Spying on Maori activists
Remember the story from November 2004 concerning allegations the security intelligence service (SIS) was spying on Maori activists? These allegations were denied as a "work of fiction" by then SIS Director Richard Woods.
In April 2005 an official investigation overseen by Justice Paul Neazor concluded "there is nothing to suggest that his allegations are true and a good deal that points to them not being true." Neazor is now the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security. Helen Clark responded to Neazor's report by demanding an apology the Sunday Star Times issue an apology and acknowledge they had been set up.
Murray Horton believes the so called "sources" for the Sunday Star Times story ran "a classic agent provocateur operation aimed at damaging the credibility of opponents of both the SIS and the Government", in particular Nicky Hagar who co-wrote the story.
Perhaps this all needs to be reconsidered given the events of the last 24 hours. Particularly given the indications that the police and security services have been working on this so called "case" for some time. The invesigation appears to have made widespread use of tapped calls and other forms of electronic surveillance which suggests NZ's other spy agency, the GCSB may have been involved.
The 'Officials Committee for Domestic and External Security Coordination' ODESC) met at the Beehive earlier this month to hear what was planned for today. This group is chaired by the Prime Minister and makes high-level decisions on terrorism, security, intelligence and civil defence issues. This group includes representatives from the SIS and GCSB.
Is there still nothing to suggest that the November 2004 allegations were true and a good deal that points to them not being true? I certainly remain unconvinced that today's operations were free of political intentions on behalf of the institutions of state - the mere fact that police cast their net so widely to include a number of seemingly unrelated groups is likely to cause many to question the credibility of aspects of the police case.