Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Controversy Over the PST

As we reported last night, Janne Kristiansen, the head of Norway’s security police has just resigned in the wake of her acknowledgement that Norway has intelligence agents in Pakistan. Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer sends a link to a more extensive news article about the controversy at the PST, and includes this observation:

Here’s some more information about the resignation of Janne Kristiansen. It’s definitely not an ideal scenario for Norway to have a leader of a security agency who seems incapable of knowing when to keep her mouth shut. As the leader of the PST, she of all people should realize that it’s completely unacceptable to disclose sensitive information of such a nature. What the heck was she thinking?

This could seriously compromise the security of Norwegian embassy personnel in Pakistan.

And in light of the pathetic response from the police on July 22, it certainly doesn’t bode well for Norway’s reputation as a nation that takes its security seriously. Al Qaeda and other terror organizations will by now have realized that Norway is an easy target.

This article was posted today (in English) at the website Views and News from Norway:

Intelligence chief quits under fire

Janne Kristiansen, embattled chief of Norway’s police intelligence unit PST, resigned on the spot during the night, after making a major blunder at a public hearing on Wednesday: Kristiansen revealed classified information that Norway has intelligence agents working in Pakistan.

Embattled PST chief Janne Kristiansen has finally called it quits. Her job had been on the line for months, but she made a mistake on Wednesday that made it impossible for her to continue in her post.

The intelligence gathering efforts in Pakistan, tied to anti-terrorism efforts, likely come as no surprise, but Kristiansen’s public declaration that they even exist is viewed as a violation of the vow of confidentiality that PST officials and staff are expected to uphold. No one is supposed to comment on intelligence gathering operations, either in or out of the country, not least because it can put the lives of those involved in danger.

Kristiansen, however, told a parliamentary committee investigating the response to last year’s terrorist attacks that “we have, via (the military intelligence gathering unit known) E-tjenesten in foreign service … representation in these countries you’re talking about,” which, given the committee’s questioning at the time, meant she was referring to Pakistan. Kristiansen earlier had said PST cooperated with the security and intelligence agencies in around 60 countries but had no “official cooperation” with Pakistan, and added that E-tjenesten “has representation, and we have a close cooperation with E-tjenesten.” She also said PST cooperated with a police liaison in Islamabad.

That was a serious mistake for an intelligence chief to make. Not only did she reveal information about overseas intelligence operations, but she spoke on behalf of the military unit more formally called Etterrettningstjeneste (Norwegian Intelligence Service, NIS), charged with carrying out top secret operations. Moreover, it’s tied to the Ministry of Defense, while the PST unit Kristiansen has headed for the past few years is under the Ministry of Justice. So political commentators on Thursday morning also noted that Kristiansen crossed ministerial lines.


One intelligence expert told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that it was “rather shocking” for Kristiansen to speak as she did. “An individual in that position should know better,” he said, adding that her remarks “certainly could place people in danger.” He said Norwegian officials now must “assess the damage done, and how extensive it is.”

Justice Minister Grete Faremo issued a brief press release shortly after midnight that gave few details of the incident, but stated that Kristiansen herself “had informed the justice minister that she was resigning her position” because “it’s been ascertained a possible violation of confidentiality through release of classified information.”

Faremo said she accepted the resignation and that Roger Berg, deputy leader of PST, was taking over as acting PST chief. The statement did go on to say that Kristiansen’s “possible violation” of confidentiality laws occurred “in connection with the hearing in Stortinget’s (the Parliament’s) special committee for the 22nd of July” when “Kristiansen formulated herself in a manner that can be considered a violation.”

“I want to stress that no violation of law has been established, but that this involves a possible violation,” Faremo stated in the press release. “I have nevertheless chosen to accept Kristiansen’s desire to resign.”

Kristiansen had been under pressure for months because of massive criticism over her response to the July 22 attacks and PST’s failure to act on tips about the confessed terrorist before he struck. She had claimed as last as last month that she had no intention of resigning, but had apologized for what she called “a lack of clarity” in comments she made about the attacks.

Several politicians including Progress Party leader Siv Jensen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Thursday morning that their confidence in Kristiansen already was “extremely thin.” Her oral blunder at the hearing on Wednesday tipped the balance, and if Kristiansen hadn’t resigned herself, they likely would have demanded she be fired.


Juniper in the Desert said...

No, they don't want to upset the huge number of cultural enrichers they have invited into Norway. I suppose Kristiansen felt torn between her loyalty to the Norwegian state(such as it still is!) and the vultural - I mean cultural enrichers from Pakistan, Somalia etc.

Anonymous said...

The Pakistani Chaudhry was pushing her under the Parliament hearing

by asking

- Do we have any exchange of information with Pakistan? And, what kind of exchange do we have?

Please keep in mind the Pakistani Sitara-e-Quaid-e-Azam medal Chaudhry was awarded by the President of Pakistan in 2011 for his work in Norway

Besides being the fourth VP of the Storting (Norwegian Parliament) Akhtar Chaudhry - who was born in Lahore - belongs to the Socialist Left Party and is a member of the Standing Committee on Justice.

He offered to reform the Norwegian Nobel Committee, in particular to add the committee with representatives from all key regions of the world; to cancel the term of secrecy of the materials; to limit the term of the members’ powers by four years and to expand the circle of individuals having an access to nominate the Nobel Peace Prize candidates.

While in Pakistan he has held meetings with his counterparts and other officials in government."

People like Chaudhry

"The Norwegian Ambassador Robert Kvile while introducing his country’s dignitary to the small set of audience at his residence thanked the government of Pakistan for awarding such a great honour for Chaudhry.

He said Norway had always led from the front in efforts to promote education, health and social reforms in Pakistan and

with people like Chaudhry sitting in the decision making bodies of Norway, these efforts would continue to grow in coming days."

Anonymous said...

Chaudhry is also intent on getting rid of the Norwegian flag. It is in particular the cross that troubles this good Pakistani.

Of all places, he managed to talk about the flag subject in a previous Parliament hearing about the islamic symbol hijab, if my memory serves me right.

goethechosemercy said...

Here’s some more information about the resignation of Janne Kristiansen. It’s definitely not an ideal scenario for Norway to have a leader of a security agency who seems incapable of knowing when to keep her mouth shut.

She violated secrecy because she believes, like the rest of her government, that Islam is peace. They've caved, and so they mistakenly believe that they will not be terrorized, and that everything's okay.
Isn't diversity grand?
After all, if you really believe in the multicultural oneness of everything, you shouldn't be involved in intelligence gathering any way.
So nationalist.
So yesterday.
Norway-- where idealism and stupidity really are one and the same.

Anonymous said...

Something I have noticed about all the scandinavian countries - all senior police and government department heads are women and the deputies are men.

I think that Norway/Sweden/Denmark may be taking PC positive discrimination a bit far - mathematically it would not be possible for so many women to get to the top jobs if they were as qualified, competent and experienced as their male colleagues. Or do these countries have a strict even-balance between male and female employees in government departments?

If that is so, then the numbers still don't add up because there should then be a relatively equal balance between male and female department heads. Anything less would indicate bias in favour of one sex over another?

Anyway, this won't last if the Cultural Enrichers take full control as women are, according to Allah and the dear Koran, half as competent as men (two women's testimony equal to one man's in court).

Mr Chaudury shares a namesake here in the UK - who causes just as much trouble. But our Choudury is not yet a member of our parliament. I expect it won't be too long before that changes!

Anonymous said...

Did she have to go because she pointed out the fact, that islam is the major threat?

Isn't that offensive to islam? As in critizising "religions"?

Mary said...

Women have no place in government position such as this one.

The Observer said...

It would of course be very interesting to get jens "steklov" stoltenberg's opinion on the resignation.

Anonymous said...

Well, if an 'ethnic' Norwegian like Chaudry wants the cross to go, then go it must....

Perhaps the cross should go to Pakistan in the form of a modern crusade?

P.S. Surely, Norway has representatives in the Pakistani Parliament?! A fair blond-haired blue-eyed fourth Vice President in the exotic land of Allah would be exceptionally multi-cultural of the slaves of Allah....


Anonymous said...

Only a few years back, a Swede in the Parliament would have created much controversy..

Even though Nordic, he/she would still be a foreigner, as you would clearly distinguish between Norwegian and Swedish citizenship, in particular to a position in the Parliament...

Were there ever a Swede in the Norwegian Parliament? During the union, maybe? And that union ended in 1905...

Anonymous said...

Friday's worshippers of the Parliament

"This is not a threat, but a warning"
Arfan Bhatti

Pakistani Bhatti, who earlier, pronounced to Norway's journalists that he now

intended to become "
the face of islam in Norway" growing a black beard,

attacked VG photographer during worship of Parliament

The beard doesn't make him an authority, says Raja, also Pakistani politician in Norway

Anonymous said...

Bhatti's lawyer, John Christian Elden, now is busy defending a newly arrested 21 year old Latino convert who has threatened Stoltenberg and Støre.

Anonymous said...

Well, that's the big problem now, isn't it?

Christians DEFENDING barbaric Muslims!

Let them find a trained Muslim lawyer.

Good luck there - UNLESS Norway uses Sharia Law.

Do you think that the Muslim lawyers will be defending the Christians under Sharia Law - where Muslim testimony is worth twice that of male Christians and mainly four times that of female Christians?

How would a Muslim commit a crime against a slave anyway?!


Anonymous said...

- USA is using Norway
- We know that Norwegians are truthful and sincere, and that USA is behind the deployment of these operators, says Hamid Gul, former head of ISI.
My Title

Btw, is he the same clan as the Turk prez?

Anonymous said...

- A wise decision, says Akhtar Chaudhry, who does not think his question was critical to Janne Kristiansen's stepping down.