Wednesday, June 17, 2009

If a trainer for the spyware came here he would have left footprints

If a trainer for the spyware came here he would have left footprints

Posted By Stabroek staff On June 17, 2009 @ 5:05 am In Letters | 11 Comments

Dear Editor,
In a letter not long ago I questioned how it was that President Jagdeo knew so much about the opposing forces and so little or nothing about those on his side. I argued that it was not real. The President makes an unreasonable claim of unreasonable innocence. He claims that for seven years he had no idea of the forces fighting on his side. He had videos of the opposing gunmen, but none of those which were reported to be supporting the government. This is a level of detachment that passes all understanding.

For me, the first clue that the government had some knowledge of the spy software came from Dr Luncheon in 2003 after Roger Khan and two others were arrested at Good Hope, and the equipment was seized by soldiers. Call me ignorant, but at the time I had no idea who Mr Khan was. From the occupants in the vehicle at Good Hope I just knew that it was a government outfit. Luncheon was quick to remark that the police also had an instrument like the famed spy computer.

My mind, which some observers consider warped, at once read this message: ‘It was the government’s machine.’ That hunch might have been quite wrong. Mr Khan’s defence counsel visited Guyana on an ill-fated mission. Recently it was claimed that there was a twin of the famed instrument. The lawyer with or without Customs examination, had shipped the instrument to the USA. The other chance is that Dr Luncheon was indeed accurate and that two such machines had been acquired. A third possibility is that there were two different machines – one kept by Khan for recording and the other returned to the custody of the state.

How could Mr Khan’s lawyer be so sure that he had bagged that piece of spyware and the government be equally sure that the state had it in custody. True, Khan did not plead guilty in the 2002 case. The government has described the instrument as not illegal and we live by the (slogan) ‘Rule of Law.’ And why have we all allowed that impossible conflict to remain a mystery, like a jumbie story?

A good move for GINA would be for the President or his Man Roger (Luncheon) to issue a photo showing one of them operating the piece of legal spyware the “state” is keeping, while the other “looks on” – if Minister Rohee will allow it. At once the mind turns to that farce of the century, the ‘Phantom Commission’ and its terms of reference (reverence). Does it not seem now that state organs had valuable information that was withheld from the commission? For example, assuming that there was a trainer from the UK, did that trainer require a visa? Did the trainer enter and leave through the ‘Walter Rodney’ airport?
Since the commissioners found that the Minister crossed the lines with a criminal suspect and that there was no evidence to connect him with the Phantom, it seems right that the commission should be reconvened by the President to clear the state or that there should be a new commission to investigate what has recently come to light.

Unfortunately my first reading recently of the commission’s report shows that it was not a rigorous investigation. The evidence of a prominent journalist and of a citizen put together could have led somewhere if pursued. The likelihood of slippage in the entire investigation of the whole George Bacchus episode was posed in a forensic letter from the pen of a citizen appearing in Stabroek News on March 3, 2004.

There is now at least one outstanding allegation which should be verifiable. If a company agent in fact arrived in Guyana as alleged in New York to train one or more persons in the use of the spyware, that takes us somewhere; such a visitor would have left footprints.

Some have written that the PPP was founded by an honourable comrade and his honourable wife. This of course is a major overstatement and hardly a compliment to the Jagans. No, the PPP was really not founded by two persons; more of this in due course.

However, the PPP of the days of its foundation and its years of righteousness has long ceased to exist. Its moral quality fell rapidly with the winning of fame and office. Since the return of democracy, the PPP has become more and more corrupt and high-handed with each new resounding victory. This is not to throw holy water on its main rival. But as I have said, as one who was not idle in the fight against PNC corruption, it was small-time by comparison. The present PPP has made an institution of corruption. Whereas under the PNC regime corruption was a privilege of the most powerful leaders, we now have the corruption of the willing.

Too little attention has been paid to the dramatic circumstances of the death of Mr George Bacchus and to the circumstances in which he altered or withdrew his original testimony.

Stranger than strange too is the fact that both government and opposition each had some video with evidence against the other. My search shows that the government party continues to boast of its own videos and hold them secret, for political advantage, while the opposition handed its video over to the government authorities. And this one more before I reveal a thought reaching me from “the last leader standing” before he was shot. When contractors visit Robb Street to make donations, do they get a receipt?
Yours faithfully,
Eusi Kwayana
11 Comments (Open | Close)

#7 Comment By Andy On June 17, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

Eusi is so right!
I still want to know where are the local investigative reporters who should be highlighting the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars that were allocated to government ministries and institutions and not spent as expected were never returned to the original purse? Why? Where are these monies? What is going on with the public’s money?

I can only hope that foreign donors are paying attention to the widespread corruption in Guyana and not risk pumping US$580M a year into Guyana to avoid deforestation.

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