Will The Much-Criticised SIS Have The Last Laugh?

26
1283

LEFT-WING NAIVETY is nothing new, but its power to astound and enrage has not diminished. The scorn heaped upon the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) for failing to intercept a recent threat to the Christchurch Muslim community is a case in point.

The official version of this event has the Police receiving a tip-off from a member of the public. Someone who just happened to be hanging-out in the digital neighbourhood of 4-Chan’s most dangerous white supremacists stumbled, quite accidentally, upon plans to car-bomb the two mosques attacked by Brenton Tarrant in 2019, and like any public-spirited citizen, he called the cops.

Hmmmm …

This may, of course, be a true story. The informant’s accidental discovery of a terrorist plot may, indeed, be just one of those amazing examples of pure dumb luck that sometimes happens in this funny old world. Then again, it might not.

Maybe, just maybe, the official version of events bears absolutely no resemblance to what actually happened.

Because, let’s face it, if the SIS is doing exactly what the Left has been urging it to do since 15 March 2019; if it has made the surveillance, interception, infiltration and disruption of white supremacist groups its top counter-intelligence priority; then what possible motive would it have for announcing the fact – and offering public proof of its effectiveness – to the individuals and organisations it is watching?

Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that the SIS and its sister organisation, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) have not only been monitoring the “chatter” on 4-Chan, but that they have an agent, or agents, masquerading as hardline white supremacists participating energetically in any number of extremist chat-rooms. Let’s also assume that they are receiving a steady flow of HUMINT (human intelligence) from spies embedded in far-right and white supremacist groups. In these circumstances, only an imbecile would jeopardise these operations by waving their hands in the air and shouting “Lookit! Lookit! We’ve caught ourselves a terrorist!”

Surely, the SIS’s more likely response, in the event of it learning of a credible plan to car-bomb Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre on the second anniversary of Tarrant’s attacks, would be to let the world believe that the plot’s discovery was due entirely to the initiative of a sharp-eyed and public-spirited citizen who saw something and said something … to the Police?

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

If this was indeed the SIS’s response, then the loud braying of the Left will, for once, be a welcome noise. Criticism of the SIS’s “failure” to take white supremacism seriously will be music to the Service’s ears. The longer the far-right can be persuaded that the national security apparatus remains blind to the threat posed to New Zealanders by their most extreme elements, the better chance the government’s secret agents will have of shutting these extremists down.

It is, however, unlikely that the SIS chiefs will be placing too much faith in the Left’s condemnation of their inadequacies. Merely by reading the public disclosures of experts on the far-right, like Professor Paul Spoonley, they will be aware that more and more of New Zealand’s right-wing extremists are learning the basic trade-craft of clandestine political organisation. Aware that unfriendly eyes are on them, these groups are encrypting their communications and vetting with great thoroughness every potential recruit to their cause. Such people and groups are unlikely to risk saying anything potentially incriminating on 4-Chan – not when there are many much safer places on the Internet in which to take refuge.

Given that one of the persons arrested by the Police was released without charge, and the individual in custody was charged under the Crimes Act – rather than the Terrorism Suppression Act – with Threatening To Kill, one might even speculate that there is more than a faint whiff of public relations about the whole incident.

Face it, rigging a car-bomb – especially one intended to be detonated remotely, rather than delivered directly to the target by a driver willing to sacrifice their own life for the cause – is not a game for amateurs. A former, or active duty, soldier, highly trained in the use of explosives and detonation devices might be capable of such an attack. Alternatively, skilled and experienced operatives with similar backgrounds might be imported to perpetrate the outrage. With New Zealand’s borders closed by the Covid-19 Pandemic, however, this latter scenario can be confidently discounted. It is also inconceivable that the arrest of a suspect with such a military background would not have prompted a significantly higher security response on the part of the authorities.

How much more likely is it that a couple of idiots, talking big on what was effectively an “open line” were easily intercepted by the SIS and GCSB “watchers; and that their identity was made known to the Police – not because they posed a serious threat to the Christchurch Muslim community, but because announcing the arrest of a couple of far-right, Islamophobic terrorist wannabes, just days away from the second anniversary of the Mosque Massacres, would constitute a major public relations coup?

Such an operation would achieve a number of objectives. First and foremost, it would reassure Muslim New Zealanders that their fellow citizens and, of course, the Police, still have their back – thereby reconfirming “They Are Us” in the most dramatic fashion. Secondly, it would serve as a reminder that there was still a great deal of hate out there – murderous hate. Precisely the sort of hate that the Labour Government is determined to keep in check with its proposed legislation outlawing “hate speech”. Thirdly, as intimated above, the circumstances of the alleged offender’s apprehension would set up the SIS and the GCSB for exactly the sort of left-wing bollocking that has, in fact, occurred. Criticism which, hopefully, will make the Service’s surveillance, interception, infiltration and disruption operations all the more effective. Assuming, of course, that the far-right is as predictable in its stupidity as the far-left!

At the very heart of the Left’s stupidity on national security matters is its lamentable unfamiliarity with the basic techniques of counter-intelligence. In their reckless, ideologically-driven haste to smash the infrastructure of white supremacism in New Zealand, the far-left critics of the SIS and the GCSB are openly embracing the maximum possible deployment of state surveillance and interception technology.

To root out Islamophobia and silence hate speech, they are happy to have the national security apparatus secure the demise of far-right extremists by any means necessary. That their own uncompromising demands are as predictable as they are extreme does not appear to have occurred to them. That their antipathy to the far-right might be used to the long-term advantage of the security services has, similarly, never crossed their minds.

Nor, apparently, has the realisation that, when they have rounded up the last ethno-nationalist extremist, those same security services will come after the Left with exactly the same surveillance technology and censorship powers. More tellingly, they will be able to do so citing precedents with which the Left itself has furnished them. The far-left critics of the national security apparatus will be hung by a rope which they, themselves, have twisted.

 

 

26 COMMENTS

  1. This is kind of interesting in a theoretical way, Chris. But the world we are living in is in the early stages of collapse. Depending on your perspective, we might even say we are in the late stages of collapse. And the vast majority of the systems that people rely on and think will be there in the future are on their last legs (or have already collapsed) and won’t even exist in the near future.

    Jim Kunstler tells it exactly how it is for the US.

    ‘Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Kaboom’

    https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/tomorrow-and-tomorrow-and-kaboom/

    And NZ is in the same boat, with frauds and flimflams holding the system together in the short term.

    I suppose people in NZ still operate on the principle that this is Godzone and it could never happen here, even as most of (all?) the systems in NZ are found to be defective and/or corrupt.

    Will we get through 2021 without a major financial-economic jolt? Not likely when there is a financial tsunami thundering up the beach, which ‘the Left’ is either unaware of or is in denial about.

    https://www.oftwominds.com/blogmar21/deflationary-tsunami3-21.html

    I suppose, having dug a very big a hole for themselves, the Jacinda & Grant puppet show will keep digging, and keep pretending they know what they are doing.

    ‘Interesting times’ are getting more interesting by the day.

    And for the benefit of those who may have thought my statements about the system rendering the Earth largely (or completely) uninhabitable in the not-too-distant future being hyperbole:

    ‘Global heating pushes tropical regions towards limits of human livability

    Rising heat and humidity threatening to plunge much of the world’s population into potentially lethal conditions, study finds’

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/mar/08/global-heating-tropical-regions-human-livability

    I personally don’t believe the anti-Russia, anti-Putin rhetoric constantly churned out by the Guardian (I suppose the system needs to have a bogeyman, so the bogeyman watchers can spend time and resources watching him) but on matters environmental the Guardian does a reasonably good job of telling it how it is.

    • Interesting thoughts as always AFKTT. However you have been wearing the same “We are Doomed ” sandwich board for well over a decade ( remember Red Alert ), and the predictions were “any day now” , “shortly to arrive”, “just around the corner”. Now its ” in the not too distant future “….You have the patience of Jobe

      • Actually, it is now two decades (since 2001) that I have been warning that “we are doomed” And sure enough, there have been a series of crises, each worse than the .previous one. And there has been ZERO change in the fundamental policies that have caused us to be doomed.

        Sadly, I have been proven right on ALL the aspects I have raised. What has been so difficult has been to put an exact timing on the collapse -because it happens one person at a time, one family at a time, one community at a time, one region at a time, and because of the fickle nature of humans and the utter determination of certain sectors of society to prop up highly-destructive components of the unsustainable-in-the-long-term economy, just to keep the Ponzi scheme going a little longer….thereby increasing the degree of ‘doominess’

        Whereas in 2001 I suggested we would be in serous trouble on the Planetary Meltdown front around the year 2100, the evidence now indicates we are in serious trouble already.

        On the energy front, no one imagined in 2005 quite the lengths ‘the powers that be’ would go to to prop up unsustainable economic arrangements via fracking of rocks and the extraction of oil from ‘tar sands’ and other low energy-return sources at a horrendous environmental cost.

        Nor did many foresee the capacity of central banks to keep on printing ever-greater quantities of money at effectively ZERO interest and construct the greatest bubbles in all of history in the housing and equity markets, in the face of all the fundamentals being made worse by the day.

        So now we have reached the point at which the frauds and scams and hot air from the central bankers are all that are holding the system together.

        Of course, it is better to be warned before you step off a cliff than after you have. However, here is plenty of research to demonstrate that people ignore warnings, especially when greed takes over -which it has.

        As for ‘saving the planet’ or ‘saving society’, the two decades of idiotic behaviour promoted by governments both in NZ and elsewhere have ensured it is way too late to save either.

        The refusal by the vast majority to accept that industrial civilisation and the banking sector (along with mainstream economists) are the problem ensures that industrial civilisation IS doomed, since it consuming everything it needs to persist at an alarming rate, and is generating pollution at a more-than-alarming rate.

        TEOTWAWKI is well into the past, and we are now running on fumes and fraud. For how much longer, I cannot say, but I am preparing for an economic meltdown this year. If it doesn’t come that a kind of bonus, unless you consider the environmental effect, which is to exacerbate every negative factor in the equation, to the detriment of the lives of all younger people.

        • I forgot to say that all we can do is implement strategies that reduce the suffering that is to come.

          Needless to say, government short-term-thinking polices ensure that the suffering to come will be MUCH GREATER.

    • There is a real chance that the US will have a $7 Trillion dollar deficit this year if Biden passes all the “stimulus” the Democrats have planned, That will almost certainly see inflation start to spiral out of control. I expect the Dow Jones at 40,000+, Bitcoin at $100,000 and record high house prices by the end of the year. While these things will be seen as “Boom Times” by those not paying attention, in actual fact they will be clear signs of a total collapse in the “trust” in USDs and perhaps fiat generally (especially as the petrodollar starts unwinding as well over the next decade).

      • Yes indeed. Those not paying attention, i.e. 90%+ of the populace and especially the business sector, will interpret money-printing as a good thing, and do interpret speculative bubbles as indicators of a ‘booming economy.

        I have recently pointed out we are ‘running on fumes (and fraud), and CHS has elaborated on those concepts in his latest offering:

        The “Wait and See” Economy’s Moment of Truth
        March 9, 2021

        https://www.oftwominds.com/blogmar21/moment-of-truth3-21.html

    • Afewknowthetruth: how about a response to the topic of Chris Trotter’s post.

      It would be good to hear what you think about that.

  2. Suppressing freedom of speech is dangerous and helping terrorism. You want anybody who has plans to do something evil to be openly talking about it, so as not to drive “chatter” underground and make it more sophisticated.

      • Snow White: “Suppressing freedom of speech is also anti-democratic, anti-people, and inimical to functioning as a healthy society.”

        Bang on! We as a society need to be able to accept others’ opinions freely-expressed, even if we disagree with them.

  3. I don’t know why you are suddenly so anti-Left, Chris. I don’t even know this left wing you are excoriating.
    “…. the loud braying of the Left”
    “Left wing naivety…”
    “…the Left’s stupidity…”
    “In their reckless, ideologically-driven haste to smash the infrastructure of white supremacism in New Zealand, the far-left critics of the …”
    “Assuming, of course, that the far-right is as predictable in its stupidity as the far-left!”
    “The far-left critics of the national security apparatus will be hung by a rope which they, themselves, have twisted.”
    This anti-Left hate speech has to stop, Chris. Why are you suddenly sounding like an uber-Hoskings? I don’t recognise anyone I know in your story, and I have been on the political Left for 40 years. If you have a beef with a person or organisation, then say who it is, instead of setting up a whole host of straw people just to bring them down. Excuse me for plain speaking, but I think your sweeping generalisations are harmful and wrong.

    • That’s alright, Liz, I don’t know anybody else like you, either.

      A swift perusal of the usual left-wing sites will provide plenty of examples of the reflexive behaviour I am calling out.

      Implicit in the demands for the SIS to do more to suppress white supremacy is an acceptance of the techniques and technology of full-on surveillance state we once railed against.

      If that isn’t a dangerous mixture of naivety and stupidity, then I don’t know what is.

      If you want to know what happens to left-wing groups after the national security apparatus has dealt to the most dangerous right-wing groups (like the KKK) just make a study of COINTELPRO – the FBI’s counter-intelligence programme of the 1960s and 70s. “Surveillance, interception, infiltration and disruption” pretty much destroyed the so-called “New Left” and terminated the Black Panthers “with extreme prejudice”.

      Put down all those sociology texts, Liz, and try reading a little history.

    • No ! No speech has to stop, thanks all the same.

      If Chris Trotter cannot critique the social/political group with which he identifies or is identified, then who can ?
      Further, criticism coming from within a particular milieu may be more valid, and authentic, than from outsiders often clutching at straws.

      If being associated with, or a member of any category of persons, obligates Trotter or anybody to be blinkered about its real or unreal imperfections, then there is no room for growth or change. Any suggestion that the left has attained a state of perfection is a delusion. And what’s more, anybody who stimulates any sort of thought or discussion is pretty ok.

      I don’t know why you’re accusing Trotter of hate speech, but your accusation sent me back to quickly reread what he is saying here, and I suggest that you may be over-reacting in the way that he’s talking about. I may read it all again – but it’s a lovely leaf-raking sort of autumn day here.

      God defend New Zealand if the SIS, should have to reveal its methodology or practices to we the plebs. Revealing how lives-threatening information is or has been obtained, could endanger persons who do not deserve to be endangered, or could curtail the effectiveness of future operations which modern life unfortunately renders necessary. Or they could lie their wee heads off. The reality here could be totally mundane, and they may not want us to know that either – but most extremists of any ilk are a bit mad up top.

    • Exactly @ LG. I could be forgiven for thinking that Near-Right intere$t$ with influence within the $I$ and the GC$B have CT tied up somewhere and are using an AI augmented text blout under CT’s name to guarantee an increase in budgeting to pay for them chrome plated Glocks and testosterone supplements.
      I am actually a wee bit shocked at CT’s scathing anti-left sentiments.
      Particularly when the Near-Right have us all by the delicate little debt-curly’s. They’re the ones, after all, who inflame, agitate, manipulate and exploit the less than impressive Far-Right ‘thinkers’ for the want of a better word, who sometimes go on to do such unpleasant things to often innocent people.
      There are crazies out there man and it doesn’t take much to get them all riled up and running around with shootin’ irons.
      I feel the need to mention Ian Wishart’s book ‘The Paradise Conspiracy’ at this point.

    • Liz Gordon: “I don’t even know this left wing you are excoriating.”

      Do you not? As Chris observes, there’s plenty of evidence of it on left-wing sites.

      “This anti-Left hate speech has to stop, Chris.”

      Hate speech? It’s no such thing. It’s justified and justifiable critique. And who better to do it than Chris?

      And even if it were unjustified, it would still not be hate speech.

      With regard to hate speech, I’m yet to see a definition that doesn’t constitute “things people say that other people don’t like”. God help us all, if this is the definition Andrew Little relies on for his proposed hate speech legislation.

      As Chris says, if you would know what fate awaits the Left here, go look at what the FBI did in the US, during the 60s and 70s. It’s instructive.

  4. The informant in this case was by definition a clandestine operator with connections to the New Zealand Police. He or she could be a well intentioned free-lancer, a police or SIS officer.
    You may have information to which I am not privy, Chris, but in the end it does not matter.
    The “mistake” of the left (whether in or outside of Parliament) is to imagine that it can influence or control the behavioiur of an organization like the SIS. In the same way the left, which is ostensibly and vociferously anti-racist, believes that it can live with an institution like the British Crown which is innately racist.
    It is wrong on both counts. The SIS answers to the Five Eyes and not to the colonial government, let alone the people of Aotearoa. The Five Eyes set the course of the SIS, and that course has been literally murderous.
    So if the left was genuinely interested in truth, justice, compassion, integrity and “whakaaro pai ki nga tangata katoa” it would have nothing to do with the SIS. It would not be making supplications to the SIS and it would not be looking to the SIS to save the nation from evil, because the simple truth is that the SIS is the embodiment of evil.

  5. The “Pie and Penthouse” lost briefcase brigade of old, thanks largely to the Key Govt., have much more money and technology at their disposal–along with vastly increased powers of reach, deniability and even co-option of various aspect of Govt. ministries. Not many New Zealanders seemed to give a toss at the time about extra powers for the state snoops, but I do, and people like Nicky Hager do, and many others.

    Of course the Pipitea House inhabitants hate left wingers more than they ever will nazis from the South Island, or anywhere else in Aotearoa NZ. But that is no excuse to stop holding them to account.

    Chris might give the re-runs of “Smileys People” a rest for a while. Too many people around Parliament that should know better, get promptly captured by the the intrigue and false patriotism of the deep state, and wood panelled offices. The NZ security services really serve 5 Eyes and US Imperialism, and it will be a very long wait before they will convincingly assist the NZ populace to defeat neo fascism.

  6. public relations or public record? stray too far from the script and get clobbered. deflect with bread and circuses.

  7. “The official version of this event has the Police receiving a tip-off from a member of the public. Someone who just happened to be hanging-out in the digital neighbourhood of 4-Chan’s most dangerous white supremacists stumbled, quite accidentally, upon plans to car-bomb the two mosques attacked by Brenton Tarrant in 2019, and like any public-spirited citizen, he called the cops.”

    I’m sceptical about this story for a couple of reasons. Firstly: no doubt you’re aware (though some commenters here may not be) that 4chan is run by the US government, and is full of Feds.

    If I know this, I’d be very surprised if hard-line far right-wing activists didn’t. I doubt very much that anybody intent upon real mischief would plan – or talk about planning – anything on 4chan.

    I’d guess that, if indeed anybody stumbled across anything, it was just part of the endless stream of nonsense and big-noting which passes through such sites.

    Secondly, claims about the size of the far right/white supremacist sector in NZ are just that: claims. Over all of my considerable lifetime, the number of incidents attributable to such people have been vanishingly small. There’s no evidence that there would be enough people with such views even to justify the term “sector”. Consider how many people turned up for that march on Parliament a few years back.

    When I was working in ChCh over 30 years ago, there was the Harris skinhead gang; in the 80s, there was a murder attributed to them, but otherwise they appeared to be just small-time criminals.

    And it seems to be forgotten that Tarrant wasn’t a NZer but an Australian, who kept a very low profile. That was the reason the royal commission report found that nothing could have been done to flush him out. It has always seemed to me to be bizarre and irrational, to attempt – as the msm in particular has done, but regrettably also parts of the Left – to use his awful crimes to talk up the size of the far right in NZ.

    “Given that one of the persons arrested by the Police was released without charge, and the individual in custody was charged under the Crimes Act – rather than the Terrorism Suppression Act – with Threatening To Kill, one might even speculate that there is more than a faint whiff of public relations about the whole incident.”

    Yup. This outcome reinforces my scepticism. Public relations? Wouldn’t surprise me at all.

    It might also, I suppose, be being used to provide further ammunition in support of Andrew Little’s hate speech bill. That wouldn’t surprise me either.

  8. The complaint was made by a member of Paparoa.

    Paparoa calls itself an anti-racist organisation and does not disclose its membership.

    However, I can tell you that it was set up by a man named Peter Hall-Jones, who is a long time union man who ran the “New Unionist Network” of which Andrew Little is a member.

    Hall-Jones also has a company named “Medical Passport Limited” (one for the conspiracy theorists).

  9. The complaint was made by a member of Paparoa.

    Paparoa calls itself an anti-racist organisation and does not disclose its membership.

    However, I can tell you that it was set up by a man named Peter Hall-Jones, of Wellington / Porirua / Whanganui, a long time union man who ran the “New Unionist Network” of which minister for the NZSIS Andrew Little is a member.

    Hall-Jones also has a company named “Medical Passport Limited” (one for the conspiracy theorists).

    So the “public complaint” in fact came from a unionist associate of Minister Little’s and he absolutely will have known that.

  10. Rather than contemplating a complicated hidden strategy, [with zero evidence I might add]

    It might pay to pass Occam’s razor over this news. The evidence of long history of persecuting and spying on Leftists and trade unionists as well as liberal and environmental activists, suggests a far simpler explanation.

    The SIS is a conservative and secretive state organisation unaccountable to the public tasked with defending the rule of capital and the millionaire class. Simple inertia and the fixed world view of this secret state organisation means it would be a big mental and organisational wrench for SIS agents and personal to switch their fixated mental gaze and organisation from progressive socialists and activists trying to change the top down social order and enrich democracy by empowering ethnic minorities and the oppressed, to turn their gaze on to regressive and racist fascist reactionary forces trying to strengthen and entrench autocratic rule and destroy democracy by enslaving and persecuting ethnic minorities and the oppressed.

    The SIS was completely oblivious to the French government sponsored terrorist attack on the Rainbow Warrior. It was a neighbourhood watch group that nabbed the terrorists on Tamaki drive and handed them over to the police.

    Occam’s razor suggests that yes this time too it was concerned public citizens who unearthed this right wing terrorist threat.

    In their defence, Chris, it’s a big ask for any organisation to completely change a culture built up over generations, especially an organisation that is completely and totally unaccountable and opaque to public scrutiny.

    • I started to take campaigns to “close the bases” with a grain of salt when I realised there were other very successful intelligence operations active in New Zealand. Those operations are not the Soviet ones of the past but instead collaborative projects between major economic players and states.

      The NZSIS and GCSB may very well be on board with what I refer to, and totally infiltrated, by now anyway. These publicly-seeming left wing forces (they are not) are in control of the narrative almost completely and are steadily working to remove the ability of people to speak out so you don’t have worry Patrick, the “leftists” have won…

      Roll on Israel, China and Big Tech draped in a rainbow flag…

Comments are closed.