Having read the latest story about the "scandalous emails" I’m still indifferent about MacKay’s helicopter trip, but disappointed in some of the military officers involved. If there’s any embarrassment in this situation it will be mostly because of stupid, indiscreet comments and speculation in emails that have been leaked [or FOI’d] to the press:
... At one point during the discussion, a different officer, Col. Bruce Ploughman of One Canadian Air Division Headquarters in Winnipeg, raised concerns about the optics of picking the minister up from a fishing trip with a military helicopter.What a couple of dumb-asses! My bet is that those colonels’ careers will be suffering a severe set-back. Their bosses, right up to the CDS, will be livid.
"When the guy who's fishing at the fishing hole next to the minister sees the big yellow helicopter arrive and decides to use his cellphone to video the minister getting on board and post it on YouTube," Ploughman wrote, "who will be answering the mail on that one?" [And he puts this in writing?! Good grief!]
Ploughman expressed reluctance to have the military accept the mission. [If true, Ploughman is truly an idiot. A tasking coming from high up the chain, in support of the MINISTER of Defence, isn’t something you’d expect a mere colonel to“express reluctance” about “accepting”.]
"If we are tasked to do this we, of course, will comply," he wrote. "Given the potential for negative press though, I would likely recommend against it, especially in view of the fact that the Air Force receives regular [freedom-of-information requests] specifically targeting travel on [military] aircraft by ministers." [Oh the irony! It doesn’t seem to have crossed Ploughman’s pea-brain that his own email musings might be even more damaging should they be made public.]
The next day, July 7, 2010, Lt.-Col. Chris Bulls wrote that the "mission will be under the guise" of search-and-rescue training. [“ ... under the guise of ...”!!? Kee-ryste - how about (at least) “... the mission is search-and-rescue training”??]