ralph Goodale and the Liberal Party of Canada indicating that they have libeled him with regards to the Chuck Cadman affair.

Harper’s lawyer insists that the Liberals preserve email and phone records surrounding this topic. If the Liberals are to maintain their position that Stephen Harper was somehow involved with a plan to bribe Chuck Cadman, they will have to go through a discovery phase where those records will become public. Harper likely hopes that this would put the Liberals in a difficult position and probably suspects that information surrounding leaks, potential collaboration and planning will emerge. The Prime Minister is insisting that the Liberals show their cards and we’ll see if the Liberals fold. If records are not provided, obstructionism has legal consequences too.

Many Ottawa-based observers expected the Prime Minister to make a statement or fire a strong salvo at the Liberals this morning. It appears that he’s done both.

The notice of libel is below:

Levant vs. Folco, sorta

Today, Ezra Levant’s lawyers sent the following notice to Liberal MP Raymonde Folco

Read this doc on Scribd: SCAN6808 000

There’s some quality Liberal research, non? Ezra Levant was never an MP in Stephen Harper’s riding. It seems that the Liberals unloading it all against the Conservatives to see what sticks. Parliamentary immunity comes in handy.

Here are two other scandals uncovered by Liberal research in the past week:
Scandal I
Scandal II

Dion to apologize to Dimitri Soudas or get sued

Lawyers for Dimitri Soudas have filed notice to Liberal leader Stephane Dion for what they claim is defamatory libel against their client. Attached below is the letter on behalf of Mr. Soudas that was hand-delivered to Stephane Dion this morning. Soudas is the deputy press secretary to Prime Minister Harper. According to the National Post, over a year ago Mr. Soudas arranged a meeting between Public Works and Rosedev, a development company from Montreal. Conservatives reject this as well and insist that Soudas only requested information from ministerial staffers with respect to a court case. Despite this assertion, impropriety has been alleged regarding the meeting, which Soudas rejects. Dion, in his classic communications style may have bitten off more than he can chew.

Mr. Dion is quoted in the Canwest papers this morning:

“That means that there was an attempt to extort taxpayers funds to benefit a party supporter and therefore change the decision process and (they say) it’s not important because it didn’t succeed. I think the prime minister has a lot to explain.” — Stephane Dion

UPDATE: Dion says he’s sorry, sort of

Mulroney letters to Szabo

Here’s the first letter drafted from former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s lawyer to the Chair of the Ethics Committee of Parliament Paul Szabo.

MBM Letter Szabo – Get more free documents

The letter blames Szabo for allowing questions to be posed which extend outside of the mandate of the committee (which was to investigate the Mulroney Airbus Settlement, not any issues pertaining to the Wireless Spectrum auction and MBM’s involvement (or lack thereof) in that matter). The letter labels the actions of Szabo as “the clearest breach of natural justice possible”. The letter goes on to express injury to Mr. Mulroney by violation of his privacy regarding his personal income tax records as Mr. Szabo had requested them from the Auditor General.

Last night, Mulroney’s lawyer sent another letter to Szabo:

This letter demands that Szabo limit testimony to relevant matters and to within the scope of the Committee’s business as defined by the original mandate. The letter also requests that Mulroney be allowed to refuse any answer to any question outside of the committee’s defined boundaries.

Both Mulroney and Schreiber are expected to reappear before the committee soon and it’ll be interesting to see how the committee and it’s chair will rule (and how Mulroney will react) on wide-reaching testimony expected to be given by Norman Spector, Mulroney’s former Chief of Staff in the PMO.

Schreiber’s threatening letter to Mulroney

Karlheinz Schreiber claims that he paid former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney $300,000 to lobby his successor Kim Campbell and her government for the Bear Head Project. Schreiber never got his was as he must have been somewhat ignorant to evolving Tory fortunes. We later learned that Schreiber sought the services of Trudeau cabinet minister Marc Lalonde to lobby the Chretien government on the same project.

In the letter below, concerning Schreiber extradition scrambling, he attempts to leverage Mulroney claiming a tell-all of all alleged misdeeds. Schreiber’s frustration at Mulroney’s inability (or unwillingness) to pull some strings with the Harper government on Schreiber’s behalf is explicit. The language is frank:

“The time has come that you bring the whole battle with me to a peaceful and satisfying end. This is my last warning. I am prepared to disclose [laundry list of alleged misdeeds] and more.” (!)

“It is in your hands what is going to happen. My patience comes to an end.”

Schreiber, it seems, has the unfortunate mindset that Mulroney is his only hope and by extension of MBM’s involvement, hopeful interference by Harper/Nicholson in the extradition process.

I obtained a copy of the letter yesterday. Here it is. There are some privacy concerns surrounding the material that Schreiber disclosed in committee yesterday. As such, I’ve blurred private information, including Schreiber’s Rockcliffe address, phone, fax and email. I’ve also blurred out Mulroney’s address.

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Shreiber Mulroney letter (PDF)

In and Out common to all parties say Conservatives

The Hill Times had a cover story today describing an affidavit that the Conservative Party filed in Federal Court one week ago today.

The affidavit details examples of so-called in and out election financing by other parties. The HT story included a quote from Tory MP Tom Lukiwski,

In the affidavit, we listed more than 100 individual candidates from all three parties that did the exact same thing that we did in terms of how they entered into an agreement with their national parties on a regional ad buy. So in effect, regardless of the motion of Ms. Redman, we will now be able to take a look at the affidavits that have been presented and I would be fully prepared to bring forward witnesses and all of these candidates from the various parties and have them come forward and have them explain how they entered into this agreement and ask the question that if all parties were doing the same thing why is it that only the Conservative Party was being singled out?

The motion of Ms. Redman, the Liberal whip, was tabled at the Procedure and House Affairs committee asked the committee to investigate “In and Out” financing during the last election. The Conservatives believe that their affidavit shows that all parties participated in the financing practice which allowed individual candidates, in some cases, to participate in regional ad buys.

In discussions with some Conservatives I have heard that there is generally held belief among officials in the party that Elections Canada has been biased in its withholding of $1.2 million of rebates from the Tories. The Conservatives ask rhetorically what the key difference is between their “in and out” financing versus that of the NDP and Liberals. Some Conservatives believe that it is because of party stripe.

I have obtained a copy of the “Donald Affidavit” which describes examples of “in and out” ad buying by other parties.

Donald Affidavit (PDF)

In and Outright Hypocrisy?

The Liberals have been trying to make gains from the so-called “In and Out scandal” in which they allege impropriety in the transfers of money from local Conservative election campaigns to the federal campaign for the purposes of funding national advertising.

Transfers of money from local to federal campaigns is of course legal as all parties do this (there is even a category for it on Elections Canada returns that all candidates, EDAs and political parties must file). Indeed, the Conservatives and the Liberals have a different tradition here: The Conservatives send their EDAs 10% of all the money the national party raises, and the Liberals tax their EDAs 40 some percent of their candidate’s Elections Canada refund. However, it is the channeling of local cash to the federal party to pay for advertising where the Liberals see red in the Tories’ blue campaign.

One of the most vocal critics of this alleged scheme has been Liberal MP Marlene Jennings of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce–Lachine. Here is a quote of hers from the House of Commons:

Mr. Speaker, the in-and-out financing scandal implicates at least six Conservative ministers, like the public safety minister and the foreign affairs minister. Their response? Dead silence.

The member for West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country [Blair Wilson] did the right thing. At the very first hint of any questions about his campaign he stepped aside so he could clear his name.

The independent investigation into the Conservative scheme has not been completed. Will the government demonstrate true leadership and demand resignations from its six ministers?

Let’s take a closer look at Jennings’ 2004 and 2006 Elections Canada filing:

jennings2004.jpg
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and 2006:

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Jennings’ 2004 election return shows a $300 expense for advertising paid to the Liberal Party of Canada and a $1500 expense for the same paid to “The Federal Liberal Agency of Canada”. The 2006 return shows a $11,206.86 expense for advertising paid to the Quebec wing of the federal Liberal Party.

The Liberals have alleged impropriety in the Conservative practice of transferring money from local campaigns to federal campaign for use by the federal campaign for “advertising”. Here, we see Jennings transferring sums of money to both the federal party and Quebec wing of the federal party for “advertising”. What sort of advertising services did the LPOC and LPOC(Q) provide for Ms. Jennings? It should be noted that Jennings also declared expenses that her campaign paid to her riding association for advertising, so what of these similar expenses paid to national HQ? Did Jennings pay the party to produce Marlene Jennings specific advertising, Quebec regional advertising or national advertising? What is the difference between each of the three if they were paid for by the official agent for Marlene Jennings?

When you look at other Quebec campaigns it appears that more than a few Quebec Liberal candidates including Stephane Dion bought about $11,000 or $4,900 of advertising from the Liberal Party of Canada in Quebec.

Is the LPOC an ad-agency or did they purchase advertising for their candidates like the Conservatives bought for their Candidates?

Of course, in my opinion, no laws have been broken here and if this shows that the Liberals were also involved in a so-called (by them) “In and Out scheme” the only things they are guilty of is hypocrisy.

Furthermore, why was this practice given a green light in the past for the Liberals by Elections Canada when it now raises questions by the federal agency. Are not all parties equal under the law?

In and Out, Conservatives respond

A copy of a letter sent to the President of the Liberal Party Senator Marie Poulin and Executive Director Greg Fergus landed in my inbox tonight. It concerns Conservative Party assertions that statements made in a recent Liberal Party backgrounder on what they’ve named the “In and Out” scandal concerning the “Conservatives’ apparent scheme to violate election spending limits” are in fact defamatory. The Conservatives stress that “Chief Electoral Officer Marc Maynard…has not accused any of the candidates or agents of breaking the law”.

The letter concerns the defense of Michael Donison, Neil Drabkin, Andrew House, Aaron Hynes, Andrea Paine and Ian West. The letter states that “it is defamatory to suggest or imply that these individuals have engaged in illegal conduct”.

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In this document, found on the Liberal Party website, the Liberals seem to imply that rewards in the form of government jobs were received by candidates who participated in the scheme that the Liberals allege.

Liberal MP Dominic Leblanc stated,

“To date, we have learned that eleven of the former Conservative candidates and official agents implicated in this scandal were named to federal appointments or were hired in high profile government jobs. One has to wonder if there is a connection between their willingness to participate and employment by this Conservative government”

The Conservatives allege that such statements are libelous as the letter addressed to the Liberals reads, “In particular, it is defamatory to suggest or imply that the positions that these individuals have or have had on Ministers’ staffs are “rewards” for having engaged in illegal conduct.”

The Conservatives seem to assert that the Liberals must prove that their accusations are true or else the Grits have libeled the aforementioned individuals.

Please read Steve Janke’s groundbreaking posts concerning this story, here, here and here.