Friday, March 21, 2008

Martin herself may be to blame

Since this is Good Friday (thank you Dr. Roy), I don't want to focus too much on political issues today but a few things need to be said.

On a personal note, thank you SDA for helping me shatter my previous one-day hit record of about 1600 with an impressive 2 K+. As a blogger, it's fun to keep track of such things.

Secondly, my assessment of yesterday's events both here and at SDA has led me to the conclusion that Brenda Martin is the author of her own misfortune. Her accomplices and enablers include the gleeful LPC, sanctimonious MSM, and Martin's scornful family and friends that have been so vocal, ungrateful and vicious as to actually alienate not only Canadian supporters such as myself, but also the Mexican government which now seems to be indignantly digging in its heels over the political interference of its own legal jurisdiction.

Yesterday, the Mexican Embassy issued the following statement (Globe):

"Brenda Kim Martin is detained, pursuant to the order of the competent Mexican Federal court," the release said, adding that she has been seen by doctors and Canadian diplomats in the two years she has been held. It said Ms. Martin's decisions to change lawyers and launch constitutional challenges have "significantly contributed to the delay in her trial." The statement concluded that, should Ms. Martin be convicted, treaties could allow her to serve her sentence in a Canadian prison...


Christina Spencer notes that the continued antagonistic effort of the media and Mrs. Martin's supporters could have negative consequences:

...But often, the louder the diplomacy, the harder it is to find a happy ending. Too much public pressure on another government can backfire, drawing out a crisis for years, seasoned diplomats warn. "The Mexicans are probably saying 'bugger you' -- it's gotten to the point now where it's having a negative effect on the people involved," says Gar Pardy, former director general of the consular affairs bureau at the department of foreign affairs. The principle is simple: Governments don't like to be embarrassed by other governments who criticize them. "They're less willing to move the paper than otherwise would be the case."

Spencer goes on to list several incidents in the past where aggressive Canadian political intervention has gone badly.

She finishes up with this:
...When a Canadian is arrested abroad -- and in early 2008 there were 21 Canadians in jail in Mexico -- diplomats try to work quietly and informally to win their release or improve conditions. The Canadian government, for instance, says there have been about 100 consular contacts with Brenda Martin since her arrest.
Of course, that quiet action hasn't won her freedom. But "the Mexicans have responded to her personal care in terms of the concerns that have been expressed about her mental health. In terms of some of the cases you deal with, to have that level of attention and care is very rare," Pardy says.


So the Mexican justice system is doing the best it can under the circumstances. And guess what? Martin may actually be guilty. That hasn't been determined yet. At the very least, there is more to this story than meets the eye.



We need to ensure that emotional performances don't overshadow the need for reason and due process.

If the determination of guilt or innocence hinged only on an Oscar-winning show of tears and venom, Brenda Martin would be a free woman today.


* * * *

Update: I came across this article in the Post, and it should be noted that Brenda's friend, Debra Tieleman has actually shown a modicum of gratitude and civility:

...But Debra Tieleman, a childhood friend of Ms. Martin's who has led the public campaign to free her, said Mr. Kenney seems to be the first Conservative who is truly committed to getting Ms. Martin out of prison as quickly as possible.

Good for her.

28 comments:

Alberta Girl said...

Unfortunately over the top pleas from radio hosts and journalists have turned this story into a circus and have- in my opinion - made Brenda Martin out to be an opportunist.

Roy Green is usually a balanced radio host, however last week when he was hosting for CA he was rabid over this story, so much so, I actually kept turning him off every time he got to Brenda Martin. He did not provide balanced coverage, choosing to believe one side only. His please to call and write the PM have prompted many to do just that only to find out that the story is NOT what it was reported.

I thought that rather than just be p-od about Roy's reports, I would send him an e-mail - as below. I don't know if he will even care, but I feel better.

Roy - I have been stewing about your coverage of the Brenda Martin case since last weekend when you covered (one side) of the story over several days. Something about your coverage didn't sit right with me and I ended up turning your show off half way through - every day(not something a radio host wants to hear I am sure), however I do not believe that you provided balanced coverage on this matter. There are ALWAYS two sides to every story and it appears that you fell hook, line and sinker for Brenda's and her friends and supporters (and dare I say, certain political parties that love to use dead people and jailed people for political gain).

At the time that you were railing away at SH to "pick up the phone", I was yelling at the radio as to what you expected the president of Mexico to do - go and unlock the jail. What exactly would you expect SH to do if we had a Mexican citizen in jail here and the president called SH demanding they be freed? I was also right in my assumption that the Tory government HAS been working on this case, a fact that you did not even attempt to bring out.

So now we have Brenda Martin herself - after pleading for help - calling the extra help "a dog and pony show" and saying that if she had to come back to Canada to go to jail, she wouldn't do it. Roy, if I were as despondent and as suicidal as BM, I would take any hand held out to me.

Roy, I am beginning to think that you have been duped by someone who wants their Get Out of Jail Free card. This whole situation seems to be one of a series of mistakes made by Brenda herself and if you had taken the time to get the other side of the story, you may have found the following.

" The Mexican embassy yesterday released a statement defending its decision to hold a 51-year-old Canadian woman accused of links to an international fraud scheme.

"Brenda Kim Martin is detained, pursuant to the order of the competent Mexican Federal court," the release said, adding that she has been seen by doctors and Canadian diplomats in the two years she has been held. It said Ms. Martin's decisions to change lawyers and launch constitutional challenges have "significantly contributed to the delay in her trial." The statement concluded that, should Ms. Martin be convicted, treaties could allow her to serve her sentence in a Canadian prison.

Yesterday a distraught Ms. Martin called her meeting this week with Conservative MPs Jason Kenney and Rick Norlock "a dog and pony show."

"It was a photo op for them for political gain. And I am not a political pawn, and I don't care to be a political pawn any more. My life is at stake," she said in a telephone interview."

She has one thing right though, this is a dog and pony show, directed by none other than certain opposition party members who tried to use Schrieber (another get me out of jail case) and tried to use a dead MP and are now using a jailed woman to throw dirt on a government that has been quietly working behind the scenes on Brenda's case.

I used to look forward to your shows on the weekend, but I have to say, Roy, after how you treated this story, I will continue to turn the radio off when your program comes on.

I was just going to leave it at not listening to you, but felt that you needed to know that one person will be turning the radio off - might not make one iota of difference to you but I wanted you to know none the less.

Good luck.

Unfortunately, I will not be listening to him as promised, so will not know if he has changed his direction on reporting this or not.

If anyone else wants to write him with their thoughts, his e-mail address is below.

roy.green@corusent.com

Joanne (True Blue) said...

That was awesome, Alberta Girl.

The 'dog-and-pony-show' is the media circus that is running with this story to a ridiculous degree and not presenting all the facts.

We Canadians are the political football - not Brenda Martin.

Yes, we've been duped royally.

Alberta Girl said...

"The principle is simple: Governments don't like to be embarrassed by other governments who criticize them."

Watch the opposition and the MSM and Brenda herself turn this around and blame the government for prolonging this by "embarrassing" the Mexican government.

Mark my words....it WILL happen.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Watch the opposition and the MSM and Brenda herself turn this around and blame the government for prolonging this by "embarrassing" the Mexican government.

You're probably right. The question is, will the Canadian public continue to allow themselves to be sucked in?

Fay said...

I agree that something is just not right here. After hearing on Radio and watching on Tv the crying begging and pleading, I was very worried. Now the Canadaian government has sent MP's and the PM talked to the President of Mexico. The response we hear from the helpless Brenda Martin is ridicule that this is nothing but a "dog and pony show" This from a woman on suicidal watch!! Whatever happened to Thankyou, my life is in your hands.
This from a woman who apparently has been living for 10 years in Mexico.
This woman does not make me feel proud to be Canadaian!

Anonymous said...

I always believed that if you lived outside the country for ten yrs with-out returning to Canada for certain periods you gave up your citizenship through absentia.
Am I wrong?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I always believed that if you lived outside the country for ten yrs with-out returning to Canada for certain periods you gave up your citizenship through absentia.

Good question. I'm not sure how that works.

it does all remind me of that dual-citizenship controversy with the Canadians living in Lebanon who needed to be rescued and then trashed the government's efforts in the bargain.

Enkidu said...

I'm sure there are many bloggers who would like a Small Dead Animalanche, but few are more deserving than you. You carry high quality content, thank you and keep up the good work.

x2para said...

dog & pony show?; its clear that the dogs (lapdogs more correctly) are liberal hucksters and their media suckers but who are the ponys? would that be the public who are being taken for a ride?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Endiku. I really appreciate that.

I'd like to take this opportunity to mention that I get piles of emails from people who ask me to take up their particular cause, and I obviously can't address them all.

I do keep the messages tucked away for future reference though, and many times I bring up the topics in the future. So please keep those emails coming. Thanks.

DWC said...

Sickening, but not surprising, given the current climate of personal entitlement inculcated into the populace by years of Liberal government. It pisses me off to see something as precious as Canadian citizenship, that so many died protecting, used as a cheap bargaining chip to pull out every time someone's personal stupidity gets him or her into hot water. Remember Lebanon? The government should start booking on Carnival Cruiselines for the next wave of our moronic countrymen who run screaming in terror out of some violent and repressive country, with bullets up their backsides, only to complain that they didn't get fine china and white linen on the trip out.

fh said...

check out NB tory lady
???? liberals threatening New Immigrants that if they don't vote Liberal
they will be forced by Conservatives to pay back a settlement fee of $20,000.00 per person

occured in 70's

is this still happening?

call the RCMP to investigate PDQ

KPK said...

The government should let her rot lest they be accused of using this as a "photo op". Brenda Martin seems to be full of herself thinking that whatever the government does may alter the course of the next election. She is sadly mistaken. The world does not revolve around her.

fh said...

PDQ means PRETTY DARN {‘‘‘«} QUICK

Gabby in QC said...

Alberta Girl, that was a great email you sent to Roy Green.

I had to turn Green off as well, simply because Brenda Martin's pleas and cries didn't ring true with me from the very beginning.

I started scolding myself for being so uncaring and heartless, but from the very beginning of this story I figured it was building towards a "blame Stephen Harper" crescendo.

Like those complaining ingrates rescued out of Lebanon in 2006, Ms. Martin doesn't appear to be any more deserving of Canadians' sympathy than they were.

Anonymous said...

What really bugs me is at now time has Martin shown any gratitude for the efforts made, except by the Liberals who visited her.

If you're so desperate that you're threatening to kill yourself, don't you accept any help you're offered?

Too much of the "other side" of the story has been ignored by the media.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely astounding to watch you all turn against this poor woman at the word of Kate McMillan.

I've always felt that the biggest failing of blogs as a source of reliable information has been the sheer ignorance of the bloggers themselves.

Joanne, you demonstrate this in spades. Sanctimonious, self-righteous and stupid. A winning combination.

To actually state that the Mexican justice system is doing the best it can and expect anyone with an ounce of common sense to swallow it is beyond belief.

Mexico is a deeply corrupt country. Martin has never stood trial yet she is in prison with convicted criminals of all types.

You have condemned Mexico as an unsafe place to visit yourself in previous posts. Suddenly, once this conservative govt is criticized, you rush to defend what is undefendable.

Have you ever accepted a legitimate criticism of Harper or his govt? Ever? Have you?

If Liberal MP's hadn't embarassed this govt into acting on the Martin case, nothing would have been done
at all.

You suggest she may be guilty. Harper might be guilty of breaking a law or 2 himself. He gets the benefit of facing his accusers. Why shouldn't Martin?

Pathetic. All of you.

Anonymous said...

Has it escaped everyone's attention that Brenda Martin was first arrested in January 2006 when the Liberals and Paul Martin were still in power?

And, according to Mexican officials the (Liberal appointed ) Canadian consulate could have had her freed within 72 hours before charges were officially laid?

And, the Mexicans feel they have just cause to lay charges against her and she was an illegal alien in that country for 10 years working without a green card.

So, tell me again how her problem is the fault of the Conservatives.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Pathetic. All of you.

Is that you just venting, Anon, or do you want to give yourself a name and we'll discuss it?

Anonymous said...

anon needs to check the facts...one being that this government had at least 100 contacts with Mexican authorities before the media turned this into a CPC bashfest.
The reliable info has been on the blogs, anon, but blatantly omitted in the MSM.
And you obviously missed Joanne's initial post on Martin.

Just one question for you anon...do you assume that Martin is a victim, or a person responsible for her choices?

bluetech

Alberta Girl said...

"Absolutely astounding to watch you all turn against this poor woman at the word of Kate McMillan."

Oh PULEEEZE Anony - I have been up in arms over this pseudo drama since last week when Roy Green started bleating and crying and demanding that PM Harper "pick up the damned phone".

FINALLY Kate picked it up but actually, if truth be known, Joanne had it first so get off your high horse and realize that it is common sense that sets Conservatives apart from you left wing bleeding hearts.

Common sense said to me that there is more to a story than the one side that Brenda and the media keep putting out there. Especially when liberal MP's start blaming the Tories for something, you know that it is another pseudo scandal.

Like I said on another blog - Stephen Harper must just feel like he has annoying little flies constantly buzzing around his head - they never quit - he constantly has to Swat them - which, by the way, he does quite admirably given that none of these so called scandals seems to be sticking.

So Anony - give it up - it has nothing to do with heartlessness, it has to do with listening to two sides of the story, taking care of those that truly need taking care of - not the bleeding hearts who decide to bite the hand that is trying to help them.

So speaking of ignorance, look to the Liberals and the MSM for that because they did not take the time to find out the other side of the story and now are looking like idiots for making demands of a government that has been trying to work on this case for two years. They look like idiots now that their "poor political pawn" has shown her true unappreciative colors.

Instead of just following the Liberal talking points, why don't you start to think for yourself, examine the facts and see if you don't start to think something stinks in this whole thing.

maryT said...

Dust My Broom has the photo op Brenda was talking about, OOPS, it's a pic of the liberal and Brenda, at the prison.
Wrong mp, wrong party, so how about an apology to Jason Kenny.
Could this be another wrong story aka Nafta. Who changed the name and party that put on a dog and pony show.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Dust My Broom has the photo op Brenda was talking about, OOPS, it's a pic of the liberal and Brenda, at the prison.

Yeah, no kidding eh?

I was watching Lisa LaPhlegm on CTV and she said they weren't allowed to take any pictures.

No pictures -> No photo op.

That doesn't seem so difficult to understand does it?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

And BTW, that's some amazing prison wear. Love the earrings.

Tony said...

Brenda Martin has only herself to blame for the predicament that she finds herself in. From all accounts, her former boss, Alyn Waage, was at best a shady character with a string of lawsuits against him, dating all the way back to the 1970's.

http://www.thewantednovel.com/edjournal.html

I especially like this quote

"It looked like a friggin parking lot outside that house most days," said Sandy Smith, who asked that her real name not be used. She still lives in Vallarta and fears the Mexican federal police. The Toronto native worked as Waage's chef and lived in Castillo Cristina for 10 months beginning in July 2000.

If Brenda Martin is the one being quoted, in the interview, she knew as early as 2003 that her former boss was involved in a scam. Why did she continue to associate herself with him? If she feared the Mexican police as early as 2003, why did she continue to live there until her arrest in 2006? Something just does not add up.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Tony, that link is fascinating. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

This Sandy Smith said she worked as Waage's chef for 10 months starting in the year 2000. Is that not the same timing that Brenda Martin said that SHE was there working as a chef?

Is "working as a chef" just some kind of con lingo for assisting in a money laundering scam or being in MNexico getting money illegally without a green card.

How many others did this guy have "working as a chef"???

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Is "working as a chef" just some kind of con lingo for assisting in a money laundering scam or being in MNexico getting money illegally without a green card.

This story gets worse and worse as the sordid little details start to emerge.

I can't help comparing this to the Schreiber affair in that once again it seems that Canadians are being played for fools. It will be interesting to see what happens when everything gets sorted out.