Tuesday, January 31, 2006

GSCB speaks out

The Director-General of the GSCB has spoken out against several allegations made during a spate of media attention about his organization. He gives a general overview of GSCB and rejects the allegation that GSCB operates primarily for the UKUSA partnership. In particular he disputes David Lange's allegation that he was kept in the dark by saying:
Any suggestion that Lange was unaware of what the GCSB was doing while he was Prime Minister, or that the GCSB somehow ceded its proper and sovereign control over its Waihopai satellite station, is simply wrong.
Guess that makes Lange a Liar then. Quelle suprise!. But why did this statement take so long to come out? I suspect the answer lies in one particular allegation that we spied on UN security council members (probably only Chile) to see which way they might intend to vote about a second resolution for war in Iraq). So what did he say:
To avoid any lingering doubt, let me confirm publicly that the GCSB's actions in regard to Iraq have at all times been very carefully calibrated to ensure that they were fully consistent with our Government's stated and public foreign policy. It has not been a case of the New Zealand Government saying one thing publicly and the GCSB doing another privately.
Carefully calibrated chosen words that seem reasonable enough until one asks what was the government's position on Iraq? And there lies the problem. The government's public position was to abdicate all sense of judgement and leave it for the UN Security Council to decide (Helen Clark's unwise statements did not occur until after the war started). But such a position does not preclude that GCSB from actually doing what has been alleged. That's not to say that they actually did so - GCSB might have been spying on the Iraqi embassy in Australia in order to obtain information about Iraq's compliance or lack thereof of various UN security council resolutions. Since our government's position was that Iraq should comply with those resolutions, the GCSB's actions would not have contradicted government policy. All we can say however is that the GCSB did something concerning to Iraq. What that was we don't know and the allegation of spying on UNSCR members has not been denied unlike the other allegations. I daresay that whatever the GCSB did with respect to Iraq, they did so after consultation with the government.