Mulroney takes bribes
while Tories take naps

Few things are less curious than the Tories' complete lack of curiosity regarding Brian Mulroney’s acceptance of $300,000 in bribes from Karlheinz Schreiber and perjury about the same.

After all, what is the percentage in besmirching the grand old man of the party and eminence grisly to the prime minister?
It's been almost a year since Schreiber admitted on the fifth estate that he'd handed huge wads of cash to the ex-PM in sleazy hotel-room assignations.

Mulroney had first denied, under oath, any dealings with the Airbus fixer. Then he insisted that it was compensation for help with Schreiber's pasta business, a claim laughingly rubbished by Schreiber on the fifth.
"Well I learned to my great surprise that he worked with me on spaghetti," Schreiber cackled, noting that the sum of the ex-PM's ravioli wrangling was sending him a brochure from Archer-Daniels-Midland.
"Maybe it's a pretty expensive brochure," he har-de-harred.

Amid all the hilarity, sadly, Schreiber managed to avoid answering the question: Just what did Mulroney do for his three hundred large?

As reported in the Globe and Mail January 24, after the interview aired, Justice officials looked into cancelling the government's $2-million libel settlement with Mulroney for having correctly (as it turned out) accused Mulroney for having taken bribes from Schreiber in the Airbus deal.
"If the government entered into the settlement on the basis that it wrongly alleged that Mulroney received cash from Schreiber out of certain Swiss bank accounts, it shouldn't be surprised that it wanted to review the settlement— now that it was clear Mulroney did receive that money," an anonymous departmental told the Globe.
But the legal action —surprise, surprise —never went ahead. So, who kiboshed the kiboshing?
A department mouthpiece told the Globe the decision was made "at the level of deputy minister John Sims." Odd phrasing, that. Is that in any way similar to saying Sims made the decision?
Of course at that particular juncture, deputy ministers, after more than a decade of Liberal rule, were being rigorously re-evaluated by the Tory transition team, led by Mulroney hatchman Derek Burney.  Those found wanting (step forward, Samy Watson and Rob Fonberg) were summarily removed. Sims, however, managed to keep his post, no doubt a testament to the quality of decisions being made at his level.
Why did Schreiber finally decide to go on camera and dish the dirt on the Mulroney payoff?
Sources familiar with Schreiber said he was stung by Mulroney spokescreep Luc Lavoie’s description of him as "the biggest liar in the history of the world," which might have struck some as a false modesty on the part of the talented Lavoid.
But it's more likely Schreiber, unimpressed with the prospect of a lengthy prison sentence at age 72, is signaling to Canadian authorities he wants to make a deal.
Of the $10 million or so in artificial sweetener Karlheinz is alleged to have brought into Canada, close to half went to fees for folks like the late Frank Moore who lied shamelessly about lobbying for Airbus, and to his cronies, like Gary Ouellet and the Doucet  brothers — Fred and Gerry. Let us not forget that Trudeau cabmin and Schreiber lawyer Marc Lalonde also received $300,000 from the same funds in an envelope  called, "Marc". It was Lalonde and Elmer MacKay who posted Schreiber's bail in '99. (Elmer's boy, of course, is Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay, lately embarrassed by pater's use of his constit office to send faxes to Karlheinz.)
Then there was the $300,000 for Mulroney, and the pile that went to former Air Canada board member Gayle Christie — who explained it was for a party fundraiser.
What happened to the rest, perhaps as much as $5 million held in KH's fascinating "Canadian Funds" account? Shurely it couldn't have found its way into the Gucci billfold of Martin Brian Mulroney, 18th Prime Minister of Canada.


(With files from Frank Magazine.)