Friday, May 11, 2007

Suicide Pilots and Double Standards

By now, everyone has heard about the arrest (and subsequent release) of Jeff Monaghan. He's the self-styled anarchist and "Suicide Pilot" punk rocker who used his low level bureaucratic job at Environment Canada to leak information about Baird's recent Enviro-Sham, er Plan.

To be sure, this guy marches to beat of his own drummer. And if he broke the law, he should face discipline commensurate to the extent of his violations. But the very public spectacle of his arrest by the RCMP and the smug satisfaction of political thugs like John Baird raises some valid questions.

Has the RCMP become politicized? Given some of its recent problems, that wouldn't be hard to imagine. After all, what was the purpose of marching in and arresting him in public - other than to create some kind of media stunt?

Do the Conservatives have a double-standard? This is more of a rhetorical question. Of course they do. But now, it applies specifically to the issue of "whistleblowers", or those who leak government documents. Hang 'em High Baird and associates are quite happy to villify the hapless Monaghan. Says Baird, the RCMP was called because the government was concerned about breaches of the public service ethics.

But what about Jeff Kroeker? Who? He was the former senior aide to Senate government leader Marjorie LeBreton who leaked hotel bills and other documents about other senators to the media.

"an all-party committee report concluded that [LeBreton's] then-assistant, Mr. Kroeker, admitted he gathered personal information on senators and leaked it to CTV, CBC and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation"

Not surprisingly, LeBreton had no comment on the issue yesterday. And the punishment for Mr. Kroeker? A strict finger wagging from an all-party committee report!

“Mr. Kroeker's conduct in gathering and disseminating the information was inappropriate and unethical,” the committee report states.

So, while Jeff Kroeker happily goes about his new job (director of communications to Helena Guergis), Jeff Monaghan is arrested in public and later released by the RCMP. The price one pays for being an anarchist...

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