Open mike 26/02/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 26th, 2024 - 21 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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21 comments on “Open mike 26/02/2024 ”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    I see Ginny Anderson delivered a public apology on News Talk ZB this morning. Good on her for that.

    I guess the evidence that there was nothing to see with respect to Mark Mitchell's previous career is that Nicky Hagar didn't write a book about it prior to the last election lol.

    [linking so people can hear what she is apologising for. She’s sorry for offending people and making it personal and taking the tone down. She hasn’t apologised for commentary about Mitchell’s career – weka

    https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/early-edition/audio/ginny-andersen-apologises-for-absolutely-unacceptable-comments-to-mark-mitchell/ ]

    • AB 1.1

      I have made it perfectly clear before that there is something for Mitchell to answer to. It does not relate to any particular action he may or may not have undertaken in Iraq. It is the fact that he was there at all, making money off the back of a self-evident war crime that was cooked up on the basis of a pack of lies.

      That Ginny Andersen was a fool and obscured this central issue by barking up the wrong tree, does not remove a perfectly valid criticism from the table – though it seems you would like it to. In practical terms however, Andersen's foolishness has made it impossible to raise any questions about Mitchell's past for some time.

      That may not matter however. Mitchell's reflexive authoritarianism is likely to see him fail dismally in the Police portfolio, so there will be plenty of material for a current critique of his performance and no need to delve into the past.

      • Phillip ure 1.1.1

        Wot ab said..

      • tsmithfield 1.1.2

        I guess it does boil down to what he was there for. If he was there to provide security for aid organisations, then there are four questions to answer in my mind:

        1. Was it justifiable for aid organisations to be there?

        2. Was military grade security necessary for those aid workers?

        3. If yes, then why didn't interested governments provide that security directly?

        4. If governments weren't supplying that security, then what option did the aid organisations have other than to utilise private security organisations?

        So, I think it is clear that if Mitchell's organisation was providing necessary security for aid organisations that otherwise wouldn't have been able to function in the region, then I think the deployment was totally justifiable. So, I think it is necessary to show that Mitchell was there for purposes that were less justifiable.

        The fact that Hagar hasn''t written a book when it would have been most impactful, before the last election, suggests to me that there isn't much to see in that respect.

        • weka 1.1.2.1

          I haven't seen anyone argue that the aid security isn't necessary or justifiable.

          The issues are:

          1. should countries be using private contractors given the profit motive and the cross-overs between private security and private military?
          2. what are all the things that Mitchell's company did?
          3. is Mitchell spinning this too hard and thus cannot be trusted?

          You keep ignoring those.

        • gsays 1.1.2.2

          It matters little what time pattern the music is, you are dancing on the head of a pin defending Mitchell.

      • Tiger Mountain 1.1.3

        It's “rules based” when it comes to sucking up to 5 Eyes and AUKUS, but a current Govt. Minister involved in the unlawful –“Attack on Iraq” with a for profit basis, slithers through with not much scrutiny.

        Sod Mitchell, Ginny did not need to apologise. Mr Mitchell should be the one explaining.

    • Obtrectator 1.2

      If you're going to reference Nicky Hager, then do him the courtesy of spelling his name correctly.

    • Incognito 1.3

      If you didn’t hear about it on Newstalk ZB, it didn’t happen, it doesn’t exist, and it isn’t real lol.

    • weka 1.4

      mod note

    • Muttonbird 1.5

      Anyone know what organisation the company he was working for in Iraq was contracted to?

      Never mind, found it.

      It was the Coalition Provisional Authority government:

      The CPA was admonished for its mismanagement of funds allocated to the reconstruction of post-invasion Iraq, with over $8 billion of these unaccounted for, including over $1.6 billion in cash that emerged in a basement in Lebanon.

      So, not an aid organisation then.

      Marky Mark then went to work in Kuwait:

      He then spent six years based in Kuwait. He went to work for Kuwait firm Agility Logistics, which was supplying food to military forces in Iraq.

      Still not an aid organisation…

      • weka 1.5.1

        good digging.

        this was one of the ways in which Anderson messed up. From memory she said something about when he was in Iraq. Which left him to answer about the time he was in Iraq for aid security. He only has to have done one aid security job to answer her, he can just not mention everything else. This is why I keep banging on about his PR skills. I would guess it was an important part of being the CEO of TMG and the earlier work.

        • Anne 1.5.1.1

          Mitchell went to Iraq in 2003 to work for British kidnap and ransom risk-management company Control Risks, providing security to officials of the Coalition Provisional Authority government….

          He spent a period training Iraqi security forces in 2004, before leaving Iraq. He has refused to confirm whether he killed anyone in conflict, instead saying there were "casualties on both sides".

          He then spent six years based in Kuwait. He went to work for Kuwait firm Agility Logistics, which was supplying food to military forces in Iraq. The company set up subsidiary Threat Management Group, with Mitchell as CEO and shareholder, to improve security for its logistics staff. The company took on contracts protecting infrastructure and Mitchell dealt with kidnap and ransom negotiations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Darfur. He sold Threat Management Group in 2010, when it had an annual turnover of $130 million, and the sale made him wealthy.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Mitchell_(New_Zealand_politician)

          Don't hear too much about those years based in the Threat Management Group.

          • yesherawshark 1.5.1.1.1

            Just to note that Wiki page was heavily re-edited as the "Ginny event" began .. sorry I do not have the previous version, but it has been cleaned up in many details. I believe his presence in Iraq was unlawful; we did not support the war and our mercenary laws are/were internationally substantial .. Helen Clark ensured that for us. A diligent journalist will find there is 'there' there, I am sure of it. And then there is the Whangaparaoa woman who resigned from the chair in disgust from the East Coast Bays Nat party at the filthy was Mitchell was elected with his paid-for help from the dreaded Simon Lusk. It's all very ugly.

        • Muttonbird 1.5.1.2

          I couldn't work out why Mitchell's private security operations in the Middle East are now framed by right wing commenters as for aid organisations. For example, tsmithfiled mentioned the word aid 5 times in his comment @1.1.2. Why?

          Mitchell's work from 2003 to 2010 seems to have been for either the US installed Iraqi interim government or a Kuwaiti logistics firm supplying the military presence there (Agility).

          He was in charge and stakeholder of an offshoot company of Agility which did some work in the Middle East and north east Africa and made a considerable amount of money from that when he exited to contest the Rodney seat with help from Simon Lusk and Cameron Slater.

          Can't find any specific mention of aid organisations, but you are right even if one client was in that space then right wing commentators would think nothing of associating all Mitchell's actions with aid organisations and the media would probably go along with it.

          Mr Fish, David Shearer didn’t help by sanitising Mitchell’s military contracting career. Thanks, mate.

          Ginny Anderson didn’t do well. Aggressive and fractured. I don’t mind the aggressive bit but it needs to be accurate. Not to say she can’t improve because Penk and Bishop are equally as bad and they are now in government.

    • tsmithfield 1.6

      Thanks Weka, I should have given that link myself.

      She did say that she will be apologising personally to Mark Mitchell on Wednesday, so the apology part may not yet be complete.

    • tc 2.1

      Massage to Wayne there. Pull your head in or she gets the nod next mayoral race buddy.

    • bwaghorn 2.2

      Excellent, the only way Auckland will start progressing is to become completely failed so they stop voting right wing politicians in, a stint or 2 of that pointless woman running the show should achieve that

  2. joe90 3

    There's money in cooking.

    //

    Four major nonprofits that rose to prominence during the coronavirus pandemic by capitalizing on the spread of medical misinformation collectively gained more than $118 million between 2020 and 2022, enabling the organizations to deepen their influence in statehouses, courtrooms and communities across the country, a Washington Post analysis of tax records shows.

    Children’s Health Defense, an anti-vaccine group founded by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., received $23.5 million in contributions, grants and other revenue in 2022 alone – eight times what it collected the year before the pandemic began – allowing it to expand its state-based lobbying operations to cover half the country. Another influential anti-vaccine group, Informed Consent Action Network, nearly quadrupled its revenue during that time to about $13.4 million in 2022, giving it the resources to finance lawsuits seeking to roll back vaccine requirements as Americans’ faith in vaccines drops.

    Two other groups, Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance and America’s Frontline Doctors, went from receiving $1 million combined when they formed in 2020 to collecting more than $21 million combined in 2022, according to the latest tax filings available for the groups.

    https://www.adn.com/nation-world/2024/02/22/tax-records-reveal-the-lucrative-world-of-covid-misinformation/

  3. joe90 4

    Meet Russian politician, statesman, diplomat, former director general of Roscosmos, and POS Dmitry Rogozin.

    https://twitter.com/Rogozin/status/1761612503966941316

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