What Facts, Mr. PM??

Golding in Parliament“There are persons in Jamaica who do not want the propaganda to be disturbed by the facts!” So began the tirade by Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, against the Gleaner Company in particular, and the Jamaican media in general. His little tantrum an indignant strike at the fourth estate, that has refused to let the Manatt, Phelps & Phillips (MPP) debacle die the typical death of Jamaica’s nine-day wonders.

Yet it is strangely ironic (and rather amusing) that the PM would try to cower behind a proclamation of facts being relegated by propaganda, when in truth neither he nor representatives of the current government have presented any facts to support their claims regarding the engagement of the US law firm.

Yep! You heard right! That’s what I just said, “The Bruce Golding administration has presented NO facts to the public in their defense of hiring Manatt, Phelps & Phillips.”

You want facts?? Let’s talk facts:

  • Fact: The law firm, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips was hired. By whom, it is not clear.
  • Fact: The law firm has consistently filed FARA documents identifying its client as the Government of Jamaica.
  • Fact: There were email exchanges from as far back as September, between Solicitor General, Douglas Leys, attorney Harold Brady, and lawyers from MPP.
  • Fact: Bruce Golding in a Jamaica House statement said Brady did not hold talks with the solicitor general about MPP until a flight in December, 2009.
  • Fact: The email exchanges reveal that Douglas Leys was involved in discussions with MPP long before December of 2009.
  • Fact: The email exchanges also indicate that the Attorney General and the PM were briefed periodically by Leys, which contradicts Ms. Lightbourne’s claim that “The first time I heard the name of this law firm was when Dr. Phillips raised the issue in Parliament,” which she made in an interview on Nationwide 97 FM.
  • Fact: Both the PM (in his apology to the nation) and Minister Karl Samuda, at a press conference, admitted that MPP was engaged, among other things, to help defuse the impasse between Jamaica and the US on the (then) pending extradition of Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke. Yet no representative of the party has as yet explained why a political party would take on such a responsibility.
  • Fact: The JLP, or government, or whatever they’re calling themselves these days, have yet to provide any reasons for the change in stance and resultant decision to extradite Coke.
  • Fact: The wiretaps used as evidence in Coke’s indictment were obtained in Jamaica, yet officials have yet to say why Coke was not arrested and charged in Jamaica based on evidence from these wiretaps.
  • Fact: The wiretaps were not obtained illegally in Jamaica. The AG’s stated reason for not signing the extradition request initially, was that they were TRANSPORTED illegally to the US. In other words, the claim is that US law enforcement obtained the wiretaps illegally.
  • Fact: At least 72 Jamaicans died in the space of three days during the incursion by security forces into Tivoli Gardens.

Given all these facts, let’s look at what has thus far been presented by the schizophrenic JLP/government PR machine. There is, of course, the CLAIM that MPP was engaged by the JLP and not the government – we have seen no contract to substantiate this, and MPP continues to refute it! Somebody needs to get their story straight.

Dorothy LightbourneDouglas Leys CLAIMS that he sent emails to “[email protected]” and similar email addresses, thinking that they were going to Harold Brady. The JLP CLAIM that a ‘donor’ provided the funds to pay MPP – again we are given no proof and are expected to take them at their now, very shaky word. But anyone in their right mind would question the likelihood of a donor giving money to a party to defend an individual against extradition (and in an ironic twist, this calls to mind the PNP CLAIM that the moneys received from Trafigura had been a ‘party’ contribution).

In his address to Parliament on March 2 on the extradition issue (a move which was also highly irregular), Prime Minister Golding stated, “…if I have to pay a political price for it, I am going to uphold [this] position…”

Well, what are you waiting for? Fall on your sword, Bruce Golding.

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