Monday, July 29, 2013

Something doesn't add up here

Over the weekend we learned that our defence forces officially regarded investigative journalists as a security threat on the same level as foreign intelligence services and extremist organisations. The government's response to this? Blame Labour, of course:

In a statement to RNZ, Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman said a Defence Order to protect soldiers on operations had been in place since 2003, under the previous Labour government.

I guess they couldn't point the finger at their other usual excuses, the earthquake or the recession.

But something doesn't add up here, because most of that article is about how former Defence chief Bruce Ferguson thinks the order is undemocratic. Which is a bit odd if what the government says is true, because Ferguson was Chief of Defence Forces in 2003, when the order was written. So either he's now unhappy with an order he wrote and signed off on, or Coleman isn't telling the whole truth.

(The obvious explanation is that the order was drafted in 2003 and the reference to journalists was added later, a fact Coleman and/or NZDF is eliding in an attempt to shift blame. But the media will have to do a bit more digging to find that out, I think)