Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The scandal that keeps on giving

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  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    This is an aspect of the story that could do with some light shone on it.

    I have suspicions about the story as a whole..
    In today's Herald we have a Story debunking the whole thing, referring to the Israelis as USAR members and I do remember that Israel did send a team to assist in the aftermath, explaining the passports etc. Even when the story broke there was only mention of 5 passports, note nothing was said about these passports being dodgy and although it may seem a little odd that they left within 24 hours there maybe nothing dodgy about that either.
    So, we have a story debunking the premise but on the same day we have David Farrar, Israel 'spygate' a test for PM, blowing it out of proportion and suggesting that the smiley one has flaws.
    I have a gut feeling this story was a plant to divert us away from the greater story which is?....
    I shall go digging.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4659 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Steve: the big stories that have been obliterated to my mind are the Pike River Mine enquiry and the Treasury Debt Office troughing. From a partisan Labour POV, of course there was the announcement of the new local procurement policy.

    I too have my suspicions on this. Nice to see we’re on the same side of a conspiracy theory for once :D

    Edit: and Idiot/Savant's scoop about the appointment of Shipley et al to the CERA board could have blown up too.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2936 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Nice to see we’re on the same side of a conspiracy theory for once :D

    Indeed ;-)

    the appointment of Shipley et al to the CERA board could have blown up too.

    Yes and at inflated fees too.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4659 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    not the devil, honest .....

    It would explain this

    [James Murdoch] is the son of Rupert Murdoch, which makes him the closest thing the media has to Damien from The Omen.

    That's a fatuous comparison, obviously. Damien Thorn, offspring of Satan, was educated at Yale before inheriting a global business conglomerate at a shockingly young age and using it to hypnotise millions in a demonic bid to hasten Armageddon. James Murdoch's story is quite different. He went to Harvard.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2354 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    I've come in so late on this thread, but does anyone else think Wendi set up the pie attack? That theory works on so many levels. I particularly enjoyed Rupert's "I'm just a forgetful old tyrant" schtick.

    As for micro-managing, Rupe did, at random throughout the empire and just enough to keep the middle management hopping. Hard to believe he wasn't following such a crucial-to-credibility drama like the phone tapping one.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2571 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Hebe,

    does anyone else think Wendi set up the pie attack?

    No, but seeing all that cream spraying everywhere did make me think it was a rather over-literal way to demostrate the, uh, climax of a schadenfreudegasm.

    Ah, my coat. Thank you my good man, and here's your gratuity.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2354 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    So telling the truth is a "strategy" - how ... quaint

    James Murdoch told the committee that his advisers had urged him to adopt a strategy of telling the truth when he spoke to the committee.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/21/james-murdoch-select-committee-evidence

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3261 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    So telling the truth is a “strategy” – how … quaint

    The thing about that story is that -- according to two of his former executives -- it was a strategy he did not follow when appearing before the committee. He is screwed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18701 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'm sure he just forgot about being shown the e-mail, you know that e-mail that made the 700000 pound payment necessary, it's the kind of e-mail that could slip anyones mind.

    Daddy they're being mean to me ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3261 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Screwed by Daddy and Wendi? What she really, really wants is control of News to go to her angels. Lachie, tick. James, tick. Then when Rupe dies, Wendi takes over as "Princess Regent"...It's beautiful, there are so many layers and so many years left of this story. Yesterday on Twitter someone linked to a video clip on Chinese TV, spoken in English; an interview with Rupe and Wendi from about June 25. Worth a watch if anyone can find it; unfortunately I cannot resurrect it.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2571 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Is it Friday yet?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2936 posts Report Reply

  • Clint Fern, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    In today's Herald we have a Story debunking the whole thing, referring to the Israelis as USAR members and I do remember that Israel did send a team to assist in the aftermath, explaining the passports etc.

    What the article neglects to mention is that the leader of the search and rescue team was an ex special-ops paratrooper who was in Mossad and has "liberated" Israelis in overseas jails.

    I also woudn't count the Israeli Embassy as an independent witness in the matter, so them saying there was only two passports would need real verification.

    Nelson • Since Jul 2010 • 58 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    He runs a private specialist S&R firm. If you're an Israeli trying to get an emergency team together, who else would you choose? And "liberated" makes it sound like he busted them out. But in fact, it seems that he just worked the local authorities in India. A colourful chap, obviously, but you do seem to be over-egging the pudding.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2936 posts Report Reply

  • Clint Fern, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    A colourful chap, obviously, but you do seem to be over-egging the pudding.

    I accept that using "liberated" was a misleading adjective. What I was meaning to address was Steve saying that the article debunked the whole thing. I would suggest that a USAR that contains an ex-Mossad agent (and isn't UN accredited) isn't exactly the least likely organisation to be clearing up a case of a lost spook.

    The case is far from debunked. I can't see why a SIS agent would leak if there was nothing about the case. Also the four Netanyahu phonecalls don't ring true. Why on earth on a day of such massive tragedy would John Key take four calls from one overseas PM about one backpacker?

    Nelson • Since Jul 2010 • 58 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    My immediate thoughts are:

    1) We don't even know that the person talking to Tulett is an SIS officer. How do you authenticate someone who claims to be SIS? I wish someone would ask Tulett this question.

    2) Tulett's direct quote from the officer is "It all looks suspicious, but a lot of what the Israelis do raises suspicion. So lots of smoke but we haven't found any fires. The file remains open though." cite. Surely if there was something better and bolder to claim, a leaking agent would have mentioned it. In particular, whether the famous passports were actually forged/stolen/invalid, a very odd detail to have omitted and one which a person in an investigation certainly should know.

    3) Matthew Dentith's explanation, which I rather like, is that the SIS is a paranoid and not very competent organisation with insufficient oversight. It needs to do things from time to time to justify their budget and their powers, and a leak such as this very much helps them do that.

    4) As far as I know, there were four calls, but only one conversation, Key being too busy at the other times. Why would Netanyahu call? Well, he is an Israeli PM and Israel takes the safety of its citizens very seriously. He is also the leader of a very unstable coalition in a small country, and it's helpful to him to be seen to do things. And offering help in an emergency is an excellent way to rebuild relations after the 2004 incident.

    To me it's not meaningful to say "the case is far from debunked" -- it's not even established as a case. In fact, even the leaker, if they are genuine, has had nothing of substance to leak, only a chain of surmise. Preconceptions are what make this credible.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2936 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Hebe,

    Hebe:

    I don’t know what the fuck Wendi Deng did to you, but could you try making one reference to her that isn’t offensive and patronising?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11859 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Pike Mine enquiry is being thoroughly covered in the South (and their non-safety record, as detailed by Whittall is *gross*-)

    Treasury stuff – not so much, but – again – the Southern newspapers are very much up with the CERA state of play…)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    In other news - and this will affect southern voting, Whetu Tirakatene-Sullivan has died. Aue e te kui, nau mai piki mai ki to tini i te raki-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Reading the title - the Scandal that keeps on giving - that could well be Brownlee and the appointments to CERA review panel.

    Why one would need to appoint the head of the board of the China Construction Bank to the Cera Review Panel - particulalrly when that head is working for the communist party (of China) in fincancing proposals for China to purchase parts of /interests in the NZ Dairy industry.

    With all that is going on this week, how bad is the Herald? The front page of the Wed's paper sported a page 3 gurl.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1185 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Dunno what's patronising about noting that she's very clever, utterly ruthless. Read the WSJ piece listed by Stephen Judd. An ideal match for Rupe. She's also a mother of children by a media baron who is noted for his ambitions to create and continue a corporate dynasty.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2571 posts Report Reply

  • Clint Fern, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    As far as I know, there were four calls, but only one conversation, Key being too busy at the other times.

    If thats the case then there is no issue. I hadn't heard this.

    My other point re the leak, I'm not so sure about this. There aren't massive amounts of leaks from the SIS (that I know of) and an individual would be wary of doing this because of the repurcussions, ie the ongoing investigation as to who leaked. The point as to not knowing if the person who leaked is from the SIS seems dubious. Tulett, unless he is very stupid, would be sure who the source is and that they are SIS. I would hazard a guess he knows him personally, why else would they be leaking to the Southland Times, hardly the Guardian of the South Seas is it?

    Nelson • Since Jul 2010 • 58 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Hebe,

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3370 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Clint, that's a reasonable hypothesis. My counter would be to re-ask the question how do you verify someone is SIS, and to point out that minor newpapers don't have the resources for fact-checking that bigger ones do. Stripped down as they are, I bet that the Herald, the SST, the DomPost and the Press are still all likely to be able to bring a bit more skepticism to the table.

    The last person I met who claimed to work for the SIS was a frequent drinking buddy and a plausible man*. Then he was arrested and convicted on fraud charges and turned out to have used his personal charm and ability to lie to extract large sums of money from people and run up very big bills. In my mind, claiming to work for the SIS is a prima facie sign of a fantasist. But how do you contradict or prove such a claim? Interesting eh.

    Assuming you are correct though, this is a serious matter. What should we make of an intelligence service that leaks? That deserves as much investigation and concern as an investigation that never found anything.

    * People who lived in Hamilton in the late 80s may remember the case of Kevin Barnard.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2936 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to DexterX,

    With all that is going on this week, how bad is the Herald? The front page of the Wed’s paper sported a page 3 gurl.

    Or should that be a not-so-mild-case of MWWS?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4154 posts Report Reply

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