Thursday, December 13, 2007

Birds of a Kidney

Brian Mulroney takes the stand to-day in the Karl Heinz Schreiber hearing. He's expected to try to explain what he was doing taking $300 000 in cash payments from the German middleman. And that might be difficult for him, as the last time he was in the news with Schriber he was huffing and puffing about being accused of taking benefits from the sale of a fleet of Airbus Industrie's flying products.

During that last go round he huffily claimed that, like Peter outside Pilate's house, he didn't know the man, and had no business dealings with him. It wasn't known at the time, but Mulroney had already met Schreiber on more than one occasion and had entertained him at the Prime-ministerial retreat. There followed at least three other meetings where 'envelopes' changed hands. Mulroney claims it was payment for services rendered in some fast food business. Schreiber claims it had more to do with setting up an LAV production site in eastern Canada. In any case he claims the 'Mulster' provided no benefit for the expenditure and is suing to get it back.

Brian also forgot to declare the money, or pay tax on it until a much later date.

He is making a lie out of his former claims to innocence which resulted in Canadian taxpayers paying his legal bills, well over a million, and having the government of the day apologize.

It's amazing how these two birds resemble reach other, physically. They're probably much alike morally, as well, being fellows who were well paid for glorified 'pimping' jobs. Schrieber in peddling Euro-tech around the world and Mulroney doing the world's second oldest 'profession'. Both of them, and a cast of characters with whom both were associated, were featured in the book "On the Take" an expose of the grasping that went on while 'Lyin' Brian' was at the helm as Canada's 'greenest' PM. It's interesting that a guy who values his 'good name' as highly as Mulroney does, has never really done anything to get back at writers who've pilloried him. I imagine that he knows politics better than he does the ink trade, and not knowing them there's fear of a 'screw' factor with which he's not too comfortable.

Ditto Schreiber. Who'd have known the little weasel was a record-keeper. He's got it all down on paper in little diaries. His dealings with Mulroney's right-hand boys - Frank Moores and the St. FX mob. One would have to walk softly and hopefully appear to have a stick.

How Brian is going to play it, is a mystery. Probably an apology for an oversight that has poor optics but no nefarious intent. But a claim to fundamental honesty and the desire to make a decent home for his family. They'll all be there if his pals aren't to be seen. Maybe he can get a nice letter from Gorby, who has a reputation for personal honesty. The Gipper's dead but Missus Gipper might remember those Irish eye's a-smilin' and those lips just sucking shit. No harm in asking. Whatever he does it will be in the damage control mode. For once having laid down with swine, your pin stripes pick up the odor.

The Canadian taxpayer may never get his lawyers' fees back, or any of the stuff he has stored in Toronto - Mulroney's the only PM who left office with more furniture than he brought to it - multiple semi-trailer loads. But he was also, so we're told, cash poor, and that's why he wanted to help Schreiber. It's highly likely that even if the money was a business deal, and it wasn't taken to create an inner track, Mulroney's reputation will be salvaged, not unless he does a decade on the streets of Calcutta.

No comments: