Tuesday, June 26, 2012

RailGate Neverending: Why The Basi Memos Mean Less Than Zero To Me.



I know at least a few of the folks who stop by here occasionally, or even regularly, are not going to like what I have to say in this post.

But I honestly think it needs to be said.


Are you ready?

OK, here goes.....

For perhaps this one and only time I cannot disagree, in the main, with the utterances of Premier Christy Clark's press secretary, Ms. Sara MacIntyre, about a 'Memo to File' written by Mr. David Basi,  as quoted by Michael Smyth in his column last night:

...In the memo, Basi said Clark — deputy-premier at the time — often pressed Virk for details on the B.C. Rail privatization process, and that lobbyists involved in the deal later repeated the information Virk had given to Clark “word for word.”

Clark has vehemently denied leaking cabinet secrets and she also excused herself from any votes or cabinet discussions on the deal because her then-husband, Mark Marissen, was doing work at the time for CIBC World Markets, which handled the privatization process for the government.

Clark’s press secretary, Sara MacIntyre, said Basi’s memo should not be trusted.

“This is a ‘memo-to self’ written by the man who would plead guilty to being the source of leaking confidential information and breach of trust,” MacIntyre said.

“This supposed memo was written when he himself was leaking. It’s the fabrication of a criminal. And it’s completely inconsistent with every shred of evidence gathered by investigators.”...


Why do I agree with most of what Ms. MacIntyre had to say?

(Update Tues pm Please note: I do have a problem with the last sentence of the statement - see the post-script at the bottom of the post, a subject that Ms. Clark herself was, at least based on Jonathan Fowlie's report in the VSun today, was careful to stay very far away from)

Because, as I've said before, at the time that Mr. Basi was writing his 'Memos to File', a number of which have been published online by Mr. Alex Tsakumis, he was also actively taking bribes from Mr. Erik Bornman(n) then a lobbyist along with Mr. Brian Kieran and Mr. Jamie Elmhirst in the PR firm 'Pilothouse'.

More specifically, the latest 'Memo to File' to surface, was apparently written by Mr. Basi on Oct 8th, 2003 just a few weeks before the Railgate deal went down in late Nov. 2003. In addition, it is important to remember that, while the raid on the Legislature had not yet taken place, by that time the run-up to the Railgate deal had already come under considerable public scrutiny when competing bidders started screaming about the 'fix' being in, so much so that the government had to hastily commission in, in my opinion, a very shoddy 'Fairness Advisor's' report.

Thus, at that time, when Mr. Basi wrote the following in October of 2003 just as everything was coming to head with the actual deal, it is very difficulty for a reasonable person not to surmise that he may have become concerned with the potential of his own ongoing illegal activity coming to light if there were further enquiries. Given this, it would also not be unreasonable for a reasonable person to wonder if, indeed, Mr. Basi was looking to ensure that it was clear that others may have not been on the up and up when he wrote the following:

"...I am especially concerned with the fact that our friends Bornmann, Kieran and Elmhirst have unfettered access to cabinet information via their contacts K......., C...... and deputy premier herself, Christy Clark. On several occasions Bob (Virk) has mentioned the fact that K........ and Christy have spoken to him in the hallway or pulled him aside at events to probe him for details about the process, details that clearly reveal more than a passing interest in the subject..."

Now, regarding that ongoing illegal activity that was taking place throughout the Fall of 2003, here is what Mr. Basi agreed to, along with Mr. Robert Virk, in the legally-binding 'Statement of Facts' that ended the Railgate trial in the wake of the Six Million Dollar Deal:

"...Basi received payments totaling $25,695.00 from Eric Bornman(n) during the same time that Omnitrax (the Rail company that had hired the PR firm 'Pilothouse') was bidding on the Fort Nelson line and the Freight Division (of BC Rail)..."

But that is not the last of it, from a chronological point of view at least.

The following is a summary of an RCMP wiretap of a phone call between Mr. Bornman(n) (i.e. the 'briber') and Mr. Basi (i.e. one of the 'bribees') that occurred two months after Mr. Basi wrote the 'Memo' referred to above. Furthermore, the call, which took place on Dec 9th, 2003, occurred approximately two weeks after the main Railgate deal had already gone down Nov 24th, 2003 and approximately three weeks before the raid on the legislature. Importantly, summary was included by the RCMP in the original search warrant that led to Ledge Raid on Dec 28, 2003 :

"....The telephone call was between Dave BASI and Erik BORNMAN. They discuss (David Basi's cousin) Aneal BASI (who handled the cheques from Mr. Bornman(n), the funds from which subsequently flowed through to David Basi). 

BASI asks "Aneal's thing'll be starting up again this month, right?" 

BORNMAN says that "we were gonna have a chat about that, right?" 

BORNMAN says that "he hasn't forgotten" and that BASI "shouldn't feel bad about reminding him". 

BASI says "hopefully the reminders will get bigger and bigger in the future"

(T)o which BORNMAN replies "yes, um"......


In my opinion, this call which, again, was part of an RCMP search warrant that was later made public by the judge in the Railgate pretrial (and then, in full, unredacted form, much later after the trial was haulted), indicates that, in addition to his willful taking of bribes during the period when he wrote the 'Memos' (ie. in the fall of 2003) before the deal went down, Mr. Basi was also asking for even more (and in larger sums) AFTER the big* deal had been consumated.

Thus, in my considered opinion, Mr. Basi very likely had his own self-interest in mind when he wrote those memos.

Thus, again in my opinion, the memos, on their own, are not of any significance or import in terms of determining whether or not Ms. Christy Clark (or other members of the BC Liberal government of the time) leaked cabinet documents or information in the run-up to the selling-off of BC Rail to CN Rail.


Put another way, getting to the bottom of this requires the use of separate documentation and evidence that is not tainted by self-interest.


Finally, before anyone goes ballistic, I am not in anyway suggesting that separate documentation and evidence is NOT available (including some of that which Mr. Tsakumis and others have already published, and which I will have more to say about in a future post)....It's just that I honestly believe that it would be a mistake to rely upon Mr. Basi's self-interested memos as the basis for pushing for a public inquiry and, frankly, I am surprised that a number of the members of the Lotuslandian pro-media have chosen to wurlitzer the one individual memo rather than the actual documentary evidence of Ms. Clark's potential involvement at the time she was Deputy Premier....Then again, what do I know given that I am just one more member of a wild-eyed, know-nothing 'cult'?
*For aficionados and card-card carrying cult members, only.....Please do not forget that in Dec. of 2003 the 'smaller' deal (ie. the 'Spur Line/Consolation Prize' was still in play)...And the company that Bornman(n) and other fine folks that Pilothouse were working for was, apparently, still in the game....Right?



Grant G said...

Yes indeed Ross K....As you noticed in my last post, I did praise AGT for "raising the roof" at cknw, anybody who can keep the BC Rail story lively is also appreciated..

In that memo to file..Bobby Virk tells Dave Basi that {Christy Clark probed him for details on BC Rail in the hallway and at events}

First off, cabinet secrets wouldn`t be discussed in a public hallway and public events, secondly, ..

Christy and Kim WERE PROBING BOBBY VIRK!!!!!

In other words, Bobby Virk had more information than Christy and Kim....

And there is another detail I found interesting..

In the memo to file..Bobby Virk makes mention of (MLAs asking him(booby virk)for details because constituents in individual ridings were asking questions of their MLAs about BC Rail, in other words, MLAs had to go to Basi and Virk for details, which means backbenchers, and I assume most of cabinet were left completely out of the loop..

Also Ross, no one wants Christy Clark removed more than me, however, proven liars are not to be believed at face value..

Now that I got that off my chest..

What about the documents on the Roberts bank spur, they were found at brother Bruce Clark`s residence..

Good Day

North Van's Grumps said...

If Dave Basi's memo to file is not to be trusted, then what about the plea deal that ended the Trial, and cost taxpayers $6 million that we shouldn't have paid for because Dave Basi broke the conditions of the first Indemnity by pleading GUILTY and then being rewarded under the Amended Indemnity by two Deputy Ministers.

Merv Adey said...

You're absolutely right Ross. Basi's MTF's can't be trusted on their own.

Nor can Christy's denials.

It's why we need a public inquiry, and have needed it since the day we let them stay home, keep their houses and wrote off the legal bills.

Where the MSM has failed is not in knowing nothing, seeing nothing, hearing nothing...it's in not asking the questions. Keith Baldrey says smoke is not proof of fire, but dammit, he should be looking for a fire.

Eleanor Gregory said...

Well said.

Ron S. said...

I don't know about you guys but I have yet to see smoke without a fire in my 68 years on earth. Unless it's a smoke screen hiding something and even that, I assume, requies some heat. What else can make smoke without heat? Please enlighten me.

Anonymous said...

Of course his memo's to self are in self interest and make perfect sense in that regard. What about the statement of facts entered in the guilty plea he entered, should that be viewed also in the manner you paint the memo's? If and when he testifies under oath, a competent person will make the decision to regard the testimony as reliable or not, until then you are just untrained trier of fact.

Let me make it clearer, E.B admitted briber, however granted immunity from prosecution for cooperation and testimony. Even the RCMP know that once a liar does not always a liar make, naive...or what?

kootcoot said...

I for one Ross am not at all upset with your views here, I too, like Grant find it intriguing that such a high ranking cabinet member as our now pretend premier was then would be chasing down a lowly aide for information. But then, when the principals in the rotten and likely illegal deal had to cover their own ass against possible prosecution it shouldn't be surprising that high ranking cabinet members, much less humble trained seal backbenchers would be left out of the loop.

Merv, Keith Baldry wouldn't recognize a fire if it was burning his ass, if doing so meant betraying his masters in the LIEberal Crime Family.

Ron S. - the only thing I can think of that can create smoke without fire is dry ice - but I doubt that is the cause of the BC Rail Smoke and damn it, maybe now I gave Christy, Patty CanISellya and the Ferret an out - I can hear it now, nothing to see here, just dry ice leaking from refrigerated BC Rail Cars!

I would suggest the reason this particular memo is touted as so impo(r)tant is because it was published by the self professed most impo(r)tant blogger in North America if not the galaxy.

The simple fact is we need an inquiry, we thought we would get answers from the trial, silly us.

Christy and crew, my message to y'all is people with nothing to hide don't bother hiding stuff. So tell Ms. Helmet Head Bond to quit continuing the now ten year old battle against disclosure and "SHOW ME THE MONEY," or should I say the giant sized one billion dollar cheque and the agreement which yielded it - for starters!

Don F. said...

All the presumptions and questions in the world mean nothing until an inquiry into the whole of the BC rail sale and it's ending happens.
As for reasons to have one... The way the trial concluded with the public's payment of all legal fees is enough, the witnesses unheard because of the deal, must be heard!
The blatant refusal to supply court ordered files to the Auditor General, files he needs to complete his duties to the public, is enough to warrant a full inquiry on it's own merit.
All of the above shows total disregard for the public purse and obvious corrupt practice on this governments part. If there is no recourse for this our whole justice system should be deemed a sham.
As for the memo of Dave Basi, it was before the raid and he had, at that time, no reason to falsley report what he wrote. At face value it should make us all question Christy Clarkes involvement and her statements to media during her leadership campain.Lying to the public should not be considered a small tactical error.