Sunday, July 24, 2005

Notes on Holt's letter 8: new Grewal tapes and the RCMP

As everyone now knows, Jim Holt has written a long memo to local conservatives defending their MP. (You can read the whole thing here; to download a copy of the circulated Word file, go to Bound by Gravity.) Holt believes that the media has seriously mis-reported six aspects of the Grewal story, much to his disadvantage. One of these has to do with a National Post story that Grewal had surrendered new tapes to the RCMP in mid- to late June.

According to Holt,
"More Tapes Released: In a continued effort to keep the spotlight on Gurmant, and AWAY from Ujjal Dosanjh and PMO staffer Tim Murphy, the media released a story last Friday that our MP had released "new tapes". This of course, in the absence of any sort of even minor investigation by the media, led to all sorts of speculation that there was something that was being hidden. Nothing could be further from the truth!! All Gurmant did, via his lawyer, was forward to the RCMP his personal copy of all recordings, likely so that they could compare that set to the official set already in their hands. Given the lack of substance in this story, it didn't seem to have much national exposure, and it died a rapid death in about one day. But some additional damage was done. This story also raises serious questions regarding just how the media found out that the RCMP had requested this extra set of recordings from Gurmant's lawyer. "
What Holt doesn't mention is why people might suppose that there are tapes that have yet to be made public.

To review. Grewal originally claimed to have made 4 hours of recordings. On May 31st, the conservative party released one hour and fifteen minutes of them (see here). After these were shown to have been altered, the conservatives issued a press release of June 2 (the so-called suicide note) and released longer versions that brought the tapes to one hour fifty minutes (see here).

The conservative press release identifies two passages as being inadvertently omitted from the Grewal-Dosanjh-Murphy recording. One of these can be found there (only after much difficulty: see here). But the press release quotes another section that found in the updated transcript of that meeting:

I've combed over this recording many, many times, but can find nothing that is remotely similar.

Now, given
  • that Grewal claimed to have recorded more than has been released to the public, and
  • that the Conservatives themselves have quote part of a conversation that seems never to have been released,
it is not surprising that news that Grewals had submitted other copies of tapes to the RCMP might cause people to assume that this is something that has not been released to the public.


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