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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Great Week for Freedom, But Signing Off For a While

It's been a great week for causes dear to my heart.

Barack Obama's campaign for the US presidency has suffered a severe setback over his ties to radical preacher Jeremiah Wright. This issue was bubbling away on the internet for months before the MSM took hold of it.

Will the MSM eventually get around to exposing Obama's numerous socialist and communist links? Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy In Media has written another expose of Obama's socialist links, quoting yours truly.

The Butchers of Beijing have been exposed yet again for the savages they are, over Thibet. I hope this will damage the PRC's Olympic Games propaganda fest and the pending disgraceful New Zealand/China Free Trade Agreement.

We condemn those who supported Nazi Germany in the 1930s when Hitler's worst crimes were yet to occur. How will the future judge those who conveniently overlooked Beijing's barbarism when it was plain for all to see?

Investigate magazine published an article by Bernard Moran and myself this week, exposing some of the Soviet machinations behind Labour's anti-nuclear policies.

There is more to come on this story. The myth that New Zealand's anti nuke policies were an indigenous response to the arms race is destined for the dustbin of history.

Stephen Franks won the National Party nomination for Wellington Central. It will be great to see him back in Parliament. I'd have preferred that it was with ACT, but the most important thing is that he is back fighting for classic liberal principles.

ACT is back on a roll. A great conference last weekend set the stage for Roger Douglas's return to Parliament and Cabinet. The party is re-energised and membership is already growing.

Education and Health reform are back on the agenda and the "privatisation" word makes a a long overdue return.

Rodney and Heather are on top form and looking forward to leading a much bigger ACT team after the next election.

Things are truly rockin' for the freedom cause.

Unfortunately, I'm signing off again for a little while to concentrate on other projects. Can't give exact times, but it will be at least a week-could be more.

The blogosphere will play a big role this election year and I want to participate in the action.

All the best to my readers.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Kiwi Spy Who Penetrated Moscow

An extract from the Bernard Moran/Trevor Loudon article in the latest Investigate magazine.

It looks at John Van de Ven, a Wellington oil tanker driver who infiltrated New Zealand's pro Soviet communists-the Socialist Unity Party in the late 70s.

John Van de Ven was studying in Moscow when the Soviets were developing anti nuclear policies for New Zealand application in 1983/84.

As Moran and Loudon tell the story;

"We now come to the previously untold story of how the SUP was itself infiltrated by a humble truck-driver, who was later selected to attend a specialist course at the Lenin Institute in Moscow.

John Van de Ven, a Dutch immigrant, resembled the mythical tugboat captain: stocky, powerfully built and full of restless energy. He chainsmoked thin cigars.

In the late-1970s, Van de Ven worked as a tanker-driver for Mobil and belonged to the Wellington Drivers' Union run by Ken Douglas. Van de Ven raced through his delivery rounds and received several warnings that his speed was upsetting the union's workplace rules. Undeterred, he raced on until called into the union office and forthrightly informed that, if he didn't play by the rules, he would lose his union card and not drive trucks in Wellington again.

"I was mad at being treated like this," Van de Ven told the authors of this article. "So I decided to get even. I had no firm plans, but I knew the union was run by the SUP and so I thought that if I can get in--then sometime down the track I'll get even. It was as simple as that."

Van de Ven went to the union and performed obeisance. He apologised for his misdemeanours and offered to assist with menial tasks, even hand out copies of the SUP newspaper, Tribune. After a year's probationary period as a model unionist, his talents were recognised. Drivers' Union official and senior SUP member, Richie Gillespie, took him aside and said the union had big things planned for him, if he could prove himself.

Fortuitously, in 1977, Van de Ven discovered a legitimate grievance over tyre-safety issues on the tankers. When the company refused to make the changes, he led a prolonged strike that paralysed petrol supplies for weeks around the lower half of the North Island. Finally Mobil capitulated and conceded that the Drivers' Union, not the company, must have the final say on safety issues.

Ken Douglas

Ken Douglas, impressed with Van de Ven's leadership, personally invited him to join the SUP. In 1978, he joined the Porirua branch and studied Marxist-Leninist theory under a secret member (who was later appointed to senior positions in business). Within two years he took over the Porirua branch chairmanship and, in 1981, was the SUP candidate for Porirua at the general election.

Still on course to get even, Van de Ven contacted NZ's Security Intelligence Service (SIS), who asked him to stay in place. He was put on the payroll, assigned a handler and given the code-name "Joe Martin".

Van de Ven's common sense and "street smart" talents were recognised with selection for further training in Moscow from 29 October 1983 to February 12 1984. He went with three other SUP members, and one month later they were joined by Bill
Andersen, George Jackson and Marilyn Tucker (all SUP central committee members).

Former SUP President, the late George Jackson, second from left, the late Bill Andersen, second from right, Moscow, date unknown

The Moscow course had been shortened because of the developing situation in New Zealand. Van de Ven noted that his and his fellow-delegates' passports had to be surrendered and were not stamped, so as to leave no record of their having been in the USSR. He recalled:

"On arrival in Moscow, we were quarantined for medical checks over four days and given new identities. I became John Van, Jim Thompson became Jimmy Brown, Allan Ware--Allan Wolf, Peter Devlin--Peter Jay.

"This took place in an old mansion near Moscow. The ten acres of woodland was [sic] surrounded by high walls, so that nobody could look in or out. After that, we were transported in a mini-bus with black-curtained windows to the Lenin Institute for Higher Learning in Prospect Leningradski, across the road from Metro Aeroport,an underground station.

"There were 3,500 communists from all over the world, being trained five and half days a week, according to the requirements of their home country. We were assigned three tutors who were specialists on New Zealand. They were a (first name unknown) Venediev, who lectured on the National Question (racial manipulation) and trade unions. He was also a staff member of the World Marxist Review. Other tutors included Bella Vorontsova (doctorate in history) and Eduard Nukhovich (doctorate in economics), both of whom visited New Zealand to liaise with SUP branches.

"Peace was high on the agenda. As one tutor told us: 'We have many clever people in the Soviet Union, but no one has even been able to come up with a weapon potentially as powerful as the peace movement.
' "

Van de Ven was told that the reason for the "condensed" 13-week course was that Soviet leader (and former KGB chief) Yuri Andropov had initiated a strategy for taking a social democratic country out of the Western alliance, by utilising the "correlation of forces" provided by the peace movement.

New Zealand was given a high priority by the Soviets, for its strategic propaganda potential. The Soviets prioritised countries according to their strategic interest. The United Kingdom, Chile, Argentina and South Africa were Category One. Tiny New Zealand was in Category Two--alongside the then Soviet client-state, India.

The particular circumstances of New Zealand, with a national election in late 1984, was seen as providing a suitable testing ground for this strategy. If it worked as intended, then the concept could be applied to countries such as Denmark.

There were two key aims:

* To get rid of ANZUS;

* For the Labour Government to steer nuclear-free legislation through Parliament.

Van de Ven described the techniques of the strategy as "brilliant", which, when applied within the trade unions, the peace movement and the Labour Party, worked as intended. He recalled:

"Our role was to influence and steer the peace movement, not by taking the top jobs, but to be done in such a way that the top people in the various peace groups were seen as reasonably responsible by the average New Zealander.

"So our training consisted of being able to train lesser-known communists, secret members, sympathisers and fellow-travellers, to take over these groups, unite them, but never take the leading roles. My own role was as a 'nuts and bolts' technician

Gennady Yannaev

The overall project director was Gennady Yannaev, an engineer by training and later a leading member of the 1991 coup that overthrew Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Van de Ven got on well with Yannaev, and was several times invited to his home for meals and drinks. He found Yannaev a dedicated and honest communist, who frequently vented his disgust at the corruption within the Nomenklatura. He was informally questioned about the other members of the New Zealand delegation and Bill Andersen and Ken Douglas."

Read the whole article here.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


If you want to know what's in the about to be released edition of Investigate magazine, here's a teaser.

From Nevil Gibson-National Business Review Editor's Blog

The latest exposé on the SIS has largely gone unnoticed – Bernard Moran and Trevor Loudon’s account in Australia’s National Observer of Drivers Union member John Van de Ven, who joined the Socialist Unity Party and in 1983-84 attended a high-level indoctrination course at the Lenin Institute in Moscow.

But unbeknown to his fellow Kiwi communists, Mr Van de Ven had already been recruited by the SIS (over a desire for personal revenge) and provided it with inside information on the burgeoning anti-Anzus ‘peace’ movement.

Moran and Loudon interviewed Van de Ven before he committed suicide in 1992 (for reasons not associated with his undercover work) and learned of the Moscow course’s strategy to pull a social democratic country out of the Western alliance.

This objective was achieved in New Zealand as the ‘peace’ movement successfully won over Labour Party and wider public opinion, resulting in the Lange government leaving Anzus and passing anti-nuclear legislation.

The methods were classic subversion: to influence but not lead (in Van de Ven’s words) “in such a way that the top people in the various peace groups were seen as reasonably responsible by the average New Zealander.”

How did the Soviets covertly influence the New Zealand Labour Party? How did the Soviets make Kiwis think our anti-nuke policies were our own idea? What role did the Socialist Unity Party play in this exercise?

Check out the latest Investigate for the answers to these questions and more.

Communists Back Obama Over Clinton

From the Communist Party USA's People's Weekly World

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Trojan RAM, Seeks to Socialise NZ

The Auckland Socialist Worker/Socialist Party of Aotearoa front organistion, Resident's Action Movement seeks to become a national political party.

RAM seeks to eventually become a nationwide, broad left coalition, capable of challenging Labour and National.

It even seeks to draw some conservative elements into the tent.

Oliver Woods, a RAM member explains the strategy on Socialist Worker's Unity Blog.

The ideology of neo-liberalism has moved from what was regarded as an extreme, callous and simply insane prison for frustrated wealthy capitalists and mathematician economists to a force that is regarded as being positive, liberating and highly democratic.

Yet we shouldn't be dismayed by any of this. We have got to learn lessons from our enemies. We should do the same exercise of re-branding with our new, moderate brand of positive left-wing politics as the right did with their own set of destructive ideas!

RAM has won spectacular numbers of votes in Auckland in two consecutive elections, has built up an extensive activist base that is spreading throughout the country and is beginning to engage frustrated and largely apathetic voters who see little point in casting their ballots for backward thinking individualistic and deceitful corporate politicians. Our networks reach far and wide and we've even gained international notice.

We have the opportunity to promote a positive vision of a multi-cultural inclusive society where the Government is by and for the people, where environmentalism isn't just talk and where progress isn't measured by numbers and statistics but by people in jobs, by safe communities and by children growing up out of poverty.

Our task now is to turn RAM into a mass membership political party that is capable of campaigning across the country, challenging the established parties in electorate seats and for the party vote in national elections. We must build a movement that mobilises the apathetic and makes useful the frustrated. We need to share our visionary ideas and start to develop a new discourse, set of ideas and policies that can excite New Zealanders.

It is important we continue to work with established political forces. The Alliance, despite it's implosion in 2002, is building itself up and we must not let historical divisions and sectarian divides stop us from seriously discussing electoral co-operation. Progressive and grass roots people must put their ideological and personal divisions to one side, and like the neo-liberals and other successful right-wing forces have done in New Zealand and overseas, work together to achieve practical and visionary goals. The Green and Maori parties both could potentially work together with RAM, as well as any emerging parties or non-parliamentary movements. We've got to think strategically, and if we do that, we have the greatest chance at getting our ideas implemented.

Our mission is not just a left-wing one either; it is one that is shared by many in the centre of politics and even on the right. We all share the same goals of putting communities, grassroots people and practical reality first, above big business, overseas financial interests and rigid theoretical systems of ideological thought. Many conservatives, like socialists and those on the left, have been dismayed by the neo-liberal reforms that have torn up the social and economic fabric of New Zealand society since 1984. It is my opinion that we must provide a space for these opponents of the hard right within RAM ­ the right has brought onboard many former left-wingers, so we ought to do the same!

Going beyond specifics, RAM is a long term project. We cannot halt our progress when we face adversity and challenges on our path toward Parliament. And if it looks like us merging with parties like the Alliance or other political forces will be beneficial to our broad left coalition, or even the formation of a new party out of a collection of existing ones, we should seriously consider such opportunities as they come. We are not in this game for the short term or for personal glory: we want to push for long term; positive change in New Zealand society in whatever way is most effective.

My vision of RAM's future is of us as being part of a grass-roots coalition of tens of thousands community activists from around New Zealand who can inside and outside of Parliament replace the mediocrity of two-party politics in New Zealand. We will present a visionary way of understanding society, economics and the environment that allows us to win hundreds of thousands of votes, if not millions, in the coming years.

We have humanity and the environment relying on us to complete our mission to change politics in New Zealand. We already have a collection of wonderful supporters and members, and the RAM brand is strong. We have an amazing culture already of acceptance of new ideas and of debate ­ we are a true democracy within our party. These current facts put us past many parties that already have Parliamentary representation!

The broad left in New Zealand has a world to win. If things have started as they will continue, that may not be too far away!

Just what this country needs, a return to Sutchism.

Mike Moore on the Evils of MMP, Cowardly Politicians and Party Lackeys

I got this excellent opinion piece from former Labour PM Mike Moore via The Hive.

Opinion polls make cowards of all politicians. You can talk yourself out of anything. The Auckland Airport saga represents the worst opinion poll politics and political cowardice. Thousands of New Zealanders lost big money because overnight the Government decided this was a strategic asset.

This is control of the "commanding heights" theory, beloved by Lenin and Muldoon. Widely popular and nationalistic. No economic advantage, but a populist challenge to the National Party, a set-up, which National, in their cowardice, failed.

Leadership must be more than finding a poll and agreeing with it. Politicians don't often lie; their fatal compromise is to say nothing. A number of politicians are privately aghast at the Electoral Finance Act.

Even those MPs who voted for it can't work out their own local expenditure, such is the confusion. Politicians can be too good at politics, maintaining unity at any cost _ "unity" being the most important word in political management.

This kills debate and scrutiny, which always improve decision-making. Questioning in itself becomes treason! MMP compounds this tendency. It has created systemic, chronic cowardice. Unless you are high on the party list, you are "road kill". Therefore, the incentive to tell party leaders how wonderful, indispensable and loved they are becomes endemic and unhealthy.

Electorate MPs once stood for local interests, but now they seek the safety net of a list placing. Electorate MPs could once build a firewall of local supporters, their independence rewarded by loyal locals. Those days are over.

Politics is now so well-managed that it takes all the risk and courage out of politics.

To those who live by opinion polls, who have their backbones removed by focus groups, the most profound words on political courage go to Martin Luther King jnr:

"Cowardice asks the question _ is it safe? Expediency asks the question _ is it politic? Vanity asks the question _ is it popular? But conscience asks the question _ is it right? A position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but because conscience tells him it is right."

For a look at the socialists who gave us MMP and why they did it, go here, here and here.

Police Arrest ACT Conference Speaker

The police have arrested a Penny Bright, scheduled to speak at ACT's annual conference in Auckland this weekend.

A veteran activist, Ms Bright, was due to address ACT's conference on freedom of speech on Saturday afternoon.

From the NZ Herald

Penny Bright arrested after she refusing to leave the debating chamber when the Auckland City Council went into closed session last night.

Will Ms Bright be released in time? Will ACT party members have to pass the bucket to bail her out? Will free market ACT members have to spring a socialist, arrested for opposing the partial sale of Auckland Airport to foreign interests, so that she may lecture them on free speech?

The ironies abound.

Finally Exposed! Who Was REALLY Behind NZ's Anti-Nuclear Stand?

Check out the latest edition of Investigate when it hits the news stands next week.

RED SQUARES The untold story behind New Zealand’s ANZUS breakdown

New Zealand’s break with the US over nuclear warship visits in 1985 has become an iconic symbol of Kiwi independence. In this new investigation, however, BERNARD MORAN and TREVOR LOUDON argue the New Zealand politicians became pawns in a much bigger game, a game they were unaware of...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Iran, Indonesia Build Ties

This is not healthy.

From Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency

Iran and Indonesia are strong supports of the Islamic world and anchors of global peace, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday.

He made the remarks in a meeting with his visiting Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

President Yudhoyono arrived here Monday afternoon heading a high- ranking political and economic delegation.

President Ahmadinejad said that promotion of Tehran-Jakarta cooperation would benefit the world of Islam as two large Muslim countries.

"There is no limits for promotion of Iran and Indonesia relations and cooperation in all fields," stressed the Iranian president.

Indonesia is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement at the United Nations Security Council which abstained to the council's recent anti-Iran resolution provoked by the United States for Tehran's peaceful nuclear activities.

President Ahmadinejad voiced Tehran's readiness to provide Jakarta with its latest achievements in various fields including economy, peaceful nuclear technology and nano-technology.

The Iranian president said that the ongoing visit to Tehran of President Yudhoyono would play a major role in implementation of previous agreements.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Jane Kelsey on Philippines Government "Blacklist"

On a recent edition of Waatea News, Auckland University legal academic Jane Kelsey revealed that she was on a Philippines government blacklist along with several other New Zealanders.

The secret list, in use in 2007, allegedly named 504 people the Philippines government claimed had Taliban or Al Qaeda "links."

According to Pinoypress

Human Rights Watch has obtained a copy of a Philippines government blacklist banning 504 people from entering the country in July and August with, according to the document, “Al-Qaeda/Taliban Link.” The Bureau of Immigration of the Philippines Justice Department blacklist includes individuals from more than 50 countries, including expatriate Filipinos.

The blacklist includes individuals from US-based organizations such as Church World Service, the Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society, the National Lawyers Guild, and the Center for Constitutional Rights. It also includes individuals working for the International Labor Solidarity Mission, and from Philippine unions and civil society organizations such as Bayan and Gabriela/Gabnet.

The blacklist went into effect on July 24 and was apparently lifted on August 10. According to a Philippines foreign ministry official, the list was put in place at the time of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) ministerial meeting held in Manila from July 21 to August 2. Since the government did not publicly announce the blacklist, it is not clear whether this or any other blacklist is in effect at present.

It would be interesting to find out if the list did indeed accuse all 504 people named as having Al Qaeda/Taliban links.

That seems unlikely.

More probable is that only some named were accused of Al Qaeda/Taliban ties but the number was exaggerated to discredit the list.

Ms Kelsey has supported New Zealand's own home grown accused "terrorists"-the "Urewera 17"-affectionately known as "Te Qaeda."

She is a patron of the defence fund for those arrested in the October 2007 "anti-terror" raids.

Other patrons of the fund are John Minto, Simon Oosterman and Mike Treen.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Another "Urewera 17" Arrestee Named-Urs Signer

I missed this, but on the 28th of February, "Urewera 17" arrestee, the previously "un-named 23 year old Swiss national" Urs Peter Signer finally lost name suppression.

Signer faces six firearms charges, including the illegal possession of a military-style semi-automatic weapon, a shotgun, rifle and a Molotov cocktail.

Signer is the partner of fellow arrestee, Emily Bailey. Like her he has been involved in the Save Happy Valley Coalition.

He has also been involved in Peace Action Wellington and was one of the three main editors of the anarchist news website Indymedia, alongside Asher Goldman and fellow arrestee Omar Hamed.

In 2006 Signer represented Indymedia in Tonga after the major rioting that devasted central Nuku’alofa

He produced ths video of events-not surprisingly sympathetic to Tonga's leftist "pro-Democracy" movement.

Signer, like all the other Wellington arresteees, is a committed member of the Wellington anarchist movement centred on the 128 Abel Smith Street "community centre".

Signer regularly uses the pseudonym "smush" or "smush capitalism"

A couple of years ago, "smush" penned this piece for the anarchist 'zine "Dissident Voice" Issue 8.

On 20th July 2001 23-year old Carlo Giuliani was murdered by a cop during the protests against the G8 summit (the Group of Eight (G8) is the coalition of eight of the world's leading industrialized nations) in Genoa (Italy). Like Carlo, I am part of the movement of movements. The anti-capitalist movement that believes in autonomy and self-determination. A movement that accepts different tactics to create a better world. A movement which fights dams in the Narmada Valley (India), smashes banks in Seattle (USA), protests against prepaid water meters in Soweto (South Africa), attacks fortress Europe in Kundzicze (Poland), forms a human peace sign to show its opposition to the invasion of Iraq in McMurdo Station (Antarctica), sets up a tripod in Te Whanganui-a-Tara to stop the construction of a motorway (Aotearoa) and runs a bakery on the outskirts of Buenos Aires collectively (Argentina).

I came to Anarchism through political activism. Seeing the global leaders coming to town. Living in an alternative village (barrio) for a few days. Experiencing huge meetings where everyone is using hand signals and consensus decision making. Trying to stop the talks of the CEOs and warmongers of this planet. Taking the media-focus back to the streets by attacking the red zone.

And then... Having endless arguments with my parents about veganism and the state. Running up and down the streets of my town armed with a megaphone. Having a go at the lovely Marxists. Talking bullshit on a sunny Sunday afternoon. And...
Well, there's all the Resistance going on in my life. Resistance to capitalism and the state, resistance to authority. Reading about the autonomous movement of Argentina made me realise that my Resistance is somewhat pointless if I don't get stuck into making something of my own at the same time. Fighting the system by attacking it and attacking it again by creating something. Making the alternative normal. Like, becoming the media. Eating the silver beet I planted myself. Doing a shift in the local infoshop. Getting involved with a union as a volunteer. Taking the power back.

While globalisation has given us capitalism at its worst, it has also given me the chance to realise that our movement is global. And maybe that's the special thing about being an anarchist today — to know that there are people out there, all over the world, involved in the struggle for a world of peace with justice and self-determination. A movement of movements.

Well, the future is bright. The revolution can come by about any minute and surely it will.

Carlo Vive!

Signer does have a softer side. He is also a clarinet player for a well known Wellington klezmer (a style of Jewish folk music) band.

Many of those arrested have an artistic aspect, whether dancers, musicians or film-makers. Hopefully that side will one day overcome their destructive political philosphy.

Top Chavista To Visit New Zealand

Hugo Chavez's little Kiwi collaborators, Socialist Worker, are touring a top Venezuelan revolutionary around New Zealand this coming week.

From the latest Global peace & Justice Auckland Newsletter

Revolutionary Venezuelan diplomat, NELSON DAVILA to speak.

Nelson, who is based in Canberra, is Venezuela's charge d'affaires for Australia, NZ and the Pacific. He is not your traditional diplomat, starting out as a student activist, then becoming an indigenous rights activist, and joining Huge Chavez's secret revolutionary group inside the Venezuelan armed forces. He is one of President Chavez's closest and most trusted political collaborators right up to this day.

Nelson will speak about the nature of the Venezuelan revolutionary process, including the recent formation of the five million strong United Socialist Party of Venezuela, the government's strong support for indigenous rights in Venezuela, and the growth of Communal Councils which have delegated powers to decide on local and regional priorities along with a huge chunk of state funding to implement their own plans at the grassroots.

Nelson is hoping that his tour will give impetus to the establishment of a broad-based, inclusive Venezuela solidarity movement in New Zealand. It is hoped Nelson’s tour (one week in NZ) will result in the creation of a nationwide Venezuela solidarity network pave the way for a visit to New Zealand by President Chavez.

Hope Chavez's visit is not held up by a war with Colombia or one of the other few remaining free countries in Latin America

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Iranian Intelligence Ministry Video?

Check this out.

Allegedly released by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry.

This video reveals the Iranian government's ultra paranoid world view and reminds us why we don't want to become like that unfortunate country.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Back Soon Freedom Fighters

Blogging off for a while.

Emergency CIA training camp.

I'll be back to the counter-revolution re-energised and re-programmed in a week.


Who's Responsible For Health Crises?

Ralston Exposes Labour Health Scandal

Wondered why Labour REALLY sacked the Hawke's Bay Disrict Health Board?

Bill Ralston explains;

A wee while back, Annette King was Minister of Health. Her husband, Ray Lind, was the chief operating officer of the Hawke's Bay District Health Board.

Against the wishes of many on the health board, King appoints Peter Hausmann to the board. Hausmann runs a company called Healthcare New Zealand and many on the board fretted that he, as a supplier to health boards, would have a conflict of interest as a board member. King appointed him anyway.

In a very short time, the chairman of the board discovered Hausmann was involved in email discussions over a tender for a multi-million-dollar contract from the board he was a member of.
A woman whistleblower in the board's administration brings this to the chairman's attention.
She alleges Annette King's husband, Ray Lind, as a senior manager put pressure on her because she blew the whistle. She ends up being restructured out of her job and an employment dispute ensues.

Meanwhile, Ray Lind quits and goes to work for Hausmann.

Flak flies, King is reshuffled out of the portfolio, her successor dithers about sorting out the rolling brawl between the board and its managers over various contracts being awarded, and the people of Hawke's Bay respond by backing the chairman and his board supporters by resoundingly re-electing them.

An inquiry into the murky goings on at the DHB rumbles away while there is yet another cabinet reshuffle and two-gun David Cunliffe takes over the job and refuses to confirm the chairman in his job.

Then, just 72 days after the re-elected board takes office, Cunliffe sacks them. He says the organisation is "dysfunctional" and it has a "rapidly deteriorating" financial situation. Actually, it's only $7.7 million in the red, within its target range of coming out plus or minus 1 per cent of its revenue. David Cunliffe might not have noticed, but there is not a DHB in the country that hasn't had financial problems and the Hawke's Bay board's problem is minor.

He ends with;

If National can't drive the dagger of this debacle into the Government's heart, it doesn't deserve to win the next election.

Hat tip The Hive

Philip Agee-Two Views

Philip Agee, the former CIA officer turned anti-agency campaigner died in Cuba in January.

His death has sparked a debate on Agee's significance, motivation and morality.

Agee's socialist New Zealand admirers issued this press release.

ABC & CAFCA Salute Philip Agee, American Hero

The Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) and the Anti-Bases Campaign (ABC) salute Philip Agee....He was one of the real global heroes of the latter decades of the 20th Century. By his courageous actions in exposing the names and operations of his erstwhile employer, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), he will be forever remembered as a real American patriot (naturally he was vilified as a traitor, permanently stripped of his US passport, hounded out of his homeland and subjected to all sorts of threats).

His 1975 tell-all book “Inside The Company: CIA Diary”went off like a bomb during that turbulent era when the crimes of the CIA throughout the Third World and against its own people were being exposed. That book was absolutely essential reading for everyone at the time.

Agee was not a one hit wonder. He went for broke, undergoing a profound political transformation that saw him spend the next several decades actively working against American imperialism throughout the world.

In the mid 1980s, right at the height of the “Anzus Row”, when there were documented instances of the CIA working to destabilise the anti-nuclear Lange government (such as the notorious Maori Loans Affair, for instance) CAFCINZ – as we then were – invited Agee to make an NZ speaking tour, which then broadened out to include Australia as well. It was a tortuous process to try and organise, taking many twists and turns over three full years before finally coming to naught (Agee apologetically decided he couldn’t fit us into his incredibly hectic schedule; after the tour’s cancellation was announced, to major media coverage, the gutless Australian government said that they wouldn’t have given him a visa anyway)...

Philip Agee is owed an enormous vote of thanks from all the peoples of the world, including New Zealand. Where is his like among the kidnappers, torturers and murderers of today’s CIA? In Agee’s day the crimes of the CIA were confined to the Third World and hidden from its own people. Now, the culture of imperial impunity means that these crimes are brazenly committed in full view of everyone.

So, the need to oppose and expose this criminal enterprise is greater than ever. Right up until his death, Philip Agee did more than his share in striking blows against the Empire. The struggle continues!

Murray Horton

Here's a different view of Philip Agee from Ion Pacepa.

Who is Mr Pacepa?

According to Wikipedia

Ion Mihai Pacepa (born 28 October 1928 in Bucharest, Romania) is the highest-ranking intelligence official ever to have defected from the former Eastern Bloc. He is now an American citizen, a writer, and a columnist.

In July 1978, Pacepa was a two-star Romanian Securitate general who simultaneously held the rank of advisor to President Nicolae Ceauşescu, acting chief of his foreign intelligence service and state secretary in Romania’s Ministry of Interior. He defected to the United States following President Jimmy Carter's approval of his request for political asylum.

From Frontpage Magazine

Let me start by showing Agee as he was seen at the top of the Soviet bloc intelligence community, to which I belonged when he became a traitor. It is, I believe, a novel look.

According to Sergio del Valle, the head of the Cuban domestic and foreign intelligence services with whom I had a relatively close working relationship in the 1960s and 1970s, Agee was a venal womanizer who had been recruited in Mexico City by the Cuban espionage service, the DGI (Dirección General de Inteligencia), with the help of a Cuban lover.

At that time the Soviet espionage service, the PGU, was engaged in publishing bogus books by such supposed authors, such as White Russian commander General Vlasov and Soviet foreign commissar Maksim Litvinov, and even a collection of invented written correspondence between Tito and Stalin. [1] Agee was like manna from heaven for the PGU.

The PGU took over Agee from the Cubans and persuaded him to put his name on a “devastating book” against the CIA that would make him a “rich man.” During the Cold War the CIA was the West’s first line of defense against communist expansion, and the PGU believed that Agee could help it erode the CIA’s ability to recruit highly positioned people able to see what spy satellites could not—what communist despots were planning to do against the rest of the world.

The PGU resettled Agee in England, and tasked to write a book about his experience with the CIA. From General Aleksandr Sakharovsky, a former chief intelligence adviser in Romania who rose to head the PGU for an unprecedented 14 years, I learned that Agee’s book was in fact conceived and documented by a DGI/PGU team of disinformation experts in Moscow. The chapter drafts and the appended documentary materials were sent to Agee through a PGU officer assigned under cover as the London correspondent of the Novosti news agency, which was a PGU front. (I later identified the correspondent as Edgar Cheporov.)

In January 1975, this joint DGI/PGU disinformation effort took shape in the form of a book entitled Inside the Company: CIA Diary, attributed to Phillip Agee. The book claimed that “millions of people all over the world had been killed or had their lives destroyed by the CIA,” [2] and it identified some 250 “criminal” CIA officers involved in Latin American operations, whose names had been provided to Agee by the DGI/PGU team in Moscow.

Inside the Company became an instant bestseller and was translated into 27 foreign languages. Why? In my other life, as a communist intelligence tsar, I oversaw the Romanian equivalents of both the FBI and the CIA, and I came to realize that the populace has very different yardsticks for each. The domestic security agency carried out its duties more or less in the open, and its officers were seen as human beings with human failings. But foreign intelligence, which was buried in utter secrecy, was light years away from people’s everyday lives. It was considered to be a mysterious and magical organization, consisting of anonymous officers without name or face who could bring off anything asked of them.

The PGU capitalized on this perception.

In 1978 I learned about a new PGU operation, aimed at using Agee to make the CIA “toothless in Europe.” Soon after that I broke with communism, and of course I lost contact with those PGU plots. Twenty years later I learned a few details of this new effort from original PGU documents smuggled out of Moscow by PGU officer Vasily Mitrokhin, helped by the British MI6.

Documents in the Mitrokhin Archive—described by the FBI as “the most complete and extensive intelligence ever received from any source”—show that in 1978 the PGU created a task force staffed with officers from Service A (disinformation) and Directorate K (counterintelligence), headed by V.N Kosterin, assistant to the chief of Service A, and charged it to provide Agee with materials designed to create another book. This became Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe, which contained names and biographical details of some 700 CIA officers who were, or had been, stationed in Europe.

In 1979, according to other documents in the Mitrokhin Archive, the PGU tasked Agee to lend his name to a sequel book, Dirty Work: The CIA in Africa. Agee was met in Cuba by two PGU officers, Oleg Nechiporenko of Directorate K and A.N. Itskov of Service A, who gave him a list of CIA officers working on the African continent.

Dirty Work was published in September 1979, bringing the total number of CIA officers exposed by the PGU with Agee’s help to about 2,000. [3] [i]

Trust is the most valuable asset of any espionage service, whatever its nationality or political flavor, and the CIA was indeed harmed for a time—any high-ranking foreigner would think twice before putting his life in the hands of an espionage organization unable to protect the identity of its officers and sources. Nevertheless, the CIA continued to epitomize the notion of freedom for most of the people kept prisoner in the Soviet bloc, and it eventually become instrumental in winning the Cold War.

By the 1990s, Agee had become a forgotten relic. Now he has died of septicemia in an infected Cuban hospital, and he was immediately cremated to avoid future embarrassments. His books are turning to ashes as well.

I wonder whose account is the more accurate?

Bush On Keeping Tyrants At Arm's Length

President Bush gets it dead right.

The correct response to evil is ostracism, not engagement.

From the Washington Times

Mr. Bush, in his first White House press conference of 2008, described in detail why he thinks the idea of meeting personally with leaders of rogue nations such as Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba is a bad idea. “It's a theory that all you got to do is embrace and these tyrants act. That's not how they act. That's not what causes them to respond,”

Mr. Bush said. “Sitting down at the table, having your picture taken with a tyrant such as Raul Castro, for example, lends the status of the office and the status of our country to him,” Mr. Bush said. “He gains a lot from it by saying, ‘Look at me, I'm now recognized by the president of the United States.”

Hat tip Crusader Rabbit

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Kiwi Troops Risk Their Lives For This?

Why are New Zealand troops propping up a regime like this?

From Cuban News Agency Prensa Latina

Dili, Feb 29 Interim President Fernando La Sama De Araujo of Timor Leste sent congratulations Friday to Raul Castro at his election as president of the Cuban State and Minister councils.

In his letter, La Sama de Araujo also said he wished good health to Commander in Chief Fidel Castro.

The acting president expressed the Timor Leste people's recognition "for the contribution of Cuba's collaboration to our country's social development, and reiterate its great importance to us."

The text mentioned Cuba's assistance and support as essential for teaching basic literacy to adults, promoting primary and secondary health assistance, training doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel and generally consolidating public health services.

Araujo also said he would continue to be personally committed to developing bilateral cooperation and strengthening friendship between both peoples.