Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Not just any illiterate moron

More revelations in the GCSB spying scandal today. Firstly, the GCSB were told of Dotcom's residency in February, but "failed to understand the implications" and didn't click to them until they were pointed out by Dotcom's lawyer. As the Herald points out, this means they knew when they briefed John Key on February 29.

Secondly, the person who "failed to understand the implications"? He is now GCSB's chief legal officer:

Hugh Wolfensohn held pivotal roles during and after the bureau's spying operation, having oversight of operations, the legal office and the entire agency.

He has emerged as working at the bureau 16 years ago in Nicky Hager's book Secret Power as "CX" - the designation used to describe the agency's legal officer.

Mr Wolfensohn has used three titles at the agency in the past 12 months. Herald inquiries established he held the title of "operations director" since the GCSB and police were briefed about Megaupload in August.

Then, on December 19, Mr Wolfensohn assumed the role of "acting director", three days after the GCSB began spying on Mr Dotcom.

He held the position until January 29, when incoming director Ian Fletcher became the fifth person in just 18 months to lead the agency. Mr Wolfensohn was signing letters in May this year using the title "chief legal adviser".

So, when I quipped about the GCSB being illiterate morons who couldn't read their own Act, it turns out that the illiterate moron in question was in fact the moron who would be expected to be most knowledgeable about such details. Which is simply unbelievable. Either GCSB are lying to us, and have knowingly conducted unlawful surveillance - or their chief legal adviser is a complete incompetent. Either way, he shouldn't be drawing a public service salary.

Update: And it gets better: Wolfensohn apparently helped draft the Act he does not understand. And we're supposed to believe he didn't realise the spying was unlawful? Yeah, right.