Yesterday, Police Commissioner Howard Broad defended the Strategic Investigation Group operation, which employed Rob Gilchrist to spy on environmental, animal rights, political parties and various other activist groups. Broad claimed that they were targeting people police believed could pose a 'national security threat', although he didn't elaborate what this so-called 'national security threat' was.
Broad of course also approved the arrest of Tuhoe activists because of alleged 'terrorist' activities. Such charges were subsequently dropped.
Rochelle Rees, an animal rights activist, who exposed Gilchrist's activites after finding emails from the police on his computer, has released a series of questions Gilchrist received from police which dispute Broad's story.
These emails suggest that the police were interested in the activities of groups themselves and not just specific individuals.
About groups concerned with climate change one email reads:
"Climate Change Groups: What is happening with climate change groups in Auckland? Who is involved? What actions might they be considering for the future? What specific plans are in place for Climate Day of Action 07/07?"
Simiarly about 'Anti-war/Anti-American groups' the police asked Gilchrist;
'What is happening within these organisations. What sort of numbers are now involved. What activities or targeting do they have planned for the future'
Another email requests information on Auckland Animal Action, including its structure, contact phone numbers, addresses, what cars key players drive, and if they use chat rooms.
The police were also interested in the activities of a legitimate political party, the Workers Party. The party stood candidates in this year's general election.
It's very clear that Howard Broad is telling porkies about what the police have really been up to.