The spin SIS & GCSB are demanding we believe to wipe their CIA torture guilt clean


Three ex-spy chiefs step forward to lash the oversight report criticising their handling of CIA torture scandal

A frontal assault has been launched by former intelligence agencies bosses on an inquiry into our intelligence agencies and their links to the CIA’s rendition and torture programme.

Three former spy bosses have come forward to reject criticism aimed at their time in charge of the spy agencies which stated they missed warning signs of the CIA’s programme of abduction and torture early in the War on Terror.

In a series of statements, they have said the information on which the criticism was based was available to others in government, including Prime Minister Helen Clark.

So the former heads of the SIS & GCSB are saying they knew nothing about CIA torture YET are trying to claim the political leadership at the time did?

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How are both those things true?

The Former NZSIS & GCSB DGs are claiming NZ Political leaders knew what the CIA was doing with prisoners in 2001-2004 yet told the IGIS that they didn’t know about the rendition/torture program.

They can’t have it both ways, how on earth would the NZ political leadership know about torture rendition programs if the heads of the SIS and GCSB didn’t?

This is arse covering and attempting to shift the blame, the report is damning of the SIS and GCSB and refer to them as ‘naive’ to believe any information received after 2004 (when the news broke about Abu Ghraib) wasn’t using torture. It is the first time our security agencies have ever been so maligned in an official report.

To my horror, due to the Block, MAFS and Labour Party sex scandals eclipsing all else, this shocking revelation that our Intelligence Agencies were engaged in extracting and supplying information enabled by torture is being lost in the media churn.

The SIS and GCSB will be deeply grateful the sleepy hobbits of Muddle Nu Zilind are so easily distracted.


  1. Lots of criticism over NZ’s establishment links to China but what about long standing links to the US empire and its cohorts? Somehow this seems to mostly fly under the radar?

  2. Of course Helen Clark and John Key were complicit. As are Jacinda Ardern and Andrew Little. Not because they like the idea of torture, “extra-judicial rendition” and “targeted killing” but because they are utterly convinced that it would be career-ending for them to challenge the actions of their Security Chiefs.
    So this is a moral crisis that goes to the heart of the Realm.
    We can all count ourselves fortunate that Warren Tucker’s ill-fated attempt to provoke civil violence in the aftermath of the Urewera raids was nothing more than a costly fiasco for the Key government.
    But there is no guarantee that there will not be a next time.
    In fact, so long as New Zealand governments lack the courage to challenge their security services, and hide all crimes under the cloak of “operational secrecy” we can be sure that there will be more torture, more atrocities, more targeted killings (the security services are still using Peter Thiel’s Palantir system to select targets) and further attempts to provoke civil conflict where and when the security services believe that it could serve their purposes.
    The solution is to disestablish the SIS and GCSB, and to open their files to public scrutiny. That won’t happen under Jacinda Ardern’s leadership. It will require genuine “transformative change”. In fact, a revolution.

    • Geoff: “Of course Helen Clark and John Key were complicit. As are Jacinda Ardern and Andrew Little. Not because they like the idea of torture, “extra-judicial rendition” and “targeted killing” but because they are utterly convinced that it would be career-ending for them to challenge the actions of their Security Chiefs.”

      Me: oh bullshit, The Prime Minister shouldn’t allow these nobodies to run foreign policy. For one they’re heavily influenced by foreign corperations namely Silicon Valley and the White House which is even more influenced by Silicon Valley.

      There is a place for due processes and then there’s a place for people who are just taking the piss. For Hellen Clark the War on Terror was entirely a civilian reconstruction one. For her defence chiefs it was a chance exercise what little power and control they had left over life and death.

  3. Geoff Fischer,

    You imply that it was the NZ services that were torturing or were complicit in doing so. In fact this is the very thing they are cleared of. What they are charged with is having knowledge that it did take place. The news media reports at the time would have been sufficient proof of that.

    The difficulty the NZ agencies have is that some of the information they would have got from the CIA may have been the result of torture. The NZ agencies would not have known specifically, but a fair bit from Iraq would have been the result of Abul Ghraib torture, and in other places as well. It seems probable the NZ agencies would have suspected that.

    Once President Obama came into office, all that stopped. And I am pretty certain has not started again. So it all happened when Helen Clark was PM, not when John Key was PM. What could have Helen Clark done?

    Well, she largely kept NZ out of Iraq. Our SAS soldiers in Afghanistan formally protested about US treatment of detainees. She is certainly on record in condemning what happened in Abu Ghraib.

    I appreciate that yours (and Martyn Brdabury’s) solution is not to be part of Five Eyes. Really only practicable if you think New Zealand should be a neutral state, and that includes no defence alliance with Australia. Cant see how that would help New Zealand. If you think the current restriction that New Zealanders have vis a vis Australia, think what they would be if said we have no further defence relationship or defence obligation to Australia.

    • Wayne, you give a false choice between pulling out of 5 Eyes or accepting information gained via torture. The DGs of the SIS and GCSB knew the inflation they were gaining was from torture and didn’t do anything about that. Perhaps not sourcing information from torture would have been a far more preferable position to take than simply shrugging ones shoulders and continuing?

      You are arguing for the ‘just following orders’ defence.

    • Id add that the decision to go to war comes with it aspect of accepting collateral damage. And apart of that collateral damage is the murder of civilians. There is I would claim acceptable collateral damage for instance setting off tons of artilary shells will eventually cause civilian casualties. But if they go right out of the gate and start hunting civilians because something is broken inside then routine disciplinary actions happen.

      I would claim interrogations and even torture has to be accepted as routine collateral damage when ever the decision to go to war is made. It’s just to difficult to weed out the moralising decisions between protecting our own, and protecting those that are unhelpful and deliberately putting themselves in the way (double emphases on deliberately).

      But as you rightly point out Hellen Clark wanted to keep us out of it, where as John Key was keen to get us into it. You would have people believe that this time, under Obama’s Drone Policy the collateral damage was nice and moralising, but torture was still a feature in targeting civilians by drones. So much so that Obama’s Drone Policy was right outside of the fucken gate.

      I mean honestly Wayne, WTF are you on about. Obama Killed thousands of civilians so much so they had to stop counting civilian casualties, instead referring to civilians as of enemoes of combatant age or something. Anyone can read all about it on the Wikipedia:

      Gezus Christ Wayne. From now on no one should have to accept your ramblings as being even a little bit true. Youre just fake news bullshit. It should just be assumed from now on that you are bullshiting. It should be upto you to prove, verify and provide evidence and sources for what you say, not anyone else. That goes doubly for anyone trying to run cover for The National Party of Aotearoa-New Zealand.

      • Sam
        I would rather engage with political opponents who have personal integrity than with politically “like-minded” types who may be lacking in that department.
        That is why I am never affronted or dismayed when I see that Wayne Mapp has contributed comment to a discussion.
        With an honest adversary dialogue and ultimately a constructive resolution become possible.
        Don’t value the dross of conformity over the gold of honesty.

        • Well I do not wish a BREXIT style divorce with America, on New Zealand. New Zealand’s standards of living is heavily dependant on foreign oil and if we switch to trade off it may well send us back to the Stone Age, hypothetical of course. But extremely damaging to New Zealand’s standards of living non the less if the Americans wanted to prevent 5eyes knowledge and secretes from leaking out. I don’t think you fully appreciate what going from a 5eyes member to an outsider would truly do to America. First the aircraft carriers will show up and if you’re still unwilling to play ball, well. I’d hate to see New Zealand turned into the North Korea of the Pacific just to cover the national party’s arse I mean fuck, no, bullshit. Have another think.

          I consider myself a radical leftist, a socialist. I believe in money and all that but I am a socialist. When we are really approaching a bipolar world we should abandon the dogma every time something horrible is happening in the Middle East or where ever. We should abandon the though that it’s American Empirialism. With all my Sympathy for China in the way it’s done wonderful things lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty we can not but call what China is doing in Asia and Africa a Colonialism Chinese Style. Y’know the newer colonialism is often even more brutal than the standard colonialism.

          So managing the relationship between China and America with in The South Pacific will be crucial for us. We can’t just say oh I love you China, and I love you to America and then just brutally break up with one or the other and thumb our noses at the loser NOOOO! That would be terrible! Stupid. Low IQ, low energy BS.

          Everyone excepted that under Bill Clinton the US would become the worlds only police and all that is over. Now the mistakes are breath taking. Now we have around fifty thousand Chinese and about fifty thousand Americans living in New Zealand. No one says oh we need to have less Chinese food or we need to have less petrol. So now we must live with on those limits. Follow the rules and quick trying to change them just to cover ass.

  4. I think Wayne Mapp is right in that New Zealand has to decide whether to ally itself with a state which employs torture, rendition, targeted killing etc (the current POTUS has condoned all three) or whether New Zealand should choose to be a non-aligned state.
    We can respectfully agree to differ, however, on which option should be taken.
    I hold that alliance with the US makes New Zealand a Quisling state, complicit by association in war crimes. Therefore there is no question in my mind that the alliance must be broken.
    Warren Tucker claims that he could not question CIA practices because to do so would have jeopardized the CIA-SIS alliance. No doubt at the political level the same amoral logic would have applied.
    In the United States we are dealing with an evil regime which refuses to countenance any moral concerns among its allies.
    So the New Zealand state decided that it would not have or express any moral concerns.
    To me that means that in terms of moral accountability Helen Clark, John Key et al may as well have personally conducted the torture sessions themselves.

    • Well I do not agree that The ANZUS treaty should be chucked out. The ANZUS Treaty has injured through the Post War, Cold War, and Post Cold War shenanigans during a time when the most heinous crimes against hunamity was committed. And I claim, The ANZUS Treaty can injure cheap copies of the originals. Let’s not forget that those fallen solders of The Great Wars sacrificed themselves for this fragile peace and we should not chuck that away for some easy comforts and quick fixes.

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