Prime Time Crime

(Prime Time Crime Nov. 1, 2008)

Paul Palango Responds

Dear members and interested parties;

 

 

In recent days Commissioner Elliott and various commanders have issued statements attacking my book, Dispersing the Fog: Inside the Secret World of Ottawa and the RCMP. They claim there are distortions and errors in the book.

Please allow me to give you some background. This was a very difficult and comprehensive book. It was written and edited in an extremely short period of time. There are some typos in the book, but mostly in the index. The story was put together so quickly that I was not even given a chance to review the index, which would have helped me catch some of those problems in the first edition. I plan to make corrections in the next edition of the book.

I believe I have created a fair impression of the RCMP in my book. My main contact with the force has been DCOMM Bass. As I told him in an e-mail, the force is throwing up a smokescreen to conceal the real issues. To use a baseball analogy, the RCMP brass is arguing about balls and strikes when the real issue is the steroids and corked bats and the integrity of the entire sport.

Furthermore, I had an exchange of e-mails with Bass over the weekend when he alerted that the force would be issuing a statement.

Here is my response to him:

Gary: Glad you read the book. I think I’ve created a fair impression of the RCMP. You can quibble about details but when you issue your press release, please refer to the previous time(s) you have issued press releases about me and others that were inaccurate and misleading, like those detailed in the book.

You can also include former RCMP member Leo Knight’s review Tilting at windmills with effect on Primetimecrime.com or Morley Lymburner’s from Blue Line Magazine. One said I had done a great public service while the other said I should receive the Order of Canada.

Meanwhile, as part of my response, please include the following excerpts from e-mails I have received in the past few days.

A RCMP member (edited to protect identity) had this to say:

“I am hoping this email will reach Paul Palango. I have read the book and am amazed to how well written and interesting it is. As an RCMP officer I would have first shunned your books and not believed that there is a "secret world", that is full of dysfunction…. Ottawa won't even return my calls. Anyhow, I realized in the last four years that they do not want someone doing the right thing if it means extra work for them. They do not want to believe there is corruption in the Force. And it does not get any better when dealing with higher ranking members.

Thank-you for writing a book that should be read by all Canadians. Hopefully some good will come from the RCMP in the future. There are some great men and women working the front line. I do not have anything positive to say about the upper management, here in … Div or Ottawa. I would love to say that I hope they learn from the book. But... I think that may be wishful thinking. I hope one day to have a book of my own out there discussing the corruption from the inside (cause God help there is a lot). Respectfully submitted…”

Or how about this one from another RCMP member:

Mr. Palango.  I … have been unable to put it down…..As I have yet to finish the book, I have no doubt that the Government of Canada has diminished the organization that I worked for and continues to do so through it's political activities but, Commissioner Zaccardelli, in my view, was the worst Commissioner that I ever served under.  The future doesn't look all that rosy either!  I look forward to finishing and sharing the book with others.”

The following came from a retired RCMP Staff Sgt:

 “Thank you for putting to paper what is long overdue.”

Then there is this one from a former Canadian police chief:

“The book is brilliant. I can’t believe how you touched on all the important issues and some that most have not even thought about. I’m very impressed. I hope Canadians read it and take the time to understand these important issues.”

A prominent former judge said this:

 “Congratulations on an impressive piece of work…”

So, I will not engage at this time just as the RCMP has been unwilling to engage me in the past (see Curt Petrovich’s recent story in the CBC about e-mails). When I appeared on The CBC show the Current in November, 2007, the RCMP decided not to oppose me because, as the e-mail pointed out, the RCMP felt it was in a no-win situation.

Unfortunately, the RCMP through its own actions has lost credibility. It has a track record of speaking in “shades of truth” to defend itself. That the leaders of the force cannot see the evident problems and are unprepared to admit the shortcomings and failings of the force is one of the main points (and certainly not the only point) of the book I have published.

I could go on, but you should get the picture. There are good people in the RCMP but it is clear that upper management is more interested in protecting the institution than the public interest.

Yes, I stand behind my story. You are entitled to have your say, but I wrote this book in good faith and in a disinterested fashion. The RCMP was anything but co-operative.

 

 

I warn you in the clearest terms that if you or the force falsely and maliciously attack me for my professionalism or integrity in an attempt to diminish the sales of this book, I will respond in time and in a manner fitting the situation.

That being the case, Gary, please feel free to include this with your press release as my response to your inquiries. If you don’t, I will.

Thank you,

Paul Palango

November 1, 2008

 

 

So, I’ve done what I said I would do. I invite you to read the book for yourself and draw your own conclusions. I welcome your responses and criticisms, but the healthy thing to do right now is for all Canadians to debate the state and future of the RCMP. We can’t continue to muddle along as we have.

 

 

Thank you,

Paul Palango

   

RCMP Commanding Officer’s Communiqué  .pdf

 
   

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Ian Mulgrew's review

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