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Mainstream media too slow in waking to the proof

by 18 Sep 2014Corruption0 comments

Trace Hodgson, Dorian-Key

Game is Up: In the final of the debates between the leaders of the two largest political parties, viewers could be excused for thinking that Prime Minister John Key looked like a man dogged by complicity in a conspiracy of mega proportions. Key has ample reason to be apprehensive, because regardless of whether Labour or National leads the next government, the inquiry into the dirty politics of the latter will be excoriating. image TVNZ

It’s all the proof that was needed. That, as urged by Kim Dotcom, the mainstream media needs to ‘wake up’ and do its job.

By the morning after the packed-to-overflowing ‘Moment of Truth’ meeting in Auckland Town Hall on Monday night, the mainstream media should have left few stones unturned in its attempt to ascertain whether the document provided to Parliament’s speaker, earlier on Monday, was the long-promised smoking gun.

The mainstream media’s duty to examine the document’s authenticity was even greater given that, contrary to every expectation, it was provided to the speaker of Parliament and not disclosed or discussed in the town hall, except for the facilitator, Laila Harré, later informing reporters:

The strong advice to [Kim Dotcom] was to make sure that this evidence was put before a proper judicial process. That is what Parliament’s privileges committee is.

If the email is a fake, as almost instantaneously claimed by Warner Bros. Entertainment, then it spells the end to one of the biggest sagas ever to play out in Aotearoa, and should, should he be shown to have been complicit in its fabrication, result in Kim Dotcom’s swift deportation. If on the other hand the email is shown, beyond reasonable doubt, to be genuine, then John Key has misled Parliament and he should be required to immediately resign the prime ministership to his deputy, Bill English.

But rather than demand, at the very least, a sworn statement from the prime minister denying he talked to Warner Bros’ anti-piracy executive about Kim Dotcom in 2010, the speaker has sounded the final whistle, on the seemingly spurious grounds that parliament had dissolved. This feels about as valid as declaring that, because the final rugby test match is over, the player guilty of a head-high tackle can’t be disciplined. The prime minister remains the prime minister until after the election result is final, coalitions are negotiated, Parliament is called, and a confidence vote is taken. In 1996, this process took precisely two months. In recent weeks, all manner of coalitions have been mooted, including, suicidally, Green Party co-leader Russell Norman raising the possibility of forming a Blue–Green one with National. There is, then, every indication that coalition negotiations could be particularly protracted. It is the responsibility of the mainstream media to grill appropriate constitutional lawyers as to whether the speaker is indeed obligated to ignore the complaint, and if so, challenge Kim Dotcom’s legal advisors as why they recommended that course of action.

World Class Panel: The 2400 people who headed for the Auckland Town Hall on Monday evening paid noble tribute to the international panel of experts assembled to shine a light on the egregious erosion of the right to privacy and self-determination. Two of the heroes of the cause appeared via video link because, like Kim Dotcom, they are at risk of extradition to the United States. Video Internet Party Currently, the strongest indication of the email’s authenticity is the prime minister’s failure to categorically deny he told Kevin Tsujihara, now Warner Bros. chief executive officer, that:

…they are granting Dotcom residency despite pushback from officials about his criminal past. His [Attorney-General] will do everything in his power to assist us with our case. VIP treatment and then a one-way ticket to Virginia.

For more than two years, John Key has been accused of knowing of Kim Dotcom’s residency prior to his arrest. Despite this, the best the prime minister could do on Monday when confronted with the alleged Tsujihara email was to dissemble, using the age-old ‘can’t recall’ ploy:

Look, I can’t recall any conversation with him, I don’t believe it to be correct but we’ll go and check it out.

This is surely an admission that two years of categorical assurances were based on the gamble that no documentary evidence to the contrary would come to light. Just when it is essential to have the mainstream media direct the strongest possible illumination on the document’s likely provenance, and on what obligation the speaker has to investigate a charge of misleading Parliament, it is happy characterising its release as a fizzer. Given the potential import of this document, the rush to dismiss it is astonishing. Particularly when it agrees with the four-year-old email about Kim Dotcom released earlier this year by the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service, following an Official Information Act request, which states:

We are in the very, very initial stages of the possible joint Op so won’t be telling [Immigration New Zealand] of the Police or FBI’s involvement.

Since 2008, the prime minister, as is usual practice, is also the minister to which the Security Intelligence Service reports. It would seem, then, to be highly implausible that John Key didn’t know about Kim Dotcom two years before the notorious military-style raid, and has lied about his prior lack of knowledge of the existence of the larger-than-life internet tycoon for the two years since. The mainstream media will eventually turn on Key, and happily make all the hay that is then to be had. When that time comes, many National supporters are going to feel angry and foolish for having so eagerly accepted Key’s equivocal assurances, and faithfully voted him back into Parliament. The more astute on Saturday, or before, will at the very least abstain, or, if sufficiently incensed, vote to punish this government of ideologues and liars.

Alan Renwick chart

As if Further Proof Was Required: Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem, appalled at the latest Official Information Act allegations said, if trust between her office and the government breaks down, ‘We may as well kiss democracy goodbye.’ The Mahurangi Magazine considers it is time to vote National out of office. imageNew Zealand Herald

Thanks to Russell Norman’s and Winston Peters’ overtures to National, Rodney voters who wish to see a change of government have only two safe options for their party vote: Labour and Internet–Mana. However, if Internet–Mana fails to reach the 5%-or-one-electorate-seat threshold, it is most unlikely that Labour will be able to lead the next government. This makes party-voting Internet–Mana the surest vote for change. The electorate vote is much less important, and could safely go to Tracey Martin, so as not to reward National’s man. Meanwhile, Mahurangi voters on the Māori roll are in the pivotal position of being able to vote for the leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, and to party-vote Internet–Mana—Te Tai Tokerau is unique amongst the Māori electorates in that the most strategic vote for change is two ticks for the same party, in this case Mana, and that both ticks are equally crucial.

Those who queued for hours for the 1647 seats in the Auckland Town Hall on Monday evening, and the 800 who joined the queue after it reached all the way to Wellesley Street and failed to get inside, were mostly young, employed and male. Many are voting for the first time; none are likely to be voting for National. On Tuesday morning, they deserved to wake up to incisive mainstream media reporting that examined every aspect of the prima facie conspiracy involving the prime minister of Aotearoa and ‘his’ Security Intelligence Service, and Hollywood’s motion-picture moguls and ‘their’ Federal Bureau of Investigation in a treacherous scheme to grant Kim Dotcom residency for the sole purpose of expediting his extradition to the United States.

Time the mainstream media woke up and did its job.

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