Labour has written to Key calling for a much wider-ranging investigation into the Dotcom spying affair than Neazor’s narrow, tell-us-nothing-we-don’t-already-know report. They would have been better to go straight to the Auditor-General. The Greens have gone for the established illegality and called in the cops on the GCSB – cleverly citing the same offence Key claimed in the teapot tapes.
On top of that, there are calls for a ministerial and/or Independent Police Conduct Authority investigation into a) how the Police gave the GCSB false information on Dotcom’s residency and b) the head of the Police’s OFCANZ unit’s apparent perjury when he told a court that no spy agency had been involved in the Dotcom raid.
Key, of course, just wants this to go away. He claims that the Neazor Report is all we need to know. Funny, that he didn’t feel that way when his ‘private’ communications were taped. As Russel Norman points out:
“When he was taped in a public café by a media person discussing matters of public interest, Mr Key kicked up an almighty fuss and had Police raid media outlets to make sure the tape wasn’t released.
“If Prime Minister Key really feels so strongly about a person’s right to privacy, then he should back my call for the Police to investigate the illegal surveilling of New Zealand residents by a government spy agency…
…”Our spies are subject to the laws of this land. They must be held accountable by the Police and the Courts when they violate those laws.
(points, btw, to the NBR for inventiveness in claiming that the Crown can’t violate the Crimes Act. ie. to protect some law-breaking spooks, the NBR is also willing to argue that killing, rape, and theft without statutory authority by agents of the Government is legal – It’s rubbish, of course, as a simple reading of the Act shows)
In reality, as opposed to on Planet Key, there are loads of unanswered questions. Fortunately, it’s not up to Key – the Police, the IPCA, and the Auditor-General can all investigate without Key’s approval.
A decent timeline of events has yet to be established. How the GCSB and Police got it wrong both initially and on the review hasn’t been explained. Why (actually, if) Key was left out of the loop on GCSB’s most high profile action ever despite meeting with GCSB more than once a month, despite a practice that the Prime Minister is kept well briefed on intelligence issues, despite being informed of the raid before it happened, and despite the Acting Prime Minister signing a Ministerial Warrant on the GCSB’s involvement in the matter. Why did the Police lie in court? What information did the GCSB supply? Has the FBI been passed that information? Why didn’t Neazor pick up on this earlier even if Key failed to – assuming that is actually what happened? Even Armstrong writes:
It still beggars belief that the Prime Minister was not told. It would have been more than somewhat embarrassing if he had learned what the GCSB was up to from the Americans.
If it is correct that the Prime Minister was unaware of what was going on, then there was a woeful failure of communication between the various intelligence units in the Prime Minister’s Department and the GCSB. But that seems most unlikely, given the seniority and experience of the bureaucrats in the department.
The more you look at the schemozzle, the less things stack up.
Neazor …. well, Neazor doesn’t seem to be up to it. His, vague, rambling explanation of three prior rule breaches by the GCSB that he reported but apparently didn’t follow up on was extremely concerning. He quoted a famous poet’s long-winded way of saying ‘God knows what I was talking about’. Reading his report again after having seen him in that interview, I’m much more concerned about what it missing. Let’s be frank – the man charged with day-to-day oversight of our spies seemed close to senile (which is probably exactly the kind of person the spies want monitoring them).
We need these comprehensive and independent investigations to establish what really happened, to prosecute those that broke the law, and to find out what Key is trying to hide.