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NZ wiki cable number 2.

datePosted on 12:11, December 13th, 2010 by Pablo

This one is arguably better than the last. I say “better” simply because it speaks to intelligence and security issues in the main rather than broader foreign policy or NZ leaderships characteristics, and names key players in the NZ security apparatus (it should be noted that although it is illegal to name various intelligence personnel in NZ public fora, this was a classified internal US government document so the legal restrictions do not apply. Now the document is a matter of public record so the cat is out of the bag, so to speak).
In any event, this one is a veritable gold mine in places. Again, note the distribution list, and thanks to Selwyn Manning and Scoop for doing the original data mining.

08WELLINGTON356
Date: 10/24/2008
175015,10/24/2008 1:29,08WELLINGTON356,Embassy Wellington,SECRET//NOFORN,,VZCZCXYZ0001OO RUEHWEBDE RUEHWL #0356/01 2980129ZNY SSSSS ZZHO 240129Z OCT 08FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTONTO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5491INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0442RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 5291RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0069RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0209RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0192RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 0336RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 0309RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 0725RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITYRUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITYRHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITYRHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY,”S E C R E T WELLINGTON 000356 NOFORN SIPDIS STATE FOR EAP/ANP AND INR/FO E.O. 12958: DECL:

10/23/2018 TAGS: PINR, PREL, NZ SUBJECT: A/S FORT’S OCTOBER 9-10 VISIT TO NEW ZEALAND Classified By: Pol/Econ Counselor Margaret B. McKean; Reason 1.4 (b), ( c), (d) 1. (C) Summary. During an October 9-10 visit to New Zealand, INR A/S Randall Fort met with members of the External Assessments Bureau (EAB), the Chief Executive of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Deputy Secretary Caroline Forsyth, and officials with New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB). GNZ officials praised USG efforts to improve intelligence sharing, particularly with respect to imagery. GNZ interlocutors acknowledged that New Zealand gains enormous benefits from being part of the Five Eyes intelligence community. A/S Fort’s message focused on the increasing sophistication of commercial search engines and the growing number of open source analyses available to policymakers. In the future, the intelligence community must find ways to differentiate their products and provide value added to policy makers, argued A/S Fort. He also discussed the issues surrounding cyberspace and national security. Key issues for GNZ officials centered on the recent Georgia/Russia conflict, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan/Afghanistan, North Korea and the Pacific region. End Summary. Security of Public Sector Computers is Key Concern ——————————————— —– 2. (C) INR Assistant Secretary Fort visited New Zealand on October 910, accompanied by other INR staff. Meetings with GNZ officials included calls on Gregory Baughen, head of New Zealand’s External Assessments Bureau (EAB), working sessions with EAB officials, a meeting with Bruce Miller, Deputy Director of New Zealand’s GCSB, and a a call on Michael McBurney, Deputy Director of New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS). Discussions with EAB working level staff and analysts from other government

offices focused on the recent Russia/Georgia conflict, North Korea and northeast Asia, China, Iran/Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Pacific region. 3. (S/NF) During his visit, Fort called on Chief Executive of the Department for Cabinet and Prime Minister’s Office, Maarten Wevers, who manages a staff of 120, including Domestic and External Security groups, the PM’s policy group, and Wevers also oversees New Zealand’s intelligence committee. Wevers likened his Department to the National Security Council in terms of breadth of coverage and responsibilities. He noted that EAB’s operations are highly compartmentalized and EAB reports are tightly held within Cabinet, with few Ministers seeing them. He explained that New Zealand’s contribution to the Five Eyes intelligence community consists of two monitoring stations; one in the northern end of the south island, and the other on the north island near Wellington. Wevers offered that the GNZ recognizes that it is a “”enormous beneficiary”” of the Five Eyes community and lauded the good bilateral relations on intelligence sharing, including recent strides in imagery sharing. He added that New Zealand was “”well past the military issues”” of the past. A/S Fort hoped the additional access would prove useful to New Zealand; the amount of information and management of the information can be a challenge. Wevers commented that intelligence and assessments may mean something different to New Zealand than to other Five Eyes partners. Often there are significant differences with Australia, he added, as New Zealand is a more Pacific country than Australia and the latter is not always attuned to Pacific developments. 4. (C) A/S Fort spoke about the challenges for intelligence analysts posed by the rapid growth of commercially available analytic services outside government and the sophistication of search engines such as Google and Yahoo. The information needed by policymakers is increasingly available outside government,

and the size of outside companies or groups is not a factor. Smaller can be very nimble; the quality of the analysis is key and the intelligence community must increasingly look to match outside services and provide additional value added to remain relevant, affirmed the A/S. 5. (C) Fort turned to issues involving cyberspace and the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI), which will begin with the Five Eyes and then move to NATO countries. Security is part of the issue, but the A/S also stressed the relevance to finance and defense. Even small countries can benefit with a relatively small contribution towards equipment and personnel. Regarding deterrence, he mentioned that there are analogues to nuclear deterrence but the international community is only beginning to think about cyber threats in similar fashion. Wevers noted that the GNZ is seized with the issue of cybersecurity, and f is working with the PM’s Department to protect the public sector computer system and analyze the range of risks. 6. (C) In discussing the Pacific and Chinese activities in the region, Wevers said that China has recognized that their competition with Taiwan is not helpful, but their foreign affairs officials are not always aware of what others in the Chinese government are doing in the region. Venezuela and Cuba are now coming into the Pacific, and Wevers likened their interest to that of the Russians in the past. A/S Fort mentioned that the backtracking of democracy in the broader Pacific region (Fiji, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia) was a Washington concern. The region is more fragile today than 10 years ago, he opined, and urged a coordinated approach by the stronger and healthier democracies. Wevers offered that APEC remains an important regional mechanism and the East Asia Summit, which includes India, is another good venue for raising issues. Wevers added that China is only now realizing the very significant law and order problem

within China, as people are making money illicitly without any sense of the rule of law. The metamphetamine problem in the region can be traced to China, continued Wevers, and the precursor chemicals are coming into New Zealand and other countries in large containers that are difficult to stop. Meeting with MFAT Deputy Secretary Caroline Forsyth ——————————————— —— 7. (S/NF) DepSec Forsyth welcomed A/S Fort’s visit, stating that the GNZ values its contacts with the Washington intelligence community. The twice-weekly CIA-Commonwealth briefings are very useful, but the Five Eyes provides greater depth. She added that intelligence reports go to the PM’s office, who “”absorbs”” the paper. A/S Fort explained that the State INR Bureau is relatively small, and therefore focuses on core issues. Currently, Washington policymakers are focused on the longer term implications of the recent Russia/Georgia conflict and what is holds for Russia’s future and adherence to international norms. With North Korea, the Six Party Talks are the central issue, but also Kim Jong Il’s health and possible successor. Afghanistan’s trend lines are worrisome, he added, particularly due to the link with the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan. Pakistan’s transition to civilian leadership is being watched closely in Washington, noted the A/S. He and Forsyth discussed Iranian nuclear pretensions and possible Israeli reaction. A/S Fort offered that Israel is likely to strike if the government of Israel believes Iran has met their red lines; an Israeli strike against Iran would be more complex than those launched against Iraq and Syria, he said. A/S Fort added that the US-India nuclear deal was an historic diplomatic achievement for the Secretary. Responding to Forsyth’s question, Fort downplayed Venezuela as a threat to USG interests and characterized Chavez as more of an annoyance with limited political influence within the region. 8. (S) Forsyth praised the US-New Zealand bilateral

relationship, noting that the highlight of the year had been the Secretary’s visit to New Zealand and onward travel to Samoa, which had provided a window into the challenges facing the Pacific, particularly to the micro-states of the region. New Zealand views the situation in Fiji as “”acute,”” and appreciates USG support for the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) position on Fiji. A/S Fort commented that GNZ sigint had been critical to USG understanding of the 2006 coup. Forsyth offered that New Zealand sees an arc of instability in Melanesia, as there is a great deal of money but little to no capacity to use it wisely. The Solomon Islands are under control at the moment but there are still significant problems in terms of governance and corruption. The GNZ is weighing the necessary structural changes needed to make a long-lasting improvement in the SI society so that RAMSI security forces might depart. Vanuatu is coping for the moment, she added, and New Zealand is putting significant assistance towards agricultural projects there. 9. (S/NF) Moving to North Korea, Forsyth asked if the stalled progress on the Six Party Talks was linked to a DPRK assessment that the U.S. election aftermath might offer a better deal. A/S Fort replied in the negative, noting that foreign policy continuity is the norm. Oscillation is part of the DPRK strategy, he added, and the current situation is complicated by Kim Jong Il’s health issues and the succession process. Kim Jong Il played off the former Soviet Union and China to his benefit and may be trying to use the U.S. in the same way as the Soviets. China’s role has been constructive, continued Fort, largely because Beijing does not want to see a nuclear Korean peninsula and the ramifications of a northeast Asian arms race. The A/S mentioned that North Korea faces a food crisis despite World Food Program assistance. Forsyth said that the New Zealand high commissioner in Seoul would be going soon to North Korea for a periodic visit. 10. (S/NF) The MFAT

Deputy Secretary asked for A/S Fort’s assessment of Afghanistan and Pakistan. New Zealand has troops stationed in Bamiyan province and the GNZ is concerned over the malevolent influence from the tribal areas of Pakistan, particularly since the international community has been trying to transform Afghanistan into a state since 2001. Fort responded that Afghanistan will be an enduring challenge for generations requiring cultural changes. The U.S. is determined to be more aggressive in addressing Taliban cross-border operations, and is weighing the political costs with Pakistan. Forsyth and Fort discussed prospects for the Indian government to improve its relations with Islamabad to ease pressure on the Pakistan army to fight insurgents in the FATA. Comment ——- 11. (C) GNZ interlocutors were pleased to have the opportunity to discuss a range of global issues of bilateral concern. All meetings focused on GNZ support for the intelligence sharing partnership and, in particular, the singular role of Prime Minister Clark in ensuring good cooperation. As of this writing, the New Zealand HC based in Seoul has already returned from her trip to the DPRK; we will try to get a readout from MFAT. End Comment. 12. (U) A/S Fort has cleared this message. MCKEAN”,24/10/2008

31 Responses to “NZ wiki cable number 2.”

  1. Quentin on December 14th, 2010 at 06:59

    This cable is a great way of understanding the players and the wide range of Pacific/Asian issues.

    I am quite surprised by this QUOTE:
    “Venezuela and Cuba are now coming into the Pacific, and Wevers likened their interest to that of the Russians in the past.” UNQUOTE Why on earth are they even in this region? Though I can see NZ helping Cuba in terms of trade. (Dairy, Lamb etc)

    The other cute little phrase that got my attention was “Five Eyes”. I take it means UK, US, Australia and NZ? But can’t see a fifth.

    Although there is not a great deal of depth of specific, detailed comments on issues, there are windows on which to look through to gauge future problems, and this 2008 cable, does mention North Korea a few times in terms of succession and health of Kim Jong Il. It was also interesting that the US gave NZ an insight into the Russian / Georgia conflict. But I am puzzled as to why NZ should be given such- since it is not within our region? – But I could be wrong. It will be interesting to window a bit more on Russia and why it is of concern here. FTA prelude is all I could gauge from that tid-bit.

    As with the first cable, the tone is hugely positive, which could mean that US has had to be nice to NZ if it was to get what it needs – and if this cable is anything to go by, they are impressed with our Intel agencies.

  2. Pablo on December 14th, 2010 at 10:02

    Quentin:

    I disagree that there is not a great depth of detail. There may be few words due to the cable format, but there are some very serious revelations. One is the fact that the cable confirms that NZ provides SIGINT of Fiji to the US. Another is that the NZ Seoul High Commissioner provides debriefs of trips to North Korea via MFAT to the US. There is more but you can re-read it to get the gist.

    Canada is the fifth member of the Five Eyes network.

    The Venezuela/Cuba mention is a bit of a beat up and refers to visits by Venezuelan and Cuban govt officials to NZ and Australia (I had something to do with some of those visits so am aware of NZG concerns). Neither Venezuela or Cuba have the ability to project influence into the SW Pacific.

    The Russia/Georgia mention could be a simple brief or refer to longer-term strategic planning given Russian reassertion along its southern borders. Nothing special there.

    And yes, the tone is quite positive, which gives the lie to 5th Labour govt assertions that NZ was an independent and autonomous international actor. It clearly is not.

  3. Quentin on December 14th, 2010 at 18:35

    Pablo,
    thanks for your insight, I do not know enough about SIGINT to understand the context of Fiji. So I am at a loss to grasp that one. Also, I simply do not understand the Fiji Coup at all. But I understand that it has caused some concern. I am still to learn how to read between the lines on such matters as currently can’t “see” – Fiji and North Korea intel from NZ etc…

    But I am enjoying my education greatly.

  4. Hugh on December 14th, 2010 at 21:45

    Pablo, do you really think that the positive tone is innately a bad thing? I agree that a lot of the “brownie points” earned might have been for things that it wasn’t worth the cost just for a bit of American goodwill, but I would say a major part of the warm tone towards New Zealand is the contribution of the NZ Army to operations in Afghanistan, which you don’t generally see as compromising New Zealand’s independence.

  5. Pablo on December 15th, 2010 at 08:08

    Hugh:

    The positive relations with the US may or may not be a good thing depending on perspective, but my point is that it belies the claim made by successive NZ govts that it is an independent and autonomous international player. It clearly is not, which when added to NZ’s trade dependence on the likes of China and the Gulf states, makes the exposure of such hypocrisy a matter of both domestic and foreign concern. That in turn poses a serious dilemma to the NZ govt in the event that either/or the domestic electorate or foreign trade partners react adversely to the revelations that NZ is in fact a security and intelligence ally of the US and uses its diplomatic corps to funnel information to the US that the latter otherwise could not obtain.

  6. Sanctuary on December 15th, 2010 at 11:35

    Pablo, given the deep racial, cultural and historical ties between and within the Anglosphere that the USA and New Zealand share, do you seriously believe we would ever not support the United States if push comes to shove?

  7. Pablo on December 15th, 2010 at 13:13

    Sanctuary:

    “Push comes to shove” is one thing. This close cooperation is quite another because it occurs in peacetime and preceded 9/11.

    I should note that I basically outlined the rationale behind this ongoing but “covert” relationship in a scholarly article published earlier this year, so am not at all surprised by it. What did strike me is the duplicity with which the NZ govt (especially under Labour)tried to sell itself as “independent and autonomous” to both the voting public and the world.

  8. Matt on December 15th, 2010 at 19:07

    5 eyes, at a guess, has nothing to do with the number of members of the group. I bet it means 5 ways of listening and looking.

  9. Matt on December 15th, 2010 at 19:25

    Or maybe it’s a reference to the riddle. What has five eyes but cannot see? Divisibility.

  10. SPC on December 16th, 2010 at 01:14

    Or it’s just a term for those nations with access to Echelon Intel.

    While we host the two Echelon Intel gathering stations, we are hardly a non aligned nation, so it’s no surprise that there is security/intelligence community contact and some brief comment/perspective is exchanged – anything less would be less than civil, while we are remain in bed with them so to speak.

  11. Hugh on December 16th, 2010 at 03:21

    I expect Labour would argue that New Zealand’s situation was consistent with their description of the country as independent and autonomous. I always found it a bit odd that they could argue that New Zealand had a duty to obey all United Nations resolutions – given that they effectively ceded formal control of New Zealand’s defense policy to an outside agency. Similarly if close trade relations with China mean a country isn’t independent, there are not very many independent countries in the world. “Independence” is always going to be a contested term not least because it’s so emotive. But I would argue that intelligence collaboration is such a minor aspect of state power that even total subordination to another power in this aspect doesn’t majorly compromise a country’s independence in and of itself, so this revelation is unlikely to change anybody’s mind. I don’t agree with you that trade with China and the Middle East compromises New Zealand’s independence, but if one does as you do, it seems that intelligence sharing would be simply the icing on the cake.

  12. Pablo on December 16th, 2010 at 08:23

    Hugh.

    You are retuning to your bad habit of putting words in my mouth. I did not say that having trade relations with China and the Middle East compromised NZ foreign policy independence. What I did say is that revelation of the close security ties between the US and NZ, ties that in the intelligence field are as close as two countries can get, is bound to cause tension between these trading partners and NZ simply because they now know that NZ serves as a backdoor eyes and ears for the US intel community (again, re-read this cable and note the passages about NZ’s role in monitoring North Korea and Fiji).

    NZ has diplomatic representation in Iran, which is also a major trading partner that NZ has quietly counseled on abandoning its nuclear weapons ambitions. How should the Iranians look at these revelations, particularly the fact that NZ diplomats do, in fact, serve as official cover intelligence collectors?

    My point about independence in foreign policy is not that a nation has to be equidistant or uniform across the board when it comes to its relations with other state actors and the international actors. Independence is about being able to freely pick and choose policy options without undue pressure from other state actors. That may or may not be the case with NZ, but these cables appear to indicate that NZ is firmly within the US security orbit and makes its decisions accordingly. That is not independence.

    What I was mainly trying to point out was that the contradiction between what a nation professes publicly and does privately, once revealed, can become a foreign policy hazard that compromises its diplomatic options and standing in the global community. For a nation such as NZ with a hard-earned reputation as an honest international broker, that is a serious problem.

  13. Hugh on December 16th, 2010 at 13:06

    You’re right Pablo, I misread you re: foreign trade. In my defense a lot of commentators do say that New Zealand’s trade with China compromise its independence.

    Vis-a-vis the NZ embassy in Teheran, I think that provides an illustration of my point of just how minor security affairs are as part of the total activity of the New Zealand state. The NZ embassy has exactly two acredited diplomats on staff. Even if both of them were spending all their time furiously spying for the US, this would not add much to the total threat to Iran.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict this will not noticably damage New Zealand’s credibility on the international scene.

  14. Pablo on December 16th, 2010 at 13:12

    Hugh:

    Your point in paragraph 2 is very well made and well taken. Lets hope that your prediction proves correct.

  15. SPC on December 16th, 2010 at 15:15

    The ability of New Zealand to hit above its weight in multi-lateral diplomacy is reduced by the publicity of closer ties to the Americans.

    In retrospect, (and in part because of changes in policy under National) the period since the mid 80’s to 2008 were/will become the halycon days of our independent nation international influence.

    Ironically our ability to be of much use to the Americans will decline with closer ties (though their need for friends, as they decline in unilateral power capability, will leave them grateful anyway).

  16. Hugh on December 16th, 2010 at 16:41

    Ironic SPC that half of the period you’ve identified as our halycon saw a National government in power.

  17. Sanctuary on December 16th, 2010 at 21:28

    NZ has diplomatic representation in Iran, which is also a major trading partner that NZ has quietly counseled on abandoning its nuclear weapons ambitions. How should the Iranians look at these revelations, particularly the fact that NZ diplomats do, in fact, serve as official cover intelligence collectors?

    Pablo, how monolithic is our diplomatic corps? Is it infested with extremists like, say, Treasury? Is reward,advancement and preferment dependent on being totally in lockstep with an all pervasive ideological pposition? Or can dissenters flourish and get ahead?

  18. SPC on December 16th, 2010 at 21:32

    Not really Hugh, that 1990-1999 government did not change foreign policy direction (as McCully has) and was operating without the closer relations with the USA, thus was able to continue to exploit multi-lateral influence advantages accruing from our independent status.

    It was probably as much the diplomatic advantages delivered to us as fear of local public opinion that resulted in the Labour government of 1999-2008 keeping quiet about closer ties to the USA.

  19. Hugh on December 16th, 2010 at 23:23

    I’d disagree SPC. In 1998 the government was lobbying to buy F-16 fighters from the United States, a deal that was only cancelled when Labour came to power. It was also the 90s National government that resumed joint military exercises with the United States. And of course Shipley endorsed the US attacks on Iraq during her time as Prime Minister.

  20. SPC on December 16th, 2010 at 23:43

    All nations buy military equipment and certainly seeking to buy replacement planes would have no impact in the international community.

    Resumed military exercises in the 1990’s – really how so?

    As for attacks on Iraq in the 1990’s, are you referring to the UN authorised liberation of Kuwait or the UN mandated enforcement (no fly etc) regime afterwards?

  21. Hugh on December 17th, 2010 at 00:17

    Sorry SPC, I was confused – I meant the 1993 attacks on Iraq, which of course came under Bolger, not Shipley. I was thinking of Operation Desert Scorpion, which stopped short of any actual fighting, although Shipley did say she was prepared to take military action against Iraq if the US felt it appropriate. No UN authorisation for either attack, indeed the UN condemned the 1993 strikes. In Desert Scorpion Shipley dispatched the SAS to Kuwait to assist US forces there.

    It’s true that nations do buy military equipment off of one another but to imply that these sales don’t have represent any form of military collaboration is pretty naive. The USA’s willingness to sell fighter aircraft to New Zealand, at least in principle, shows that they felt a certain degree of warmth to the government.

    And as for the military exercises, it seems I am misremembering – I guess I’d heard reports of prospective resumption of joint exercises and taken them as the real thing. But I will note that both Bolger and East announced in 1997 that they wanted to resume training with US forces. So it’s hard to see them as committed to New Zealand’s distance from the US.

  22. SPC on December 17th, 2010 at 00:57

    The strikes in Jan or June 1993, the air strikes response to Iraqi force incursions into Kuwait (breach of the UN cease-fire), or the Cruise missile attacks on Baghdad after an attempt to assassinate Bush when he was in Kuwait? The publicly signalled ODS ended when the UN Sec-Gen negotiated an agreement (coerced by the planned attack). Simple good cop bad cop.

    There is a disconnect between being a country with an independent foreign policy and sometimes taking a line supportive of the USA (as a SC member and then unilateral Super Power) and being seen to be obliged as an ally/partner expected to do so.

    We were not seen as a security partner of the USA during the 1990’s, so our support was actually more useful to them because of this – as if we were convinced on the merit of it.

  23. Hugh on December 17th, 2010 at 01:53

    I’m referring to the retaliation for the supposed assassination attempt. And yes I’m aware of how ODS ended, but… so? New Zealand seemed entirely prepared to get involved.

    You’re right that it’s possible to maintain functional independence while still collaborating with the USA on some issues. But this is how a lot of people would describe the difference now. Every government since 1990 has militarily cooperated with the US in some areas and not in others. What is the quantitative difference that marks the Bolger/Shipley and Clark governments as “independent” and the Key government as not so?

  24. Pablo on December 17th, 2010 at 14:15

    Sanctuary:

    My understanding is that the NZ diplomatic corps has become increasingly politicised over the last ten+ years but that it also has an ideological commitment to “free” trade and non-proliferation, without which one cannot advance to senior rank. I have also heard that the McCully “regime” is somewhat of a reign of terror, with pro-US market ideologues squelching all dissent.

    In a sense this should not be surprising in a very small diplomatic corps and foreign policy apparatus where people are selected from the same elite schools and institutionally socialised in an ethos where trade is the end-all, be-all of foreign policy. What is unfortunate is that under National the focus on disarmament and peacekeeping has been subordinated to the pro-US, pro-trade stance, something that makes perverse sense now that the wiki cables have been published.

    Add to that the recently signed “Wellington Declaration” and you get a good sense of the policy drift in recent years, something that I believe, again, is deleterious to NZ’s reputation as an independent and autonomous international actor.

  25. Chris on December 19th, 2010 at 22:45

    Two things were interesting to me in this cable:

    1) That NZ has sigint on Fiji – and that it allowed the US to ‘understand the coup better’. Because NZ and AUS have gone for a strategy of total opposition to Bainimarama (and the US supports this) – does this mean we recorded some damning statement where Bainimarama says “I want to be a tinpot dictator!” I’m amazed we have sigint in Fiji, I have totally underestimated NZ govt capabilities. I assume from this that we probably also have humint in the regime then?

    2)NZ is weighing the ‘structural’ changes needed in Solomons to allow Ramsi to leave. I assume this refers to the Political Parties Integrity Bill which failed so badly, and probably some other anti-corruption initiatives. Although we’ll be subservient to whatever plan AUS has, I’d still like to know what reforms the EAB has in mind for the Solomons

  26. DaveW on December 20th, 2010 at 05:35

    1) That NZ has sigint on Fiji – and that it allowed the US to ‘understand the coup better’. Because NZ and AUS have gone for a strategy of total opposition to Bainimarama (and the US supports this) – does this mean we recorded some damning statement where Bainimarama says “I want to be a tinpot dictator!” I’m amazed we have sigint in Fiji, I have totally underestimated NZ govt capabilities. I assume from this that we probably also have humint in the regime then?

    Most likely we gained the sigint via the Echelon network.

    That NZ monitors sigint out of Fiji is hardly a surprise though, certainly NZ has had the capability for a long time, if memory serves NZ was responsible for the Argentine naval sigint that allowed the Brit’s to nail the General Belgrade during the Falklands war.

  27. Pablo on December 20th, 2010 at 09:05

    Chris (and Dave): The interesting thing about the SIGINT revelations vis a vis Fiji is that some of the technical means for doing intercepts would have to be in-country. Echelon may supply the means but the installation and operation of such means would be up to GCSB officers in Suva.

    The references to structural change in the Solomons sound reminiscent of regime change rhetoric elsewhere.

    Let us remember that the Chinese are heavily present in both Fiji and the Solomons, so perhaps the level of interest focused on these two countries byt the NZ and US has something to do with that.

    I must say that I am much enjoying reading the subsequent array of cables, which are bound to occasion more than just “embarrassment” at high levels.

  28. Hugh on December 20th, 2010 at 13:41

    To me the revelation that the NSA has a liason office in the GCSB is possibly the biggest shocker in the cables so far. I knew there was collaboration, but I didn’t know it was quite that profound or institutionalised. It makes me wonder exactly how powerful a position the liason officer occupies within the GCSB’s internal hierarchy.

  29. Sanctuary on December 21st, 2010 at 10:00

    Hugh: The revelation that large chunks of our civil service have what could be charitably described as muddled loyalties is the biggest shock to me. Quite clearly, many in our intelligence, defense and foreign affairs departments consider their loyalty to the Americans to be at least the equal of their loyalty to their country.

    It puts into context the sort of purges people like Chavez or Morales feel they have to do before they can forge a genuinely independent foreign policy.

  30. Hugh on December 21st, 2010 at 19:41

    That doesn’t surprise me so much, Sanctuary. The idea that we have a sort of loyalty to the wider White-Anglosphere and that any dissension from established common practice among those governments is some form of treason crops up regularly in policy debate.

    I guess now that I think of it in those terms the existence of the US liason officer isn’t all that surprising.

  31. SPC on December 24th, 2010 at 21:33

    Well that would explain why Americans think an Australian is guilty of treason for WikiLeaks. It’s as if those of the 5 Eyes Echelon nations are supposed to support spying on others, and keeping their own secrets in house … .

    Celebrate transparency by modern media in the rest of the world, but have to be forced to it by OIA’s or left shouting treason like some boy crying wolf over WikiLeaks.

    The privileged few … and the whiteness of the capitalist and Christian self-righteousness of those to the manor born in a manger. We the chosen few holding the fate of the world in our hands. Such responsibility. Uneasy lies the head that … (is he really American born and of a Christian family).

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