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June 3, 2005
Liberal MP Calls For Suspension Of Murphy, Dosanjh

Not everyone in the Liberal Party has joined Paul Martin's defense of his Chief of Staff and the Health Minister. Saying that the Grewal tapes "made my skin crawl," MP Roger Galloway demanded that Martin suspend Tim Murphy and Ujjal Dosanjh until the completion of an investigation into the tapes:

A senior Liberal MP wants the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Tim Murphy, and Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh suspended from their posts until an investigation takes place into the growing scandal over the secretly taped negotiations between the two men and a Tory MP who was considering crossing the floor.

Sarnia MP Roger Gallaway says the situation is "totally odious" and "it shows the underbelly of politics that I think is quite unacceptable."

"[Conservative Leader Stephen Harper] will have to deal with [Tory MP Gurmant Grewal, who made the tapes], but we have to deal with our own," Mr. Gallaway said. "The use of the words 'Senate' and 'foreign posting,' even if no offer was made, is totally odious. There are several MPs who are remaining silent but who think Murphy and Dosanjh have crossed the threshold of acceptable political discourse."

Galloway says that his office has received numerous calls from constituents expressing their dismay over the tapes. Other Liberal MPs, talking off the record, confirm that Canadian voters have become outraged, and that they too would like to see Martin take some action against the two men. Absent that, they fear that Martin will have silently endorsed the sale of positions for political purposes:

Another senior Liberal MP in effect dared the PM to suspend the two men: "If the Prime Minister feels it is necessary for his Minister of Health and his chief of staff to step aside, then he should do it. If he remains silent about it, it means he really doesn't have any concerns about it."

Martin may have avoided a no-confidence motion in Parliament, but he may soon face a revolt from his own backbenchers if he stands on his assertion that Murphy and Dosanjh did nothing wrong. Dosanjh himself undercut that argument by claiming that the tapes were heavily edited to show wrongdoing. Given the revelations of Liberal embezzlement and corruption that has just come to light from the Gomery Inquiry, Martin's obstinacy sounds more like stonewalling than a defense, and other Liberals may soon have to decide whether Martin has become too much of a millstone around their neck to retain him as PM.

In other news, the experts who claimed that the tapes had been edited did not inspect the source tapes, but a CD created from the originals. After claiming that zero-signal gaps showed that the tapes had been manipulated, Steven Pausak admitted that "manipulation" may just have been the transfer of the files to CD audio format:

Stevan Pausak, a former Ontario government expert and forensic scientist who trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said a 46-second audio segment containing a chat between Mr. Grewal and Mr. Dosanjh about an unspecified reward for joining the Liberal party contains an unexplained dead air gap of 0.3 seconds.

Two seconds into the recording there is this continuous gap and the signal is missing for 0.3 seconds, he told The missing signal definitely shows the copy [provided to him by The Canadian Press Thursday] is altered.

Conservatives say the gap occurred when the master tape was transferred to CD. Mr. Pausak acknowledged it is possible such a transfer process could produce the gap.

If it was done on purpose or by accident, I have no idea, said Mr. Pausak.

The original tapes have been turned over to the RCMP, I believe, and they will need to authenticate the reliability of the recordings. If the originals exist, why bother to inspect copies?

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 3, 2005 12:15 PM

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