F-35 Nowhere To Hide for Stephen Harper

Harper stands ups, folds his hands and in hushed tones acts as though everything is in complete control. Then his surrogate Ambrose rises, speaks with a purposeful disinterest, intimating it’s all a minor issue that has been addressed, don’t you worry. It’s the typical Conservative response, understate, quickly pivot into address mode and now try to play out the clock. Trouble is, Rona Ambrose told committee it was her job to fact check what DND were selling, which apparently amounted to a one page letter according to CBC. Trouble is, Harper ran around the country stonewalling and dismissing, questioning the patriotism of those with legitimate inquiry, a now SHAMEFUL performance that would make an honourable man BLUSH. There is clear culpability here, and THIS time surely the Conservative game of riding out a crisis until we bore can’t work. Should this issue end with no one held to account, our entire system has failed, because the choices are clear.

As stated previously, there are only TWO options: willfully ignorant or patently incompetent. That’s it, it boils down to these two choices, anything else isn’t even in the realm of possibility. How then can we not see some accountability? If DND actually "misled" this government, this Parliament then they should be HOPPING mad at the deceit and people should be fired immediately. The fact the initial reaction of this government doesn’t seek out the source of the ruse is quite telling in my humble opinion. Normal reaction to being lied to, being made a NOW utter fool, surely one would hold people to account. And yet, the government reacts to the AG report by creating a new transparency, new mechanisms, NO action to deal with the deceivers in DND? Bizarre.

Ibbitson this morning:

Confronted with this approach by the department, the Harper government made two terrible mistakes. The first was to buy the military’s analysis without looking deeper into it. Civilian politicians allowed themselves to be hornswoggled by brass hats and bureaucrats.

The second mistake was to turn the F-35 into a political wedge issue. The Conservatives not only defended the purchase; they lashed out at anyone who questioned it, accusing them of being at best ignorant or at worst disloyal.

The first "mistake" actually a dangerous characterization, primarily because it conveys mere error. In reality, there was all kinds of concern IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, the opposition, the PBO, former procurement heavyweights, media analysis, to say you simply bought into the DND sales job, also incorporates putting your fingers in your ears and singing to yourself, in an effort to avoid the pungent shit storm surrounding you. None of the questions raised caused a Minister to look deeper into the file, require further confirmation, do their own cost analysis? Again, this indifference to emerging realities is incompetent at its core, but also denotes a predisposition against further disclosure. Part of the reason we had an election, resistance by this government to providing any costing on the F-35. If the government truly bought the DND lines, why then would they not provide figures to back up their analysis, why would they hold back the Statement of Operational Requirements (which was released publicly for other procurements), why did they themselves stonewall if they genuinely believed in their numbers, arguments? Perhaps DND covered up things, but the government apparently had no knowledge, so how then to we explain their systematic obstruction? As well, Kevin Page had little trouble providing a cost analysis and he wasn’t privy to anything exclusive, in fact he relied on incomplete information to draw his conclusions, this government CLEARLY had more.

People have to be fired here, to think everyone just carries on in the capacities utter absurdity. DND "misled" Parliament, this government, this is high stakes stuff that demands retribution, people held to account, sanction. This government "misled" Canadians, fellow Parliamentarians, surely someone has to go? This government failed to inquire further, despite the emerging realities- in the public view for years- incompetence of am almost biblical scale, these people shouldn’t run a hot dog stand, never mind a Department. Pick your avenue, they all lead to Heads Must Roll Road, one way and a dead end. Should everyone wiggle off the hook, this time, accountability is lost, as is a certain moral underpinning to the notion of good government.

Click HERE to read more from Steve Val.

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