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“Moment of Truth” – Preview

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 am, September 14th, 2014 - 66 comments
Categories: accountability, defence, election 2014, john key, Spying - Tags: , , ,

The positioning re Kim Dotcom’s “Moment of Truth” has started this morning. The main claims will focus on spying:

Tomorrow night, he [Dotcom] will “demonstrate the lying, what the moment of truth is all about”, he says.

“We are showing you the real face behind the lies.”

Helping him is celebrated American journalist Glenn Greenwald, who flew into New Zealand on Friday, ready to unveil the fruits of months of work.

Greenwald has access to thousands of classified US government documents released to him by runaway whistleblower Edward Snowden. The Star-Times can reveal Snowden is also expected to speak to the Auckland Town Hall meeting tomorrow night by video message from his exile in Russia.

Dotcom told the Star-Times he would also table incontrovertible documentary evidence Prime Minister John Key lied about his knowledge of Dotcom before the infamous FBI-inspired raids on Dotcom’s Coatesville mansion – something Key has consistently denied.

Last August, Key said both he and the head of the GCSB, Ian Fletcher, would resign if it was found the spy agency had conducted mass surveillance. He repeated last month that there was no mass government surveillance of New Zealanders. But Greenwald said he had spent several months trawling through his cache of leaked documents specifically studying New Zealand’s role in the Five Eyes alliance – the US, Canada, Australia, Britain and New Zealand.

Key is readying himself:

Prime Minister John Key will declassify highly sensitive documents to prove the GCSB pulled the plug on plans to spy on New Zealanders.

Last night Key said he suspected that former Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald’s mass surveillance claims were “part of a conversation” of a surveillance plan that was never formulated.

“I am prepared to declassify documents and release proof in the coming days,” said Key.

“There is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB [Government Communications Security Bureau] and there never has been.

“Mr Dotcom’s little henchman will be proven to be incorrect because he is incorrect.”

“Little henchmen” – that’s classy.

If Key has proof that plans to spy on Kiwis were abandoned, he should release it now – before the accusations are made specific. Anything released “in the coming days” is bound to be treated by some as suspect. Nothing to hide nothing to fear? Release it now…

66 comments on ““Moment of Truth” – Preview”

  1. ExStatic 1

    Can’t believe Cunliffe. He was a minister during that disgraceful period of our history when his government spied on the group in the Ureweras.
    Only the Greens will stand up against this abuse.

    • Paul 1.1

      Your faux concern is so transparent.

    • Paul 1.2

      Your faux concern is so transparent. I believe they’ll be discussing the Greens and Labour at Slater’s website.
      You know the journalist with all those prestigious internationally acclaimed journalist awards.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3

      Yes, because all ministers are briefed on GCSB matters, eh.

      Exstatic, I have a question. Either you are ignorant of how our intelligence agencies work with elected officials, or you are a lying ratfucker.

      Which is it?

    • Tom Gould 1.4

      Relax, the political editor for Radio Live, Jessica Williams, has declared this morning on Sainsbury’s show that Key is in the clear. So nothing to see here. Oh, and that Labour and their “motley crew” cannot win and form a government. So calm down, Tories, it’s in the bag.

      • Paul 1.4.1

        Follow the money.

        Jessica Williams works for Radio Live, part of Mediaworks.

        “MediaWorks New Zealand is a New Zealand-based television, radio and interactive media company entirely owned by the Ironbridge Capital group.”

  2. karol 2

    The SST also says that Key will produce a transcript of the briefing he got just before the raid on Dotcom mansion. It says Key asked if Dotcom was Korean – his evidence that was the first he’d heard of KDC.

    • Kaplan 2.1

      I would expect a briefing to the PM of that nature would be classified. If he declassifies it for purely political purposes then surely someone is going to ask whether he can legally do that?

      • alwyn 2.1.1

        He is the Prime Minister and can, following the precedent set by his predecessor in the job, do anything he likes.
        As Helen Clark said “By definition I cannot leak”.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Is that what your little legal mind tells you is true?

        • Lanthanide

          Leaking government / cabinet business is not the same thing as declassifying intelligence documents and publishing them.

    • Ant 2.2

      LOL releasing a John Key ‘dad joke’ during a briefing as proof…

      Pretty cheeky.

  3. Gosman 3

    Why would it be suspect? Unless you believe the evidence would be manufactured. That would imply collusion on a colossal scale between National and the Intelligence agencies. Not even David Cunliffe are suggesting that.

    • r0b 3.1

      I said it would be treated “by some” as suspect. And it will. There are always conspiracy theorists, and the only way to nip that in the bud is to release before the accusations are made specific.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1

        The danger of doing an Odgers is too great, R0b.

        I note Key does not dispute the veracity of the documents Greenwald has. He merely claims they provide an incomplete picture.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2

      It is suspect because it pertains to Chapter 13, The Use of Spies, Gosman: ‘the art of warfare is deception’ etc. etc.

      We’ve already seen evidence that the NSA provides legal advice to five-eyes partner agencies to help them circumvent local privacy laws.

      Do they need to do that because politicians aren’t in the loop? Or for plausible deniability? Or both?

      In scenario a., Key is ignorant of the GCSB’s activities, and his word is worthless, and in scenario b., he’s lying, and his word is worthless.

      Scenario c., that the NSA doesn’t act as alleged, is that your position?

      • Rich 3.2.1

        It’s always struck me that Secret Agencies are alternative Governments, non-elected and non-democratic.

  4. cogito 4

    ” Anything released “in the coming days” is bound to be treated by some as suspect”

    Key’s black ops team are probably knocking up something as we speak…. Can’t put anything past Key or his handpicked GCSB ex-school mate or the SIS. Too much at stake.

  5. cogito 5

    Laila interviews Greenwald and Amsterdam

    • ianmac 5.1

      Measured. Compelling. Interview on Not the 6 o’clock News important to watch thanks cogito.

      • marty mars 5.1.1

        +1 yes indeed – essential viewing

        • Awww


          • weka

            Shit, that is a great interview. Harre asking the questions that won’t be asked by the MSM. And Greenwald and Amsterdam both very intelligent and articulate and being interviewed in a way that allows them to talk freely and for that intelligence and articulation to shine a light on some pretty heavy and crucial stuff.

            I’m having this weird moment of being ashamed of my country, not personally but in a ‘how did we let things get this bad’ kind of way, and feeling unexpectedly delighted at the stuff we are getting right.

            Watching it, I just kept thinking of the Mike Hoskings of the world (well, of NZ), and how completely and utterly fucked up we are. Not just the biases, but the ineptitude and utter disdain for truth instead valuing the game over substance. And we don’t even know how bad we are 🙁 And then Amsterdam points out how well the citizenry in NZ has responded to the GCSB issues.

            The value of having outside eyes reflecting ourselves back to us.

            Lisa Owen interviewing Greenwald was good too, in a MSM context. Everytime I see her working I feel relieved that the MSM does still have some good people left. Greenwald is a delight to watch, just so clear and good at explaining things.


            • karol

              Owen’s interview with Key was good too, Look at the final section – She would not let Key bamboozle her. Key just will not take criticism. he tries to bamboozle her (us?) by reeling off a load of figures, but she won’t have it.

              It’s time more people stood up to this despot. He just will not allow anyone to disagree with him – talks over them, talks them down, rattles on…. anything to shut them up.

              • weka

                John “don’t be silly, Lisa” Key.

                I wonder if after the election we should draw up a list of MSM journos who are doing well. Maybe create a set of criteria for media that serves the citizens and then apply it to various journalists and media as issues arise.

                • Rich

                  Yep, that’s the bit I noticed as well. Nothing unusual from him though, he is very short tempered with all NZrs it seems.

              • joe90

                When he’s called on his bullying there’s always a lickspittle to his defence.

                nadis 14.3
                12 August 2014 at 11:20 am

                And remember when Helen Clark accused John Key of domestic violence?

                Open mike 12/08/2014

  6. disturbed 6

    Paul, 1.4.1.

    “MediaWorks New Zealand is a New Zealand-based television, radio and interactive media company entirely owned by the Ironbridge Capital group.”,

    Can you find any “NatZ,Joyce, Key” sleeper cells embedded into Ironbridge Capital?

    If someone like Joyce who is the queen bee of Natz principal spinners had some involvement with Mediaworks, as Steven Joyce’s conflict of interest as past managing director of the company’s RadioWorks, a subsidiary of Mediaworks?
    See links.



    All MediaWorks owned and affiliated stations read or carry Radio Live News updates hourly or half hourly during their weekday breakfast programmes. Most also carry pre-recorded news and sports updates hourly at other times. Radio Live News took over from the RadioWorks news service, Global News, with the launch of Radio Live in 2005.

    Controversy erupted over a $43 million loan guarantee made by the Government to MediaWorks, with critics citing Communications Minister Steven Joyce’s conflict of interest as past managing director of the company’s RadioWorks division.[4]

  7. disturbed 8

    Moment of truth.

    Key clearly lied again this morning on Q+A this morning to Corin Dann claiming that we are not being spied apon.

    David Cunliffe sounded excellent on showing Labour’s new “NZ Inc.” policy to invest in NZ technologies and assets, a sort of buyback asset model.
    The panel pooh poohed the policy sadly.Panel said Cunliffe was copying the Norwegian model.

    Metiria & Russel were also sparking while Key looked gaunt and scarred.

    It is clear is that Susan Wood & Corrin are both clearly showing they are scared over the mass surveillance issue of all N.Z.ers’.

    Perhaps this will be the final straw in NatZ’s coffin.

    • cogito 8.1

      Agree re Cunliffe. The Greens interview was rather untidy, I thought. Key was obnoxious with his repeated “henchmen” accusations and slippery answers.

      Why on earth was the interview with Amsterdam not shown instead of that pathetic panel discussion?

      NZ needs truth and it will never get it with a pathological LIAR as PM.

  8. Treetop 9

    Some unknown person always knows something, BUT they are blocked by speaking out because they have a young family, unwell elderly parents, a mortgage to pay etc.

    Power and resources are required as well, when it comes to having the truth revealed and exposing the rot.

    • disturbed 9.1


      “BUT they are blocked by speaking out because they have a young family, unwell elderly parents, a mortgage to pay etc.”

      Blackmail & corruption from Planet key & Mafia maybe or just Planet Key?

      • Treetop 9.1.1

        I’m surprised that Greenwald and Amsterdam got a visa to enter NZ.

        • Colonial Viper

          That was always an open question. Mind you, Greenwald has visited the USA recently as well, so something somewhere has thawed for him. For a while there US congressmen were calling for his head on a platter.

  9. Flipnz 10

    Awful lot of smoke being made this election. Not sure if it is worse than others or if I’m just following more closely.

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      The last one was a fiasco with the teapot tapes as well. That one was just a very poorly managed stunt by Key that he got away with by the skin of his teeth (and resurrected Winston in the process).

      This one is much more sustained and widespread and involves actual dodgy dealings over a long period of time, and likely corruption.

  10. Penny Bright 11

    NZ Prime Minister John Key – Bank of America’s ‘little henchman’.


    (Pg 30)

    Rt Hon John Key (National, Helensville)

    2 Other companies and business entities

    Little Nell – property investment, Aspen, Colorado
    Bank of America – banking

    Penny Bright

  11. weka 12

    Excellent article demonstrating why metadata collection is a problem and not ‘a minor infringement of privacy’. The article is understandable by non-geeks. It follows the metadata of a single person for a week and provides an in depth analysis of that person, their life, work, social networks, where they go, what they do, who they communicate with etc based simply on the metadata. It also shows how easy it is to get deeper eg into private twitter, google and Amazon accounts to access content.


    • Rich 12.1

      Yes it’s a great article. Lets be blunt here, the pre-democratic societies had this sort of control, Napoleon’s empire had this sort of control, but democracies should not have this sort of control.

  12. Anne 13

    For anyone who may still believe the GCSB does not trawl through large numbers of NZ citizens’s online activity, let me quote from a small handbook titled “The Security of Communications” which was printed – very appropriately – in 1984. (How I came to be in possession of it is another story.)

    All electrically powered equipment produces unintended magnetic signals… . Some of these signals can be related to information being processed by the equipment. In addition, sounds generated from equipment (eg. keyboards and printheads) may contain information relating to processed information. The study of these is known as TEMPEST.

    … TEMPEST intrusion is most likely to be carried out where other methods of intelligence gathering are impracticable…

    A TEMPEST breach will generally remain undetected as… (and this is the important bit) it is a remote operation and, once established against specific equipment, can provide long-term intelligence.

    (my bold)

    I have abridged the passage for obvious reasons but the point I am making is that the ability to survey NZ citizens through their computer activities in particular has been available for at least thirty years. And there is no way in a million years I will believe it has never been used on NZ citizens. All that has happened is that technology now exists which enables the surveillance to cover massive tracks of computer activitiy involving huge numbers of citizens and on a permanent basis.

    That is tantamount to a Police State and demonstrates the awesome insight of HG Wells as laid out in his book “1984”.

  13. Kiwiri 14

    “No system of mass surveillance has existed in any society that we know of to this point that has not been abused. When we look at the German Stasi for example, they were a state security bureau set up to protect their nation, to protect the stability of their political system, which they considered to be under threat. They were ordinary citizens like anyone else. They believed they were doing the right thing, they believed they were doing a good thing. But when we look at them in historic terms, what were they doing to their people? What were they doing to the countries around them? What was the net impact of their mass indiscriminate spying campaigns? And we can see it more clearly.”

    Edward Snowden: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/18/-sp-edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-interview-transcript

    • disturbed 14.1


      I loved your comment about the East German Stasi (secret Police)
      We are only a whisker away from this with the current surveillance, and Black op’s type activities this NatZ mob, and the chilling warnings John Key threatened Labour Front benches with just before end of July in Parliament debates, when he warned them with the large amount of dirt he has in his top draw threat he could spread around if he wanted on Labour.

      He is the Minister of Intelligence, is this blackmail Stasi style then?
      East Germany Stasi (secret police)

      Under Erich Mielke, its director from 1957 to 1989, the Stasi became a highly effective secret police organization. Within East Germany it sought to infiltrate every institution of society and every aspect of daily life, including even intimate personal and familial relationships. It accomplished this goal both through its official apparatus and through a vast network of informants and unofficial collaborators (inoffizielle Mitarbeiter), who spied on and denounced colleagues, friends, neighbours, and even family members. By 1989 the Stasi relied on 500,000 to 2,000,000 collaborators as well as 100,000 regular employees, and it maintained files on approximately 6,000,000 East German citizens—more than one-third of the population.

      In addition to domestic surveillance, the Stasi was also responsible for foreign surveillance and intelligence gathering through its Main Administration for Foreign Intelligence (Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung). Its foreign espionage activities were largely directed against the West German government and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Under Markus Wolf, its chief of foreign operations from 1958 to 1987, the Stasi extensively penetrated West Germany’s government and military and intelligence services, including the inner circle of West German Chancellor Willy Brandt (1969–74); indeed, the discovery in April 1974 that a top aid to Brandt, Günter Guillaume, was an East German spy led to Brandt’s resignation two weeks later.

      • greywarbler 14.1.1

        @ disturbed 14
        German words seem so much longer and more complex than English ones. We could never get such an efficient surveillance system going, we aren’t clever enough. We don’t do smart codes and encryption, we do Playboy magazines and sandwiches in greaseproof. Being simple might keep us innocent and so safe from such entrapment.

  14. cogito 15

    Corin Dann’s interview with Robert Amsterdam


  15. Valleyman 16

    Key is readying himself definitely, he is readying himself to leave the country.

  16. Thinker 17

    So, a Pullitzer Prize-winning journalist gets called “Dotcom’s Henchman”.

    While Cameron Slater is a respectable, award-winning blogger.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 17.1

      Slater is most likely to be a henchman, as he and Gerry Brownlee were throwing people down the stairs after interjecting at National party public meetings

    • greywarbler 17.2

      Yes, we are simply in an Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland fantasy. The election is the equivalent of the tea party regularly shifting to new places at the table.

      The gist of Alice’s tea party chapter seems very much in parallel with the present political buffoonery. Weird. In fact I suggest that everyone take a break from discussing our political maneouvres and read this excerpt of Alice. Great bit of lateral thinking or just a short holiday from attempting to see meaningful shapes of policy and democracy through fog.

      Alice felt dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter’s remark seemed to have no sort of meaning in it, and yet it was certainly [Bill] English. `I don’t quite understand you,’ she said, as politely as she could.
      `The Dormouse is asleep again,’ said the Hatter, and he poured a little hot tea upon its nose.
      The Dormouse shook its head impatiently, and said, without opening its eyes, `Of course, of course; just what I was going to remark myself.’

  17. politikiwi 18

    So here’s the link to Key’s interview on Q+A this morning;

    If I understand him correctly, what he’s saying is that the Government asked the GCSB to go away and come back with a plan for mass surveillance of New Zealanders. John Key admitted that he and his advisers had asked for a plan to do that.

    He says that the question they asked the GCSB is “what would the gold standard look like?” And the GCSB came back and said “mass surveillance.” Was anyone sacked for thinking that spying on New Zealanders qualified as “the gold standard”?

    And you do know that Snowden did no hacking, right? None. And if hacking is a crime, isn’t that somewhat libelous to state as fact that someone has committed a crime?

    I would like to know whether John Key even thinks civil liberties are important. Because the way he came across in that interview was very much “I will do whatever it takes to keep New Zealand safe.” That left absolutely nothing ruled out, which must mean he thinks nothing of civil liberties.

    I find his lack of passion on the matter to be very, very disturbing,

    • ghostwhowalksnz 18.1

      I thought his spin was a whole lot of gobbledygook.
      He mixes in Kitteridge with cyber attacks and gold standard when they are all different issues.

      Kitteridge was sent in to do a desk review after the illegal activity exposed by the Dot Com court hearings. They were doing more than spying on KDC, the famous 88 were mentioned in a rather obtuse way. How did they find this group of people unless it was by general mass surveillance ?

      Cyber attcaks on ‘two’ major NZ businesses is another red herring. You dont combat targeted cyber attacks by having mass surveillance plans ( gold standard or not). Cyber attacks are usually incoming at a few points of a computer network. You get permission to install your monitoring at their business or place they store their data.

      It simply strains credibility that they put the cart ( detailed mass surveillance techniques) before the horse ( whether this is legal, which it wasnt at the time)

      You see this all the in court, police have pictures of offender going into bank, offender claims he was only going to make a deposit. Then when you have picture of offender pointing a gun at teller, they say that it was someone else. Facile reasons after incriminating evidence is revealed

      • politikiwi 18.1.1

        But it’s just like Norton antivirus!! Which is something you can only say to people who know very little about how these things actually work.

        A dumb electorate is a good electorate. Remember that.

  18. Weepus beard 19


    Even key Key sycophant Tracey Watkins is asking questions about why the public hadn’t heard about the mass spying “business case”, which was proposed when a couple of large companies got hacked and begged for government help, until Glenn Greenwald brought it up.

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