“Federal spies, lawyers schooled in honesty after fallout over warrants” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/federal-spies-lawyers-getting-crash-courses-on-court-honesty-after-fallout-over-warrants/article34720293/
The explanation, according to Murray Segal – (http://www.murraysegal.com/about-murray-segal.html) – is apparently the government lawyers failure to always be “comprehensive”.
“Speaking to The Globe and Mail, Mr. Segal suggested it is getting harder for spy-agency officials to tell judges everything they need to know. CSIS and its lawyers “are well-intentioned and extremely hard-working people who do high-, high-pressure work,” he said. The recent shortcomings, he added, were not about falsehoods so much as “not always being comprehensive in terms of bringing to the table all the issues a judge issuing an order might want to have.”
Sorry, Murray, though nice try but: a lie by any other name is still a lie and still smells rotten, even on the banks of the Ottawa & Rideau.
“Not always comprehensive” has to mean “incomplete” and therefore “not entirely accurate” and “misleading”. The federal gov’t lawyers either knew that or they didn’t. If they knew that they were in contempt of court. If they didn’t, that’s either because (1) they were wilfully blind; (2) reckless; (3) competent and diligent but honestly mislead; (4) incompetent; (5) some combination of all of these factors. In any event, if the reports to the courts were incomplete and the gov’t agencies knew, the gov’t is in in contempt of court.*
It’s as simple as that.
Mr. Segal’s well-honed bullshit facility – developed no doubt in his years working for and with Ontario governments – must have been working overtime for this one.
What’s also worth asking is why the Globe editors weren’t prepared to ask the article writer to rewrite the story story so it makes the point I’ve made. I’m assuming, of course, that somebody on the editorial board saw this, if the writer didn’t.
But, then, my guess is that if he’d used clear English, he’d not get the next similar gig.
*There is, of course, a 6th choice. The lawyers were “only following orders” and (a) knew exactly what they were doing and thought it was proper conduct or (b) knew it wasn’t but didn’t want to complain lest they lose their jobs. Ain’t life as a working gov’t lawyer grand?
A brief digression into politics and philosophy, both moral and realpolitik.