New Zealand’s Top Investigative reporter?

David Fisher will be devastated to learn that according to this article Nicky Hager is New Zealand’s top investigative reporter.

Even worse he will be shocked to learn that our country is cracking down on the freedom of the Press ( yes really ).

Not only that, but our government is suppressing civil liberties as well, (shock, horror )

But wait there’s more…

Australia and New Zealand are not among the usual suspects when it comes to state suppression of civil liberties. But both countries, stung by Edward J. Snowden’s revelations last year about their intelligence-gathering efforts, have been cracking down on the press: Australia has passed sweeping secrecy laws, while police officers in New Zealand recently raided the home of a reporter who had published information regarding a government scandal.

There has been little international outcry, and Washington is hardly likely to be upset: The two countries harbor the only major intelligence gathering facilities for the National Security Agency in the Southern Hemisphere, and, along with Britain, Canada and the United States, are members of the intelligence-sharing arrangement known as the “Five Eyes.”

In New Zealand, the journalist targeted in the raid is the country’s top investigative reporter, Nicky Hager, who has been working with Mr. Snowden and the journalist Glenn Greenwald. Mr. Hager has “long been a pain in the establishment’s neck,” a former prime minister of New Zealand, David Lange, once said, admiringly.

Wow, a quote from a long dead guy. Couldn’t they find anyone among the living to say admiring things about him?

In 1996 Mr. Hager published his book “Secret Power,” which revealed the relationship between the N.S.A. and New Zealand. Mr. Lange said that he learned more about what the N.S.A. was doing in his country from reading Mr. Hager’s reporting than he did as prime minister.

Across the Tasman Sea, the Australian government recently amended the country’s national security laws so that journalists and whistle-blowers who publish details of “special intelligence operations” may be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

The measures are part of a groundswell of terrorism hysteria. September brought the largest counterterrorism raids in Australian history, in which some 800 state and federal police officers raided homes in several Sydney suburbs with large Muslim populations, acting on what officials said was an intercepted phone call about possible activity by allies of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

For all the forces deployed in the raids, only one person was arrested and charged with a terrorism-related crime; in a court appearance in mid-November, his lawyer said the telephone conversation had been mistranslated.

The press has added to the hysteria, spreading a story that Islamic State followers were plotting a public beheading in a square in downtown Sydney — a claim no public official has made, and a claim for which there is virtually no evidence.

A week after the raids, the ruling center-right Liberal Party proposed the national security amendments aimed at the press and leaks; the opposition Labor Party supported them, and the changes passed with little debate…

…In New Zealand, the fallout from Mr. Snowden’s leaks has been domestic. At a conference in Auckland in September, Mr. Snowden said, via a video hookup from Moscow, that the New Zealand government and the National Security Agency of the United States were engaged in vast domestic surveillance.

The country’s prime minister, John Key, vigorously denied the charges, but then backtracked after Mr. Snowden released supporting documents, saying that he “may well be right.” Mr. Key added, “I don’t run the N.S.A.”

It came as no surprise to many when, last month, five detectives and a computer engineer raided the home of Mr. Hager, the journalist who has been working with Mr. Snowden. Over a 10-hour period, they took computers, phones, papers, an iPod and a camera.

The raid may also have arisen out of Mr. Hager’s most recent book, “Dirty Politics,” in which he revealed that officials in the prime minister’s center-right National Party government had been supplying derogatory information about opposition politicians to a right-wing blogger. The justice minister was forced to resign.

May have arisen? He openly admitted to using hacked information that he actively went after. He admitted he talked the hacker into giving it to him. The raid ( that wasn’t a raid ) they had a warrant for goodness sake, was to look for evidence of the identity of the criminal hacker, but not a word of this is this so called investigative article. Oh no, lets frame it instead as suppression of the Press.

Whatever the motivation, the raid, like the Australian anti-whistle-blower laws and President Obama’s anti-leak investigations, is certain to have a chilling effect. Of course, such steps are always explained as a result of a careful balancing between national security and civil liberties. What is becoming increasingly clear is that political self-interest — which serves no one except the powers that be — is just as important a factor.

Raymond Bonner is a former New York Times reporter and the author, most recently, of “Anatomy of Injustice: A Murder Case Gone Wrong.”


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  • johnbronkhorst

    “Raymond Bonner is a former New York Times reporter and the author”…now resident on another planet where it is particularly difficult to see the truth on planet earth.

  • Justsayn

    Harger is seeking to profit off the back of stolen material. He knew that when he wrote the book.

    As for Lange, “Mr. Lange said that he learned more about what the N.S.A. was doing in his country from reading Mr. Hager’s reporting than he did as prime minister.” That probably says more about Lange than it does about Harger.

  • timemagazine

    New York Times = cancer

  • Iera

    In the meantime the parties are still talking about how Hager can get a copy of the information seized. He has so far objected to it being copied at the police electronic crime laboratory because he says the information seized contains allegations of police corruption.

    “The Intercept” reported today that for months before his house was raided, Hager had also been working with Glenn Greenwald and “The Intercept”, preparing to report stories based on the Snowden documents.

    How clever or professional is an “investigative journalist” who receives, publishes and profits from stolen electronic documents, to so prompt a police investigation that jeopardizes the sources of several other projects, which in the case of possible “police corruption” could, if true, be particularly sensitive?

  • taurangaruru

    Surely poor timing for Bonner to publish an article criticising the Australian counter terrorism activities?
    While we are at it wouldn’t it be great to hear an opinion from all the left wing anti society nutjobs that have been critical of Key & the anti terrorism measures put in place recently – Russel, your phone is off the hook.

  • Another fantasist trying to reinvent history through his own myopic and wonky perspective… and he still gets it wrong.

    We so need to be Freed from such blatant story tellers who can’t handle the truth.

  • caochladh

    Hager is just a hack ratbag who couldn’t hold a candle against a proper investigative journalist like the late Warren Berryman. My dog is more of an investigative journalist than Hager.

    • johnbronkhorst

      mine too.

      • caochladh

        What you can say JB is that when they track something down, its all their own work.

      • Yep, my dog is an investigative reporter as well; she can
        sniff out a fetid possum, roll in it, eat the remains and then report back to me.

        There is no mistaking the outcome; there is always a definitive
        non-arguable conclusion followed by a bath

  • Alexander K

    This nonsense has been circulated for years in ‘Progressive’ circles. In 1981 I was looking at a selection of new text books produced by a selection of international publishers and displayed by a book salesperson in the staff room at a high school where I had just begun as an HOD. To my very great surprise, I discovered that NZ, according to Amnesty International, incarcerated ‘political prisoners’ and favoured torture of such prisoners. The school did not buy that particular book!

  • Greg M

    I wonder if Nicky Hagers fan club will still be looking at him with doe eyed admiration when he is charged with profiting from the proceeds of a crime.
    In my opinion he is just as culpable as the person who stole Cams private documents.

    • They will, the charges are all a right wing beat up after all. Top investigative journalist? LOL.

  • R&BAvenger

    Just had to check the date – nope, not 1st of April yet. They really must be desperate to write something, anything to fill white space in newspaper columns and on websites…

  • 1951

    See people, this is what happens when you read too much fiction to your kids. They grow up to become lecturers in journalism or FORMER NewYork Times journalists.

  • Forrest Ranger

    What an absolute load of tripe this article is. Hager is no more an investigative journalist than the person who writes your local kindergarten newsletter. Is anyone able to explain what the author means by a crackdown on the press? what crackdown? by who? The press here are for the most part lazy, ill informed and able to peddle their one sided – usually the left side – nonsense without using as much as being controlled by spellcheck.

  • Kevin

    Sort of Left-wing crap you’d expect to read in Uncensored magazine.

  • phronesis

    They still don’t get it. Every celebration of what Hager did is another nail in the coffin of civilised society. They are normalising criminal invasion of privacy without any regard for the obvious consequences. This is worse than mass surveillance by the State as in this case carefully edited information was released to paint a particular picture for the benefit, both financial and political, of those criminally involved.