The information which Hager uses was stolen, of that I have no doubt, [says Brash] and he has almost certainly broken the law in doing so. How the information was stolen is still not clear, though of course I have views on that which I have conveyed to the police investigating the matter...After discussing each of the claims in about as much detail as they merit -- "It is, of course, impossible to reply to every allegation in that book short of writing a book of my own" -- he concludes, accurately:
Hager never lets the truth get in the way of a good conspiracy theory. He has used information very selectively, apparently modified some of the emails he has obtained, and drawn conclusions which are, in many cases, quite absurd. One could get the impression from reading the book that the only thing my close advisers and I did all day was meet with narrowly-based religious groups, wealthy friends, and American neo-conservatives, which is patently ridiculous.The newsletter is online at Scoop. Incidentally, I note that Helen Clark commented recently that the practice of using the 111 computer system to access private information was "disgraceful." How much more disgraceful is the theft and publication of private correspondence. "Police take a very, very dim view of inappropriate use of the computer," said Clark over the use of 111 system, "and wherever it is detected they will act." So too should they act in the case of Hager's use of stolen correspondence. Consistency, if not integrity, demands that Clark support the prosecution of the theft.
A few months ago, Hager fed the line to a Sunday paper that the SIS had infiltrated the Maori Party. Subsequent investigation proved that claim to be, in Helen Clark's words, a "work of fiction". Mr Hager specializes in outrageous claims. Nobody should take them too seriously.
As indicated earlier, there are lots of statements in Hager's book with which I disagree strongly. I do not intend to comment further on the issue until the police form a view on who stole the emails which provide some of the titillating material in the book.
UPDATE: The thief responds, conceding two errors, ignoring the charges of theft and that he fails to tell the whole story, and essentially demanding nothing less than a 500-page rebuttal of his own 350-page book. "The most notable feature of Don Brash's rebuttal, of course, is that he does not mention or bother to respond to all the hundreds of pages of revelations about his party where he was unable to find fault."
LINK: Nickey Hager's book - Don Brash Writes, Scoop
RELATED: Politics-NZ, Politics-National