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SIS – New decade same old crap

MEDIA RELEASE August 9th, 2009 - Gatt Watchdog

SIS – New decade same old crap!!

Gatt Watchdog is supporting Professor Jane Kelsey’s demand for the release of her Security Intelligence Service (SIS) file.

When the current Security Intelligence Service (SIS) director, Warren Tucker announced that the SIS would be releasing previously confidential files they held on individuals and organizations it seemed as if we might have been in for a new era of openness and accountability from our costly and secretive intelligence community said Gatt Watchdog co-convenor, Leigh Cookson. But it seems Warren was just humouring his critics. Jane Kelsey, a Professor of Law at Auckland University, leading author and very public critic of neo-liberal and free market policies has been refused her file – it seems academics might be a threat to national security.

This all seems a bit familiar to Gatt Watchdog. In 1996 Gatt Watchdog co-convenor Aziz Choudry had his house broken into by the SIS. His colleague Dr David Small caught the agents in the act and a high profile and prolonged court case ensued. Aziz successfully sued over the break-in and received a settlement from the government.

As with Professor Kelsey, the SIS seemed to think that Gatt Watchdog and Aziz’s questioning of the government’s economic policies was a direct threat to national security. So much so, that even when caught red-handed, in the kitchen with the crowbar, they refused to allow any information about their operation to be released. After an exhausting and long legal battle the SIS finally released some of the information that had to be withheld or the nation would falter. “My favourite was the very dangerous and secret map of Christchurch. It was a standard Wises map, and I had one just like it at home, but it seems that to the SIS the location of streets in Christchurch was a national secret, one that must be protected at all costs” said Ms Cookson

Ms Cookson said she suspects much of what is held in SIS files is also in the public arena, and information in Professor Kelsey’s file would certainly fall into that category. “She is a very public critic, she writes books and gives interviews and lectures, her views and activities are hardly secret to anyone who knows how to google”.

Gatt Watchdog challenges the director, Warren Tucker to release the file. “We will even let Warren keep the map of Auckland in her file, we already know where she lives” said Ms Cookson.

"Maybe all the millions of dollars spent spying on the very public critics of neo-liberalism and free trade like Gatt Watchdog and Professor Kelsey should have been spent paying attention to the finance companies, banks and transnational corporations whose unethical practices and greed have left us all dealing with a recession, rising unemployment and a bleak future", she added.

Gatt Watchdog was set up in 1989 to oppose free trade,corporate globalisation and other harmful economic policies.


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