Annual Intelligence and Security Report - Silly
Aziz Choudry Press Release
Republished From 27/12/1999
Silly Season Timing Perfect for Annual
Intelligence and Security Report.
“Turkey, Chicken or Just Plain Stuffed” ?
The third annual report of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, retired High Court Judge Laurie Greig, tabled in Parliament last week, has come under fire from one of the first people to lay a complaint against the SIS with the Inspector-General.
“It’s pathetic. I can’t believe that someone actually got paid for writing this!” said Aziz Choudry after reading the 20-page document.
“I know it’s
the silly season. But its bland assurances about the
operations of the SIS and the GCSB and its
self-congratulatory tone are bizarre, inappropriate and
disturbing given Laurie Greig’s failure to adequately
explain his conclusions that the actions and procedures
surrounding the botched, illegal 1996 SIS break-in at my
house was “lawful reasonable and justified” when the
Court of Appeal ruled the break-in to be illegal”.
“Indeed it was the Inspector General’s June 1997 whitewash of the SIS break-in and refusal to state whether or not SIS agents were involved which forced me to take a civil case through the courts.”
In his annual report, Mr Greig asserts that: “I believe that we can congratulate ourselves on being able to operate Security and Intelligence Services effectively and appropriately for the benefit of New Zealand as a whole on such a small scale.”
“Yet in correspondence to me following last year’s Court of Appeal ruling he conceded that his conclusions were based “in part, on an erroneous view of the law.””
“The Inspector-General’s report on my complaint appears to have been as botched as the bungled SIS break-in. And his annual report fails to acknowledge this failure in any way.”
“At a time when the new government is running hot with the rhetoric of accountability in the public sector and a fairer society, I can’t make my mind up as to whether the best description of the intelligence agencies and the supposed mechanisms of oversight is turkeys, chickens, or just plain stuffed,” he said.
“The oversight and review mechanisms are merely cosmetic. They are there for show - not effect.”
“1999 has seen the powers of the SIS greatly expanded with the passage of legislation which legalised an illegality supported by all parties except for the Greens and the Alliance. This report adds further weight to criticism levelled at New Zealand intelligence agencies that they remain unaccountable and a law unto themselves”.
Mr Choudry has no illusions that things will improve under the new Government.
“The Alliance has repeatedly called for
an inquiry into SIS operations and its leader Jim Anderton
has stated that he is opposed to the existence of the SIS.
But Helen Clark actively dissuaded David Small and I from
taking further action against the SIS after we had expressed
our dissatisfaction with the Inspector-General’s findings,
and has been unsympathetic and indeed hostile to concerns
raised by a wide spectrum of New Zealanders about the role
of the SIS. Indeed it is difficult to see the difference
between Labour and National on this