Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Wellington Cables

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  • 3410,

    Why did both governments consciously keep the news quiet?

    Umm... Didn't want China to know?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    There may be reasons, I can't think what they are or how they'll be reasonable or justifiable? A delay to permit a big announcement, sure, but withholding the information this long and from Parliament? Absent a great explanation, you have to wonder what intelligence was shared before there was proper oversight?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul Williams,

    But Paul, proper oversight means just the boys club in charge. Daddy knows best, after all.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    There’s a couple of things in the Clinton visit cable that are interesting:

    Our intelligence relationship was fully restored on August 29, 2009 (which should not be acknowledged in public)

    According to those doing the work, it never went away – they just stopped talking about it.

    After substantial restructuring and sale of government-owned enterprises in the 1990s, New Zealand is now one of the most open economies in the world and is ranked 5th in the world on the Heritage Foundation’s economic freedom index

    I don’t know anything about the Heritage Foundation except that it’s a conservative think tank, but I find it interesting that, even under a Democratic president, the USG is looking to neo-conservative economic theory.

    A Science and Technology cooperation agreement between the US Department of Homeland Security and New Zealand, relating to enhancement of each country’s domestic and external security capabilities, is slated to soon be signed.

    I may not have been watching but this was a complete surprise to me. Anyone know about this?

    The SAS is slated to return to support internal security requirements during New Zealand’s hosting of the World Rugby Cup in 2011, and future rotations to Afghanistan are undecided at this time.

    Worth noting.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2173 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    The eight cables released today are here in a single PDF,

    Bad link. PDF is here.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    We share the US assessment there is no requirement for the advice of the outcome of the US review to enter the public domain.

    so said Simon Murdoch.

    Yep - it's not as if the relationship between the US and NZ has been a very controversial cornerstone of NZ's foreign stance since, ohhh, 1984. This guy needs to be tossed out to the wolves.

    Is it just me that sees a fatal conflict between our claims to openness and the way this government does business in our wee democracy?

    Gone by lunchtime indeed.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3208 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    And if anything needs a WikiLeak right now, it's the BRT and the RTF.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4365 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to 3410,

    Bad link. PDF is here.

    Gah. Sorry.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to nzlemming,

    I don’t know anything about the Heritage Foundation except that it’s a conservative think tank, but I find it interesting that, even under a Democratic president, the USG is looking to neo-conservative economic theory.

    To be fair, it's probably something NZ officials have briefed to him. Our long run near the top of the Economic Freedom Index bolsters our stance as an already-open economy in discussion of economic and trade relations.

    Also, there aren't that many league tales we can brag about.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Scoop is rockin' the Wellington cables, nicely formatted.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to John Farrell,

    We rank way ahead of the USA in education.

    Don't worry, Tolley will fix that..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    I wonder if there are cables about that......rather than improve your own ranking, depress others'.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Scoop is rockin' the Wellington cables

    Did either ONe News or 3 News cover this at all ?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Does Orwell's "ownlife" come to mind?

    The best definition of privacy I've heard is the "right to be left alone", but this is a form of freedom the state – in all its faceless and mechanistic anonymity – seems unable to tolerate. As with the SIS amendments, the Search and Surveillance Bill is a manifestation of this sleepless need of the bureaucracy to be constantly expanding its monitoring and control of the unruly populace. Glib reassurance that you've nothing to fear if you've done nothing wrong might comfort the terminally infantilised, but the rest of us are right to be wary of plans to make it easier for the cops to install covert cameras in people's houses, or tracking devices on their cars. Especially when the agencies so keen to win these powers seem so resistant to scrutiny and transparency themselves.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4365 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    And while we're at it, the intentions of this latest scheme are noble, but if it's abused, it'll be a dis-spiritual successor to the Department of Mental Defectives.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4365 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Did either ONe News or 3 News cover this at all ?

    Not surprising if they didn't. It's a political story and the house was under urgency until midnight Friday and 9 PM Saturday, and it was a beautiful day in Wellington. Today was a day on which our entire political class switched their cell-phones to divert.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    When the U.S. Administration decided in March of 2009 to seek a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, NewZealand, which was also on the ballot, withdrew its name so the United States could run uncontested

    When on January 12 Duty Minister Jim Anderton issued a blistering critique of the President's plan to send more troops to Iraq, Clark quickly disavowed the comments and removed Anderton from duty within the day.

    If there was any residual doubt. The content of these cables confirm that New Zealand is little more than a US lackey. Wellywood no longer seems inappropriate, slap it on top of the Beehive.

    The metamphetamine problem in the region can be traced to China,

    not Millie Elder...

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Why did both governments consciously keep the news quiet?

    1. Helen would have had to admit it and that would not be a good Labour look before the election. Far better to just let things ramble along as if we were real mates but not look like we were assisting. 2. People carving up balloons in Spy Valley. Especially with the Govt throwing the naughty boys the compensation bill. It too makes a good look to the yanks. And for local consumption we couldn't have it coming out in the middle of the court case could we.

    What it does show is that the Govt(s) cannot trust it's citizenry. And that is sad and bad.

    Thanks Nicky. You done good. Keep it up.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1500 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    What it does show is that the Govt(s) cannot trust it's citizenry.

    It does make you wonder who they think they're working for.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    From a leak:

    When the U.S. Administration decided in March of
    2009 to seek a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, New
    Zealand, which was also on the ballot, withdrew its name so
    the United States could run uncontested.

    How timely...just af ew months later it was August 29th 2009.

    And

    located just six miles from McMurdo Station in the Ross
    Sea region)

    The US mile seems to be only about 1/3 of a NZ Mile.....Hmmm...

    Admiral Keating visited in
    September 2009,

    Timely visit that one.

    The SAS is slated
    to return to support internal security requirements during
    New Zealand's hosting of the World Rugby Cup in 2011

    I ain't going anywhere near a stadium now. Eh? What ARE they expecting??

    Her (Helen's) desire to improve relations with the
    Administration may be due in part to the influence of
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters,

    Holy shit. Which way was the influence?

    For example, NZSIS had for
    months resisted housing equipment needed to implement a
    possible HSPD-6 agreement with the United States. Soon
    after his arrival, Tucker ordered NZSIS to be the host,
    paving the way for negotiations.

    So this is the bit that looking for the potentials in NZ huh? Thanks!

    New National leader John Key is charming and
    confident, but has been in Parliament for only five years
    and his practical agenda remains fuzzy.

    Got something right!

    The ""Matrix"" process has also been helpful in
    enabling both sides to stay joined up in response to other
    events, such as ensuring that the recent fire on board a
    Japanese whaling vessel in Antarctic waters would not lead
    to an environmental disaster.

    How do you do that in the deep southern OCean from the USA??? Satellites of course. They are quite good at reading number plates these days. So an oil slick is eezy peezy.

    Clark will likely announce during her visit that
    New Zealand will extend its deployments to Afghanistan
    through September 2009, the longest extension since the
    Afghan war began.

    There's that date again.

    GNZ officials praised USG efforts to improve
    intelligence sharing, particularly with respect to imagery.

    I hope you all smiled. :-)

    Ha!

    A/S Fort's message focused on the
    increasing sophistication of commercial search engines and
    the growing number of open source analyses available to
    policymakers. In the future, the intelligence community must
    find ways to differentiate their products and provide value
    added to policy makers, argued A/S Fort.

    Great name for a spy eh what?

    And it looks like they are worried about their keeping an analysis role because Googel and Yahoo are pretty good at allowing policy anaylysts to find information.

    The metamphetamine problem
    in the region can be traced to China,

    Nothing like an FTA to "Free" things up.

    ....Israel is likely to strike
    if the government of Israel believes Iran has met their red
    lines; an Israeli strike against Iran would be more complex
    than those launched against Iraq and Syria.

    Ouch!

    Clark is no shrinking violet. Even before
    hard-edged, grizzled union men put her through the fire in
    her early days in the Labour Party, she was a forthright and
    resolute student activist. Clark was at the forefront of a
    group of iron-willed feminist MPs who stormed the Labour
    party in the early eighties despite their male counterpart's
    skepticism. Many of these MPs remain in politics and sit at
    the right hand of Clark.

    So there!!!!

    and

    Simpson, often referred to
    as the second most powerful person is New Zealand, would
    walk across hot coals for Clark and is so close to her that
    she can often speak on the behalf of Clark, privately of
    course).

    Two heads are better than one???

    There are some great descriptions of BRash in there

    Downer and his Senior
    Adviser Haynes mentioned that IAEA DG ElBaradei had
    said Pyongyang could have as many as six, based on the
    number of fuel rods the North Koreans possessed. LaPorte
    thought the DPRK had the capacity to make more than two
    or three warheads, given the amount of plutonium
    ""harvested"" before the 1994 agreement and based on the
    DPRK's own claim of having reprocessed the 8,000 spent
    fuel rods after the agreement had ended.

    And one at least has gone bang

    In closing, Downer
    remarked, ""let the whole place go to s--t, that's the best
    thing that could happen."" Speaking off the top of his head,
    he added that aid should not be given that would prop up
    the infrastructure. If U.S. officials wanted to hear the
    ""bleeding hearts"" view of ""peace and love"" with respect
    to North Korea, Downer joked, they only had to visit his
    colleagues in New Zealand.

    Maaaate!

    XXXXXXX likened his
    Department to the National Security Council in terms of
    breadth of coverage and responsibilities. He noted that
    EAB's operations are highly compartmentalized and EAB
    reports are tightly held within Cabinet, with few Ministers
    seeing them.

    Awww gee. Love the trust. Isn't absolutely fascinating that bureaucrats can see this shit and our elected govt can't.

    Often there are significant differences with
    Australia, he added, as New Zealand is a more Pacific
    country than Australia and the latter is not always attuned to
    Pacific developments.

    Analysis: we are watching the Islands.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1500 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Damn. There is a problem with the Preview that comes up with an ERROR! box and I can;t see what I have writ. So there are a few bits out of order from the PDF.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1500 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ross Mason,

    Some of this stuff just rubbish, frankly. Why did they get all the good writers and humanitarians in the dangerous places?

    The meeting of the association of security professionals or whatever certainly isn't the Dagestan wedding, is it?

    I feel cheated.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    If U.S. officials wanted to hear the “"bleeding hearts"” view of “"peace and love"” with respect to North Korea, Downer joked, they only had to visit his colleagues in New Zealand.

    That puts a smile on my face. Frankly I'm quite impressed with some of the writing in these cables.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Some of this stuff just rubbish, frankly. Why did they get all the good writers and humanitarians in the dangerous places?

    Sorry to prick some egoes, maybe in Foggy Bottom Wellington isn’t exactly considered the most effective allocation of the A-list talent? :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12040 posts Report Reply

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