Tue | Aug 21, 2018

JaRistotle | Hiding behind the veil

Published:Thursday | December 14, 2017 | 12:00 AM

There is a story about three people trying to determine the original profession of the Creator. The first said He must have been a doctor because He created Adam and Eve from the earth. The second countered that He must have been an engineer, because before Adam and Eve, He created the heavens and the earth from confusion. The third convinced the other two that He was a lawyer, quipping 'who do you think created the confusion?'

Last week, as I listened to national security minister Robert Montague addressing the saga of the motor vehicles for the police, I noted his failure in Parliament to provide detailed answers concerning the contract and how he avoided answering similar questions during a subsequent radio interview.

I concluded that either he was a lawyer under the quiet or he had been well briefed by a lawyer as to the answers to be given and those not to be given. But let's face it, he was not breaking new ground as far as lying to John Public was concerned, he was merely cementing his membership in the club of parliamentary liars who have been taking us for fools since independence.

Hiding behind the veil, whether corporate, legal, security or parliamentary, has become an art form for those who have something to hide, or who want to avoid full disclosure on troubling issues. The veil has become a cloak for covering up corruption, incompetence and mismanagement, particularly in respect of our public resources. Let's face it: tief is tief and idiot is idiot, no matter what office they hold, and even when we know the bastards are guilty as sin, because of the veil, the truth is buried and they remain at liberty to bleed us dry - vampires at large.

 

MASKING THE TRUTH

 

Imagine a fleet of aircraft to be acquired for a company. Someone in the know leases the aircraft from the manufacturers, and thereafter leases them to a series of shell companies and eventually to the actual company. With each successive lease the cost is multiplied, making it near impossible for the company to be revenue positive because of the exorbitant lease costs. Who benefits? The vampires behind the lease arrangements and the crooks they pay to mask the truth behind layers of veils. Need I say more?

When political candidates are elected to public offices, they are supposed to represent the interests of their constituents, the people of Jamaica; their shareholders. Too often, however, they forget this, and suddenly they are no longer accountable to us. Problem is, we have allowed them to get away with this lying. But time ah ketch up pon dem.

Cast your minds upon the Dudus saga of 2010, the highlight of which was the incursion into Tivoli Gardens. Now taxpayers will foot a $200-million bill to compensate the residents of the community. But answer this, did the Jamaican taxpayers tip off Dudus about the extradition warrant or was it a rogue individual or group? Our law-enforcement agencies know who was responsible, but the truth remains masked behind a veil of secrecy; a veil which cost 70-odd lives, two multi-million dollar Commissions [of Inquiry and Compensation] and now $200 million.

My mother always told me that if I consistently spoke the truth I would never have to try and recall what I said, because having spoken the truth on the first go my story would never change. After all, the truth is the truth, and it will always set you free.

How often have we seen clearly culpable people walk free from charges for serious offences simply because of technicalities and legal manoeuvrings which deny justice to the victims and society in general? It is not that these people were not wrongdoers, but lawyers have become masters of raising so many veils for the guilty to hide behind, it has become extremely difficult to get justice in this country. Not unless you have a deep pocket and much patience.

Let's think about the veil, because inasmuch as it may seem to protect you now, in your hour of darkness, that veil may deny you the justice that you so desperately, and rightly, deserve.

If you have nothing to hide, unveil yourself. Those who remained veiled are telling us they have something to hide.

- Send feedback to opinion@gleanerjm.com