The Jackal
 


2 Sep 2014

Who is Carrick Graham?

Carrick Graham
In damage control since their campaign officially began derailing a couple of weeks ago, things took another terrible turn for the National party last weekend. Not only did the corrupt Judith Collins have to resign on Saturday because of her links with attack blogger Cameron Slater, it is also clear that the inquiry John Key has set up to investigate these matters is far too narrow in focus and has therefore been widely dismissed as being worthless!

If that wasn’t bad enough for the smiling assassin, John Key, the hacker known as Rawshark has also released through his @Whaledump twitter account a number of new emails between Cameron Slater, Cathy Odger’s and so-called PR Consultant Carrick Graham that clearly show them conspiring to undermine a Serious Fraud Office investigation into Hanover Finance.

In July 2008, Hanover Finance froze $550 million of assets effecting around 36,500 investors, so this is a pretty big deal. After years of waiting, investors are still yet to see any of their hard earned money returned.

Why has this happened and who is Carrick Graham you might ask? Well, he’s a PR consultant for former Hanover Finance boss Mark Hotchin, the money man who appears to have paid for the smear campaign Slater et al were running against former SFO Chief Executive Adam Feeley. Clearly their muckraking was designed to undermine the the SFO’s investigation into Hanover Finance, which in my opinion warrants criminal charges being laid.

In effect Mark Hotchin was using the money he misappropriated from Hanover investors to fight the regulatory body so that investors wouldn’t recover their money. This will undoubtedly piss off a lot of rich people off who would have normally voted for National. Not only detrimental to John Key's hopes for re-election, our markets will be adversely affected being that any form of corruption will cause investors to withdraw their funds from New Zealand.

If Judith Collins has in any way helped Hotchin, Graham and their employed attack bloggers to pervert the course of justice and undermine our financial markets, she will likely face criminal charges. There is no doubt however that she, and others, knew about what was going on and did absolutely nothing.

SFO Director Adam Feeley was later replaced before his contract expired and the investigation into Mark Hotchin and Hanover Finance was inexplicably shut down. Because of this, investors have had to mount a civil case to try and retrieve their money.

The implication here is that the smear campaign against the SFO was successful, which does not bode well for our investment markets. So why isn’t the investigation into what appears to be widespread criminal behaviour more robust? With so much at stake, the government cannot possibly be playing politics with the sanctity of our financial markets, can they?

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

Whale Oil blogger left out of probe 
An inquiry into the events surrounding Judith Collins' downfall will not examine the relationship between her and Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater or the Serious Fraud Office investigation into Hanover Finance, Prime Minister John Key says.

Opposition parties are calling for a broad inquiry, but Mr Key said it will instead be confined to the conduct of Ms Collins and her relationship with Adam Feeley, the former head of the SFO.

Ms Collins is accused of trying to undermine Mr Feeley when she was Minister of Police. An email from Slater in 2011 said the minister was "gunning for" Feeley. She has denied any wrongdoing.

Other private emails released over the weekend appear to show right-wing bloggers were being paid to run a smear campaign against the Financial Markets Authority and SFO, overseen by Carrick Graham, the then-PR handler for former Hanover boss Mark Hotchin.

It appears that Carrick Graham is just another go-between big business interests and right wing propagandists who, because of the smear campaign they mounted against the SFO, have actively undermined investor confidence in New Zealand’s financial markets. Just how much these despicable people have cost New Zealand would be hard to quantify, but it's likely to be in the billions of dollar range.

Clearly the terms of reference for an investigation into Judith Collins’ involvement should include Slater, Odgers, Graham and Hotchin’s apparent conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Because without that we can just expect another whitewash from a government that is determined to continue with their dirty and undemocratic politics. After all, that's the only "game" they know how to play.

Matthew Hooton’s dirty tactics

Outside observers might be watching the National party unravelling and wondering what the hell is going on. This is especially the case with one particular right wing propagandist, Matthew Hooton.

At first Hooton’s behaviour might seem a bit strange. He has after all come out and publicly attacked the Prime Minister on various dirty politics issues. For instance, Hooton claims to have heard on Wednesday about the email that brought down Judith Collins, an email that points to a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice…while the PM claims not to have found out until late Friday night.

In my opinion, making bold statements against John Key about side issues is simply Hooton trying to re-take the narrative that has been damaging National’s re-election chances. The right wing can only start to control the narrative again if it is their spin-doctors who the media approach to get opinion. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, to create a diversion away from the real issues by developing your own controversy that can later be easily explained away. Thankfully most journalists aren’t gullible enough to fall for it.

Here’s the particular play from H. Michael Sweeney’s 25 Rules of Disinformation that Matthew Hooton is attempting to use:

11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions:  Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the "high road" and "confess" with candour that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, "just isn't so." Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later. Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for "coming clean" and "owning up" to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.

Clearly Matthew Hooton is the last person the media should be relying on to get their opinions from. Implicated up to his eyeballs in the right wings dirty politics, Hooton has actively worked with discredited bloggers like Cameron Slater and Cathy Odger’s to publish people’s addresses with the intention of closing them down. Furthermore, he has manipulated iPredict in order to make people believe things that simply aren’t true.

Hooton might be on the face of it coming out and criticising the government, but there's an underlying motive to his behaviour. He’s attempting to subvert the media’s attention away from the issues that really matter. Matthew Hooton is trying to control the narrative in order to later downplay the right wings dirty politics thus minimising the damage to National that the truth is causing.

1 Sep 2014

Chalk one up to Cactus Kate

People must be getting the correct impression about now that Cameron Slater and Cathy Odger’s aren’t the smartest of bloggers.

Not only have we learnt that Slater is just a simple copy and paste hack, the leaked emails show that he's also an arrogant idiot who believed his Facebook communications with National party official’s like Aaron Bhatnagar and Jason Ede were never going to be read by anyone but themselves.

How stupid do you have to be to conspire with government officials on what was likely a completely insecure network?

That’s dumb enough, but the latest "mistake" by Slater’s accomplice Cathy Odger’s really takes the cake. It appears that Cactus Kate as she’s more commonly referred to, freaked out about what information might be released to the media that could implicate her and others in criminal activity.

Convincing herself that the Whaledump hacker already had an email that also appears to implicate Mark Hotchins, Carrick Graham and Judith Collins in a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, Cactus sent it to the Prime Minister’s office as some sort of warning. Doh!

Talk about shooting your own team in the foot with a bazooka! The email was perhaps sent to the wrong address, (according to Matthew Hooton) shared by a low level National party staffer on Wednesday, the Prime Minister was apparently informed late Friday night and hey presto, Judith Collins had to resign on Saturday.

Thanks Cathy Odger’s...with friends like her, who really needs enemies?

Key must be summoned

It beggars belief that the Minister in charge of the SIS, John Key, is still claiming to know nothing about his official's attacking public servants through a third rate blog site like Whale Oil Beef Hooked.

If we were to believe the man who I think is at the centre of all this, John Key, he would be claiming that he’s totally ignorant of what goes on around him. That would indicate that he's entirely incompetent and therefore incapable of being the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

However, we shouldn’t believe John Key, because his very own personal communications advisor at the time, Jason Ede, who was passing sensitive information onto propagandist Cameron Slater to publicly vilify those who stood in their way, worked only two doors down from the PM's office.

There is no question that Key knew of Ede's activity, because if he didn't know he would have now fired Ede for going behind his back. There is no doubt in my mind that Jason Ede was following orders to surreptitiously attack National's political and public foes online.

Furthermore, Key has previously boasted about his close relationship with the unstable Cameron Slater. But now that the Dirty Politics scandal has blown up in his face, he has attempted to downplay this relationship.

In my opinion anybody who thinks John Key wasn’t aware of the underhanded activity happening right under his nose is quite frankly a moron! We cannot give the PM the benefit of the doubt here, because the evidence clearly shows that there is no doubt.

Not only was there a conspiracy to undermine the CEO of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley, because he was investigating white collar criminals like Mark Hotchin, some of the conspirators worked directly for John Key. It also appears that they were helped in their criminal activity by former Justice Minister Judith Collins. She has at least done the right thing by resigning. It wouldn't be out of question for her to leave politics entirely.

It should also be mentioned that John Key has a vested interest in such undemocratic and dare I say treasonous activity being successful. Recruited into National by Cameron Slater’s father John Slater, the former Wall Street banker now turned politician has been caught lying about his investments before. It stands to reason that he has a vested interest in our Serious Fraud Office and other watchdogs having their teeth filed down or removed. The best way to do that is to replace upstanding public officials with people who are sympathetic to those who wish to evade the law.

The problem for Key is that he’s told so many lies that he cannot keep track of them all. That was the case when he recently claimed he wasn’t informed about the SIS releasing sensitive information to Cameron Slater, information that was specifically designed to discredit then Labour leader Phil Goff. Three letters were subsequently unearthed that showed the Prime Minister was lying. Stupidly a number of officials tried to defend Key’s lies, only to have video evidence come to light of the dishonest man himself explaining that he was in fact briefed.

In my opinion we cannot have a Prime Minister who makes up lies just to suit the difficult circumstances he's in. I hope that enough New Zealander’s share that opinion and vote accordingly on September 20 to ensure a change of government.

So why isn’t John Key appearing before the Inspector General of Intelligence to give evidence? Is he perhaps afraid to swear under oath upon the Bible? That would seem strange, being that John Key is a self-professed atheist! No! The real reason Key is spinning like a smoking wooden top to try and evade a court of law is because he thinks team Key still has a chance of winning the election. Appearing before an inquiry would obviously further damage National's chances.

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

Staff, but not PM, to appear before inquiry 
Several staff members from Prime Minister John Key's office have been called to give evidence to an inquiry by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security - but Labour MP Phil Goff says Mr Key's own absence would "dramatically weaken" the credibility of the investigation.

Mr Goff, blogger Cameron Slater and staff from the Prime Minister's office have all been summoned to give evidence to the inquiry into an Official Information Act release from former Security Intelligence Service director Warren Tucker to Slater.

Mr Key initially said he had been summoned by Inspector-General Cheryl Gwyn but his office later said several of his staff had been asked to appear, but not Mr Key himself.

I believe Key would have initially been summoned. However, because of the election campaign, National would have worked hard to deter the Inspector General of Intelligence from requiring such an appearance.

Whether or not Key is held to account for the dirty politics he undoubtedly orchestrated will simply show how deep the infection goes. What is patently clear however is that team Key’s campaign and the Prime Minister’s credibility are in tatters! There is no recovering for the smiling assassin. The medias intense exposure and the resulting public scrutiny of dirty politics is far too powerful to ignore. Therefore John Key should do the honourable thing and simply resign!

31 Aug 2014

Carbon


CARBON is the first film in the Green World Rising Series.

“Carbon” is narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, presented by Thom Hartmann and directed by Leila Conners. Executive Producers are George DiCaprio, Earl Katz and Roee Sharon Peled. Carbon is produced by Mathew Schmid and was written by Thom Hartmann, Sam Sacks, Leila Conners and Mathew Schmid. Music is composed and performed by Jean-Pascal Beintus and intro drone by Francesco Lupica. Carbon is produced by Tree Media with the support of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.