A not so secret visit

The headline:

US spy boss in NZ on secret visit

Not that secret. There is a difference between a secret visit, and a visit that doesn’t get announced via press release but is otherwise open.

The US director of national intelligence, James Clapper, is in New Zealand for farewell talks with the Government and spy chiefs.

It had been a secret visit until Mr Key was asked at his post cabinet press conference if he knew why a Globemaster C-17 was parked at Wellington airport.

Mr Key said “Yes, because Jim Clapper’s in town.”

If it was secret, they wouldn’t have the plane parked openly at the airport.

Mr Key said Mr Clapper, who has been America’s intelligence chief since 2010, was on his way to a Five Eyes meeting in Australia.

“He is retiring before President [Barack] Obama effectively steps down in 2017 so I don’t know if he’ll be back in New Zealand again.”

Mr Key said he had met him on a couple of occasions and he had “great insights into intelligence and what is happening around the world.”

We do get very excited whenever someone from the US military or intelligence community visits.

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