IT HAS TO BE FEAR. Nothing else adequately explains the near unanimity of the elites’ extreme reaction to the launch of Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party. The way that these elite fears are being expressed – through a combination of synchronized journalistic denigration and outright character assassination – should also give us pause. Such a sophisticated orchestration of hate should make us fearful too.
Campaigns of the sort we have witnessed over the past few days require careful preparation and co-ordination. We need to be asking ourselves: From whence did the information concerning Dotcom’s former friends’ and employees’ willingness to bear witness against him arrive? How was the identity of the hitherto anonymous Munich purchaser of a signed first edition of Mein Kampf ferreted out? And, by what circuitous route did it find its way to New Zealand’s most influential blogger?
Let us not forget that the reason New Zealanders know so much about Dotcom is because he is the target of a major investigation by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Few other organisations on the planet possess the investigative capabilities of the FBI and even fewer are as sensitive when it comes to institutional failure and humiliation. But, failure and humiliation are precisely what lies in store for the FBI should Dotcom succeed in delaying the extradition procedures initiated against him by the US Attorney-General long enough to allow an electorally successful Internet Party to negotiate favourable political interventions on his behalf.
There can be little doubt that the possibility – no matter how remote – of Dotcom organising his own extrication from extradition would be sufficient for the FBI to instigate counter-measures. And, given the extent of this country’s police and intelligence agencies’ already established willingness to assist the US Government in both surveilling and apprehending Dotcom, it is at least arguable that both would be willing to covertly facilitate those FBI counter-measures in any way they could.
How difficult would it have been for the FBI to call in a few favours from Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office, the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) who may, themselves, have a few old scores to settle with the German citizen formerly known as Kim Schmitz? Could it not have been the BKA which tracked down the identity of the successful purchaser of that signed first-edition of Adolf Hitler’s autobiography?
It is also possible that the FBI may have had a quiet chat with the Hollywood-based “brand igniter”, clothing-designer and erstwhile friend and business associate of Dotcom, Alex Mardikian.
According to an article in the 9/5/2012 edition if The Hollywood Reporter, Mardikian, in collaboration with Donovan Leitch (son of the celebrated 60s folk-pop artist, Donovan) was shopping a biopic of Dotcom’scolourful life around Los Angeles. Quite what happened to that project, and whether its failure to materialise has anything to do with Mardikian’s current willingness to speak to journalists with an axe to grind against Dotcom is unclear.
What is clear, however, is that the material currently being used to discredit Dotcom and undermine his Internet Party launch did not just descend from the clouds in the hands of blameless angels. The information being drip-fed to the news media was assembled and distributed in an organised fashion. Introductions were arranged. Phone-calls were made. “Eye-witness” testimonies were recorded.
Of course, it’s always possible that the FBI, the BKA and their Kiwi equivalents had absolutely nothing to do with the current smear campaign against Dotcom. The information about Nazi memorabilia and the damning testimony of erstwhile employees and friends may simply be the fruit of outstanding journalistic research on the part of Cameron Slater and Rachel Glucina.
Then again, they might have had help.
As John Drinnan, the NZ Herald’s media commentator, wrote this morning (28/3/14): “National has developed a media network incorporating the Whale Oil website, Kiwiblog and commentators Matthew Hooton and Michelle Boag.” A potent enough list, one might think, but the probability is high that Drinnan is underselling the reach of the National Government’s media handlers. Certainly the roll-call of prominent journalists and commentators who have publicly expressed their well-timed “doubts” about Dotcom and his Internet Party over the past few days: Patrick Gower, Sean Plunket, Jane Clifton, Bill Ralston, Mike Hosking, Paul Henry and Duncan Garner; suggests that National’s “media network” may be just a little more extensive than Slater, Farrar, Hooton and Boag.
Journalists of such stature do not put their reputations on the line without receiving reassurances from “usually reliable sources”. The standard tradecraft of intelligence agencies seeking to destroy the credibility of individuals deemed a threat to “national security” is relatively straight-forward. Selected journalists (and, nowadays, bloggers too) are shown (or told about) certain items contained in the targeted individual’s file. The information thus supplied is, naturally, “off the record” and “not for attribution”, but it is enough to convince reputable journalists that the individual concerned may be criticised aggressively – and with impunity.
Paul Henry’s diatribe on the subject of Dotcom on Wednesday night was especially interesting. Most of his invective was reserved not for Dotcom himself, but for the politicians and journalists Henry accuses of falling under the German’s spell. His rant may indicate that the days of the news media facilitating Dotcom’s public relations exercises are well-and-truly over. Then again, it may be no more than a typically caustic expression of Henry’s personal frustration with the whole Dotcom phenomenon – and, perhaps, his fear of what it might become.
And what might it become? What do the elites fear in relation to Kim Dotcom? Is it merely the possibility that the Internet Party (all the predictions of its inevitable failure notwithstanding) might actually turn out to play a decisive role in the forthcoming election? That this, in turn, might result in Dotcom evading extradition to the US – something bound to cause acute embarrassment not only to the FBI and the US Department of Justice, but also to our own “Deep State”? Do they fear that an Internet Party strong enough to get Dotcom off the hook might also be sufficiently well-positioned to bring down the GCSB and take New Zealand out of the “Five Eyes” agreement?
It is undoubtedly all of these things. But, at the very root of their fears is the awful possibility that Kim Dotcom, this larger-than-life German, may yet teach New Zealanders the truth that all elites fear most.
The individual who refuses to be frightened is the State’s most deadly foe.