Monday, April 04, 2005

Can Justice Gomery Take on the Blogosphere?

Edward Morrissey, also known as "Captain Ed," operates Captain's Quarters, one of the Northern Alliance blogs who helped bring down Dan Rather and John Kerry. (Alliance members include Powerline, TIME Magazine's Blog of the Year.)

This past Saturday, he posted a story about testimony from ad agency executive Jean Brault before the Gomery inquiry investigating the federal sponsorship scandal. Brault's actual words can't be revealed because it's under a publication ban to protect those facing crminal charges as a result of the scandal.

Although Captain Ed cautions that his stuff comes from a single source (which means its confidence level is low according to MSM standards; different sources are needed to confirm it), so far no one has challenged this version's facts since Ed posted the story. Suffice to say that if Mr. Brault's testimony were confirmed, our Opposition would have no choice but to collapse our Liberal minority government on a confidence vote.

Naturally, the good Captain has experienced a high number of hits on his site, so much so that he's moved his Adscam comments on to a different page.

Meanwhile, the Gomery inquiry is considering charge Canadian bloggers who link to Captain Ed's story with contempt of court (thanks to Angry in the Great White North for the link to the London Free Press):

[Inquiry official Francois] Perreault warned that even if Brault's testimony has been outed by a U.S. website, it doesn't mean it's now public information.

"Anyone who takes that information and diffuses it is liable to be charged with contempt of court," Perreault said.

"Anybody who reproduces it is at risk."

Mr. Perrault should remember Karla Homolka, right? The publication ban on her manslaughter trial was violated left, right and center by the U.S. media, who were outside that court's jurisdiction. And as far as I know no news service, either Canadian or American, was ever charged or convicted of contempt of court in that case.

Advice to Mr. Gomery: since Mr. Brault is asking for his criminal trial to be delayed until September, you may was well lift the publication ban and let Canadian journalists try to support or discredit his story. No one wants to be scooped by the Americans again, right?