- Date published:
7:03 am, March 21st, 2016 - 88 comments
Categories: accountability, john key, journalism, newspapers - Tags: anonymous editorial, chris finlayson, dominion post, editorial, jihadi brides, lies, rebecca kitteridge
An anonymous editorial in the Dominion Post over the weekend is spot on:
The public were misled by the fiction about Kiwi jihadi brides
The jihadi brides affair is extremely damaging for the Government. It raises serious questions about the accuracy of claims made by John Key, SIS boss Rebecca Kitteridge and Security Intelligence Minister Chris Finlayson.
Kitteridge told MPs in December that there had been a rise in the number of New Zealand women travelling to Syria and Iraq. Key referred to them as “jihadi brides”.
This clearly left the impression that the women were leaving from this country. Now it has become clear that they left from Australia.
But Key and Kitteridge did nothing to correct the false impression they left. It is nonsense to say, as Finlayson does, that the women’s point of departure is “irrelevant”.
If Labour ministers had made these misleading statements, Key and Finlayson would be howling for their blood. The affair is also very damaging for Kitteridge. … She has championed accountability – but failed to set the record straight on a serious issue of national security.
The matter is so serious, in fact, that the new Inspector-General, Cheryl Gwyn, should investigate.
Chris Finlayson, finally, has shown he is not fit to be an intelligence minister. He says what matters is that the jihadi brides are New Zealanders and they might return to this country. It certainly matters that they might come back here. But misleading the public about where they come from matters just as much.
Finlayson … shows politicians will use misleading and inflammatory language about security and then refuse to do anything when caught out. This affair comes just as the Government is about to take up Sir Michael Cullen’s recommendations giving great new powers to the spies.
Why should we trust those new powers to the likes of Key, Kitteridge and Finlayson?
An honest and important editorial. Let’s hope it sets a new trend!