New Zealand's domestic spies, obsessed with illegally surveilling environmental activists, missed a heavily armed right-wing terrorist

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/03/19/five-eyes-no-sense.html

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#2

so, what are you saying? that this is NZ’s fault? that seems a bit much.

#3

If you paid an alarm company big bucks to watch your house, and they kept sending suspicious person reports to the cops about your kids, then didn’t notice a home invasion…you’d be within your rights to ask some pointed questions.

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#4

I’m saying that the time to think about systemic problems with security services is in the aftermath of a disaster, when they inevitably demand more power, and when people give them cover by insisting that the aftermath of a disaster is no time to discuss whether giving them more power is wise.

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#5

/sarcasm=on

Environmental activists harm corporate interests so of course they need to be heavily surveilled. Right-wing terrorists, on the other hand, seek only to harm people, so why waste resources surveilling them?

/sarcasm=off

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#6

Don’t forget, the rw terrorists also seek to harm the CORRECT people.

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#7

well, i can’t argue with that. the header threw me since it sounds like it’s casting blame, that’s all.

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#8

Is this at all like the FBI using blackmail to keep us safe from Dr. King?

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#9

I still wonder how much time and $$ the FBI spent surveiling enviros in the 10-20 years before 9/11.

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#10

Given that he’s an Australian who came to New Zealand in order to commit his murders, how long was he there before the murders and how much chance did the local security agencies have to observe anything suspicious?

He wasn’t a home grown threat with a long history in New Zealand, so I’m not sure the article’s point makes sense.

#11

Security agencies in different countries do sometimes share information, but maybe not the right information.

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#12

Yeah, and I’m certainly open to the idea that right wing extremists get a disproportionately low level of attention from security agencies in general.

Terrorists who act alone without explicit links to groups are a real problem - there’s not necessarily going to be that much to pick up on them

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#13

They had one job…

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#14

Keeping an eye on international pirate menace Kim Dotcom?

They did a pretty thorough job of that…

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#15

Our PM’s name is Jacinda - not Jacinta - common mistake. She has a lot of work to do after John Key’s promotion of cynical and opportunistic government, but then again we all have.

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#16

Thank you for this correction.

I am so thrilled to watch and learn from her. Many thanks to all the Kiwis who elected her.

Being a leader of a nation is surely not easy. During a time like this, it must be even harder. I hope that people who have grown weary of or given up on politics understand that yes, there are still good people willing to do a good job of it.

Her style sometimes reminds me of part Chapter 36 of the Tao Te Ching. If y’all will indulge me:

That which shrinks
Must first expand.
That which fails
Must first be strong.
That which is cast down
Must first be raised.
Before receiving
There must be giving.

This is called perception of the nature of things.
Soft and weak overcome hard and strong.


source: http://www.wussu.com/laotzu/laotzu36.html
a different translation: http://www.taoteching.org.uk/chapter36.html

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#17

There is a serious complication in NZ politics, which is illustrated by the fact the current government was only possible with the cooperation of the New Zealand First party. NZF has many of the hallmarks of a nationalistic party, as it’s name suggests, and it sweeps up quite a bit of the bigoted vote. Its leader, Winston Peters, is a fascinating character. He has used dog whistle politics for years and can be very offensive, but he is also very intelligent and has cooperated well with our best governments. The best thing you can say about him is that he does not tolerate bullshit. He often calls out journos when they are being facile, and this is the thing I find most likable about him. My hope for New Zealand is the our ‘nationalists’ can be trained to be considerate and principled, even if they oppose globalism. Then we can continue intelligent dialogue.
John Key was one of our worst leaders, his perspective was purely from the 1% and he courted that money and influence. He was caught early on telling business leaders he wished wages would fall in our country. However a cult of ‘he’s a good businessman’ grew around him, despite the fact his government made many doubtful moves with our money and allowed corruption to thrive here.

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#18

A foreign national living in the country, with a history of online extremist postings purchased a bunch of weapons. In any other context this would be considered a grave intelligence failure. The fact that he doesn’t have a long history in the country is not something that would be considered exculpatory in most circumstances, but somehow right wing racist violence isn’t taken as seriously as other offenses.

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#19
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#20

I wonder if the Five Eyes surveil enviro-activists as much as they do real terrorists because they’re fearful that the two groups would hookup and enable each other in some way (as the IRA has with Middle East terrorists).