July 26, 2008

Oh, yeah, Fantinorama/Zaccardelli bs continues

Fantino & Zaccardelli: Canada's Keystone Cops

Current OPP Chief Fantino Gets To "Probe" His Old Friend, former RCMP Commissioner Zaccardelli.

Abbott & Costello as Keystone Cops

Well, fellers and gals, I just bet that will be an honest investigation.

Can you believe Stephen Harper's snottiness in handing over the Zaccardelli case to one of Zaccardelli's best cop friends, Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino, all in the cynical assurance that Fantino's cursory review of the RCMP pension scandal will exonerate his old friend, Zaccardelli?

How often are Canadians going to abide being treated like gullible fools by the Stephen Harper government?

You think I'm being unfair to Fantino?

Read what Fantino told the Globe & Mail's Jeff Sallot when asked how the OPP commissioner might handle his review of the Ottawa Police Service case file about Zaccardelli and the pension fund scandal (G&M, June 20, 2007, page A4):

"I can't really look at a man's career of 30-some odd years of dedicated, loyal, committed service and forget all of that and just focus on this one piece of his career."

But, Commissioner Fantino, that is precisely what you are being ordered to do, to focus on Zaccardelli's abandonment of his solemn duty to support and protect all the RCMP staff under his leadership.

So do it, Fantino! Perform the investigative duty the government of Canada has demanded of you. If you don't, when your whitewash report is ready, well, there may be another government in power, and perhaps we will urge it to investigate your investigation, should it prove too forgiving of your dear friend Zaccardelli's failures. OPP Commissioner Fantino apparently has the notion that not worrying when your own officers' pension funds are stolen is no more than a picayune peccadillo.

Fantino, like Zaccardelli, is a comic-opera figure of Napoleonic strut and firing-squad posturings, both of them preposterous, prancing martinets out of a Franz Lehar operetta. Zaccardelli's silly, militaristic mien and threatening, toplofty deportment belong in a Marx Brothers farce set in some ruritanian state like Freedonia where the police chief has so many epaulettes he gets cheek burn.

Zaccardelli should be made to pay for the immense damage he did to the RCMP and the culture of fear he fostered in underlings ought to be visited upon him.

But now here comes this arrogant OPP copper Fantino on the very eve of accepting leadership of the scandal investigation, implying that he will not fully address the criminal activity involved in stealing the pension funds of RCMP officers, and implying that he will overlook the fact that, when this criminal theft of funds was reported to Zaccardelli, the whistleblowing RCMP officer who reported the scandal was threatened with punishment, silence and dismissal.

Fantino reportedly said he's surprised at all the vilification that fell on Zaccardelli's head.

Don't you get it, Julian?

The crime happened on Zaccardelli's watch and he tried to bury the crime and so he takes the fall.

He's the top cop of the land and he buries crime?

Where in hell did you get your training in police ethics, Fantino? At a fascist rally?

I hope every Canadian will watch this probe by Fantino with hawk eyes.

Canada, don't let these two constabulary pomposities off the hook for one minute!

Part 2

With constabulary duties to be done, to be done,

A policeman's lot is ne'er a guilty one.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Juvenal, Roman satirist, Satire 6.346-8

"But who will guard the guards?" asks the famous Latin poser, a question as old as Plato's Republic. And, just in case you think Socrates, Plato's mouthpiece, had the lock on nifty answers, the blabbermouth egghead dropped the ball on this little query.

Plato contrives to have the Athenian citizens ask their usual scripted question. These Athenians are always waiting offstage in Platonic dialogues, toying prissily with the hems of their chitons, flashing one another and playing grab-ass until called upon to utter the naïve question, said question always apposite to Plato's rhetorical needs.

Their pert query? "Duhhhhh, tell us, O Wise Sayer of Sooth, who is going to protect the city from its own protectors." Socrates says the protectors themselves will police themselves. Athens (read Socrates) will train them not to salivate each time they are given more power.

After this finely tuned moral training, says Socrates, the protector guards (modern translation: 'cops') won't want to steal the good wine, lie with the cutest slaves, sell secrets to the enemy, take bribes from the olive-oil merchants, or absolve their guard buddies of punishment for guard crimes. These crack troops, moral gumdrops to a man, will police us because of their own 'taught' virtue.

No, they won't.

By the very nature of the duty we ask them to perform, policemen are prone to be corrupt, for we give them powers denied to ordinary citizens. Whenever extraordinary power is granted to humans, soon or late, that power is tested, used and promptly abused. Lord Acton denominated the abuse aptly in an oft-quoted sentence from one of his letters to Bishop Creighton in 1887:

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

Earlier, in 1770, William Pitt the Younger, British Prime Minister from 1766 to 1778, in a speech in the House of Lords said: "Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it."

Then what is the quick, easy answer? There is none.

Did you observe the first part of the recent trial in British Columbia where, once again, the RCMP was allowed to be investigated by other cops? The results were predictable. The RCMP officer who shot a young man in the back of the head because he was drinking a beer in public did nothing wrong! Followed acceptable procedure. Through an utterly preposterous RCMP account of a supposed fight in the police station, the officer did his duty. Oh yeah! That's why we have an RCMP. To blow the brains out of a guy having a drink after a hockey game.

Or perhaps not? Perhaps you, like me, do not accept police behaviour like that?

The police must NOT be allowed to investigate

themselves. EVER.

What has the Harper government just done?

Handed a cop probe over to….cops.

Saturday, June 23, 2007:

Meanwhile, at RCMP HQ, the hurried resignations and scurryings to exit the building continue. Check out Mr. Gavin who just resigned. Pure as the driven snow? Mais, bien sûr!

But, with regard to the RCMP, let's hope, to coin a phrase, it ain't over until the caught laddy sings.

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