- Date published:
10:40 am, August 13th, 2014 - 104 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, democracy under attack, election 2014, john key, Spying, us politics - Tags: nicky hager, surveillance
Nicky Hager has certainly got the attention of political circles in NZ, by announcing his (untitled) book launch today at 5.15pm – time to make the 6pm TV news.
John Key is bracing for the release, suspecting, like many of us, that the book will relate to the GCSB, 5 Eyes and the Edward Snowden leaks.
Hager has had a journalistic interest in the Snowden leaks, the “Echelon network” (otherwise known as the 5 Eyes, US, Canadian, UK, Australia, NZ surveillance network).
Key has tried to blunt any potentially damage the book may do to him, by smearing Hager.
The Government is bracing itself for revelations about the extent of New Zealand’s role in the Five Eyes spy network as author Nicky Hager prepares to unveil his latest book.
Hager is keeping silent on the subject of the book but Prime Minister John Key yesterday said he could not rule out the likelihood that Hager had obtained leaked documents from former American defence contractor Edward Snowden.
The Government appears certain that Snowden has documents detailing New Zealand’s spying activities as part of the United States-led Five Eyes surveillance network and that they will eventually come out.
Key said it was well known that Snowden had accessed a huge number of files, some of which related to New Zealand and Five Eyes. Asked if Hager was likely to reveal New Zealand had spied on other countries, he responded: “He might do.”
Key said he did not believe it was a coincidence that Hager was releasing his book now.
“Most people know that Nicky Hager is a screaming Left-wing conspiracy theorist. He’s hardly an authority on these matters . . . I’m not terribly worried.”
However, contrary to Key’s claims, Hager is a thorough research of international repute.
Back in December last year, security and strategic analyst, Paul Buchanan, warned:
It is not a matter of if but when Snowden makes damaging revelations about New Zealand’s role in the 5 Eyes network, including whom the GCSB spies upon at home and abroad. Prime Minister Key has already admitted as much, but maintains that he is unconcerned.
Given that possibility, the Government needs to prepare contingency plans for the diplomatic fallout that inevitably lies ahead.
There are many things about NZ’s current state surveillance services that are of concern: the lack of sufficient oversight (checks and balances that it is operating for the benefit of all Kiwis, in ways that do not undermine democracy); mission creep from a focus on security that protects against physical attacks on/in NZ, to a focus on “economic security” in ways that privilege multinational corporates; and from focus on external threats, to concerns about spying on New Zealanders.
While waiting for the launch, many have been tweeting possible Hager book tittles, as reported by Toby Manhire. Suggested titles include:
Smiley Wavey’s People
2 Hollow 2 Furious
An Agent at My Table
O Brethren, Where Art Thou
‘Seeds of Distrust – A Manual for the Sceptical Gardener’
[update: Livestream of book launch]
So far it sounds like a lot of squeaky to me.
Update #2] Title is “Dirty Politics” Iwas wrong.
It’s on attack politics, Key, Slater, Jason Ede.