The Tale of the Tape: Are the Tories alleging what I think they’re alleging?


(I’ve finally managed to relocate my binder from this morning’s press conference, so expect a burst of mini-posts as I go through the three hundred or so pages filed as part of the Conservatives’ request for an injunction against using the tape.)

The Prime Minister’s affidavit, which is dated June 2, 2008, includes the following passage:

(iii) The Insurance Policy Question

9. At no time did I tell Mr. Zytaruk during my interview that I knew of a $1 million insurance policy for Dona Cadman offered to Chuck Cadman by Conservative Party representatives. At no time did I tell Mr. Zytaruk that I knew of any discussions of a $1 million insurance policy for Dona Cadman offered to Chuck Cadman by Conservative Party representatives. On September 9, 2005 I had no knowledge whatsoever of anybody making a $1 million insurance policy offer to Chuck Cadman on May 17, 2005, or on any other date. And I have no such knowledge today.

What isn’t clear is whether or not he is claiming that the question itself – whether Harper knows anything about an alleged offer – was never asked – which would be a fairly sensational allegation, since it would point to deliberate, elaborate “doctoring” of the tape.

That, however, is what I was told by a Conservative this afternoon – that the question itself was added after the interview had taken place. If so, that would be huge – it would change the whole context of the conversation.

So why not mention that at the press conference? Or in the press release? Or anywhere other than an off the record conversation with a reporter? For that matter, why is this the first time we’ve heard this from the Prime Minister himself? Did he not remember whether or not he was asked the question? If he doesn’t, how can he – or we – be sure that his other recollections from that day are accurate?

As for the audio experts, both seem to confirm that there is something – a change, a pause, a blip – just before the Zytaruk allegedly asked about the insurance policy, but neither goes so far as to suggest the entire question was added after the interview had taken place.


The Tale of the Tape: Are the Tories alleging what I think they’re alleging?

  1. So, the logical conclusion if the experts are correct would be to launch a suit against the publisher and Tom Zytaruk for libel?

    I still think this past strange. Why would they go after the Liberals and not the publication?

    (Pretty sure I know the answer to that…)

  2. An “$1M Insurance Policy” is a specific contract which he (Harper) is denying knowlege of. He does not deny knowledge of other considerations that may or may not have been offered.

  3. Flanagan and Finley affidavits also in the binder?

  4. This really boils down to exactly what Harper said the very first time this subject came up. Question asked and answered then bla bla bla – Lib’s stupid enough to start posting Libel on their website and commenting outside of the house – well folks Harper told Dion what would happen the first time he asked him during Question Period : I can’t wait for the trial or Julie before a committee both of these events are making my day.

  5. Actually, neither Flanagan or Finley appears to have filed an affidavit this time around, although one of the exhibits includes the joint statement that they released when the story first broke.

  6. And no denial of “financial considerations”?

    Sounding more Bushite all the time. “Nobody told us they were going to fly those particular airplanes into those particular buildings on that particular day.”

  7. It still doesn’t explain why they aren’t suing the author of these tapes for supposedly altering them or the publisher of the book for supposedly publishing doctored tapes in the book.

    Actually.. it can be explained.. it’s a purely political move.

  8. They could only sue the author or the publisher if there was any evidence that they were the people who had altered the tape. Since it is not possible to determine who specifically doctored the tape, no-one can be sued, but the tape itself can be suppressed.

  9. I think Harper is getting ready to call an election, and he is preempting the only scandal that touches him directly. There can be no other explanation for today’s full court press.

  10. The Conservatives are suing the Liberals and not Zytaruk because the Liberals said Harper committed a crime, not Zytaruk.

    Tom Zytaruk also isn’t renting vans with loudspeakers and driving around downtown Ottawa playing the tape demanding the Conservatives “explain the tape”.

    But most importantly, Tom Zytaruk isn’t attempting a power play with the tape in an attempt to become Prime Minister.

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