It’s who you know

Written By: - Date published: 6:02 pm, August 4th, 2011 - 174 comments
Categories: john key, phil goff - Tags: ,

Who cares whether or not the SIS briefed Phil Goff over whether or not some Israelis were Mossad? What does interest me it this: Secretive SIS  denied Fairfax a copy of the briefing paper on the non-agents. Days later it magics up a copy of this classified paper for Nat muckraker Cameron Slater. Who’s the SIS’s minister again? Oh yeah, John Key.

Update: Now we learn Slater sent his request on July 26th and the request was approved the same day. Who ever heard of getting an OIA actioned in less than the 20 days? Let alone a couple of hours. Less than a day for the SIS and the minister to approve release of a secret-rated doc to a blogger when other media had been denied. Fishier and fishier.

174 comments on “It’s who you know”

  1. insider 1

    Phil goff seems to care a lot. In fact he seems to be gambling his reputation on it

    • Zetetic 1.1

      It’ll remain ‘he said, he said’. Goff is adamant. Key’s agency has come up with some piece of paper. Neither can prove anything.

      Odd though, that the leak went to Slater, not Fairfax. Not even Farrar.

      Slater gets the dirt, the halfarse stories.

      • insider 1.1.1

        It’s not a case of he said/she said when contemporaneous notes exist, which seems the case here.

        I doubt key has had anything to do with it. This is more likely a mandarin giving goff a huge bureaucratic shafting for effective,ly calling him a liar.

        • McFlock 1.1.1.1

          actually, it still is “he said/she said” when the contemporaneous notes are only made by one party with no corroborating signature on said notes.

          I would have thought that an actual briefing about top secret matters would have involved a signature or initial to acknowledge possession of the information. Think about a “he said/she said” situation involving whether an  mp  was then suspected of giving top secret information to a spy – how would they prove that the mp was in a position to distribute that information in the first place?

          • insider 1.1.1.1.1

            I have no idea whether getting a signature or formal minutes is standard practice or not – reading between the lines it seems not as goff has not made a big thing of it. I dont think you should be inventing security procedures on the fly.

            One sided notes are considered to be of very high value If you go into court or get involved in some investigation – didn’t benson pope get caught out by a diary note and the phone hacking in the uk is doing the same. I don’t get your point on mps spying – no-one is saying goff kept the papers.

            • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s not something Goff should be inventing – we’re talking about an intelligence organisation that doesn’t keep undeniable track about who has accessed what file.
               
              Look at it this way – if you want to prove that someone has passed on or lost secret data, it helps to be able to prove that they accessed it in the first place. On this occasion it involved something more than a filofax, meat pie and a penthouse magazine.

              • insider

                They do have a track – they have tucker’s file note and the follow up briefing the following month.

                • McFlock

                  They have what looks like Tucker’s  to-do list for the briefing. They also have one from the following month which includes  a summary of issues from the previous month (probably a cut and paste from the previous month’s agenda). There is also the cover page of the report which is imprecise as to whether it was read by, discussed in detail, or mentioned in passing with key issues like nationality or the exact grounds for suspicion overlooked.
                     
                  What WO/kb  DON’T  have is a set of minutes from the meeting or either party’s notes.
                   
                  My workplace deals with confidential information. We have protocols in place to keep it confidential, and part of that is keeping track of who has access and which non-staff were shown what, when and why (generally, to be honest, “nobody, never and ‘FFS!'”). And we are not talking about notes on the dog-ears of the title page, overwriting the date when we get it wrong. Basic crap, like intra-unit emails that are a) timestamped and b) third-party secure archived, so I can’t pretend to my boss that I sent something I didn’t or vice versa.
                    
                  Don’t get me wrong – maybe Goff is playing a stupid game he’s destined to lose (kamikaze-ing to orchestrate a non-coup leadership change, perhaps). But I reckon the tories here are desperately reading shapes into clouds, just as much as any labourights might do.
                   
                   
                   
                   

        • jackal 1.1.1.2

          There’s something that the RWNJ’s are purposefully overlooking. Warren Tucker’s OIA response to Cameron Slater clearly states that:

          3. The NZSIS does not hold any acknowledgement by the leader of the Opposition having read or received the documents.

          The quickly written note with a corrected date that said the document was discussed with Phil Goff is questionable. It’s likely Warren Tucker wrote that on a number of documents, as a part of his bureaucratic system.

          It is unlikely that Phil Goff would simply forget such an important briefing if it was given properly. At best it is an oversight by Warren Tucker, at worst it is yet another smear campaign on Phil Goff by the SIS and the Minister of the SIS John Key.

          The fact that Slater is involved and Phil Goff will most likely utilize a lawyer in any further dealings with the SIS on this matter, makes it appear that Phil Goff is treating it appropriately as a smear campaign.

        • Zetetic 1.1.1.3

          oia releases are not made by public servants, they go through the minister’s office.

      • Chris 1.1.2

        That’s the bit I don’t get. I’ve seen a lot of comments going on about how it is very politicized to release the information to Slater and not Fairfax. Maybe its just me but if I was in John Key’s position I would be more inclined to give it to Fairfax where it has a far larger market rather than Slater who is only really preaching to the converted anyway.

        Your explanation of it being half arsed is the only explanation I have seen about that and I guess it makes sense.

        Which is pretty much why I don’t think it is a big deal at all. As far as I can see all that has been released is a document that says and proves nothing and was released through appropriate channels albeit a bit faster than normal. Just seems to be another of Slater’s releases surrounded by his usual hyperbole which he can’t back up and once again left wing posters have reacted as he wants, with outrage.

        Also even if it did prove anything all it would prove was that Phil Goff forgot about a document that was passed in front of him, he doesn’t seem the type to outright lie like that so more than prepared to believe he had forgotten it – still doesn’t seem a big deal to me. Although I guess the way he has handled this thus far would make that a far bigger deal than it otherwise had to be.

        That seems to be what Phil’s main problem is – I can’t see what his angle is on continuing to push the point. Even if it now comes out that he wasn’t briefed the blame would have already shifted from John Key to Tucker, so won’t exactly win votes.

        Seems to me like he has the chance to lose face if it comes out that he had forgotten because the MSM will run with that after the hoopla he has made and if he wasn’t briefed I’m willing to bet it won’t become a big deal for the MSM so he doesn’t win in any real form as the general populace won’t know or care.

        On a side note I’ve always thought the best way to handle Slater is just to ignore and hope he goes away particularly since nothing he says is ever as good as he makes it out to be and that’s coming from a more right wing person (my favourite is still his ‘hacking’ and then all it was was an email list and some random implication of a slight misuse of funds – really ‘interesting’ stuff).

        Anyway thats my 2 cents if anyone cared

        • McFlock 1.1.2.1

          The trouble is that Slater takes the indeterminate information and applies a story to it that would make trained propogandists blush. Farrar comes along, still tied to national but slightly less obviously a lier, and says “it has been reported that”  or similar, not mentioning the source, and regurgitates a slightly sanitised version of the imagining. Then the msm – usually the Herald – report on what Farrar has said and the rest of the media is terrified that they’ll miss out on the scoop.
           
          So a version of a fanciful story becomes repeated as fact in the msm. The fact that they fast tracked it for slater (especially if someone suggested what might be a productive ois request) is what makes it a manipulation of a foundation of our democratic process.

  2. Zetetic 2

    On a side note. I don’t know why Goff tried to inject himself into the Mossad story in the first place.

    Maybe they thought it was a chance to give Key a little whack.

    Labour should be talking about their own policies. Stick the the campaign issues unless you’ve got something really big to hammer the Nats.

    • Alwyn 2.1

      But don’t you remember?
      Don’t go into detail.
      The public don’t want to know the facts and we just sound boring.
      Gosh I wonder who said words along those lines?
      I can’t be bothered checking the exact contents of the e-mail from the Labour parties’ “strategist” so I don’t guarantee the exact wording. On the other hand I’m not claiming that I want to lead the country and it isn’t going to matter very much after November is it?

      [lprent: you are speculating on a authors identity which is not allowed – and quite incorrect as well. You are banned until after the election. ]

  3. It might pay to move the open mike conversation over here.
     
    One question arises, was it Tucker who gave the slithery one the note or was it someone in Key’s office?
     
    Thinking about it I would be most surprised if Tucker would do this.

  4. WTF? 4

    You can commence shitting bricks…. now.

    • Why?
       
      Goff says he was not briefed.  Given that the briefing was about Mossad spy activity in NZ I am pretty sure that it would have been something he would have remembered.
       
      No doubt like a festering storm of locusts rwnjs will buzz around and say “he was” and all I can say to that is “unlikely”.
       
      But I am interested in the slithery one who has a history of lying being given a copy of a SIS document.  If by Tucker then Tucker needs to go.  If by a Key staffer then we need to understand who and by whose authority.

      • law 4.1.1

        “Goff says he was not briefed. ”

        Official documents say otherwise….

        • Zetetic 4.1.1.1

          documents that sis wouldn’t give to fairfax, then ended up with a national blogger days later claim otherwise.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2

          Don’t be fucking stupid

          Did the documents say how many hundred milliseconds the paper was put in front of Goff for? No?

          And if the paper was buried as an appendix attached to another 100 pages of another report which was presented, does that count as “being presented”

          We’re not stupid you know 🙂

          • McFlock 4.1.1.2.1

            more to the point, if the document was taken to the meeting by Tucker but they never actually got around to it (along the lines of “we’ve been at it an hour, i have another meeting shortly – is there anything else of note?” “well, some foreign nationales in the earthquake behaved a wee bit suspiciously, but we’re still following that up” “okay fine see you next week”), they might not be too far apart, especially if Tucker is looking back on notes of a regular meeting six months ago.

            • Pete George 4.1.1.2.1.1

              All Goff needed to say, weeks ago, was that it may have been something like that. He kept being adamant that he couldn’t possible be wrong and he’s in the position he’s in now.

              A worry to see that approach getting anywhere near PM.

              • Colonial Viper

                geee and you aren’t worried about John Key lying about KiwiSaver, GST increases and BMW limos.

          • queenstfarmer 4.1.1.2.2

            Documents say “discussed at length”, and noted questions from Phil.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2.2.1

              See jackal above. SIS gives no such confirmation; scribbled notes could say “Goff’s PA looking hot today” – would not be official SIS position.

              • queenstfarmer

                Yeah that’s right, or perhaps they swapped recipes? But I can’t help but think it’s probably just a little bit more likley that the SIS Director and Leader of Opposition talked about, say, intelligence matters.

                And if the notes say “discussed at length”, it’s probably a tad more likely to be about security matters than making a note on, say, Goff’s PA. But you may be right!!!

                • McFlock

                  All i can see is “Read by/Discussed with Mr Goff 14 Mar 11”.
                  Where did you get “at length” from?

                  • queenstfarmer

                    Bottom of page 3:

                    “Issues raised by LOP:

                    Query: what do we know …

                    Discussed at length …

                    • McFlock

                      Good example of trying very hard to see shapes in clouds.
                       
                      There seem to be seven bullet points under “Issues to be discussed this visit”, all of which are partially or completely redacted. One mentions the Israeli nationals in chch. 
                       
                      You have a thin chance that “Query: what do we know” or “Discussed at length” apply to the Israelis. In fact, if the “discussed at length” applies to one of the other bullet points, then that might have distracted Tucker from delivering all the pertinent facts to Goff. But maybe he did. The point here being that you seem to have no basis for connecting the bullet points in that way – but you’re adament that you’re right.

                    • Bazar

                      McFlock

                      If that wasn’t revelent, it would have been redacted.

                      If its still not revelent, and misleading (like the conspirist theories love to believe), then Goff would easily be able to take action against the SIS over it.

                      Reality of the matter is that Goff most likely put his foot in his mouth, and the rest of us are watching to see how far he can shove it.

                    • McFlock

                      “If that wasn’t revelent, it would have been redacted.”
                        
                        
                      then why do we know that the previous visit between Goff and the SIS was on 8 November 2010? How is that relevant to issues around the February earthquake?
                        
                        
                      And if your assumption were correct, then the entire meeting revolved around the Israelis, because of around 7 bullet points on 14 March “issues to be discussed this visit”,  5 have unredacted words like “query” or “briefing note”.
                          
                      Reading shapes into clouds again.

      • Andrei 4.1.2

        No – Mr Tucker has been dragged into this by Phil Goff, who has to all intents and purposes accused him of lying over the past couple of weeks – not the least in his press release at lunchtime today.

        I would imagine that the very last thing someone like Mr Tucker would want is to be is caught in the middle of a political scandal. And it is Phil Goff, not Whaleoil or anybody else who put him there!

        Anyway all has been exposed and Phil Goff looks incredibly stupid.

        Phil Goff is entirely the author of his own misfortunes.

        • queenstfarmer 4.1.2.1

          Exactly. Total own-goal. And not to mention, very poor treatment of a civil servant who he aspirs to one day have report to him. Very poor.

        • Carol 4.1.2.2

          It’s just your opinion that Goff looks stupid. When I first saw the reports it didn’t come across that way to me. He just sounds indignant and sure of his (lack of) knowledge of the spy issue, and that whale oil is misrepresenting his experience.

          • Andrei 4.1.2.2.1

            It’s just your opinion that Goff looks stupid.

            Me and about 90% of the rest of country

            • joe bloggs 4.1.2.2.1.1

              90%? Nah that’s a conservative estimate.

              Phil appears to have been hung, drawn and quartered by his own hand.

              • Colonial Viper

                Goff’s fine, he was and still is fighting fit. Despite Key leaking SIS documents to Slater.

                • queenstfarmer

                  The OIA redacted documents were released under the SIS Director’s signature. So the SIS Director is not only a liar, but is corrupt and collusion with John Key?

                  Quick CV, draft up another press release for Phil Goff. The nation must hear this from Phil!

                  • Tigger

                    Oh qstf I so look forward to you defending public servants from now on – you know, those same public servants who are regularly treated like shit by National.

      • Anne 4.1.3

        @ms
        Took me a while to figure it out, but I’m also wondering whether Slater’s document came directly from the SIS. It would be deeply disturbing if the SIS is shown to be acting in a political way.

        • queenstfarmer 4.1.3.1

          It would be as disturbing as if a party leader publicly accused the nation’s highest intelligence officer of lying.

          And yes, the documents came from the Director himself – haven’t you read them?

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.3.1.1

            dont be a moron qstf

            having a politician say something random, unproven or stupid is neither here nor there, happens most days.

            having the fucking SIS interfere with NZ political democracy is on a completely different scale of significance.

            I always knew you Tories loved authritarian rule. As long as it looks like democracy its ok eh?

  5. law 5

    Zet…. simple question, have you looked at the relevant dates of when the information was requested and how it was requested?

    As for your other points, I would point you to this site… /national-security/

    • Zetetic 5.1

      you tell me, law.

      • law 5.1.1

        I would hazard a guess that you havent seen the relevant dates

        • Zetetic 5.1.1.1

          I’ve seen that Slater made his request on the 26th and it was actioned the same day.

          That’s a very relevant date.

          • law 5.1.1.1.1

            yet the letter from the SIS is dated the 2nd of August?

            • Zetetic 5.1.1.1.1.1

              yup. because it had to get the PM’s office sign off, then go back to the SIS to send. That’s how it works.

              5 working days from request to sending out. That’s got to be a record.

              Check out NoRightTurn’s stats on average time to deliver

              • Gus

                Really how stupid are you ? If I was Tucker and Goff called me a liar I would get the OIA response out as soon as humanely possible. Thats the problem with Policticans, you think you can bullshit anytime you want but when someone stands up to it – let the squealing commence. The real issue here though is how much more damage has been done to Labours chances of getting elected ? Quite a bit I would say and if a dumbit like Slater can do this god knows what a clever Nat could do. I really despair with this constant stream of screw ups that the idiots leading Labour dont think have any significant impact on the people that actually vote. If only we could leap forward 10 years and be rid of this current aging batch of morons. Whew !!!

              • SHG

                NRT is of the opinion that the SIS acted appropriately with a perfectly reasonable explanation as to timeframes.

                http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2011/08/defending-sis.html

                When NRT defends the SIS over an OIA response, you know you’re in Bizarro World.

                • jackal

                  NRT is the website. Idiot/Savant is defending the Official Information Act. I presume that it’s a calculated decision because much of his work is based around the OIA continuing to function in a manner that he prescribes to and he thinks that to attack the SIS for the quick release of what was previously classified information is to essentially attack the OIA.

                  However the Act does stipulate a number of protocols that have in my opinion been breached by Warren Tucker and John Key in releasing the information to Cameron Slater. Namely that Warren Tucker and John Key were prejudiced, Cameron Slaters’ intent was vexatious and the release and redaction was undertaken to specifically discredit Phil Goff.

                  My formal complaint was acknowledged by the Ombudsman yesterday.

  6. queenstfarmer 6

    Q: Who cares whether or not the SIS briefed Phil Goff

    A: Phil Goff, mostly it seems.

    Phil has completely taken leave of his senses on this one. He says he will only meet with the head of the SIS if he can have a support person present. And he wants to be that guy’s boss??

  7. tc 7

    Meanwhile the 10 bill budget hole doesn’t get any smaller. This is the kind of stuff custom made by the nats to detract from the main game being their derelict handling of the economy/broadband etc.

    Noble though this issue may be nobody gives a stuff if goff was told or not really.

    The milk inquiry, ksaver prodding etc etc. Expect more of this type of stuff after the RWC.

    • Andrei 7.1

      This is the issue Phil Goff himself chose to talk about, not John Key.

      PHIL GOFF is the one who has been making a big deal over this and digging his own grave in the process.

      • Zetetic 7.1.1

        oia releases are screened and approved the minister. that’s key

        • Andrei 7.1.1.1

          So????

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1

            its obvious. Can’t you see it?

            • jackal 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Somebody with an ulterior motive would be more likely to breach normal procedure and allow the confidential information to be released. In effect John Key has abused his position, and I think this one might come back to bite him in the arse.

              Not only is it a breach of confidentiality specifically designed to besmirch somebodies credibility, it is in breach of the OIA because the request by Cameron Slater is obviously vexatious. Warren Tucker would have known this and is therefore in breach of the OIA and confidentiality laws.

              I suggest he resign before he’s pushed.

  8. Tangled up in blue 8

    According to the document released, during the meeting Phil Goff raised ques­tions about the issue and there’s a header “discussed at length”. Not a good look.

    Though why did Tucker use the term “flicked the issue past him” if it was “discussed at length”?

    • That’s Goff’s words of the previous checking up with Tucker. My guess is that Tucker was trying to downplay it to give Goff an easy out eg “it was a minor thing covered briefly and easily forgotten”but instead Goff decided to keep pumping it. It looks like that was a bad approach.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        May all your guesses about the hidden intentions of our SIS chief be right 🙄

      • Tangled up in blue 8.1.2

        Well whatever the reason might be; “discussed at length” doesn’t seem to reflect either of their interpretations of how the meeting went.

      • Campbell Larsen 8.1.3

        Whatever Pete, given that their are discrepancies between the two mens accounts the ONLY logical thing to do is to put in place new procedure i.e. additional verification by another witness or means.
        This is what Goff is doing.
        A bad approach would be to do leave things as they are and have this situation arise again.

        • Pete George 8.1.3.1

          A simple solution is for Goff to initial anything he has sighted, that’s a common practice in business.

          And the sooner this is left as an impasse the better for Goff, unless Tucker admits he has noted the document incorrectly I can’t see this going anywhere except being detrimental for Goff, whether he is partly right or not.

        • MarkM 8.1.3.2

          No Campbell Larsen, their is no need to change procedure that has worked with honourable people in the past.
          Change Phil Goff and the problem goes away

          • Campbell Larsen 8.1.3.2.1

            MarkM – trotting out the Astroturfer anti Goff meme again, so unoriginal.
            There is very little that is honorable about the SIS – their love of secrecy undermines the basic premises of governance – transparency and accountability.
            The growth of this department and the strengthening of it’s powers under National is a measure of our failing as a society and as a country.

  9. ChrisH 9

    It looks bloody terrible on the 6pm news all the same (TV3). Could this not have been handled more adroitly, even if it is a beat up? If it’s a beat up bomb, it’s scored a direct hit down Labour’s funnel, due to lack of evasive action.

  10. Lilz 10

    I think Clare Curran needs to step back and ask herself why a senior public servant would lie and then ask herself why would Phil Goff keep making himself look an idiot in the press. All he is doing is dragging himself and the Labour party further down in the polls. Political suicide is what comes to mind…

    • jackal 10.1

      I think the public needs to ask the question: why would Warren Tucker not brief Phil Goff on the possible Mosad agents in New Zealand?

      Could it be that he knew Phil Goff would want a more robust investigation into Israeli agents gaining false passports again instead of the cover up John Key has so far predominantly managed?

      Could it be that Warren Tucker knew Phil Goff would inform the public concerning this matter instead of us gaining that information because an SIS agent leaked it to the media, presumably because they did not like the cover up?

      Could it be that his boss instructed him?

      So Warren Tucker has motivation to be deceitful in this matter. Phil Goff does not, as maintaining his side of events that he was not briefed is “political suicide,” according to you Lilz.

      Personally I think defending ones credibility is paramount, especially within the political spectrum.

  11. I dreamed a dream 11

    I don’t know how Phil Goff can extricate himself from this mess. This issue is rather embarrassing.

    Phil Goff, with his vast political experience, should have handled this and other issues better.

    I am glad I will be voting for the Labour Party and not Phil Goff.

    The election campaign for Labour has to be fronted by all the capable senior members of Labour with their great policies, rather than just Goff himself. Labour can not afford further own goals from Goff.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Meh, Goff has it all over Key and Key’s leaking to right wing bloggers.

  12. Steve 12

    Whitewash from Trevor Mallard aka Zetetic.
    Worse kept secret in NZ, no the WORLD!!

    [lprent: he isn’t because we don’t allow MP’s to post except under their own names. However we also do not allow people to speculate on authors or commentators identities as per the policy. You are banned until after the election. ]

  13. Carol 13

    All the froth and bluster online from the rightwing astro-turfers just makes this seem like some orchestrated smear campaign. I don’t see what all the steam & finger pointing at Goff is about. he seems to be acting quite well. Unbelievable beat-up as far as I can see, and a lot of smoke & mirrors.

    • chris73 13.1

      You mean apart from accusing a senior public servant of lying? From bringing this up in the first place?

      Watching Phil Goff at the moment is like watching a slow motion car crash, you know you shouldn’t watch it but you just can’t look away

      • jackal 13.1.1

        I have to agree with you there Carol. It’s exactly the same propaganda we had for months on end about the Phil Goff is going to be rolled bullshit, of which Slater is a fervent propagandist.

        Just like that, I’m not expecting any apology from the MSM and right wing blogger’s for their lies when the facts of the matter are proven.

        • SHG 13.1.1.1

          No-one on the Right wants to see Goff rolled. Having him as Labour leader is the best thing that’s ever happened to the National Party.

          • jackal 13.1.1.1.1

            Really! Why does the right wing and their media lackeys keep banging on about it then? Not one Labour MP has said they want Goff replaced. In fact I’ve only heard unconditional support for Phil Goff by Labour for him to remain leader.

            You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

    • MarkM 13.2

      yes carol the vrwc drugged Phil Goff so that his utterances seemed nonsensical and totally at odds with briefing notes etc.
      Mr Goff must clearly be a right wing plant.
      How else could you explain Goffs perfect part in this conspiracy

    • Gus 13.3

      How unusual for you to be so blinkered and blind to the obvious.

  14. The slimy one asks for politically sensitive information on June 26 from the most secretive organisation in Government and gets a response within 7 days.

    Of course there is nothing wrong here and no political involvement.

    Everyone stay calm and move on … 

    • What is the normal time involved in the SIS complying with OIA requests?

      Fairfax tried to get the information immediately, why would they have done that unless they thought it was possible?

      • Puddleglum 14.1.1

        Apparently the date on the request from Slater was 26 July and the date on the documents was 26 July – pretty rapid turnaround, especially with all that redacting as well. Is this the new transparency for the SIS.

        I wonder what was wrong with Fairfax’s request?

        • Pete George 14.1.1.1

          One thing that’s been posted elsewhere is that Slater requested confirmation the document had been seen by Goff, while Fairfax requested the documents. You can see from the documents provided to Slater that most was blacked out, so that sounds plausible.

          http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/08/the_sis_document.html

          • Zetetic 14.1.1.1.1

            Why didn’t the SIS release this document, blacked out, to Fairfax?

          • Puddleglum 14.1.1.1.2

            Very interesting documentation in your link Peter George.

            The first interesting thing is that I have no idea to what the LOP ‘Query’ refers on the 14 March meeting document. Note that the redact includes everything in the ‘Query’ from the words ‘What do we know’ all the way to the question mark (which is, relatively, a long way).

            Note also that the first point of discussion for the 14 March visit was something called ‘[blank] Query’. Could the ‘Query’ referred to in the ‘Issues raised by LOP’ be a reference to that first agenda item? Also interesting is that in the 6 April document the Query is slightly different in terms of what has not been redacted – there’s a ‘/’ present after ‘What do we know’ – presumably some ‘alternative’ to ‘What do we know’ lurks within the redact.

            I’m also intrigued because, in the cover letter from the SIS it states that there were only two reasons for redacting: irrelevancy to the request; issues of security. Given that – as the same covering letter points out – there has already been media release of the relevant content (i.e., that there was an investigation into Israeli’s, post- earthquake) then it is hard to work out why part of the ‘Query’ that we are led to believe refers to the investigation of Israelis after the quake has been redacted. In fact, there is nothing to indicate that the query has anything whatsoever to do with that investigation.

            The same point applies to the sentence that is almost entirely redacted apart from ‘Discussed at length’. I have no idea to which agenda item it refers.

            Notice, too, that there actually are some phrases that have not been redacted that, presumably, are irrelevant to the request – I’m referring to ‘Update’, ‘briefing note’, ‘briefing note’, ‘Query’ – in the ‘to be discussed list’, which appears to comprise a number of ‘bullet points’.

            So it isn’t clear that what has not been redacted is necessarily relevant to the request – which some people seem to be assuming. Amazing what you can deduce by the application of logic, isn’t it?

            Second, the ‘issues’ agenda for the 14 March meeting includes two – presumably ‘irrelevant’ – items appended with the phrase ‘briefing note’. There does not appear to be a ‘briefing note’ designation for the Israeli investigations. Why is that? Especially given that the current concern is whether or not Goff was briefed on this topic and so would be highly relevant to the request if it were present.

            There is so little here that is not redacted – and so much ambiguity about the relevance or not of what has not been redacted – that it could only compel an objective, impartial observer to conclude that they have absolutely no idea what these documents mean in relation to this political stoush.

            There is only one item in the documentation that explicitly asserts that Goff read and discussed the report on the investigation into Israelis in Christchurch – a hastily penned brief note by Tucker with a date that took two attempts to get right. (And, some on this thread – e.g., Insider – are convinced that this release is ‘payback’ from Tucker to Goff, which doesn’t inspire confidence.)

            Curiouser and curiouser.

      • weizguy 14.1.2

        Legislative deadline for OIAs – 20 working days

        Time they actually take for routine requests – as Idiot/Savant – normally longer.

        Time normally taken by SIS – I thought they just declined under 6(a) and (b) of the OIA: National Security etc.:

        I’m shocked that this thing has actually been released. Guess we should start sending requests to the SIS seeing as they’re so helpful – that’s far better service than I’ve ever seen from a government department.

        • WS 14.1.2.1

          I make a lot of OIA requests in my line of work. I’ve waited a week for just for acknowledgement of a request and never received a reply in less than 3 weeks. And that’s routine info from ordinary departments.

          Normally, you wouldn’t bother to OIA a security agency. Blood from a stone.

          • Colonial Viper 14.1.2.1.1

            Yep. Something extraordinary happened to give a high priority cause (/sarc) like Slater access.

            Now to find out what.

            • Andrei 14.1.2.1.1.1

              Something extraordinary happened to give a high priority cause

              Indeed something extraordinary has happened – the Leader of the opposition has lost his marbles and in an election year has started attacking senior public servants who cannot publicly respond.

              They can however I suppose expedite OIA requests that put their side of the story into the public domain.

              • Colonial Viper

                Meh, a politician making a random comment is not an ‘extraordinary event’ it is an ‘every day event’.

                Don’t you know the difference?

      • Puddleglum 14.1.3

        Barry Soper here also seems to think it is “very unusual” for the SIS to release documents to the media, let alone a right wing blogger. In fact, journalists following Key in the US at the time tried to get information from the SIS and they refused.

        • insider 14.1.3.1

          Yep very unusual. I think that shows just how pissed off tocker is with goff for calling him a liar

          • Puddleglum 14.1.3.1.1

            That’s an interesting theory. It suggests that this is very personal for Tucker and that he is using OIA requests as an opportunity to ‘get back’ at Goff.

            You’ll agree with me, I’m sure, that that motive casts some doubt on the veracity/reliability of the response of Tucker to the OIA and makes it quite a tainted ‘release’?

            Now you really have me worried. If you are right, perhaps Tucker needs to be investigated? 

            • insider 14.1.3.1.1.1

              Tucker a long serving and highly respected official has had his credibility very publicly questioned by goff. History shows these guys can be extremely loyal to their political masters and will protect their arses even at their own expense – the former mfe CEO who got the boot after trying to shield benson pope is one. But that loyalty needs to go both ways. Goff trashed him and is now is wearing it. Don’t be under any illusions, these top civil servants are just as much political players as the elected ones. And goff is not the only one with a reputation to protect.

              • I take it from that comment that you definitely agree that the OIA documentation released is ‘tainted’?

                • Colonial Viper

                  I love how insider pretends to have insider insight into what the mind of a Top Secret cleared SIS professional is thinking.

                  And even more, pretending to know what the guy’s feelings are.

                  What an idiot.

                • insider

                  No I don’t think it is tainted at all, I think it is true record of what happened.

                • insider

                  No I don’t think it is tainted at all, I think it is true record of what happened. Tucker has likely been impeccable and followed the oia not just in letter but in spirit – the ombudsman has been banging on for years about slow speeds of response and that the 20 days is not a target it is the maximum. Sometimes systems work for you and sometimes against. Goff has little grounds for complaint given the public challenge he made and his own history around releasing meeting file notes.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    No I don’t think it is tainted at all, I think it is true record of what happened.

                    Still doing your mind reading clairvoyance act again? Zen yourself into the meeting did you?

                  • weizguy

                    insider

                    “Tucker has likely been impeccable and followed the oia not just in letter but in spirit – the ombudsman has been banging on for years about slow speeds of response and that the 20 days is not a target it is the maximum.”

                    Wow, so after years of Government departments searching for ways to withhold information requested under the OIA, and the most only just succeeding in meeting the statutory timeframes, suddenly, a security agency decides it wants to set an example?

                    The speed of response tells us nothing about the veracity of Tucker or Goff’s stories, but you’d have to be extremely credulous to believe that the response was this quick because Tucker was taking his responsibilities under the OIA seriously.

                    Having managed plenty of these, I know how long they take. Let’s be generous and assume that this request was processed and signed out in 6 working days (assuming Whale emailed the request first-thing on the 26th, and it was signed and sent last-thing on the 2nd). The steps involved would be as follows:
                    1. In any government department, these things tend to take (at best) a day to process, log and allocate.
                    2. From there, someone has to do a search for all documents that fit the description in the request – this can take some time, as it normally requires searches of emails as well as formal documents.
                    3. Once all the material has been collected, someone has to do an assessment of whether or not there are reasons that the information should be withheld. In this case, there had been an earlier decline, so there would have to be a very strong case to overturn the earlier reasons.
                    4. This work would be done at a fairly junior level (policy analyst) and then sent up the chain for signoff. Something like this would not be a priority.
                    5. Once there was signoff, the request (particularly something as political as this) would be sent to the Minister’s office (ostensibly) for review (though in actual fact, it’s normally a decision point – in my experience the primary bottleneck in the process). Before the Minister sees it, it would go through his advisors (again – these are not a priority).
                    6. Once vetted by advisors, they would go to the PM. According to Parliament website, it was recess, so Key’s unlikely to be in the office (he’d be off attending to the needs of his constituents right?) so his advisors would need to get the document to him for his review wherever he happened to be.
                    7. Once this formal process is complete, the decision needs to be communicated back to the agency to arrange the release.

                    Take all of this in conjunction with the fact that OIAs are not a priority in any government agency or Minister’s office in which I have worked, and you have a distinct anomaly.

                    It’s not just Key’s office that has been involved in speeding this up, it’s the SIS too. Unless you can come up with another credible explanation for why this particular OIA differs so significantly from the norm.

                • TightyRighty

                  Think iRobot, you need to ask the right questions to get the right information. So slater is smarter than the Fairfax team, suck it. You all love it when I/S gets some juicy OIA info.

                  “we won, you lost”
                  -Michael Cullen

                  • We know what Slater’s request involved (or at least it’s in Tucker’s covering letter and he paraphrases it, so we know what Tucker thought Slater’s request involved). Do you – or anyone – no the substance of Fairfax’s request? It would be interesting to compare them.

                    I’m enjoying thinking through all of this (bit like a ‘whodunnit’) but I also realise that, politically, the impact of this – either way it falls in the public imagination – has little to do with what the facts may be or the extent to which facts can be deduced from all of this.

                    In that respect, it appears from Hootton’s comment (cited somewhere in this thread or on Open Mike) that he and I have come to very different conclusions about what can and can’t be concluded from the released documents, but I guess that isn’t surprising.

                    • Fairfax Media, who made a similar request, received the document last night along with a letter from Tucker which said: “Your request differs from Mr Slater’s in that you have also requested reports prepared for the prime minister”

                      http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/5396908/Goff-lashes-out-at-SIS-boss-over-Israeli-briefing

                      And now: PSA wades into SIS row

                      PSA national secretary Brenda Pilott said whatever the rights and wrongs of the row between the Government, Goff and Tucker, using public servants to score political points was ill-advised, especially in election year.

                      “A politically neutral public service is a cornerstone of our system of government and the erosion of that principle makes it impossible for public servants to do their jobs.

                      “Public servants are required to keep their politics out of their job and their job out of politics. That means they cannot respond publicly to criticism or become embroiled in political rows.”

                      Politicians needed to be extra careful of their comments in an election year, she said.

                      http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/5398590/PSA-wades-into-SIS-row

                    • Thanks Pete George, that’s useful. So, the ‘cleverness’ of Slater was not to request something, i.e., to ask for less. I guess when you’re partisan you can afford to do that and be deliberately selective.

                    • McFlock

                      Nice – someone requests too much data (which might or might not be against your interests), so you tell your pet monkey to request a specifically limited piece of information that you can redact and deliver in record OIA time.

          • Zetetic 14.1.3.1.2

            Key made the decision on the OIA release. Not Tucker. That’s how OIAs work.

            Or do you really think that ministers let their agencies release sensitive and potentially politically important information without knowing what it is first?

            • insider 14.1.3.1.2.1

              There is a big difference between knowing and allowing. The minister can’t stop a release of official information but yes they usually know when requests come in because many are political requests

              • Zetetic

                “usually know”

                I thought you were an insider. they routinely delay, extend deadlines, and get info redacted on the grounds it’s still under consideration. If it’s not at it’s due date, the minister’s office won’t even have got round to looking at it.

                If something goes from request to sent out in five working days it’s because the minister wants it.

                • Colonial Viper

                  If something goes from request to sent out in five working days it’s because the minister wants it.

                  Ah, good old political fast tracking.

                  The only people who can pull that off are people at the top, with power 🙂

                • insider

                  Oh yeah they do that – labour and national both. Ultimately they can’t stop it. I have no doubt this had the official seal of approval.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Yep. Key approved the leak to the Right Wing blogger.

                    • McFlock

                      One of the many truth-through-humour moments in Yes, Prime Minister:
                      Woolley: “Oh, that’s one of those irreguar verbs, isn’t it. I give confidential press briefings, you leak, he has been charged under Section 2a of the Official Secrets Act.”

        • felix 14.1.3.2

          Soper comes so very close to explaining the document to the host, but balks at the last hurdle.

          The host seems to realise the falseness of his own reasoning, but mumbles through the contradiction so as not to dwell on the truth.

          Soper lets it slide.

          Soper, grow some fucking nuts.

      • Eddie 14.1.4

        when we’ve done OIAs we’ve never received them before the 20 working day deadline, and they’re often extended beyond that.

        A same day turnaround on the release of a document labelled ‘secret’? that’s got to be unprecedented

        • MarkM 14.1.4.1

          Yes Eddie its unprecedented , but so is an attack on the credibility of a civil servant who cant defend himself.
          So what if he hurries the release of documents by a few days.

          It clearly , in the minds of any reasonable and intelligent individual , proves Goff has been and continues to , lie

          • jackal 14.1.4.1.1

            Rubbish! It proves nothing. It’s a quick note on a document. The assumption that questions were asked is also irrelevant when most of the text is blanked out.

            One aspect that has been overlooked so far is that the date on the note has been changed, perhaps even twice. The significance of this might become more relevant as more information is gained concerning the matter.

            Question 1: Why would Phil Goff say he did not see a document and was not briefed re the potential Mosad agents gaining false passports? He has been consistent in that, and has no reason to lie.

            Question 2: Why did Prime News first report today that it is John Key who’s insisting that Phil Goff was briefed by Warren Tucker on the possible Mosad agents in New Zealand?

  15. Tiger Mountain 15

    So tories only too happy to have their Govt. sack several thousand public servants over the last several years are now self righteously defending possibly the least transparent and worthy of all public servants. An SIS directors main job apart from being a snout for the US is to snoop on New Zealanders with vastly increased powers courtesy of National. And keep the thick black marker pen sales up if most OIA requests supplied I have seen are any guide.

    There is some interesting and thoughtful analysis of the the initial (later halted) attempted change to more openess in the SIS with Tuckers appearence, at the kiwipolitico blog.

    The “yes minister” theories are only worth so much, senior servants do turn, remember John Whitehead from Treasury cast in the role as Double Dipton’s bagman for a bit, calling for public service cuts. They do get their hands dirty.

    Whether Phil Goff was wise to raise this at all is one matter, but he is certainly more believable than a top spook that won’t appear before the media.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      So tories only too happy to have their Govt. sack several thousand public servants over the last several years are now self righteously defending possibly the least transparent and worthy of all public servants.

      RWNJs are punitive authoritarians so this makes sense.

      It never crosses their RWNJ minds that they themselves are just as likely to be the next targets of the power system.

    • KJT 15.2

      http://kjt-kt.blogspot.com/2010/06/operation-mincemeat-and-spycraft-in.html

      “”Operation mincemeat is a good amusing story, but in the light of current revelations about SIS it is a salutary reminder about the nuttiness of the spy and counter spy silliness of so called intelligence agencies””.

      The problem with secret agents is by the nature of their calling it is impossible to verify or have any faith in what they say.

  16. gobsmacked 16

    This whole episode sums up the difference between Goff and Key – and more broadly (and sadly), shows how “feelings beat facts” in modern politics.

    Goff sets great store by being right – partly because he is an experienced former Minister, and partly because that’s his nature. Key’s priority is being “nice”, not right.

    Remember the Richard Worth story, when Goff and Key spoke on the phone? Goff made notes of the conversation – Key did not. Goff was accurate about the time – Key was unclear, and proved wrong. (That’s not a partisan spin, but a chronological fact, which Audrey Young confirmed and wrote up in the Herald at the time).

    But it didn’t matter. Because Key was relaxed about being wrong, and Goff was insistent on being right. Being careful and accurate – these are important in government, but not in PR. Key is all over the place on details, but hey, who cares? It’s loveable John.

    Remember, this is a Prime Minister who has admitted not reading documents he has signed:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4685548/PM-signed-papers-relating-to-BMWs

    But he can say he was “sloppy” (his own word, on several distinct occasions when he – sorry, “his office” – has stuffed up) and give that “Aw shucks” grin, and … the story dies.

    Some seem to think Goff – or any alternative Labour leader – needs to emulate Key. I don’t. I think Key needs to emulate Clark’s attention to detail, and the media need to do their job. Show the same interest in Key’s multiple versions of his stories, as they show in Goff’s consistent version of his.

    Would it be better for Goff if he just shrugged and said he “forgot”? No, because that’s not him. It wouldn’t work. He clearly believes what he says about that meeting. That’s actually something we should admire, and want more of.

    It’s to our detriment that the public seem to prefer insincerity, slackness and obfuscation, as long as it comes with a smile. So much the worse for us.

    • Carol 16.1

      + gobsmacked.

      And that, along with the undue haste in releasing the documents to a right-wing blogger known for spreading misinformation & game-playing, PLUS the way right-wing @stroturfers are all over this, creates a major stench around the whole way this smear of Goff is being orchestrated.

      • TightyRighty 16.1.1

        VRWC!!!! OH NOES!!1!!

        you are a broken record. If you hate the fact your team is getting owned carol, ask them to lift their game. I’m calling for the head of Mark Hammet at the canes, because i can see it’s his fault. You, being an idiot, cannot see that the current labour line up sucks. hard.

        astro-turfers, trolls, people with different opinions to you. all as bad as each other right?

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1

          Hahahaha check out the National line up in comparison, stars like Tolley, Bennett, English, Brownlee.

          The only ones with pull are Joyce and Power. And Power is history.

    • marty mars 16.2

      I agree with most of that gobsmacked. I cannot see it as a well crafted trap for goff when he could have walked away – more like an opportunistic punt – maybe the spin can be towards the OIA but I doubt it because it seems to have been spun successfully into a credibility issue. Key has already said he forgets things, goff is stuck – if he says it now he caves in and if he doesn’t he loses on credibility – whether he was right or wrong. Poor politics whichever way you look at it – to get backed into a corner so easily – WTF is going to happen in those one on one debates – carnage.

      Goff needs to get in keys face – repeat the sloppy john meme until his ears hurt – back it up with all of the numerous examples and the inevitable new ones coming along – it is the only viable strategy IMO.

    • Ms M 16.3

      Yet puff pieces from the last election touting Key as our PM in waiting had ex colleagues describing Key’s great asset was his steel trap mind and exceptional recall.

    • Puddleglum 16.4

      Good analysis, gobsmacked. I watched the video of Goff (and listened to the audio) when he said Tucker was wrong. There was no hint of the kind of internal conflict that typifies a “barefaced liar”, as Hootton concludes about Goff. His facial expression, the intonation and the steady eyes and seriousness indicate someone who is ‘innocent’ insisting that they are innocent (i.e., no sense that he was ‘found out’ or feared being ‘found out’).

      Personally, I think now that Goff has committed to this line it needs to be make or break rather than something brushed under the carpet or left behind. You can be sure this event will be brought up during the election so Goff needs to publicly hold to the line of his fundamental integrity and how important that is to him.

      Who knows, it might work very well for him, but only if he sticks to it in relation to this issue and continues to hammer that theme on other issues when appropriate and the opportunity arises – “You may not like how boring and academic I sound when I talk but the one thing I will never accept is that I lack professional integrity.”

      To the extent that others will constantly compare him to Key – and I think the focus for the ‘left’s’ efforts should be on the Labour and Green teams not on their leaders – he needs to keep that idea (‘He’s a dork but he seems like an honest man’) front stage for when the comparisons are made. I don’t think Key will do particularly well, at least in that dimension of the comparison.

      I’ve noticed that the one thing that most of Goff’s detractors concede about him (e.g., Paul Holmes, many right wing commenters on this site) is that he is a decent person. At present, that’s used as a ‘damning with faint praise’ prelude to criticisms, but the widespread acknowledgement of that aspect of Goff’s character makes it difficult to suddenly label him as a “barefaced liar”. It doesn’t fit the image of Goff that, paradoxically, has been constructed by his political enemies: Means well, but a total incompetent.

      There are far worse social constructions of one’s character than that. Goff should make his (perceived?) weakness his strength.

  17. Regarding the timing of the release of the document – if it took 20 days, or 30 days, or a couple of months, it would have meant the same information was out, closer to the election. I’m sure there would have been plenty of squawks then too.

    Surely the sooner it is dealt with the better, for both the SIS and for Goff.

  18. chris73 18

    The thing is though that this is a clusterf*ck of Goffs own making, an own goal if you like.

    He made the story, he made the allegation, hes saying Tuckers a liar. The tories didn’t make Goff do anything but why wouldn’t they take advantage of it?

    You think Goff and the lefties wouldn’t try to make something of this if the roles were reversed?

    • Tom Gould 18.1

      “The thing is though that this is a clusterf*ck of Goffs own making, an own goal if you like.”

      Are you winding us up? Nice try, but anyone other than a rabid Tory, and Garner fits that bill, could think this is an ‘own goal’ by Goff. It clearly has been carefully set up by Key and his people. The politicisation of the SIS is now complete. Anyone wondering how the media worked out what movies Shane Jones was watching by studying a hotel bill? Oh yeah, good investigative journalism, right? LOL.

      • Pete George 18.1.1

        Gawd, another conspiracy theory so nothing can be admitted as Labour’s fault.

      • law 18.1.2

        “The politicisation of the SIS is now complete”

        True statement. Problem is you’ve got the cause and events wrong. Both events have a common element, i.e. Phil Goff, care to name them?

  19. The Dominion Post received the reports late yesterday. An accompanying letter from Dr Tucker said: “Your request differs from Mr Slater’s in that you have also requested reports prepared for the prime minister.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5392176/Goff-lashes-out-at-SIS-boss-over-Israeli-briefing

    • Tom Gould 19.1

      All such reports are prepared ‘for the Prime Minister’. These idiot spooks just keep digging. Who is going to prosecute them?

  20. Tom Gould 20

    John Pagani on his blog raises the issue of the NZSIS breaking S4AA(1)(c) of its own law. Seems prima face? So who investigates the NZSIS and who prosecutes the NZSIS? Anyone?

    • John Pagani on his blog raises the issue. Seems prima face?

      Do you mean prime farce?

      • Tom Gould 20.1.1

        No, I mean prima face. Some appropriate authority needs to look into what looks on its face to be a serious breach of the law by the NZSIS. Or are these spooks above the law?

  21. Adrian 21

    The Israeli thing still stinks. There are far too many loose ends. If the dead mans passports were handed to the Israeli ambassador that day, what were the passports reputedly found on him at the morgue?. If Key was rung “4 times that day” the Israeli HOS must have been woken and called during their night, WTF?. Why did the Ambassador drop everything and go to Chch immediately from Australia?. How come there were Israeli “officials” at Latimer Square within minutes to meet the other 3? Why did the Israeli Min of Civil defence ( a senior millitary man, fly immediately to Chch from the other side of the world? Just how many other counties have officials stationed in Chch? And now it looks like Key as Min of SIS didn’t want Phil Goff to know there was a problem with suspicious Israelis? Why is Key covering up for the Israeli government?

    • Carol 21.1

      Yes. And I suspect Goff is very unhappy with how Key has handled this and at the politicisation of the SIS. I think in this instance,he’s taking a stand for what he thinks is right.

  22. Tiger Mountain 22

    The attack on Phil Goff has certainly taken attention off the Israeli matter hasn’t it.

    The warp speed release of an OIA request to the dubious Slater who obviously knew exactly what he was looking for remains higly malodorous.

    Phil is believable at this stage exactly because of his instinctive reaction to the Key/SIS/Slater slurs.

  23. Ten Miles Over 23

    I hope Goff isn’t going to let the matter rest as it is. With Slater getting such a prompt response to his OIA request it looks like Tucker is colluding to discredit Goff.
    There should be an inquiry into this unless Tucker promptly and publicly acknowledges he was at fault and makes an apology to Goff.

  24. Maui 24

    You may be right – but does it mean anything to those of us struggling from paycheck to paycheck … ?

  25. DavidW 25

    Tucker has been round the block more than a few times and is definitely no idiot.
    I guarantee that the briefing file was pulled the same day that the m,edia blew the Israeli thing up. Two reasons – One to see if there is any connection between the material discussed with LOP and the story in the MSM. Now there is a thought about the source of the leak but I digress. The second reason is that Tucker would know with certainty that he would receive a flood of OIA requests for release.

    That certainty became absolute with Phil Goffs adamant denials and implied accusations that Tucker &/or Key were lying. (If one wasn’t, the other must have according to Phil ‘cos you can’t read it any other way.)

    The other point to note is that as a senior Public Servant, Tucker cannot respond in the form of a public debate with the pollies, his only defence is to fall back on the systems that are in place. The only system he had available to him (apart from a black-op wet job … hasn’t happened ‘cos Phil, while he might be the walking dead hasn’t stepped off the twig as yet) was the material released under the OIA. As he is bound to do, Tucker has released to each requester exactly what has been asked for with the redactions logically imposed for reasons of security, no more and no less.

    Now put yourself in Mr Tucker’s shoes. If you can’t defend yourself directly in public, you will make bloody sure that no other polly will dare to challenge your integrity or honesty in public again or they know they will get done like a dinner.

    Now back to the source of the media leak. Is Phil defending his ignorance so vigorously to ensure he doesn’t get fingered as the leaker of security info? or is he protecting the campaign strategy committee with whom he discussed this confidential briefing?

    Aaaah so many questions ….. so few answers.

    • Carol 25.1

      Ah, the evidence so far points way more strongly to the initial leak from within the SIS, and to unsettling politicisation of the SIS. The person in the firing line, where the buck stops, should be Key. Goff seems like someone standing up for his integrity. He’s not a skilled liar.

      And we are seeing a massive spin job to deflect the attention from key to Goff.

      • DavidW 25.1.1

        Gee Carol, you got that one right. Phill Goff is not a skilled liar.

        • Carol 25.1.1.1

          Meaning it would be blatantly obvious if he was lying and he looks quite sincere in his statements on this issue. he’s not an evasive dissembler and spreader of misinformation & contradictions like our PM, who should also be strongly questioned on this issue.

          • Ten Miles Over 25.1.1.1.1

            What questions would you ask Key?

            I wonder (quietly to myself usually) whether there is yet another layer of intrigue, in that Goff has something to use against Key and Tucker is just the conduit (as Key is the minister in charge of the SIS).

    • Anne 25.2

      Is Phil defending his ignorance so vigorously to ensure he doesn’t get fingered as the leaker of security info? or is he protecting the campaign strategy committee with whom he discussed this confidential briefing?.

      You’re talking crap DavidW.
      How could Goff have been the security info. leaker when it was obvious on the day the Southland Times story broke he was genuinely mystified as to what it was all about. He suspected he had been left out of the loop, and immediately demanded an explanation. I concede maybe he shouldn’t have gone public at that point, but I can understand the reasons why he did so.

      • Pete George 25.2.1

        So what was the motive behind the leak? And did it backfire?

        • jackal 25.2.1.1

          The motivation for the leak was because the possible Mosad agents working in New Zealand to gain false passports was being covered up. Somebody in the SIS didn’t like that much, and went against the orders of Warren Tucker.

          Even when the story of possible Mosad agents gaining false passports broke, we still had John Key trying as hard as he could to keep a lid on it. First he denied it and refused to comment, then he instigated a his word against mine approach against a reputable editor and the SIS leak. Key argued that certain details were incorrect to try and minimize the damage. Because of the control of the MSM, he’s been relatively successful to that effect.

          That gives us a hint at why Warren Tucker would say that Phil Goff was briefed and shown documents when he was not. Warren Tucker would have withheld the information because he believed the issue would never come to light and the document would be buried forever in the misty lands of espionage. The SIS is obligated to brief the opposition leader properly, in saying Phil Goff was briefed, Warren Tucker is covering his own arse.

          When the story broke and Phil Goff said he knew nothing about it and was not briefed accordingly, Warren Tucker realized that his job was on the line and it’s a his word against mine scenario. To this effect he’s undertaken a collusion with a right wing blogger to discredit Phil Goff.

          Warren Tucker has just as much to loose by not briefing Phil Goff properly in the first place as saying that Phil Goff was not briefed and then being found to be lying. The second option has an initial benefit for John Key in that it will discredit Phil Goff in some peoples minds.

          Being that Phil Goff has no reason to lie, this seems like a far more plausible scenario than the one the RWNJ’s are currently trying to promote.

  26. Bovver 26

    Yeah it’s a nasty right wing conspiracy against poor little Phil, nothing to do with him being a plonker and not knowing when to say “maybe I got it wrong”.

    • The Voice of Reason 26.1

      Except he does not appear to have got it wrong, Bovver. If a top spy told you that it was suspected that one of the dead in the Chch earthquake was a junior spy from another country, would you remember?

      • Pete George 26.1.1

        If a top spy said they did a routine check on one of the dead Israelis but it proved to be nothing of interest would you remember?

        • Anne 26.1.1.1

          If a top spy said they did a routine check on one of the dead Israelis but it proved to be nothing of interest would you remember?

          I know someone who definitely would have remembered – Phil Goff. He was at the sharp end of the Israeli/ NZ passport affair of a few years ago, so he would have pricked up his ears immediately.

          • The Voice of Reason 26.1.1.1.1

            Spot on, Anne. This stinks and the Slater/Key cozy up suggests a fair bit of desperation in the blue team. Feel a bit sorry for the spy, sorry, senior civil servant. He must feel like a minor character in a le Carre novel. The one about to be bumped off!

            • Anne 26.1.1.1.1.1

              Feel a bit sorry for the spy, sorry, senior civil servant. He must feel like a minor character in a le Carre novel. The one about to be bumped off!

              Yes VoR I do too. He’s been used for political purposes. Not sure he realises yet that it’s not Goff who’s using him but Key and his sleazy mates.

  27. higherstandard 27

    I believe both men believe that their own recollection of events is correct.

    I believe that some of the theories that people are spouting make travelleve’s spoutings half pie sensible.

    I believe that who ever is providing Phil advice on how to handle this issue has got it badly wrong.

    • jackal 27.1

      The only mistake Phil Goff made was in telling the media he had no information in the first place. I can understand why his honesty has worked against him in this respect. It would have been more prudent to refrain from making a statement and then contacting Warren Tucker directly for the documents he should have been briefed on. Hindsight is a great thing. There’s nothing wrong with the advice he’s been receiving to continue to defend his credibility, although I suspect he doesn’t need to be advised on that.

  28. Treetop 28

    My opinion is that Key is playing the SIS to get Goff and the only way that Key can involve the SIS is for Key to use Slater because Tucker is voiceless without Slater’s involvement due to the position he holds. I do not know if Tucker feels used by Key or if it is public between Tucker and Goff when it comes to what each of them claim. Both are professional experienced individuals who are now caught up in Key’s blood sport.

    A line has been CROSSED here by Key, just as Muldoon crossed the line with Moyle on 5 November 1976 when Muldoon involved the police to reveal what was in the police file regarding the Moyle incident 17 June 1975. I can assure you that there was rapid communication then with the police and Muldoon.

    No investigation was done into who originally leaked the Moyle incident (police no doubt, I knew of the incident in March 1976). I would like to know who in the SIS leaked the 22 February 2011 incident and why?

    • Anne 28.1

      I have long since picked up the parallels between Rob Muldoon and John Key, even though on the surface they appear to be very different people.

      • Colonial Viper 28.1.1

        Key has done this to his competition in the private sector before. One of his strategies for getting ahead in his own life.

  29. Jum 29

    Since Key now controls the SIS, maybe because he smiled at Tucker, Goff should be taking a lawyer in next time he visits with Tucker and record it as well.

    Watch for further attacks on Goff which have no basis in fact over the next few months; this is how the slimy right behave. Watch your backs Labour, Greens, Progressive, Mana,

    Not so long ago I might have included NZ First in my concerns but Peters’ policies are becoming as toxic as NActMU.

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