GCSB Saga: the gift that goes on giving
Forget about the clowns - it's time the whole circus left town.
It has to be admitted that the GCSB sideshow is entertaining (the PM could have a lucrative post-politics career appearing at kids’ parties as Amnesio the Clown. Or he and Kim Dotcom could do a great Laurel and Hardy double act).
But it is not the clowns that should be under the spotlight, but the circus itself, namely the GCSB. It is the elephant in the room (every good circus has an elephant), which no one is talking about.
So, while the procedural intricacies of the appointment of the GCSB Director are dissected, and the Government has been forced to admit that the GCSB did illegally spy on Dotcom, the fact of the matter is that is what the GCSB does.
It spies on people 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
That is the real crime here.
•Why does NZ have such an agency that exists solely to do the bidding of its Big Brothers in the top secret UKUSA Agreement (US, UK, Canada and Australia), also known as Five Eyes?
•Why does NZ host the GCSB’s Waihopai spybase that in all but name is an American spybase on NZ soil, operating at the direction of the US National Security Agency (NSA)?
•The GCSB and Waihopai have cost New Zealanders hundreds of millions of our tax dollars; it spies on people around the world by intercepting civilian communications sent via satellite; it illegally spies on New Zealanders, and it involves us in America’s wars.
•The GCSB has been given well over $600 million of taxpayers’ money in the past two decades. The 2012/13 budget is $59 million, and another $35 million was recently spent on new GCSB headquarters in Wellington. It is a criminal waste of taxpayers’ money (literally criminal, as the Dotcom case proves).
•The GCSB’s and Waihopai’s operations are exempt from the Privacy Act, Crimes Act and Official Information Act, and MPs are specifically prohibited from investigating activities of the GCSB.
•The so-called “oversight” regime, of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security and the secret Intelligence and Security Committee is a farce. It would be more accurate to call it an overlook regime.
It doesn’t matter who the Director is, who rang who, and whose Mum is a good friend of who else’s Mum.
Neither the GCSB nor Waihopai operates in the national interest of New Zealand. Both must be closed.
Anti-Bases Campaign salutes those brave three Christian peace activists – Adrian Leason, Peter Murnane and Sam Land – who did actually shut down the spy base in 2008, albeit temporarily, and who were acquitted by a jury of ordinary New Zealanders in 2010.
The vengeful covert State is now pursuing the three of them personally for the more than $1 million that it cost to replace the dome that they deflated. The GCSB’s claim includes the cost of every pie consumed by the workers on the job.
That civil case is due back in the Court of Appeal on May 8 & 9.
We have scratched our heads as to why the GCSB persists in pursuing these three men (who all live a life of voluntary poverty).
Now we have realised that it is desperate to find the money somewhere to pay all its legal costs arising from the Dotcom bungle.
John Key said that he appointed his mate Ian Fletcher because he is a proven “change manager”.
Good, then he’s just the man to preside over the dismantling of the GCSB.
We recommend that his redundancy payment be in pies.
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