The Dim-Post

February 15, 2012

Slow burn watch

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 9:42 am

Via the Dom-Post:

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully’s email account was broken into by international hackers’ collective Anonymous, potentially revealing sensitive Cabinet information and cable traffic from foreign posts.

The Dominion Post has been told the breach was investigated by the Government’s security agencies, including the Government Communications and Security Bureau, which were continuing to monitor traffic for any leaked information.

Mr Key could not confirm the bureau was involved but said it was “a reasonable assumption”.

He was not aware of what information was accessed, but said “if it was really sensitive it would be out by now”.

It sure would. It’s not as if New Zealand has a patient, cunning free-lance left-wing journalist who accumulates exactly this kind of information and then sits on it for months, even years, finally publishing it a time calculated to inflict the most embarrassment.

53 Comments »

  1. You are of course referring to Paul Holmes. Right?

    Comment by DT — February 15, 2012 @ 9:59 am

  2. LOL. It is probably just a series of emails between McCully and MFAT staff where they patiently try to explain why it is not ok for a Minister to grant contracts in Pacific Island nations to his cronies – and he fails to get it🙂

    Comment by Amy — February 15, 2012 @ 10:15 am

  3. It smells like bullshit.

    I suspect there something ‘pie and a porno’ about to come out wrt McCully (probably non parliamentary in nature) and this is a pre-emptive strike to cloak it under the auspices of a state secret.

    I reckon Tony Ryall’s inbox and sent mail would be way more interesting.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 15, 2012 @ 10:25 am

  4. Why not pass it on to Winston?

    Comment by ianmac — February 15, 2012 @ 10:49 am

  5. Hagar is not a journalist.

    Comment by johnsonmike — February 15, 2012 @ 11:07 am

  6. “…Hagar is not a journalist….”

    No, he is a horrible Viking.

    Comment by Sanctuary — February 15, 2012 @ 11:17 am

  7. @johnsonmike you may face the wrath of Steven Price🙂

    Comment by R Singers — February 15, 2012 @ 11:31 am

  8. No, he is a horrible Viking.

    Gold.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 15, 2012 @ 11:45 am

  9. “Hagar [sic] is not a journalist.”

    No way. I mean he doesn’t work for the Herald, reproducing press releases verbatim without fact checking, he doesn’t fawn at the Prime Minister’s feet and he writes in-depth well-researched pieces that tend to make people in power (whether in political power or ‘journalistic’ institutional power) extremely aggressive & defensive (which is a clear sign that what he’s doing is not important)…

    That’s not any kind of journalism I’ve ever heard of

    Comment by nommopilot — February 15, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

  10. Something noted by the dread Sith Lord, Darth Farrar which may have relevance (or not).

    “Oral Questions 2 pm – 3 pm

    DAVID SHEARER to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in all his Ministers?

    “Labour are trying on a generic Does PM have confidence in all Ministers question which could mean a scandal unearthed, or well anything.”

    Comment by Gregor W — February 15, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

  11. “Does he have confidence in all his Ministers? ”

    Hoping, obviously, for the answer: “Well, actually I’ve lost a bit of confidence in Murray McCully, because…”

    Comment by nommopilot — February 15, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

  12. Hoping, obviously, for the answer…

    The usual strategy seems to be to hope for “Yes”, at which case Shearer will ask about a specific minister (again “Yes”), and then Shearer seeks leave to table some document or other that would appear to indicate dubious behaviour.

    Comment by Richard — February 15, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

  13. Actually I think they just ask that every time in the hope that John Key will say no, he doesn’t have confidence in any of his Minister, his whole government is a sham, he has no plan and no ideas, and will resign as PM on the spot before going back to his office to watch youtube videos of Sootie and Sweep while crying and eating chocolate icecream.

    I mean, it’s not very likely, but if they don’t ask, it’ll never happen, so you’ve got to give it a go.

    Comment by Hugh — February 15, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

  14. Calling Hagar a journalist is like calling Brian Tamaki a priest.

    He’s a man on a mission with an inflated view of his relationship to the truth.

    Comment by NeilM — February 15, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

  15. @12: @12… yep, that’s the pantomime script… Next will be rumors of a naked McCully scrambling through the darkened streets of Wellington after some late-night misadventure… what fun… meanwhile Assets getting sold, Mines getting Dug, Christchurch not getting rebuildilised…

    @14: If you can give me the names of three New Zealand ‘journalists’ who more vigorously research their work than Hager does I’ll be very surprised. I’m not saying he doesn’t have an ideological position (but he also doesn’t hide this, unlike many supposedly political neutral commentators), but he is rigorous – he argues from evidence and he references his sources where protection of identity is not required. He works much harder than most.

    Comment by nommopilot — February 15, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

  16. @14: Case in point – http://www.nickyhager.info/back-story/ a great piece on the context of the “terror” raids in the Ureweras. Well-written, backed up with OIA requests and quite thoroughly researched over a decent period of time.

    You’re welcome to disagree with his conclusions but conflating his journalistic integrity with Brian Tamaki’s religiosity is a bit unfair I think.

    Comment by nommopilot — February 15, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

  17. If you can give me the names of three New Zealand ‘journalists’ who more vigorously research their work than Hager does I’ll be very surprised.

    Easy. Shelley Bridgeman.

    According to Shelley, research can be defined as the search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, with an open mind, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories. Shelley frequently uses this methodical approach to determine which clothes to wear to any given cocktail party, within given parameters.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 15, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

  18. Oh and in terms of three examples, Shelley fulfils this criteria by multi-tasking as ‘Issues that matter in Parnell journalist’, ‘Representative working mother journalist’ and ‘Stultifying, inane wittering journalist’.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 15, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

  19. Furthermoere she meets your criteria of 3 examples via the trick of multi-tasking thereby operating simultaneously as (i) Things That Matter in Parnell Journalist (ii) Representative Wife, Mother and Journalist and (iii) Stultifyingly Inane Journalist.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 15, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

  20. I din’t know Shelley had the nickname ‘Easy’. Ooh err…

    Comment by insider — February 15, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

  21. I think a journalist is a writer who puts forth and tests counter arguments to their central thesis. In that Urewera raid artiucle he has alrerady decided that police were wrong and joins the dots to prove his point.

    I look at the same dots and come to the opposite conclusion.

    Maybe I prefer a style of writing that lets me come to my own conclusions. Personally I find Hagar’s politcal position at the forefront of his writing which leads me to see him more as a political activist than a jounalist.

    Comment by NeilM — February 15, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

  22. “Personally I find Hagar’s politcal position at the forefront of his writing which leads me to see him more as a political activist than a jounalist.”

    Hmm… sounds awfully like Ian Wishart.

    Comment by DeepRed — February 15, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

  23. I can see where you’re coming from, Neil. You don’t agree with his politics so therefore the conclusions he makes aren’t valid.

    The thing is that the dots he is connecting, well, there aren’t any other journalists who seem to be mentioning or even looking for these dots. He’s pretty much the only one making any connection between the allocation of some pretty significant resources to the police and SIS post 9/11 and their increasing involvement with US & UK terrorism policing with the raids which subsequently resulted in no terrorism charges being brought. You might not think these things are connected but I can imagine when you give a hundred police some important job-titles, training and a few million dollars in resources they feel at least some pressure to produce results.

    His article is well researched and well argued and I repeat my challenge for you to suggest some other kiwi journalists, of any political stripe, doing this level of research.

    Comment by nommopilot — February 15, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

  24. Ian Wishart isn’t at all a good comparison. In his book Eve’s Bite he uses wikipedia as a cited source. Imagine how slammed Hager would get if he tried to pull that.

    Comment by alex — February 15, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

  25. Lets hope so….the tories are assholes!

    Comment by Kerry — February 15, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

  26. “Imagine how slammed Hager would get if he tried to pull that.”

    I’ve never come across anyone who, despite criticising Hager for his “dot-connecting” has been able to concretely dispute any of the facts he cites or even for that matter provide any good refutation of the conclusions he draws. Neil doesn’t like the way his dots are connected but there is no actual attempt at saying “this dot doesn’t connect to that dot because…”

    I don’t know Hager but I’ve seen him speak a few times. He is no wingnut or loony conspiracy theorist: he argues very cogently and persuasively using verifiable evidence and it is a little annoying to see the way his work gets constantly written off by people who disagree with his politics because his what he is saying is unwelcome to them.

    Comment by nommopilot — February 15, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

  27. 6.“…Hagar is not a journalist….”
    No, he is a horrible Viking.

    And he’s a VERY naughty boy!

    Comment by Phil — February 15, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

  28. How did Hagar become the subject of this post?

    Comment by peterlepaysan — February 15, 2012 @ 6:30 pm

  29. “McCully had asked that official emails be forwarded to that account while he was overseas in April last year.”

    Sheesh. Many public servants would be fired in this day and age for that sort of judgement.

    Comment by MikeM — February 15, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

  30. it is a little annoying to see the way his work gets constantly written off by people who disagree with his politics because his what he is saying is unwelcome to them.

    it’s true that my impression of him is coloured by the fact that i disagree with his politics which goes back to the Corngate saga.

    Then there was his claim that the SIS was bugging the Maori Party which turned out to be completely baseless and his sources were shown to be completely unreliable. Had he the ability to set aside his pre-determined views he might have been able to treat his sources with a little bit of well deserved skepticism. But he wanted to believe what they were saying.

    Comment by NeilM — February 15, 2012 @ 7:43 pm

  31. “But he wanted to believe what they were saying.”

    So did Fox Mulder, and he was vindicated in the end!

    Comment by nommopilot — February 15, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

  32. “Does he have confidence in all his Ministers? ”

    Nommopilot replied: ‘Hoping, obviously, for the answer: “Well, actually I’ve lost a bit of confidence in Murray McCully, because…”’

    The answer to that question is actually irrelevant – they assume it will be ‘yes’.

    The purpose of asking this question is that it gives you the right, under parliamentary rules, to ask follow-up questions related to the issue of ministers doing stuff that might justify the prime minister not having confidence in them. It also forces the Prime Minister to be the person you get to ask those questions of, because the Prime Minister is not allowed to delegate to someone else the job of saying whether or not the Prime Minister has confidence in people.

    The main purpose of a ‘primary’ question in the house is to set things up so that you can spring unexpected supplementary questions on the person you are questioning, and have the speaker require them to answer (or at least ‘answer’) those questions.

    Comment by kahikatea — February 15, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

  33. “His article is well researched and well argued and I repeat my challenge for you to suggest some other kiwi journalists, of any political stripe, doing this level of research.”

    Is Pat Booth too old to mention?

    Comment by Exclamation Mark — February 15, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

  34. 3 journos – Jon Stephenson, Bernard Orsman, Brian Rudman, Gordon Campbell and Simon Collins. Okay, I gave a couple of bonuses🙂 And Rudman’s articles are often opinion pieces (based on facts he verified by being in the room when they were said), but still worthy of note.

    Hager is pretty darn good though – easily the equal of any of the above. His style is vaguely scientific – sets up a hypothesis then proves (or disproves) it. That is a little unsettling when the hypothesis is usually a politically loaded question…

    His is quite a different style to mainstream ‘event’ reporting (who why, what, etc) and even to typical political reporting (what I think Neil is comparing Hager to), where basic facts are laid out then all opinions on ‘what to do’ are contrasted.

    Doesn’t mean any style is wrong – just different, and can sometimes feel a little odd. But the proof of quality is in Hager’s solid references and cogent arguments.

    Comment by bob — February 16, 2012 @ 2:42 am

  35. @ MikeM – yeh, hard to believe the GCSB haven’t already sorted secure email for Ministers. But then, given our Keystone Cops spooks… And given McCully, he probably would have ignored them anyway, and used the ‘Cloud’ that he likes so much😉

    Comment by bob — February 16, 2012 @ 2:46 am

  36. It is hard to believe, given that most departments figured it out long ago with advice from the GCSB, and enforced it on all their staff for both their security and record keeping requirements.

    Comment by MikeM — February 16, 2012 @ 9:13 am

  37. @33 Bob:

    Good examples and agree. My point wasn’t really that Hager is the only good journalist in the country, but more that he investigates what I think are quite important issues that are largely ignored by almost all teh medias. And like all journalists. He’s not always right (like us blog commenters) but I do think his work displays integrity…

    Comment by nommopilot — February 16, 2012 @ 9:43 am

  38. Those saying Nicky Hager isn’t a journalist can’t possibly have read any of his books. His latest, “Other People’s Wars” should be compulsory reading, followed by a test, before anyone in New Zealand is allowed to vote again.

    Comment by Steve (@nza1) — February 16, 2012 @ 11:14 am

  39. “The result was the Terrorism Suppression Act and, more important, a range of new anti-terrorism forces. …. An extra 35 “national security” police posts were added in 2004, the majority in “investigative and intelligence” units.”
    Create a scare linked to real action/concern, then use the scare to secure funding, build little empires. That never happens!

    Comment by Clunking Fist — February 16, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

  40. …“Other People’s Wars” should be compulsory reading, followed by a test, before anyone in New Zealand is allowed to vote again.

    Here’s a fun game for the whole family: Replace “Nicky Hager” with “Ayn Rand” and “Other Peoples Wars” with “Atlas Shrugged” in #37.

    Does Steve then sound less/more/equally pompous and deluded?

    Comment by Phil — February 16, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

  41. Hager writes books, not only articles and columns, allowing for a lot of info.

    His books have been important in revealing the way democracy has been working in NZ. If he hadn’t done it really no one else would have you would think. And there has to be so much more that is not uncovered.

    Comment by sheesh — February 16, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

  42. @Phil #39

    You’re right – when you replace what he said with something he didn’t say it sounds crazy!! mega-valid critique, buddy. way to go!

    Comment by nommopilot — February 16, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

  43. Thank you nommopilot.
    You bring me great joy.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 16, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

  44. My point wasn’t really that Hager is the only good journalist in the country, but more that he investigates what I think are quite important issues that are largely ignored by almost all teh medias.

    I can agree with that, he does investigate and research to an extent that many others don’t.

    But he never convinces me as to his conclusions and on top of that I find his style tendentious.

    I once had an argument with Jon Stephenson over the Middle East and US foreign policy. Needless to say we didn’t agree. That came as no surprise but what I found quite objectionable was his attitude that my opinons were based on a lack of information and if only read more Chomsky then I would arrive at the correct political view – which funnily enough would coinicde with his.

    I find that attitude with Hagar as well. Other view points are based in ignorance and/or over exposure from the capitalist media.

    I’ve often wondered why people do have the political opinions they have. But the left-wing bad faith version I find unsatisfactory and potential dangerous. Uncorrect opinions just need a little re-education, as some-one upthread has suggested.

    Comment by NeilM — February 16, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

  45. How many times do people have to point out Hagar is a cartoon viking before you notice, NeilM?

    Comment by Psycho Milt — February 17, 2012 @ 7:40 am

  46. when you replace what he said with something he didn’t say it sounds crazy!!

    There’s enough bullshit of the same style as Steve from Radian’s and conspiracy theorists around here which is, justifiably, villified – the comparison is blindingly obvious.

    Comment by Phil — February 17, 2012 @ 9:33 am

  47. Don’t ruin it, Psycho Milt.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 17, 2012 @ 10:05 am

  48. @43: Yes Neil, I see where you’re coming from: You don’t want to have to change your mind about anything because you like the world the way you think it is. I mean, you agree “he does investigate and research to an extent that many others don’t,” but because the conclusions his investigations lead to you’d rather just classify him as teh Brian Tamaki of teh journalism.
    It reminds me of Kim Hill’s interview of Pilger. You come at things like you’re wanting to “win” an argument with someone you perceive is somehow holier-than-thou whereas Hager (/Pilger) are just reporting on things their research has uncovered that are interesting (often in an “OMG WTF are teh governmentz up to now?” kind of way) and that are very often deliberately kept well out of the way of public scrutiny by the people who would find such things damaging to their power base.
    Which is really what most of the media should be doing, and aren’t. But hey, don’t let me change your mind…

    @45: “the comparison is blindingly obvious.”

    except that a) the substitution you made is not really valid except as an attempt to argue ad absurdum. If you swap O.P.W for Mein Kampf blah blah blah… Personally, I don’t think anyone should have to read anything before voting but it would be really nice if more people did.
    and b) I don’t think that was Steve’s submission to the MMP enquiry or even a serious suggestion at all (which also seems blindingly obvious).

    Comment by nommopilot — February 17, 2012 @ 10:27 am

  49. You don’t want to have to change your mind about anything because you like the world the way you think it is.

    that’s possible, but then that’s the case for all of us unless one claims some special relationship with the truth. I’m not sure how people arrive at the opinions they have, I do though think that reason and rational argument play a small role.

    Comment by NeilM — February 17, 2012 @ 10:51 am

  50. @ nommo

    Now I had a very differnet view of that kim hill interview. Pilger came across as an arrogant prat who seemed bemused that his pearls weren’t being lapped up, and that someone might be questioning his conclusions. What was his most pompous line when Kim rather sarcily asked how she could become better informed – ‘just read’ (or similar). Pilger didn’t just present his views as research but as unassailable Truth, which was extremely disappointing for someone who spent a year clutching heros like an evangelical clutches a bible.

    Comment by insider — February 17, 2012 @ 11:37 am

  51. @49: “Now I had a very differnet view of that kim hill interview.”

    and you’re entitled to it, but from my recollection the interview began with a diatribe of how bad Saddam and terrorism are rounded off with: “so, if ever there was a just war, wouldn’t this be it?” or something like that and proceeded into a combative farce that seemed to me more like Kim Hill trying to prove … ? something…

    From my point-of-view, Pilger had actually been to Iraq and written a heavily researched book about it, so I gave what he had to say about it more credence than what Kim was basing her (terrible, leading) questions on. Pilger spent most of the time unpacking the assumptions she loaded on every question and you could see his frustation with this (maybe that came across as pompous, I guess, I didn’t see it as such).

    Like Neil says we all reach our opinions in our own ways… which leads me to:

    @48: “I do though think that reason and rational argument play a small role”

    which I think Hager does very well, and which I don’t think you’ve really provided much in the way of as a basis for the fact that you disagree with his conclusions (which you always give in a plural, general sense suggesting you never agree with any of them – which seems neither reasonable or rational)…

    Comment by nommopilot — February 17, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

  52. Personally, I don’t think anyone should have to read anything before voting but it would be really nice if more people did.

    I’m in total agreement with you there. Other’s seem to think if you’re not of the same view as them, you clearly aren’t the kind of person that should be allowed to vote… that IS the realm of Rand and Co.
    I thought it was a fair comparison, but accept it wasn’t delivered cleverly, or well, apparently.

    I don’t think that was … even a serious suggestion at all

    Come on, he was totally serious.

    Comment by Phil — February 17, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

  53. ‘Come on, he was totally serious.’

    I doubt it. Anyway OPW was not written by a crazy, evil-smelling, sexually exploitative cult leader.

    Comment by Ted — February 17, 2012 @ 7:46 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: