If I have painted a picture of the RCMP and the former Chretien Liberal government reacting rather than leading in the Airbus Affair investigation into possible corruption of former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, then who have been the driving forces behind the events that have dogged and irked Mr. Mulroney for so long and may still reignite?
When the Mulroney conservatives ascended to power in 1984 on a platform of economic privatization and free trade with the United States, and were perceived as practising politics more closely identified with that of the rightwing Mr. Ronald Reagan in the United States and Mrs. Margaret Thatcher in Great Britain, the connections between the conservatives’ politics and their business and personal lifestyles naturally became subjects of scrutiny by the traditionally left-leaning Canadian media. 37 Since that early days the press media have regularly exposed facts as well as innuendos, while the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s The Fifth Estate TV program has relentlessly pursued some of the harder topics. 38
Mulroney’s approach to politics in the end proved extremely unpopular with most Canadians. The Progressive Conservative Party he had led for ten years, 1983-1993, nine of which as prime minister with two consecutive terms of parliamentary majority, a party once led by the founding prime minister of Canada Sir John A. MacDonald, in the October 25, 1993 election under his successor, the first female Canadian prime minister Kim Campbell, won only two parliament seats. 39
Oppositions to Mulroney’s politics from the sprawling federal government system and its affiliates came even sooner, as in the 1988 election his party’s candidates were already wiped out from the national capital Ottawa and its surrounding urban areas in Eastern Ontario, keeping only one parliament seat in a rural riding; such sentiments were apparently not merely partisanship as his government had been rocked by a never-ending string of scandals resulting in the firing or resignation of eight cabinet ministers in a short time-span from 1985 to 1988. 40
Given this background of history it is obvious that it was politically appealing in 1995 for the Justice Department to take a hard line when it was approached by the RCMP to initiate cooperation with the Swiss authorities in the Airbus Affair investigation; as for the real story of how the Justice Department letter dated September 29, 1995 and signed by senior counsel Kimberly Prost – another woman – came to include the reference “criminal activities carried out by the former prime minister”, it has never been adequately explained, i.e., who was, or were, behind the criminally accusatory language that would result in a $50 million defamation lawsuit from Mr. Mulroney and over $2 million of legal-settlement costs by the government. 41
In 1996 during his civil litigation with the RCMP and the Canadian government over the Airbus Affair, Mr. Mulroney’s side expressed the view that there was a vendetta against him in the Canadian media that contributed to the RCMP criminal investigation, and his lawyers subpoenaed three top Canadian journalists to testify to find out their roles in it, who were: author and former The Fifth Estate host Stevie Cameron, The Globe and Mail newspaper columnist Susan Delacourt, and Maclean’s magazine writer Mary Janigan; all happened to be women (in addition to the three female journalists, Mulroney’s lawyers also subpoenaed the executive assistant of then justice minister Allan Rock by the name of Cyrus Reporter). 42
It is known that before the controversial letter to the Swiss authorities the RCMP had sent two investigators to Switzerland to interview Karlheinz Schreiber’s former accountant Georgio Pelossi, apparently oblivious to a requirement in the Swiss law for prior approval by the Swiss authorities; a Canadian judge later also ruled that Canadian judicial approval in advance was needed, which the RCMP had not obtained before requesting foreign authorities to search bank accounts (of Karlheinz Schreiber’s in Switzerland). 43
It is also known that media materials provided to the RCMP had been crucial in the agency’s 1995 decision to revive the Airbus Affair investigation, and that author and journalist Stevie Cameron has been generally viewed as a key person in a tireless media campaign driving the investigation, not only through her articles, books and public speaking but also her communications with the RCMP, cooperating with the RCMP since 1988 and was later officially designated a “confidential informant” by the agency. 44, 45 Cameron however has been unwilling to be treated or viewed as in cooperation with the law enforcement – the RCMP in particular – out of safety concern for her family as well as concern about some of the ways in which the RCMP have operated. 46
Not a surprise at all for Stevie Cameron to be casted as someone driving behind the RCMP Airbus-Affair criminal investigation, as she has been a leading Canadian journalist of anti-political-corruption repute ever since the early years of the Mulroney era. From a family of some background in the intelligence field, Stevie Cameron had apparently worked for a short time at the Communications Security Establishment – a Canadian intelligence agency she discussed at length in her 1989 book Ottawa inside out: power, prestige and scandal in the nation’s capital – before becoming a food and lifestyles journalist; 47 by the mid-1980s, Cameron had begun to take on assignments investigating political ethics and conduct, and she made her initial fame in this field through reporting on the lifestyles and related problems of the family of then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, in 1987 exposing the so-called Gucci-gate, i.e., Prime Minister Mulroney’s closet built to house 50 pairs of Gucci shoes, 30 suits and other personal furnishings. 48
More intriguing among what Cameron reported in 1987 than the fact that the Progressive Conservative Party helped pay for the Mulroney lifestyles, was that during those early years there were already prospects of a legal dispute with a legitimate businessperson who did services for the Mulroney family for their lifestyles, who was threatening to take the family and the government to court for money owned; but he was given career-ending threat not to pester Mr. Mulroney who being the national leader was powerful and influential. 49
The Gucci-gate and related topics of lavish personal spending (of government and party money) by then Prime Minister Mulroney and his family became a hot topic before the 1988 election, pounded upon by opposition parties and journalists alike. One of the journalists who expressed outrageous opinions at the time was Canadian columnist Barbara Amiel based in Ottawa and in London, England, who commented with considerable disdain: 50
“The problem with the Mulroneys, who are certainly bright enough to know this, is that they are still a little too lower-middle class, culturally speaking, to be able to accommodate their hungry social ambitions to this reality.”
Ms. Amiel even made a bold prediction that the many Gucci shoes would end Mr. Mulroney’s political career:
“It is an understandable failing but a failing that will bring them down. The ludicrous thing about Canada is that it is not the dreadful politics of Brian Mulroney nor his lack of principle in foreign and domestic policy that will be his undoing, but one pair of Gucci loafers too many.”
Well, Canadians all know that Mr. Mulroney was a tough leader who could not be so easily brought down by one pair of Gucci shoes too many, not in 1988 anyway, and apparently thus far has never personally lost in a general election or in the court of law.
Rather, and quite ironically, recently in 2007-08 it has been by this time Ms. Barbara Amiel’s dear husband of intellectual and trans-Atlantic fames, Canadian and international press baron Lord Conrad Black of Crossharbour, who was brought down for having – together with his associates – tens of millions of dollars too many in a way that constituted criminal fraud and not just lifestyle excess. 51
The Conrad Black case is an instance of ‘Chicago corruption’, which has been discussed in my January 29, 2009 blog article, “Greeting the New Millennium – nearly a decade late”, and which included the ongoing case of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich who is represented by the same Chicago lawyer Edward Genson who defended Conrad Black. The standard views on the Black case are different, however, and they included opinions that Black’s was a case of American justice for a Canadian crime, as well as opposite opinions that Black was harshly targeted because he was non-American. 52, 53
In any case, Ms. Barbara Amiel is fortunate that Lord Black’s high lifestyle with her as Lady Black, personally more extravagant than the lifestyle of the family of former prime minister Mulroney while in office, hasn’t contributed further misery to the life of Mr. Conrad Black in prison. 54
Moving on from her 1987 lifestyle stories on then prime minister Brian Mulroney and his family, journalist Stevie Cameron hosted the flagship broadcast program of Canadian investigative journalism, The Fifth Estate, in 1990-1991. 55
After the 1987 Mulroney-lifestyle stories Cameron also began to concentrate on a career as a book writer, specializing in investigative political journalism, and she has been growing her reputation ever since in this field, through a series of bestselling or award-winning books on subjects centred at corruptions in the era of the former Mulroney government, starting with, Ottawa inside out: power, prestige and scandal in the nation’s capital (1989; an introduction to political life and business lobbying in Ottawa, with a focus on the years of Mulroney’s first term in government, 1984-1988), then after the Mulroney era had ended, On the take: crime, corruption and greed in the Mulroney years (1994; a book credited with bringing to public attention the Airbus Affair and contributing to the revival of the RCMP criminal investigation), then after the government’s 1997 legal settlement with Mulroney on his defamation lawsuit, Blue trust: the author, the lawyer, his wife, and her money (1998; the real-life stories of Montreal tax lawyer Bruce Verchere, whose father had been a British Columbia supreme court justice, and who was entrusted with supervising Brian Mulroney’s personal business affairs while Mulroney was prime minister, stories about Verchere’s manner of business, his Swiss and Vatican bank connections, his marital infidelities and dispute with his wife who was a successful computer-software businesswoman, and his ultimate suicide in August 1993 – only two months after his appointment as chairman of Atomic Energy Canada Limited by Mr. Mulroney the day before Mulroney was to step down as prime minister), and finally, The last amigo: Karlheinz Schreiber and the anatomy of a scandal (2001; a book co-authored with then CBC The Fifth Estate producer Harvey Cashore, describing various international business and political-bribery activities of German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber). 56
The last in the above series of books from author Stevie Cameron has been proven very credible by Karlheinz Schreiber’s own disclosures and revelations of facts in the last few years. Ms. Cameron’s reputation as a courageous and solid investigative journalist doggedly on the money trails of former prime minister Brian Mulroney and German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber has been firmly established.
Ms. Cameron herself is also sure that the persons she has been chasing view her in this way as well, as she has been quoted as saying on November 13, 2007: 57
“Would I be at the top of Mulroney’s list of journalists? You bet. In a letter Schreiber wrote to Mulroney on Jan. 29 this year, he said, ‘All my personal problems began with Stevie Cameron’s book On The Take and Allan Rock’s political witch hunt with the RCMP against you.’”
For Stevie Cameron, the story of Bruce Verchere, former prime minister Brian Mulroney’s tax lawyer, has continued to be a subject of intense interest, as Ms. Cameron posted a blog article about him as recently as on February 26, 2008; in her blog article, Cameron made it clear that when Mulroney was the Prime Minister he had a “lawyer in Geneva, Switzerland” (something Mr. Mulroney’s spokesman denied when Karlheinz Schreiber first said it in 2006-07, as mentioned in an earlier part of this blog article), and that as explained the day before on February 25, 2008 by Mr. Schreiber in front of the parliamentary ethics committee this lawyer was Mulroney’s tax lawyer Bruce Verchere, who was also his financial trustee while he was serving as prime minister. 58
The reason for then prime minister Brian Mulroney’s Canadian lawyer to be referred to as his lawyer in Switzerland is that Bruce Verchere was also the Canadian lawyer representing the Swiss bank where (in a branch in Zurich, Switzerland) Mr. Schreiber opened bank accounts for Airbus commissions and other funds including his now famous $300,000 given to Mulroney in 1993-94. 59, 60, 61
While her books have been either bestselling or award-winning (receiving book-of-the-year accolades), Author Stevie Cameron’s relentless pursue of possible corruption on the part of former prime minister Brian Mulroney in the Airbus Affair has also drawn her criticisms, ridicules and even verbal attacks.
One major category of criticisms levelled at Cameron has been that she collected all kinds of information she could get, including innuendos, rumors and gossips, and presented them as facts against Mulroney, and that she was a “conspiracy theorist”, “gratuitous” or even “mean-spirited” targeting Mulroney; varying degrees of this view have been expressed by many of her critics, notably author William Kaplan, columnist Philip Mathias of the National Post/Financial Post newspapers and Tory Senator Marjorie LeBreton. 62
National Post columnist Gerald Owen went as far as comparing Cameron (and the American prosecutors in the Conrad Black case) to “ancient sycophants” bent on persecuting the rich and powerful out of envy more than out of justice. 63
A second type of criticisms of Stevie Cameron has implied that she had a personal (i.e., family) grudge against Brian Mulroney because when Mulroney became prime minister in 1984 it ended the career of her husband David Cameron as a federal government official in Ottawa, “an assistant under-secretary of state” (i.e., assistant deputy minister) specializing in constitutional and federal-provincial relation issues. 64, 65
Another category of criticisms of Cameron has touched on her Presbyterian background, hinting that she was a “self-righteous self-flatterer”, and yet in another view was of “Victorian sensitivity” and “inbred puritanism of the old Ottawa establishment” – and that some of her writing sounded like “a Presbyterian spinster’s detailed account of an orgy in the choir loft”. 66
A most interesting, rather lengthily outspoken and contemptuous attack on Stevie Cameron has come directly from Conrad Black, who was owner of the National Post newspaper in 1998 when he penned a review of William Kaplan’s book, Presumed Guilty: Brian Mulroney, the Airbus Affair, and the Government of Canada. Mr. Black referred to the RCMP Airbus Affair criminal investigation as “a disgraceful abuse of police and ministerial powers”, stated that Stevie Cameron’s “pathological hatred of Mulroney was notorious”, and described certain controversy about Cameron to do with leaked RCMP information – which the government had used as reason for settling Mulroney’s libel lawsuit – as that Cameron “febrilely promoted” the RCMP criminal investigation and then “double-crossed” the investigator Staff Sgt. Fraser Fiegenwald as well as the RCMP legal defence for the lawsuit because she was not willing to “identify her source under oath or alternately face contempt charges” in court: 67
“Because she didn’t wish to have to identify her source under oath or alternately face contempt charges, she destroyed the feeble defence the government had against the man she had obsessively assaulted journalistically for years and she ratted on her police informant. Eventually, impartial history will have to record that for Brian Mulroney to have had such enemies was a badge of honor.
Justice was ultimately done, in that Mulroney was vindicated but most of the wrongdoers went unpunished. Only the RCMP sergeant paid with his job, doublecrossed by Ms. Cameron, the beneficiary of his misconduct, retiring the day before his disciplinary hearing, (with a full pension).”
Black also unabashedly declared that his notion of media ownership had much to do with power struggles directly related to the issue of how former prime minister Brian Mulroney should be treated by the media:
“The smugness of the public and the venality of much of the press are more worrisome. They are closely related. The publisher of the Toronto Star, the ne plus ultra of Canadian soft-left hypocrisy, unselfconsciously announced that he had “got away with” luridly partisan reporting of the case. Among the least distinguished journalistic performances were some of the Southam newspapers, especially the Ottawa Citizen (except for Greg Weston) and the Montreal Gazette. They are now under new management, for which this reviewer has some authority to speak. When tested next on such a fundamental question of justice, we will do better.”
Such barely veiled warnings from the powerful press baron Conrad Black prompted newspaper columnist John MacLachlan Gray to comment unambiguously that Black wanted to have Stevie Cameron “put in jail” and turn Canadian journalists into “toy soldiers”. 68 Also in reaction to Conrad Black’s comments, The former RCMP Airbus Affair investigator Fraser Fiegenwald sent a letter to Stevie Cameron issuing a denial that he had been betrayed by Cameron in anyway. 69
Even though Stevie Cameron had not always answered her critics directly she took Conrad Black very seriously, and she took steps, fierily and determinedly, to answer Mr. Black’s accusations. Cameron wrote an article in which she called Conrad Black “Brian Mulroney’s new champion” and recounted the kind of denigrating language Black had used in his criticisms of her and the RCMP: 70
“Black has emerged as Brian Mulroney’s new champion and the old contempt and patronizing dismissals of Mulroney which litter his autobiography have vanished. But not his contempt for investigative journalists, whom he has described as “swarming, grunting jackals” and police officers he calls “gasconading dupes” and “fascistic palookas.””
Cameron then publicly denied that any leaked information in question had come to her from Fraser Fiegenwald or anyone in the RCMP:
“For the record, none of the fascistic palookas at the RCMP told me Mulroney was a target named in the letter sent by the Justice Department to Swiss authorities. Especially not Staff Sgt. Fraser Fiegenwald, a fine and honourable investigator who had the bad luck to serve as the Airbus investigation’s chief press spokesman. It was his job to talk to me and other reporters.”
Cameron also stated clearly that contrary to Black’s assertion she was ready and willing to testify in court:
“For the record, I never asked anyone to go to government lawyers and tell them I’d received a leak from a police officer. For the record, I had worked hard to prepare for the libel trial and was ready for it. For the record, I was not afraid to testify.”
In addition to replying to Conrad Black’s scathing criticisms through her newspaper articles, Stevie Cameron took an unusual step to counter what she felt was a “smear campaign” against her coming from Black’s media ownership power, by bringing a complaint to the journalist organization Canadian Journalists for Free Expression; Cameron accused that Conrad Black had put “his attack dogs at the National Post“, which had published several stories attacking her, and that Black had used his power as “chairman of Hollinger Inc. and chairman and CEO of Southam Inc., who owns some 58 Southam and Hollinger newspapers in Canada”, to have those newspapers in an organized effort not publish review articles on her 1998 book, Blue trust: the author, the lawyer, his wife, and her money; the board of directors of the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression responded to Stevie Cameron’s concern by deciding that the organization would “monitor” Conrad Black’s actions. 71
Apparently, as of today nothing really bad has occurred to Stevie Cameron in this contest of journalistic wills between ‘the David and the Goliath’, i.e., between her and Conrad Black.
On the other hand, Conrad Black is currently sitting in a U.S. jail serving time for fraud and obstruction of justice that have taken place within his media ownership. The irony is that it has been the American justice system, which the leftwing Canadian journalists tended to belittle, that has done Lord Conrad Black in.
It has been on my mind though, that as much as some of the criticisms on her crusade against political corruption connected to former prime minister Brian Mulroney and/or his inner circle have been unfair to, or too harsh on Stevie Cameron, the criticisms as cited above did have certain relations to Ms. Cameron’s backgrounds, and as such in a critical way they have in effect reflected the importance of her relevant backgrounds to her accomplishments in her chosen crusade.
Regarding her “conspiracy theorist” mindset and her relatively liberal use of materials, Ms. Cameron’s background and interest in the field of intelligence may have given her a sense of liberty to include some innuendos and rumors with the facts in her documentation of corrupt activities.
Reading her books I have had the impression that Ms. Cameron did have a liking in quoting or citing persons in the social environment of a main character in a book, where the opinions or statements were not always verified with sufficient facts; and she did have a tendency to suggest the existence of regular patterns as well as of collaborations among persons behind the scenes, especially as they relate to corrupt practices, without presenting, or possibly even being in possession of, evidence to substantiate them.
That brings to mind that Ms. Cameron’s father, Whitey Dahl, had a colorful and adventurous life with some intriguing mysteries possibly to do with working with the CIA (including playing golf often with former CIA director Allen Dulles and befriending others in that agency), who died in an airplane crash when Stevie Cameron was only 12 years old, and that she has had a genuine fascination for her father’s life story and had even chosen to become a member of the “spy” community early in her career, dropping out only when she found out that she wasn’t good at her job of technical code-breaking of Russian radio communications. 72
It is entirely possible that someone with Ms. Cameron’s background, knowledge and experience has the tendency to suspect more, to try to get at more, and to suggest that there was more, than has met the eye. The point is where a line should be drawn in the judgment of the writer in investigative journalist documentation; and on that Ms. Cameron has been at least as much a political journalist as she was an investigative journalist.
On the lighter side of a serious note, as much as her books are viewed as hard-hitting in Canada, Stevie Cameron has been quite tame, albeit sensationalist, when compared to some of the American intellectuals who had similar backgrounds in the apparatus of the state before turning to leftwing politics. One such scholar I have mentioned in the Notes of my January 29, 2009 blog article, “Greeting the New Millennium – nearly a decade late” (in the context of the story of the ‘mad’ mathematician John F. Nash), is Dr. Chalmers Johnson, who was a political science professor at the University of California, Berkeley, when I was a mathematics Ph. D. student there. Like Cameron, Johnson had a background in the intelligence arena, having done consultant work for the CIA for a number of years in the past; also like Cameron, Johnson has published a series of books developing his views on a set of related topics, in his case critiques of what he viewed as the imperialist aspects of American foreign policies based on dominance through global presence of the U.S. military; in particular, Johnson considered dangers of terrorism against the United States as a type of “blowback” counter-effect to such policies, and warned the public about such and others in the first book (of this series), Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, published in year 2000, i.e., prior to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on American soil. 73
For the interest of readers of this blog article, though, that also befits the more common type of alienation displayed by Canadians toward the U.S., I quote here from an article of Dr. Chalmers Johnson’s for The Japan Times newspaper – written in March 2002, i.e., after 9/11 and the world’s responses to the terrorist attacks but before the Iraq war – in which he made a comparison of president George W. Bush’s hawkishness and notion of “faith” with certain disgraceful deeds of a 19th-century pioneering European Protestant missionary in East Asia, the Rev. Karl Gutzlaff of Germany: 74
“In his “axis of evil” speech of Jan. 29, 2002, Bush succeeded in scuttling the emerging hopes for peace on the Korean Peninsula. In Seoul, amid pomp and obfuscation, while he blathered on about Laura, terrorism, democracy, worship, and “the family,” South Koreans may have wondered what he really had in mind. They no doubt feared that they had entrusted their fate to the village idiot.
It was in China, however, that the president gave an Olympic gold medal demonstration of insensitivity and cultural rudeness. In a speech to students of one of China’s most distinguished universities, he said: “America is a nation guided by faith. Someone once called us ‘a nation with the soul of a church.’ Ninety-five percent of Americans say they believe in God, and I’m one of them.”
Bush apparently has no knowledge of the role Christian missionaries played in the imperialist exploitation of China. Missionaries were active in the opium trade. It was a German Protestant, Karl Gutzlaff, who introduced opium to north China. The British and Americans, who pioneered the illegal import of opium into China, used the doctrine of “free trade” as a cover for their activities. One of the reasons the Chinese empire resisted reform for so many decades was that toleration of Christianity, as the Western powers demanded, meant surrendering to the purveyors of filth and crime.”
I hasten to say that although some of Rev. Karl Gutzlaff’s mistakes in mixing the opium trade with missionary work in China have long been recognized by the Christian community – for someone Rev. Gutzlaff’s statue and distinction who in history was also the first to bring the Bible to Thailand and to Japan in their native languages – I owe part of my maternal family cultural heritage to a (German) Swiss Basel missionary who and whose (Swedish) Swiss Basel fellow missionary were the first to China in the history of their organization, founding a pioneering church in my maternal grandmother’s ancestral village in southern coastal China in 1849 after having been recruited to China by Rev. Karl Gutzlaff; but the Swiss Basel missionaries were among the first missionaries to break with Guztlaff and expose some of his problems once they realized, and got a handle on, the prevalence of opium-trade deception in Guzlaff’s Christian organization – the Chinese Union. 75
Knowledge and experience in subjects such as insider politics and security-and-intelligence were unquestionably important for what author-academic Chalmers Johnson and author Stevie Cameron have been able to embark on and achieve. I personally have no such background, or credential, and perhaps that is why when I tried dabbling in politics my moderate yet enthusiastic efforts brought nothing but personal misery. 76
37. Strictly speaking the 1984 election had not been fought on the Tories’ platform for the future, but rather they pursued their agendas once elected under Brian Mulroney, see: Lawrence Martin, “Tories take the glove off: Mulroney rejects ‘inexperience’ tag as Clark joins attack”, June 3, 1983, The Globe and Mail; William Johnson, “Canada tests free trade waters”, September 25, 1984, The Globe and Mail; James Rusk, “Tory cuts will leave no stone unturned”, October 1, 1984, The Globe and Mail; Bruce Little, “Guidelines set for life under the Tories”, October 29, 1984, The Globe and Mail; Victor Malarek, “Cuts first broadside on social spending, welfare critics believe”, November 10, 1984, The Globe and Mail; James Rusk, “PM’s support on Star Wars pleases U.S.”, February 2, 1985, The Globe and Mail; Sir Charles Pickthorn, “London: Fighting old wars adds to delusions about West’s own record”, May 11, 1985, Financial Post; and, Neville J. Nankivell, “Canada: Outlook ‘86”, November 23, 1985, Financial Post; and, Tom Axworthy, “Mulroney forgetting own book”, December 1, 1985, Toronto Star
38. The first high-level ‘scandal’ of the Mulroney years came in February 1995 only months after the September 1984 election, through newspaper revelations about defence minister Robert Coates hanging out a strip club, Tiffany’s, on November 29, 1984 while on a NATO visit in West Germany, who then resigned; see: “Stripper feels bad that ‘normal’ chat cost Coates his job”, February 14, 1995, The Gazette; and, Richard Cleroux and Jeff Sallot, “South Korean dictatorship loses Cabinet ally with exit of Coates”, March 2, 1985, The Globe and Mail. In September 1995 the CBC’s The Fifth Estate reported a more widespread and serious problem, that of tainted tuna from the company Star-Kist under various brand labels being sold in the market by the permission of fisheries minister John Fraser, who was soon fired by Mulroney but would make a surprise comeback on October 1, 1986 to become the first elected Speaker of the House of Commons; even though it took CBC weeks to broadcast the tainted-tuna story, in contrast CTV’s W-Five program held back from reporting the story while attempting to get government inspectors’ reports through a freedom-of-information process; see: Paul Taylor, “Minister ordered tainted tuna released for sale, CBC says”, September 18, 1985, The Globe and Mail; Murray Campbell,”CBC felt safe keeping lid on”, September 20, 1985, The Globe and Mail; Peter Cowan, “Mulroney fires fisheries minister who put tainted tuna on market”, September 24, 1985, The Gazette; Jim Bawden, “W5 slows down and gets better”, September 22, 1985, Toronto Star; and, Arch MacKenzie, “Tory at centre of tuna scandal wins election for Speaker’s job”, October 1, 1986, Toronto Star
39. Edward Greenspon and Ross Howard, “Election ‘93 Tory defeat worst in history; Never has governing party been so severely crushed”, October 26, 1993, The Globe and Mail; Terrance Wills, “PM pays for Mulroney’s sins”, October 26, 1993, The Ottawa Citizen; “Mulroney’s Tory legacy”, October 27, 1993, Edmonton Journal; and, William Johnson, “Tories must exorcise memory of Mulroney”, October 30, 1993, The Gazette
40. Stevie Cameron, Ottawa Inside Out: Power, Prestige and Scandal in the Nation’s Capital, pp. 56-57, 1989, Key Porter Books
41. Philip Mathias, “Justice seeks evidence on Mulroney, Moores: Mulroney denies any connection with alleged payoffs over $1.8-billion Airbus deal”, November 18, 1995, Financial Post; Estanislao Oziewicz, “Key player shuns Airbus spotlight: Kimberly Prost/ The letter she signed and sent to the Swiss has brought to the fore a woman with a reputation for integrity”, July 16, 1996, The Globe and Mail; Tim Harper and Derek Ferguson, “Airbus letter puts heat on top Mountie; Botched probe casts force in role of bumblers”, January 11, 1997, Toronto Star; and, Glen McGregor, “Truth and consequence: Kimberly Prost’s defamatory letter to Switzerland ignited Brian Mulroney’s Airbus suit. Glen McGregor asks why she has never been disciplined for a slur that cost the government more than $2 million”, November 14, 1998, The Ottawa Citizen
42. Rod MacDonell and Alexander Norris, “Author gave Mounties information on Airbus, Mulroney man says”, September 13, 1996, The Gazette; Edison Stewart, “Mulroney subpoena of three reporters called ‘predictable’”, September 13, Toronto Star; and, “Government calls Globe editor to testify in Mulroney libel trial: Thorsell joins list of journalists to get subpoenas in case”, December 13, 1996, The Ottawa Citizen
43. Canadian Press, “Ottawa moved illegally in Airbus probe, judge rules”, July 4, 1996, Canadian Press NewsWire; and, Tracey Tyler, “RCMP interviewers acted illegally, court told; Officers needed permission for Airbus probe”, May 31, 2000, Toronto Star
44. RCMP investigator Sgt. Fraser Fiegenwald stated in November 1995 that it was stories in “the German news magazine Der Spiegel and the CBC-TV current affairs program Fifth Estate” that prompted him to look into the allegations, starting in March 1995; Fiegenwald later also identified Stevie Cameron as an early source of information; see: Canadian Press, “RCMP taking second run at Airbus deal, after 6 years”, November 14, 1995, Canadian Press NewsWire; and, Richard Blackwell, “Cameron was crucial source, hearing told”, November 26, 2005, The Globe and Mail
45. Although journalist Stevie Cameron has played down her role in cooperating with the RCMP in the Airbus Affair investigation, the public and even the court have accepted viewing it that way; see: William Johnson, “Go get ‘em; Cameron sets fine standard for political journalism”, January 10, 1995, The Gazette; Tracey Tyler, “Journalist ‘at heart’ of probe; Cameron passed info to Mounties since ‘88, files say; Known to Mounties as ‘A2948,’ documents show”, March 4, 2004, Toronto Star; Tracey Tyler, “Judge backs RCMP in Cameron case; Ruling says police were right to treat journalist as an Airbus informant, which she has denied being”, July 6, 2007, Toronto Star; and, Julie Smyth, “Author likely tops former PM’s journalist list; Stevie Cameron has been writing about the pair since 1988”, November 14, 2007, National Post
46. Some of the reasons author Stevie Cameron has minimized to the public her role in cooperating with the RCMP in the Airbus Affair criminal investigation can be found in an article on the author’s website; two of these reasons I have found both sad and intriguing: one reason is her stated fear for safety of her two daughters, as around the time of publication of her 1994 book, On the take: crime, corruption and greed in the Mulroney years, one of them, Amy, then a Concordia University student in Montreal, was followed and threatened, and one of her publishers’ office and the typesetting company were vandalized; another reason has to do with how she was treated insensitively by the RCMP investigators around the time of her mother’s final days in hospital in Toronto when she had to be on her mother’s bedside, a story reminding me of my unintended absence during my own father’s final days at a turbulent time in 2005 when his passing happened exactly one month after the death of Frank Moores (discussed in the Notes of an earlier part of this blog article) – the RCMP got Stevie Cameron away for an interview in the morning of January 14, 1997 and at the end of the interview when she phoned the hospital she learned that her mother had already died in the middle of the interview hour; see: Kimberley Noble, “Stevie Cameron and the Mounties, 1994-2004”, website of author Stevie Cameron; and, Jazz Miller, “The Cook, the Spy, the Prof and the Scribbler”, March 1996, Ryerson Review of Journalism
47. For a brief introduction to the background of author Stevie Cameron, see: Philip Mathias, “A woman under the influence: Determined journalist: Stevie Cameron just can’t let go of Brian Mulroney”, November 21, 1998, National Post
48. For a first report of the Gucci-gate story, see: Stevie Cameron and Graham Fraser, “Tory Party fund paid $308,000 for renovations on PM’s homes”, April 16, 1987, The Globe and Mail. The “Guccigate affair” left a strong impression on people’s minds, see: Les Whittington, “Most say Mulroneys’ lifestyle is too lavish: poll”, June 6, 1987, The Gazette
49. The businessperson threatening to sue was interior designer Giovanni Mowinckel, in a dispute with Mrs. Mila Mulroney and the government over interior design costs for the Prime Minister’s official residence, see: Stevie Cameron, “Quarrel, threats apparently ended designer’s business with Mulroneys”, April 16, 1987, The Globe and Mail; Stevie Cameron, “Former designer for Mulroneys leaves debts and many unanswered questions”, April 18, 1987, The Globe and Mail; and, Stevie Cameron, “Hired for NCC job PM’s decorating bills approved by ex-butler”, April 30, 1987, The Globe and Mail
50. Barbara Amiel, “Too many shoes may prove to be Mulroney’s undoing”, April 28, 1987, The Windsor Star
51. Conrad Black and his wife Barbara Amiel were flaunting their wealth and “living beyond their means”; for that and some other facts and opinions about the case, see: Gary Norris, “Rise and fall of Lord Black: Astonishing career takes a further step into darkness”, November 18, 2005, Kingston Whig-Standard; “The breakdown on Black”, June 14, 2007, Toronto Star; Paul Waldie, “Why he fell”, July 14, 2007, The Globe and Mail; David Litterick, “Greed, arrogance toppled Black; Former media baron loses biggest battle of audacious career”, July 14, 2007, Calgary Herald; Mira Oberman, “Buccaneer Black, addicted to money, must pay for his greed”, July 15, 2007, Sydney Morning Herald; Sarah Sands, “The rise and fall of a press lord; Conrad Black’s days at the top remembered by a senior editor at the Daily Telegraph”, July 21, 2007, The Spectator; and, Richard Siklos, “Black largely to blame for his own misfortune; Attempts to refute his reputation for arrogance and show remorse too little too late to save media mogul from prison”, December 12, 2007, Edmonton Journal
52. Of the three fraud charges and one obstruction-of-justice charge for which Conrad Black was found guilty and sentenced to 6-and-1/2 years in jail, the action of obstruction of justice took place in Toronto, Canada, rather than in the United States, see: Ben Koorengevel, “U.S. court decides a Canadian crime”, July 19, 2007, The Gazette; and, “Interview with Gordon Walker”, July 22, 2007, Question Period, CTV News. Conrad Black’s business history has long been a source of disgruntlements in Canada, including about his bullying attitudes, and his attempt in the 1980s to take away $60 million pension-plan surplus from employees at Dominion supermarket stores while laying off many of them, until he was stopped by the court (although such were obviously not the same as prosecuted criminal acts), see: Ray Turchansky, “Monsanto pension ruling raises problems”, august 15, 2004, The Ottawa Citizen; Chris Cobb, “The larger-than-life Lord; Conrad Black thought himself immune to the rules that governed others, and he bullied those who pressed their case, writes Chris Cobb”, July 14, 2007, The Ottawa Citizen; Doug Draper, “Black’s sentence like an early Christmas gift”, December 21, 2007, Niagara This Week; and, Ron Varley, “Black refuses to see the pain his actions caused”, December 28, 2007, The Windsor Star
53. As Canadians often do not agree with Americans, there have been quite a few opinions expressed about Conrad Black’s treatment by the U.S. prosecution; for samples of these, see: Theresa Tedesco with files from Barbara Shecter, “U.S. prosecutors playing ‘hardball’ with Black”, July 10, 2006, National Post; Robert Fulford, “6 1/2 years; Enemies need charming, too; Magnate undone by poor PR skills; First accused of looting his company of US$500M, but convicted for offences involving US$6.1M, former publisher Conrad Black is sentenced to …”, December 11, 2007, National Post; and, Dan Gardner, “A taste of American justice; Conservatives are right that their man, Conrad Black, has been treated unjustly – but it was conservative justice policies that brought him down”, December 12, 2007, The Ottawa Citizen
54. Monica Prince, one of the jurors of the Conrad Black fraud and obstruction-of-justice trial in Chicago in 2007, was interviewed at length by the media after the guilty verdicts on some of the charges, and she stated flatly that the lifestyle issues did not influence the outcome, see: Robyn Doolittle, “Black’s lavish lifestyle not a factor, juror says; The jet, the party, the apartment – none of it affected the verdict”, July 15, 2007, Toronto Star
55. Jazz Miller, “The Cook, the Spy, the Prof and the Scribbler”, March 1996, Ryerson Review of Journalism
56. Author Stevie Cameron’s website has some information about her books and their subjects; her more recent book is on the worst serial murders in Canadian history, namely killings of Vancouver Downtown Eastside prostitutes (many of whom aboriginal women) by Robert William Pickton of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia; see: “steviecameron.com – Books”, website of author Stevie Cameron
57. Julie Smyth, “Author likely tops former PM’s journalist list; Stevie Cameron has been writing about the pair since 1988”, November 14, 2007, National Post
58. For Stevie Cameron’s comments on Karlheinz Schreiber’s statement that Mulroney’s lawyer in Geneva, Switzerland was Bruce Verchere, whose life was subject of Cameron’s 1998 book, Blue trust: the author, the lawyer, his wife, and her money, see: Stevie Cameron, “Who was Bruce Verchere? And why did Karlheinz Schreiber raise his name?”. February 26, 2008, Stevie Cameron’s Blog
59. The answer to why Bruce Verchere has been called a “lawyer in Geneva, Switzerland” by Karlheinz Schreiber can be found in Stevie Cameron’s 1998 book on Verchere; basically, Bruce Verchere was Mulroney’s tax lawyer, and also financial trustee for Mulroney’s “blind trust” when Mulroney was running the country, but at the same time Verchere was the Canadian lawyer representing, as well as a director on the Canadian board of, the same bank in Switzerland – Swiss Bank Corporation – where Karlheinz Schreiber opened bank accounts, some of which intended for Airbus money for Mulroney and Frank Moores according to Schreiber’s former accountant Georgio Pelossi, and from one of which the $300,000 for Mulroney came in 1993-94; see: “Swiss Bank Corporation (Canada)”, September 18, 1981, The Globe and Mail; Zena Cherry, “Swiss banker give lavish party”, September 21, 1981, The Globe and Mail; Stevie Cameron, Blue trust: the author, the lawyer, his wife, and her money, 1998, MacFarlane Walter & Ross; Philip Mathias, “A woman under the influence: Determined journalist: Stevie Cameron just can’t let go of Brian Mulroney”, November 21, 1998, National Post; and, Greg McArthur, “Brian Mulroney: The payments and the taxman”, October 31, 2007, The Globe and Mail
60. There are several crucial facts in Cameron’s 1998 book on Bruce Verchere that are worth commenting on here: one, Bruce Verchere’s Montreal law firm Verchere, Noel & Eddy, in 1989 (i.e., when he was the financial trustee for then prime minister Brian Mulroney) merged with Calgary law firm Bennett Jones to form a national law firm Bennett Jones Verchere, and one of the lawyers in this law firm was John C. Major, who had represented Karlheinz Schreiber in Alberta, and who later in 1991 was appointed to the Alberta Court of Appeal and then on November 13, 1992 was appointed by Mr. Mulroney to the Supreme Court of Canada; two, although Verchere and his Montreal law firm also represented the family of murdered Italian banker Roberto Calvi – dubbed “God’s Banker” for his close ties to the Vatican and the Vatican Bank – after Italy’s biggest banking scandal and the unsolved murder, the Calvi family’s Canadian lawyer initially was Arthur Campeau at Brian Mulroney’s law firm Ogilvy Renault, and changed to Verchere’s law firm when Campeau came over in August 1983 just two months after Mulroney had defeated Joe Clark to become leader of the Progressive Conservative Party in June 1983; and three, Verchere was not only tax lawyer and financial trustee for the prime minister but enjoyed extremely close friendship, accompanying Mulroney in a 1988 White House visit for President Ronald Reagan’s farewell, and was appointed chairman of Atomic Energy Canada Limited in June 1993 one day before Mulroney was to step down, and just two months before Verchere’s own suicide in August 1993; see: Jeff Sallot, “The Tory Convention: Clark lost uphill battle despite loyalty, organization”, June 13, 1983, The Globe and Mail; George Bain, “Knitting a unity quilt is Mulroney’s first task”, June 13, 1983, The Globe and Mail; Bob Hepburn, “Gala guests feted in style”, April 28, 1988, Toronto Star; Terrence Wills, “Salesman’ PM can’t peddle acid-rain cuts”, April 28, 1988, The Gazette; Sean Fine, “Profile: A ‘lawyer’s lawyer’ ascends to the top court; The latest appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada has been greeted with much controversy. Here’s how the country’s legal community feels about the newcomer on the bench”, January 23, 1993, The Globe and Mail; Canadian Press, “Bruce Howe named head of nuclear agency”, June 28, 1993, Toronto Star; “Deaths”, August 30, 1993, The Gazette; Stevie Cameron, Blue trust: the author, the lawyer, his wife, and her money, 1998, MacFarlane Walter & Ross; Richard Owen, “Plea to Pope from ‘God’s banker’ revealed as murder trial begins”, October 6, 2005, The Times (of London); and, Chris Summers, “‘God’s Banker’ death still a mystery”, June 6, 2007, BBC News
61. The suicide of lawyer Bruce Verchere was merely an early event of what by now has been a glaring number of premature deaths of persons associated with former prime minister Brian Mulroney and his alleged money; in addition to Verchere in 1993 at the age of close to 57 and Frank Moores who died of cancer in July 2005 at the age of 72 (discussed in the Notes of an earlier part of this blog article where it is noted that my own father died of heart failure exactly one month later), there was also Gary Ouellet, a long-time friend of Mulroney’s who died of a heart attack on June 8, 2002 at the age of 57, who had served as CEO of Government Consultants International, i.e., the Ottawa lobbying company founded by Frank Moores that was at the centre of the Airbus Affair; see: Linda Diebel, “Mulroney’s inner circle: A family at war; Who’s caught up in Tory feud”, January 18, 1986, The Gazette; “NDP MP criticizes Moores lobbying firm for secrecy”, April 25, 1986, The Gazette; Andrew McIntosh, “Once-powerful lobbyist bankrupt; Ouellet says Jeep is all he has”, October 14, 1994, The Gazette; Rod MacDonell, “Governments poured money into plant”, November 24, 1998, The Gazette; Sheryl Ubelacker, “Ottawa lawyer became magic impresario”, June 12, 2002, The Globe and Mail; and, “In Memory of Gary Q. Ouellet, January 9 1945 – June 8 2002”, website of Camirand Academy of Magic
62. Peter Woolstencroft, “Stevie Cameron’s expose is as murky as her target”. November 19, 1994, The Record; Paul Gessell, “Airbus authors in war of words: Although both are writing books on Mulroney, writers Stevie Cameron and William Kaplan do not see eye-to-eye”, July 19, 1998, The Ottawa Citizen; Stephen Bindman, “Chretien heavily involved in Airbus case, book says; Early settlement with Brian Mulroney scuttled by PM; Presumed Guilty”, October 2, 1998, Edmonton Journal; Philip Mathias, “A woman under the influence: Determined journalist: Stevie Cameron just can’t let go of Brian Mulroney”, November 21, 1998, National Post; Julius Melnitzer, “When lawyers go bad Stevie Cameron can certainly tell a story, but Blue Trust’s lack of focus and questionable objectivity in chronicling the sorry tale of Bruce Verchere undermine her work. Blue Trust: The Author, the Lawyer, His Wife, and Her Money”, November 21, 1998, The Globe and Mail; and, “A secret information a threadbare case”, February 26, 2004, The Globe and Mail
63. Gerald Owen, “Sycophants used to persecute the powerful”, March 27, 2004, National Post
64. Rather interestingly, in the early 1980s in then government of Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, David Cameron worked on constitutional issues under then justice minister Jean Chretien and deputy justice minister Roger Tasse, but in November 1995 when the RCMP Airbus Affair criminal investigation was revived partly due to information and publicity from Stevie Cameron’s second book, On the take: crime, corruption and greed in the Mulroney years, the Chretien government at the time was quite silent and Roger Tasse was one of Mulroney’s lawyers suing the government (the 1995 facts have been discussed in an early part of this blog article); David Cameron later served as a vice president of the University of Toronto, and as a deputy minister in the Ontario provincial government, in similar capacities; see: Robert Sheppard, “-The Constitutional Decision- Leaked Kirby memo provided premiers a target”, September 24, 1981, The Globe and Mail; Zena Cherry, “Commons official honored at dinner”, February 7, 1986, The Globe and Mail; Burt Heward, “Expose turns Hill inside out”, October 31, 1989, The Ottawa Citizen; “Reporter built career probing Mulroneys”, January 9, 1997, The Vancouver Sun; and, Philip Mathias, “A woman under the influence: Determined journalist: Stevie Cameron just can’t let go of Brian Mulroney”, November 21, 1998, National Post
65. In 1989 after author Stevie Cameron’s first book, Ottawa inside out: power, prestige and scandal in the nation’s capital, was published, she did not mention any more book on related subjects, and instead said her “next book” would be about her father, Whitey Dahl, an American pilot, smuggler and possible CIA agent; but her two teenage daughters, Tassie and Amy, wanted her to first write a book on “cooking and party secrets” that would be titled “Before I Go Crazy”; Cameron’s book on her father is still on her agenda according to information on the author’s website, but she has published three more books related to Ottawa politics and corruptions under former prime minister Brian Mulroney; see: Burt Heward, “Expose turns Hill inside out”, October 31, 1989, The Ottawa Citizen; and, “steviecameron.com – Books”, website of author Stevie Cameron
66. Hubert Bauch, “Mulroney era: as bad as we already knew”, October 29, 1994, The Gazette; William Johnson, “The man people love to hate: Small details about Brian Mulroney are often far more revealing than the prime ministerial speeches written by professional speech-writers”, January 12, 1995, The Windsor Star; Philip Mathias, “A woman under the influence: Determined journalist: Stevie Cameron just can’t let go of Brian Mulroney”, November 21, 1998, National Post; and, Gerald Owen, “Sycophants used to persecute the powerful”, March 27, 2004, National Post
67. Conrad Black, “Brian Mulroney’s finest hour”, October 10, 1998, Financial Post
68. John MacLachlan Gray, “From Mr. Black, about what we’d expect: Conrad Black’s rhetorical outpourings can be fun to read; it’s just that he keeps saying the same things over and over again”, October 31, 1998, The Vancouver Sun
69. “Mountie denies report he was ‘double-crossed’; Fiegenwald absolves author after criticism she caused his resignation in Airbus affair”, November 5, 1998, The Globe and Mail
70. Stevie Cameron, “’To get at the truth – that’s my job’: What follows is a reply from Stevie Cameron to Conrad Black’s review of William Kaplan’s book on the Airbus affair”, October 24, 1998, Calgary Herald
71. Kate Malloy, “Stevie Cameron fights back: best-selling author on Brian Mulroney’s corrupt government files complaint against the National Post with Canadian Journalists for Free Expression”, January 18, 1999, The Hill Times
72. Jazz Miller, “The Cook, the Spy, the Prof and the Scribbler”, March 1996, Ryerson Review of Journalism; and, Philip Mathias, “A woman under the influence: Determined journalist: Stevie Cameron just can’t let go of Brian Mulroney”, November 21, 1998, National Post
73. Dr. Chalmer Johnson left UC Berkeley for UC San Diego in 1988, the same year I received my Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and went to teach at the University of British Columbia, and he retired in 1992, the same year my UBC job ended amid some academic politics I had become involved in; see: “Q&A – A conversation with Chalmers Johnson”, September 2000, California magazine; and, my January 29, 2009 blog article, “Greeting the New Millennium – nearly a decade late”
74. Chalmers Johnson, “Bush should stay home: Apologies to Seoul and Beijing”, March 2, 2002, The Japan Times
75. Daniel H. Bays, Christianity in China: From the Eighteenth Century to the Present, 1999, Stanford University Press; “August 9, 1851 – Karl F. A. Gutzlaff had original ideas”, August 9, 2003, Glimpses of Christian History, Christian History Institute; Setsuko Kamiya, “Shipwreck key to first Gospel in Japanese”, August 29, 2004, The Japan Times; Benjamin Louis Fischer, “Opium Pushing and Bible Smuggling”: Religion and the Cultural Politics of British Imperialist Ambition in China”, April 2008, Ph.D. thesis, Graduate Program in English, University of Notre Dame; and, my January 29, 2009 blog article, “Greeting the New Millennium – nearly a decade late”
76. My personal experience in politics has been alluded to, though without details, in my January 29, 2009 blog article, “Greeting the New Millennium – nearly a decade late”