New Zealand PM Runs Black-Ops Against Political Opponents

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John Key, New Zealand Prime Minister, Party Leader, Minister of Tourism, Minister Responsible for Ministerial Services, Minister in charge of the NZ Security Intelligence Service & Minister Responsible for the GCSB. Courtesy: Mark Mitchell

By Ann-Marie de Veer
Saturday 30 August 2014

On Saturday 20 September 2014 New Zealand will hold a general election and, in a repeat of the circumstances surrounding the demise of the previous Nationals leader Don Brash, the present incumbent, John Key, looks set to disappear in a similar manner.

Or will he?

The catalyst this time is a book penned by Nicky Hager called Dirty Politics. It includes numerous eMails from the 2011 election era between National Party staffer and Key's senior advisor Jason Ede, right-wing blogger Cameron Slater and former Auckland city councillor Aaron Bhatnagar, amongst many others. The book goes on to detail how democracy has been subverted by this black-ops quartet and how it is still poisoning New Zealand’s political environment to this very day. Further, in an embarrassing twist for the former National Party President John Slater and current President of Citizens and Ratepayers Now, Cameron Slater is his son. As we discover in the book, Slater junior stole a copy of the Labour Party's membership database, eMail addresses and donation details, and then used the information in a carefully choreographed media campaign to destroy the Labour Party leadership, its membership and its support base.

Not unexpectedly, these events are strikingly similar to the Don Brash affair in August 2006.

On that occasion, a weekly newspaper began publishing a series of internal party documents and eMails leaked by insiders proving that members of the ACT Party and the Business Round Table had advised Brash during his bid for the leadership of the National Party. As further revelations about his relationship with a religious cult known as the Exclusive Bretheren, who were secretly funding advertising campaigns for the Nationals, and his dalliance with Diane Foreman, then Deputy Chair of the Business Round Table, became public knowledge, his position became untenable and he was gone by late September.

Key on raising the GST in November 2008. Courtesy: YouTube

Returning to the current Nationals party leader, John Key.

Key, akin to Abbott, Cameron, Obama and Merkel, is a pathological liar, a prerequisite for western politicians.

In the run-up to the 2008 general election, Key said:

Key National is not going to be raising GST. National wants to cut taxes not raise taxes.

While later in office:

The New Zealand Herald - 3 October 2010 Taxes went up 2.5 per cent per cent on goods and services on Friday.

Then, a few months later, in February 2011:

Key The Government should have been told one of its departments decided to sell three-year-old BMWs and buy new ones, Prime Minister John Key says.

And yet Key, who is the minister responsible for Ministerial Services which includes Internal Affairs, chose to dissemble rather than fess up:

The New Zealand Herald - 22 February 2011 The Prime Minister effectively donned sackcloth and ashes and turned his weekly press conference into a confessional, apologising for the "sloppy" way his Government had dealt with the news that Internal Affairs had gone ahead with buying a replacement fleet of new BMWs to transport Cabinet ministers.

In the former, Key clearly broke a promise he made to the electorate while in the latter he dissembled; both of which are emblematic of his term in office thus far. In fact, the current score card of hypocrisy, lies and deceit totals more than 150, and counting.

Ian Fletcher, Director of GCSB New Zealand. Courtesy: The New Zealand Herald

Nonetheless, one of the most notable events, until the release of Hager's latest book, was the appointment of Ian Fletcher in January 2012, the current director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB); a member of the ECHELON SIGINT network often referred to as the 'Five Eye's' (FVEY).

Key, again, is also the minister responsible for GCSB.

In the week prior to Fletcher's appointment, Key stated that he did not know him and that the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie had made the recommendation. Later, Key was forced to admit that he did in fact know Fletcher, that he had called him a week earlier and that he had tipped him for the job.

That Key appointed a friend to a position of high office, as the Director of GCSB, is patently obvious. However, more importantly for him, he now had his own man on the inside of the country's SIGINT agency, a situation that he had enjoyed before until the retirement of two old friends almost in succession, Bruce Ferguson in October 2010 and then Jerry Mateparae in June 2011.

When Simon Murdoch stepped into the role of acting GCSB Director in July 2011, as he had done previously from November 2010 - February 2011, and until relieved by Fletcher in late January 2012, Key no longer had the advantage of the political SIGINT that he had once enjoyed via Ferguson and Mateparae. Murdoch was considerably less compromising than his predecessors and Key, in the run-up to the 2011 general election, along with Ede, decided to create and operate their own black-ops team including Slater and Bhatnagar. Their mission was simple; to politically destroy all opponents, in particular the Labour Party, by whatever means.

Key's foot in mouth defence of Ede and Slater in August 2014. Courtesy: YouTube

Back to the latest revelations in Hager's book, Dirty Politics (DP).

Bhatnagar discovers a security flaw in the Labour Party website and passes on the details to Slater. They then both download the data, peruse their spoils and discuss its future publication:

DP - Slater: That website info will hit soon. Watch the damage that ensues
DP - Bhatnagar: I’ve been meaning to ask you! LOL [laugh out loud], when do you run it?
DP - Slater: been working thru it all ... was going to do it this week but Goff is away. Far better to do it when the putz is back
DP - Slater: the most damaging is the 18000 emails, and the Credit card transactions
DP - Bhatnagar: fuck me, I hadn’t been that forensic myself. This will be huge
DP - Slater: got the whole of their email database
DP - Bhatnagar: oh no, LOL .... this is violence writ large

That Slater was working with Ede, Key and the Nationals is obvious as a later eMail to Bhatnagar proves:

DP - Slater: working with senior nats for [the] release

Ede's role was confirmed in another message to Slater:

DP - Ede: An interesting sidebar in Pagani’s story is that they’re chasing us by matching IP neighbourhoods and the types of computer we use. You stand out like dogs balls because of your damn Mac!!!!! In my case, I wish to offer a hearty sigh of relief and celebrate dynamic IP addresses.

And the book continues ...

Key can no longer evade culpability; he is both implicated and bears responsibility for the debacle, not only as the National Party leader but as the Minister responsible and ultimately, the Prime Minister. That his fingerprints are all over this is undeniable. Moreover, his recent smear campaign of Hager and incomprehensible rebuttals of events that clearly implicate him are blatant examples of his refusal to either shoulder or accept responsibility: the behavioural characteristics of a pathological liar.

While Key may once have been an asset to the Nationals he is now a liability that is slowly and inexorably bleeding the party to death.

Thus, both Key, and Fletcher, whose appointment as Director of the GCSB is highly questionable, are liabilities that the nation can ill afford to bear and a persistent threat to democracy.

That their positions have become untenable is no longer in question.

Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers.
Aristotle