I have done a fair share of media interviews about the Nicky Hager/Jon Stephenson book “Hit and Run.” Needless to say, the claims in the book are damning of the NZDF, although I believe that the criticism is more focused on the command leadership rather than on the troops involved in the operation that is the subject of the book. In any event, this is a an interview I did with radio New Zealand on the matter.
The NZDF can run but can they hide? With the help of politicians and the media, perhaps, but they cannot hide forever.
Pablo, I’m waiting for your NZ ‘deep state’ thoughts.
It might be a while as I am pretty busy and will be traveling shortly. Meanwhile Geoff can keep you up to date with the machinations of the NZ Deep State. :-0
Bill English’s response to the call for an inquiry brings into question the Hager/Stephenson strategy of seeking political accountability for war crimes committed on the battlefield.
The psyche of the New Zealand state is such that it will always go for a cover-up in preference to honest disclosure and moral correction.
Reprisals against non-combatants have been a feature of New Zealand military actions, starting with the Taranaki, Waikato and Tai Rawhiti wars, and going on to the Second World War, the Vietnam war and the Afghan war.
The New Zealand state has always been very successful in covering up these outrages, even to the point of electing not to teach the history of the New Zealand wars to New Zealand students in New Zealand schools.
The long and the short of it is that you will not overcome the moral duplicity of the New Zealand state by confronting it head on. I suggest that the criticism and even legal action needs to be directed against the soldiers who served on the ground. They should at least be named and shamed. If, out of misplaced sympathy, we let the lowest ranks off the hook the real offenders, the politicians, will also escape scot-free. The time of reckoning for the generals and the politicians must come later, after the troops have been called to account. In a corrupt state, the demand for accountability must be directed first to the lowest ranks, from where it will inevitably work its way up to the political and command level where the real miscreants are to be found. We cannot attack the politicians directly. That is the inconvenient truth that we have to accept if we are eventually to have accountability for these gross violations of the rule of law and civilized conduct. The politicians will stonewall. They will shelter in the bunker. So be it. To get to them you will have to go through their troops first.
Pablo, what were the factors that gave you confidence in Cheryl Gwynne’s ability to undertake a rigorous unbiased inquiry into the “Hit and Run” allegations?
Geoff: Her previous experience as an intelligence community “outsider,” coupled with the way in which she has discharged her duties as IGIS, lead me to believe that she has the mettle and integrity to look at things objectively and not be the subject of bureaucratic “capture” by those she is charged with overseeing. That would be even more the case with a review of the incident detailed in “Hit and Run.”
Cheryl Gwyn’s career can be seen in various ways, with her time at Chapman Tripp being pivotal. However it would be a mistake to see the Chapman Tripp years as evidence of a judicial temper or training. Una Jagose (Head of the GCSB, sister to a Chapman Tripp partner) and Rebecca Kitteridge (Director-General of the SIS, nine years at Chapman Tripp) also have close connections to the firm. Added to that, many Chapman Tripp staff are or have been actively involved in SIS operations.
So Chapman Tripp is an asset of the SIS for all intents and purposes, and Cheryl Gwyn’s employment at the firm must be seen in that light.
Gwyn’s time at Chapman Tripp was either the entry or midpoint of her intelligence career, depending on how one interprets the time she spent working as a revolutionary Marxist within the Socialist Action League (SAL). Is she an SIS agent who infiltrated the SAL, later slowly breaking cover through the years at Chapman Tripp before openly re-entering the intelligence community as Inspector-General? Was she a youthful Marxist who abandoned the cause in favour of a legal career which eventually led her to become the foremost security chief for the capitalist state? Or is she a Marxist who artfully sought a position with Chapman Tripp as a stepping stone into the highest echelons of the capitalist state?
These are interesting questions, but in a sense immaterial because from the 1980s onwards the interests of revolutionary Marxism and the New Zealand state converged. As Gwyn herself has observed, the principles and ideals of revolutionary Marxism are congruent with the interests of the state in the era of global capitalism and so radical, Marxist feminists like Gwyn are a logical choice to manage its security apparatus.
While this new generation of intelligence chiefs (Gwyn, Jagose and Kitteridge) are committed to feminism, secularism, globalism and neo-imperialism they are in no way dedicated to truth. Quite the reverse. There is nothing in Cheryl Gwyn’s murky career to suggest that she would take a stand for the truth, which in the case of a purely hypothetical official inquiry into the “Hit and Run” allegations would actually harm the interests of feminism, secularism, globalism and imperialism.
The left, once suspicious of any form of state surveillance, may think they have new cause for confidence in the state security apparatus which is now safely entrusted to revolutionary Marxists and feminists. But all those who believe that because Gwyn is a Marxist she can therefore be relied on to deliver a truthful account of what took place in the “Hit and Run” incident are seriously mistaken.