What did Harper know? and when did he know it?
I mentioned last night a discussion by Kevin Michael Grace. Mr. Grace, for those who don't keep up on these things, used to write (inter alia) for the Alberta Report, and was even its editor for a while in the 90s. Now he has a blog called the Ambler. Anyway, I highly recommend his Countdown to Immolation. He identifies two frauds of this case. The first is Grewal's, and if you want to see what this involved, see the little slideshow I've put together. (According to Flickr, it's been seen 613 times. My mom is probably 600 of those--so thanks to the other 13 of you.)
The second is potentially more serious. What was the role of Harper and the Conservative Party?
The Conservatives, presumably the Official Opposition Leader's Office, had possession of the Grewal tapes for two weeks before various versions of them began to be released. It is now indisputable that the Conservatives connived in the tampering of the tapes or engaged in a cover up of the tampering or both.The smoking gun? The Conservative press release, a scan of which can be seen here, which apparently was dubbed a 'suicide note' by Conservative staffers. (Note: this scan cuts off its top and bottom; does anyone know somewhere where there is a better version? And why is this press release not on the Conservative Press Release page?)
But the important point of this release. It states (and frankly I hope that this is a mistake) that the changes to the files took place while the tapes were in Harper's office. From the Press Release:
Mr. Grewal provided the Office of the Leader of the Opposition with all of the tapes he had. They were loaded onto a computer to create a master file. A series of CDs were created… It appears that a technical problem occurred during this transfer. In two locations on the CD, brief passages of a few seconds each are missing. (next paragraph) Both of these passages, which result in no significant change to the substance of teh conversation or any others recorded, occurred near the beginning of the meeting between Grewal and DosanjhMuch of this is demonstrably false. There are more than two passages missing (it's probably a dozen: judge for yourself here) and most of the deletions are longer than a few seconds. (I know, I know. "It depends on what the definition of
And this is the important point. The Office of the Leader of the Opposition has through negligence, incompetence, or duplicity--or some combination of them (they're not mutually exclusive)--embraced these tapes to its bosom.
Grace thinks this will bring down Harper, which I think is less likely. In any case, he has some serious questions to answer (see the last paragraphs of Grace's piece) including a classic: What did he know, and when did he know it.