A famous quotation from Sir Walter Scott (1771 -1832) reads:
“O what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!”
This quote came to my mind this morning as the continuing saga of Dr. Rowley’s e mails unfolds. Let me say here and now and quite candidly that I now believe beyond reasonable doubt that the e mails are fakes. Whether Dr. Rowley knew that the e mails were forgeries is another question. Most certainly, from what we are now hearing and seeing on our television screens, that at the very least he is guilty of gross recklessness in doing what he did in the way that he did it. A more thoughtful person would have checked those alleged e mails much more carefully before publicising them in the manner that the erstwhile Leader of the Opposition adopted.
Since Monday’s revelations in Parliament a number of PNM spokesmen have come out batting for Dr. Rowley. Leading the attack for his leader is the PNM’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Faris Al-Rawi, who also happens to be a PNM Senator. On television yesterday morning Mr. Al-Rawi waxed warm in defending and supporting his leader. When asked the obvious question as to why the PNM did nothing about these e mails which they had supposedly had since December, Mr. Al-Rawi said words to the effect that they sent them to the highest office holder in the land … the President. And then he went on to say that President Richards had sent them to the Integrity Commission! Why send them to the Police? They were sent to the very top!! You can’t get higher than the President!
Well, all I can say is hold it sherriff! She’s headin’ for the strawberry patch! Really? You sent those e mails to the President? And by “you” I mean the PNM. So that means that not only Dr. Rowley knew about those e mails but others in the PNM knew about them too? And therefore President Richards knew about them in December? And the Integrity Commission knew about it also in December?!
You see, in those e mails are (amongst other things) some very, very serious threats on the life of a journalist … a citizen of this country. So, leaving aside any “politricks” that the e mails are alleging you are also talking about major criminality here. Therefore, if Dr. Rowley and Mr. Al-Rawi are indeed telling the truth this must mean that our former President George Maxwell Richards knew that there was a threat to the life of a citizen and he did nothing about it! Further, the Integrity Commission also knew and it also did nothing about it! Further, others in the PNM also knew or believed that it was possible that a young woman might be killed! And nobody did anything to prevent that from happening!!
You see what I mean? This scandal is too serious to just let it go like that. Mr. Ken Gordon, the Chairman of the Integrity Commission, is quoted in the press this morning as saying that if the e mails are true then that would be very serious. But I must ask Mr. Gordon directly, what if the e mails are forgeries? Fakes? Wouldn’t that also be very serious? Have you also considered that possibility? And also, did the President send them to you in December or at any other time before he left office? If so. what did you (Mr. Gordon/Integrity Commission) do about them? Did you alert the police? If so, when? Because Mr. Gordon’s public pronouncement today suggests that he, like the rest of us, only heard about this when Dr. Rowley went to Parliament.
And if the Integrity Commission and the President knew about this way back in December, or whenever, and did nothing about it, the question arises as to why they did nothing? Did they believe that the threats were not real? That the e mails were fakes? Or were they waiting for an “Ah! Ha!’ moment when the journalist got killed so that they could say to the Prime Minister and the Attorney General “gotcha!” In other words, were they too playing politics with the life of a citizen? Because the only reason that I can think as to why the Opposition was keeping quiet for so long was because they wanted the murder to take place and then they coud say “gotcha!”. Can anybody give me another credible reason? This, of course, assumes that the e mails were real. If at all times those in the know knew that they were forgeries then obviously nobody was really worried. The threat was faked! So nobody had to alert the police.
Let me say that I do believe that neither Mr. Richards nor any member of the Integrity Commission (including Mr. Gordon) ever saw these alleged e mails before Dr. Rowley dropped them in Parliament. But if they did, as the PNM is alleging, then a lot more people other than Dr. Rowley have some real questions to answer. We’ll have to wait and see, but Sir Walter Scott’s words of warning remain as true today as they were some two hundred years ago when he first wrote them.
by Robin Montano