The Harper endorsed and supported Grewal fraud...a one year anniversary of Harper's willingness to lie to Canadians.
Remember all this started on May 18 05 with a selected eight minutes released by Grewal with the OLO communications director of the day at his side (Geoff Norquay) of these recordings appearing to show the Liberals offering Senate seats for MP votes, a clearly criminal act if true. Then for the next 12 days the CPC/LOO were the only ones with access to these recordings and they took upon themselves the responsibility for authentication of the contents of the recordings when they did so. During those twelve days the CPC and Harper himself repeatedly hit the Liberal government of the day with this "scandal" and repeatedly stated this specific criminal allegation of Senate seat selling time and again was true. Then with the release of the recordings on May 31 05 for all Canadians to see for themselves the Liberals committing this heinous criminal act it looked like the CPC had the goods on the Liberals, at least if one only goes by the recordings released on May 31 05 that is.
That last sentence in the last paragraph is very important. The LOO/CPC/Harper released these recordings on May 31 05 with the stated purpose of allowing all Canadians to see for themselves this criminal behaviour by the Liberals. They vouched for the completeness and pristine integrity of these recordings. They vouched in other words that these recordings were the truth, the whole truth and all of the truth to all Canadians. That is why I refuse to let this scandalous fraud by the CPC and endorsed and defended by Stephen Harper go quietly into the history books. This was something truly unprecedented in Canadian federal political history. A party leader, in this case the LOO, made a specific criminal allegation against the sitting government and PMO. They claimed to have conclusive evidence to support this specific allegation of Senate seat selling for MP votes via the Grewal recordings. They took it upon themselves to be the sole determiners of authenticity, translation accuracy, and accurate transcription. Therefore they and Harper himself have sole responsibility for the clear fraud which emerged over the following two weeks after these recordings were released to Canadians on May 31 05. There are only CPCers involved from beginning to end where these recordings are concerned. Therefore it is solely their responsibility to explain how such extensive editing that was shown to be the case in the May 31 05 recordings came about without their ability to discover and their inability to acknowledge outside of the so called suicide note of June 2 05 and Harper's sole acknowledgement at the last Parliamentary press gallery dinner with his joke about Grewal taping his shows and editing them to give him the result he preferred (this is a paraphrase not a direct quote).
As it turned out there was 35 MINUTES of edited out material from that May 31 05 release. As it turned out the edited material not only was clearly intentional because it was consistently material that made the Libs look better and Grewal look worse, it also turned out that in the unedited recordings the Liberals repeatedly squelched any idea of the Senate being a consideration of any kind despite Grewal repeatedly bringing it up (For a very visual presentation of this editing see this slide show). In other words the unedited recordings clearly showed the specific criminal allegation the CPC and Harper had been accusing the Libs of for three weeks by this time (when the edits were released that is) was based on an intentional manipulation of the evidence so as to make this appear true when it clearly never was. That is a fraud in my books. It is also noteworthy that the additional 35 minutes which proved the Liberals were the victim of a fraud were released by the CPC with no public acknowledgment, in other words by stealth. It was thanks to people like Buckets of Grewal who were monitoring closely this story and the CPC website that these recordings were released via that this was noticed because the CPC and Harper certainly did not do anything to draw any attention to it.
Once this additional material was released all Harper did was continue to defend Grewal as a good man and claim that the only wrongdoing related to these recordings was on the Liberal side, that his party and his MP had nothing to answer for. This despite the clear evidence of him and his party being made party to a fraudulent specific criminal allegation against the government/PMO. At no time has Harper ever acknowledged that this fraud occurred and was done by people within his party, indeed Harper by his actions has gone out of his way to prevent anyone from ever finding out who did those edits in the first place, when did Harper become aware of them, and why once he became aware of them did he not practice accountability and expose the fraudster(s) and issue an apology for their deception/lying to all Canadians. At every turn Harper avoided responsibility and accountability in this matter, and it was that behaviour which convinced me that Harper is no more an honest man than any other liar, has no honour, and is a blazing hypocrite ever time he opens his mouth on the topic of accountability, personal responsibility, honour, and honesty.
Harper endorsed something I have never seen in our political environment before. He made specific criminal allegations against the PMO and sitting government, claimed to have conclusive proof of said criminal conduct, and then stood behind and vouched for as authentic and complete the clearly edited "proof" of this specific criminal allegation. Once the fraud was exposed with the release of the edited material he did everything possible to prevent any examination of this fraud, who was involved, and why Harper himself refused to acknowledge that this fraud existed let alone the fact that he profited by it for three weeks prior to exposure. He continued to defend the most likely candidate for this editing, never disciplined anyone for this behaviour (sorry, paid stress leave doesn't count as such), and instead chose to try and hide the fact that the CPC and the leader of the CPC were made party to a fraud and deception regarding criminal allegations of a specific nature. This is something I never found any prior example of in our history which makes this a totally new depth the degradation of politics in this country reached, and those most responsible for it so far have managed to get away with it without consequence. This is why I refuse to let it die, it was unprecedented and it was something Harper himself has direct responsibility for and has to date refused to ever accept. Given his and his party's rhetoric about the need for accountability and transparency and most especially honest government the reality of their actions in what is clearly the worst scandal in the history of the CPC in burying it denying it ever happened and that they did anything wrong shows that the CPC and Harper in opposition refused to be accountable so it is highly unlikely they will be once in power since to do so can jeopardize that power as Martin showed with Gomery.
Harper and the CPC committed a very serious fraud last year in this matter and they continue to cover it up to this day. There still needs to be answered who edited the recordings, when did Harper know it and what did he do once he found out. Going by his public actions he ran with the smear while it was still usable and once it was not he dropped it and moved on without ever once acknowledging the serious fraud/smear/slander he and his party wholeheartedly ran with. I do not want to believe this was something Harper was a knowing party of, but his actions throughout this matter do tend to make it look like he was and that would explain why he chose to cover up this serious scandal in his ranks instead of doing the right thing and coming clean and exposing the editor(s) for what they had done and apologizing to all Canadians for being lied to by Harper himself as well as his whole party. It took the Grewal scandal to convince me Harper had no honour and was not the personally honest man I once took him for. Before this matter I thought Harper was an honest man that I strongly disagreed with on ideological and political tools grounds. I thought he actually had this personal honesty so many CPCers continue to believe he does. However no man of honour and integrity could have acted in this matter as Harper did.
Before the last election when I discussed this matter I would point out that if a man/party refuses to act in an accountable manner while in opposition then it is not going to once in power/government. To date I think the actions of the CPC/Harper minority demonstrate the truth of this quite clearly, unfortunately. This is a highly secretive and controlling government/Prime Minister, if not the worst such in our history well on his way there. The Grewal fraud demonstrated that when it is the Liberals the CPC are all for accountability when they made any mistakes and/or scandal, but when it was within their own ranks it is cover-up, lie, and blame everyone else for the problem, in this case Harper made it out that the media and the Liberal war room were the ones attacking a good man doing the right thing (Grewal) instead of accepting the responsibility of the editing since the LOO decided to be the sole determiners of the accuracy, translations, and transcriptions of the recordings released May 31 05. I refuse to let this degree of political dishonesty be forgotten especially now that this liar is the current PM. I see this as a civic responsibility since I know there was this fraud and to be practicing the courage of my convictions despite the appearance of obsession I know this comes off as to some. I do not appreciate being played for stupid by any politician and I especially do not take it well when it is a party leader with ambitions of becoming Prime Minister running a morality campaign about how much more honest, open, and honourable his government will be while all other parties are corrupt and untrustworthy. Harper may be PM now but he has a weak minority limiting his ability to play us for stupid that much more, but if he ever gets a majority then we are all in serious trouble IMHO.
*Thanks to Buckets of Grewal for all his hard work on this matter last year and his willingness to let any and all use his research on this matter. This was in my view a significant public service done by this blogger.*