Extraordinary new claims about our NZ history that I think I can safely predict won’t see the coverage it deserves from the mainstream corporate media…
hey were the self-proclaimed “secret soldiers of the Cold War”, flying covert missions for the United States’ government, using rags and coffee cans to light runways for moonlit landings and attracting “lovely, friendly, curious lassies” at every airport.
The Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) secret airline flew covert missions to fight communism in China, Vietnam and Korea in the 1950s and 60s, but newly released US files reveal the airline also operated in New Zealand to help break the 1951 Wellington waterfront dispute.
Civil Air Transport (CAT) is called “the world’s most shot-at airline” by veterans and was secretly owned by the CIA. It ran passenger and cargo services as a cover for secret missions from 1950 to 1968.
The new CIA files, published online with 13 million other documents in January, reveal a Kiwi mission called “Operation Railhead”.
The airline was contracted by the New Zealand Government to fly about 8000 tonnes of “everything from brewery malt to racehorses” more than 150,000 kilometres in 1300 crossings of the Cook Strait from May to June 1951.
The US provided four Curtiss C-46 Commando planes and crew to fly cargo between Paraparaumu Airport near Wellington to Woodbourne in Blenheim on the South Island.
It was chartered to ensure that goods could still be shipped around New Zealand during the waterfront dispute of 1951. The pay dispute was the largest industrial confrontation in New Zealand history bringing the nation’s ports to a standstill and, at its peak, taking 22,000 workers off the job from February to July 1951.
Left-leaning political commentator Chris Trotter said the secret Kiwi mission was a revelation.
“It is an important historical detail because it shows how real the ideological battle was and it shows that a lot of the fears on the left have some real basis in fact.
“There was always a suspicion that the US was manipulating events from behind fronts. This detail reinforces all the worse fears of the people involved in the dispute.”
…so the bloody CIA intervened directly in our domestic affairs to break an Industrial dispute that was caused by a Government intent on damaging the Unions.
It kinda makes the accusations that Russia interfered in the most recent US Election look quaint.
It’s amazing that we’ve had to wait over half a century before being told of this collusion.
If the CIA were prepared to step in over 60 years ago to ensure their interests were protected, what do you think the American’s are prepared to do now we have been given access to their mass surveillance 5 Eyes program?
It’s a question that has demanded answering ever since NZ became immersed in the US Intelligence web with the building of the Waihopai Spy base.
NZ is handed soft wear and hard wear that allows us to spy on anyone at anytime. Do you think America allows that transfer of power without demanding economic sovereignty?
Right now, Parliament is ‘debating’ vast new mass surveillance powers and the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are none the wiser about the enormous scale of what is being proposed.
Labour have walked away from any pretence of holding the powerful to account and have spinelessly thrown their lot in with the Deep State establishment by promising them power without restraint.
Labour claim they ‘won’ us the right to not have 2 day warrantless searches by cutting that down to 24 hours, as if that is some type of grand concession on the part of the mass surveillance Deep State.
The current debate in parliament is a fucking joke that we should all be deeply embarrassed by…
The acrimonious debate on New Zealand’s spying agencies four years ago appeared to be long forgotten as MPs tackled a new round of spying reforms this week.
In 2013, activists marched on the streets, the Government Communications and Security Bureau (GCSB) was accused of mass surveillance, and political parties were at each others’ throats.
But as the NZ Intelligence and Security Bill returned to Parliament on Wednesday, debate instead centred on which MP had the best “spy name” and who the best fictional spy was.
Speaking on a part of the legislation which dealt with covert activities, Labour’s finance spokesman Grant Robertson introduced a ” little game” which he learned in his former role as a diplomat.
“If want to create your own spy identity, what you should do is take your middle name and the street where you grew up.”
He showed the other MPs how do it.
“I myself am Murray Pretoria … which I think makes me sound like a South African spy, but that is me.
“So I invite other members of the House to have a think about where they are at in terms of their identity.”
…oh ha ha, hahahahaha, Hahahahaha. Ha. How fucking hilarious. The Parliament is about to hand over vast new powers of mass surveillance to an organisation with all the checks and balances of your average Apartheid South African justice system and we’re all having a laugh about spy names.
For fucks sakes people.
In the post-Snowdon world where we know the NSA have almost God like powers via the mass surveillance networks, we are making jokes about spy names.
At a time when the UK are about to merge big data with mass surveillance just as NZ is about to, we are making jokes about spy names.
When technical attache’s at the US embassy in Wellington who work at the GCSB can escape legal scrutiny for their actions , we are making jokes about spy names.
As we find out the CIA were 60 years ago involving themselves directly in our internal domestic affairs, we are ramming through mass surveillance powers controlled by the NSA and making jokes about spy names.
So why are these new laws so dangerous to NZ democracy?
So let’s spell them out again.
- The Bill unnecessarily allows for greater surveillance of New Zealanders by our intelligence services and intrudes further on our privacy. The definition of national security is so broad that it could enable even more surveillance of legitimate political dissenters by the intelligence services than has happened to date.
- The NZ Intelligence Agencies have a long history of spying on political activists, not terrorists. These powers will be used in against NZers who threaten the economic status quo of the powerful, it won’t be sued to protect us from actual terror attacks.
- Over two decades, our laws have become a more and more disproportionate response to the actual threats faced in New Zealand. So although there has been no demonstrable increase in risk the resources and invasive powers of the intelligence agencies have steadily increased.
- The New Zealand Intelligence and Security Bill is the culmination of twenty years of increases in the powers of New Zealand’s spy agencies. It gives them everything they could hope for. The Bill radically broadens the focus of the SIS and the GCSB so they can run operations on almost anything. It allows them to do literally anything to advance on operation or to cover it up. It allows them to co-opt anybody else into an operation. And it grants immunity from prosecution to everyone involved.
- Political campaigns that include any acts of civil disobedience and demonstrations where people get arrested come under “unlawful acts”. Communicate with groups overseas and you’ve ticked the “foreign interference” box. Apply this to criticisms of free trade, the dirty dairy industry, the 100% Pure marketing hype or any number of other issues and you’re talking about “quality of life”, “economic security” or “international relations”. And since being seen by the spies as a potential threat is enough for them to come after you, few movements would be safe.
The broader scope comes from the Bill defining “national security” to include protections against the following:
-“potential threats to New Zealand’s status as a free and democratic society from … foreign interference”;
-“potential threats that may cause serious harm to the … quality of life of the New Zealand population”;
-“unlawful acts or acts of foreign interference that may cause serious damage to New Zealand’s economic security or international relations”;
-“potential threats to the integrity of information … of critical importance to New Zealand”.
Once a warrant is issued, Sections 65 and 66 of the Bill give the SIS and GCSB the power to:
-“do any … act that is reasonable in the circumstances and reasonably required to achieve the purposes for which the warrant is exercised”; and
-“do any act that is reasonable in the circumstances and reasonably required to conceal the fact that anything has been done under the warrant and to keep the activities of the intelligence agency covert”.
As Dr David Small, the Senior Lecturer at the University of Canterbury points out, “These are open-ended powers. They exclude nothing. They do not exclude getting people to do things by using threats, or blackmail or even framing people for serious crimes. The night I caught the SIS spies in 1996, they could have beaten me up in that empty street. During their house searches, they could have planted and claimed to have found items forensically linked to the “APEC bomb”.
On top of this, the Bill allows these agencies to deputise anyone they want to also be protected from prosecution for illegality and it allows for anyone whistle blowing to the media about illegal activity by the Government to be jailed for 5 years.
Beyond all those arguments is the fundamental problem that America empowers us with this mass surveillance software and hardware and they demand a high price for that power. Everything scooped up here in NZ is available to the NSA despite all the waffle about checks and balances. we are giving NZ spy agencies vast new powers which will cal all be exploited by our American Intelligence masters.
The so called ‘flop’ of the Moment of Truth, where Kim Dotcom, Glenn Greenwald, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden all proved without a shadow of doubt that NZ has lied about mass surveillance for the NSA, has had an even more damaging long term impact.
New Zealand was ready in 2013 to challenge these mass surveillance powers and the building of an advanced Police State, but since the corporate mainstream media all wrote those concerns off as conspiratorial by denouncing the Moment of Truth, NZers have self censored themselves and allowed silence to rule the day.
The 2014-2015 budget for the GCSB was $86, 843, 000. Their budget for 2015-2016 is $143, 568, 000. That’s almost a $60million dollar increase in one year, this is becoming a monster with no leash on it.
These new spy powers won’t make anyone of us safer, they are far more likely be abused and damage this democracy.
But let’s all get upset over caged eggs sold as free range and a dog that gets shot at our airport.