What does Key have to gain by lying?

Written By: - Date published: 8:52 am, September 27th, 2012 - 137 comments
Categories: john banks, john key, Spying - Tags:

John Key put on a scary display of incompetence – like resignation-level incompetence – in the House yesterday over the Dotcom spying affair. He claimed not to know a laundry list of basic facts that, if he didn’t know them before, he bloody well ought to have been briefed on by now. In some instances, his memory failed him (much as it failed Banks) over Dotcom. Yet he then showed he could recall exchange rates from 20 years ago. I think he’s lying. The alternative is too scary.

The Herald has supplied a list of the things that Key claimed not to have known or to have been unable to remember.

Prime Minister John Key has demonstrated a lack of knowledge about key aspects of the Dotcom case including:

• He did not know who Kim Dotcom was until the day before the January 20 police raid despite the tycoon living in the luxury Chrisco mansion in Mr Key’s Helensville electorate.

• He did not know until two weeks ago that the GCSB, which is under his charge, was eavesdropping on Mr Dotcom and his associates on behalf of the police – seven months after the surveillance ended.

• Until this week, he did not know about the ministerial certificate or suppression order to prevent details of the GCSB’s role being made public during a court hearing last month – despite that order being signed by his deputy, Bill English, who was acting on his behalf while Mr Key was overseas.

• Yesterday when asked, he did not know if his own department – including two key intelligence groups – had been briefed on the GCSB’s Dotcom spying.

Mr Key appeared to become confused when asked by NZ First leader Winston Peters when his chief of staff was first told of the Ministerial Certificate issued in Mr Key’s absence last month by his deputy Bill English.

Mr English issued the certificate to prevent details of the GCSB’s involvement in the Dotcom case emerging in court.

“I do not exactly know, but to the best of my knowledge it was on Monday the 17th when I knew,” Mr Key said. He later returned to the House and made a personal statement saying it was only this week that he learned of the document.

It smells like lies right from the start. How could Key, a man obsessed with personal wealth and audacious displays of it, not know that the most expensive mansion in the country, which is in his electorate, was inhabited by a flamboyant German worth hundreds of millions – a man who had had dealings with many of Key’s ministers, was one of the few people given residency under his ‘visas to rich dudes’ scheme, and about whom his electorate office had twice been approached?

And any of you have had dealings with the public service know that there is no way Key’s ministries would have kept him in the dark. They take no surprises very seriously. Key was meeting with the head of the GCSB more than once a month. They would have mentioned that they had been involved in the Dotcom spying at some point. The SIS and the DPMC would have told Key by know whether they were involved or not too. He will have had a briefing in the past couple of days. No question. Unless he has gone to extraordinary lengths to maintain plausible deniability – but is that really credible? Would none of his staff put this information before him? Why would he and his staff want such willful ignorance? What would be the point of it?

Then there’s the fact that we’re meant to believe it took until this month for the GCSB to realise that Dotcom is a permanent resident. I don’t believe that for a second. They’re incompetent wannabes – but they’re not that incompetent.

And there’s the lies told under oath by the senior OFCANZ officer who said that the GCSB wasn’t involved. If he was lying, isn’t it more plausible that all this stuff has been a cover-up?

That would explain why Key was unable to remember that, in the narrative the public has been fed, he only learned of the Ministerial Warrant signed by English on his behalf this Monday – rather than a) at the time, b) when he is supposed to have learned that the GCSB had been illegally spying on Dotcom Monday before last, at which point he would have received a comprehensive timeline of events in the case. If Key is lying about when he knew facts in the case, that makes explains why he could confuse the dates. He undoubtedly has a formidable memory – as he demonstrated yesterday by reeling off the history of the Yen/USD exchange rate.

The scenario that Key would have us believe – that his spy agencies are illegally spying on Kiwis and he not only fails to monitor them but fails to get briefed when it all blows up is not credible (and a resignation level offence if true – I’m surprised no-one has called for him resign at least his security portfolios, yet), even if only because officials would have ensured it didn’t happen.

So why lie and fake ignorance? That’s a good question. I keep on thinking of Key’s new slogan – ‘ignorance gets us nowhere’. As with the Banks.com affair, feigning ignorance allows Key to stymie lines of questioning. He can pretend not to know, he can give contradictory answers, then he can refuse to see the contradiction. It’s no way to run a corner dairy, let alone a country, but it makes it hard for the media and opposition to dig down into the story.

But why, what, at the bottom of all of this is Key trying to hide? It’s obvious why Key is lying over Banks.com – his political imperatives are transparent. But what does he have to lose over the Dotcom spying? It’s hard to fathom.

Is it a lie that ballooned on him – was he initially just trying to deny any link to a alleged criminal? Did he try to avoid asking questions when the GCSB told him they had spied on Dotcom to keep his distance from the man?

Or is there something more sinister at play?

Dotcom has long hinted that Key knows him more than he let’s on. And, so far, the msn wanted by the FBI and arrested in an armed police raid has proven to be the only honest man in this affair.

137 comments on “What does Key have to gain by lying?”

  1. Glg 1

    I believe Key initiated the whole thing. I believe Key was approached by someone overseas, either Hollywood types or US Government types and asked for co-operation. key would have rolled over, squirming with delight that he was involved, so he went about making sure he had no contact whatsoever with anyone involved in the Dotcom raid.
    What he has been promised in return, one can only speculate, but I doubt it will be just better NZ/US relations.

    • Snadfly 1.1

      He is thinking of Hawaii.
      He is thinking of the sun, the money from stiffing NZ yet again..
      He is thinking about the moment after he was PM NZ..
      He is thinking about all his Hollywood friends…

    • Jokerman 1.2

      ” I did not have onanistic sex on that report” said the P.M

    • jack 1.3

      Glg, you are so right. Key worked for Merril Lynch for a number of years selling derivatives to Ireland and the rest of Europe. He has connections with the United States and was even on the board of the Federal Reserve.. a very elite group of private bankers. The United States isn’t the same country after World War 2 but instead is now a corporate dictatorship and Key is among them. He was told to spy on Dot.com and then covered his tracks.. I am very upset about this because the TPP is coming up and Key will give the US anything it ask for. Expect New Zealand to be raped by a traitor. This is what Key is, a traitor.

  2. I agree as to the lying.  Tuesday’s Q&A in Parliament had this passage which jarred when I heard it:

    “Rt Hon Winston Peters: Why was he not briefed by the Government Communications Security Bureau about who would be involved in the raid on Kim Dotcom, given the involvement of the Government Communications Security Bureau, the New Zealand Police, and an American agency, so that he could be aware that the Government Communications Security Bureau had met with Crown Law, the police, and US authorities 2 months before the January raid on Dotcom’s residence?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The activity in question did not require a ministerial warrant, and I am not briefed on operational matters on every operation it undertakes.

    So he is briefed on some operational matters but was not briefed on Kim Dotcom?  Is he being serious?

    Also the body language of the nats on Tuesday was appalling.  I have never seen them all so quiet or morose.  Methinks something will happen soon … 

    • tc 2.1

      ‘Methinks something will happen soon’
      Something very diversionary Mickey with some dog whistling and maybe a sacrifical lamb for the baying crowd…..look away people while we plunder got some more, bash the poor and maybe open a few mines for good measure

    • Poission 2.2

      With one coalition partner,intentionally isolated in “no mans land”

      The questions that need to be asked by the media are of the other partners such as Dunn,and the MP,
      such as can you have confidence in the PM giving you a coherent statement,when he is obviously incoherent.

    • insider 2.3

      Do you really want a system where politicians get the chance to meddle in who gets searched and who doesn’t? Why not the Police Minister too? and Customs? What happens when the target is a political ally or enemy?

      It’s a dangerous path you walk demanding political involvement in such activities. Remember what happened with Muldoon and Moyle as a small indicator of what can go wrong when lines of accountabilty get blurred.

      • Lanthanide 2.3.1

        Being briefed on important operations isn’t the same as “a chance to meddle”.

        • insider 2.3.1.1

          This wasn’t a GCSB project. it was a Police one. From GCSB point of view it might have been a very mundane piece of work- we don’t know. Do you tell your manager every single thing you do?

          I;d never heard of KDC before the raid and I’m fairly media literate. Mickey’s demand that Key know everything is done with the genius of 20:20 hindsight. And there is the risk – we are demanding politicians know all sort of detail they don’t need to know. And that is dangerous because the involvement of polticians politicise things.

          • mickysavage 2.3.1.1.1

            Let’s see, the Police, the GCSB and the SIS are asked to engage in a major operation with the justice organisation of one of our greatest friend to deal to an uber evil criminal that has caused Hollywood movies to be shared illegally.

            The operation is that important that helicopters and police dogs and armed police officers are used.

            And no one thought to tell the PM and Minister in charge of two of the organisations?

            This is as credible as him not remembering his view of the Springbok tour.

            I agree that Key should not be expected to know the detail of everything that happens.  But is it credible that he had no idea that the raid on Dotcom was happening? 

            • Jim Nald 2.3.1.1.1.1

              What might a KeyBanks manual about lying for dummies suggest to get out of tight spots?

              * Don’t recall

              * Don’t know

              * Didn’t read

              * Wasn’t me

              * Wasn’t here (or there … or anywhere)

              * Wasn’t told

              * Blame Labour/Greens/just anyone or anything – quick make something up!

              * Do you like my tie?

              * (……. more suggestions here ……)

              • Te Reo Putake

                “I Didn’t Do It, Nobody Saw Me Do It, There’s No Way You Can Prove Anything!”
                 
                Simpson, B.

              • blue leopard

                “There is insufficient evidence”

              • Jim Nald

                * The Greens (or insert anyone you like, or don’t like) are politicking

                * It is an “operational” matter

                * Fly off to Hollywood … or Planet Key

                * Quickly say “brain fade” (whether it is somebody’s or your own)

            • insider 2.3.1.1.1.2

              He did know. he received a briefing from the SG beforehand. Why do you think he didn’t? What he didn’t know was the involvement of GCSB (and perhaps the SIS). Shouldn’t the hard questions be put to the officials?

              Which comes back to the point, do you want politicians messing in the day to day activities of departments? Look at what happened to Benson Pope for an example of how messy that can get. Look at Nick Smith for another.

              • Day before?  And not during one of the dozen or so GCSB briefings he had in the previous year?

                I do expect Ministers to have even a fleeting understanding of what their departments are doing.  Especially Ministers in charge of departments with considerable legal powers. 

                • insider

                  So now you do want the PM to know about all operations being carried out just after saying you didn’t? Where and when are you going to draw the line? Do you want him to know about every single security clearance they process just in case one goes pear shaped?

                  • No I said the exact opposite.  I said:

                    I do expect Ministers to have even a fleeting understanding of what their departments are doing.

                    “Even a fleeting” means a little understanding.  Key seems to expect us to think that he has no understanding whatsoever.

                    • Poission

                      “Even a fleeting” means a little understanding. Key seems to expect us to think that he has no understanding whatsoever.

                      If you inserted about anything (say for example the economy) I would be in complete agreement,almost surely (By which we mean as near to the 100% confidence level as possible) and hence we can be only have confidence in having little confidence it what he says.

                    • insider

                      Please Clarify what you mean by “a fleeting understanding of what their departments are doing”. Five posts ago you said : “I agree that Key should not be expected to know the detail of everything that happens.”

                      Are you now saying he should instead have a fleeting understanding of “everything that happens.”?

                      What he should know is that they do x, y and z type of business, not generally that they are doing it to a, b and c – there will be exceptions to that for obvious reasons.

                  • How about this Insider.  You say “do you want politicians messing in the day to day activities of departments?”

                    Well the relevant Act says that the Minister should.  Section 8(3) says:

                    “The performance of the Bureau’s functions is subject to the control of the Minister.” 

                    This is as strong a mandate as you can see requiring the relevant Minister to know what is going on.  And Key has failed.  He should resign as Minister in charge if not as Prime Minister. 

                    • insider

                      Well now you are getting sillier. Did you even bother reading the Act beyond Russel Norman’s PR? That line has a whole lot of things before it that show how silly you are getting. Not only that, you are attempting to rewrite the convention of ministerial accountability.

                      If you are going to apply that standard to this issue are you saying The PM should also know and controlm everything they “decipher, decode, and translate …”, or every time they “gather foreign intelligence”, or every time they intercept communications, or co-operate with public authorities or other entities in New Zealand and abroad, or examine and analyse foreign communications and foreign intelligence?

                      YOu are setting a ludicrous standard. If Cunliffe or Shearer get to be PM I look forward to seeing you try to enforce it.

                    • Yep Insider read it all.  Feel free to quote any sections which say otherwise but section 8(3) looks pretty clear.

                      The convention of Ministerial Responsibility is directly affected by the Act which establishes the relationship.

                      How about you quote some sections of the Act to prove otherwise? 

                    • insider

                      And how does the act define ‘subject to the control of the minister’?

                    • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                      Using a dictionary?

                  • Frida

                    Obviously never been a public servant eh Insider? You’ve never heard of ‘no surprises’ briefings? Hmmm, in my time as a Crown lawyer I recall both Key and Finalyson were obsessively hot on the principle. I refuse to believe it wouldn’t have applied here.

                    • insider

                      Id suggest you have a poor understanding of no surprises. No surprises means you give due warning of items likely to enter the public domain. That is not in dispute as key was both advised of the raid and of the gcsb cock up. No surprises does not extend to knowing everything an organisation does at all times.

                      as a former crown lawyer though, I’d have expected you to have a better understanding of separation of powers. You didn’t work for MfE did you?

                  • Frida

                    Sounds like you have the poor understanding if you think ‘no surprises’ is fulfilled by a heads up from the SG the day before. I call b/s on that.
                    And I perfectly understand separation of powers think you, probably in far more depth than you ever will. But as Lanthanide has pointed out above being briefed on an operational matter is not the same as I interfering in decision making. We’re talking about what Shonkey knew, not what he did or didn’t do.
                    And I didn’t work for MFE, no.

                    • insider

                      We’re all geniuses after the event as to who should have known what and when. Well I suggest you are wrong and undermining convention on ministers involvement in operational issues. Key was not the accountable minister on the raid, the police minister was. They don’t get significant warnings of operations so neither would he. When do you think he should have known and why? After the event it may have been noteworthy to let him know they played a role, but it was a supporting one only and they may have thought it not a big deal in comparison to other stuff they do.

                  • No surprises means you give due warning of items likely to enter the public domain. 

                    Like the GCSB has broken the law and the stand in PM had to sign a certificate to preserve their identity?

                     I cannot work it out insider.  Do you think Key is totally incompetent or is he lying?  There is no other alternative …

                  • Sorry TRP you are right.  Key may be both …

          • freedom 2.3.1.1.2

            Whether or not the general public has heard of someone is hardly a necessary qualification.
            Kim DotCom would have come to the attention of so many people who interact with the Prime Minister in an official and unofficial manner that simple co-incidence (in the parliamentary offices for example) suggests that John Key would have known of KDC well in advance of “the day before the raid”.

            KDC owned a company that moved 4%+ of global net traffic. He had paid $10 million for residency and moved into the Electorate of the Prime Minister. I think most of NZ would be surprised if this person had not been investigated prior to becoming a Resident. The fact is any surveillance after that was illegal and had to have been approved regardless of the influence applied, that has nothing to do with political powers, that is simply an agency or individuals not being honest or ethical.

            There is an amazing word people can use when asked to do something they know is illegal or that they suspect to be contrary to law, ethics and operational mandates. The word is NO.

            • insider 2.3.1.1.2.1

              I don’t think it suggests anything of the sort. I think it suggests we are great at drawing threads together and creating patterns with the benefit of hindsight, but they are often based on belief rather than evidence. And we have the expectation that things that appear to have prominence and clarity today were always thus, when at the time they may have been trivial or of no relevance. It’s one of the ways political analysts and historians make a living.

      • Bunji 2.3.2

        ‘lines of accountability’ is exactly right – the PM doesn’t choose who gets searched, they just have oversight and accountability to block people getting searched – as does the inspector-general.

        Key is showing zero accountability – it’s his department, his job to be an important check and balance on our secutiry services that need secrecy.
        There are only 2 people protecting us, and if one is abdicating his responsibility – maybe he should abdicate all his responsibilities?

        • insider 2.3.2.1

          In saying “the PM doesn’t choose who gets searched, they just have oversight and accountability to block people getting searched ” I’m assuming you mean they have the general power to stop types of activity rather than individuals being targeted, otherwise what you say is contradictory.

          What do you think Key should have done? Should he develop ESP and just ‘know’ these things are happening in the absence of officials telling him? Or do you want him wandering through GCSB’s files? Do you want the same powers for the ministers of police, immigration and Customs?

      • Treetop 2.3.3

        insider the full police evidence regarding the December 1976 inquiry (an alleged breach of confidentiality of the police file on Moyle) was ordered to be locked up for 25 years. To date it has not seen the light of day.

        I want to see the full police evidence.

        The Office of the Commissioner of Police have a lot to answer for regarding that which I have been put through over being told of the Moyle incident in March 1976 by the cop involved in the Moyle incident June 1975. LC was used by his employer and he used his employer to have me silenced and bullied and his employer has protected him since I was summoned to CIB in 1979.

        Joe or Mary public are just begining to wake up to how devious the police can be over a political matter.

    • Tom Gould 2.4

      Someone’s gonna get the boot. English? That would suit Joyce down to the ground. He could take over finance. Succession sorted.

    • Mary 2.5

      Yes, Key’s clearly lying – it’s just way over the top to suggest Key didn’t know. John Campbell did a good job of showing this a couple of months ago and again this week.

      The question, though, is what will happen to Key when it does come out that he knew and that he lied? Given what’s potentially at stake, will it come out at all, or will the machine ultimately win this one?

  3. captain hook 3

    all money traders a re liars by second nature.
    it is about time he learned to tell the truth.

  4. ianmac 4

    I believe that Key is lying for all the reasons above. In particular there is the possible connection between the movie/music industry like Warner Brothers, the FBI, and Key. I seems probable to me that a year or so ago the Dotcom plan was hatched and Key/Joyce made the strategic decision to plead ignorance at every turn. That appears to be an unwise plan because even hardened Key believers will doubt his honesty, or, doubt Key’s competence. How could a PM be unaware of major events around a person richer than he?

    • SpaceMonkey 4.1

      In particular there is the possible connection between the movie/music industry like Warner Brothers, the FBI, and Key.

      That is it in a nutshell for me. He has to lie because the truth is even more appalling. The truth would reveal just how in bed with US corporate interests, and that includes some US government agencies, this Government is. The pushback from the public would be loud and National would be “gone by lunchtime”.

      John Key’s brain is only wired for dollars and cents (which is why he can rattle off the history Yen/USD exchange rate), and spotting deals. He also would’ve known who Kim Dotcom was. People obsessed with money are always aware of those who are richer than they.

      Major diversion coming soon to an MSM outlet near you… bashing them greedy Mow-ries and lazy beneficiaries isn’t going to cut it this time…

      • Reagan Cline 4.1.1

        Key wants history to say he was a good PM.
        Getting Warner Brothers to make movies here is good for people living in NZ because it creates employment and increases worldwide awareness of NZ and so encourages tourism.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Reagan Cline. Key got a bad deal for NZ. He subsidised a half-billionaire and a multibillion dollar movie studio to make more money for themselves.

          While his own people go hungry.

          You gotta admit, that’s pretty shite.

    • Anne 4.2

      …the possible connection between the movie/music industry like Warner Brothers, the FBI, and Key.

      This suspicion has been growing on me for the past few days.

      That trip to America in August to watch his some play base-ball:

      Sure, it was in the pipeline for some time. But if that trip was ONLY about is son, I think he would have delayed his departure and attended that memorial service. It was quite easily done because there was a delay of some 3 to 4 days between the service and his son’s first match.

      What if he was stopping off en-route for a return the favour dinner engagement with Warner Bros. and their FBI friends in high places? I mean, there were some very worrying trends by that time – need to coordinate responses? It might also help to explain the uncharacteristic behaviour of the police – I refer especially to the Hollywood inspired Dotcom in the first place.

      • Anne 4.2.1

        correction: Hollywood inspired Dotcom raid in the first place.

        • insider 4.2.1.1

          Is that you travelleve?

          • Anne 4.2.1.1.1

            We know you have an infinitesimal brain insider – or should I use the word ‘little’ just for you – but anyone with any nous knows John Key would never pass up an opportunity to do a bit of behind the scenes collaborative work on one theme or another… while on a private trip to the US – sans oversight from officials and/or the media pack.

            Did he take his DPS detail with him on that trip?

            • insider 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes and Helen Clarks husband got caught in the toilets at LAX tapping his foot and had to be smuggled out of the country….Nice one Eve

              • Colonial Viper

                Key’s trip to the US was extremely convenient for him on several fronts. I look forwards to more pressure going down on him.

    • Mary 4.3

      What will happen to Key when he’s finally exposed as having lied? Will his lying be exposed?

    • Bill 4.4

      .com and another domain suffix that I can’t recollect at the moment are, according to the US, owned by the US and ‘on US soil’. This is the pretext they’ve been using to seek the extradition of UK citizens as well as Mr Dotcom…it is a crime that took place within US jurisdiction.

  5. BernyD 6

    “They’re incompetent wannabes –”

    They should hire a real spy :-), I’ve got my blacked out CV all ready

    I’ll write them an “Updated” opps manual for 2012 this time

  6. Wairua 7

    If memory serves me correctly – it increasingly fails me these days – Ronald Reagan was terminally disengaged as Soviets conceded the Cold War.

    Key might have a similar strategy.

    The Hedge Fund Managers Alumni will not want to lose him for a south island boy like Bill.

    • Lightly 7.1

      But by ’88, Reagan was a) in the last year of his presidency and not able to contest for re-election and b) suffering from the onset of alzheimer’s.

      What’s Key excuse?

  7. shorts 8

    given his being whats seems to be a habitual liar – its about time he got good at it

    he’s had years to perfect his art…. and yet even here he seems to have failed

    still he’s rich so we should worship at his feet

  8. Peter Martin 9

    It’s the ‘Sgt Schultz’ defence that is the best value for money!!!
    I note Hogan’s Heroes shows just before midday on the comedy channel today. Perhaps we can gain an insight into today’s antics if we tune in…

  9. Matthew Hooton 10

    I don’t think there has been any incompetence by the prime minister. I see the issue as more the skill with which David Shearer has led the attack.

    • Clashman 10.1

      Yawn. It’s getting old mate.

    • Poission 10.2

      Whether Key is incompetent or illiterate is a significant problem,invoking the Nixon Defense and blaming the plumbers is not a defence.

      He has seen the US DOJ press release dated 19th Jan which clearly states.

      The indictment alleges that the criminal enterprise is led by Kim Dotcom, aka Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor, 37, a resident of both Hong Kong and New Zealand. Dotcom founded Megaupload Limited and is the director and sole shareholder of Vestor Limited, which has been used to hold his ownership interests in the Mega-affiliated sites.

      Alvin Ttoffler suggested that the illiterate of the future,would not be an ability to read and write,but and ability to learn, and assimilate and disseminate information.This is also the opening slide that was used by Prigogine in his lectures on complex systems.(Centre for complex systems theory)

      Shearer is irrelevant ( a trivial problem) to the Proposition Did KEY understand ? the empirical emerging evidence is No.

      The corollary is now that we need larger error bars ( confidence gaps) on any statement he makes.

    • thatguynz 10.3

      That’s politics at its very worst Matthew.  So are you suggesting that the PM’s behaviour is acceptable only because the opposition’s attempts to expose his frailties have been poor?
       
      Surely they are two separate issues that stand on their own?
      1)  It appears that the Prime Minister has made a not inconsiderable number of mistakes – possibly even having lied to the house.
      2)  The opposition’s attempts to hold the government to account have been somewhat feeble.
       
      To conflate these two issues is disingenuous and quite frankly I would have hoped for better from you.

    • blue leopard 10.4

      @ Matthew Hootor

      I agree, the opposition could be nailing him more.

      “I don’t think there has been any incompetence by the prime minister.”

      I disagree

      Your view is disturbing coming from a political commentator.

      To allow a minister to continue his post, who has been found out to have been involved in a crime of dishonesty and then say “I trust his word”, and to state the nonsense about ‘not reading the police report, to exacerbate the disparity in income by giving tax cuts to those who are wealthier at a time of major recession, to not attend a soldier’s funeral on the grounds that he has to be at his son’s baseball match when he had time to go to both, and to launch into prevaricating over the serious issue of NZ intelligence service spying on its own people and when this issue has world-wide interest too. These are all things that this PM will go down in history for being not up to the job. A clown. These are things I list off the top of my head; there are plenty more.

      Enjoy your time of being onside with the big boys, Mr Hooten, because it won’t last, and for having sided with the bollock-incompetance going on in this Government, you will also go down in history as an incompetent too-in your role of political commentator-for not outlining the down right disgraceful approaches that this Government is prepared to dally in at the expense of the interests of people they are supposed to be working for.

      • felix 10.4.1

        Your view is disturbing coming from a political commentator.

        blue leopard, Matthew isn’t a “political commentator”. He’s a political operative for hire.

        Best pay him no mind.

        • blue leopard 10.4.1.1

          @ felix

          Yes, thanks good advice and most of the time I do, this time, just out of the goodness of my heart, in order to give him the chance of having the seeds of insight planted in his noggin. (note I didn’t say brain..unsure if he has one) I thought I would…although possibly a waste of time; unclear if he can read.

          “political operative for hire”

          lol Is that like some type of prostitute for politicians like?

    • tc 10.5

      Matthew is right, JK is very competant at evading responsibility and giving empty answers whilst the other bullies like Ryall, Crusher, Joyce and Brownlee etc do the hard yards of the hollowman bidding…. muldoon would be proud.

      • blue leopard 10.5.1

        …Yes, which reflects poorly on Mr Hooton’s values.

        This government is making a joke of themselves, the people of NZ and any values that are useful and worthy of respect. They are corroding any respectability our governing body had and thus damaging the authority of our organizational structure turning it into a circus and Mr Hooton is one of the clowns cheering them on.

    • mike e 10.6

      Mad hatter of course your right no incompetence Shonkey is an expert liar!

  10. Treetop 11

    Who appointed Neazor to do a report on the GCSB?

    If it was Key he needs to appoint another person as Neazor cannot investigate himself.

    On Morning Report, Radio NZ this morning it was reported that Paul Neazor Inspector General of Intelligence and Security makes regular visits to GCSB to inspect authorisations of warrants.

    Did Neazor inspect the warrant to intercept Dotcom?

    Key can have concealed anything which can prove that he or his ministers have misled the public and courts of NZ on file with the GCSB or SIS.

    The only reason that Dotcom has got as far as he has it because he has the influence and the resources AND that there have been delays to extradite him to the US.

  11. captain hook 12

    yes its all boy racer stuff now.
    loud noisy and insubstantial and the cops wont do anything about it.
    however whatever the story skimdotcom has to pay the artists.
    fairs fair.

  12. gobsmacked 13

    Toby Manhire points out that the Americans knew Dotcom’s status on January 5:

    http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/the-internaut/kim-dotcom-a-nz-resident-gcsb-didnt-know-but-the-us-did/

    And to answer the question in the title … what Key has to gain is time. Parliament goes into recess today, the news moves on to other stories, soon it will be summer, Christmas, time for National to find more distractions, dish more dirt, etc, etc. Or they could just wait for the next free gift from Trevor Mallard.

  13. Kotahi Tāne Huna 15

    What does Key have to gain by lying?

    Possibly the wrong way to look at it. If he’s bored, disinterested, keen to get back to scurrying around after money, it’s more likely that he’s lying to try and avoid the appearance of negligence or incompetence.

  14. freedom 16

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/7734301/Dotcom-surveillance-report-received-by-Government

    “It was understood the report was delivered to Prime Minister John Key’s office on Tuesday night. ”
    Shock ! Gasp! Did the PM lie to the House yesterday when saying that Neazor’s report won’t be completed until the end of the week ?

    • gobsmacked 16.1

      Key implied several times yesterday that he knew what was in the report. So he’d had a “heads-up”, at least. Or he wrote it.

      Anyway, that report has been overtaken by events, especially in court. The story goes way beyond one “mistake”.

      • freedom 16.1.1

        it’s just interesting how many mistakes are getting added to the list, maybe there is a bet on
        ” who lies most, laughs last ” ?

    • insider 16.2

      Did you not see the word ‘completed’? Drafts usually come first. Then get circulated and commented on. Then they get finalised.

  15. gobsmacked 17

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10836884

    “Speculation is mounting” = “Key’s staff have told us off the record”

  16. ianmac 18

    UPDATE: Report published!
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10836884
    “Mr Key said the report showed there were two cases of human error at the heart of this matter.

    “First, the GCSB originally relied on the police’s information about the residency status of the people in question. They did not check further.

    “Second, this error was compounded after the operation was concluded by a simply wrong interpretation of the law.” …..

    • blue leopard 18.1

      …Maybe they should have spent a few more days on it and come up with something more plausible?

    • mike 18.2

      First, it’s hard to believe that the GCSB even needed the police to check this, harder still to believe that they didn’t seek verification from a second source like, maybe immigration ffs?

      Second, it’s hard to believe that they don’t understand the law around their core business.

      It’s also hard to believe that Key got to hear about Dotcom in his 15 briefings this year. And that English did bother mentioning Dotcom to Key after signing documents about him in Key’s absence? Hard to believe.

      How did the GCSB come to be involved in the first place?

      The GCSB director Ian Fletcher has apologised to Key. Key will start saying ‘Move on’ any day now.

      John “No comment / I haven’t read that / Nobody told me / There are no charges / That’s not my view / I’m unaware of the details / I’m not in a position to discuss that / I know nothing about that / That’s not my job” Key, our corporate sociopath of a ‘leader’.

  17. geoff 19

    I’d love for Key to be caught out but I fail to see how this dotcom episode is going to be the one.
    Surely National will just claim civil servants fucked up, nothing to see, move on?
    Am I missing something?

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 19.1

      So you see him more as an “irresponsible minister”?

    • Tiger Mountain 19.2

      nah, more to come with the timings of who knew what when, once Blinglish popped up with the ‘certificate of silence’ while the PM was conveniently absent, buckle up folks…

      • Anne 19.2.1

        Yes, and Dotcom has already inferred there is much more to come and that… it goes to the top. When asked if he was referring to the Prime Minister I’m sure I heard him say “yes”. He said he was unable to say anything further at this stage but that the truth will come out.

        I can’t locate the relevant video. Think it was recorded yesterday so if someone recalls which one it is… could they link to it please? Thanks.

        • ianmac 19.2.1.1

          I heard him say “….right to the top- yes.” On National Radio I think.

          • Anne 19.2.1.1.1

            I saw an online video of an interview with Dotcom but can’t locate it now. Perhaps it’s been removed ianmac. 🙁

            • Huginn 19.2.1.1.1.1

              It’s hard to say. When KDC says ‘right to the top’ he might be talking about the White House. The man is a challenge to all normal perceptions of scale

              He is seriously punching above his weight, giving Obama quantifiable grief in the Twittersphere where he is the mighty Twittermeister, a nimble creature of elegant power.

              • Anne

                It’s hard to say. When KDC says ‘right to the top’ he might be talking about the White House.

                No Huginn, my recollection of the video interview has fully returned. He was asked by the interviewer if he was referring to the PM when he said right to the top. He said YES. He refused to elaborate on the grounds that he couldn’t go any further at this stage That must mean he expects to be able to do so at some point in the future.

                • karol

                  Or both Key and KDC were playing poker-face games – Key was also saying the issue was complex, and that journos shouldn’t make assumptions.

                  Both sides hinting at unknown factors presumed to be in their favour.

  18. karol 20

    It looks to me like Key Inc will survive this debacle, but minus quite a bit of teflon. Probably good – left’s not ready for a snap/early election. Better if the government limps towards 2014.

    I see that Grant Robertson is leading the Urgent Debate on the GCSB in the House today, not Shearer. A sign for the future?

    Shearer on today’s report (much easier to do it in print):

    http://www.labour.org.nz/news/report-into-spy-debacle-a-woeful-whitewash

    The report into our spy agency’s unlawful snooping on Kim Dotcom and his associates is a whitewash because it ignores the complete failure of democratic oversight by Prime Minister John Key, says Labour Leader David Shearer.

    Winston Peters:

    http://nzfirst.org.nz/news/commission-inquiry-needed-illegal-dotcom-spying-saga

    Rt Hon Winston Peters says the Justice Paul Neazor inquiry hastily arranged by Prime Minister John Key is simply too little, too late for an issue of national and international importance.

    “The lack of communication between Government ministers, senior police staff, the GCSB, the SIS, and the Prime Minister’s office is evidence of systemic failures.

    “We are calling for a formal Commission of Inquiry, with appropriately set terms of reference, so we can get to the truth around what has become a complete fiasco.

    And Idiot/Savant on the dismal report:

    http://www.norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2012/09/the-neazor-report.html

    The GCSB are illiterate morons who can’t read their own Act (in particular, the definition of “permanent resident”).

    There is no suggestion in the report of who in GCSB is responsible or whether they will face criminal charges for their unlawful interceptions. There’s also no mention of when GCSB realised they had acted unlawfully or when they informed the Minister. In fact, there’s nothing in there about accountability at all. As for the recommendations, they are pathetically weak – it would be “useful” for agencies to advise GCSB of immigration status. Its left for the GCSB’s director to take the solid action necessary.

    Overall, if this is the quality of the “watchdog” we have on GCSB, I think its time we got a new one – one with actual teeth.

    • mike 20.1

      “As for the recommendations, they are pathetically weak – it would be “useful” for agencies to advise GCSB of immigration status.”

      Hey that’s a nice whitewash you’ve got there!

    • Anne 20.2

      I see that Grant Robertson is leading the Urgent Debate on the GCSB in the House today, not Shearer. A sign for the future?

      It is rare for the prime-minister or the leader of the main opposition to be present in the House on a Thursday – a convention which goes back at least two decades.

      • blue leopard 20.2.1

        Oh good! I have found Mr Robertson one of the strongest in cornering Key on the Banks fiasco.

        • Anne 20.2.1.1

          Agreed blue leopard. Intellectually precise.

          • karol 20.2.1.1.1

            Robertson does speak well, and I think he would make a better leader than Shearer. However, he seems to MOR for me to vote for.

            • gobsmacked 20.2.1.1.1.1

              Grant Robertson’s speech was very good. Norman and Peters (in their very different ways) also scored hits.

              Let’s face it, everybody knows that either Robertson or Cunliffe would do a better job than Shearer. Can’t they just go in a room and toss a coin or arm-wrestle or something? Then the loser backs the winner.

              Choosing option Z because the caucus can’t agree on A or B is just crazy. I’m not voting for them unless/until they face up to this.

              • blue leopard

                I have only seen Mr Normans speech onward so far.

                Glorious glory glory day. All those scathing remarks; I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

                Thank you the opposition for being so brutally blunt beaauudiful. Now keep up the good work.
                🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  19. What on earth can you say ? key has a head of a spy department investigate itself and then reports to the prime minister in charge of that department via a ministerial warrant.
    Inside job,or keystonning.
    Ah yes all done in 2days, lightening speed,
    no less.

  20. BloodyOrphan 22

    You cats just aint gettin it …

    How old is the GCSB?

    Are they hittin the Straps yet BOYS?

  21. karol 23

    Labour must have been paying attention to some people’s criticism about them not being quick off the mark. Shearer did a video press conference this afternoon on the GCSB Report. Will any of it make the 6pm news?

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1209/S00163/david-shearer-chain-of-command-control-and-conflicting-in.htm

    Too long winded? No sound bites?

    • gobsmacked 23.1

      Will any of it make the 6pm news?

      No, it doesn’t. Parliament makes the news (I saw Peters, Norman, Robertson, Mallard, plus Key and Tolley).

      But credit where it’s due – Labour got the snap debate, and they only had a few minutes to get one (bet Key was furious with his staff for releasing the report 20 mins early!).

  22. mike 24

    Russel Norman nailed it on the who is responsible issue and the need for an independent inquiry: http://inthehouse.co.nz/node/15447

    • prism 24.1

      Russel Norman spoke out very well today shafting the government.
      Government response to the spy thing seemed to be that ‘it was an operational matter’, the usual feint and duck. It was pointed out forcefully that they were responsible to Key who was checking them on behalf of the whole democracy, and if he didn’t then they were virtually uncontrolled loose cannons (my wording).

      Next thing we could have drones going over our heads spying on us on some flimsy paranoid excuse.

    • mike 24.2

      Ha Winston really went to town and was also spot on in an entertaining speech. He went for a soundbite calling Key ‘Mr Spray and Walk Away’. http://inthehouse.co.nz/node/15448

      • karol 24.2.1

        Peters had some other potential sound bites today. But he often refers to Key as “Mr Spray and Walk Away” in the House. The journos probably think – “heard it before”.

        Yes, Norman’s speech wasalso good.

      • Anne 24.2.2

        In the interest of an across the board coverage – at least the opposition parties:

        Here’s Grant Robertson’s contribution to the debate

        http://inthehouse.co.nz/node/15445

        Concise, and he covers all angles extremely well.

  23. xtasy 25

    John Key, same as most of the “political” and “economic” establishment gain something very, very big all the time by telling “untruths’, “half-truths” and by manipulating the largely brainwashed, thus mentally disowned populace.

    This happens 24/7, and any visitor from Central Europe, who watches the media here, will in most cases instantly feel like being transported onto “another planet”, observing the gullible, primitively emotive sentiment and behaviour of so many people in NZ.

    It is largely like a country of not quite grown up, immature children, who do not know how to discern between bullshit and truth, have too little knowledge of facts, or analytical and critical thinking.

    Only due to constant brainwashing and dumbing down does this system stay alive, and they will do all to keep it this way. The mainstream media, for instance the NZ Herald, which again made sure a couple of critical comments by me were NOT published, ensure the dominance stays as it is.

    Key and his elite pollie BS artists know all this, and the fake opposition of Labour know it too. So there we, go, lying, as you call it, and which I call as like “conveniently handling the truth” is every day game, is “normal” to them all, and they get away with it, they gain with it, because most people exposed to it, do either not even notice what goes on, do not give a shit, do not have the education and brains to see through it, they also fall for it, thinking, what a nice man he is.

    NZ is a disappointment. I suggest Transparency International come back here, to do a thorough re-examination of the political, administrative and business state of affairs. This country is now better placed alongside Democratic Republic of Congo when it comes to transparency, honesty, corruption and human rights, rather than be up there with the Europeans and a few other countries.

    Key is gaining, because too many (media first) focus on little bits, distraction, give him too much credit and do not bother to research matters. NZ has the WORST journalists I have ever come across anywhere!

  24. Roy 26

    I have found Mr Key’s body language and expressions interesting, because the man is a usually a skilful and glib liar, but he has looked extremely uncomfortable over this whole issue over the last couple of days. Is the extent of his lying getting too much for even a seasoned liar like him to handle? Has anyone else noticed how extremely stressed he looks, or have I got imaginitis?

    • karol 26.1

      He has looked stressed to me. And he doesn’t like being on the back foot, which is probably why he was looking for someone to vent his anger on, and show who is in charge:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7734301/Key-to-Dotcom-I-m-sorry

      “If they had done their job properly they should have worked it out,” Key said.

      “I’m personally disappointed. New Zealanders should be very disappointed. They have failed on the most basic of levels.”

      He said he had made his disappointment “quite clear” to the director of the GCSB.

      .

  25. I think you are all being a bit hard on John, I mean with the nearly daily hot ops being undertaken by the SIS, GCSB, FBI, Police etc.
    We are all getting use to all those swat teams jumping out of the black hawks.

    Polar caps melting, Kiwi Saver/Cullin Fund going to crap, ink just dry on last weeks 300 million dollars.
    So with all this stuff going on how could anyone keep up.

  26. xtasy 28

    Hah – I never tell a “lie”. I say the “truth” always in a “context”, within which it must be understood, right!?
    So do not get me wrong, I am never “lying”, as some suggest, as that is impossible, because I always tell the “truth, as I understand it”. So get off my back, I have more important things to do. I am accountable now, maybe unaccountable later, given occasional absence, lack of information, unwanted, yet enforced “inebriation” (social obligations) or other “natural” causes. All is well, fair, in good hands and control, the law and legality is upheld, and we are all having great fun.

    Parnell is a great place to live, now, where again was Helensville? Dotttery Com, what or who is that???

    Thank you, J.K.

  27. felix 29

    “Yet he then showed he could recall exchange rates from 20 years ago.”

    And knew today’s yen price off the top of his head too.

    This stuff is always foremost in his mind, he never has to stop and think about it. Does anyone seriously think he ever stopped currency trading?

  28. Fortran 30

    In the coming Labour/Greens/Winston Government we may well need both the SIS and GCSB.
    Careful how it is knocked – they may well know in the future (or present) what you do not want anybody to know.
    Isn’t the leader of the Opposition Shearer on the GCSB Committee – I think that this is normal – ask Goff, he will know.

    • It’s them that knocks’ it, everyday they walk around.
      That’s why yas don’t like me, coz I can spy yas in 30sec.
      This aint knocking it, it’s fixin it, those kids lives are at stake and they can’t/haven’t faced it.
      I’m not gonna delete this comment either.
      I’ve never been “under”, I stood there and freakin took it on the chin for yas.
      And ytas always told me it helped , so when r u going to pay for it?

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