Following on from Karol’s post last night I thought that some further comment on John Campbell’s story on the GCSB was warranted. It is fascinating the way that the story is interlinked with the Kim Dotcom case and I am sure that the development of both stories will continue.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Kim Dotcom case is his repeated assertions that he had met John Key and that Key knew about him and about the raid on his residence well before it happened.
I struggle to understand how the pair could not have met. Kim is a larger than life character who was willing to spend his extraordinary wealth in the country of his choice on very public activities. After all spending half a million dollars on a public fireworks display suggests a certain level of largesse and big noting which would suggest that Dotcom would do what he could to meet his local Member of Parliament and the Prime Minister of New Zealand. And he did donate $50,000 to John Banks’ Mayoral campaign in 2010. Apart from a general preference for pro business policies I get the impression that his motivation was that he wanted to be noticed. Can you imagine the moneymen of the National Party not wanting to investigate the possibility of further donations being made by Dotcom?
Things fell apart when John Banks refused to do anything for Dotcom when he was in Mount Eden Prison with a bad back and without an adequate mattress to sleep on. The sense of disillusionment on Dotcom’s part is considerable and understandable. The least Banks could have done is visit Dotcom although it seems that Banks was ruled by political rather than human considerations.
In the High Court yesterday Dotcom chose to remind Banks of the original arrangement. Previous evidence that ten donors of $25,000 were being sought by John Banks’ campaign ties in neatly to the claim that Banks requested Dotcom to give him two cheques for $25,000 “anonymously”. Banks’ claim that nothing of the sort occurred is an interesting tactic. Wayne Tempero backed up what Dotcom said and it may be that today Mona Dotcom will do the same. And it seems perfectly plausible that Dotcom would prefer to bask in the publicity that his donation would create rather than want to hide it. I look forward to the Judge’s determination on what actually happened.
Last night’s John Campbell show was a quiet sleeper of a programme. This morning the media is ignoring the revelations. The devil is in the detail. If it is shown conclusively that John Key has lied then National is going to suffer considerable damage.
The details, that Key met with American Chief of Intelligence James Clapper shortly after the search for a new head of the GCSB had started, that a change in expectations for the Five Eyes network was communicated, that suddenly the GCSB was looking for a new chief without a military background, that Key had breakfast with Fletcher then scraps a list of potential candidates, then agrees to the appointment of Fletcher as the head of GCSB suggest a carefully choreographed series of events designed by Key to get his and the US’s preferred man into one of the most important security jobs in the country.
John Key’s description of how Ian Fletcher’s appointment was a “gee I have not seen him since school and the State Services Commission recommended him” sort of thing does not ring true. He was the one to rule out the previous list of contenders and the one to ring Fletcher and he even had breakfast with Fletcher six weeks before Fletcher’s appointment was made.
DPF has gone into overdrive raising a whole lot of straw man arguments. The basic issue he does not address is why has Key distanced himself from Fletcher’s appointment as chief of the GCSB when it seems clear he was up to his neck in the selection process.
And you have to wonder how Key could not have known about Dotcom before the raid. Whether as a potentially large donor to the National Party or as a threat to the Western World you would think someone would have said something to Key about Kim. After all sending in 76 officers some of who were armed and two helicopters to raid a private residence at the request of the US Government surely would have persuaded someone to tell Key what was happening more than a couple of days beforehand.
BLiP’s already impressive list of Key fibs has a couple of further entries. I suspect the Government is in a state of trepidation waiting for what evidence Dotcom releases at his trial.