Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Kim Dotcom: all the fault of the Immigration Act?

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  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    less likely that a chair is going to stand up and say “man the minister [who is also the PM and holds my political future in his hand] screwed this up bad” than in some other countries.

    Which, by extension, would make it logical for the Chair of the Intelligence & Security Committee to be the Leader of the Opposition. They thus have zero to fear from incurring the wrath of the PM by asking awkward questions. Keep the majority as members of the governing coalition but make the leadership someone who is not in any way beholden to the PM.

    What I would really like to see is the PM ejected from membership of or participation in the I&SC (beyond nominating members), each agency appointing and funding a full-time Inspector General, and those IGs (as well as the PM) being fully answerable to the I&SC but with its restrictions on asking questions completely removed.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Oh, and it gets better when one examines the functions of the Inspector General and discovers that the IG is not allowed to just look into anything at any time but, rather, can only look into certain matters at will. Things such as possible "impropriety" on the part of the intelligence agencies can only be investigated if the Minister concurs.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Things such as possible "impropriety" on the part of the intelligence agencies can only be investigated if the Minister concurs.

    but he's not in charge, honest

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Sacha,

    but he’s not in charge, honest

    The law certainly disagrees, even if the PM tries to argue otherwise.

    The GCSB Act says at s8(3): The performance of the Bureau’s functions is subject to the control of the Minister.
    The NZSIS Act says at s4(1): Subject to the control of the Minister, the functions of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service shall be...

    And for both agencies, the Minister is currently the PM.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Which, by extension, would make it logical for the Chair of the Intelligence & Security Committee to be the Leader of the Opposition. They thus have zero to fear from incurring the wrath of the PM by asking awkward questions.

    Well you could say that about all select committees, I'm not sure it applies more to this one.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Well you could say that about all select committees, I’m not sure it applies more to this one.

    True, although there are other ways of holding other departments to account, so it matters less.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Well you could say that about all select committees, I’m not sure it applies more to this one.

    Only about committees where the PM is the Minister who's being held to account for their departments'/ministries' performance. Which is very, very few portfolios, and the only portfolio that is traditionally in the hands of the PM is Intelligence and Security. Certainly there is no other portfolio that is both shrouded in secrecy and the PM is the holder of the relevant ministerial warrant.

    As Graeme says other portfolios have other ways to hold ministers to account, such as public flogging by the media, but this particular portfolio rarely makes the news and certainly doesn't make the news with any level of detail about precisely what's going on therein.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    It seems fairly clear they spy on whomever they want and make implausible excuses if caught...and then work hard to not get caught. This is the pattern of virtually every such incident in a Western nation over the past several decades. The secrecy around the work they do is used quite deliberately to enable and support illegal surveillance by minimizing any opportunities for genuine oversight and consequent accountability. This is the only explanation that fits all the facts whether it's the GCSB, the FBI, the CIA or the CSIS in Canada or the agents of any other "intelligence" agency caught spying illegally. It isn't the exception at all. It's the rule.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Steve Withers,

    they spy on whomever they want

    Indeed, and not forgetting the SIS. This media trail is the biggest smokescreen since George Burns.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to mark taslov,

    This media trail is the biggest smokescreen since George Burns.

    I think John Campbell is running with the Dotcom story really well. As they widen their interest they tell us, Painting a view I am relaxed and comfortable with and totally reject that anyone wants to argue, plus I am not in a position to comment on that and at the end of the day, it's like this.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    I think John Campbell is running with the Dotcom story really well. As they widen their interest they tell us, Painting a view I am relaxed and comfortable with and totally reject that anyone wants to argue, plus I am not in a position to comment on that and at the end of the day, it's like this.

    In a way the Kim Dotcom affair has started to bring the TPPA's IP policy out of the Thorndon Bubble and into public discourse, more than any traditional lawmaker could do so.

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

  • DexterX, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Key in the all of this affair (KDC and TPPA) seems out of his depth, such a patsy. It would be surprising if his approach to negotiations (with the US in particular) was, “What you do want, when do you want it, how do you want it, OK it’s yours”.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to DexterX,

    “What you do want, when do you want it, how do you want it, OK it’s yours”.

    Yes, that's what I said.......
    Painting a view I am relaxed and comfortable with and totally reject that anyone wants to argue, plus I am not in a position to comment on that and at the end of the day, it’s like this.
    ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    I got it ;)

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to mark taslov,

    Jolly good :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Stuff Tonight

    Fletcher said “exhaustive enquries” at the GCSB have revealed no video tape. Still photographs exist but would not be released because they identify staff at the super-secret agency.An investigation was now underway into the ‘‘leak’’ at the agency, he said.

    “The department has made exhaustive enquiries of its records and its IT systems, and can find no audio-visual recording of the Prime Minister’s visit to GCSB on 29 February 2012,” he said in a written statement.

    “An investigation has commenced within GCSB as to whether there has been any unauthorised disclosure of information, and if so, its source."

    Nope. Hasn’t changed in hundreds of years. Lets go for the messenger!!!

    But hang on a minute……if there has been an “unauthorised disclosure of information"…I wonder who they are looking for if there is no video???

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Ross Mason,

    Nope. Hasn’t changed in hundreds of years. Lets go for the messenger!!!

    Well, of course, this can all be settled when David Shearer produces evidence to back up the pretty damn serious allegations he made on Campbell Live tonight. I’m certain John Campbell would broadcast it in a heartbeat. Right?

    Don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve some serious credibility issues with anything any of the GCSB’s secret squirrels have to say at the moment. Waiter, I’d a verified primary source with my grain of salt, because I thought that’s what real journalists do for a living.

    But hang on a minute……if there has been an “unauthorised disclosure of information"…I wonder who they are looking for if there is no video???

    I think you’re being a tad cute there, Ross – unless Shearer actually went on television tonight and had the mother of all delusional episodes (which I find hard to credit), he got those allegations from somewhere. And I don’t think you need to be a conspiracy nut to accept that it’s a legitimate area for inquiry.

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

  • David Hood, in reply to Ross Mason,

    if there has been an “unauthorised disclosure of information"

    Mind you, this is nothing on the current Canadian “unauthorised disclosure of information" case.
    cbc story

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    In any situation if you need to come clean do it early.

    Shearer as Leader of the Opposition is one of the Committee who "oversee" the operation of the GCSB - so in this role he can be rightfully concerned with the operation of the GCSB.

    To be in a strong position Shearer would need to raise the issue with the Prime Minister as the Minister in charge of GCSB and also as the person whose behaviour is being called into question.

    Should Shearer have come by this information as part of what he considers his oversight role then it is not a serious issue on the level of treason or bad spy behaviour - Shearer could as part of the Committee ask someone from GCSB, the Minister in charge all mmanner of people a version of the question - "WTF is going on?", and expect an answer.

    The GCSB is an origination that in a wider sense is at the disposal of the nation's interest and not at the personal bidding of the Prime Minister. The Leader of the Opposition’s role on the committee could be seen to raise the issues he has now raised – these relate to the credibility of the Prime Minister and the operation of the GCSB within the law – part of the checks and balances in a democracy.

    Monitoring the news media response to this on both major talk back stations today and having regard to what Whale Oil is banging on about - Key is being painted as the party who has been wronged and Shearer and the source of the info are being painted as villains lacking in character.

    That this is turning into an attack on Shearer’s character is a trifle absurd.

    Key's response to the wider GCSB and KDC issues has IMHO been, “Prove It?” That proof now seems very near.

    There needs to be a commission of inquiry.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to DexterX,

    That this is turning into an attack on Shearer’s character is a trifle absurd.

    Oh when will they learn?.
    In 99%+ of Government cock-ups it is not the original stuff-up that causes the most damage, it is the cover-up. The longer jonkey fluffs around saying "I know nothing" the more he will look like a sitcom fool. So, keep it up jon, you could be gone by the metaphorical "lunchtime" and that would be a blessing for us all.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to DexterX,

    Shearer could as part of the Committee ask someone from GCSB, the Minister in charge all mmanner of people a version of the question – “WTF is going on?”, and expect an answer.

    Sadly, the only person Shearer is allowed to question in any detail is the Minister. As I've outlined above, the Committee is utterly toothless when it comes to really holding feet to fires.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to DexterX,

    That this is turning into an attack on Shearer’s character is a trifle absurd.

    Well, if this turns out to be no more than "someone told me something" I'm not sure it says anything about Shearer's character. But, boy, it says a metric fuckton about his political judgement.

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

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Warning: Truth may be optional....

    In 99%+ of Government cock-ups it is not the original stuff-up that causes the most damage, it is the cover-up.

    Meanwhile back in the USA the Benghazi Consulate incident
    is falling apart...

    ...the State Department conceded that it had never concluded that the Sept. 11 assault that killed Libya Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans began with a protest against the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims. In fact, State now says there was no demonstration outside the consulate in Benghazi like the one at the U.S. embassy in Cairo. The first sign of trouble, according to the latest account, came with an explosion on the edge of the consulate compound, just before a mob of armed men stormed in.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Well, if this turns out to be no more than “someone told me something” I’m not sure it says anything about Shearer’s character. But, boy, it says a metric fuckton about his political judgement.

    Indeed. His source is a video taken inside the GCSB. If he doesn't have a copy of the video in his hands or has made damn sure that the person who is providing it has secured a copy where the GCSB/police can't get to it, he's a damn fool going on TV without anything to back him up. The opposition and the media are starting to hit the PM with body blows on this Dotcom/GCSB issue, and he's just taken a big swing and fallen over on his face.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

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