Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, June 10th, 2013 - 56 comments
Categories: internet, john key, news, same old national, slippery, spin, Spying, telecommunications, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, us politics - Tags: GCSB, Glenn Greenwald, Kim Hill, nsa, Peter Dunne
whistleblowers leakers are in the news right now, both focused on the US-led surveillance society, operating in the interests of corporate power. One is a true whistleblower, the other has created as much confusion as enlightenment. And today they are brought into focus by some journalists who have done a major service over time.
Kim Hill took it to John Key this morning on RNZ’s Morning Report,
She didn’t let him get away with his vague prevarications. For instance, following through the logic of him claiming he couldn’t pursue the revealing of the Dunne emails because they weren’t in the terms of reference of the inquiry.
But who set the terms of reference, Mr Key? Well I did. So wasn’t that a bit stupid, Mr Key?
And, towards the end of the interview, Hill persists with questioning Key over his use of “Dunne’s lapse in judgement”, non-explanation for him losing Key’s trust.
This issue is related to the role of the Kitteridge Report on the role of the GCSB, launched in the wake of the Kim Dotcom saga. While Dunne can be classed as a whistleblower, he hardly has performed a service for the 98% in leaking something that was due to become public anyway. And Dunne also supported the extension of GCSB powers to legally spy on Kiwis.
So Dunne is as much diversionary foot-soldier for the expansion of authoritarian powers as helping to expose the machinations of the plutocracy, and political maneuverings of politicians, as outlined by today’s Standard guest post, and micky savage on his blog.
Kim Hill, on the other hand, exposes the fog of spin that John Key uses to mask his government’s increasing anti-democratic procedures.
he is Edward Snowden, 29 years old. Originally from Elizabeth City, NC, a Maryland community college dropout and former Special Forces trainee, the 10 year “veteran” with the NSA, most recently in its Hawaii office under the employ of defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, has just made history and joined the pantheon of such legendary whistleblowers of the US government’ secret activities as the Pentagon Papers’ Daniel Ellsberg and Wikileaks’ Bradley Manning. Last but not least, Edward is currently residing in Hong Kong, out of harm’s (read America’s) way.
In the Guardian article by Glenn Greenwald, it is revealed that Snowden always intended to make is identity known, but also did not want his identity to get more attention than the information he revealed. Snowden takes extraordinary (almost tinfoil hat) measures to avoid surveillance, knowing the powers that the US systems wield:
He is deeply worried about being spied on. He lines the door of his hotel room with pillows to prevent eavesdropping. He puts a large red hood over his head and laptop when entering his passwords to prevent any hidden cameras from detecting them.
Though that may sound like paranoia to some, Snowden has good reason for such fears. He worked in the US intelligence world for almost a decade. He knows that the biggest and most secretive surveillance organisation in America, the NSA, along with the most powerful government on the planet, is looking for him….
And he knows only too well the sophisticated technology available to them and how easy it will be for them to find him. The NSA police and other law enforcement officers have twice visited his home in Hawaii and already contacted his girlfriend, though he believes that may have been prompted by his absence from work, and not because of suspicions of any connection to the leaks.
“All my options are bad,” he said. The US could begin extradition proceedings against him, a potentially problematic, lengthy and unpredictable course for Washington. Or the Chinese government might whisk him away for questioning, viewing him as a useful source of information. Or he might end up being grabbed and bundled into a plane bound for US territory.
“Yes, I could be rendered by the CIA. I could have people come after me. Or any of the third-party partners. They work closely with a number of other nations. Or they could pay off the Triads. Any of their agents or assets,” he said.
This article by Glenn Greenwald is the latest in a series resulting from the journalist spending a lot of investigative time with and around Snowden in order to bring the NSA whistle-blown story to the public. Snowden began working for the US government’s NSA believing he was doing something good, but then found otherwise:
He described as formative an incident in which he claimed CIA operatives were attempting to recruit a Swiss banker to obtain secret banking information. Snowden said they achieved this by purposely getting the banker drunk and encouraging him to drive home in his car. When the banker was arrested for drunk driving, the undercover agent seeking to befriend him offered to help, and a bond was formed that led to successful recruitment.
“Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world,” he says. “I realised that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good.”
Once a believer in the liberating potential of the Internet, Snowden increasingly came to see the surveillance systems used by the US government as too powerful, all-encompassing and threatening to the existence of democracy..
Glenn Greenwald and Kim hill, take a bow for services to the fourth estate.
In contrast to the Dunne-Key-GCSB fog of spin, Snowden shows the true meaning of whistle-blower. And lets not forget that the GCSB is plugged in to the same surveillance systems as those used by the US government agencies.