SIS

Good to see Labour finally taking terrorism seriously

Looks like Labour has come to its senses when it comes to mitigating the risks of terrorism, while the Greens continue to cuddle and represent terrorists.

Labour has confirmed it will support new foreign fighter laws after changes including a softening of a planned 48-hour warrant-free period for spies.

However the Greens have said they won’t support the legislation.

“We accept there is an increased threat level and new measures are needed to ensure our security agencies can rapidly respond to terrorist threats,” Labour Leader Andrew Little said after a caucus meeting discussed changes hammered out at a select committee.

“Labour has ensured that all searches on potential terrorist activity will require a warrant except in cases of urgent and extreme risk.    Read more »

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The best summary of facts over Phil Goff’s SIS briefing yet

Rodney Hide has done what no journalist has managed to do, written a summary of the failings of Phil Goff and the SIS briefing her got but said he never did.

And he only needed 450 words to do it.

Security Intelligence Service (SIS) boss Rebecca Kitteridge should have told Phil Goff to get stuffed. Instead she apologised. I wouldn’t have.

In election year 2011 – several Labour leaders ago – Goff was floundering about trying to get a hit on Prime Minister John Key. His attacks invariably backfired.

There was a kerfuffle about supposed suspicious activity by Israeli nationals. Key initially declined to comment, citing national security concerns. He subsequently explained that a security intelligence investigation uncovered nothing untoward.

Goff characteristically attacked, saying Key had made a hash of explaining the hitherto unknown concern and that people were asking: “Are we even now being told the truth?” This was a roundabout way of accusing Key of lying.

Further, Goff asserted he should have been briefed. “It’s not been part of any briefing to me.” Key said that wasn’t true. Oops.

Previous SIS boss Warren Tucker met Goff to refresh his memory. The result was Goff flailing about. “There was no briefing per se … I don’t recall at all seeing the document.”

Subsequently, Tucker provided a heavily redacted agenda note under the Official Information Act on his briefing of Goff and the relevant Security Intelligence report, called Investigation into Israeli Nationals in Christchurch, with Tucker’s handwritten note: “Read by/discussed with Mr Goff 14 March 11.”

Goff then attacked Tucker. “I was not shown the document … Warren Tucker is wrong … I was never ‘briefed’ by the SIS.”

It was election year. Goff was losing. He was lashing out. And he couldn’t say he had forgotten or hadn’t paid attention because that was one of his attack lines on Key.

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Warrantless surveillance: Hook, line, sinker

The media and opposition appear to have fallen for the standard civil liberties play.

Here is how it goes.

Any reduction of civil liberties will be met by strong opposition.  That’s a given.   So, if you want to achieve something, make sure you actually make it sound worse.

After some time, “you’ve listened to the people of New Zealand”, and you withdraw the most contentious issue.

The civil liberty campaigners will see it as a victory, and… voila!  What you really wanted through … is through.

A classic master class in this was the introduction of “ID card” driving licenses.   At the time, they pushed the idea it would become a “national identity card”, and “mandatory photo ID”.

Cue the civil liberty campaigners…   after “listening”, the government stepped away from pushing it as far as they originally proposed, and… voila!   They achieved a photo-id database that was unprecedented at the time.  Not even passports were that “digitised” at the time.

Incidentally, all these civil liberties people were Missing In Action when all my private data was being intercepted and passed around without a search warrant – but I digress…

With that strategy of deliberately overexciting the numpties with a fake bit of policy in mind, I’ve been observing the current outcry about the “Terror” Bill.   The most contentious of it appears to be the 48 hours of surveillance without a search warrant. Read more »

Andrew Little caught in a lie in the first week of the job – and it’s on record

Phil Goff says he didn’t leak it, then he did, then he didn’t really…so what is the real story?

On Radio NZ on 26 November – Phil Goff sticks to calls for PM to resign.

Goff gets very aggressive and slippery when pushed.

Phil Goff admits to leaking IGIS report "Phil Goff admits to leaking IGIS report" from Morning Report by Radio New Zealand. "Phil Goff admits to leaking IGIS report"

As you can hear for yourself he references something he reportedly said the day previously “on radio”, but this interview was used extensively by 3 News as the basis of the story.

Goff confesses he briefed Andrew Little and Chris Hipkins, as well as telling journalists about the content of the report.  Read more »

I might be the ‘most toxic blogger in the land’ but I can’t be ignored

Apparently, according to the Dominion Post editorial writer I have a new title. The “most toxic blogger in the land“.

The report says Jason Ede, a special adviser in John Key’s office, told Slater – the most toxic blogger in the land – about the SIS report on Goff and even prepared a draft blog for him about it.

Why do work when there are others who will do it for you.

I did a review of Question time and the Urgent debate and searched for my name.

Q1: Mentioned 13 times by Russel Norman.

Q3: Mentioned 8 times by Andrew Little. The site mentioned once.

Q5: Mentioned by Phil Goff 10 times.

Q7: Mentioned 4 times, not by Winston Peters I might add but by Megan Woods.   Read more »

So who leaked the SIS report?

Well, the report has been released, and it was leaked to media the day before.

So who did it and have they broken the law.

The question of breaking the law is an easy one…yes, whoever leaked the report broke the law. I know this because the day before the report was released I received a letter from the Inspector-general outlining the embargo and law that pertained to it and told me in no uncertain terms what would happen should I leak details of the report.

igis

So that makes the law very clear.

Now we come to who could have leaked the information that the media ran with the day before the report was released.

This is where I think the leaker made a strategic and tactical error.

The number of people privy tot he report details was incredibly small. Worse than that the numbers of copies that were in existence was even smaller.

When I was offered a chance to review the draft report I was only able to read it in a secure location, and under supervision from an authorised person. Once I had read the report then all copies and all pieces of paper were removed from my possession.

I can’t imagine it would have been any different for almost everyone else in the inquiry, except the politicians who seem to have rules for themselves that places them above everyone else.   Read more »

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Sore losers

The Internet party continues to delude themselves that they are relevant and are moaning like unpaid hookers.

“The Key administration has plumbed new depths of arrogance and contempt for the notion of politicians being accountable for their actions in its response to today’s hugely embarrassing report by the independent watchdog who maintains oversight over the Security Intelligence Service.

Rather than take the findings of the report by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Cheryl Gwyn on the chin, National sought to bury the report.”

Not fot to govern Aotearoa !

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Good on John Key for telling Goff to naff off over apology

Regular readers will know that I’m not one for the current epidemic of drop kicks on twitter being outraged and demanding apologies.

It seems John Key is like me in that respect and has basically said Phil Goff isn’t going to get one from him.

Prime Minister John Key says he will not offer an apology to Labour’s Phil Goff and is defending his office against any claims of wrongdoing over the involvement in the OIA request by Whaleoil blogger Cam Slater to SIS head Warren Tucker.

A report on Dirty Politics allegations released this morning found former SIS director Warren Tucker failed to take adequate steps to maintain the spy agency’s political neutrality.

Speaking soon after the report’s release this morning, Mr Key said the Inspector General’s report had cleared his office of any wrongdoing and no apology was necessary.

“The report makes it absolutely crystal clear that my office did nothing that was either unprofessional or breached any of the requirements on them.”

He also countered Labour’s accusations he was using SIS information for political purposes, accusing Labour of leaking selected parts of the Inspector General’s report to the media yesterday in advance of its release.    Read more »

Jihadi attacks worse threat than IRA

Britain is facing an ‘almost inevitable’ attack by fanatics who have been ‘militarised’ by Islamic State, according to police and security officials.

In speeches today, Theresa May and senior police will warn that the ‘diverse’ terrorist threat posed by jihadis returning from Syria and Iraq is one of the greatest this country has ever faced.

Potential attacks could range from a ‘lone wolf’ beheading in a crowded shopping centre or street, to a bomb plot using fertiliser stolen from British farms. One Whitehall official told the Mail: ‘It is almost inevitable that something is going to happen in the next few months.’

It is really a civil war when your own neighbours can be motivated to take up arms, or detonate a bomb against your family, friends and children in the name of Allah and a bunch of idiots running around killing everyone in the Middle East.

According to Britain’s most senior officer, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, police and MI5 have already foiled five major plots this year. Chillingly, there is normally only one major plot disrupted every 12 months.

Addressing a conference in London, Mrs May will unveil draconian new laws to try to protect the public and stem the flow of cash and recruits to Islamic State. They include a ban on the payment of any ransoms to terrorists and making it easier to track extremists on the internet.

Internet companies will be forced to keep data which helps to identify the user of an individual mobile phone or computer. But the law stops short of making them log every website a person visits after the Liberal Democrats said the so-called ‘snoopers’ charter’ was ‘dead and buried’.

The Home Secretary’s new Anti-Terrorism and Security Bill, to be presented to MPs tomorrow, also includes powers to:

  • Forcibly relocate terror suspects, or put them into internal exile; allow border guards to seize the passports of suspected jihadis;
  • Ban fanatics returning from Syria from entering the UK for up to two years;
  • Forbid airlines from landing in the UK if they do not provide advanced passenger lists.

Sir Bernard said the challenges faced by police and MI5 in monitoring jihadis returning from Syria were huge.

He warned: ‘They’re going to be militarised, they will have a complex web of people that they know, and of course they will have learnt tactics that they may want to use here.’

Meanwhile, here in New Zealand, the Green Taliban are busy trying to undermine our national security.    Read more »

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The only sorry Phil Goff deserves

It is now past 1000 so I can now speak about the SIS inquiry.

The time embargo didn’t stop Phil Goff shamelessly leaking to media yesterday and creating a storm and headlines ahead of the release.

I didn’t speak to media because I wasn’t allowed to. And today I won’t speak to media because I don’t have to.

But essentially the report finds that The PMs department colluded with me to ask an OIA that proved that Phil Goff lied about being briefed. Along the way the head of the SIS Dr. Warren Tucker got a bit political.

My response?

So bloody what!

None of this would have happened had Phil Goff told the truth when asked if he was briefed.

I am completely entitled as a citizen and voter to ask an OIA, and I did.

What is outrageous is that Phil Goff tried to stop the OIA release, interfere in a legitimate OIA request, all because he might get embarrassed. It is he who should be apologising.    Read more »