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Showing posts from February, 2007

Call Grissom: Crocus bullet matched to smoking gun

Manitoba's Opposition leaders are wasting their breath calling for NDP Finance Minister Greg Selinger to resign and the government to call another inquiry into the Crocus scandal. That's like asking the leaders of the Gambino Family to come clean on who killed Jimmy Hoffa. Could happen. But not likely. They still don't understand the importance of the "smoking gun" memo leaked to Liberal leader Jon Gerrard. If they did, they would know the only call they have to make is to the RCMP . The Selinger Memo is clear evidence that the NDP conspired with the Crocus Investment Fund to hide the fund's liquidity problems from future investors even to the extent of letting them run a Ponzi scheme. Three paragraphs of the memo tell the entire story: (emphasis ours) * Crocus recently requested two very significant changes that would allow it to raise more money from Manitobans and induce investors to keep their money invested for a longer period of time...These changes

War in Afghanistan 2007 Week Eight

Can you believe it? It's been one year since Canadian troops arrived in Kandahar province as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). A new rotation of soldiers is underway and Week Eight of 2007 gave the newbies a little taste of almost everything they can expect. The week started with a bang. And a bang. And a bang. A three-vehicle collision, in other words. Except that the vehicles were armoured military vehicles. They were moving in convoy through the streets of Kandahar City just before dawn when the accidents happened. 13 soldiers were injured, nine of them from from 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment based at CFB Gagetown, outside of Fredericton. Six were choppered to the main military hospital at Kandahar Airport so doctors could have a closer look at them. All were expected to be back on duty right soon. And you've got to wonder how many of that unlucky 13 were in the convoy that got hit by insurgents shortly after 11 p.m. the same night. Now

The Black Rod Driskell Inquiry Report

We thought we knew what to expect from the Driskell Inquiry Report. The Sophonow Inquiry blazed the trail for these modern-day Manitoba show trials. In the tried and true manner of Uncle Joe Stalin, you get the verdict first, then you bend, shape and twist the evidence at the public inquiry to fit the predetermined conclusion. But even we couldn't predict the depths to which the Driskell Inquiry would stoop to achieve its purposes. At its core, the Driskell Report is a chronicle of honourable men doing their best to ensure a man charged with murder gets a fair trial, while the justice system protects witnesses from intimidation and retaliation. For their troubles, these men had to watch the Driskell Inquiry put their efforts through a perverted prism which turned the world upside down, good into bad, right into wrong, white into black. Inquiry commissioner Patrick Lesage summed up the whole exercise in one sentence: "Failure to disclose information to Driskell is the central i

War in Afghanistan 2007 Week Seven

Three overlapping wars swept Afghanistan this week, at least two of them affecting Kandahar, the southern province where Canadian forces are stationed. The struggle for control of Afghanistan during Week Seven of 2007 could be divided into the Ground War, the Air War, and the Poppy War. The Ground War Taliban forces have held the village of Musa Qala in Helmand province, next to Kandahar, for two weeks, the longest they've controlled any territory since the overthrow of their government in 2001. This week they overran Washir, another small village in a remote desert area 35 km southwest of Musa Qala. They captured 33 police officers. They fled after one day. The fate of the policemen is unknown. In Musa Qala the Taliban knocked down a main government building with bulldozers and has spent the fortnight preparing defences for an expected assault by NATO to retake the village. There's been some probing by Coalition forces but no full scale fighting. RAF Harriers provided clo

Anita Neville plays politics with guns, gangs and thugs

Thanks for nothing, MPI. Citywide, car theft in Winnipeg is down 16 percent, and Manitoba Public Insurance is giving it's "immobilizer" program most of the credit.But don't go giving high fives just yet. The cure is going to hurt more people than the disease if Barry Ward, chairman of the National Committee to Reduce Auto-Theft is right. He was a guest Tuesday on CJOB's Richard Cloutier Reports. He described the cascade effect that MPI's immobilizer program is going to have on crime in the city. We're already seeing the first stage. According to police, Ward said, car thieves are switching from older Chryslers and GM's to newer model GM autos, SUVs and trucks. But the crime statistics show an even more disturbing picture. Attempted auto thefts have skyrocketed. They're up 93 percent in the first six weeks of 2007. It looks like car thieves are breaking into cars, and if they can't start them they simply move on to the next target. The result,

The War in Afghanistan 2007 Week Six

Propaganda Success Without firing a shot at a single NATO soldier, the Taliban have achieved their biggest propaganda success in two years. An estimated 200 insurgents have now controlled the village of Musa Qala in Helmand province for 11 days. Last year they managed to take a village here and there and "hold" it for a couple or three days before Afghan government forces could muster to head out and confront the enemy. But 11 days and counting is an unprecedented victory being touted in Taliban propaganda everywhere in advance of the traditional Spring Offensive. And more and more it's looking like the Taliban commanders outfoxed NATO generals badly. Is it coincidence that the takeover of Musa Qala happened just as Canadian forces were being redeployed and just before the arrival of 1000 Polish troops coming to bolster NATO forces? Coalition forces have responded to the takeover of Musa Qala with barrages---of pamphlets. One barrage was a pamphlet telling the Taliban to

Another missing piece of Driskell Inquiry puzzle; TV news and notes; Delacourt squashes rumour

The federal Department of Justice has been showing a lot of interest in The Black Rod this past week, and we're pretty sure it has to do with the final report of the Driskell Inquiry. The Black Rod is the only news outlet that hasn't joined the media circus in glorifying the stacked "inquiry" into the alleged miscarriage of justice in the conviction of James Driskell for the murder of Perry Dean Harder. We've carried stories from the Inquiry that you haven't read anywhere else, ranging from how defence lawyer Greg Brodsky interfered with the prosecution to how the Winnipeg Free Press fabricated a quote for their front page to "sex up" a particular story. Today we'll present another piece of the story that's being ignored by the mainstream media. Let us introduce you to Ashif Madatili Kara. Kara was a witness for the prosecution at Driskell's trial for murder in June, 1991. On the stand he testified that Winnipeg City detectives threatened