Tuesday, April 05, 2005

New Info From Captain Ed Renders Yesterday's Criticism Moot

Ed Morrisey has posted information today on the Canadian ad scandal testimony that not only answers every one of the concerns I expressed yesterday but, as far as I am concerned, also justifies every one of his arguments for publishing the story in the first place.

Here is some of that new information:

One of my commenters last night asked why Americans should be so offended by a publication ban, considering that grand jury testimony is often kept secret here. However, grand jury testimony is truly held in camera, meaning closed off to the public. As Taber reports, that's hardly the case with the Gomery Inquiry:

His contact could be anyone as the commission hearings are open to the public. Indeed, the Brault testimony is an open secret in political Ottawa. Ask any political staffer or MP and they seem to know some, if not all, of the details of the testimony. The television feed from the commission can be picked up in some Ottawa newsrooms, and other information is being passed through e-mails, transcripts and phone calls.

The hypocrisy of a legal system that declares illegal the publication of material presented in a venue open to the public and even available in broadcast format for news agencies and politicians is a scandal in its own right!

As the Captain explains, I had been one of those commentators who was under the impression that the testimony was being given in camera. Please allow me to apologize for being wrong (Although, while it is always best to hold one's tongue before learning all of the facts, in some cases, that might mean never speaking up at all!)

Here is what I consider to be the key point in the Captain's comments:

In other words, every politician has access to the testimony, and even most reporters can get the transcript or at least hear it as the witnesses reveal their secrets. The only people whom the publication ban affects are the Canadian voters who elected these people and whose money got syphoned off. It has no analogy to grand juries whatsoever.
It seems to me that the real scandal here is the Canadian news media's unwillingness to bring this information to their own people. Perhaps there is some aspect of Canadian law that I don't understand. I am not naive enough to believe that it parallels American juris prudence in every jot and tittle so their may be something that will eventually clear this up for me.

As regards the David & Goliath image I used yesterday, I would reconfigure it now as follows:
It is as if Goliath has entered the Canadian encampment and has been quietly robbing and raping the people under the cover of darkness. The leaders not only know this is going on and have been able to protect themselves but have also been receiving some kickbacks for not letting the rest of the folks know about what is going on. Ed Morrisey has not so much attacked someone else's Goliath but has turned on a spotlight to warn the people of the danger they are facing.
In the end, Captain Ed's revelations will not resolve anything; that will be up to the Canadian people. On the other hand, however, neither Paul Revere, William Dawes or Dr. Samuel Prescott resolved anything when British troops mustered and set out from Boston. But they at least they made the effort to warn the people and let them know what was coming.