The Jackal

6 Oct 2014

Police turn over Hager's home

We all should be aware that in New Zealand there's a certain group of wealthy people who believe themselves to be above the law. Sometimes this includes the Police themselves, who have on numerous occasions abused their positions of power.

That's what appears to have occurred when the Police, clearly on the orders of those implicated in the Dirty Politics scandal, searched Nicky Hager's house for clues as to the identity of the Dirty Politics hacker known as Rawshark.

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

Dirty Politics author Nicky Hager has had his home raided by police searching for the hacker Rawshark.

In a 10-hour search of his house, Hager said computers and papers were seized in what appeared to be an attempt to discover the identity of the person who provided information used in the Dirty Politics book.

The book was an election bombshell based on hacked email and social media material belonging to WhaleOil blogger Cameron Slater.

The person contacted the Herald and Fairfax using the identity Rawshark while using the Twitter handle @whaledump to release information publicly.

Hager said five officers came to his Wellington home last Thursday with a search warrant.

He was in Auckland at the time the police arrived giving lectures at the University of Auckland.

What I would like to know is since when do the Police have the power to enter into Nicky Hager's house without his permission and take property because somebody else hacked Cameron Slater's computers?

Hager clearly isn't the hacker. He has in fact done no crime by using information provided to him in good faith, especially because it's of great public interest.

"Soon after the police arrived, the lead detective stated that I was not a suspect in their case, merely a witness." Hager said he told the detective there was nothing in his house which held information that would uncover the source.

"Nonetheless, he and his four colleagues seized a large collection of papers and electronic equipment belonging to my family, including computers, drives, phones, CDs, an IPOD and a camera."

Hager said the search and seizure of the material was a "fishing expedition" carried out by officers who had no idea who they were looking for, hoping for a lucky break.

"I am confident that the police took nothing that will help them with their investigation."

Hager said he would not cooperate with police in any way to reveal the Dirty Politics source - or any other source. "I believe the police actions are dangerous for journalism in New Zealand.

"It matters to all people working in the media who could similarly have their property searched and seized to look for sources. People are less likely to help the media if the police act in this way.

"The police want people to respect their role in society; they should in turn respect other people's roles in society."

He said he was speaking to his lawyers about challenging the police action.

You've also got to wonder why a judge would disregard the law and allow such a raid?

The only reason for Rawshark's identity to be made known would be to give the corrupt people named in Hager's book a target to attack. Therefore the safety of this individual is more important than any public interest there might be in making their identity known.

That makes the Police raid and the judge's decision to allow such an action highly questionable, especially because there is no evidence of Nicky Hager himself breaking any law whatsoever. In fact I would say that such reasoning behind a clear abuse of Police power is flawed, which would make the raid itself illegal.

This wouldn't be the first time the powers that be have used the Police to try and shut down the truth from being reported on. Remember what happened with the teapot tape and the news agencies that were provided a copy of what John Banks and Key had said?

This is clearly pointing to a more totalitarian regime that will abuse their power in an attempt to intimidate and stop the truth about their corrupt regime from getting out. So let's name their behaviour for what it really is...fascism!

Will Obama's Bombs Stop Beheadings?

Russell Brand The Trews (E146).

Reaction to President Barack Obama's 'destroy and degrade' strategy address for fighting the Islamic State.

1 Oct 2014

The problem with warmongers

The problem with warmongers is they appear to have no empathy for their fellow human beings. That's because war, and the industrial complex behind it, is invariably built upon people's prejudices.

History is littered with examples of prejudice being used as a reason for atrocities…a prime example being the holocaust. Although there were a myriad of other unjustifiable reasons, it was people's prejudices that were ultimately used as an excuse for the worst genocide in living memory.

We see the same thing with Israel’s illegal war on Palestine. How can they indiscriminately bomb women and children you might ask? Well the simple answer is they’ve been conditioned to hate from a very early age.

That's also the case with the United States' wars for oil in the Middle East. Although people being stigmatized for what they believe in or the colour of their skin is nothing new, the ability to turn prejudices into actions has become a lot easier with the advent of radio, television and the Internet. The warmonger's have utilized these tools to convince entire nations that there's a reason to tear themselves apart or go to war. In fact their propaganda is now used worldwide to the great detriment of all mankind.

Here’s one small example of the damage to society from the warmongers propaganda, with the Mail Online reporting yesterday:

Woman's head is battered against train carriage by female attacker who shouted racist abuse

A Melbourne woman was left 'emotionally distraught' after being verbally and physically assaulted during a racial tirade by a fellow train passenger.

The 26-year-old victim was standing by the doors of the train as it approached Batman Railway Station in Northern Melbourne on Thursday evening, when she was approached by another woman who began hurling abuse at her.

Media reports allege the victim was a Muslim woman.

These aren't just random attacks...they’re events that have been actively encouraged by governments through a compliant and corrupted media banging on about Muslim extremists. Such propaganda has encouraged prejudice within the general public, with people's differences once again being exploited as an excuse to go to war.

Last week, the Courier Mail reported on Brisbane Muslim community leader Ali Kadri saying:

“This is how extremism starts. It starts in the mind, it comes out the mouth and ends up in violence ... we must all sit down and come up with some solutions.’’

The problem here is it's the state creating and promoting people's fears and prejudices. This clearly indicates that they've learnt nothing at all from history, because if they'd actually listened to those who went through a real war, they wouldn't be trying to cause another one.

So fickle is their understanding about the realities of war that only a generation after world war two, so-called Western "democracies" seem ready to utterly disregard our forebears' sacrifice. This shows that the real problem with warmongers isn't just that they actively promote people's prejudices, but that they haven't learnt from their mistakes and are therefore fated to repeat them.

29 Sep 2014

Peter Williams - Hero of the Week

There are not many lawyers who I respect. However, that's not the case with Peter Williams, who is clearly one of the good guys.

Not only has this highly experienced Queen's Council worked tirelessly to uphold the law, he has also been outspoken on many issues of significance to all of us.

Here's Peter Williams talking with Selwyn Manning about the GCSB's unlawful activity:

Unfortunately Williams has the big C, with yesterday's Sunday program reporting:

Peter Williams QC is fighting a force he's never before encountered. It's cancer. And for this 79-year-old criminal defence lawyer, it's one of his biggest trials yet.

And it's one of those moments he says that "you realise how precious life is. People take it for granted when you're young, you think you're going to live forever."

But despite a difficult prognosis, Williams never has given up easily and has a track record to prove it. For over 50 years, he's defended some of our country's worst criminals - rapists, murderers and drug traffickers. He says he even liked many of them.

I'm sure his unbiased approach annoyed the hell out of many people. One thing the get tough on criminals crowd needs to understand is that everybody has rights, no matter what they might have done.

This is something that Peter Williams obviously understands. Through his advocacy for prisoner's rights and work as the president of the Howard League for Penal Reform, Williams has undoubtedly challenged our entire justice system and in so doing made it better.

That's why Peter Williams wins this week's Hero Award.

28 Sep 2014

The truth will out

It's unfortunate that those involved in the Dirty Politics scandal have taken National's election win as some sort of vindication of their devious tactics. However, the business as usual approach people like Cameron Slater and David Farrar are taking, so soon after they've been exposed, is likely to blow up in their faces.

It might be a somewhat convincing meme that middle New Zealand simply doesn’t care about government corruption, but the truth has a way of getting through to even the most deluded individuals. Eventually, more and more people will start to become aware of the sinister side to John Key's administration, and either through openly challenging or quietly working against it, progressive and positive change will occur.

However, nobody should be under any illusions that the repressive regime such propagandists represent will try to further undermine our civil liberties, especially for those who challenge the current dysfunctional system with reason and facts. This is especially the case for academics who understand the implications of not doing their work honestly.

Today, Scoop reported another story that shows Cameron Slater has learnt nothing:

Hate merchants at it again with smear tactics

“It’s disappointing to see the hate merchants at it again with yet another attempt to smear and silence a health professional who’s doing research they disagree with,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

“Cameron Slater’s Whale Oil blog has repeatedly attacked the work being done by public health researchers, for example in the areas of nutrition and smoking, and now he’s having a go at Otago University nutrition expert Dr Lisa Te Morenga.

“Once again we see him using the word ‘trougher’ in a blog post in an offensive attempt to undermine the credibility of a health professional who is using her expertise to improve public health, and then on Twitter we see Carrick Graham and Jordan Williams also laying into Dr Te Morenga.

The share hypocrisy of these guys appears to know no bounds. If academics are "trougher's" for being paid to undertake research, what does that make Cameron Slater & co for being paid to try and undermine it?

The problem here is that the right wing has an enormous credibility issue that they don't look like ever resolving...mainly because they don't want to even acknowledge the problem exists.

“These smear tactics were well documented in Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics book and the resulting political revelations in the lead-up to the general election, and they’re unacceptable. Critiquing the conclusions of research is a valid part of health debate and discussion but this is just nasty stuff on the part of Whale Oil and others. New Zealand’s health professionals should be able to to carry out research and other investigations without fear of intimidation.”

Mr Powell says this latest attack on a health professional follows the recent visit here by British anti-tax spin doctor Christopher Snowdon to talk about the evils of taxing sugary soft drinks.

“It’s all part of a relentless campaign to undermine and silence people who are working to address issues like obesity, diabetes and public health. Our view is that sunlight is the best disinfection for those tactics.”

I wonder what the right wing will do when people stop being afraid?