The Dim-Post

October 2, 2012

Last night I dreamed I was seconded to GCSB again

Filed under: intelligence — danylmc @ 7:09 am

Via Stuff:

From today Cabinet secretary Rebecca Kitteridge is seconded as the new associate director of the bureau. The senior DPMC staffer will spend three months on a review.

Mr Shearer said the review was damage control. Justice Neazor’s report, released on Thursday, was “rightly condemned for ignoring the major issues”.

“But this second review is nothing more than an internal audit, as if all that had happened was that the GCSB had committed a minor mistake.”

It’s the job of the opposition to try and make the PM look bad, but I don’t see this as damage control. It’s a signal that Key has lost confidence in the GCSB so he’s sending in his own person to kick ass, take names and make sure these mistakes (the illegal spying and, far more seriously from his perspective, the failure to disclose it) aren’t repeated, and that there aren’t any more nasty little surprises in store for him. If Kitteridge doesn’t like what she sees then I’d expect to see an Associate Directorship of someone outside the intelligence fraternity become a permanent fixture at the bureau.


  1. Or, Key is using this as a way to shut the issue down. When asked about the GCSB he can reply, “I’ve ordered a review” and “Let’s wait for the review” and “I don’t want to pre-empt the review”.

    3 months takes us to Christmas and the dead-zone for news and public attention to politics. So he should be right until the end of January.

    Comment by MeToo — October 2, 2012 @ 7:18 am

  2. But (GCSB Director) Ian Fletcher WAS “from outside the intelligence fraternity.” He’d held a whole series of civil service jobs, mostly in the UK, where (amongst other things) he’d been CEO of the UK Patent Office, familiarising himself with the messy business of protecting another country’s economic interests in intellectual property…

    Comment by James Shaw (@jamespeshaw) — October 2, 2012 @ 7:50 am

  3. “associate director of the bureau” – i.e. the person who the director of the bureau now reports to.

    It seems clear that the rot at the GCSB must go pretty deep. I wonder if the details will ever emerge?

    Comment by Thomas Beagle — October 2, 2012 @ 8:00 am

  4. “…so he’s sending in his own person…”

    Just to clarify: Rebecca Kitteridge is a public servant, not a political appointee. The description might fit someone from the PM’s private office, but not the broader DPMC.

    Comment by eT — October 2, 2012 @ 9:35 am

  5. Doubt it Thomas. Why else put in “his own person” as opposed to an indepedendant. Perhaps the only “nasty little surprise” was the actual (accidental) leak, as opposed to this almost inconceivable lack of PM knowledge. And just perhaps there’s a lot more PM knowledge; the disclosure of which would be fatal in the event of any more little “surprises”….

    Comment by ak — October 2, 2012 @ 9:37 am

  6. You give Key far too much credit. This is being kicked into touch – as MeToo says above. A crime has been committed. The police should be investigating this.

    Comment by Shane — October 2, 2012 @ 10:23 am

  7. And now the Police are investigating, Key can get away with saying even less.

    How convenient.

    Comment by MeToo — October 2, 2012 @ 10:29 am

  8. @thomas

    An associate is someone that usually stands alongside you not that you report to. I suspect she has to be given that title so that she can delve into secure places and get information, although no such title exists in the act.

    Comment by insider — October 2, 2012 @ 10:49 am

  9. Good title.

    Key to Rebecca … Man Delay?

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — October 2, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

  10. @Me Too,

    Yes – those tricky, tricky Green Party MPs, laying a complaint with the Police so that John Key doesn’t have to answer more questions on this. Suspiciously convenient. Almost as if they really are working for him … .

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 2, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

  11. Is it a bad thing for Key not to comment? If anything his comments so far suggest it’d be best for him to have shut up. Publicly stating the police shouldn’t investigate (apparently because there isn’t a dispute that a crime has been committed) etc etc seems too much like interfering in the case to me.

    Comment by BeShakey — October 2, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

  12. notwithstanding the appalling stench around all this, it was noted earlier today that National is at least one apology and one inquiry ahead of the last Labour govt who went as far as retrospectively legislating to avoid giving the spooks a hard time.

    Comment by jps — October 2, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

  13. Yup Key gives the appearance of doing something that needs to be done and he is off any threatening hook.

    Slippery John (and Crosby Textor ) has done it again. The teflon is still there.

    Interesting that reports indicate that the police were lax in identifying dotcom as a a nz resident..

    Now police are doing the investigating?

    Does anyone smell “conflict of interest”?

    Comment by peterlepaysan — October 2, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

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