Though the mills of God grind slowly,
Yet they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience he stands waiting,
With exactness grinds he all. (von Logau / Longfellow)
Most devout folk, even dedicated agnostics, hold confidence in the Law of Karma, the view that every act provokes an ultimate and appropriate consequence. Yet most prefer that justice be served in the present day, not the hereafter. However, as I’ve claimed here repeatedly, the staff at the Criminal Justice Branch, such as Assistant Deputy Attorney General Robert W.G. Gillen. Q.C., seems OK with the longer process.
Ian Reid at The Real Story examined performance of the Special Prosecutor system that, two years after allegations were raised, is still examining alleged election fraud by BC Liberal campaigners including MLA Kash Heed. Reid smartly focuses on Stephen Owens’ analysis, by which he determined the Special Prosecutor system, which he designed, is functioning appropriately. The Vancouver Sun reported Owens’ conclusions:
“The strong opinion of many senior people working with the system is that it meets the overriding public interests of fairness, accountability and public confidence in our criminal justice system,” concluded Owen, after interviewing current and former players in the system as well as key critics from outside. “There is pride and confidence in the special prosecutor system, which is unique in Canada.“
Pay attention to the wording, he talked to the people involved plus “critics from outside” then reported he found [at least] some “pride and confidence” in the system. Of course, had AG staff and contracted lawyers said the opposite, they would have indicted themselves.
We have a similar example in Global TV’s internal report that found reporter Catherine Urquhart, despite breaching journalistic principles, provided “fair and impartial” reporting. Also, in an RCMP report, which indicated the Mounties have confidence in their investigation of the Pickton murders. This conclusion was directly opposite to that of the Vancouver Police Department, which did an honest self-evaluation following arrest of the serial murderer.
Times Colonist reporter Lindsay Kines wrote about the RCMP internal review:
The report states that the RCMP devoted adequate resources to the case, that working relationships with other police agencies were excellent, and that the force attempted to exhaust all investigative avenues.
I share Ian Reid’s lack of confidence in Stephen Owen’s work. It may have served interests of the Attorney General but not the interests of British Columbia’s citizens. Reid observed:
With the new allegations against Heed that have emerged it’s hard not to question both the terms of Owen’s appointment and the conclusions he came to.
In other words, with every new allegation Owen’s appointment and report looks like a whitewash.
Probably, Owen did exactly what he was hired to do. Had Attorney General Mike de Jong wanted a real examination of the Special Prosecutor system, he would not have hired the former Deputy Attorney General who designed the procedures. Owens, ex-employee of this government is now VP of an organization dependent on the same government. He lacked impartiality and independence. Any adverse finding would have required Owens to find fault with his own system design and or fault with its implementation by people who essentially are his colleagues.
Pundits of the mainstream media have not not addressed this defect of impartiality and independence and I am certain they will continue to ignore similar imperfections. One example is taken from writing of Vaughn Palmer. In reviewing the Owen report, Palmer set an uncritical tone when he reported:
…the government accepted the recommendations of a review by a widely respected lawyer and former public servant, Stephen Owen.