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None so blind

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, October 17th, 2012 - 43 comments
Categories: david shearer, john key - Tags: , ,

Yesterday, John Key told Parliament in endless detail exactly what the GCSB did trying to check if there is any video of him talking about Dotcom (there doesn’t seem to be, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t). He knew all of that front to back. But, when it came to a simple question: ‘when did the GCSB realise they had broken the law in spying on Dotcom’. He had no idea.

David Shearer: On what date did the Government Communications Security Bureau first become aware that its surveillance of Kim Dotcom was illegal?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The first day that I was briefed by the Government Communications Security Bureau about it being illegal was likely to be the 17th.

David Shearer: Point of order—

Mr SPEAKER: I think I can predict the Leader of the Opposition’s point of order. The member actually asked on what date the Government Communications Security Bureau became aware that its investigation may have been illegal, not the date on which the Prime Minister was advised of that.

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I do not have that date to hand.

It’s incredible that he hasn’t bothered to learn such a basic fact.

There is a simple solution to this for the Government – and even David Farrar is calling for it now. Do a proper, independent inquiry that will deliver answers to everyone’s questions. If Key can order one for a IT breach at WINZ, then he ought to be able to order one for the GCSB debacle too….. unless there’s stuff he doesn’t want coming out.


43 comments on “None so blind”

  1. One Tāne Huna 1

    He didn’t say he “hasn’t bothered to learn” it.

    He said he hasn’t got the date to hand. Lots of wiggle room there – he can say he left it on the bus, for example.

    • Tom Gould 1.1

      Or maybe the dog ate it? Lots of politicians use the old ‘plausible deniability’ ruse. Don’t tell me formally so I can say I don’t know, but tell me anyway, on the quiet. Key is legend for this. He either wasn’t told, or if he was, he can’t recall. I thought Muldoon was slippery, but this guy could give a master class.

    • ianmac 1.2

      David Shearer is going to follow up about the date in Question 3 today. “……does he now know on what date the Government Communications Security Bureau was first told that its surveillance of Kim Dotcom was illegal?”

      • David H 1.2.1

        But when key attacks, and he will over the video footage, So you expect us to believe, the GCSB, the place that tapes everything, for some reason or other did not tape you ? Tui moment.

        • One Tāne Huna

          It would have been illegal for the GCSB to video Key – he is a New Zealand citizen. 😉

        • freedom

          and as it was at the new building and the Leader’s prescence at the office was such a special event, as some commentors here made sure we all understood, why was it not recorded for posterity or to share with absent staff?

    • weka 1.3

      In fact he would most likely have to actively avoid knowing the date. Like he does with lots of things.

  2. Yeah, good point Eddie,

    I question how it is o.k that so many questions in parliament are answered by such non-answers as “I do not have that date to hand”? I read the endless variety of such answers as “I’m not telling you”. Is this really o.k by parliamentary rule standards?

    Aren’t “we” entitled to have questions answered in a more serious manner?
    What is going on here? How is this being allowed to happen?

    • karol 2.1

      Aren’t “we” entitled to have questions answered in a more serious manner?
      What is going on here? How is this being allowed to happen?

      Yes, this is what I think is the heart of the problem, not Shearer’s (lack of) leadership skills. I favour Cunllife over Shearer because of their relative political views.  But my real frustration right now, is not with Shearer’s performance, but with the way the political system and MSM bias and framework enable Key to get away with so much b*llshite.

      • David H 2.1.1

        And Cunliffe would never have been caught out in this amateurish way. He would have had Key for Breakfast.

        • karol

          Yes, David.  I can imagine that.  Shearer is too lacking in experience.  But he also seems to have improved somewhat.  Meanwhile, the MSM is focusing too much on the game.
          … oh dear.  rebellion in the House again from Parker and Peters…. various points of order, challenging the speaker.
          Now the first question.

      • PlanetOrphan 2.1.2

        It would be the speakers Job too hold them to account for evasive answers.

        Not much chance there, yet another man who sold his soul.

        And again the fear he exhibits is so palpable it comes through a TV screen.

        • blue leopard

          …Yes, so there are rules that require the party in power to answer questions with serious intent toward making clear what is being asked?

          …And there is something being missed here with regard to holding both the party and the person upholding the rules to account?

          • Draco T Bastard

            Yes, so there are rules that require the party in power to answer questions with serious intent toward making clear what is being asked?

            No. There are rules that say that the minister must answer the question but how that question is answered is up to the minister so long as it a) is truthful and b) relates to the question. This latter has another out in that multi-part question only requires one answer which can relate to any of the parts.

    • One Tāne Huna 2.2

      Give em a dose of their own useless medicine and get tough on these National MPs crims. Mandatory sentencing, minimum of three years for any false or misleading statement. Harsh punishments and extreme prejudice. Presumption of guilt, removal of the right to vote, all members of your party take a five percent pay cut and lose all pension entitlements on the third offence.

      That should sort them right out.

  3. Plan B 3

    Key is on TV News every day day in day out – maybe it is like the Reagan Campaign guy said all those years ago- nobody is listening- they just see the pictures. Don’t you get it. We just see Key every single day – we don’t take in what he is saying or what people are saying about him- he is just there. Maybe that is why Nats numbers hold so well. Just saying

    • Their numbers are not holding.

      Paying TV3 to do a news poll , purposefully selecting Gnat supporters (Discovered from previous polls and then ignoring the negative responses does not count as a poll.

      And again the fear they exhibit is so palpable it comes through a TV screen.
      TV(n) Sold their souls to the Gnats as well I fear.

    • Fortran 3.2

      Plan B

      The media are mesmerised by the Greens daily mountains of paper, which they just accept irrespective of facts.
      As they cannot find anything else to do, and this is an easy way out for them, saving them having to do any real investigative work.

  4. insider 4

    It might be because there now appears some confusion about when GCSB knew what they had done was illegal. Originally they said they realised it was illegal a few days before informing Key in September.

    • Feigning confusion: Manipulator tries to play dumb by pretending he or she does not know what the victim is talking about or is confused about an important issue brought to his attention.

      Feigning innocence: Manipulator tries to suggest that any harm done was unintentional or that they did not do something that they were accused of. Manipulator may put on a look of surprise or indignation. This tactic makes the victim question his or her own judgment and possibly his own sanity.

      Diversion: Manipulator not giving a straight answer to a straight question and instead being diversionary, steering the conversation onto another topic.

      Lying by omission: This is a very subtle form of lying by withholding a significant amount of the truth. This technique is also used in propaganda.

      Projecting the blame (blaming others): Manipulator scapegoats in often subtle, hard-to-detect ways.

      Lying: It is hard to tell if somebody is lying at the time they do it, although often the truth may be apparent later when it is too late. One way to minimize the chances of being lied to is to understand that some personality types (particularly psychopaths) are experts at the art of lying and cheating, doing it frequently, and often in subtle ways.

      Partial list from Psychological Manipulation~According to Simon; Wikipedia [Emphasis mine]

      Sadly all too recognizable from Parliament Channel screenings.


  5. One Tāne Huna 5

    “…he ought to be able to order one for the GCSB debacle…”

    The law has been broken. It’s a court that should be investigating, in the form of charges being laid against the GCSB and its controller.

    • Murray Olsen 5.1

      We don’t have inquisitorial judges. Someone would have to prepare the material for the prosecution. Somehow, I can’t see the police doing it.

      • One Tāne Huna 5.1.1

        We have seen a lot more information squeezed out by the Dotcom extradition hearings than anything I’d expect a government appointed investigator to disclose.

  6. freedom 6

    like the coverups we find
    Misty water-cooler memories
    Of the way we were

    Scattered pictures,
    Of the lies we left behind
    lies they shared to trick the voter
    To get another term

    Can it be that it was all so simple then?
    Or has Smile re-written every line?
    If we had the chance to do it all again
    Tell me, would we? could we?

    Memories, may be plentiful and yet
    What’s too painful to remember
    the MSM choose to forget

    So it’s cold laughter
    from Helensville’s Member
    When we remember…
    Just who they were…
    Just who they were..

    -apologies to Babs

  7. Red Rosa 7

    Can’t beat NRT. Onto it again..


    • Dv 7.1

      Re NRT
      Update: And it gets better: Wolfensohn apparently helped draft the Act he does not understand. And we’re supposed to believe he didn’t realise the spying was unlawful? Yeah, right.


      • Pascal's bookie 7.1.1

        Amazing how none of this was picked up in that thorough report done by Neazor that just cleared everything up quite nicely.

        Outrageous that anyone might suggest there is some arse covering going on, or that we ought to do something about it.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Just pointing to the top of the blog doesn’t tell us which post you were talking about.

  8. BeeDee 8

    A question that hovers over this is that the request to spy on Dotcom surely could have been made to the SIS? Or would that too have been illegal?

  9. karol 9

    Today in question time, Peters’ question 2 led to questions about staff member at GCSB being put on leave.  Key wouldn’t comment on staffing matters, but one of the opposition Peters said it was well known around Wellington that a GCSB staff member has been put on gardening leave.
    Peters also asked about a member of Key’s DPS (protection squad) going to work for KDC before 20 January.  Key mentioned the name of the person in question, said he wasn’t a member of the DPS and Key didn’t know he was going to work for KDC.

    Shearers question3:  Key said he first heard of the GCSB involvement on the GCSB case between 7-13 Sept, and that he wasn’t briefed on the KDC case by the GCSB at the meetings of 14-24 February.  The PM’s staff member Ferguson, didn’t pass the information onto Key prior to 19 January.
    Supplementaries led to Peters asking if his 13 June 2011 meeting with Simon Power involved talking about KDC. Key said KDC wasn’t discussed. The Peters asked about a reply to him from Key in answer to a written question of 7 May. In writing Key said “There is no written record of a meeting, and I have no recollection of it.”  Peter’s asked how, in the light of this written answer, how could Key be so certain KDC wasn’t discussed.  Key said he is certain KDC wasn’t discussed.

    Peters had then used up his supplementaries, and asked the speaker: “I seek leave to get the truth out of the Prime Minister.”

    • freedom 9.1

      i believe The Speaker’s response was “that is not a procedure of the House”

      cut to PM wiping his brow and elbowing English ‘phew, we got away with that one eh Bill’ -sarc

      • karol 9.1.1

        Right.  Glad we are clear on that – getting the truth from the PM is not a procedure of the House – in fact, such a procedure is just “nonsense”:

        Mr SPEAKER: The member, I think, has used his allocation of supplementary questions available.
        Rt Hon Winston Peters: I seek leave to get the truth out of the Prime Minister.
        Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member can seek leave only for a procedure of the House.
        Hon Trevor Mallard: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The idea that you would indicate that getting the truth out of the Prime Minister is not a procedure of the House—
        Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member will resume his seat. This is the House of Representatives. We do not need that sort of nonsense.


        • mike

          Rt Hon Winston Peters: I seek leave to get the truth out of the Prime Minister.
          Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member can seek leave only for a procedure of the House.

          Never a truer word was spoken by Lockwood. Winston should get T-shirts made of the above.

    • TruthSeeker 9.2

      Key said the individual worked for ‘VIPs in Auckland’ – presumably he means the VIP Protection Squad based in Auckland, which is responsible for providing support to the DPS, and does protect the PM when he is up there.

      I also note that one of these officers was working for Dotcom at the time of the raid…. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10825297

      • karol 9.2.1

        And did I hear correctly on RNZ news that it is Wolfensohn that has been put on “gardening leave”, whatever the F that is?

        • tc

          stay home in the garden and talk to nobody whatsoever….it’s normally what C levels get when they announce defection to a competitor.

          You are basically in communicado, being paid to not communicate/work tillyour notice is up or you get called back in.

          The stench keeps growing, Shonkey is donkey deep here and he knows it but it serves another purpose.

          Plunder the assets whilst everyones looking here and then resign….kaching !

  10. Chris 10

    Lockwood lets those little buzzy thing off with a lot.

  11. georgecom 11

    Key went to great lengths with his explanation on Tuesday to try an exonerate himself. He was trying hard, too hard in fact. Trying too hard to the point it didn’t look real. Key came across as anything but genuine. He is acting like a man under real pressure.

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