Warren is counsel and principal with a Toronto firm. Before that, he was a special assistant to the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien, and chief of staff in a pile of federal ministries. (His site)
Why is he threatening people?
I don't know for sure why but here are the people he threatened....
Patrick from Shamrocks!:
I am done beefing with Warren Kinsella. I have taken down the posting where I 'respond' to his legal notice. He said something I didn't like and it started from there and now it is taking on a life of its own on other sites.Damian from Babbling Brooks:
But I'm done.
From now on, I'll keep his name out of my mouth and he can keep it the same.
Upon threat of legal action from the wise, courageous, and apparently unchallengeable Warren Kinsella, I have pulled my previous post.
I'm not a lawyer, like Warren Kinsella, LL.B. I don't know if what I wrote meets the legal definition of defamation, and I can't afford to find out, so I've deleted the post.
But you know what? My hundred readers or so don't need my incoherent babblings to tell them what sort of a person Kinsella is. His actions speak far louder than my words.
Consider me bullied, Warren. For now.
Warren is definitely a strange beast.
He openly criticizes Liberals like Carolyn Parrish....
August 26, 2004 - Driving through Massachusetts, and a thought just occurred to
me. You could call it The Carolyn Parrish Truism.
You are what you bleat.
August 25, 2004 - No, actually, it's Carolyn Parrish who is the idiot.
Kick her out of the
Liberal caucus NOW.
... yet he himself will say “Welcome to George Bush’s America. Please check your senses at the door as you enter" and wears a George Bush International Terrorist T-Shirt. He was a special assistant to our PM and he's wearing that T-Shirt?
He is a proud defender of his friends and of his time in Ottawa. He wrote this regarding Adscam; "The enriching all took place in the private sector - for which the guilty parties will pay, and deservedly so."
The threats of legal action against the bloggers appears to be related to the sponsorship scandal and Warren's determination not to be smeared with the big brush of scandal - according to the Tiger in Winter:
I'm not aware of the contents of the other posts that were suppressed in this way, but I did read Damian's post that drew the latest threat. It was not anything I saw as being even remotely defamatory. I've only got a year of law school, so my legal knowledge is very small, but I don't think that it would come close.
[It was a rather unfair post, though I agreed with the substance. I don't think that one should blame political spin doctors for the actions and policies of their political masters. If one is going to hold the previous government responsible for their policies, one should put the blame on Jean Chretien's doorstep.]
He is pretty sensitive on the matter - see his response to Norman Spector's Globe article which suggested that Warren was behind the political directive to put Guite in charge of the sponsorship program:
Any reporters who call hereafter, take note: I DID NOT DIRECT ANYONE TO DO ANYTHING, EVER. AND I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH A PROGRAM THAT DID NOT EXIST. SO GO JUMP IN A LAKE.
Christ, I despise Ottawa.
Now, with the judicial inquiry underway to bring some light on the matter - and to determine whether or not 'all took place in the private sector' - Warren seems to take delight in undermining both Gomery and the inquiry. He wrote the following with respect to a contract Gomery gave to a forensic auditor:
September 27, 2004 - This morning, I read the Globe and Mail, and I found this story.
I'm certain there must be an explanation for this, bit I can't imagine what it would be.
There is also the strange coincidence that a number of people on his blogroll (on his front page) have posted about the fact that Gomery's daughter is a partner the same very large law firm as the lead counsel in the inquiry. Could the 'cult of Warren' be at work?
Paul Wells wrote a column about Warren in 2001 called 'Debunking the Cult of Warren' - some exerpts:
Mr. Kinsella is a lawyer just past his 40th birthday with a nice view ofToronto from his office in a shiny Bay Street tower. He used to write speeches for Jean Chretien when Mr. Chretien was doing a bad job as Opposition leader, although not as bad as the job can be done. He has stayed in touch with Mr. Chretien since the boss found better work. He was present in the rapid-response "war rooms" during the Liberals' 1993 and 2000 campaigns. In 1997 he was absent, busy losing as a Liberal candidate in British Columbia.
Fun facts: Mr. Kinsella was not "the architect for the Grit victory." He was not "the master" of the war room. In private moments, he has even been known to admit as much.
Mr. Kinsella? He was designated a "floater," which means he had no specific job at all. He was there because of Jean Chretien's personal affection for him. He chipped in, as everyone did, at idea-generating bull sessions. He went on TV because the other Liberals, terrified of Mr. Rae's gag order, wouldn't.
And what do you remember about his TV appearances? Precisely: the Barney the Dinosaur toy he hauled out of a gym bag to mock Mr. Day's beliefs about creationism. Except the Barney analogy wasn't his. It came from Sophie Galarneau, yet another near-anonymous Grit. Mr. Kinsella only acted it out.
Reporters are addicted to grade inflation: Anyone reckless enough to talk to us becomes the most important guy in sight, because the fact he talks to us makes us feel important.
Which is how a floater becomes king and a nation becomes even a little more ill-informed than it already was.
Now, I'm not writing this to bad mouth Warren or anything like that - I read his blog daily and comment about him frequently and if he writes me and asks me to remove this post I probably would. Those bloggers that wrote things about Warren may have crossed a line but it is hard to tell as we can't see what they wrote. They didn't seem able/willing to defend themselves.
I suppose I'm writing this because I agree with what he wrote on October 6th - "I'm sucker for little guys who aren't easily bullied." Maybe he respects that, maybe he doesn't.