My copy arrived a couple of days ago, and I was impressed because I could actually read it. As Ezra Levant points out, it is so readable, so light on the legalese, that it “tells a hell of a story” — and ordinary people trying to understand an issue like a good story, a digestable narrative.
This Statement of Defense is just that. Here’s Ezra:
Paragraphs 20 to 56 give details of Warman’s [alleged] conduct — ranging from his habits of posting anti-Semitic material on the Internet, to his conspiracy to assault an opponent (captured on video). I knew much of it, but not all — until I read paragraph 31, for example, I didn’t know that Warman had praised Ernst Zundel. That’s weird conduct for a Canadian Human Rights Commission investigator.
Warman’s complaint against us hinges mostly on the “Ann Cools” post. Again, here’s Ezra:
Paragraphs 57 to 77 of the Statement of Defence contain a lot [of] details about this bigoted post that I didn’t know, or only knew about vaguely. I didn’t know that Richard Warman and the CHRC had filed a section 13 “hate speech” complaint against Marc Lemire for this post, but when Lemire brought a motion naming Warman as the secret author of the post and asking the CHRC to have Warman listed as a co-defendant in the complaint, both Warman and the CHRC quickly amended their complaint to exclude the post.
The post is clearly hateful — it’s racist, misogynistic and anti-immigrant. Why on Earth would Warman and the CHRC suddenly omit this one post from their complaint, unless they had something to hide?
I didn’t know that the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal accepted affidavit evidence from Bernard Klatt, indicating that the Anne Cools post was written by Warman. I didn’t know that Klatt was recognized as an expert by the Tribunal. I didn’t know that Warman didn’t even cross-examine Klatt, or bring expert evidence of his own to refute Klatt.
I don’t think Warman has ever faced a defamation defence as well-written and comprehensive as this one. I don’t think he’s ever gone up against lawyers as experienced in defamation as the Post’s lawyers. And when all the other defences are in, I’ll talk a bit more about the rest of the legal team.
After years of one-sided bullying, a group of people are saying: “stop!” – something no-one has ever really told Warman before. I think we’re going to win.
The other interesting thing about the Free Dominion statement is its (to me) original defense — and one I agree with completely — that the internet encourages and expects more hyperbolic, “out there” writing than traditional media, and that therefore the standards of “acceptable” speech are different in cyberspace.
To put it in my own language:
Warman came to play in our playground then wanted to change the rules. He could have easily played by “our” rules: logged onto Free Dominion or sent us all emails correcting our alleged “mistakes”; set up his own blog to refute them, or asked to guest post at his friend Kinsella’s.
But he is fighting a cyberspace battle using stupid boring old fashioned lawsuits.
In other words, people who take advantage of the web’s tolerance for hyperbole, anonymity and anti-PC language to entrap folks they don’t agree with have a lot of nerve suing their critics for using those same tools!
Anyway, like Ezra, I was stunned to read some of the stuff in this statement of defense. Here’s my “favourite” — frankly, I was shocked by this:
42. Under the false identity “Axetogrind,” the plaintiff [Richard Warman] posted in 2004 a copy of a confidential letter sent to the CHRC by a young woman, [EL] in settlement of a complaint the plaintiff made against her and in which she expressed her shame and denounced her previous [presumably neo-Nazi] beliefs. The plaintiff [Warman] posted the letter on the neo-Nazi VNN with the preface “With friends like these…” He did so without any regard for her safety or consequences she might suffer.
Remember: Richard Warman is the guy who is suing us — because we’ve allegedly harmed his reputation by talking about this stuff.
And yes, the process has just begun. My lawyer is preparing my own statement of defense right this very minute. (Ka-ching…)
As always, your donations to our legal defense funds are very welcome.
Read paragraph 42 again — and consider helping us in our fight.
Thank you in advance.
UPDATE: Instapundit, he say:
It does seem as if most of the bigotry in Canada is being perpetrated by undercover “Human Rights” Commission operatives…
PS: thanks to everyone for their donations, and for buying copies of my e-book, Acoustic Ladyland, as a show of support.
You can also help by purchasing the World’s Greatest T-shirt, with revenues going to our collective defense fund: