Thursday, 28 March 2019

Espiner starts the blame game: Wheelers Corner 18 31st March 2019.

Guyon Espiner, Morning Report Presenter wrote these words: [in italics]

We were promised a moment of truth and now it has arrived”.

He then goes on to justify his own strange remarks about NZ’s activists opposing John Key’s use of state surveillance agencies to spy on the bulk of the population.

In the heat of the 2014 election campaign, the super stars of the state surveillance protest movement converged on New Zealand - including Edward Snowden via video link from Russia - alleging the New Zealand government and its spy agencies were complicit in mass surveillance. Well they were!

The conspiracy, they claimed, stretched from the vested interests of Hollywood movie moguls to the faceless technocrats of the United States' National Security Agency. The victims of these dark forces reached from Kim Dotcom through to average Kiwis, whose every text and tweet was being hoovered up. Well maybe not every text and tweet, but we all know that Key just loved anything from the USA. look at the tax payers money he donated to the Clinton Foundation...did RNZ do a study of that arse kissing...I think not.

He then had the audacity to write:

The proof never arrived. The real moment of truth about our intelligence agencies came with the horror of 15 March in Christchurch: Our intelligence agencies failed. That is not an opinion or a comment on their performance.

 How can it not be a comment on their performance! But big brave Guyon went on to say:

That is a fact. They failed to detect anything to alert us that a killer would take 50 lives.
A Royal Commission of enquiry will take time to get answers but the questions begin now.

He then proceeds to explain his concept of how the various spy agencies [SIS GCSB] acted while at the same time making excuses for their behaviour and the lack of success. He states that;

This article focuses on the Security Intelligence Service as they are the domestic spy agency and the front line of defence. Yes, there are big questions for the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) too, but it largely deals with foreign signals intelligence and interception.
First, follow the money. Was the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) under-resourced? It seems a difficult case for the SIS to be crying poor. According to annual reports, in 2018 it got $82 million and spent $66m, in 2017 it got $61m and spent $57m, and in 2016 got $51m, and spent $50m.

Now the rest of his rant about the SIS you should take for what it is: a justification of the lack of operational ability of the SIS.

They had enough money to engage in work that doesn't appear to be core business, such as "space and high altitude activities". The 2018 annual report details NZSIS interest in the evolving space industry, spurred by Rocket Lab's launches from Mahia Peninsula. Yeah maybe or maybe not

But he fails to answer the question, “If they had spent less time in assisting the USA attack Kim Dotcom, and had ignored John Key’s arse kissing behaviour toward Hollywood and the continuing Israeli war crimes etc. So he does a quick jump to the year 2018: He goes on his merry way, of twisting truth to suit his real purpose:

In the year to June 2018, they did 24 assessments "on space related activities" analysing space payloads and "high altitude vehicles."
It might be time to come crashing back to earth with basic questions like: Were you looking in the right direction? It seems they were not.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Minister Responsible for the Intelligence Agencies Andrew Little insist the NZSIS had begun to focus on white supremacist groups although we've seen little to back this up. I agree...
RNZ has gone back through ten years of annual reports and found no mention of the white supremacist threat.  

This is really interesting, did RNZ do any reporting of NZ white supremacists over this period? Now I think we’ve arrived at Mr Espiner’s real goal in producing his latest rant. A chance to blame the female leadership of firstly the present PM and the head of the SIS Rebecca Kitteridge, whom I don’t consider worthy or otherwise because she was simply used by Key after he moved the then Governor General to head the SIS and then sent off to London as a reward for stepping down as SIS boss to allow his best school mate to take over the top SIS job...oh dear me its fun to watch the rats depart the sinking ship...

On 20 February this year Rebecca Kitteridge, who has served five years as director of the NZSIS and has now been appointed to another three, made her opening statement to parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee. She described the security threat as "low" and said about 30 people were under surveillance.
SIS boss Rebecca Kitteridge

Photo: RNZ
Her section on "terrorism and violent extremism" focused almost entirely on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), saying a "small but concerning number" of New Zealanders were engaged with its violent online content and radical ideology.
She expressed concern about Kiwis in Syria and the global threat of Al-Qaida. A vague reference to white supremacists made it only into her final line of the terrorism section, saying that "internationally the slow, but concerning rise of right wing extremism also continues".

In this last paragraph or two he makes some valid points but still can't bring himself to admit that his good mate John Key was the real manipulator of our SIS, GCSB etc...

The primary focus of the NZSIS is also underlined in its 2018 annual report which said "the majority of leads identified during 2017-18 were linked to ISIL".
If they were looking in the wrong direction, why? In the end the NZSIS, for all the enigma, is only as good as its people. It has 335 staff. They are overwhelming European. Just 6.5 percent Māori, 6.5 percent Asian, 2.6 percent Pasifika and two percent from the "Middle East, Latin America and Africa".  

At last he shows his bias as does the SIS, its white middle class racist behaviour shows clearly in its make up which Espiner points last...a victory for an obvious visable fact: its staff.

Diversity is not about political correctness, it's about diversity of perspective. If your agents are largely from one ethnic background, does that influence the perception of where the threat might come from? Well does it Guyon?

Ministerial accountability will also be a focus on the Royal Commission. It used to be that the prime minister was always responsible for intelligence agencies. This changed when John Key, bogged down by questions: here Guyon makes an excuse for Keys behaviour... about illegal spying by the GSCB, farmed it out to his Attorney General Chris Finlayson.
Ardern has followed suit, giving the job to Andrew Little. If a government's first job is to protect its citizens, then perhaps it's time to push this job back up to the ninth floor of the Beehive.

Here ends the lesson


Why Was USAF B-52 Given Permission To Do Wairarapa Air Show Flyover?

Murray Horton Secretary/Organiser

Anti-Bases Campaign
Box 2258, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand

Anti-Bases Campaign (ABC) was alarmed to learn that the "star" of the February 2019 Wings Over Wairarapa air show was supposed to be a US Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bomber flying over Masterton (it became a no-show because it suffered operational problems in Australia, en route from its Guam base). ABC is Christchurch-based and we have had a US military transport base (Harewood) at our airport for more than 60 years. We are used to US military transport planes coming and going here, and for those planes to feature at open days at Christchurch Airport.

But a B-52 bomber is a whole different kettle of fish. Because it is synonymous with the systematic aerial destruction inflicted upon Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos during the Vietnam War, people may think that B-52s are historic relics, on a par with the various vintage warplanes that are flown at NZ air shows on a regular basis. 

But not so – although B-52s date back to 1955, they have been in continuous use by the US Air Force ever since, and remain so today (they have been most recently used to bomb Syria).
To quote Wikipedia: “The USAF continues to rely on the B-52 because it remains an effective and economical heavy bomber in the absence of sophisticated air defences, particularly in the type of missions that have been conducted since the end of the Cold War against nations with limited defensive capabilities. The B-52 has also continued in service because there has been no reliable replacement”.

NZ has been out of the ANZUS Treaty for nearly 35 years (the Australia, New Zealand, US military treaty that was the foundation of all New Zealand’s defence and foreign policy from its inception in 1951 until the US, under President Ronald Reagan, kicked us out in 1986. It remains in force today, but only between the US and Australia).

Soft Power
So, what was this Masterton flyover all about? It’s aimed at softening up the New Zealand people to support further extending the military alliance with the US, but this time on home soil, rather than overseas. This is called “soft power”. It took until 2016 for the first US Navy warship to visit NZ since the 1980s’ “ANZUS row”. It was invited to Auckland to take part in the multinational celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of the NZ Navy. It never actually got to Auckland, instead being diverted to the South Island to assist in the evacuation of people left stranded by the November 2016 Kaikoura earthquake (this was propaganda gold for the US military).

That warship visit was under the Key National government, which is not that surprising. But this (abortive) B-52 flyover was authorised by the Ardern Labour Coalition government. The US knows that it can keep on chipping away at NZ public opinion, aided and abetted by a sympathetic Government. The steady drip, drip, drip of soft power is intended to lead to the full resumption of “hard power” i.e. NZ as a fully functional, albeit, junior, US satellite once again (that is already the reality but it is not the perception that is peddled to the NZ people).
“In a statement, US Ambassador Scott Brown said thousands of people made plans based on being able to see the B-52. We know how disappointed they will be. We share that disappointment. We're gutted’, Brown said. ‘We've been in touch with the organisers and I personally called Defence Minister Ron Mark to convey our apologies and regret…”.  

“The Wings over Wairarapa air show has established itself as a world class event and we were honoured to be invited. The US Embassy looks forward to future opportunities to collaborate with this great show" (Stuff, 23/2/19, “B-52 Debut At Wings Over Wairarapa Cancelled Due To Operational Issue”, Amber-Leigh Woolf,  .
ABC sees this as a dangerous precedent, and not simply a day out for all the family to watch a big plane fly overhead. B-52s have no place in New Zealand (including our airspace). 

Nor do any other US warplanes. We have written to the Prime Minister, with a couple of key questions: Why did the Government give permission for this to happen? Did the US Embassy satisfy the Government that this particular bomber was compliant with NZ's nuclear free law? We’ll keep you informed.
Murray Horton item ends here, I hope you enjoyed his vision and foresight as I did...

Even Adolf Hitler made the cover of Time Magazine way back in 1938, that was two years before I was born...
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