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Posts Tagged ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’

Dodgy polls, dodgy dealings, and a spot of fear-mongering

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Dodgy Polls

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The lates Herald-Digipoll paints a depressing  picture for Labour. Or, does it?

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Further fall in polls dismissed by Labour - 26.6.2013

Acknowledgement: Radio NZ – Further fall in polls dismissed by Labour

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However, the poll is by no means as accurate as some would have us believe,

The real poll to watch is Roy Morgan, which calls cellphones as well as landlines.

The Herald-Digipoll should therefore be treated with a fair measure of scepticism.

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Dodgy dealings

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peter-francis-family-campaign-justice

Acknowledgement: Peter Francis: undermining family’s campaign for justice was my low point

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Anyone who believes that expansion of GCSB’s surveillance powers would target only “subversives” should read the above article from The Guardian. Read it in full.

And take note of who the UK Police labelled as “subversives”.

Never underestimate the willingness and  ability of state agencies to pry and interfere in our lives – especially  when those state agencies feel threatened.

The State does not “love” us.

The State is a multi-faceted entity that may help us one day – and spy or threaten us the next.

The story of former police officer  Peter Francis should serve as a clear warning to everyone that the power of the State can be easily mis-used, and is best kept on a short leash.

I am therefore incredulous that the GCSB – which broke the law by illegally spying on 88 New Zealanders, is now about to have that law-breaking legalised, and spying over us all, legitimised. This is practically rewarding criminal behaviour.

Now Winston Peters is flirting with the Nats by offering to support the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill – with “safeguards”.

“Safeguards”?!

Rubbish.

Peters is not in the least interested in safeguarding the rights of New Zealanders. He is interested only in destroying political opposition (the United Party) and safe-guarding his own interests and position at the next election as “king maker”.

I wonder if Me Peters will be willing to explain to his audiences why he is considering expanding the powers of the GCSB, thereby sending us further down the road of becoming a Surveillance State.

NZ First must vote down the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill. Otherwise, he may regret having this stain on his political career.

Mr Peters, just say,

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Fearmongering

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When a politician starts to engage in naked fear-mongering to panic the masses into supporting whatever dodgy agenda they’re engaged in – it’s time to start worrying.

Evidently, according to John Key,  the entire country is in dire  need of “protection” from unseen, unknown  evil villains,

“By the way, very senior Labour members within that caucus understand completely the importance of national security and of keeping New Zealanders safe and the very question they might have to ask themselves if one day there was a equivalent of the Boston bombings in New Zealand would they be the very same members who would stand up and say they prevented New Zealanders from being kept as safe as they otherwise could be.”

Acknowledgement: NZ Herald – Spy bill: ‘This isn’t playtime’ – Key

That’s on top of Key’s other utterances.

On weapons of mass destruction,

“There have been covert attempts to acquire New Zealand science and technology for programmes relating to weapons of mass destruction or weapons delivery systems”

Acknowledgement: NZ Herald: PM’s hacking claims a distraction – Labour

On foreign terrorism (with domestic support),

“There are people within our country who have links to offshore terrorist groups.  Those links range from helping to fund terrorist groups through to an attraction to their extremist activities.”

And,

“While the terrorism threat in New Zealand has remained low, there are people within our country who have links to off-shore terrorist groups.”

Acknowledgement: TVNZ – Key reveals WMD cyber terrorism threat to NZ

I wonder if those “off-shore terrorist groups” comprise of Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd, PETA,  et al?

On cyber espionage,

“And the many other threats to our national security have continued to intensify, these include cyber-attacks against Government and private organisations where information is at risk, and the intellectual property of some of our smartest and most innovative New Zealanders is at risk.”

Acknowledgement: IBID

But it’s all ok, according to Key, who resorts to the “You-Have-Nothing-To-Fear” rhetoric,

“With regards to the three main functions, the Act will be amended to make clear the GCSB can use its powers when undertaking activities in all of these areas, subject to controls and conditions.”

“Controls and Conditions”?!

We’ve already had “controls and conditions” under the current GCSB law, which stated quite clearly* that the Bureau was not legally permitted to spy on New Zealand citizens and permanent residents.

Nevertheless, that still didn’t stop them  from spying on 88 New Zealanders and permanent residents.

Acknowledgement: NewstalkZB – Threats of cyber espionage and terrorism

“What actually happens with national security is protecting the interests of New Zealanders, and if people aren’t doing something wrong, then it’s very unlikely they would be falling within the remit of the GCSB’s activities.”

Acknowledgement: Otago Daily Times – Key goes on offensive over GCSB

Really? “If people aren’t doing something wrong, then it’s very unlikely they would be falling within the remit of the GCSB’s activities.”?!?!

The families spied on by Peter Francis and other UK police [see above: Dodgy dealings] might feel differently, Mr Prime Minister.

Fear-mongering – a despicable way to convince the public for the need to change a law.

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*Note

Section 14 of the Government Communications Security Bureau Act 2003 states;

14 Interceptions not to target domestic communications
  • Neither the Director, nor an employee of the Bureau, nor a person acting on behalf of the Bureau may authorise or take any action for the purpose of intercepting the communications of a person (not being a foreign organisation or a foreign person) who is a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident.

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National’s disdain for our credulity

Continued from: National’s disdain for democracy and dissent

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"There have been covert attempts to acquire New Zealand science and technology for programmes relating to weapons of mass destruction or weapons delivery systems''

“There have been covert attempts to acquire New Zealand science and technology for programmes relating to weapons of mass destruction or weapons delivery systems”

Acknowledgement: NZ Herald: PM’s hacking claims a distraction – Labour

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When Dear Leader’s comments regarding “weapons of mass destruction or weapons delivery systems” hit our  TV screens, our entire household’s immediate reaction was to burst out into derisive laughter.

Surely, there is no f*****g way that this idiot could get away with justifying increasing the GCSB’s power’s to spy on us by claiming that foreign spies were engaged in acts of espionage to “acquire New Zealand science and technology for programmes relating to weapons of mass destruction or weapons delivery systems”?!?!

Aside from the fact that we are a Nuclear Free Nation – enshrined in law – what other “weapons of mass destruction” is he referring to; chemical weapons? Bacteriological weapons? Super-Duper Hyper-Atomic Disintergrating Death Rays?!?!

No wonder  the news-readers on TV1 and TV3 had barely concealed facial expressions  that indicated, “Yeah, we don’t believe this bullshit either – but we’re paid to read you this crap, so go make a cuppa coffee or sandwich or feed the cat or something constructive, ‘cos there’s five more minutes of this masterbatory fantasy…”

If New Zealanders buy into this bovine faecal matter, then we are a nation that is truly thicker than I thought possible. Mind you, it seems that at least eight people outside of the National Nuthouse Brigade who are willing to go along with this outrageous exercise in bullshitry,

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NZ First offers support for spy law changes

Acknowledgement:  Radio NZ – NZ First offers support for spy law changes (16 April 2013)

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Unbelievable.

Also surprising is that ACT has gone along with this exercise in the growth of State surveillance power.

Isn’t ACT supposedly the Party that advocates smaller government and less intrusion in our lives?

Having the the vast array of electronic gadgetry that the GCSB posesses, with a budget of over $100 million a year (see: Judge who watches the watchers), giving the Bureau even more power to surveil us and intrude into our lives seems a pretty funny way for a supposedly neo-liberal Party to be pushing for smaller government?!

But I guess that kind of inconsistancy is what keeps ACT under 2%, and right-wingers as a source of jokes for comedians.

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https://i0.wp.com/static.stuff.co.nz/1365553304/568/8531568.jpg

Waihopai Spy Base – soon to be reading your emails; listening in on your phone conversations; and looking out for anything “subversive” in your household – like being a Greenpeace or Forest & Bird member.

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It seems extraordinary that Dear Leader wants to extend the GCSB’s powers, when they are already unable to comply with their current legal obligations.

The Bureau wasn’t even able to supply Key’s “go-fer” girl, Rebecca Kitteridge, with documents she demanded as part of her so-called  ‘investigation’,

But in the report, Ms Kitteridge states that there were “many basic documents that I have been unable to find, and that others at the GCSB have struggled to find for me”.

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But what she says is that she couldn’t find some files, and nor could GCSB staff. Mr Key however says it is wrong to assume files were deliberately withheld.

“What she’s saying is they struggled at times to access information – that will indicate there will be areas of where it was filed incorrectly, or it wasn’t kept on file, or it wasn’t kept at all,” says Mr Key.

“She has access to all of the information that is there. If it’s not there, then obviously she cannot access it. There may be reasons for that – others may want to present a different view, but she’s the person who’s been charged with the responsibility to go in there, has had Crown Law and the full support of the new director behind her.”

Acknowledgement: TV3 – Key rejects GSCB cover-up

Key’s gobbledegook explanation doesn’t ring true. He may get away with talking to primary school kids like that, but for the rest of us – he’s talking crap.

And this bit is hilarious,

Mr Key says he appointed Mr Fletcher to improve the day-to-day running of the GCSB to prevent mishaps like this from happening, saying the agency needs “significant bulking up in the management”.

Acknowledgement: IBID

Key wants  “significant bulking up in the management”?!

But… but… but… hasn’t National doesn’t spend the last four years cutting the State sector? National has slashed thousands of “back room” and “management” jobs from everywhere from Housing NZ to DoC to the military… but now Key wants to “significant bulking up in the management”?!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; these monkeys in the National “government” haven’t a clue what they’re doing.

Does Key really expect us to buy this horse manure,

Mr Key also rejects claims the Government is planning to change the law to give the GCSB the right to assist police and the Security Intelligence Service in spying on New Zealanders. He says the changes are just a “clarification” of the current law, and the GCSB’s powers “in a lot of ways don’t change”.

Acknowledgement: IBID

He is being a disengenuous dolt when he expects us to swallow the line that the GCSB’s powers “in a lot of ways don’t change”.

Of course they change, you grinning fool. That’s what this is all about.

Key uses the excuse that by not extending the GCSB’s powers that somehow that would leave us open to all kinds of threats; terrorism, cyber attacks, alien invasion…

“As prime minister I am simply not willing to do that. To do nothing would be an easy course of action politically, but it would be an irresponsible one.”

Acknowledgement: Fairfax media – Sweeping GCSB changes announced

Funnily enough, New Zealand has survived quite nicely without givcing the GCSB powers to spy on us. We already have the Police and SIS with more legal powers of surveillance than most Kiwis realise.

It’s getting rather crowded with the number of State agencies allowed to peek into our private lives.

Key insists that part of the deal with NZ First is that in return for supporting the Bureau’s extension of their powers, that there will be more  “safeguards” and “oversight” of the spy agency,

“I think GCSB should be able to provide agency support for NZ SIS under the right conditions, and with the right oversight.”

Acknowledgement: NZ City – PM denies inconsistency over GCSB woes

Funny…

Up until now, the GCSB has supposedly had plenty of over-sight.

The Prime Minister is responsible for the GCSB. It one of his portfolio’s,

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John Key minister in charge of the GCSB - government communications security bureau

Acknowledgement: Parliament – Current MPs, John Key

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So… How’s that been working out so far?

Continued at: National’s disdain for taking responsibility

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 18 April 2013.

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References

NZ Herald: PM’s hacking claims a distraction – Labour (16 April 2013)

Dominion Post: Key sexing up intelligence, says Shearer (16 April 2013)

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America’s Decade of Disaster – Michael Hirsh

3 September 2011 Leave a comment

This article, published in the American “National Journal”, is a must-read as to where the US has gone wrong – and by implication – has sucked New Zealand into their mistakes.

Pay close attention to the writers’ commenys on tax cuts and spending, as it applies to us, as well. This is possibly one of the most important and insightful commentaries yet to be written. It will grip you…

“The events of Sept. 11 have ultimately left us, 10 years later, with an economy and a strategic stature that no longer seem terribly awesome. America is still the sole superpower, but our invincible military is bogged down in two wasting wars, and poorly armed insurgents seem not to fear us. The rest of the world, beginning with China and Japan, now underwrites our vast indebtedness with barely concealed impatience. We are a nation downgraded by Wall Street, disrespected abroad, and defied even now by al-Qaida, whose leader was killed only recently after spending most of the decade taunting Washington. How did this happen?” – Read further

(Acknowledgement to whoar.co.nz for bringing this excellent article to my attention.)