The Basi Memo Aftermath: Watching Christy Clark Blatantly Lie and Watching Some of BC’s Media Finish Off Their Careers…Very Sad…
There was a moment in the last two days, where I couldn’t go a half a mile without the phone ringing. I got stopped in, of all places, a gas station restroom–don’t ask–an exploding bottle of sunscreen to blame, and swarmed by three j-school students.
Another member of the press seeking comment. Requests for interviews, many of which I had to turn down. Pleas for more information on where Basi’s memo came from (a rather amateurish, if not foolish, question to ask, but this is what we’ve come to expect from the media masses).
What I witnessed, more so than any other time–and that has me more troubled than ever before, is that there really are deep, unbending and intractable BC Liberal shills in British Columbia’s media, who are specifically dedicated to ensuring the entire BC Rail/Basi-Virk story never hits the light of day.
That or they are incompetent. Either way, they deserve to be sent packing.
It didn’t help either, that while CKNW did yeoman’s service to the people of British Columbia, the two opposition parties had one member each making astute observations about the memo, while others failed you.
Case in point: Leonard Krog must be suffering from some sort of problem. I couldn’t care less that he’s a lawyer, many people suffer from the exact same affliction. But for him to be launching such a virulent attack against Dave Basi is astounding–if not moronic and counter productive. David Basi isn’t a choir boy. Far from it. He, and Bob Virk, are responsible for some of greatest political escapades in this province’s history. I’ve told them both, that for two very bright individuals, if stupidity were a crime listed in the Canadian Criminal Code, they’d be getting the death penalty. And that’s just where the BC Rail deal is concerned, never mind the foolish orders barked at them by Mark Marissen and Christy Clark over the years–orders on which they masterfully delivered. But for Krog to be referring to Basi as a “convicted” criminal makes me wonder if he earned his law degree in a week, because the $29.99 K-Mart special orders department took that long to deliver the pewter frame. Basi and Virk pled guilty. They were not formally “convicted” of anything. In fact, this is inaccurate, while at law it may be technically correct. They took a sweetheart deal (which you’ll see soon enough). There was no trial “conviction” per se. A conviction, if you will, was obtained through a plea–a significant difference that Krog ignores and Vaughn Palmer repeats without explanation–and does so, with rather perverse glee.
I understand why Krog is taking this tact. He wants to show how the NDP are unbiased. They don’t want to be supporting the words of the ones the BC Liberals will surely cast as a crazed criminals (there’s great irony there, I know). The problem with that is that they are limiting how much of Basi and Virk’s credibility will help them get some answers if an inquiry is called under their government. Rebuttal from skilled lawyers–obviously, a first year law student could confuse Krog, would take Krog’s words now, and make mincemeat of almost anything Basi or Virk had to say, when in point of fact, they are the two people whose word you can rely on the most–they have nothing to lose and were the BC Liberal’s toilet paper.
Basi and Virk know where all the bodies a buried, since they did all the digging and had to shoulder every bag of lime.
They took a bulletproof deal after an eight year ordeal–that included constant threats of jail time, and an indemnity for ANYTHING, including David Baines’ concerns about the tax department. Virk missed his wife and kids, as did Basi his wife and children, and Basi’s mother’s health started to decline (she remains in bad shape). Instead of Krog asking why this all happened, he’s off agreeing with the stunningly vacuous Vaughn Palmer and obstinate Keith Baldrey, both of whom have a vested interest in this matter dying–they are on wiretaps I have heard, making some VERY unprofessional comments (at least, that’s the way it would be seen by the public) about the deal and the government–along with other anecdotal nuggets. Sorry boys, I like you both very much, but your take on this matter is, to put it mildly, complete horse shit.
If I had no respect for them, I’d release the tapes, but that’s not fair and I won’t do it. However, do know, that ANYTHING Baldrey or Palmer have to offer on this matter is tainted by their own fears of what would happen to what’s left of their self-immolated reputations on the BC Rail issue–if they and the rest of the media had truly done their jobs, as they did on Bill VanderZalm or Glen Clark, Carole James would today be Premier. It’s as plain as day. (You’ll see below, how they could have asked serious questions, instead of fixating on Basi–which is the easy route).
Moving forward, if Leonard Krog is ever appointed Attorney General by the NDP, I will spend every waking, breathing moment on his tail. He is completely incompetent and yet another political shill. He could have handled this much differently–but instead he chose the expedient (read: IDIOTIC) political route instead of worrying about YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW–FIRST!
Is this what we can expect of an NDP government? An Attorney General who plays political games? We already have that in Shirley Bond, and before her, with the worst AG in BC history, Mike deJong–who Christy has never asked: ‘Why did you cut a deal with criminals, Mike? Why did you give money and such an airtight deal to criminals???’
And then there was John Horgan: Upright, solid, serious, straight-to-the point, no attacks against Basi and astute observations about the unethical, and illegal, behaviour of Christy Clark while Deputy Premier. That’s the goddamned point in all this, never mind what Baldrey and Palmer are feeding you. No one would defend what Basi did, but in this province, we’ve put people on the stand with considerably less credibility and obtained murder convictions! Who are Palmer and Baldrey kidding other than themselves???
No will defend what Basi or Virk did–they didn’t. But why are Palmer and Baldrey giving their pal Christy Clark as free ride on the BC Rail matter??? It’s disgusting.
On the other side of the aisle, John vanDongen could have been Horgan’s twin in this. Solid as a rock, concentrating on the obvious issues: Did Christy Clark commit a breach of trust? That’s what this boils down to. And yet his own party, the Conservatives, were busy preparing for what turned out ot be a sold out and successful downtown business lunch, instead of having their leader front and center. Where was John Cummins, the man who says he can lead us? Adrian Dix passed comment, barely, and with all the forcefulness of an infant’s fart. Of course, Christy showed up to lie once again. And yet Cummins sent out a press release about CLBC–last week’s BC Liberal scandal/crisis.
Maybe the Conservatives will send out a press release on this matter after the long weekend.
The upshot of all this is that while the whole province is abuzz over Basi’s devastating memo, Christy Clark hasn’t been asked ANY of the tough questions. Only Mike Smyth at the Province and CKNW’s Jon McComb and Simi Sara had the journalistic integrity to serve the public interest by hammering the right points home. Bill Good sat idle and repeated absolutely stupefying, exhausted canards about how the RCMP investigated this case for six years and found nothing (oh, to be but the wispy feather in thy master’s kingdom…what a light weight! COME HERE AND DO SOME GODDAMNED RESEARCH, BILL! Simi and Jon did–look at the documents!!!). Baldrey provided some surprisingly moronic excuse about the story solely hinging on Basi’s credibility, and Palmer followed the same meme. Palmer’s colleague at the Sun, Jonathan Fowlie, might as well have written nothing. He collected Clark’s quote about Basi being a criminal, scratched and filed, (pity, as he’s a solid journalist).
So, as per usual, let me help them all.
(1) Christy claims that the memo contains the ravings of a criminal. Really? Then why do the “criminals” Basi and Virk want all the documents released? Why are they the ones who want the people of BC to see every document? They signed off on releasing all the trial docs to the Auditor General long ago, while the ‘innocent’ Ms. Clark demanded of then AG Barry Penner (in a Cabinet meeting with all members present) to appeal the court ruling in favour of the Auditor General receiving the agreement between the government and Basi and Virk. Why didn’t Palmer and Baldrey make that connection? Good at CKNW? Global? Smart at CBC? As the Premier, Clark has the power, with the stroke of a pen, to end this, by releasing all the information, but instead, she demands it remain hidden. Who’s acting like a criminal and who isn’t?
(2) In the Fowlie column, Clark (badly) dances around the issue, so let me help Jonathan and his colleague Vaughn uphold the public interest, just for once: “Premier, did you ever divulge any Cabinet information to ANYONE, including Erik Bornmann, Brian Kieran, Jamie Elmhirst, your ex-husband Mark Marissen or your assistant Kim Haakstad? YES OR NO? Because in the four binders CTV and the Globe and Mail used to “exonerate” you during the leadership run, Premier, there are transcripts collected by the RCMP, wherein, your close political confidante Erik Bornmann specifically notes the importance of having YOU, (Christy Clark) in Cabinet on the BC Rail matter.” But you didn’t get a stitch of that from either CTV or the Globe, did you my darlings? Add that to the July 28, 2003 RCMP memo I released long ago, containing how Kieran sends Bornmann an email specifically asking for their pal Christy Clark to provide Cabinet intel from the then caucus retreat. Four hours later, Bornmann replies with the detailed information, including CABINET specifics and details about how challenged they were with, among others, Shirley Bond–ALL DIRECTLY FROM CHRISTY. So why aren’t the media asking these questions? And when they received these binders, why didn’t they zero in on the Bornmann transcript. Answer: Because they’re lazy sods and biased in favour of their friend Clark. They aren’t interested in looking out for the people of this province. They are content to follow the herd mentality of the Victoria Press Gallery that needs an enema with a fire hose.
(3) When Christy claims the RCMP investigators “found nothing” on her (the same nonsense promoted by Bill Good and often Sean Leslie) please explain, Premier, how your name is on a dozen Pilothouse billing statements (that we know of) with the inclusion of notes that reference the BC Rail matter. What were you discussing? Are you suggesting your friends Kieran, Bornmann and Elmhirst defrauded their client?
(4) When former Finance Minster Gary Collins and former Transporatation Minister Judith Reid were interviewed by the RCMP, BOTH were crystal clear and stated repeatedly, that they NEVER divulged Cabinet level information to to Basi and Virk. In fact, when a Pilothouse briefing note, WRITTEN BY CLARK FRIEND AND CONFIDANTE ERIK BORMANN, was read to Collins during his interview, he stated how stunned he was that the document had such “Cabinet-specific” detail. Collins stated that the memo was so accurate that the intel could only have been obtained through a discussion with a member of Cabinet. Collins then makes clear, and the RCMP concur and make note, that neither Basi or Virk had ever been to Cabinet. And no other government member appeared as often or with as much detail in Bornmann’s diaries or billing statements as Christy Clark. Once even, Bornmann noted a birthday toga party, which then Deputy Premier Clark hosted at her home for her then husband (with Basi and Virk in attendance), and another time for “Dinner at Mark and Christy’s/RE: BC Rail” The Basi-Virk trial documents I released in 2010/2011 show this…..it’s all there. It’s what originally got vanDongen’s back up.
(5) Here’s another one that Vaughn Palmer and Keith Baldrey know about, since I sent them the email with my comments in February of 2011. “Premier, while Deputy Premier, did you ever delete any emails from your office computer related to meetings you had or were scheduled to have with OmniTRAX executives, or Erik Bornmann? YES OR NO?” Because in point of fact, this was referred to in open court on June 4. 2008 during pretrial, by Basi defence lawyer Michael Bolton. It was also recited by Bobby Virk defence lawyer Kevin McCullough. Neal Hall of the Sun covered this in detail. Fowlie and Palmer could have made the connection and asked Clark, point blank, but didn’t. The same story was extensively covered by Bill Tieleman in 24 Hours and on his eponymous blog.
(6) “Premier, why are there wiretap conversations, wherein Erik Bornmann notes your appearances in Cabinet and discusses details he received from you?”
(7) And again, I also sent a note about this to Palmer and Baldrey in late 2010: “In February 2004, with Basi and Virk well out of the picture, Premier, can you explain how OmniTRAX, represented by your friend Erik Bornmann, mysteriously increased their bid for the Robert’s Bank line to the exact amount of CN? If Basi and Virk were the source of all leaks, as you echo the statements of your predecessor Mr. Campbell, where did OmniTRAX receive this critical information from? How could they have known, Premier, that exact amount? DID YOU TELL THE PILOTHOUSE LOBBYISTS ABOUT THAT?” Please answer…specifically, Premier.”
And lest I forget my darling Sara the Gum, thrashing about the rubber in her mouth and failing the truth in her messaging to save the beleaguered Premier. What kind of press secretary doesn’t do her homework? The Premier’s innocence is consistent with the “proven” facts emanating from the documents already released???
It’s the exact opposite, Sara, stop lying and do some bloody homework. What an absolute embarrassment this government is. They’re making Gordon Campbell look like a principled caretaker.
All I can say is to the rest of you, stay tuned. I have more coming next week. I will show you more of Christy’s clear guilt and prove to you why this government failed you. I’ll show you in specific detail how they were desperate to close down the trial.
Although the NDP is NOT filling me with confidence that they will be a worthy government, when they demonstrate such breathtaking incompetence in the handling of this file, John Horgan excepted. Makes me wonder what else they’ll screw up–perhaps equally as bad as Ms. Clark, when they’re government.
I’ll break this whole matter wide open soon enough. Just sit tight. I’m gone through the long weekend to let the metal horses out for a lengthy run, but be quite sure, I’ll be back next week.
God bless and be safe out there. Enjoy the global warming.