21st February 2012
The Editor The Nassau Guardian
I wish to respond immediately to the Nassau Guardian’s editorial of 21st February in which it called for me to apologize to Dion Foulkes for words spoken by me in my own defence last week.
You can hold your breath for that apology. You will see the second coming first.
Help me understand the logic here. Here I am minding my own business. I have conducted myself with all decorum and responsibility in every public office which I have had the opportunity to have in this country. Suddenly and without warning, a minister of the government whose government had in its possession a report which discredits the very accusations he is about to make, puts into the public domain comments which injure me in my character and reputation. The attacks were unwarranted; the allegations are false and defamatory. They were investigated and the issues settled five years or more ago. The Minister knew this at the time he laid the document in the Senate last week.
The Nassau Guardian based on these reports in the Senate carries a headline which says that I am accused of corruption. This goes to the heart of my existence as an individual, as a public figure. It imperils my job and my living. It threatens my ability to travel and makes me a target of physical harm. Yet the Nassau Guardian in its editorial is now saying that I must sit back and be a punching bag for every Tom Dick or Harry because I am PLP and in public life and allow these persons without penalty to make allegations of corruption against me. I must simply sit back and say nothing. Worse, and in the most perverse logic I have seen in my career, I must now apologize to Dion Foulkes. You have got to be joking.
It’s only my mother’s home training that has not caused me to do worse.
The charges of fomenting violence are so contemptible, I hesitate to respond. Obviously, we all speak a different language. Those who know me, know if that is what I wanted to say I would have said so.
Dion Foulkes, Hubert Ingraham as Prime Minister, Brent Symonette as Foreign Minister and Lynn Holowesko as President of the Senate are all complicit in this matter. I hold them personally responsible for the consequences of their official actions. Let me make that abundantly clear. This is no joking matter to me. The police report now in the public domain speaks volumes about the accuser.
I ask these public officials this however: a Bahamian Foreign Service officer by a document which they have now clothed with Parliamentary immunity initiates a meeting with an agent of a foreign government; she makes to that foreign government agent an allegation or corruption against a Bahamian minister, her boss at the time. She admits she has no evidence but makes the allegation anyway. Before doing so, she did not complain to the Permanent Secretary of her ministry, the Bahamian Commissioner of Police, the Bahamian Leader of the Opposition, then Hubert Ingraham, nor the Bahamian Prime Minister then Perry Christie. She did not even go to the Bahamian press. This is an officer who is sworn to uphold the integrity of the Bahamian state, who by the government’s own document has provided information to a foreign state, yet by all accounts that officer is still sitting in office. Messrs. Foulkes, Ingraham, Symonette and Mrs. Holowesko all have sworn to uphold the constitution and uphold the sovereignty of The Bahamas. They have done nothing to deal with the foreign service officer. Rather what they have done is to revel in the discomfort they have caused me for political purposes. I can assure you it is only a joke to them and perhaps to the Nassau Guardian. Not to me. The Nassau Guardian has had nothing to say about that dereliction of duty on the part of those named officials.
It is even more egregious since the charges made by the officer are false.
And the Nassau Guardian says Fred Mitchell must apologize. In this forum I cannot tell The Guardian the words I would like to say.
Fred Mitchell MP