27 February 2017

Davis' paranoia #nlpoli

Perhaps one of the most disconcerting aspects of former Premier Paul Davis' testimony at the Barry Inquiry last week is the clear evidence that he still lacks a level-headed, rational perspective on the events of April 2015 and afterward.

In response to questions,  Davis said that "very quickly [after the shooting] there were rumours that I had ordered an assassination and that was a concern."   As CBC noted in its story on Davis' testimony,  Constable Joe Smyth earlier had testified he was concerned about the conspiracy theories bandied around on social media.

One can only wonder why such lunatic ideas - obviously, insane notions unsupported by any evidence - would even cause Davis a second thought.  Most people would dismiss them immediately for the idiotic drivel they are.

But, by his own account, Davis gave them credibility and continues to do so.

One can only wonder why.

There is much about Davis' testimony that doesn't make sense.  Then again, on that front, Davis is not the only currently serving or former police officer to leave people scratching their heads about them. Take the issue of whether or not Davis knew of the comments that prompted Smyth's visit to Mitchell's Brook.  Apparently not,  according to his story now.

A story on Paul Davis' first comments to media the next day also referred to threats directed at the Premier.  "It's upsetting when you see a comment made like that that appears to be directed toward me and another cabinet minister and the people most important to us, our families," Davis told reporters.

"Threat" was the official term.  As the initial CBC story on the shooting showed, official sources told the CBC an officer had been in Mitchell's Brook to investigate a threat  These days, Davis doesn't think the comments contained a threat at all and certainly not aimed at him.  All the same, Davis told Commissioner Justice Leo Barry on Friday that someone should have checked out the comments because they caused concern.

The source of concern, the reference to dead politicians and the use of the word "hurt".  With that logic,  Davis would have the police kicking down the front door of someone who tweeted condolences to the families of "dead MHAs" because of the emotional "hurt" they had experienced. Such is the blue logic on this.  Not a threat but worthy of investigation.  And everyone continues, after that, to refer to the comments as a threat.

The officers testifying, including the former Premier, understand that if Don Dunphy's comments contained no threat or the hint of violence or violent intent, then Joe Smyth had no reason to be in Mitchell's Brook. With no reason to be in the room, Smyth wouldn't have found himself facing a loaded rifle with all the tragedy that ensued. One can see why Smyth's supervisor - Inspector Joe Gullage - would back Smyth's decision.

After that, sticking to some contorted view that Smyth was justified in investigating a threat that wasn't a threat is a foolish as getting upset because some fruitloop in Nanaimo thinks the Premier sent out a police officer to assassinate a man who - by Smyth's own testimony - the protective detail had never heard of before. The protective service unit was supposed to conduct intelligence analysis  - identifying threats - presumably in advance.  That's what intelligence-based policing means.  Yet somehow they missed a fellow whose presence on social media was like an aircraft carrier in a very small bathtub.