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When fear tactics backfire 2 – and GCSB roundup

Written By: - Date published: 8:20 am, August 21st, 2013 - 46 comments
Categories: activism, david shearer, john key, Spying - Tags: , , , , , ,

John Key (the PM who has on multiple occasions overspent the budget on his own protection staff) really dug himself a hole when he accused opposition leaders of wanting to “run for the hills” in case of a terrorist attack. Not only did David Shearer get to remind him of the occasions that he has been under fire – and run to help – but now some other voices have chimed in too.

As Russel Norman pointed out last night, the only two organisations in NZ who have actually been attacked, Greenpeace and the CTU, are both opposed to the Key-Dunne spying Bill. Here is a statement from Greenpeace’s Bunny McDiarmid:

I was targeted by terrorists and I don’t need the GCSB

I have been targeted by terrorists.

I am one of the very few people who has been subjected to a terrorist attack in New Zealand.

And I am absolutely opposed to John Key’s GCSB bill. It is an invasion of privacy that allows the Government to spy on people like you and me, and it’s a step too far.

I was crew on board the Rainbow Warrior in 1985 when French secret service agents, sanctioned by their government, laid bombs against her hull in the middle of the night whilst we all slept. One of our crew died in the subsequent explosions. It was a supposedly ‘friendly’ government that did this in Auckland Harbour, and their intention was to stop us from a peaceful protest at sea against nuclear testing in French Polynesia.

Today, as he trotted out his glib lines trying to justify the snooper’s charter, John Key said that those people opposed to the bill – that’s nine in ten of us, according to the polling on Campbell Live last night – would ‘run for the hills’ if there was a terrorist attack in New Zealand.

Well, John, you’re wrong. There has been a terrorist attack in New Zealand. I was one of those targeted. And I didn’t run for the hills then, and I’m not now. And, let me be absolutely clear: I am completely opposed to your GCSB bill. …

Go read the whole piece on the Greenpeace blog. In other recent GCSB news – a Stuff poll finds that:

More than three-quarters of New Zealanders have expressed concern about expanded spying laws in a new poll, scotching Prime Minister John Key’s assertions that the public don’t care.

Andrea Vance has an excellent piece demystifying Key’s lies on what the Bill does and does not do.

The always excellent Gordon Campbell weighs in with a typically thorough analysis.

I/S and No Right Turn summarises the question of NSA funding of the GCSB.

3 News has a timeline of GCSB related events.

A last ditch campaign is mounted to find a government MP who will cross the floor

The Daily Blog has a selection of letters from prominent Kiwis asking John Key to ditch the Bill.

John Key’s walkout under questioning makes international news.

The Law Society has (according to Radio Live) reiterated its concerns about the Bill.

Nat poodle David Farrar tries to defend the Bill by claiming “Labour did it too”. Naturally his side by side analysis of the two bills tries to obfuscate the fact that in 2003 the GCSB was explicitly forbidden from spying on Kiwis, under the Key-Dunne Bill it is not. Compare his spin with the Andrea Vance piece and The Law Society’s comments here, here, and full submission.

Dame Anne Salmond has written another strongly worded article condemning the Bill and the role of the media in reporting it.

On and on and on it goes. I want to finish by quoting the final words of McDiarmid’s post above:

Look, John. We don’t want your GCSB bill. And we won’t be running for the hills.

Pretty soon, we’ll be running for the polls.

key-i'm-right-you're-all-wrong

46 comments on “When fear tactics backfire 2 – and GCSB roundup ”

  1. Sable 1

    Key’s is really making a total clown of himself. The smart move would be to apologise and back down but no, Keys is far too arrogant for that, and no doubt there is some deal with the US that binds him, in his mind, at least, to this course of action.

    There’s little doubt at this point in time that Keys will be remembered in the long term as the worst politician in this country’s history. I just hope the rest of NZ see this in the short term before its too late for democracy in this country.

    • weka 1.1

      “The smart move would be to apologise and back down but no”

      That implies that he gives a shit. I don’t think he does, and his agenda obviously isn’t the wellbeing of NZ. I agree that his post-PM reputation is being cemented, and it’s a small comfort that he will be remembered badly.

  2. Tracey 2

    The tide may be turning too late for the Bill to be stopped but perhaps not for the election next year.

    I have looked everywhere for where the Bill states that a warrant cannot be issued to spy on NZers internet content… I don’t want to take Mr Key’s word for it and would appreciate bLip posting his list under me to show one of the main reasons why.

    • Skinny 2.1

      Look it’s over for Key & National, 7% down in the latest Roy Morgan poll. They will lose badly I have doubts about that.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        Don’t rely on a single poll. Look at the trends. In this case there was a large reverse the other way in the previous poll. This last Morgan poll just corrects that.

        The reality is that this latest poll leaves the right and the left in roughly the same position as they have been for the last year. National slowly declining (but in a position to be able to bounce back), and Labour stuck in the that 30%-33% band.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.2

        FFS do not even think like that, continuing to blindly underestimate Key and National will be the death of the idiot left in 2014.

        EDIT yes agree with lprent on Labour always returning to that tight band of support which I pick as 32%-33% but essentially the same. Very similar to how Goff was polling a year out from E-Day.

    • weka 2.2

      “The tide may be turning too late for the Bill to be stopped but perhaps not for the election next year.”

      It would be good if the Bill hadn’t passed, but there is something equally important going on here, and that’s that people in NZ are standing up together and saying no to the assaults on democracy. We need to keep that momentum going, because it’s not just the GCSB Bill that is at stake.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.2.1

        Yep.

        “…a number of recent legislative measures are fundamentally in conflict with the rule of law.”

        NZ Law Society.

  3. ak 3

    The smart move would be to apologise and back down..

    Exactamundo Sable. And this guy is not only smart, but has shown repeatedly that he is very prepared to back down and/or “me too” if necessary.

    The screaming unspoken question remains: what past sins is this bill going to bury?

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      It’s not about past sins, it’s about controlling the majority of people and thus undermining democracy.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Glenn Greenwald writes how UK authorities arbitrarily detained and harassed his partner David Miranda while Miranda was transiting at Heathrow

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/18/david-miranda-detained-uk-nsa

    Welcome to the age of government fear tactics. Senior UK Ministers were informed in advance by the security forces this was going to occur, and of course they did fuck all to protect the democratic rights of someone who was a foreign national and clearly not a terrorist.

    • Tracey 4.1

      Have emailed the article to John Key. I am sure he will read it as avidly as National’s internal polling.

    • karol 4.2

      Yep, government fear tactics, but also showing the broad sweep of the US-led surveillance state/s.

      UK authorities arbitrarily detained

      Nothing arbitrary about it. It was carefully calculated. As Al Jazeera has been reporting, the law would not enable such detention outside of an airport, on UK soil.

      Under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, UK authorities are allowed to stop, search and detain passengers at rail, air and sea ports without probable cause, for up to nine hours.

      And the TV report on AJ also spelled out that this is treating journalists as ‘terrorists” – kind of like the NZ Defense Force Manual.

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.1

        indeed. They slipped in that little useful clause there, allowing them to treat airport transit zones as mini-stateless Guantanamo Bays where detainees have fuck all rights.

        Bet you our GCSB bill is full of similar shite.

  5. Tracey 5

    CV, thanks for the link and a good example I can show my students who believe if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Always welcome.

      • Tracey 5.1.1

        Judith Collins has just explained how the impact of knowing her emails and those of her department could be read by the head of the inquiry was “chilling” for her.

        Could someone ask her next week in question-time?

        Does Judith Collins have anything to hide in the inquiry into who leaked the GCSB report? If NO

        Supplementary

        What does she have to fear that made the possibility so “chilling” for her?

  6. Poem 6

    John key is trying to bury his involvement in the illegal spying on a NZ resident by the GCSB for one AK, AND allowing a foreign govt agency to conduct an illegal raid on NZ soil on a NZ resident for another. In my book, that amounts to treason. 2 illegal wrongs will never make 1 legal right and stripping all NZers of our democratic rights by expanding the powers of both John Key and a govt department gone rogue just so John key can cover his own backside, and continue to kow tow to America will not be forgotten at the next election. And do you think John key even cares about that? NO, John key doesn’t give a shit.

    • Bill 7.1

      Well yeah, Fred…or at least I’d assumed most people had. The GCSB has probably more to do with facilitating an easier environment for the NSA to operate in than it has to do with discrete NZ security concerns. And, of course, the US will throw some $$ in funding in return for the favour.

      I’d have thought that was a no-brainer.

      Unfortunately, most GCSB coverage has entailed a degree of navel staring that assumes no explicit connection between NZ ‘security’ services and the wider, insidious designs of the NSA.

      Even if ‘the Bill’ is defeated, nothing much will change, other than the fact that the US will have to do it’s own dirty work in NZ (or get the Australians or whoever to do it).

      And if the NZ government wants legal access to NZ electronic info that is and has been trawled and stored via xkeyscore and prism, then they will simply have to ask another governments’ ‘security’ services to search the date bases. Those foreign ‘security’ services would then simply invent some pretext for searching the data (maybe….probably not even necessary to do that) and pass the info over…as a matter of national security of course.

  7. karol 8

    Thanks, r0b, for the links to the PM’s press confernece walkout.

    Interesting – the questioner says: “You can just interrupt like you did with John Campbell or you can answer the question”

    At that point Key walks out.

    Touche! And Key’s use of his hands was the same as during parts of the Campbell interview – waving his hands as if to physically stop the other talking.

  8. grumpy 9

    ….but…..but….didn’t we just have a march through Auckland of the Muslim Brotherhood? You know, that mob that provide an umbrella for Islamic terrorism. They are here…..

    Hope the GCSB have them under control.

  9. lprent 10

    Along with the other sunnis, shiites, catholics, coptics, protestants, orthodox, baha’is, and atheists. Not to mention the socialists. monarchists, anarchists, nasserists, and all the other many elements of the egyptian political spectrum.

    Why do you think that a small minority defines a march. What are you (and that reporter)? Twelve years old or something? Is the Xmas parade still solely made up only of Santa?

  10. ianmac 11

    It is in the interests of the USA for the GCSB bill to pass.
    Mr Key tries the Terrorist Threat is real in NZ.
    The CIA has the capability to orchestrate an explosion in a NZ building and leave evidence of foreign involvement.
    Mr Key can say,”Told you so. Pity about those kids caught in collateral damage.”
    Could it happen?

  11. tracey 12

    That the us is constantly feeding garbage about imminent threats to nz is not a solid basis for this flawed law.
    of note is oppositions arent opposed to law around this just with the edges.

  12. Jenny 13

    John Key and his GCSB mates are the heroes that protect us from terrorists? And all other New Zealanders are just cowardly sheep who will run for the hills. What a slur. What an insult to New Zealanders. Most New Zealanders despite their own distress would run to help. This has been our tradition. That this comes from a Prime Minister, (as Anthony Robins points out), is so frightened of his own shadow and concerned for his own personal safety that he regularly overspends taxpayers money on protection staff for himself.

    That he has the nerve to slander everyone opposed to this bill including those like McDiarmid and Shearer who have faced death and destruction and never shrunk from it. While he who has probably never experienced physical discomfit, let alone mortal peril, cowers behind his inflated security detail.

    What is the bet that national heroes like Bunny McDiarmid and even members of our opposition parties are among those that have been have been illegally spied on by the shadowy and secretive GCSB in league with their foreign NSA mates?

    New Zealanders are not cowards.

    That John Key collectively accuses us of cowardice to make excuses for the GCSB illegally poring through our personal data. Is to be accused of cowardice on behalf of secretive unaccountable snoops who hide in the shadows, while toadying up to the NSA but are too gutless to face the consequences of their law breaking, hence the need to protect these spineless cowards with this rushed piece of legislation. To be accused of cowardice by this shower. Now that’s rich.

  13. BrucetheMoose 14

    Hitler and his pack of henchmen used the same tactic of external treats and their likely internal influence to the security and way of life in 1930’s Germany. In order to convince the German populace that the extreme powers of the Gestapo/SS were absolutely necessary for the people’s safety, he used the main “perceived” threats of the day to Germany, it’s security, and it’s culture. Substitute “Terrorists” for “Bolsheviks” and of course the unfortunate Jews, and you have the same manipulation of peoples minds and attitudes. Using these perceived threats, the whole Nazi secret security services and it’s powerful reaches throughout Germany were allowed to permeate every corner of society like a silent unassuming virus. Before they knew it, this system controlled all aspects of German society, and instead of it being the protector, it became the aggressor, where the people were to suffer the most rather than the original perceived threat. Sure, we won’t be seeing grim spectre of leather great coated shadowies turning up with their jack booted heavies in their lorries during the small hours of darkness, but there are strong parallels in the tactics and reasoning to impose these security surveillance laws on the people of New Zealand. Perhaps in this modern digital age, perhaps black leather great coats may come in a different guise.

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