Sunday, January 15, 2006

Where is Laotia?

The Sunday Star-Times has a front page report about the countries that we spied on through GCSB back in 1986. It's no surprise to find that Nicky Hager is involved but for all his experience on intelligence matters (which inexplicably falied to alert him that an earlier story was bogus), one big howler slips through:
The report lists the countries and agencies on which New Zealand was spying. They include targets that have never been officially acknowledged, including UN diplomatic communications, Argentine naval intelligence, Egypt, Japan, the Philippines, Pacific Island nations, France, Vietnam, the Soviets, North Korea, East Germany, Laotia [My emphasis - PHM] and South Africa.
There is no country called Laotia. There is a country called Laos (between Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, China and Cambodia) and I'm surprised that it had diplomatic traffic worth intercepting. However I'm less surprised however at the revealed limitations of the SST's geographical knowledge.