The obviousness of what has been exposed by Campbell Live on the GCSB

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Just best friends – no conspiracy here (note a happy John Banks in the lower right hand corner)

As far as Key is concerned – it’s all a conspiracy

Prime Minister John Key has accused TV3 broadcaster John Campbell of falling for conspiracy theories in the wake of Campbell Live show on Tuesday about the unlawful surveillance of internet mogul Kim Dotcom by the GCSB spy agency and the appointment of its chief, Ian Fletcher.

To my eye there seem to be some obvious things sitting in the open in light of Campbell Live’s GCSB expose, and I would like to take a moment to point to some interesting things that seem to have been overlooked.

The reason for John Armstrong’s legitimate surprise

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The surprise was not in what Key said. The links between New Zealand and American intelligence agencies during this country’s various Defence Force deployments in Afghanistan are well documented in Nicky Hager’s book Other People’s Wars, published nearly three years ago.

The surprise was Key’s revealing of such information – rather than putting up the standard brick wall of “no comments” on operational matters. Key, no doubt, is acutely conscious of the low esteem in which the two major intelligence agencies are held by the public; that – in order to rebuild public confidence – he has to say more than would normally be the case.

…is because Key knows what’s coming. He’s being this upfront because Key will have been briefed on what the US thinks Snowden will release.  It would seem obvious that a game of golf taking hours where Obama and Key  were both alone would have revolved around the TPPA, Snowden, the GCSB and Kim Dotcom. Key is aware of what will be released and is trying now to set the ground for his answers. He’s being this upfront about drone strikes because he knows the Snowden revelations will show this.

Expect a lot more Snowden files to surface before the election

Adding to Russel Brown’s excellent narrative arc…

But Campbell Live also implied a much more striking story arc. Which is that at the behest of the US, which wanted to refocus its intelligence activity towards the protection of intellectual property interests, the New Zealand government promoted General Jerry Mataparae out of his job as GCSB chief – a job he’d held for only a month – and made him Governor General, thus making way for Fletcher (who, as Key has noted, has significant intellectual property expertise) to become the GCSB’s first non-military director.

A short list of military candidates had already been rejected and Fletcher was, in the end, the only candidate interviewed for the job. But how on earth did they come to appoint Mataparae to another very, very senior role shortly before the end of Adnan Satyanand’s statutory five-year term and then make him governor-general after a month in his new job?

…Corporate Hollywood profits have been risen to National Security status, that is something that needs to be understood as an explanation to this all. Wars with their violent and bloody outcomes are too expensive and counterproductive, cultural imperialism however only has strength if intellectual property rights are protected to keep the profit margin rolling in.  The Motion Picture Association of America have been trying to get their copywriter infringement fetish to National Security levels since 2010 and Chris Dodd, the MPAAs Hollywood lobbyist has threatened political funding for not elevating their piracy to National Security levels.

Kim Dotcom has always pointed to this corporate Hollywood connection as the reason why he has been singled out for the level of attention he has…

Which all leads to Campbell Live’s extraordinary timeline

March 8th 2011 – Jerry Mateparae is stepped down as head of the GCSB.
March 15th 2011 – Top NSA spook, James Clapper, flies to NZ to meet with Key to discuss ‘synchronicity’ between the NSA and GCSB.
March 22nd 2011 – High level intelligence meetings
May 2011 – McCully visits Washington
June 17th 2011 – Key meets with Ian Fletcher for breakfast at Stamford Plaza.
July 22nd 2011 – Key is invited to Washington as pay back for this new ‘synchronicity’.
July 26th 2011 – Key side steps normal protocols and appoints his old school friend Ian Fletcher to take over at the GCSB.
October 2011 – John Key, the head of the SIS and NZDF join Ian Fletcher, the MFAT Head, and the DPMC boss for a secret dinner at the British High Commissioner’s home
December 8th 2011 – A letter states that Key is going to meet Ian Fletcher on 12th December
December 12th 2011 – Key meets with Ian Fletcher.
December 14th 2011 – The Police boss responsible for spying on Dotcom meets John Key with other intelligence agencies present.
December 16th 2011 – Kim Dotcom starts to be illegally spied upon.
January 2012 – Raid on Kim Dotcom.

Fletcher has been brought in because of his skills working for corporates who will now be the new clients of a mass surveillance state.  Kim has been targeted to make Hollywood happy and to try and extend American juriosdiction into cyber space.

What we now know is that the level of deceit Key has clung to in order to get this past the media, he had framed his breakfast at Stamford with Fletcher as a chance meeting, that was a bare faced lie.

Where the focus now should turn is to the real reason as to why Key’s Government granted Kim residency. Why did the SIS initially turn Kim down for residency and then suddenly clear him?  Why did that happen? I suspect the answer to that question will be most damning.

 

Context
The above must all be understood within the dynamics of a Sino-American cold war with the South Pacific as its theatre of choice. NZ is reliant on America for security, and reliant on China for our economy. The US doesn’t want to engage in real wars with really expensive and violent outcomes, they want to expand their soft power cultural influence. NZ may buy its flat screen TVs from China, but America want to ensure that we are watching American TV, music and films, that’s the soft power advantage America are looking for.

The TPPA, the case against Kim Dotcom for corporate Hollywood intellectual property rights expanding into cyberspace and becoming National Security level threats and NZs sudden elevation to best friend forever with America as technology becomes the new force of power on a new battlefield are all interconnected.

We are a stooge for the US and their corporate friends while enabling our own Government the ability to create a mass surveillance state. This has been an appalling erosion of civil rights with almost no wide spread consent.

Having Key shrug and claim this is all a conspiracy is convenient and easily swallowed by the rest of the NZ media, but there’s more to come on this story.

27 COMMENTS

    • People in high places always use the words ‘conspiracy theory’ when you have hit the target too close for comfort! It is an avoidance tactic, and I expect Nixon used these very same words – before he was outed!

      Opinion.

    • If you don’t like what’s being said, just call it a name. It’s John Key’s MO – he has been busted before targeting journalists with dishonest name-calling – yet gullible fan-kiddies such as yourself will still do his bidding. No questions asked.
      You didn’t even bother to read the journalism, did you? Key told you it’s a conspiracy theory, therefore it must be.
      Gotta wonder how old these National trolls are.I mean, it’s as if they think politics began in 2008!
      But of course, journalism itself is one giant liberal conspiracy against the Truth Tellers of the right wing world…

  1. Despite key saying Campbell got it wrong and then the obvious insults that follow if we trace back keys record. If he doesn’t like something he says “your wrong” or “I disagree” then verbally attacks them.

    The bigger the insult the nearer the truth.

  2. I suspect Campbell live got it right – we are being drawn into a US Copyright protection strategy – but do we have a choice? What are the downside risks of refusing US approaches to further their international corporate interests?
    I suspect if Labour were to become the government in September very little would change with regards to our relationship with the US.
    Is Key operating in some underhand way in order to gain specific advantage for the US entertainment industry or is he having to do this to protect larger NZ interests in a globalizing economy?
    It’s great to be able to rant and rave about injustice and deceit at the top but how do you actually face it down when you are the one who has to make the calls? How do you way up the consequences to NZ’s future if you make a flat out refusal to US overtures?

    • How do you way up the consequences to NZ’s future if you make a flat out refusal to US overtures?

      That was where Helen Clark was brilliant, she did just enough to appease the US.

  3. Just supposing for a moment that you are correct and this is all a grand plan to “get” Dotcom…..
    The coming extradition hearing will probably result in his extradition, so it seems a massive overkill to just target one individual. Will all those “appointments” and “meetings” then no longer be required?

  4. @ Stuart Munro . But we do have an impeachment process . It’s called the ” Grab the bastard by the scruff of the neck and throw him out of our Parliament buildings . ” process .

    The reason for all this buggering around ?

    ‘ They ‘ want our country and they’re becoming less patient with the current methodology they’re using to get it . I fear that one day they’ll just say . ” We own you bitches , so get over it , and now ? Off to work you go because remember ? ” Work will set you free . ”

    Who said that ?
    Was it the Banks ?
    How’re your mortgage payments going then ? On your shitty wages and on your median house price of 400 k plus . Suckers .

    74 years ago ! Only 74 years ago mind ?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbeit_macht_frei

    Drag jonky out of OUR parliament buildings .
    Sever all ties to foreign owned banks . Today .
    Write off all mortgage debt to those same off-shore owned Banks .
    Firewall our currency against off-shore fiddlings .
    Build free public transport and infrastructure into our once well populated agricultural hinterlands .
    Rebuild our trading relationships to our European customers and give the Chinese the big middle finger . ( And I certainly don’t mind trading with the USA either . We should remember that the people of the USA are just as much under the very same covert psychological control as we are . )
    Engage a cadre of accountants and lawyers to carry out an inquiry into New Zealands financial affairs during the post war years and up to today .
    Now , I’m off to have a fellow patient scratch an itch on my nose . These straight jackets leave no room for such things .

    What do they say about words spoken in jest ? Many a true one ?

    • I agree – in fishing we have an impeachment process involving deck spanners. It is very… robust.

  5. There is no end to threats against the “National Interest” any more now is there or Nationals dodgy ways of doing business?

    Be very worried when Key has one of those creepy golf games (Oravida boss, Obama) or one his creepy dinner/lunch/breakfasts meetings (Sky City, Ian Fletcher, Warner Bros) which in business acumen are becoming akin to something from the Godfather. And its because he’s stepping way outside his job description and making the rules as he goes and decisions that in the end are none too good for those who don’t closely support National.

    As for Keys smugness, lampooning Campbell live for more or less being another episode of the X Files, he clearly thinks he’s got the inside word and in the engrained money trader way of piss and wind he’s straight talking bluffing and hoping like hell no one else turns anything else up.

    And mores the pity that in NZ the PM can shoulder tap an old mate to be the head of the nations spy bureau, as we’ll never really know what is going on.

  6. Have to admit that the thought of Obama doing Pharrell Williams’ rap segment from “Blurred Lines” has me laughing out loud.

  7. Fletcher has been brought in because of his skills working for corporates who will now be the new clients of a mass surveillance state.

    There’s no evidence to support this. Yes, the US government will try to protect US industries the same as NZ would go in to bat for dairy. That includes industrial espionage, but it’s probably at a generic level and not “company X demanding that the government do Y”.

    I sort of think you are missing the point, Martyn. Why would corporates need the government to get information when they are quite capable of doing it themselves? The UK media had a quite sophisticated spying operation going, and there’s every reason to think that other corporates do the same when it suits their interests to do so.

    They don’t even have to do anything illegal. Facebook knows more about people and their wants than any single individual does. We’ve seen from Snowden that it is easy to use metadata to identify issues and persons of salience. Hell, if you’ve been watching Mad Men recently, ad agencies have been doing this since the 1970s with computers.

    If you ever wondered how politicians are able to increasingly act with impunity, it’s because they have a very good idea of what they can get away with and what they can’t get away with. How do they know this? Market research. It’s pretty easy to manipulate people if you know which buttons to push, and they know which buttons to push.

    I posted this yesterday. It’s worth a read if you haven’t already.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/posts/WHAT-THE-FLUCK

    • The National government went to bat for ONE dairy company. Not the entire industry. Just ask the dairy industry.
      Do you National fan-kiddies pay any attention at all?

    • “Why would corporates need the government to get information when they are quite capable of doing it themselves? The UK media had a quite sophisticated spying operation going, and there’s every reason to think that other corporates do the same when it suits their interests to do so.”

      You’re referring to the News of the World cellphone hacking scandal etc? They got (rightfully) nailed for that since it wasn’t remotely legal. Enter the The GCSB/NSA, which don’t operate within the confines of the law (since by their very nature everything they do is kept under a cloak of secrecy). That is why these agencies are operating in the interests of corporations, because said corporations can’t brazenly circumvent the laws the way the Government can (and does) without major consequence. Did the GCSB get shut down after they were found to be ILLEGALLY spying? Did the NSA after the Snowden revelations? Contrast this with what happened to News of the World.

      • What actual press regulation did the hacking saga result in?

        A few people got spanked. Business as usual otherwise.

    • Thanks Tom for the link. That’s the most stimulating article about journalism that I have read in a long time.

  8. Excellent summation Martyn.

    This issue should be out there in the open now, being thoroughly investigated through the msm. Nothing about the Campbell Live programme contents in the NZ Herald, other than those comments raised by the public in opinion pages. No topic headlines on Campbell Live’s investigation.

    Fairfax media has only pathetically reported John Key’s ‘conspiracy’ statements relating to Campbell Live, restricting comments to a basic minimum, instead of pursuing the issue further, scrutinizing the PM’s part in all this.

    Well done TDB for keeping this topic alive. It’s a pity the so called people’s proxy, NZ msm don’t have the guts to do the same! Incidentally, this latter point on it’s own, is equally concerning, perhaps more so, as the content of what was disclosed on Campbell Live this week!

  9. “Fletcher has been brought in because of his skills working for corporates who will now be the new clients of a mass surveillance state. Kim has been targeted to make Hollywood happy and to try and extend American juriosdiction into cyber space.”

    Yes, of course, that is part of the story, and yes, we also get mass data gathering by media corporates, from Facebook, to Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Twitter and endless other service providers, who gather browsing data, email data and personal data, to encode it and pass it to other corporates, busy in advertising. All make mega bucks out of this, and the US authorities have “no problem” with that, as long as those corporates work within “their law”, and with the US Federal agencies, like NSA and other ones.

    Megaupload (and now Mega) may not have agreed to work along the lines the US government and US corporates in the various industries do, and so it became the “outcast” media operator. What Kim Dotcom did was – and still is – clearly on the borderline of legality, but given the laws as they are, it is too hard for them to have him convicted. So they have done what they did, trying to take him out.

    If it was not for Dotcom’s past, I would have more sympathy. I still have some sympathy, but I fear he may have stuffed up himself too much, to win the battle now.

    In any case, the battle and “war” will continue, as others will challenge the status quo anyway, it is a territory to be explored, and new adventurous operations are started by the day.

    We have entered a new level of warfare. Economic competition and sports are also “less bloody” warfare, this is another expression of warfare that goes on, beyond borders, and between borders, and as it still involves humans and material interests, in the end we will still face real bloody wars also, as history has proved, will always be the end result, when other forms of competition have reached their limits.

    Dirty business turns violent, when the profit margin is no longer achieved by intimidation and threats.

  10. “NZ is reliant on America for security, and reliant on China for our economy.”

    While I definitely agree with the sentiments of this article, the economic importance of the United States to New Zealand needs to be recognized as well.
    According to Statistics New Zealand, for the year ended December 2013 the United States was New Zealand’s third largest source of imports at $4.5 billion, as well as exports at $4.1 billion.

    Regarding John Armstrong. He must be extraordinarily naïve if he doesn’t understand that the Prime Minister only offers information he would rather not because his hand is being forced. The public acknowledgement of his personal relationship with blogger Cameron Slater was a good example of this.

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