The spy who loved me

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, July 26th, 2012 - 33 comments
Categories: International, trade - Tags:

Last month on The Nation (or Q+A?) Groser mentioned how the much hyped, but actually insignificant, free trade deal with Russia had hit a mysterious wall. Groser couldn’t even get to see the current minister and had “tough” talks with the ex-minister instead, while Key’s meeting with Putin was cancelled by Putin at the last minute. Now, I think we know what the trouble is.

A Canadian spy turned double-agent for the Russians and started supplying them with all kinds of data from the Echelon spy network. The famous satellite interception dishes as Waihopai are part of that network. So, there’s a good chance that the Ruskies have seen what info we’re intercepting on their military (and, if Nicky Hager’s right, economic) activities and passing on to the other Echelon members including the Yanks.

No wonder they’re not feeling best disposed towards us right now.

33 comments on “The spy who loved me”

  1. Kotahi Tāne Huna 1

    Or maybe Putin heard about the proceeds of crimes act and took offence.

    Or to put it another way, if doing deals with Putin is OK, why not the Mongrel Mob?

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      We’re happy to do deals with China and import Saudi Arabian oil. Let’s not get too sanctimonious eh?

      • Kotahi Tāne Huna 1.1.1

        Yeah well, as I’ve said before, I think the marriage of pragmatism and principle needs a trial separation.

      • Policy Parrot 1.1.2

        The Russians these days are simply interested in regime preservation. The same as the Soviets really. Except there is no cited ideological quarrel with the West, it is simply purely about keeping the nomenklatura in business. The only difference is that it is more upfront (about its reason for occupying power – there is no delusion anymore).

        Communism, seemingly, was bad for business. The commitment to ideology was over when Krushchev was rolled back in the 60s. Since then, the USSR, and Russia have basically been a kleptocratic, mafioso state.

  2. Gosman 2

    Ummmm…. why wouldn’t they be happy with us?

    It isn’t as if the Russian’s don’t engage in this sort of syrvelance activity with other nations. They have known about Waihopai for years. There is nothing new in this information.

    • Deano 2.1

      Yes, everyone does it. But you can’t get caught doing it publicly and there not be reprecussions.

      Russia would look weak with this coming out publicly if they didn’t punish us in some way. And one thing world powers don’t like to look is weak.

      Here’s an example you might understand. Everyone farts. Everyone knows everyone farts. But if you fart noticeably (loudly or otherwise) in front of someone you would expect them to kick up some kind of fuss.

      Basically, we’re at a job interview with Russia and we just farted loudly in their office.

  3. higherstandard 3

    I think it’s more likely that the russians still have concerns that David Parker is a secret reptilian shape shifter.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1

      More likely Putin realises that if he calls Key , he will think its to say the nuclear attack is on the way, and Key will shit himself

  4. vto 4

    Putin is a bad man, but I do like the way he conducts himself with other politicians. None of this smiley touchy feely stab in the back stuff. He rolls his eyes and shakes his head and basically seems to let people know exactly what he thinks of them. I recall some meeting with the big main players, US, UK, Russia, French German, etc etc and his body language was very clear – ‘what a bunch of muppets.’ He was unimpressed with them and with the issue they were dealing with, and he clearly let them know (and the public watching)

    This clear, unambiguous and strong communication is something Shearer could learn from.

    Shearer comes across as a wuss, and for labour methinks it is a big problem.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Putin demonstrates the difference between a stateman and a showman.

      • vto 4.1.1

        True. On further thought, if all the pollies acted like Putin the place would end up in a fist fight. I guess my point is that the strong and unambiguous communication is something often missing in NZ politics. In fact, that kind of reflects the kiwi way of communicating – says things implying something that hasn’t been said, feign disappointment, have to read between the lines, etc. Kiwis are not very good at communicating methinks. Too scared to step on toes. Its in-built. Must be difficult for newcomers to get to grips with our unclear ways…

      • Akldnut 4.1.2

        “Putin demonstrates the difference between a stateman and a showman.”

        Exactly, our last statesman commanded respect and is currently working for the UN – we now have a showman who is a groveler to anyone who has more money than he has and is a dictator to those with less.

    • Dr Terry 4.2

      Labour should have learned long before this. The point is, CAN they learn, and if so, how long must it take? (Shearer was a disaster from the start).

  5. Campbell Larsen 5

    The sight of that deflated spy dish balloon still fills me with pride. Good on those protesters for bringing attention to our shameful involvement in the US wars of terror.

    • Populuxe1 5.1

      It does monitor things aside from things related to the War on Terror, you idiot, including actual terrorists and foreign powers in our neighbourhood who might not have our best interests at heart. Peace is desirable, but it isn’t the world’s default setting.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        hey I wonder if the facility can eavesdrop on the conversations of ordinary NZers, those of government Ministries and also ordinary NZ businesses?

        • Populuxe1 5.1.1.1

          I don’t think it’s terribly effective on digital networks, and in any case there are far easier ways of monitoring local traffic without wasting that kind of technology

      • Kotahi Tāne Huna 5.1.3

        “Hostile armies may face each other for years, striving for the victory which is decided in a single day. This being so, to remain in ignorance of the enemy’s condition simply because one grudges the outlay of a hundred ounces of silver in honors and emoluments is the height of inhumanity.”

        Tzun Tzu.

        As true now as it was then. Spying helps prevent wars, and shortens those which cannot be prevented.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    I don’t get why the western powers persist with this whole ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence community of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Penetrate it in Newfoundland, and you’ve penetrated it in Waihopai. Once you are in in Canberra, you get Langley for free. Given the how very low level military bureaucrats (Delisle was a sub-lieutenant, the lowest officer rank of all in the Navy) seemingly have high levels of access to very sensitive SIGINT, why do they persist with this model of intelligence sharing?

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Here’s the ‘secret’ Sanctuary: despite extensive technological protections and fail-safe engineering to prevent it the foundations of the entire global machine of TPTB still relies on ordinary people.

      What is worrying is the development of things like autonomous killer drones…for instance a Predator armed with missiles and facial/number plate/biometric recognition software. It sees someone matching a pre-stored target profile, and attacks the target automatically without any need for human input.

      Where could a system like this go wrong eh.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.2

      Its not OUR secrets they send to Langley, we intercept Russian. Chinese, Korean etc information and pass it on for code breaking.

      If they work out what we know about them , they can change codes, unearth spies etc.

      • McFlock 6.2.1

        Not to mention that ISTR several of the echelon nations have strict rules about their intelligence services intercepting the traffic of their own citizens. So the Canadians intercept US traffic for the yanks, the US intercept UK traffic for the UK, etc.

  7. Anne 7

    Love the title.
    You could say Putin likes to project the image of a Ruskie version of James Bond.

    Just a bit of levity… 😯

    • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1

      George Bush did much the same, but riding a mountainl bike around his ranch with no cattle was sort kept out of the public eye. Reagan just stuck to horseback and the image was created around that

  8. tracey 8

    Maybe putin just didnt know how jolly important key is so treated him like he was a bit player.!

  9. duncan garner 9

    He made the comments on The Nation and later in a phone interview for 3 News.
    Cheers
    Duncan

  10. AmaKiwi 10

    Earlier Colonial Viper asked:

    “I wonder if the facility can eavesdrop on the conversations of ordinary NZers, those of government Ministries and also ordinary NZ businesses?”

    They can and they do. PM Helen Clark publicly announced that all electronic messages to and from NZ are copied and sent to overseas intelligence agencies.

    It happened when Bush II was invading Iraq for the second time and we were not joining the party. PM Clark was defending “our commitment to fight terrorism.”

    Every email, fax, and phone call you make overseas is recorded and passed on to US, UK, etc. intelligence authorities. Auntie Helen told us so.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 10.1

      Bomb, President, fish and chips, Olympics, McDonalds, Allah, pbuh, make sure you keep them busy.

  11. BillODrees 11

    Maybe the Russian ministers won’t let Groser into their offices because of something he said on a previous occasion:

    -Kia ora Bro, I was not elected to parliament either.
    -Kia ora Bro, the Finns gave me far better quality Vodka than that.
    -Kia ora Bro, my PM has stacks of cash salted away too.
    -Kia ora Bro, you are a short arse too!
    -Kia ora Bro, I am the most important man in world trade. 
    -Kia ora Bro, David Cunliffe is taller than me and kicks my arse in elections, can you eh em *cough* him?

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