Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 22, 2008

Who wrote their speech?

Barfly vbo pointed to this amazing video in a recent comment.

On the left John Howard, then Prime Minister of Australia. On the right Stephen Harper, now Prime Minister of Canada, and leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Who wrote their speech?

Posted by b on October 22, 2008 at 18:25 UTC | Permalink

Comments

Unbelievable

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 22 2008 18:41 utc | 1

What a fantastic video. The last shreds of hypocritical integrity that governments might have are destroyed by this thechnology. Thank you.

Posted by: jlcg | Oct 22 2008 19:01 utc | 2

first couple of google links on the names & dates returns news stories from last month

cbc: Harper staffer quits over plagiarized 2003 speech on Iraq

A staff member resigned and apologized Tuesday for writing a speech read by Stephen Harper in 2003 as leader of the Opposition that plagiarized from an address days earlier by then Australian prime minister John Howard.

"Pressed for time, I was overzealous in copying segments of another world leader’s speech," Owen Lippert says in a news release sent out by the Conservative camp on Tuesday afternoon.

"Neither my superiors in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition nor the leader of the Opposition was aware that I had done so."

Lippert worked for Harper, then leader of the Canadian Alliance, when the speech calling for Canadian troops to be deployed to Iraq was written and read in the House of Commons.

Lippert, a former policy analyst for economic think tank the Fraser Institute, has announced his resignation from his current position working in the Conservative campaign headquarters.

The apology came hours after Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae accused Harper of plagiarizing from the Howard speech.

liberal: Harper copied John Howard's speech on Iraq

Mr. Rae released video copies of Prime Minister Howard's March 18, 2003 speech to the Australian House of Representatives and the speech Mr. Harper delivered on March 20, 2003, the very day US Forces first began their bombing raid on Baghdad. A side-by-side comparison demonstrates that almost half of Mr. Harper's speech was a verbatim copy of the speech Mr. Howard had already delivered in the Australian Parliament.

"We should all remember the intense international pressure that Canada was under to send our troops to Iraq. The Liberal government of the day, did the right thing and said no. Mr. Harper, not only signed on to join the Coalition of the Willing, but even literally parroted the coalition's dubious rationale for the war on the floor of the House of Commons."

Mr. Rae pointed out that a number of the lines from Mr. Howard's speech were also duplicated in guest editorials that Mr. Harper submitted to the Toronto Star, National Post, and Ottawa Citizen which were published under his byline on March 21, 2003 and in a guest editorial published on March 29, 2003 in the Wall Street Journal under the byline of Mr. Harper and then foreign affairs critic Stockwell Day.

Posted by: b real | Oct 22 2008 19:15 utc | 3

This surfaced as a jab by the Liberals in the recent Canadian election and was a scandal for a few days. Some of the scuttlebutt concerning it was that the American Enterprise Institute prepared literature for politicians who supported the American endeavour, that being the source of the commonality, although this was denied by the Conservative reps who fielded questions on this matter. Better to cop to plagiarism than to admit that you're a toady of the Americans.

Posted by: canucker | Oct 22 2008 19:35 utc | 4

@b real - that Harper "speech writer" confessing a copy may be honest - or maybe not.

"A staff member resigned .." - oh well ...

Posted by: b | Oct 22 2008 19:37 utc | 5

if it's a canned script from one of the thinktanks or a hired PR agency, there will likely be other instances of the same verbatim text, whether in speechs or op-eds, provided it was distributed further than just those two politicians

Posted by: b real | Oct 22 2008 19:51 utc | 6

i am not in the least surprised by this at all & agree with b real - that its source is more than likely the thugthinktank - american enterprise institute - they see the 'leaders' of their puppet countries as quislings to be fed with the bullshit

in the book you sent me b real - kevin phillip's 'american theocracy' - show us exactly how this is done & phillips should know given that he was a republican strategist famous for his southern strategy- how the empire reproduces itself - right down to the public speeches of its puppets & the way - aei- like the congress for cultural freedom from the 50's to the 70's was used - to reproduce the talking points of the empire

political culture at the level of the state is an impoverished thing - & cannibal like they will eat each other with their lies as they are doing furing this financial depression

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 22 2008 20:59 utc | 7

Didn't really hurt Harper. You have to remember our number two party is the Liberals are a centrist party. Contrary to what some commentators say, they are a CENTER party. They are not left leaning. The Libs said no to Iraq, but yes to Afstan. 100 casualties later, Iraq would have been preferable as we would likely be home by now.

So what is the point of the post - Harper is a dufus? The Canadian Liberals are righteous?

Posted by: zero | Oct 22 2008 21:36 utc | 8

mcSpeeches with freedomFries

Posted by: | Oct 22 2008 21:52 utc | 9

So what is the point of the post - Harper is a dufus?

no, the point of the post is that in all likelihood there was a coordinated effort on the part of several allies to give a unified message regarding what had already been coordinated by the conservatives in several countries all taking marching orders.

likely written by the think tank who designs these things for the global conservatives...in this case AEI

unless John Howard is going to produce a speechwriter who wrote it, which so far it sounds like he hasn't, my guess is he can't or won't because it won't be pretty.

Posted by: annie | Oct 22 2008 22:36 utc | 10

vbo - thanks for bringing this.

Posted by: beq | Oct 22 2008 23:35 utc | 11

annie

you're right. john howard is like pik botha on thorazine. he would never have been able to construct a sentence with a beginning middle & end

at a glance - i'd say it was richard perle who 'wrote' it - he imagined himself a king of kings - & he is pompous enough to impress the harpers/howards who are easily impressed, in any instance

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 22 2008 23:48 utc | 12

As someone said before: We knew they are puppets but this is so in face...it hurts. We know Empire dictate world wide (including EU) but this is so obvious and they did not even bother to send them two different texts...that's why this is incredible. They do not bother to even hide their horrific dictate. So arrogant. And for the people around globe who still have idealistic views about democracy, sovereignty etc. so sad...
This is not plagiarism. Give us a name of the writer! Howard retired and left politic…I don’t think he’ll answer our question. He and his masters should actually go to Hague for ruining Iraq and killing millions of Iraqis for no other reason but to occupy the country for the benefit of Empire.

Posted by: vbo | Oct 23 2008 0:53 utc | 13

"Pik Botha on thorazine"!!! Fantastic similes, dear R'Giap! I spend my days reading bureaucratic nonsense, and I so appreciate your creative and devastatingly evocative imagery here! This is almost as good as "gonorhea-ridden golem" in reference to W. Bltizer!

Posted by: Maxcrat | Oct 23 2008 0:58 utc | 14

thank you, my dear maxcrat

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 23 2008 1:48 utc | 15


this is the proof I never sought that Anglo leaders are a gang of chicken-heads

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Oct 23 2008 1:54 utc | 16

zero (#8) asked: So what is the point of the post - Harper is a dufus? The Canadian Liberals are righteous?

No, I think Harper being a dufus and Canadian Liberals being righteous is incidental. We wondered what the point of the post was as well, so we decided to ask an expert, who very concisely cleared the matter up for us.

That there was a coordinated propaganda effort isn't the question. The question in this case is, who was being sloppy here, a lone plagiarist or the home office when they were handing out the scripts? As breal pointed out, if the latter were true, we should find many more instances of it occuring from the same time period either in whole or in part. You'd think some stenographer, somewhere, would have caught this were that the case.

Of course, in a larger sense, this is simply something for those historians with a quizzical bent to scratch their heads over. After the Downing Street Memos fizzled in the public consciousness, we have plainly seen that it doesn't make the tiniest bit of difference what the actual answers are revealed to be. Every il duce wannabe involved in the wanton destruction of a sovereign nation will walk away free as a bird (and probably significantly the richer for their toadying). This situation is like the endless dickering about the events of 11 September, 2001 were ("make it happen? Let it happen? Surprised as anyone? Incompetence? Calculation?") In the end, all that matters is that these things were used successfully and there will be no larger accountability.

Posted by: Monolycus | Oct 23 2008 4:03 utc | 17

Yes, I'm sorry for that. I voted against, but still I'm sorry. Too bad the opposition couldn't mount a better opposition. An obvious problem with a multiple party system is that the other guys split liberal votes leaving the conservative guys with just enough to "win".

On the other hand, minority governments have to compromise.

We've always known that they get their talking points by fax and email. At least we don't live under delusions of originality.

Posted by: allen/vancouver | Oct 23 2008 4:11 utc | 18

Yes, I'm sorry for that. I voted against, but still I'm sorry. Too bad the opposition couldn't mount a better opposition. An obvious problem with a multiple party system is that the other guys split liberal votes leaving the conservative guys with just enough to "win".

On the other hand, minority governments have to compromise.

We've always known that they get their talking points by fax and email. At least we don't live under delusions of originality.

Posted by: allen/vancouver | Oct 23 2008 4:17 utc | 19

allen,

What are you apologizing for? Both you and zero seem to think this is a criticism levelled at Harper specifically or Canada in general. This isn't about Canada. The point would be the same if that were Angela Merkel standing next to Tony Blair. The criticism is that world leadership were obviously cyncially complicit in foisting a scam off on the nations of the world.

Posted by: Monolycus | Oct 23 2008 4:27 utc | 20

Indeed, if Monolycus #17 is exhibit #A then surely this is exhibit #B:

Money, Media & the Mess in America

By Robert Parry
January 28, 2005

Sometime after 2009, when historians pick through the wreckage left behind by George W. Bush’s administration, they will have to come to grips with the role played by the professional conservative media infrastructure.

Indeed, it will be hard to comprehend how Bush got two terms as President of the United States, ran up a massive debt, and misled the country into at least one disastrous war – without taking into account the extraordinary influence of the conservative media, from Fox News to Rush Limbaugh, from the Washington Times to the Weekly Standard.

Recently, it’s been revealed, too, that the Bush administration paid conservative pundits Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher while they promoted White House policies. Even fellow conservatives have criticized those payments, but the truth is that the ethical line separating conservative “journalism” from government propaganda has long since been wiped away.

For years now, there’s been little meaningful distinction between the Republican Party and the conservative media machine.

In 1982, for instance, South Korean theocrat Sun Myung Moon established the Washington Times as little more than a propaganda organ for the Reagan-Bush administration. In 1994, radio talk show host Limbaugh was made an honorary member of the new Republican House majority.

The blurring of any ethical distinctions also can be found in documents from the 1980s when the Reagan-Bush administration began collaborating secretly with conservative media tycoons to promote propaganda strategies aimed at the American people.

In 1983, a plan, hatched by CIA Director William J. Casey, called for raising private money to sell the administration’s Central American policies to the American public through an outreach program designed to look independent but which was secretly managed by Reagan-Bush officials.

The project was implemented by a CIA propaganda veteran, Walter Raymond Jr., who had been moved to the National Security Council staff and put in charge of a “perception management” campaign that had both international and domestic objectives.

In one initiative, Raymond arranged to have Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch chip in money for ostensibly private groups that would back Reagan-Bush policies. According to a memo dated Aug. 9, 1983, Raymond reported that “via Murdock [sic], may be able to draw down added funds.” [For details, see Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq.]

much more to the article on site..

"The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media." ~ William Colby

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 23 2008 5:05 utc | 21

jclg

What a fantastic video. The last shreds of hypocritical integrity that governments might have are destroyed by this thechnology. Thank you.

And that is why it is so important to stop this terroristic copyright infringement structure that the net provides, see for example: U.N. agency eyes curbs on Internet anonymity | Politics and Law - CNET News.

Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Oct 23 2008 15:57 utc | 22

uncle #21, Robert Parry quote:

In 1982, for instance, South Korean theocrat Sun Myung Moon established the Washington Times as little more than a propaganda organ for the Reagan-Bush administration

I agree with quote, thus find Washington Times' role as whistleblower http://www.francesfarmersrevenge.com/stuff/archive/oldnews2/boystown/>here strange. He's not heavy, he's my constituent. (Sorry a litle OT, and I know Uncle knows, but the fundamental things seem awfully important to our political puppets.)

Posted by: plushtown | Oct 24 2008 1:21 utc | 23

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