Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"The Tapes Are Entirely Not Credible Now"

The quote in the title comes from James Moore's interview with Don Newman tonight.

The more I think about this move by the Con's the odder it seems.

To Moore's chagrin, Newman actually applied logic to the bizarre press conference today and Moore, I think showed some of the Con cards by continuously going back to a statement like, 'I can't believe you're even talking about the tape Don. It's been discredited.' Hilarious. Look for that line to be repeated ad nauseum.

This still isn't making much sense though. Listen to the tape again, carefully.

It's clear at the beginning that the author is simply introducing the content of what is to follow, so yes, that is one separate piece of the tape. Though it's mumbled, (if you've seen him interviewed, he's a mumbler), Zytaruk does say something about an insurance policy and Harper says he doesn't know the details. Harper rambles on and when asked if perhaps the offer was made by fringe elements, Harper insists no, they were legitimately representing the party. He continues to ramble, then suddenly you hear a car start. Presumably that was Harper's car with staff, in the driveway where they were talking and no doubt it was Harper's cue to make an exit, (white noise?). It sounds to me like the car was backing closer to Harper as they spoke.

Now here it gets odd. Zytaruk is wrapping up and says thank you for that, then, and when. The tape cuts out. Is that just Zytaruk thinking he's done and turns off the recorder? It sounds like that to me. What the when related to I'd surely like to know, but then the next portion sounds as if Harper has reinstated the conversation either from the running car or just beside it. It sounds like he has thought about his comments and wants to clarify. Look at any presser this guy has called and he does that all the time. (He says something, goes on to the next question, then tries to undo what he just said by way of clarification.) He's not the first person on the face of the planet to do this of course, but he does represent a party that is infamous for covering it's tracks.

At the end of the tape you hear Zytaruk say, 'Well thanks very much, thanks for clarif...', yes he stopped the tape again, but it's clear that Harper was clarifying.

So, we have the tape stopped twice and 'white noise', that is easily identifiable, to me at least, and that renders the tape 'doctored'? I'm no expert and I'd surely like to be paid their salary, but this is beyond ridiculous.

What is hilarious is that I would probably have never listened to the tape again, had the Con's not brought it up. Here's the other thing. We had context for this tape. We knew it was in the Cadman driveway and we knew that Harper's car was parked there. Were the experts given that context? It seems to me if you are going to have someone proclaim on these things you'd tell them all that you know.

All of that said, the question remains, why are the Con's releasing this now? I don't buy that they just got the info and had to tell the world. If that is the case they are more moronic than even I thought. Everyone is now seized with going through every detail of this story.

You could proclaim what fools they...but is there something else going on that they want everyone distracted from?

Something still tells me that this is a "shiny object" story and I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.


Anonymous said...

Cheap microcassette recorders produce all kings of spurious noise. If you read the text of the affidavit, the experts (eminently qualified) are working with a copy of a copy and not even the same deck that the tape was recorded on. They are making speculation about things, and it's the things that they weren't asked to examine that make me scratch my head.

knb said...

escapegoat, I haven't yet read the affidavit.

I'm sure they are qualified, but as you said and I stick to my point, what did they receive in terms of context?

I guess we should just ask for the terms of reference in this case.

Did the Con's include that?

catherine said...

Good analysis, knb.

Stephen Taylor has the supporting documents up on his website. I think it has copies of letters to the audio experts.

It does seem to take a fairly direct aim at the author, although the points don't seem to be that significant. Just a couple examples:

1. tape is incomplete and other part of interview was Harper saying how great Cadman was. Well, so what? If it happened, perhaps Zytaruk didn't consider that to be part of the interview and how does it change the content of the tape anyway.

2. Harper never went back to his car and then returned during the interview. I recall they have three separate sworn affidavits on this point! Well I've seen it reported that Zytaruk said that, but I've also seen it reported as Harper adding something before getting into the car. Maybe Zytaruk was a bit careless in describing exactly how far they were from the car and whether Harper was returning from or just pausing at.

Harper says he never told Zytaruk that he knew about a million dollar life insurance policy (which is compatible with the tape). And he's sticking to the repayable loan to the riding association as all that was offered.

knb said...

catherine, it's late. I'll read Taylors points tomorrow, (he has points?) and comment then.

Dr. Tux said...

So, what about Bernier not appearing before the commons committee today?

penlan said...

It seems to me that this an effort by the CON's to take the focus off the Bernier affair, Naftagate (which just came up again).

That the ethics/commons committee wants to question the Bernier situation & with Steve refusing to appear & now perhaps Bernier, they wanted to, as I said, re-focus people's attention.

Who knows. As you said, the whole thing is odd. And why are they not suing Zytaruk? He would be the obvious one to "go after".

catherine said...

Dion has said they will continue to use the tape. If, after the Sept 16 (or 18?) court date the Conservatives have requested, the judge agrees to the injunction, then they will stop using the tape. All sounds reasonable.

As Dion said, usually you want an injunction as soon as possible. The Conservatives are trying to sway the public, not the courts which they have put off for 2 1/2 months. Presumably they are hoping this will be settled out of court before then.

knb said...

catherine, I still haven't had a chance to go through all the doc's but in your first comment here, is that last para written by Taylor?

If so, it's not compatible with the tape. Zytaruk asks the PM if knew about the policy offer and Harper says, not the details.

The other two points you make are logical.

Interestingly, Dona Cadman's affidavit upholds here belief that the offer was made. She just doesn't think that Harper knew.

Geesh, how she could look into those eyes and believe a word he says is beyond me, but there you go.

knb said...

dr. tux and penlan, I think it's more than that. Afterall, most of us can focus on more than one thing.

Also, the act of not showing up at committee in itself puts that story back in the news.

No there is something more here I think.

knb said...

catherine, exactly. The more you apply logic to this thing, the less sense it makes.

knb said...

This is interesting. James Moore on Canada AM this morning said:

Chuck was struggling with cancer at the time and the PM was visiting Dona.

Chuck died in July, 2005. Harper was at Dona's in September, 2005.

This isn't a big error, but it does show that James is peddling mighty hard here and is having trouble putting forward credible responses.

Boy, I think they have made a mistake of monumental proportions here.

RuralSandi said...

I thought the polls indicated that the Cadman affair wasn't hurting the CPC too much...huh? If so, why are the CPC bringing the issue back into the minds of Canadians - does there internal polling tell a different story? Hmmm....

So-called Experts: one a Republican donator and operative and the other can't say 100% that the tape was doctored....Hmmm....

catherine said...

knb, as to my first comment, nothing I wrote here is written by Taylor. Taylor provides a pdf copy of all the documentation and I just commented on a few points made by Harper or other conservatives in the documentation (all paraphrased by me, as I didn't cut and paste anything).

All I meant by Harper's statement being compatible with the tape is that "Q: There was a million dollar life insurance policy. Do you know anything about that? A: I don't know the details. I know there were discussions" is not the same as "A: Yes, I know there was a million dollar life insurance policy offered."

I was struck by the absence of any sworn statement along the lines "when I responded such and such, it was in response to a different question than is on the tape" In other words there is no smoking gun that destroys the credibility of the content of the tape.