Thursday, May 10, 2007

Arrested civil servant reveals climate of intimidation

From, we learn that the federal bureacrat who was arrested for leaking the Harper government's climate change plan, Jeff Monaghan, says there is a climate of heavy-handed intimidation within the federal public service:

Baird said the arrest was a signal to other government employees that leaks of information wouldn't be tolerated.

But Monaghan, whose job was to monitor news reports about the government, said Thursday the proposed charges are "without precedent" in the extent to which they are disproportionate to the alleged offence.

Government the one breaking laws: Monaghan

Monaghan accused the government of using phrases such as "responsible process" and "obedience for the law" as justification for what he called a "witchhunt against the lowest-ranking temp employee in the department and possibly the entire government."

He said it was the government — in particular, the Environment Department — that was undermining due process and legal commitments by breaking the country's obligations under the international Kyoto treaty.

The NDP's Nathan Cullen speaks to the obvious and disturbing double standard:

Whoever leaked the information could be seen as a whistleblower.

"If the government has come forward and decided to break its own international commitments and an employee of the government says the government is about to break the international law — one can construe that as whistleblowing."

The government leaks documents all the time, Cullen said. But when it comes to the environment, he said, the government has a double standard.

Unfortunately, too much will be made of this by a sensationalistic media, and by a vicious Conservative Party that takes no prisoners and would think nothing of assasinating an innocent person's personality if it suits them. Of course, it has nothing at all to do with the substance of the issue:

Monaghan is a member of a collective that recently opened an anarchist bookstore in downtown Ottawa. He's also a drummer with the punk band The Suicide Pilots, which has an album called Rock Against Harper.

The band webpage on MySpace depicts a plane flying into the Peace Tower on Ottawa's Parliament Hill.