GCSB Directors Refute Waihopai Allegations
GCSB Directors Refute Allegations Concerning the WAIHOPAI Station
The current and previous Directors of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), Air Marshal Sir Bruce Ferguson and Dr Warren Tucker, today took the very unusual step of jointly commenting publicly on assertions and allegations made to the media concerning the Waihopai Station. These assertions, which have been re-stated following the decision by the Solicitor-General not to appeal the recent acquittal of the three persons accused of causing intentional damage to the Waihopai Station satellite antenna cover, demand a response in the wider public interest, because they bring into question the core integrity of New Zealand’s security and intelligence apparatus.
“The claims that the Waihopai station is ‘a United States spybase in our midst’, contributing to ‘torture, war, and the use of weapons of mass destruction’ and other ‘unspeakable evil’ cannot be left unchallenged”, they said. “More fundamentally, though, for us, are the issues of the propriety and legality of the actions of the GCSB throughout the period leading up to, during, and since the US-led invasion of Iraq.
“This is a fundamental question of New Zealand’s sovereign control over its decision-making on matters of foreign policy. And this is closely linked to the way New Zealand’s instruments of national influence (including, amongst many others, the intelligence agencies) are aligned with, and used to assist and support, the decisions of the Government of the day.
“Let us be very clear. Consistent with the clearly-expressed and very public position taken by the then Government on the Iraq War, very specific and explicit steps were taken throughout the GCSB to ensure that nothing was done (or tolerated) which could in any way be construed as being in conflict with the New Zealand Government’s position on the Iraq war. This includes the uses to which the Waihopai station was tasked.
“The Waihopai station is not a US-run ‘spybase’. It is totally operated and controlled by New Zealand, through the GCSB as an arm of the New Zealand Government. This has been formally investigated and reported upon by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (for example, at the specific request of then Prime Minister Bolger, in response to claims made by peace movement activists at that time).
“The Waihopai station was not – and is not – being used to contribute to ‘torture, war, and the use of weapons of mass destruction, such as depleted uranium’ as claimed.
“It was not – and is not – contributing to ‘unspeakable evil’. Quite the reverse.” they said.
Both Directors made clear that they would make no further comment on this matter.