Friday, June 03, 2005

The Conservative Clarification reconsidered

As I noted earlier, a press-release was released late last night that was posted here. This looks to be a scan of a faxed press release.

But where did this come from? It is not on letter head (as Mark pointed out in the comments). [see update] Nor is it included on the Conservative Party Press Release page.

So is it a fake? Perhaps. It might be fun to speculate on a Liberal forgery--it gives details of the Conservative's handling of the document in a way that emphasizes their role (and responsibility) in what went wrong and provides a clause that makes it look like Dosanjh clearly rejected the idea of a cabinet offer in addition #2 ('cabinet wrong'). But whoever composed it knew that a new audio file of Grewal's meeting with Dosanjh and Murphy had been uploaded to Grewal's site, which can only be the Conservatives. Or perhaps Grewal. But why?

If the newsrelease is a fake, then it is possible that the additions discussed earlier (here, here, here, here, and here).

And that would mean that a whole day of conspiracy theorizing is down the pipes!

update In the comments, Mike of Rational Reasons reports
buckets, according to what I heard on the CBC radio this evening at 18:10ish, the memo is genuine in that it originated from the CPC press secretary. He apparently handed it out last night to reporters at a bar they frequent here in town (probably the National Press Club), where he referred to it as a "suicide note"...

update One of the reporters who interviewed me told me that he was there when it was distributed and confirmed that the term 'suicide note' was indeed used. Why is there no header, signature, contact information? Because the scan cut them off.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of clarification, has anyone clarified why Grewal shit all over his fellow CPC MPs by bragging to Murphy how in a CPC bench that was not trusted to speak in the HoC for fear of embarrassing Harper and the party, he was allowed to speak 81 times?

Did Grewal clarify how he was going to clear things up with his CPC party mates after the sting came to an end and he released the tapes, insults and all?

And what is it with all the talk of getting Volpe to apologise? Was this maybe the real reason Grewal approached the Liberals in the first place? Not to sting them into offering a cabinet post, but to trick them into first getting Volpe to apologise and then saying "nevermind, I've changed my mind"?

Oh, and does anyone else find it strange that both the CPC (Grewal) and Liberals (Murphy) acted like it was some kind of personal defeat that the NDPpicked up so many seats the night of the BC election? What's up with that?

6:56 PM  
Anonymous koby said...


"Tories have defended the covert recordings for days, but Conservative Deputy Leader Peter MacKay refused Friday to vouch for Grewal's credibility.

"Look, I'm not putting my faith in anyone in this entire matter," he said after audio experts said the tapes appear to have been altered.

"I'm not here defending anybody's veracity or whether the tapes are pristine."

Still, MacKay insisted - on Grewal's assurance - that tapes handed over to the RCMP are the original, unaltered version. They could potentially lead to a criminal probe.

Grewal slyly made the tapes, estimated to be two to four hours in length, of his talks with Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and Tim Murphy, chief of staff to Prime Minister Paul Martin.

They are heard discussing the possibility of Grewal joining the Liberals in exchange for an unspecified reward. The negotiations were recorded just before the minority Liberals faced a crucial budget vote that they eventually won by a tissue-thin margin.

Conservatives say the Liberal tactics could violate Criminal Code anti-corruption laws that carry penalties of 14 years maximum in prison.

The Tories released the tapes in an effort to embarrass the Liberals, but both parties have been splattered with political muck.

MacKay vainly tried in a heated exchange with reporters Friday to refocus attention on the Liberals and Conservative claims that they tried to "buy" the support of Grewal and his wife, fellow MP Nina Grewal, with plum postings.

But that point was blurred by audio experts who said the publicly released tapes had been altered.

After one top analyst raised doubts Thursday, the Tories released a few passages they said were mistakenly lost in digital transfer.

But two of the excerpts that reappeared - translated from Punjabi - are embarrassing for Grewal because they show him asking Dosanjh for a reward:

"If it is something good then it would be tempting," Grewal says in one instance.

In another, he adds: "I want to be someone up there. If I go with you guys, I want to be someone up there."

Grewal's credibility may also be damaged by a discrepancy between the audio and transcripts provided on his website.

Grewal has claimed the Liberals offered him an ambassadorship. But on the tape, Murphy is heard ruling out such an appointment "outside of politics" because "the prime minister doesn't think that's the right thing to do."

Murphy's reference to the prime minister does not appear in the transcript provided by Grewal.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper defended Grewal on Friday.

He dismissed suggestions that the tapes were manipulated, saying "glitches" occurred when they were transferred to CD.


The Liberals trotted out an audio expert Friday who, like two other experts, concluded the tapes were altered. Glenn Marshall said he found identical bits of sound in two areas of tape where someone offers a cup of tea, and he maintains the duplication is too exact to be a coincidence.

Asked if Grewal will be booted from the Tory caucus if police find he altered the tapes, MacKay said: "That will be up to the leader, and that's a big 'If.' "

7:54 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

buckets, according to what I heard on the CBC radio this evening at 18:10ish, the memo is genuine in that it originated from the CPC press secretary. He apparently handed it out last night to reporters at a bar they frequent here in town (probably the National Press Club), where he referred to it as a "suicide note"...

9:49 PM  
Blogger Mark Francis said...

'where he referred to it as a "suicide note"...'


That's about it.

Grewal must soooo regret playing that initial 8 minuted of tape. He so much wanted to embarass the Liberals, I think, for not offering him him a plum position like what Belinda got.


Not a sting, an attempt to cross, and he felt unvalued, rebuffed even, for not getting a real offer.

The tapes handed to the RCMP best not be tampered with... They won't be happy it they are.

10:47 PM  

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