Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A huge story being overshadowed by the Bernier resignation

Jim Travers yesterday had a "bombshell" of a story, with sources pointing to PMO personnel directly for leaking the diplomatic memo on Obama to a chummy Republican contact of theirs. "Multiple sources" were apparently not happy in the wake of the Privy Council Office's report last week that seemed to clear Ian Brodie and Michael Wilson but dump on Foreign Affairs without fingering the real trail. And it seems they decided to talk to Travers:
Fingers are pointing at Conservatives close to Stephen Harper for leaking a diplomatic memo that badly embarrassed Barack Obama and put Canada's vital cross-border interests at risk. Multiple sources say the Canadian note questioning the Democrat frontrunner's public promise to reopen NAFTA was leaked from the Prime Minister's Office to a Republican contact before it made American headline news.

Their claims come days after an internal probe threw up its hands at finding the source. Contradicting Friday's inconclusive report, they claim the controversial memo was slipped to the son of Wisconsin Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner. Frank Sensenbrenner is well connected to Harper's inner circle and, at Ottawa's insistence, was briefly on contract with Canada's Washington embassy to work on congressional relations.
The motive was self-interested right wing politics, par for the course for the Harper acolytes:
"This was a very deliberate piece of business for political purpose," one of the sources said. "It puts political ideology ahead of what's good for the country."
The ultimate route to the AP?
The PMO was not on the original foreign affairs distribution list. An analyst in Lynch's office gave the memo to a PMO official on Feb. 27 who then shared it with a colleague. A day later it was passed to Brodie. There is no evidence Brodie forwarded the memo himself, but by noon March 2 AP was in touch with the embassy seeking clarification.
From Lynch's office to the PMO, to the Republican operative Frank Sensenbrenner, to the AP.

Now why didn't we read about that in the Lynch Privy Council investigative report?

"Multiple sources" outing the PMO's involvement. Wow. A backlash against a whitewash.

(More on Sensenbrenner in the Star today.)