Mr Warner's dangerous grab for power
There is no excuse, not even a shattered ego, for the inflammatory remarks issued by the National Security Minister following the shooting tragedy in Laventille which claimed the life of Stephon Morris on Tuesday morning.
Mr Warner's subsequent claim that his statements were taken out of context will not wash with a public that saw him on camera, denouncing the killing as a "PNM murder" and emphatically announcing his intention to instruct the police not to release details of crime to the media.
In that moment, citizens saw the full capacity of a politician willing to say anything, and do anything, including to trespass on law and convention in a dictatorial attempt to take personal and unlawful control of the agency established to protect and serve the people of this country.
To his credit, Acting Commissioner Stephen Williams has stepped forward to assure the public that the T&T Police Service will continue to respect its legal obligation to release information to the public regarding incidents of crime.
On Mr Warner's charge of "PNM murder", the Acting CoP diplomatically offered that he had no idea what the minister could have meant.
Like never before, the onus is now squarely on the top cop to signal to his officers, to the public, and to the governing administration that the T&T Police Service is not to be regarded as some private security company owned by the National Security Minister or other political person or entity.
Given the vehement insistence of his original statements, we have no hesitation in dismissing Mr Warner's subsequent attempt at damage control as mere political expediency. The public has long felt that Mr Warner is a cat that the Prime Minister cannot and, apparently, will not bell. Indeed, in some perversely inverse ratio, her own confidence in him has risen as public confidence in him has fallen.
When she should have managed him out of her Cabinet over the FIFA affair, she chose to elevate him to the National Security Council and, subsequently to the position of Minister of National Security.
After his latest power play and attempt at snatching control of aspects of the operations of the T&T Police Service, this newspaper has no choice now but to conclude that Jack Warner is too dangerous a man to be handed the National Security portfolio.
Given his extremism, his willingness to indulge in scurrilous attacks, and his lack of hesitation in trampling on the law with impunity, we cannot imagine a public figure less suited to the sensitive area of national security.
Citizens with a decent respect for the principles and the laws governing appropriate conduct by public officials must raise their voices against Mr Warner's latest grab for power. If Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar fails to do so, organised public opinion must ensure that he is put squarely in his place.