09.23.2013 07:58 PM

In Tuesday’s Sun: a picture is worth 1,000 words – and one video

It’s a bit of Kremlinology admittedly, and therefore an inexact science. But that photo of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford? It’s a shocker.

To some of us, it was astonishing. Not because they have differing ideologies, of course. Both men are hardcore Conservatives. Not because there is a personal animus between the pair. Harper has previously attended Ford family barbecues to sing the mayor’s praises — and the mayor, for his part, hero-worships Harper.

Not because Harper was in Toronto to pledge dollars for Ford’s much-trumpeted subway extension to East Toronto. Harper has long enabled Ford’s subway fixation.

Not because Ford looks — as always — like a man out of place and time, flushed and staring off into space while Harper spoke.

No, the Harper-Ford photo was surprising because it happened at all.

Toronto’s mayor, as the entire planet knows by now, has been in a spot of trouble for the past few months. A Toronto newspaper and a U.S. website alleged, as fact, that they had seen a video of Ford smoking crack cocaine.

Lots of things happened after that shocker, but one thing — tellingly — didn’t happen: Ford suing the news organizations in question.

Falsely alleging a crime is the most serious form of libel. But Ford didn’t sue.

If he’d done so and won, he’d capture one of the biggest libel judgments in Canadian history. But he didn’t.

That fact, alone among many facts in the sad Rob Ford saga, said plenty.

It suggested the allegations about a crack video would remain, dogging Ford at every turn. Politicians — even fellow Conservatives — therefore did all they could to avoid being photographed with Ford.

That all ended with the Harper-Ford get-together.

There is no way on God’s green earth — none — the RCMP, and/or the Canadian law enforcement/intelligence community, would have let Harper get that close to Ford if the latter was facing an imminent criminal charge, or proof of involvement in a serious crime.

The RCMP’s Protective Policing Service is sworn to protect the prime minister in every way.

Under Harper, the Prime Minister Protection Detail has ballooned in size. New weapons, big armoured-plated vehicles and many more gun-toting Mounties are a presidential-style hallmark of the Harper era.

Most significantly, however, its mandate has remained protecting the prime minister “at all times,” in public and private. And, “the RCMP continuously assesses the security requirements, and as a matter of practice makes recommendations to the prime minister with respect to the effective delivery of security measures.”

The RCMP aren’t perfect. They have, in the past, let Harper get too close to some bad apples — most notoriously accused fraudster Arthur Porter and guilty-pleading money launderer, Nathan Jacobson.

But, since the debacle surrounding an assassination attempt on Jean Chretien in 1995, they have done a pretty good job.

So why would the Mounties allow Stephen Harper anywhere near Rob Ford?

Because they have formed the opinion that, lawsuits or not, the infamous crack video is — as its owner later told that same Toronto newspaper and U.S. website — “gone.”

Pictures say more than words. The Harper-Ford picture says plenty.

Namely, the video is gone, baby, gone.


  1. doris says:

    And we all know where that has gone. A bloody good job DecoLabels is private otherwise shareholders would be screaming bloody murder about just how much it is costing to maintain RoFo in office.

  2. dave says:

    Hm…and that Prime Minister was close to that guy Jaffer…where is Murdoch when we need him?

  3. Kelly says:

    There is zero chance there is only one copy of that video. Can you imagine how valuable a copy or two or three would be come election time?

  4. Pedro LaMonte says:

    a) protecting the Prime Minister in terms of physical security is the job of the PPS – a very blunt kind of instrument as you suggest, guns, armour, etc.; protecting him from public relations problems is not its mandate.

    b) surely the blame for the Porter debacle lies at the feet of the PMO and CSIS, i.e. zero due dilligence; after all, since the inception of CSIS, intelligence was taken away from the RCMP; it was only until the final criminal investigation that the RCMP entered the picture.

    c) in the light of the below, are you really surprised if some video was chucked into the incinerator

    Further reading:

    A secret service should be, well, secret. Ideally, both its leaders and the rank and file will be obscure; its information, data, assets, operations, hidden. The rationale behind this is ancient: “All warfare is based on deception” – Sun Tzu. If one’s secret service is an open book, the state is at the mercy of terrorists and the designs of other states and powers. The agents, double agents, the double crosses, the decoys, diversions, broken code (e.g. Ultra), are all for naught. If one’s battle plans, counterintelligence, industrial and diplomatic secrets, what you know about them and what you think you know about what they think they know about you, are as accessible as the weakest link, the intelligence community is essentially as defenseless as dodo birds.

    Canada does not have a secret service. It does have a state intelligence service that is constrained by the Security Intelligence Review Committee. SIRC members are able to access all information held by CSIS, however classified or secret. To illustrate the weakness of this weakest link system consider in 2010, Arthur Porter was appointed as the chair of SIRC.

    The National Post reported Porter had wired $200 000 in personal funds to Ari Ben-Menashe, self-professed former Israeli spy and Montreal businessman who often acts as a middleman in negotiations between the Russian Federation and developing countries. Ben-Menashe conducted multimillion-dollar consultancy deals with Zimbabwean strongman Robert “I am the Hitler of the time” Mugabe (one operation included trying to frame Morgan Tsvangarai for treason; after Tsvangarai was exonerated, Judge Paddington Garwe described Ben-Menashe, who was the prosecution’s star witness, as “rude, unreliable, and contemptuous.”) In 1989, Menashe he was accused of violating the Arms Export Control Act in the United States in attempting to sell three Israeli C-130 transport planes to Iran using a false end-user certificate in what turned out to be an FBI sting operation. In December 2012 his lavish home in Montreal was badly damaged by a firebomb. Ben-Menashe’s American business partner, Alexander Legault, was arrested on charges of racketeering, conspiracy, organized fraud, mail fraud and unregulated security in Florida and Louisiana.

    Porter and his family have mining stakes in Sierra Leone, a country mired in corruption and brutal violence; he was named by the president to the position of Ambassador Plenipotentiary; a rare title defined as someone who has the authority to represent a head of state. Porter and his wife Pamela Mattock were detained by Interpol agents in Panama on May 27, 2013, after an investigation by the Sureté du Québec, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol). He faces charges in Canada of fraud, conspiracy to commit government fraud, abuse of trust, secret commissions and laundering the proceeds of a crime. She is facing charges of laundering the proceeds of a crime and for conspiracy. The fraud against the Quebec government is related to his alleged role in the handling of a $1.3-billion Montreal hospital construction and maintenance contract. The contract was awarded to SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., the engineering giant deeply involved in the Quebec corruption scandal. SNC-Lavalin signs deal with Bahamas-based Sierra Asset Managements to help secure the lucrative MUHC super hospital contract. The company, which has alleged ties to Porter, was paid $22.5 million in consulting fees from SNC over the years. Police allege the consulting fees were actually kickbacks.

    SNC-Lavalin has a colourful history. The son of dictator Col. Muammar Gaddafi was paid $160-million in kickbacks for steering major contracts in Libya to SNC-Lavalin police are alleging – Gaddafi, sugar daddy to Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, As-Sa’iqa, the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, and the Abu Nidal Organization, Black September, the Black Panther Party, Nation of Islam, Tupamaros, 19th of April Movement and Sandinista National Liberation Front in the Americas, the Provisional Irish Republican Army, Action directe, ETA, the Red Brigades, and the Red Army Faction in Europe, and the Armenian Secret Army, Japanese Red Army, Free Aceh Movement, and Moro National Liberation Front.

    Why would the Prime Minister appoint an individual who was not only a dual national, but representative of the head of another state? Due diligence? Basic intelligence literacy, competency? What caliber an intelligence service with the potential to be so easily compromised. Indeed, there is no public evidence there has been any investigation into to whether or not the intelligence service has been compromised; anyone with any counterintelligence competency would understand it is SOP to assume that is has been compromised until proven otherwise. A functioning secret service, especially the counterintelligence wing, must be radically negative, skeptical – guilt by association is the default until hard evidence has proven otherwise. Trust no one.

    Mind, these failures likely reflect the profound willful blindness of the powers-that-be. Queen Elizabeth knighted Robert Mugabe. Despite being banned from the EU, Mugabe still finds refuge in Vatican City. Former Prime Minister Paul Martin said Gaddafi was a ‘‘philosophical man with a sense of history” – perhaps Martin was emulating Gaddafi when he staged his own bloodless coup within the Liberal Party. More evidence our leaders have a special place for genocidal maniacs in their personal wars against their own troublesome populations – rule by decree is the order of the day – note Parliament is ritually prorogued again. As an aside, it is disquieting the Ben-Menashe as an Israeli/Jew, seems completely untroubled to befriend the most virulent of anti-Semitic and racist/tribal actors.

    On June 14, 2012, Chuck Strahl was appointed to serve a 5-year term as chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee. Mark Strahl succeeded his father Chuck Strahl as nominee for the Conservative Party in the riding of Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon. The nomination process, which is usually 4 weeks, lasted only a week. During the nomination Mark Strahl was endorsed by Preston Manning, who said “Mark Strahl – by virtue of his family background …is well prepared for service in the House of Commons.”

    Consider, “In late February 1991, Bill Dunphy exposed in the Sun the fact that Droege and four other Heritage Front (more Hitlerites) activists maintained memberships in Toronto area Reform Party riding associations.” (Kinsella). “The Source said that a few days before the Mississauga rally, Wolfgang Droege had said to Grant Bristow (the CSIS operative): “I need your help to do security for the Reform Party . Just prior to the Mississauga rally, on June 10, 1991, it was learned that Overfield was one of the Directors of the Beaches – Woodbine Reform Party riding association. Overfield had stated that he had a couple of men who were going to handle (i.e. protect) Manning because the police were refusing to give any assistance…. Droege too was to later say to the Review Committee that “their (Heritage Front) involvement, however, was not questioned by the Reform Party; the HF was ‘not an issue’, even though we were one of the main organizers”. (Report to the Solicitor General of Canada Security Intelligence Review Committee December 9, 1994). SIRC – Strahls – Manning – Heritage Front (Hitlerites like Mugabe) – Droege to – SIRC; and we complete the circle. A Canadian Reichstag Fire could unlock a turnkey rule by decree regime – again.

    Further complicating matters, is Canada’s traitor protecting and antiquated libel laws; like in the UK where traitors like Anthony Blunt knew they could rest secure that even if probing journalist found the truth, they couldn’t publish it. Frankly, it is open season on the Canadian State. One recalls Aldrich Amers or Kim Philby as head of the counterintelligence desks of the very regions they were actually working for. It’s the oldest question: who can spy on the spy of the spies? Apparently not the PMO, the Privy Council, or CSIS. Trust no one.

  5. Jnap says:

    what about Bruce Carson? his court case is coming up in a year, no?
    i think that Harper wants the suburban Toronto vote so badly that he would gladly appear with Ford and his “subway to the suburb” project. Also Ford is still popular. With some people. in suburbs maybe.
    meanwhile Manitoba gets only one-third of that $ amount for its huge flood damage bill. That may be because Manitoba has been taken for granted as totally Conservative for far too long.
    just speculations on my part.

  6. deb s says:

    oh well, its only a matter of time before he is found in an alleyway drunk. There are alot of handlers but he still seems to escape for a romp, so yeah til next time. Drug addicts and alcoholics are ticking timebombs, ford will get caught out again and the whole world is watching now.

  7. Evan says:

    Interesting and compelling but I thought some weeks ago you said you had confirmation from sources that the video exists and is with the crown.

    • Warren says:

      I did. Was true.

      Could steps have been taken in the interim to dispose of whatever was in the control of a few? Of course.

      • lukev says:

        So what you’re saying is, that the RCMP wouldn’t let a criminal near the PM… unless they destroyed the video they have already seen proving the crime?

        I don’t follow.

        If the crown had the video but destroyed it, how does that make the guy any safer to be around?

      • Steven says:

        David Price keeps his job as “Director of Logistics” for Ford, despite all the trouble he’s in which he’s been.

        Ford says what goes on in his Office is nobody’s business.

  8. Andrew says:

    This all sounds very Ministry of Truth.

  9. smelter rat says:

    Some days I learn so much on this site.

  10. Chris says:

    Ford hasn’t sued because he is not a bebe la la like you Warren who sues everytime somebody in the sandbox throws a lil bit of mud at him.

  11. Robert says:

    We have linked your blog onto out website at looniepolitics.com.
    Good column Warren.

  12. Robert says:

    We have linked your blog onto our website at… looniepolitics.com.
    Good column Warren.

  13. patrick says:

    Nah! Ford is no threat to Harper.
    First, the RCMP is not going to let Ford play with matches, sharp sticks or yoyos while he’s close to Harper.
    Second, Ford’s incompetence and drug use will not get in the way of Harper throwing money at a core of people who believe that subways and LRTs is a political debate between left and right as oppose to a debate on the best way to spend money to move as many people as possible through a city. Harper can buy off a group of people with money that probably won’t get spent, if Ford remains true to form, and can be retracted at the earliest convenience.
    So it’s win, win.
    Ford is irrelevant.

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