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Snowden performed a public service

Written By: - Date published: 10:16 am, January 4th, 2014 - 99 comments
Categories: International, internet, Media, Spying, us politics - Tags: ,

While I was looking for background on the GCSB yesterday, I happened on this AFB article “New York Times backs Snowden in US online spying row

Washington — The influential New York Times hailed fugitive intelligence leaker Edward Snowden as a “whistleblower” on Thursday and threw its weight behind calls for him to be shown clemency.

The editorial was quickly seized upon by activists campaigning to persuade President Barack Obama’s administration to drop its bid to prosecute the former National Security Agency contractor.

And it touched a nerve with Times readers. More than 1,200 left comments on the daily’s website within hours of the item going online, and it soared to the top of its “most viewed” items of the day.

The editorial from the NYT’s  editorial board 1  proved to be interesting and well linked 2 reading.

Seven months ago, the world began to learn the vast scope of the National Security Agency’s reach into the lives of hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe, as it collects information about their phone calls, their email messages, their friends and contacts, how they spend their days and where they spend their nights. The public learned in great detail how the agency has exceeded its mandate and abused its authority, prompting outrage at kitchen tables and at the desks of Congress, which may finally begin to limit these practices.
The revelations have already prompted two federal judges to accuse the N.S.A. of violating the Constitution (although a third, unfortunately,found the dragnet surveillance to be legal). A panel appointed by President Obama issued a powerful indictment of the agency’s invasions of privacy and called for a major overhaul of its operations.

All of this is entirely because of information provided to journalists by Edward Snowden….

Those two other judicial probes are referenced further down in the editorial.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court rebuked the N.S.A. for repeatedly providing misleading information about its surveillance practices, according to a ruling made public because of the Snowden documents. One of the practices violated the Constitution, according to the chief judge of the court.

A federal district judge ruled earlier this month that the phone-records-collection program probably violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. He called the program “almost Orwellian” and said there was no evidence that it stopped any imminent act of terror.

It is fascinating looking at the extent of the NSA’s activities, which clearly extend far beyond anything that is known in public about the powers they have been issued with.

One of the standard attacks on Snowden has been that he had other avenues to blow the whistle on these activities. Turns out this was not the case.

The president said in August that Mr. Snowden should come home to face those charges in court and suggested that if Mr. Snowden had wanted to avoid criminal charges he could have simply told his superiors about the abuses, acting, in other words, as a whistle-blower.

“If the concern was that somehow this was the only way to get this information out to the public, I signed an executive order well before Mr. Snowden leaked this information that provided whistle-blower protection to the intelligence community for the first time,” Mr. Obama said at a news conference. “So there were other avenues available for somebody whose conscience was stirred and thought that they needed to question government actions.”

In fact, that executive order did not apply to contractors, only to intelligence employees, rendering its protections useless to Mr. Snowden. More important, Mr. Snowden told The Washington Post earlier this month that he did report his misgivings to two superiors at the agency, showing them the volume of data collected by the N.S.A., and that they took no action. (The N.S.A. says there is no evidence of this.) That’s almost certainly because the agency and its leaders don’t consider these collection programs to be an abuse and would never have acted on Mr. Snowden’s concerns.

In retrospect, Mr. Snowden was clearly justified in believing that the only way to blow the whistle on this kind of intelligence-gathering was to expose it to the public and let the resulting furor do the work his superiors would not.

Indeed.

I must have a look at our local whistle blower legislation to see if the same contractor hole exists here. Anyone know?

 

  1. That the NYT publishes who writes / signs off on the editorials is a welcome contrast to the anonymity of newspapers like the NZ Herald. Look at this one today.
  2. What is it with newspapers? You can understand why newsprint can’t have links. But probably these days there are far more people reading online versions of every article. It is a welcome contrast to online newspapers like the NZ Herald when you see the NYT’s meticulous links in their editorial. 

99 comments on “Snowden performed a public service”

  1. Morrissey 1

    Snowden, Manning and Assange are all heroes, and all need to be released immediately.

    In a sane world, a law-abiding world, the politicians whose crimes they have exposed would be facing war crimes charges.

    • QoT 1.1

      Sigh. I’m not going to have the Assange argument again, but I will point out that he’s not imprisoned, he’s choosing to hide out in an Ecuadorian embassy.

      • Morrissey 1.1.1

        Sigh. I’m not going to have the Assange argument again…
        “Again”? You did not engage in an argument about him in the first place. All you did was to repeat the bizarre concoctions of a couple of not so ingenious fantasists in the Swedish police, who were helping out the embarrassed but vengeful U.K. and U.S. regimes.

        I note too that your defiant reiteration of the fantastical claims against Assange continued even after it had been pointed out to you that Swedish women’s groups, including Rape Crisis, had rejected the charges against Assange. They recognized a crude political set-up, straight out of the Soviet playbook, even if people like you perversely continue to refuse to face facts.

        …I will point out that he’s not imprisoned, he’s choosing to hide out in an Ecuadorian embassy.
        Similarly, using your logic, this guy was not imprisoned. He chose to hide out in an American embassy….
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-17877005

        And this guy was not imprisoned either. He chose to hide out in an American embassy….
        http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/5/9/1304949615150/Ai-Weiwei-001.jpg

        As for this guy: I wonder what you would have done if some vengeful right wing fanatics had worked with New Zealand’s secret services to concoct a sex scandal around him like happened to Julian Assange….
        http://cdn.3news.co.nz/3news/AM/0-Articles/156662/ahmedzaoui_320.jpg?width=370

        My bet is that you would have behaved in exactly the same way you behaved toward Julian Assange.

        • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1

          :roll:

        • The March Hare 1.1.1.2

          Sigh. Morrissey trots out the same tired old zombie arguments perpetuated by Assange and hus supporters. These arguments are entirely deconstructed, one by one, in a more convincing manner than I can ever hope to achieve, in the following article:

          http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/david-allen-green/2012/08/legal-myths-about-assange-extradition

          • Morrissey 1.1.1.2.1

            Four points, my bewildered Staggers-reading amigo…..

            1.) It’s invariably a bad sign when someone begins a speech with a world-weary sigh. It’s an expression of defeat, an admission one has nothing to contribute. How much worse it is, then, when someone actually uses the word “Sigh” to begin a WRITTEN piece. You have, foolishly, conceded that you don’t have the wherewithal to argue your case in this debate.

            2.) David Allen Green’s contemptible little attack-piece, which could have been written by Alistair Campbell himself, is firmly refuted in the Comments section. British readers are clearly more discerning than you are.

            3.) Why they (i.e. political functionaries and crawlers like David Allen Green) want to destroy Julian Assange….
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0

            4.) And finally, you—in fact every flunkey and amateur apparatchik—would do well to ponder this…..

            “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”—George Orwell

            • The March Hare 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Morrisey – is that *really* the best that you can provide as a response?

              Your first point is based on the assumption that anyone who starts their response by ‘sigh’ doesn’t know what they are talking about. This assumption is not underpinned by any evidence or logic.

              Your second point is simply a statement of opinion (yours) that again lacks any coherent argument or reasoning.

              Your third point is irrelevant. The worthy work of Wikileaks in releasing that video has nothing to do with the allegations of rape against Assange. It is disingenuous of Assange and his supporters to conflate the two.

              And the fourth point is simply an Orwellian quote that can be applied just as well to your position on this issue as to mine.

    • Te Reo Putake 1.2

      Only Manning can be ‘released’, Moz. Snowden has temporary asylum in Russia and the rapey one is hiding out in London, too scared to face up to a judicial critiquing of his own alleged crimes.

      Btw, what politician’s crimes have they exposed? I thought all 3 exposed the behaviour of the military, big business and the spy agencies, but I can’t recall any pollies shown to have engaged in proven criminal behaviour.

      Any examples I may have missed?

      • enjoy every sandwich 1.2.1

        ‘the rapey one…’

        geez I pity any person that has you on the jury.

        • Morrissey 1.2.1.1

          Pity the Labour Party: you can be sure he unleashes such foul personal attacks against people on the “wrong” side of any issue….
          http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-04082013/#comment-674390

          • Te Reo Putake 1.2.1.1.1

            Cite? You’ve made this absurd claim several times, Moz, without evidence. Because I regularly embarrass you with facts and common sense doesn’t entitle you to defame me.

            ps, still waiting for you to back up your claim about pollies. Not holding my breath, coz you’re not big on the truthiness, are you?

            • Morrissey 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Cite?
              I urge any Standardisti with a strong constitution to click on Te Reo’s name and scroll through his posts. Standardisti may like to take a pencil and note down every time where, instead of respectfully disagreeing, our friend accuses an opponent—not only this writer, i.e. moi—of “making shit up” as well as any number of other demeaning strategies.

              You’ve made this absurd claim several times, Moz, without evidence.
              The evidence, sadly for you, is no further away than a quick Boolean exercise.

              Because I regularly embarrass you with facts and common sense…
              Hmmmm…. What do we think about the reliability of THAT statement, Shaq?
              http://bigtonysfantasyleague.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/shaquille-oneal-yeah-right-face.jpg?w=368

              …doesn’t entitle you to defame me.
              Oh, the irony! As the late great Geoff Sinclair would have howled: Oh my giddy aunt! Next up, we’re going to have QoT railing against the use of foul language and Tequila-guzzling….

              • Te Reo Putake

                So no evidence to back up your claim? Oh, dear.

                • Morrissey

                  You’re floundering, my friend. I provided people with the means to check up for themselves just how craven and brutally personal your behaviour towards others has been on occasion—-and, sadly, quite clearly continues to be.

                  I cited two examples—your mindless repetition of the “making shit up” insult and (more damaging to your reputation) your willful reiteration of official lies and fantasies intended to destroy journalists, whistle-blowers and political dissenters.

                  You really do have no comeback, of course, so I expect to see many more of your ridiculous, desperate “no evidence” claims.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Yeah, so no evidence at all. Perhaps you’re still half asleep?

                    • Morrissey

                      Yeah, so no evidence at all.
                      As I pointed out just two minutes ago: You really do have no comeback, of course, so I expect to see many more of your ridiculous, desperate “no evidence” claims.

                      Perhaps you’re still half asleep?
                      Ha! And what if I were? That would make your performance look even worse, surely.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      How quickly the dim-witted forget:

                      http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mik-27122013/#comment-749972

                      ps, the names of the politicians you claim to have been exposed as criminals? Thx!

                    • Morrissey

                      Te Reo, that was an error on my part, which made me look kinda silly. I’m the first to admit I made foolish error, due no doubt to my expecting that particular reporter to have said something as hypocritical as I had imagined I heard him say.

                      I made a mistake: who hasn’t?

                      What YOU are up to, on the other hand, is something of a different order altogether. Your perverse insistence on continuing to repeat those spurious, discredited fantasies concocted by the Swedish Public Fantasist, Ms Ny, is not the result of a foolish eagerness to presume the worst—as my gaffe was. Whatever motivates you, and a few others on this otherwise excellent forum, to consciously, deliberately, flagrantly repeat this official black propaganda, it is not simple carelessness.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      And the names of the politicians are?

      • Morrissey 1.2.2

        “…the rapey one…”

        That obscene little slur says everything we need to know about your integrity.

        That moniker of “Squealer” has never seemed more apposite.

      • Yoza 1.2.3

        More ‘whistle-blowers’ have been prosecuted under the Obama regime in the US than at any other time in that nation’s history. Across the West, regardless of which band of crooks control the Treasury benches, there has been a determined effort to criminalise dissent.

        The New Zealand Labour party going after the democratically elected politician Ahmed Zaoui and overseeing the deeply racist paramilitary assault against Tuhoe during the raid on Ruatoki are a couple of domestic examples of the criminal behaviour of politicians. If a politician is in power and the departments over which they have oversight behave reprehensibly, then those politicians need to be held to account.

        • Te Reo Putake 1.2.3.1

          Except neither of your NZLP examples show criminal behaviour by politicians, Yosa. I suspect the same will be true of the Mother Jones article. No laws were broken, which is the real problem.

    • Bill 1.3

      Jeezuz fucking wept. Another thread trashed.

      • lprent 1.3.1

        I’d move them to open mike. However I am sitting in the sun at arrowtown. Doing that on a small tablet via cell isn’t a good idea.

        • Bill 1.3.1.1

          Yeah…last time I tried moving threads, hmm….not good results. I notice RL’s around ;-)

      • Morrissey 1.3.2

        Bill, are you criticising ME for responding to the provocations of someone who used the insult “the rapey one” to attack the reputation of a political dissident? Elsewhere on this column, someone has posted a funny-face in an ill-advised attempt to derail the discussion: maybe you were thinking of him.

        Please clarify who exactly you are having a go at.

        [RL: Any further diversionary comments along this line, from anyone, will be moved to Open Mike. The topic is Snowden and whistle-blowers in general, not just Assagne and his peculiar case.]

  2. tricledrown 2

    Trp
    What about the murdery ones they have exposed.
    And the coveryuppy ones that are not bringing the murdery ones to justice.
    But locking up the truthy whistley blowy ones.
    The Hawaiikey liarkey one? will be pleased with your efforts.

  3. tricledrown 3

    Booze Allen the socold contractor is the CIA.
    They have long links with the National Party.
    No Doubt Key will be getting breifed on how to use every dirty trick in the book from Booze Allen contractors in Hawaiikey the very office Snowden was contracted to.

  4. Bill 4

    Question I have is that amnesty is granted to people who have done some wrong ie, something criminal. What crime has Snowdon committed?

    edit – yes, I hear accusations of treason and espionage … but they are just kinda thrown out there with no examples or arguments of why ‘spilling the beans’ on agencies involved in (among other things) espionage constitutes either of those things.

    • Morrissey 4.1

      What crime has Assange committed? What crime has Manning committed?

      • Bill 4.1.1

        yeah Morrissey…I don’t believe Assange should be forced into holing up in embassies and I reckon Manning should be rewarded by society instead of being punished. But since the post is about Snowdon…

        • Morrissey 4.1.1.1

          Snowdon is the “good” one, is he? You can’t see a connection between the three of them?

          The U.S. and U.K. governments, who want to silence all three of them, certainly do. And so does everybody else. How can you possibly talk about Snowdon, and not talk about Assange and Manning?

          • Bill 4.1.1.1.1

            Did you actually read my comment before replying?

            • Morrissey 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, Bill, I appreciate your point. But I am concerned at this recent move to separate Snowden off as the “acceptable” whistle-blower, while deliberately ignoring Chelsea Manning (currently condemned to a life sentence) and Julian Assange (forced into taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy—the modern equivalent of what Paris and London USED to be).

              I am sure that Edward Snowden, who acknowledges the great example of both Manning and Assange, would be concerned to learn that attempts are being made to portray him as qualitatively different to his two fellow dissenters.

        • Yoza 4.1.1.2

          I thought it was about the criminalising of dissent, of which Snowdon is but one example.

      • Te Reo Putake 4.1.2

        Assange is accused of rape. Manning plead guilty to ten charges related to espionage and was found guilty of a further 17 offences.

        • Morrissey 4.1.2.1

          Squealer. Reliable as ever…..

        • Bill 4.1.2.2

          I know what Assange is accused of TRP. And I know Manning plead guilty to some stuff….not that pleading guilty and actually being guilty are necessarily the same thing.

          But I won’t be engaging with you if, as I suspect, this is about to be another tedious example of your pointless jousting style of discussion/debate. Just saying.

    • Te Reo Putake 4.2

      He’s charged with espionage and the theft of Government property, Bill. On the face of it, he’s guilty, though, as the article suggests, he’s more of a whistleblower than a spy and the crimes were committed in the public good.

      • Bill 4.2.1

        He’s been formally charged in his absence, or when you say ‘charged’ do you mean accused? Because if he’s been formally charged, then surely there exists some argument centered on specifics out there, no?

        • Te Reo Putake 4.2.1.1

          Charged in absentia, Bill. There’s probably a formal state department document on the net somewhere, but this is how the Guardian reported it last year:

          http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/22/us-charging-edward-snowden-with-espionage

          edit: More here: http://jurist.org/forum/2013/07/tung-yin-edward-snowden.php

          • Bill 4.2.1.1.1

            Those charges were within a matter of hours (maybe a day or three). And seeing as how the NSA still doesn’t know what info he has, it kind of stretches credibility a bit to view them as anything other than a ‘catch-all’ they were hoping to justify retrospectively…and done primarily to smooth his extradition from Hong Kong.

            My question remains. See, if they had specific shit to build a case on or justify their stance, it would be out here and in our faces. They have a need to win over public opinion. And since they failed in previous attempts at character assassination (the idiotic attempt to portray him as a nutter on the back of a couple of chat logs)…and since he, unlike Assange, has been smart enough to make sure the leaks and not he are front stage and center, and smart enough to make sure he had a more free space than an embassy in the country of a US ally to live in…

          • Bill 4.2.1.1.2

            missed your edit. From the second link

            Section 793(d) states in relevant part

            …the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation…

            Well, that obviously doesn’t count.

            And Section 798(a)(3) makes reference to a fine being imposed as possible punishment if classified info is passed to a third party.

            So….chase somebody around the world ….take the extra-ordinary move of grounding the Presidential plane of a foreign nation…arrest and harangue the partner of a journalist… plus whatever else is going on under the radar…because someone committed a fineable offence?!!!

            • Te Reo Putake 4.2.1.1.2.1

              I saw in a couple of places that it was a sealed indictment. I’m assuming that the Gov’t don’t want it known whether the charges could lead to death penalty verdicts, which would complicate the extradition process.

              Regarding the legality, I’m not sure if Snowden is actually trying to defend his actions on the grounds that were not criminal per se. More that his motivation minimised his criminal liability. Similar to the attitude of those who stopped the Boks game in Hamilton, I think. Yes, it was breaking the law, but it needed to be done.

  5. greywarbler 5

    I think the moderator would be justified to do the Siberia thing. Send someone/s to Russia to be with Snowden on an indeterminate stay, out of sight, out of contention. Just a passing thought of no importance.

  6. joe90 6

    The sourcing in this article has me doubting the veracity of the claims made but if only half of what’s being insinuated is true I doubt there’ll be much in the way of clemency for Mr Snowden.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/03/snowden-lied-about-china-contacts.html

    • Morrissey 6.1

      Joe, you could not have chosen a more Obama-friendly, biased, partisan source than the Democratic Party rag The Daily Beast to find a piece denouncing an official enemy. A couple of generations ago, confused people were citing Pravda in the same manner, doubting the veracity of its claims, but feeling bound to give them the benefit of the doubt, just as you have done here. The same thing went on in apartheid South Africa, Mao’s China, and in Stalinist regimes like Czechoslovakia.

      At least you have the gumption and the wit to acknowledge that the veracity of that attack piece is highly questionable; but I’m concerned that you are prepared to give it any credence with your “if only half of what’s been insinuated is true” comment. That’s a good example of the Soviet/Red China/Te Reo Putake theory that if you fling enough mud some of it will stick. I urge you to reconsider your (admittedly half-hearted) semi-endorsement of that crude piece of black politics masquerading as an article.

      By the way: for connoisseurs of hypocrisy and irony, here’s another hilarious piece from the Beast, with especially disgusting bits of hypocrisy and irony in bold type….

      With a touching, handwritten letter, President Obama paid tribute to the power of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address on the speech’s 150th anniversary. In the note, posted online, Obama writes that he sometimes walks to Lincoln’s office late at night in the White House to look at the original copy. He ruminated on the lines “a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” and wrote: “Lincoln’s words give us confidence that whatever trials await us, this nation and the freedom we cherish can, and shall, prevail.”

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2013/11/19/obama-pens-gettysburg-tribute.html

  7. Morrissey 7

    Here’s Glenn Greenwald again. This time he’s schooling the bewildered former Bush aide Ari Fleischer (he’s the one who shakes his head toward the end of the clip) and Anderson Cooper (he’s the one trying really hard to look serious and intelligent)….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNjulveDqsk

  8. One Anonymous Knucklehead 8

    Snowden performed a public service.

    That may be so – personally I think it’s true – but “If a secret piece of news is divulged by a spy before the time is ripe, he must be put to death together with the man to whom the secret was told.”

    Snowden chose his profession and cannot expect any other treatment, but it begs the question: on whom is the war being waged and to what end?

    • Polish Pride 8.1

      “If a secret piece of news is divulged by a spy before the time is ripe, he must be put to death together with the man to whom the secret was told.”

      The question you need to ask yourself is ….Is this the kind of world you want to live in..

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.1.1

        Clearly, since I quote something, I approve of its content without qualification. On Planet Polish Pride.

        • Polish Pride 8.1.1.1

          not saying you approve. It is a question everyone should ask themselves.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.1.1.1.1

            I want to live in a world where people don’t proffer inanities. Thanks: another desire unsatisfied. I think I’ll become a Stoic.

            • lprent 8.1.1.1.1.1

              You could even extend the idea from the Greek concept to the more modern one of

              a person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining.

              Just try to avoid the path of becoming a flagalent. Or a Vulcan (those 7 year mating rituals sound like a real itch)

            • Polish Pride 8.1.1.1.1.2

              Really and pray tell exactly what are you doing about it or is having a whinge on a blog enough for you.

              See the thing is knucklehead – its easy to misconstrue intent with the written word and when it happens there’s no need to be a dick about it. There’s enough negativity in the world as it is.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Enough negativity, but as yet no indication that you understand my original comment, let alone the question it poses. On whom is the war (Hence the quote from Tzun Tsu) being waged and to what end?

                Snowden got into bed with these crooks. Clearly, mechanised mass murder wasn’t enough to make him question his position, but wiretaps on American citizens? Beyond the pale!

  9. SPC 9

    Whistleblowers are an embarrassment to someone.

    The argument against government conspiracy theories was that if they were true we would know because they could not keep anything secret.

    Now we know that a number of American companies knew they were spying on us through them and they did not tell us either. The entire system – the security institutions, the legislature and the executive and all those corporates kept this massive illegal surveillance secret.

    Microsoft’s willing involvement the most credible – it explains why the anti-trust legal action against them in the late 90’s was killed off by Bush when he became President. They were so willing to be of service to the US government – they designed backdoors for the spooks to use.

    Now all the ruling classes seek is to make a show of trimming some of the excess to suggest they have listened to public opinion and then take that as consent to continue (with how much we do not know as well).

    And if what Snowden claims about how much there is yet to reveal – as if this is a beginners primer to the real depth of it all … .

    They will trace locations via cell phones, they have your digital DL or passport on record and they can use it to identify you when you are in public places, they can “bug” keyboard to screen interface.

    How do you communicate to organise political protest? This is regime security.

  10. CC 10

    On the topic of Edward Snowden, did Auckland and Christchurch International Airports have anyone waiting for him on the 3rd as part of the world-wide protest? (Refer to item on ‘The Liberal Agenda’ on TDB). He didn’t arrive at Wellington but had a pick-up waiting if he had done.

  11. Yoza 11

    Great interview Morrissey, Glenn Greenwald is brilliant in these kinds of interviews, especially when up against courtiers like Fleischer.

    Chomsky repeatedly makes the point that from the perspective of the state the real enemy is the general public. All ‘good’ politicians – whether Democrat, Republican, National or Labour – and senior public servants inherently understand the greatest threat to their positions of authority and status come from the aspirations of the general population. The ‘war on terror’ is a pretext the authorities cite to ratchet up their control over people generally. Snowdon’s great crime is warning the public of the reprehensible activity of unaccountable little despots. This is always a form of treason in the eyes of the state; one of its agents siding against them with the hated enemy – the general public!

    • Anne 11.1

      George Orwell’s “1984” Yoza?

      An interesting interview on Radio NZ recently:

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/2580163

      It covers a proposed “Amnesty” deal with Snowden provided he stops leaking official material. The NSA official spearheading the deal is one, Richard Leggett who, in due course, is in line to take over from the current NSA head… who is adamantly opposed to any deal with Edward Snowden. Oh dear, wheels within wheels.

      What the interview does suggest to me is that the USA Security Services are wetting their collective pants about what may be about to be revealed by Snowden.

      And talking of USA Security Services:

      Given John Key’s business background in the USA and the well known close ties between big business and the CIA… does it not seem reasonable to assume John Key has had “close ties” with the CIA since probably before he became NZ’s prime minister? Indeed I suspect they had a hand in getting him elected as PM in the first place. We know American money was involved in National’s 2008 victory (and probably 2011) and as a member of the Five Eyes network, it would be convenient to install someone who was essentially working for the USA rather than NZ.

      If so, there was just one hiccup. I bet they didn’t bank on Helen Clark getting a top position in the UN and likely to end up Secretary General when Ban Ki-Moon’s term expires.

      Tit for Tat Uncle Sam!

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        What the interview does suggest to me is that the USA Security Services are wetting their collective pants about what may be about to be revealed by Snowden.

        I suspect that by now they have a pretty good handle on how much and what data he compromised. While it’s possible that he has the file on who killed jfk, I suspect it’s more just concern at the aggregate quanitity of data that remains to be published. And he might actually have some folk within the hierarchy who agree with him, of course – as you say “wheels within wheels”.

      • RedbaronCV 11.1.2

        Which is one good reason for electoral donations to be public so foreign countries cannot buy our politicians and elections.

        • Anne 11.1.2.1

          Which is one good reason why National (and Key) will fight tooth and nail to stop full donation disclosures through political trusts and off-shore financial laundering institutions.

          Mr Snowden…. cooeee…. are you there.

  12. Philj 12

    Xox
    Imagine if Snowden
    exposed USA with
    Twin Towers revelations!

  13. Chooky 13

    “A panel appointed by President Obama issued a powerful indictment of the agency’s invasions of privacy and called for a major overhaul of its operations.”

    Question is: ….if it is not Obama or the CIA in charge of the NSA….who and what is?…is the USA even in charge of the NSA?

    …and why have they been able to get away with doing what they have been doing for so long and so comprehensively?

    …maybe Snowden was directed by the CIA to spring the NSA?

    ( more on this please….)

    • Anne 13.1

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency

      I think it originally came under the auspices of the US Military – the US Navy to be precise. I may have that wrong.

      Unlike the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), both of which specialize primarily in foreign human espionage, the NSA has no authority to conduct human-source intelligence gathering, although it is often portrayed so in popular culture. Instead, the NSA is entrusted with coordination and deconfliction of SIGINT components of otherwise non-SIGINT government organizations, which are prevented by law from engaging in such activities without the approval of the NSA via the Defense Secretary

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 13.2

      Bankers who knew about the impending GFC felt powerless to stop selling dodgy credit derivatives because they knew they’d simply be replaced. Bank CEOs rarely understand the complex financial instruments their employees create (cf. Eisman’s “Could you explain that again in English?”).

      Our forestry companies kill their employees.

      As with the NSA, what’s missing is genuine regulation and oversight.

  14. Chooky 14

    thanks Anne…yes that is what it says…but (maybe my spy novel imagination is running away with me) what is the NSA really?….who really controls it? ( at the moment it seems as if it has got away on the USA govt)

    • Anne 14.1

      …it seems as if it has got away on the USA govt

      That is how it looks to me too. That is why I am sure there are former colleagues of Snowden (I use the word colleagues in the loosest of terms) who will agree with him. It seems to me that the NSA has devolved into a huge powerful agency that has largely taken control of it’s own destiny.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 14.1.1

        I think you have too much faith in people’s ability to “control”. If the NSA is plotting its own course, it is almost certainly heading straight for some rocks.

  15. Chooky 15

    “Snowden performed a public service”…..I would agree Snowden has done us all a huge public service! ….in fact he is a HERO imo.

    In a December 2013 letter to the people of Brazil, Snowden wrote:

    “There is a huge difference between legal programs, legitimate spying … and these programs of dragnet mass surveillance that put entire populations under an all-seeing eye and save copies forever … These programs were never about terrorism: they’re about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation. They’re about power.”[145]

    “I acted on my belief that the NSA’s mass surveillance programs would not withstand a constitutional challenge, and that the American public deserved a chance to see these issues determined by open courts. Today, a secret program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans’ rights. It is the first of many.”[299]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden

    • Huginn 15.1

      Thanks Chooky. It definitely bears repeating that:

      ‘These programs were never about terrorism: they’re about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation. They’re about power.’

      The problem that I have is that this is coming at a time of an angry, resentful, withdrawal from political engagement. In uncovering this massive breach of trust by a single agency, Snowden’s revelations are pointing to a much greater erosion of trust between the political class and the general population. They feel that they need to spy on us because they don’t trust us; they don’t trust us because we’ve stopped talking to them; we’ve stopped talking to them because they don’t listen, and we’re angry about that; they’re spying on us because we’re not talking – but they know we’re angry . . . and so on.

      I also can’t help wondering whether this withdrawal from political engagement is related to the way that real power is being shifted outside of the political process eg through the Reserve Bank Act, the TPPA, the re-structuring of local body politics and so on. These cack-handed implementations of the thoughts of James M Buchanan that are so dear to the Neo-Liberal Project.

      When the assumption is that the world is a unified, self-equilibrating structure subject to natural laws, then exceptions will be seen as transgressive aberrations. Which is possibly why there was so little sceptical inquiry into an overblown security agency that seemed to think that it was ok to spy on the entire population of the world, no doubt to positively identify a growing list of transgressive aberrations.

      There’s no room in this picture of the world for the notion of ‘trust’ or the idea that trust in politics has to be built and maintained with people who think differently.

      • Anne 15.1.1

        this is coming at a time of an angry, resentful, withdrawal from political engagement. In uncovering this massive breach of trust by a single agency, Snowden’s revelations are pointing to a much greater erosion of trust between the political class and the general population.

        And that I suspect is precisely why he did it.

        I also can’t help wondering whether this withdrawal from political engagement is related to the way that real power is being shifted outside of the political process eg through the Reserve Bank Act, the TPPA, the re-structuring of local body politics and so on.

        Insightful comments Huggin.

        And I’m going to repeat it again:

        These programs were never about terrorism: they’re about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation. They’re about power.

        And there you have the whole sordid scene in a nutshell.

  16. Jan 16

    As far as I am aware not one of these ‘whistleblowers’ stood to gain personally from their actions, and indeed have all undergone a considerable amount of personal suffering. They have all, as far as I can see, acted for what they believe is the public good, and their actions should surely be perceived as civil disobedience which, Thoreau would argue, we have a moral obligation to carry out:
    “it is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right… Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice”
    or John Stuart Mill’s
    “‎Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”

  17. BEATINGTHEBOKS 17

    Governments have always monitored their populations, spies have always been around, the only thing that has changed is now they can do it very easily, thanks to the technological devices that are now indispensible to us. All computers and phones can be used to eavesdrop , they can even see you through your phone camera ( and not just governments).

    It is unrealistic to expect governments to trust you just because you think you are a good person. The reality is a percentage of the population are literally plotting to kill you. The world is not a nice place, freedoms are hard won, thank God NZ is in the middle of nowhere and the only commodity we have worth a damn is grass.

    What about the right of governments to keep the people who voted for them safe, surely that is an idea worth considering.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 17.1

      Governments don’t have rights; they aren’t people. The people who comprise them have the same rights as you and I. This always proves difficult for authoritarians to understand. Here, wear this uniform.

    • Murray Olsen 17.2

      “The reality is a percentage of the population are literally plotting to kill you.”

      I think you should get some help with that paranoia. I find it quite hard to believe that any percentage of the Kiwi population is literally plotting to kill me. I find it even harder to believe that our paying spooks to break our laws and send information to the seppos will help defend me from your imaginary plotters.

      • BEATINGTHEBOKS 17.2.1

        To clarify, Reality is, it is unlikely people are plotting to kill you , you are not of strategic importance, more on this later ( you’d still be dead in a random attack though). An Orwelian type state is not ever going to be a desirable outcome, but the means now exists for it to be accomplished very easily. Nations like Nth Korea are a sad example of what can happen when a nation considers ideology more important than the real needs of its people, state surveillance there is extreme. The consequences of dissent are out of proportion. Nth Korea is no example to be proud of. It is what happens at the extreme ends of the right and left political spectrum. Some of the brainwashed population are happy but most are living in fear and paralysed as to what to do.

        NZ is an extremely safe place to live but it was only 60 years ago when a naked and powerful aggressor threatened our nation, Japan. Two nuclear bombs needed to be dropped to stop their madness and they are a relatively small nation. They got close to NZ and if we had lots of oil we would have been a serious strategic objective of theirs. We were saved by the US interestingly enough. There are other nations out there who would consider Pacific expansion when it suits them, China has a track record here with Tibet and ongoing territorial disputes with neighbouring islands. What if they wanted a nice big farm for fresh milk and lamb ( I know they are trying to buy up farms etc ). Possibly paranoia but it would be unwise in the extreme to bury our head in the sand. Keep an open mind. Wars always have and always will be fought over resources, Iraq Kuwait and Afghanistsan are examples, freedom or democracy were never a concern.

        On a domestic note what do you think Iti and co where doing performing stunts with vehicles and firearms. Playing a grown up version of cops and robbers perhaps, or were they planning serious mischief. Whatever they were up to was not good. I doubt civilians were targets but there were definitely targets, why else would a grown man waste hours playing in the bush, bang bang your’re dead. No I have no proof, but in my opinion something smells fishy here. Note the police raids killed no one, and the cops knew they had weapons ( this would cause a normal individual to panic/ trigger finger), they had been watching films of them pointing guns around for months, that moderates accustions of fascism and paranoia.

        You will never know the danger you were in or how safe you are, thanks to a brave few. It will be interesting to see what our next pm does around this issue, my bet they will stick to the status quo once they get to see the truth.

        • Colonial Viper 17.2.1.1

          What snivelling deference. Fear card played in order to bolster totalitarian surveillance state. Operation 8 raids are an example of a fuck up, not an example to follow. Couldnt even make simple firearms charges stick.

          Those with the most power in the state apparatus need to be the ones most accountable.

          Seen fuck all of that, so far.

          When the state knows every single thing about our activities all the time, but we know nothing of their activities any of the time, the power assymetry willwill be maximal and mean that democracy is over and the pooch will be well and truly screwed.

          We will continue to play a responsible role in empire, but let’s not kid ourselves that its an empire in decline.

  18. Jan 18

    So, BEATINGTHEBOCKS, are you saying that it’s alright because it’s been done before? Wow, that’s some code to live by.
    And as far as I can see, it’s mostly been less about protecting their ‘voters’ (and what about the people who didn’t vote for them – are they fair game?) than protecting their own agendas. What do you suppose the ordinary USA citizens would think if they knew what was being done in their name and to what degree of danger they are consequently being exposed ?

    • BEATINGTHEBOKS 18.1

      NO, In reply it is not okay that every government in the world has a history of spying on its population. My assertion is, the technology exists now to make it very easy to spy ( a simple mechainical reality), and if govts had the means we have now they would have used them.

      To answer the next part; in a democratic country the rights of the private citizen to dissent should always be protected, unless they involve discussions about concealed explosives etc. Now using that word explosives, could unfortunately trigger an automatic response to have the both of us investigated. Sorry, and I hope you have nothing to hide. That is the real problem or strength with mindless technology, it doesn’t care who you are, or who you voted for, it just records the situation.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.1.1

        I realise that as an authoritarian you may find some of these concepts difficult, but here goes.

        In a democracy private citizens are the government. The government has no “rights” (because it isn’t a person) to spy on us (otherwise it would just be called “looking”). The enforcement arm of the judiciary, they can apply for a warrant to spy on us under limited circumstances.

        Just trying to bring you up to speed.

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    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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