IF YOU’RE one of those hacks whose interest in the scandal involving INM director Brian Mulroney has been pipped by the JZ scandal at home (of course JZ is innocent, he only took a shower with a member of his own family) then you may be wondering why the commission is suddenly doing its all to investigate a supposed “UN arms deal” involving Mulroney and German arms dealer Karlheinz Schrieber.
Well you guessed right – it is to deflect attention away from the real problem – a ten year saga involving Airbus in which the former PM apparently accepted bribes whilst in office. The terms of the commission have narrowed over the past months. What was hoped for and which promised to be a no-holds barred uncovering of the facts surrounding the allegations is now just a polite way of defusing public criticism.
Yes, that’s right, none of the allegations involving Airbus will actually be discussed in the inquiry. Is it any wonder that suspicion continues to dog Mulroney as spindoctors begin to paint him as an “innocent environmentalist doing legitimate business”, “a victim of circumstance and prey to Schrieber’s double dealing”. Mulroney will therefore, in all likelihood be cleared of any wrong-doing by the limited OIiphant Commission and will continue to hold onto his position as corporate honcho in a global multimedia empire.
As Canada’s Fifth Estate put it, the “Commission of Inquiry into Certain Allegations Respecting Business and Financial Dealings Between Karlheinz Schreiber and the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney,” or the “Oliphant Commission” as it will become to be known will NOT be dealing with the so-called “Airbus Affair.”
The award-winning investigative television news-hour, similar to South Africa’s own Third Degree, revealed in March, how the commission came to have such a limited mandate.
“For weeks, it was a daily spectacle that fascinated the country. In November, 2007, a Parliamentary Ethics Committee began to hear testimony that, many believed, would finally unlock the mysteries of what has become known as the Airbus scandal: who received secret commissions from the sale of Airbus planes to Air Canada?”
“Expectations were high; explosive testimony was anticipated, particularly from the man who has been at the centre of the Airbus scandal for more than two decades, German/Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber. What happened next confounded the Committee and everyone else watching.”
Reporter Linden MacIntyre shows in over 7 television documentaries how “Schreiber’s canny tactics manipulated the drama and the facts”. In documents gained by the fifth estate and in interviews with main players in this political drama, Fifth Estate’s The Chess Master apparently “shows how Schreiber devised a gambit to trap the other players in a political checkmate and set the course for the next chapter of this story.”
The fifth estate also revealed on its website that sworn testimony before a Parliamentary committee “contained manipulation and lies”. And this is all about a man who is still on the Independent Group’s crony board, the O’Reilly old guard, the dirty dozen still holding on to corporate and governmental power despite criticism from “dissident shareholder” and mobile communications magnate, Denis O’Brien.