Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Who muzzled the RCMP over Insite?

Paul Wells yesterday on the bogus “academic” argument against Insite and the muzzling of RCMP's attempts to fix their earlier support of it :
"The only “research” the Harper government is prepared to rely on, as it fights Insite all the way to the Supreme Court, was not research; was secretly bought and paid for with federal tax dollars; contradicts the actual research; has been disowned internally by the police force that bankrolled it; and would have been disowned publicly by that police force if somebody at the RCMP’s highest ranks or outside it hadn’t put the kibosh on."
In December RCMP in BC were set to hold a presser to acknowledge :
"an extensive body of Canadian and international peer-reviewed research reporting the benefits of supervised injection sites and no objective peer-reviewed studies demonstrating harms.” As well, [Chief Superintendent] Harriman said the RCMP would admit that “reviews” commissioned by the force, which contested the centre’s research, “did not meet conventional academic standards.”

Then BC's RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass called it off : "I’m really sorry, I’ve been ordered not to go ahead with the news conference.” But on whose orders exactly?

John Geddes wrote the original piece on this at Maclean's on Friday, already linked by Pogge and The Jurist. Today Wells is pushing to get some traction on an issue that, regardless of what anyone's opinion of Insite may be, clearly points to government data fudging. Where the hell is the rest of the media on this?

Comments under both Wells and Geddes are running to the "oh well, research, who can tell what's really true?" and "who said the government interfered?"variety.

Well you can tell a couple of things about one of those RCMP commissioned reports, written by Dr. Colin Mangham, and how government figured in them.

Flashback : In May 2008, Tony Clement, then Health Minister, turned up at the Standing Committee on Health intending to combat Insite with one doctor in tow - Colin Mangham, "Director of Research" for the Drug Prevention Network of Canada.

The Drug Prevention Network of Canada is a member org of the Canadian government's National Drug Prevention Advisory Committee and an offshoot of the Drug Prevention Network of the Americas, dedicated to "combating the drug legalization movement globally."

The current president of DPNCanada is also on the board of DPNAmericas; the Canadian vice pres is Gwen Landolt of REAL Women. Rounding out the board of our own war on drugs Canadian clonetank is founder and past president ReformaCon MP Randy White, plus a couple of Scientology Narconon graduates.

"Honorary board member" Calvina L. Fay of Drug Free America and Save Our Society From Drugs is touted as having "served as an advisor to President Bush on drug policy".
Yeah, war on drugs!

So did Clement's Dr. Mangham have any data for the Health Committee in 2008 to support his contention that 22 independent research papers in support of Insite were worthless? No, he was just offering an opinion, a "critique".

Cathie was on this back in 2007 with the publishing of Mangham's "critique". The new wrinkle is that someone muzzled the RCMP on coming clean about it last fall.

Now who do we know that has made a veritable career out of muzzling civil servants ?

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