Friday, November 26, 2004

Tainted by secrecy

I was hoping that the investigation into the allegations that the SIS had spied on Maori political groups would help clear the air. Unfortunately, it seems that the Inspector-General of Security Intelligence will be doing everything in secret. This secrecy will ireevocably taint his findings, and do nothing to dispel public suspicion.

While ostensibly about the behaviour of the SIS, the real purpose of the inquiry is to restore faith in our intelligence services. This means that it must be conducted openly and publicly - anything less simply adds to the suspicion and suggests a coverup. In criminal matters, we abide by the principle that "justice must not only be done, but be seen to be done". In a matter which threatens the basis of our democracy, we can apply no less a standard to our spies.