Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Playing the Man

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  • Craig Young,

    And lest we all forget, here's a chilling little blast from the recent past on current US neoconservative positions on the utility and legitmacy of torture:

    Charles Krauthammer: “The Truth about Torture” Weekly Standard: 5.12.2005: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/400rhqav.asp

    This is why Stephenson is concerned. He is right to be so.

    Craig Y

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 573 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    I think a defamation claim against the sitting PM and the head of the military would be quite entertaining. Key might be able to use Privilege

    They were made in his weekly press conference. Unless Parliament happens to be sitting there, the Beehive theatrette is not covered by Parliamentary privilege.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to nzlemming,

    That's just response times, I think. I suspect the qualitative measure might be less flattering, but you'd have to ask I/S about that.

    Brownlee is one of the Ministers I had in mind when I was talking about grubby paws. It took me three requests and a complaint to the Ombudsman to get him to admit that there weren't any milestons for catching Australia, and that he'd made up the (highly politicised) "milestones" he gave to the House.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Holly Johnson,

    Auckland • Since Jun 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • vangam,

    It seems to me that the less is known about the nature of our role in Afghanistan, the less likely NZ will become a target of international terrorism. Is that not the thinking behind the NZDF's secrecy?

    Rangiora • Since Jun 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    You're welcome to stay in the dark if you want to, but I'd rather know a bit about what these people are doing on my behalf that could provoke people to come here and kill me .. certainly over being lied to by my government. Otherwise how the hell am I supposed to know if what they're doing is worth it?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1141 posts Report Reply

  • Paul G. Buchanan,

    vangam:

    I am going to break it to you gently. In dictatorships the political elite do as they please and the masses suffer the consequences, be it foreign or domestic in origin. In democracies the political elite are required to be transparent and accountable in their decision-making. If Key and co. put NZ at risk because of its redeployment decision, misrepresented the nature of the deployment and then lied to cover it up, well, only an authoritarian minded person would think that was OK.

    Singapore/NZ • Since Apr 2011 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • vangam, in reply to izogi,

    And there's the rub. If you know what they're doing, then al qaeda probably knows as well. However, I agree - the lie is the travesty, not the actions so much.

    Thanks for that, Paul.

    Rangiora • Since Jun 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    Chances are al Qaeda or some other terrorist cell know a lot more than we do anyway.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1141 posts Report Reply

  • vangam, in reply to izogi,

    Yep, something is more than nothing, n'est pas?

    Rangiora • Since Jun 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    It seems to me that the less is known about the nature of our role in Afghanistan, the less likely NZ will become a target of international terrorism. Is that not the thinking behind the NZDF’s secrecy?

    Given that the SAS are in their country shooting people, I think the cat might be out of the bag on that one.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to vangam,

    I guess the point I meant to make (if it wasn't clear) was that the only reason for the NZ government to stay secret about the fact that our military's been in Afghanistan leading operations that kill and maim people, then taking prisoners, is a political one. If people actually knew what the SAS was doing, it might reduce popular support for doing it. Or it might not, but how the hell can we know?

    It'll be clear to everyone there, terrorist cells and not alike, that people are being killed and maimed and taken prisoner, and from close up it's probably not far-fetched to figure out New Zealand troops are involved even if it's not being broadcast through the world's media. If it's even plausible that security can come from silence about SAS involvement, a best case scenario could only be to deflect suspicion onto our allies in Afghanistan. At the very least that's disrespectful. If we're over there we should be taking clear responsibility for what we're doing.

    Fair enough with keeping silent about the specifics, but we definitely should know what our troops are there to do and why they're doing it, and whether it's being done as it's supposed to. Otherwise there's no way we can reasonably judge the military or the government's ability to be doing what's in our best interests.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1141 posts Report Reply

  • j chosun,

    Not to change the subject too much here, but with regards to Tim Grosner and his (lack of) performance as detailed nicely in the good No Right Turn blog posting,

    ... or rather more accurately, in relation to the similar non-performance of main stream media (as accessible here overseas) on local climate change issues:

    has anyone found any recent mention in MSM of the arrival today of the great Dr. James Hansen to 'our shores'..?

    I've found none more recent than two months ago in either the Herald or the Stuff websites.

    Have i missed something here?

    South Korea • Since May 2011 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to j chosun,

    has anyone found any recent mention in MSM of the arrival today of the great Dr. James Hansen to 'our shores'..?

    http://www.wwf.org.nz/take_action/dr_james_hansen_s_nz_tour_/

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to j chosun,

    has anyone found any recent mention in MSM of the arrival today of the great Dr. James Hansen to 'our shores'..?

    RadioNZ, even if it hasn't been broadcast yet.

    And nice to see the Beeb calling bullshit.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Oy vey, the comments on the original article are seriously - I don't even have a word.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Off topic????? John Key on Hardtalk

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Politics aside, has anyone actually heard of John Key getting angry?

    No -- but since it actually looks like Trevor Mallard and Chris Hipkins shot themselves in the foot, the question should be this.

    Why isn't John Key laughing? He really should because this reminds me of the undisguised glee Clark and Cullen used to take in batting away random and flimsy opposition attacks a decade back.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Given that the SAS are in their country shooting people, I think the cat might be out of the bag on that one.

    I remember when the US started their assault in Afghanistan, and some Jihadist sympathizer was being interviewed by a NZ reporter, and was saying "anywhere that attacks us must remember the World Trade Centre, we will strike and kill your people". The reporter said "Even NZ, which is sending some troops?". The response: "When we find out where NZ is, yes".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Finally, a mention of James Hansen. Video's not online yet.

    And 3News, though it has no word on Hansen, has more on the Beeb interview.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

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