Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Towards the Truth

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  • Ian Dalziel,

    Watching the watchers...
    I see John Key has announced a new director for the GCSB
    Interesting to note his background is in economic and trade matters not intelligence gathering or defence.

    Mr Fletcher is a New Zealander who has held senior executive positions in Australia and the United Kingdom since 1998.
    He has been a successful public sector chief executive in Australia in his current position, as the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland State’s Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation since 2009.
    Prior to this, he was the Chief Executive and Comptroller General, Intellectual Property Office in the United Kingdom from 2007 to 2009 and Managing Director, United Kingdom Trade and Investment for three years
    Mr Fletcher was the Principal Private Secretary to the Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service for two years.
    “Mr Fletcher has extensive policy and operational experience particularly in relation to international economic and trade matters. He has been appointed for a five year term and is expected to start the role in early 2012,” says Mr Key.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5169 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Yeah interesting appointment - I guess all the previous appointees were ex military.

    extensive policy and operational experience particularly in relation to international economic and trade matters

    Now that interesting, why a economic/trade angle for this role?
    Are we getting into industrial espionage? Will we be using the GCSB to glean economic intelligence to our advantage?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 507 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Mr Key, in these stretched times a GCSB is (your words) a nice to have, don't you think?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW, in reply to John Holley,

    I suspect, now that I am a quarter of the way through the book, that the lack of informed comment is because most mentioned by name are still serving officers or in senior Govt posts.

    I was and am seeking review and commentary on the book that is fully informed merely by having read the book, rather then necessarily being from insiders and participants. Still, I'm pleased to see you're getting there, when you're ready it would be good to hear whether you retain your initial skepticism on the basis that Hager misunderstands command relationships in the NZ Defence Force.

    The first "fully informed" review I've seen, by Mark P Williams on Scoop, is interesting - http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1109/S00109/book-review-nicky-hagers-other-peoples-wars.htm

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to ChrisW,

    Hager is no hagiographer...

    The first “fully informed” review I’ve seen, by Mark P Williams on Scoop, is interesting

    After reading that review I not only want to read the book, but I also want want Nicky Hager to be Prime Minister - someone who actually cares and thinks at depth about our country and its future! More power to his pen!!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5169 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    In 2007 I went along to hear Hager speak at Canterbury Uni. A local Hooray-Henryish student Nat blogger had mentioned the event, vowing that he and others of his persuasion would attend and heckle by way of avenging the desecration of the sainted Don. Seems his alarm clock failed, as Hager's audience was attentive and polite throughout.

    Responding to a question about whether he ever feared for his personal safety, Hager said that he'd probably be more at risk covering Fair Go-type issues, as that was the nature of how things are in NZ. He made a fairly convincing case that the kind of work he does helps keep things that way.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • John Holley, in reply to ChrisW,

    I was and am seeking review and commentary on the book that is fully informed merely by having read the book, rather then necessarily being from insiders and participants. Still, I’m pleased to see you’re getting there, when you’re ready it would be good to hear whether you retain your initial skepticism on the basis that Hager misunderstands command relationships in the NZ Defence Force.

    The more I read of the book (half way through), the more it confirms my view that Nicky doesn't understand the difference between command and control within the military.

    For me though, what detracts from what I am finding to be a great read is that, as some investigative authors do, you get a blend of facts and Nicky's personal judgements. The latter can therefore detract from the importance of the former and set Nicky up for personal attacks.

    It would have also been great to see more discussion on US Exceptionalism - which drives US foreign policy. This is just as important to understanding the events and USA actions that have unfolded since 9/11 as understanding the culture and nuances of Muslim countries and societies and their actions in response to US Exceptionalism.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    heckle by way of avenging the desecration of the sainted Don

    They still pop up on blogs complaining about "stolen" emails - best avoid the implications of a leaker, and it's such a handy distraction from the truth of the content, especially with many of the scumbags still in power.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    After reading that review I not only want to read the book, but I also want want Nicky Hager to be Prime Minister - someone who actually cares and thinks at depth about our country and its future! More power to his pen

    Me, I want to read the reviewer's thesis! "His PhD was entitled 'Radical Fantasy: A Study of Left Radical Politics in the Fantasy Writing of Michael Moorcock, Angela Carter, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and China Miéville'".

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2208 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to nzlemming,

    Me, I want to read the reviewer’s thesis! “His PhD was entitled ‘Radical Fantasy: A Study of Left Radical Politics in the Fantasy Writing of Michael Moorcock, Angela Carter, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and China Miéville’”.

    Which is, um, here (word doc 961K)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2208 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    ANZUS - what does the NZ stand for again?
    They say it's our birthday - But NZ is the off Anzus party list ...
    ...and the Sydney Morning Herald reports on even closer military relations between Australia and the USA - time to scan the really fine print in the TPPA methinks, It wouldn't surprise me if Key and Kronies aren't planning on selling 49% of our army and facilities to the Americans.... there's muck in top-brass...

    ...and here's a fun game from the BBC Muck and Brass in which you too can run a Supercity, tough decisions and all!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5169 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to John Holley,

    US Exceptionalism.

    Fisk wrote in a related vein recently leading into the 911 memorials.
    For 10 years, we've lied to ourselves to avoid asking the one real question.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    US Exceptionalism.

    Exceptions can always be made ...
    an exceptional case of the "right angle" in the news...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5169 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    But NZ is the off Anzus party list ...

    They can't leave us out. What would they call it; AUS or USA?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to 3410,

    What would they call it; AUS or USA?

    ANUS (Australia Needs United States)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5169 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Minor threadjack but related. Have been watching the Occupy Wall Street protest this weekend which some are seeing as the beginning of the US's 'Arab uprising'. For some reason the local media empires have refused to cover it.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2169 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    And the DomPost today (not on line) gives Nicky Hagar a single-spaced small-font little corner of the paper to reply to the paper's previous three negative responses to his book.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2169 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    And the DomPost today (not on line) gives Nicky Hagar a single-spaced small-font little corner of the paper to reply to the paper’s previous three negative responses to his book.

    The Dom Post's response to that book does the paper no credit at all.

    I gather some enmity between Vernon Small and the author may have played a role there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    The Corrections...

    Nicky Hagar

    Hagar is the Horrible cartoon character...
    Nicky Hager is the fine investigative journalist...
    just for the sake of future web searchers
    - best to keep the spelling correct and constant...
    :- )

    I agree a tiny response space is in no way equal to the detractors column acreage - at least this overview by Rod Oram is constructive...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5169 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Nicky Hagar

    You've been listening to John Key too much. ;)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Have been watching the Occupy Wall Street protest this weekend which some are seeing as the beginning of the US’s ‘Arab uprising’. For some reason the local media empires have refused to cover it.

    It’s made Salon.com and Bloomberg BusinessWeek so far. Still nothing in the Big Media outlets though - are they really that blind, or just too embarrassed?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4431 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Brzezinski: The Last American Cowboy...
    interesting interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski from MSNBC (albeit interviewed by his daughter, Mika, co-host of Morning Joe ) an overview of sorts on US policy and increasing poverty...

    ...meanwhile money talks, and reveals the on-going battles of small aviation service companies with large corporations/US Govt for payment for services to "CIA secret rendition flights". While the Irish get upset about Shannon airport being used for these flights.
    The cracks in the US hegemony are widening...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5169 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Might not be the post to drop this into but I thought it was an interesting piece anyway. Could be the real reason why the broadband cable is really really necessary??? So John and his hedge money mates can get the jump on the opposition. Staggering "worth".

    Undersea Cable for Millisecond Financial Transactions

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1510 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to DeepRed,

    Tim O'Reilly says the protesters are scruffy. And probably smell. Can't the revolution be made invite-only?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Meanwhile, the Wall St gherao has made the Grauniad.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4431 posts Report Reply

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