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UPDATED: Tale of the tape redux: How do you deny what was never said?


 

ALSO NEW AND FRESH AND WORTH CLICKING: Read Dona Cadman’s supplementary affidavit here.

EVEN MORE OF AN UPDATE: Ryan Sparrow (!) sends along this excerpt from an interview Zytaruk did on Mike Duffy live on June 4 — the day after the Conservative Party press conference alleging that the tape had been “doctored.” What strikes me most of all is the remarkable consistency between the description of how the three of them – himself, Harper and Dona Cadman – were positioned on the stairs in the following passage, and what he told Dale Goldhawk earlier this year.

Mike Duffy Live, June 4, 2008:

Zytaruk:

Mike, I will just back up. Give you some context here. Donna and Chuck had asked me to write Chuck’s biography. During the process of interviews and everything Donna told me about this insurance policy business. I thought the best thing for me to do would be to speak would Stephen Harper about it, being the leader of the party. You know, head guy, so to speak. So a local conservative fellow had winked me over to the Cadmans’ place that day because they said that Stephen Harper would be showing up. So I got to Donna’s place. Parked my car across the lawn. When I got to her front door she was at the top of the stairs. This is inside the house. Stephen Harper is in the middle. And I’m at the bottom at the landing there. You know, captive audience, unfortunately, for him. And Donna introduced me, you know as the biographer of Chuck’s book and I can’t remember exactly what Mr. Harper said. He said something to the effect about Chuck being a nice guy and he deserves the — you know, he deserves that kind of thing and then he went. When he went out the door, I followed him, and I interviewed him at the top of the driveway. He had like a suburban or his people waiting at the bottom of the driveway. And I brought my tape recorder out, and I started my interview with — I mean, there was a life insurance policy for Donna, a million dollar life insurance policy for Donna, do you know anything about that or something to that effect? I don’t have the tape in front of me.

UPDATE: See also this post, which compiles the various accounts of that day being put forward by the main players.

A little more than a month after the Conservative Party released its as-it-turns-out-somewhat-less-than-definitive proof that the infamous tape of the interview between the Prime Minister and Cadman biographer Tom Zytaruk was “doctored” comes this explosive headline, courtesy of CanWest News:

Cadman’s widow denies author’s story

Affidavit says Zytaruk did not meet Harper in her house

The widow of former MP Chuck Cadman has contradicted public accounts by author Tom Zytaruk of what happened the day of an interview that is pivotal in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s lawsuit against the federal Liberals.

In a sworn affidavit submitted in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice yesterday, Dona Cadman says the journalist did not meet Mr. Harper in the Cadmans’ house and was not introduced to him by her.

“Nobody came inside my house while Mr. Harper was in the house with me,” she said. “I did not introduce Tom Zytaruk to Mr. Harper on Sept. 9, 2005.”

KAPOW! BOFF! SCRUMPH! There goes Zytaruk’s credibility, and the Liberal party’s main defence against the PM’s defamation suit, in one fell swoop – except that neither of those statements from Dona Cadman contradict Zytaruk’s version of events at all.

According to the affidavits filed last month by Stephen Harper and his two aides present at the time, it was his press secretary, Carolyn Stewart-Olsen, who approached him with Zytaruk’s request. In other words, the interview did take place; this latest affidavit from Dona Cadman, then, questions only the allegation that she was the person who introduced the then-opposition leader to Zytaruk, who was waiting outside the house.

But as far as I can tell, and believe me, I’ve been poring through the archives, Zytark has never actually made that claim in any of the many, many interviews he’s done in which he’s described the now infamous conversation between himself and the PM:

From The Hill Times:

Can you comment on the Conservatives’ allegation that the tape you released of your conversation with Mr. Harper was edited? Was it edited in any way, shape or form?

“You’d have to agree that I would be thoroughly insane to do something like that. Of course it’s not edited. The tape that’s been released has been released in its entirety, it’s unaltered, unfiddled with, un-whatever you want to call it. It was just a real quickie interview on Dona Cadman’s doorstep/driveway. It’s not like Stephen Harper invited me out for steaks or something to discuss this at length. He was on his way somewhere and I was just fortunate enough to catch him to give me a response to this thing. I appreciated his candour, that he spoke to me, and didn’t give me a no comment or anything.”

From the Globe and Mail:

Mr. Zytaruk, who writes for a Surrey newspaper, has covered stories about Mr. Cadman since the murder of his son drove him into politics.

After Mr. Cadman’s death, Mr. Zytaruk heard that Mr. Harper, who was then leader of the opposition, was paying a personal visit to the Cadman residence. Mr. Zytaruk interviewed Mr. Harper in the driveway.

“Of the offer to Chuck,” he quotes Mr. Harper as saying, “it was only to replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election, OK. That’s my understanding of what they were talking about.

Also, Zytaruk has never claimed that he was in the house at the same time as Stephen Harper – something he pointed out via email to the reporter writing this story last night:

Mr. Zytaruk, Mr. Cadman’s biographer, said he was “extremely surprised, disappointed and deeply distressed” by her statement. “I haven’t seen these affidavits and would be extremely surprised if Dona said I wasn’t in the house that day,” he said in an e-mail. “In fact, we were both still inside the house after Harper stepped out, and she indicated to me that now was my chance to go interview him.

“Moreover, immediately after I interviewed Harper outside, I went back into Dona’s house and played the tape back to her in her living room.”

Zytaruk’s account of what happened that day has been entirely consistent, as far as the sequence of events: he was waiting outsid the Cadman house, he interviewed Stephen Harper, and after Harper had left, he went inside, presumably on Dona’s invitation. The one thing new in his response to the latest affidavit is the implication that he -Zytaruk- was in the house with Dona before he went outside to interview Harper – based on the use of the word ‘both’ (which seems to refer to Dona Cadman, not Harper) which the latest affidavit does not directly contradict.

From Dona Cadman’s May 23, 2008 affidavit (not available in text format, full court record including affidavits available here):

After my meeting with Mr. Harper concluded, Mr. Tom Zytaruk interviewed Mr. Harper for approximately 10 minutes in my driveway. When that interview concluded Mr. Zytaruk came into my house and I told him that Mr. Harper told me that he had no knowledge about a $1 million insurance policy offer made to my husband by Conservative Party representatives. Shortly after that conversation, Mr. Zytaruk and I left my house and drove to attend a Conservative Party Task Force Meeting on “Safe Streets and Healthy Communities” at the WHalley Library in Surrey.

Now, we  — or at least I — haven’t yet gotten to read the most recent Dona Cadman affidavit, in which she “denies” Zytaruk’s story, according to CanWest. But going only by just the two statements cited in the story to back up that headline, I’m not sure if it will turn out to be the knockout punch that the Conservative Party clearly hopes it will be, at least as far as Zytaruk’s credibility goes.

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UPDATED: Tale of the tape redux: How do you deny what was never said?

  1. But why on earth do they keep bringing this story back in the headlines? Yo Kady, could you explain this please?

  2. I find that curious too. Do they think they are going to convince someone of something with that? Wouldn’t it be safer just to file the court documents, let it proceed, then when he wins shout “Victory!”?

  3. They doth protest too much. It doesn’t pass the smell test.

    Why on earth didn’t Dona Cadman say something months ago? She could have.

  4. Independent MP Chuck Cadman at his home in B.C. in April 2005.
    Ward Perrin, Vancouver Sun

    Kady, From todays news, how does this figure into your post. Does this not totally invalidate your post as Mr.Zytaruk is now saying he was in the house when the PM was there.

    Mr. Zytaruk, Mr. Cadman’s biographer, said he was “extremely surprised, disappointed and deeply distressed” by her statement. “I haven’t seen these affidavits and would be extremely surprised if Dona said I wasn’t in the house that day,” he said in an e-mail. “In fact, we were both still inside the house after Harper stepped out, and she indicated to me that now was my chance to go interview him.

  5. Kady I am so sorry, cut and paste went crazy, could you please clean that up for me. Thanks Ken

  6. I honestly don’t know why they keep reviving the story, I really don’t — unless they can come up with proof that the PM never said those words at all — which I think is now pretty much impossible, since he has confirmed that *a* conversation took place, although his lawyers have claimed, variously, that the taped interview is incomplete, or “doctored.” It may be an attempt to scare the Liberal Party into settling — there were, apparently, discussions to that end that eventually went nowhere. Maybe Ryan Sparrow – who turns up near the end of the piece – just wanted to make up for the less than spectacular results from the last press conference.

  7. Ken – edited! I actually did an immediate edit of my original post to address Zytaruk’s email statement to CanWest last night — which I accidentally omitted completely from the first post – but y’all were too quick for me.

    I read it as saying that they – Zytaruk and Dona – were both in the house at the same time, because he’s responding to a question from CanWest which apparently gave him the impression that Dona was saying he had never been in the house that day.

  8. I’m also curious about why the conservatives continue with this. Maybe they have an incredibly strong case and the eeeeeevil, biased, elitist liberal media merely refuse to report it, cackling with glee and over how they are pulling the eyes over the populace once again?

  9. Well Kady, it is tough to argue until we see the full text. How I read it now is with what is available is she is saying he was not in the house previous to the interview with the PM but was outside, and he is saying he was in the house previously by using the word “back” in his email statement. This whole case is based on he said she said, they said, the tape said, the tape might have said, well that is why we pay judges to sort this crap out for us.

  10. Yeah, I agree that we need to see the full affidavit to figure out exactly what’s going on here. I’m just not convinced that, based on those two statements, this qualifies as an outright contradiction – or even a contradiction at all – of Tom Zytaruk’s version of events.

  11. Ryan Sparrow is on taxpayer’s dime, no, at the Conservative Research bureau which is a govt funded group? Am I wrong about this?

  12. Frankly, I don’t even know why anyone cares who was in the house when. The only issue in question is whether or not Stephen Harper knew that and/or supported an illegal bribe.

  13. Well as we both know or should at least acknowledge, cases like these come down to creditability and being accurate, therefore, if the CPC can show that the author was mistaken or enhanced the story in anyway it will play along way to a victory for Mr. Harper. What I am waiting for is the resounding chorus from LPC supporters of “believe the widow”. Do you think we will hear it this time. LOL,,

  14. Ken is right, that’s exactly what these attempts to erode Zytaruk’s credibility are supposed to do: make it seem more plausible that he lied about the interview, and doctored the tape, and thus deprive the Liberals of using Harper’s words as a defence in the defamation suit. I still don’t quite understand why the PM hasn’t added Zytaruk to the lawsuit, actually. It would seem the obvious next step, given this strategy.

  15. Would someone really question the credibility of a piece of audio tape because someone, on a big day, couldn’t remember exactly when he went inside a house and when he was outside a house?

    C’mon, that’s ridiculous. If Donna Cadman says she served him coffee and doughnuts and Zytaruk said it was tea and scones, does that change anything?

  16. Kady, Actually from a political sense of view you have to admire the way the CPC has done this, First they bring in Dion,and a couple of others to paint them as involvedand the LPC, then using clear logic they drop the MP’s because their costs would be borne by the H of C and just went after the LPC and a couple of web site admins ( who they really do not care about suing at all, that is just required). Now the LPC does not enjoy the benefit of privilege and will have to pay their own legal costs which will be hefty while at the same time not be able to utilize all the research and legal work done on the taxpayers dime if the serving MP’s were still included in the proceedings. N
    Now if the LPC does prevail, the CPC might be out the cost of the LPC legal bills, if the LPC loses, they are out 3.5 mil, plus legal costs of the CPC, money they can ill afford to pay out, plus the costs of the new legal action that are “supposedly being served with tomorrow”
    Plus they get to stand up and state for all to hear that they are idiots. While the PM will just have to say if they lose, we do not agree, I feel I was libeled.

  17. Scott M, In a court of law, it changes everything. Why do you think lawyers advise you not to give initial statements when you are being questioned, or under arrest, because at that point your emotional, confused, and everything you say can be used against you. So six months later your sitting in a court, and some Crown Lawyer is going but you said, you put the cat out at 6:30 ish but you know say it was 6:53.

  18. The affidavit from Tom Owen, one of the audio forensics guys, said “There is an audible and visual edit after the words, “I mean there was an insurance policy for a million dollars for Donna”.

    I don’t know…that sounds like reasonable grounds to suspect the authenticity of the tape. If there is an edit after the insurance question, and the next answer is Harper’s “financial considerations”…well, that seems like a pretty malicious edit on the key question on the tape, no? I don’t know where your “as-it-turns-out-somewhat-less-than-definitive proof” comment comes from in the face of that affidavit.

    2 reasons I can think for the Conservatives to keep this in the media

    1) They are VERY comfortable with the facts of the case (Harper’s lawsuit is also evidence of this).

    2) They want to highlight the media double standard of someone coming forward with a doctored audio tape.

    When even the slightest evidence was presented that the Grewal tapes were doctored, nobody asked where…nobody wanted to see it pinpointed. Didn’t even matter if it was during an incriminating part of the tape or not. The media were looking for an excuse to make the whole thing go away, and launched one of the most vicious character assassinations I’ve ever seen. The CBC had backhoes on contract digging for any kind of dirt on Grewal they could find. Almost like a warning to anyone else who dared bring forth such allegations again.

    This despite Inky Mark having also made bribery allegations, and after Belinda Stronach’s defection. There was a stink in the air that any journalist should have been able to catch. Despite all of that, the Liberals were given the benefit of the doubt. Again.

    The media hired the experts to find the doctoring in the Grewal tapes when the Liberals were on the hook. Why did they not do so with this tape? Why did the Conservatives have to do it? And why are their findings, which seem pretty inflammatory on the surface, being ignored and downplayed, as you are doing?

  19. Kady, “I still don’t quite understand why the PM hasn’t added Zytaruk to the lawsuit, actually. It would seem the obvious next step, given this strategy.”

    Seriously why would they, right now it is Goliath versus Goliath. The public has no problem with it, the situation would change if they were to include him. He is nothing more then the “star witness” for the LPC, no need to involve him, just have to discredit him.

  20. Ken: Two words – deposition and discovery. Which work both ways, although it’s arguable whether the Prime Minister could be compelled to testify, since he’s a sitting MP and as such, protected by privilege. Then again, he launched the suit, so I’m not sure if that would apply. It’s an interesting question, though. I’d also say that, as a political strategy, it runs the risk of turning off as many voters as it impresses, given how many Canadians are against the hyperlitigious environment south of the border. Also, it keeps the story in the news, and it’s hard to see how that works to the Conservatives’ advantage in the long run.

  21. If the Conservatives are actually worried that sympathy for Zytaruk will hurt them in the court of public opinion, if not a court of law, they’re going about this the wrong way, from what I can see. If you read the full record of motion to suppress the allegedly “doctored” tape, the timeline makes it clear that the *only* person who could have altered the recording is Tom Zytaruk. At the very least, if the tape is allowed in as evidence, he would have to be called as a witness — presumably by the Liberals, but the Tories would have good reason to do so as well, if the strategy is to discredit the recording.

  22. Kady, I agree with your caution concerning deposition and discovery but,, there is always that but word,,lol, we all have to acknowledge, the preferred political way when your wrong is ride out the storm, so it makes me really really believe that the CPC has some ace up their sleeves. Again, only my thoughts but I do not believe the old “libel chill” has made any traction with the public as yet. If we want to have something the public should be upset about it is privilege utilized within the house committees, such as the finding of contempt of Ms George with no legal recourse to appeal. Now that star chamber power is scary and the MSM rolled right over that one. Is it obvious I am not at work today.

  23. Oh he will be a witness, without a doubt. Do you think it would be beneficially to go after him right now, no,, save it for the stand and avoid the sure to come “bully” screams. Make sure you plant the seeds of doubt previously but save it for the stand.

  24. It’s actually quite obvious why the Conservatives keep bringing this up- Harper is going to lose the suit. When that happens, it will be HUGE news, and will be difficult to recover from.
    Given the short attention span of we the great unwashed, well all anyone is going to remember is Harper was accused of criminal activity, sued, and lost. Nobody will care that the loss just means the Liberals didn’t do anything wrong, it will just look like Harper and the Conservatives did.

    So what to do? Keep it in the minds of people, but confuse the issue so much that win lose or draw nobody will really know what happened. Then put the blame of the loss on the evil conspiracy of the MSM, Liberals, the judiciary, Kim Jong Il, global warming hoaxers, Elections Canada, and the reverse daylight vampires (is there anyone I left out of the cabal?). Finally, remind everyone that Dion is not a leader and he wants to tax everything.

    It’s really quite a simple concept- when you know you are going to lose, make sure there is no true winner. Kind of like starting a brawl when your team is down by 3 goals with just a minute left in the 3rd- sure you lose the game, but the other guy loses a tooth!

  25. Ken… I think you watch a little too much Perry Mason. In court cases I have observed, the judge is quick to remind jurors that if someone doesn’t remember something inconsequential or irrelevant to the case they shouldn’t put much weight in that.

    This would fall into that category.

  26. If only CanWest picks it up, it isn’t really news.

  27. Its called doubt Scott, and it is a very important concept within our legal system. What you consider trivial others will not. I too have seen many cases where professional witnesses, i.e. police officers and journalists are held to a much high standard of facts due to their profession then buddy in his house robe in my example putting out his cat. Call it what you will, but it is a fact of our judicial system. Perry Mason, now that brings back memories of my grand mother, Good memories by the way, thanks for that.

  28. Anyway, thanks for the use of the electrons Kady, real life is calling. Have a wonderful day

  29. Hey….why doesn’t Zytaruk up the stakes and sue the Conservatives? He (and his publisher) has a book to sell. The Conservatives are saying that the author is a liar and has been doctoring his story. This would cast serious doubt on his credibility. If the Cons think Zytaruk is lying, is there not an onus on THEM to prove it?
    (Sure, all this publicity will ultimately improve sales, but I think Zytaruk would be well within his rights to bring up a lawsuit of his own.)

  30. i dislike speculating, but possibly Zytaruk wasn’t added because they didn’t want another party who might need to go “all in” to protect his reputation. Maybe they totally misread the tea leaves and thought they could bully the liberals into some kind of quick apology or settlement. if they add a reporter who needs to keep credible as a defendant, it’s far more likely to drag out into a full trial.

  31. Lawyers aren’t cheap, Baloneyman, and the Conservatives’ first line of defence would be to delay while a freelance reporter and a tiny publishing house run up their lawyer’s billable hours. At $4 per book in royalties, he’d have to sell 42 kajillion to make it worthwhile.

  32. I think we should one distinction between the Tory allegation sof tape doctoring and the Grewal tapes.

    The first charges the Grewal tapes were doctored were by CFRA and I believe, the Steve Madely show. I think it is fair to say that CFRA is not generally seen as a Liberal mouthpiece.

  33. beaker, the Liberals had alleged before Madely’s show that the tape was doctored. But the rest is true enough; CFRA is for the most part, Madely included, Conservative friendly. But Madely was extremely critical of Grewal and the Conservatives. Perhaps rightly so.

    But the evidence that Owen outlined in his affidavit is pretty damning to the Zytaruk tape.

    It would seem to me that after the Grewal fiasco (and even before), it should be a standard media practice, when presented with ANY unauthorized third party recording which implicates somebody in something sinister, that it’s authenticity be verified independently.

    Why did the media not do so with the Zytaruk tape as soon as the Conservatives implied that the tape had been doctored, as they did with the Grewal tapes? Why did the Conservatives have to hire someone themselves? By forcing the Conservatives to hire someone to uncover the evidence, the aspersions and motives of the person being hired are automatically called into question. But if the media won’t do it, who else can???

  34. Stephen Harper loves our court system. It’s his new check on democracy. The whole thing is a farce. Like their “encouragement” of their new friends over at Green Shift. Why win an election when you can stifle your opponents with legal bills? It’s judicial activism at its finest!

  35. Is this carefully crafted sworn statement by Donna Cadman long after the ‘financial considerations’ story broke an attempt to put a wedge between Donna and Zytaruk and undermine the credibility of both potential witnesses?

    If they disagree in court about the details of who was where when, then could it be argued that any other testimony from either witness would be unreliable?

  36. John G – who is the “third party” in the Grewal tape? Wasn’t that an instance of a Parliamentarian himself making the tape?…and doing so with a clear purpose in mind? Not to split hairs here, but surely when an MP produces a clearly fraudulent doctored piece of drivel, the media’s bulls–t detectors get set off in a hurry. The purpose of the recording is also plain from the moment it’s released. Comparing the circumstances of these two “recordings” is apples to oranges.

  37. Mark, my point is it should be standard media practice with ANY recording whose source cannot be verified, if it’s going to be used in somebody’s character assassination. It is in their best interest.

    Who knows what Zytaruk’s political leanings or motives are? Maybe he’s a die-hard Liberal (for the record I am not really suggesting that is the case; I’m playing devil’s advocate to demonstrate why verfication of recordings should be important)

    It doesn’t just look bad on the person making the recording, it looks bad on the reputation of the media who report based on doctored evidence.
    All of the Canadian media went on a crusade to get Harper to explain a tape which now turns out to be doctored in a significant way. They now come off looking pretty biased, on a wild goose chase to throw whatever scandal they can at Harper based on doctored evidence.

  38. And, oddly, Mr. Wells has just justified the existance of the HRC committees. Of course, there is no such thing to help out the little guy in these types of cases.

    They keep it in the news because Harper’s playing poker here. From what I can tell, he’s got a medium pair, but by showing he’s not afraid to stay in the game he’s hoping to make the Libs question the strength of their own hand.

    If the Libs want to pull out though, I’m betting the smallest they’ll be able to get away with is accepting the misappropriation of personality charge and to not do so any more, which would basically mean they can’t use any pictures, film, or audio of Harper in their campaign literature.

  39. “Who knows what Zytaruk’s political leanings or motives are? Maybe he’s a die-hard Liberal (for the record I am not really suggesting that is the case; I’m playing devil’s advocate to demonstrate why verfication of recordings should be important)”

    Suuuuuuuuurrrre, john g.

  40. Wait.. doctored “in a significant way”? Really? How is that? I’ve never seen it fully explained how the doctoring changes any of the substance of what we hear.

  41. “If the Libs want to pull out though, I’m betting the smallest they’ll be able to get away with is accepting the misappropriation of personality charge and to not do so any more, which would basically mean they can’t use any pictures, film, or audio of Harper in their campaign literature.’

    Correct me if I’m wrong here but wasn’t there an attempt at settling this out of court already?

  42. If memory serves me correctly, which it often doesn’t, didn’t the independent third parties used to analyze the recording say that there is noise, clicking, but they wouldn’t commit to using the word ‘doctored’ because they couldn’t verify if it was just a pause in the recording opposed to something more insidious?

    Like many journalists, Zytaruk has constantly stated that he paused the recording more than once, hence why his 10-minute interview produced under three minutes of audio.

  43. Zytaruk would have to be a complete imbecile to submit a “doctored” recording to the press. Nowadays, these things are so easily verifiable.

  44. Dije,

    Alan Gough, one of the specialists hired by the CPoC, had issues with the fact that he was analysing a copy of the original tape. He also refused further interviews with the media and has continued in this refusal (as did the other guy).

  45. Thanks bigcitylib. So any reference to the tape being ‘doctored’ would be without any foundation at this point.

    And the affidavit provides no new information. he interview him outside of the Cadman’s house, which has always been the story.

    So just another angle being spun to try and deflect away from what is actually important. And that is what the Prime Minister (then in opposition) said on tape. A tape that the Conservatives have been unable to discredit through that weird news conference and this CanWest story.

    Distract from, yes, but not discredit. Sounds very familiar…

  46. “So any reference to the tape being ‘doctored’ would be without any foundation at this point.”

    Um…no. There is an edit that both experts pointed out after the question about the million dollar life insurance policy. I would call evidence of an edit after the key incriminating question “foundation” to call the tape doctored.

    As would Owen. From his expert opinion, “I have concluded with scientific certainty that this tape has been edited and doctored to misrepresent the event as it actually occurred”.

  47. I guess Wayne must be on vacation this week, so john g. is filling in for him as the “partisan Con. Kool-Aid deliverer” on here.

    You’re doing an admirable job of filling in, I must say.

  48. And of course Owen clammed up afterwards and would not talk to reporters or anyone else.

  49. Zytaruk lost credibility when he fabricated a second meeting by Tory officials with Cadman.The Libs were all over that in QP until he had to admit that it was a “mistake” in the book and had to be removed.The Tories are like a cat playing with a mouse and the Libs just keep making them look bad.

  50. bigcitylib, please describe how that changes the facts in his report.

  51. themselves [edit]

  52. John g,

    It doesn’t allow much testing as to their validity, does it?

  53. Hey Scott : I am not on vacation I have been too busy ROFL LMAO. Let’s face it folks it is going from bad for the LPC to worse and rightly so. The LPC broke the rules of the house and went outside where privilege is not available and my boy Stevie warned them but they continued to post an explicit statement rather than just say an ” Alleged ” infraction they made a direct claim – they had an opportunity to withdraw and aoplogize at that time but no they went for the gotcha political ploy and boy will there ever be a gotcha come next session when Dion has to stand up and apologize as part of the settlement from their loss in court.

  54. Why would Harper being in the house mean anything anyway – wasn’t the tape made outside the house?

    Harper’s making things look worse.

    I wish he would just grow up and get over all his vindictiveness and act like a PM, an adult and “govern”.

  55. bigcitylib, if the media want to test the validity of his claim they can pay for their own expert to examine the tape. Why do you think they have not done so?

  56. You lefties simply can’t understand the machinations of the Conservative party and it drives you nuts.

    The fact is a case is being built which will put into doubt what the Liberals claimed on their website that Harper knowingly knew that the party was going to “bribe” Cadman for his vote.

    Coupled with Cadman’s public statements of no incentives the Liberals are going to have a hard time proving their side of the case.

    Wait for it. Harper may not get his $3+ but he will get something and the Liberals will be forced to desist from using the Cadman issue in a campaign because of an injunction.

    Just like the last election when Harper came out on day one talking about his position on the gay marriage vote. Everybody said he is done and the Conservatives will lose the election. We all saw how that turned out.

    By the way it is only the Liberals and their sychophants in the media who believe that the Conservatives attempted to bribe Cadman. The public doesn’t believe it for a minute.

  57. Well John G, the court and the rest of us would still need to be convinced that Mr. Harper wasn’t speaking about an inducement. It’s one thing to discredit the tape, and Conservative widows and reporters and might as well mention Elections Canada, the CBC, the RCMP and the Wheat Board, it’s another to provide an alternate version of events that is plausible.

    We’re not talking criminal court, it’s a civil matter that Harper launched and he needs to prove his claim, not the other way round. Unless his legal team has one of those Prestidigitizers or an evil twin to pull out at the last minute the prime minister will need to explain what he did or didn’t say.

    The fact that he hasn’t already makes me think the law suit and all the rest of this tape folderol is misdirection and tactical crap.

  58. Boy, the twists and turns in this story just never end, do they?

    Does anyone remember a story a couple of weeks ago about someone having hired an independent audio expert to look at those tapes long before the Conservatives came out with their own experts? The guy won’t release the results publicly, but he does confirm that he did analysis on those tapes.

    In other words, many months ago, someone had a good idea of whether or not those tapes were doctored. Who?

    I think CTV ran the story. I thought it was just the beginning of something, but I have yet to see any follow-up.

    For the record, Zytaruk won’t release his original tape for analysis, and the publishing company says it never ran an analysis of its own.

  59. Alright, I’m about to post a compilation of every known account of that now infamous driveway/doorstep meeting between Harper and Zytaruk. Warning: It’s probably not going to make the story any more coherent or consistent, but at least you can keep track of the various competing versions of events.

    Before I do that, though – one quick point in response to Ian’s comment that Zytaruk had “fabricated” a second meeting: In the May 2008 Dona Cadman affadavit, she re-affirms her belief that the meeting took place on May 19th, not May 17th. It will be interesting to see whether that has changed in this, presumably more recent affidavit.

  60. I think that a “doctored” tape or one with pause “edits” = contaminated evidence = 0 for the defence; contradictory statements by Zytaruk and Dona Cadman = Zytaruk then lacks credibility = 0 for the defemce. Final score = Liberals lose. Oh, also look for Harper when he hits one into the open net. This will be settled in court, not the press.

  61. Call me clueless, but I’m still stumped by why the CPC claims they were discussing giving Cadman financial help on his next campaign when they knew perfectly well he was dying and wouldn’t run again.

    This whole tape thing reminds me of the diversionary moves the Bush people always made, back when they were still in charge.

    Whenever they were under attack, they would attack their critics twice as hard to intimidate and silence the attackers.

    I guess they figured that eventually the media and public would tire of the matter, and things would go on.

    This seemed to work right up until they met Valerie Plame.

    – JV

  62. I only have one question for the Tories (john g and wayne, feel free to answer for them).

    If the tape has indeed been doctored, why aren’t they suing Zytaruk and the publishing house given that they are the one who distributed the said tape to the media and beyond?

  63. I don’t know why they wouldn’t. Bad politics maybe. I really can’t say. I’m not sure what they would sue for…is doctoring a tape actionable in defamation court?

    But that’s neither here nor there. The forensic expert concluded “with scientific certainty” that it’s been doctored.

    I wonder boudica, were you (and the other Liberal partisans on here) as suspicious about the expert opinion that the Grewal tapes were doctored as you are about the Zytaruk tape’s authenticity? What more evidence do you need than what’s been provided?

  64. john g, are you serious? The Tories affirm that they hold evidence which shows that the tape was doctored yet they will not sue a publishing house and the author behind a book that pretty much suggests that our Prime Minister was part of some bribe?

    You can’t figure out what they should sue them for?

    Me thinks you need a new set of talking points.

  65. No, I’m not a lawyer and don’t pretend to be. Perhaps you could draft the Statement of Claim for them and maybe they’ll look at it.

    You seem to be suggesting that the fact they are not suing Zytaruk or his publisher should discredit the findings of the expert. I can’t make that leap. If it was doctored, it was doctored. No one has produced a shred of evidence to the contrary.

  66. john g, I made no suggestion. I simply asked an obvious question.

    If the tape has been doctored, why not sue the person would be guilty of doing the doctoring?

    Or is that too much a leap for you, john?

  67. Harper is suing the Liberals for specifically accusing Harper of having knowledge of criminal activities. The Liberals have used the tape as the basis of their accusations. That’s what that lawsuit is about.

    As far as I know, the book itself does not accuse Harper of criminal wrongdoing. It does provide allegations of an insurance bribe, based on what the widow and the daughter now allege. But that has nothing to do with the tape, or with what the Liberals made of the tape.

    In other words, the Liberals seem to have gone much farther than the book has, at least in terms of making specific accusations.

    Now, does the doctored tape in some way serve as a source for litigation against the book? I don’t know. But the legal and political calculations are significantly different, aren’t they?

  68. Boudica: So, who doctored the tape? It doesn’t really matter much to disqualify it as useful evidence. It’s tainted and of no value to the defence. Simple.

  69. “Then put the blame of the loss on the evil conspiracy of the MSM, Liberals, the judiciary, Kim Jong Il, global warming hoaxers, Elections Canada, and the reverse daylight vampires (is there anyone I left out of the cabal?)” – Gary

    Gary, you forgot the CBC! Come on! That’s so obvious. Jeez, posting on ITQ is serious business, Gary.

  70. Actually, the tape, doctored or not, can serve as a defence for the Liberal Party, especially given the recent Supreme Court ruling Mr. Coyne pointed out.

    The test is simply if, given the evidence, a reasonable person could have held the belief that was being expressed.

  71. Just Visiting: “Call me clueless, but I’m still stumped by why the CPC claims they were discussing giving Cadman financial help on his next campaign when they knew perfectly well he was dying and wouldn’t run again.”

    No one knew perfectly well he was dying. People were surprised at how quickly after these events he passed away. Except for his family, it seems like people didn’t realize just how sick he really was.

    Zytaruk said it himself: “I was of course surprised that he died as quickly as he did. I was on my way to interview him the Saturday he died. I got to the front door and his daughter Jodi was there and they called me in and he had died just before I got there. It was quite something. I thought he had more time.”

    You’re not clueless, but there are a lot of elements to this story.

  72. If Zytaruk and the publisher published a book based on a tape doctored by one or the other, would it be a criminal matter?

    If it would be a criminal matter, then… what? Who’s facing jail time?

    As it stands now it is a civil matter and the onus is on Harper to prove that what he said on the tape has been tampered with and his taped words aren’t saying what he so far hasn’t said he said or didn’t say. All we have are his words on the tape.

    Seems to me Stephen Harper is fighting for his life and will do anything to win this or at least cause uncertainty. Because if he loses he will be facing criminal charges and jail time. First PM ever put in jail. Nice legacy.

    Just more muddying of the waters on Harper’s part.

    Zytaruk and the publisher could sue the CPC and Stephen Harper over this. How shameful that a government would denigrate and abase a citizen who from all accounts was a good friend of the Cadmans.

    I suspect that the publisher and Zytaruk have had the tape analyzed for their own protection. In fact, I would be surprised if the RCMP haven’t done their own analysis of the tape which likely falls into the category of usual reporter stops and starts as Zytaruk has explained. If my government was out to get me I would keep that to myself as well. It would be pivotal in any criminal proceedings stemming from a Harper loss in this civil suit. I suspect they wonder why Harper excluded them from the civil suit, but Harper doesn’t dare include them because, a) he knows he said the words recorded on the tape, and b) he suspects the publisher and the author can prove the authenticity of the tape.

    In any case, innocent people do not go to the lengths Harper and crew are. Innocent people like the publisher and the author can afford to wait since they have the truth on their side.

    I believe that Stephen Harper and several people legitimately representing the party offered Chuck Cadman financial considerations. Period. I heard the PM say so and I believe what he said those years ago are true. I believe what I heard Dona Cadman say on the radio the day the story broke: she said she considered it a bribe at the time.

    Interesting position Dona Cadman was put in. Wonder if she will be running for the CPC after all.

  73. Are we missing something fairly obvious?

    Is it possible, just possible, that the “pause” on the tape may have had to do with Harper, or Carolyn, or Zytaruk farting and none of them being man/woman enough to admit it?

    I am just saying.

  74. Liz, Zytaruk says he will not give up the original tape for analysis, and the publisher is on record saying that they didn’t think any analysis was necessary.

    I know that Harper hatred has turned into a sport in some circles. But if this saga has revealed anything, it’s that people should think before making vicious allegations.

  75. Liz: Nonsense!

  76. I have a sneaky suspicion Tom Zytaruk did not use a blue pen that day when he was somewhat in the vicinity of Stephen Harper and Dona Cadman at about the same time.

    What’s more – he may not even OWN a blue pen. What if the paper he works for provides them?

    I want headlines on this, and I want them NOW. We’ve got that pesky no-good author right where we want him.

  77. Boudica : permit me to answer for someone else as requested = who cares it is too much fun to watch the Lib’s flail around why stop it? Strategically unsound … if a person is their own worst enemy give them more rope don’t change the channel. Could be useful come this fall and as well who knows maybe they will?

  78. Steve Janke:

    So you think it was reasonable for the CPC to offer financing for Cadman’s upcoming campaign because they weren’t sure about the severity of his illness.

    Okay, if so, then why did the various spokespeople for the CPC dismiss as ridiculous the allegation about an insurance policy being offered because everyone supposedly knew that Cadman’s illness was terminal?

    I don’t think you can have it both ways on this. If it was reasonable to offer Cadman financing for an upcoming campaign because you didn’t know his health status, then it was equally reasonable to offer him insurance coverage if he voted to defeat the Liberals.

    – JV

  79. The publisher and the author said quite a while ago that they had not had the tape analyzed. With recent events it is possible that they have. Especially since that ‘doctored’ tape media fiasco Harper and Moore pulled. I know it would have been the first thing I would have had done.

  80. Re: Wayne’s Comment:
    Boudica : permit me to answer for someone else as requested = who cares it is too much fun to watch the Lib’s flail around why stop it?

    Actually, Napoleon said it best: I am of the habit to never interrupt my foe when they are in the process of making a mistake.
    BUT unfortunately for the NeoConTories, they always have been the party of the secret deal and the inside moves…that’s why a story like this has so much traction. Look, once Harper has failed to win a majority in the next election, his own Kalgary (Klown) Skool types will be the first to pull out the knives. Then this lawsuit will be quietly withdrawn and will die. Every moment of continued newscopy simply reinforces the public’s perception of how the anti-social neo-cons work. Speaking of liberals, Harper is so far right he makes Preston Manning seem centrist. And you wonder why no majority? Look south….

  81. Liz, maybe you should actually read the article that started this latest story. It states specifically that Zytaruk refuses to give up the original tape for any independent analysis.

    Could you imagine if Harper decided to do something like that?

  82. I’m not to worried about the original — I think we can be pretty darned sure that it will be subpoenaed anyway. Of course if they named Zytaruk they could get it in discovery… making it an odd choice not to name him.

    Could you imagine if Harper decided to do something like that?

    Don’t know if it makes sense to compare a journalist not giving up their original copy of a now-famous interview with a politician not doing the same. I think the media would endlessly pester a politician of any stripe if they refused to produce the original in this case.

  83. “If” the tapes were altered, it would have been by the Harper gang prior to having them analyzed.

  84. Dennis, Zytaruk and his publisher said that some while ago. In any case, ‘giving up the tape’ to a third party doesn’t mean that either or both Zytaruk and his publisher could not have had the tape analyzed without giving up the chain of possession. They’d just have to be there when it was analyzed.

    Harper could have avoided all this if only he had explained what he meant in the first place.

    What financial considerations? What election? There was no election without Chuck Cadman. What was the case Harper said the people legitimately representing the party was to press, but not push?

    Stephen Harper is pulling out all the stops on this one. And why not? The first Canadian Prime Minister involved in a situation that carries a penalty of 15 years in prison. Who wouldn’t fight that with no holds barred, and with no regard for any innocent bystanders taken down in the desperate struggle?

    Thank the SCoC that I am allowed to say that I BELIEVE from the evidence I have seen that Stephen Harper gave that interview, and in it he spoke of financial considerations. He said he told party officials to make the case. Dona Cadman was on the phone on CTV the day the story broke and said that she considered the offer a bribe.

    So, what was the offer? First it was insurance, then it was help in defraying election costs for an Independent MP dying of cancer.

    Does Harper think Canadians are idiots? Maybe he just believes they are.

  85. Liz : I don’t know where to start – first Harper has said god knows how many times now that the interview when the tape was made was not about all this other non sense you and others have posted but about him possibly re-joining the party and then then party would rightly offer the usual election expenses etc etc etc and he even said that he told the party workers to forget about it since Chuck was a man of integrity and more than likely wouldn’t change anyways as he said. Chuck’s wife has even said she believes Harper had absolutely nothing to do with any of this other nonsense. If there were any funny business to do with this issue do you and others honestly believe she would be running for the seat! I mean pleeeeeaaaasse – I don’t know why people have so much problem with this as all pertinent questions have been asked and answered and as to the tape it was doctored so case closed there as well. I wouldn’t answer any more of the same questions either if I were the PM. I think that frustrated left wing nuts can’t let go because they think this will hurt Harper and guess what it won’t in point of fact in the end when the election comes and both him and Mrs Cadman are on the podium together it might just deflect some of the usual Liberal Fear and Shmear as this issue is obviously in that category

  86. Liz, take the tinfoil hat off. The RCMP has essentially cleared Harper. And HE launched this lawsuit. He isn’t running away from anything. In fact, he’s pursuing it quite forcefully, if you ask me.

  87. Wayne, some people start with the assumption that Harper and Conservatives are guilty, then desperately try to fit any facts into that template.

    Trying to explain to them that political opponents aren’t evil by default is a lifetime challenge.

    That goes for both sides, btw.

    I get tired of hearing from others that the Liberal party is a finely-tuned criminal operation. Boring.

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