Goff on spies in Afghanistan

Today’s Herald headline is “Goff reveals role of spies in war zone“:

Labour leader has revealed the spies the Government has secretly been sending to the war in Afghanistan are used to alert New Zealand troops to potential threats. …

Mr Goff, a former Minister of Defence and Foreign Affairs when Labour sent the spies, said: “You would expect New Zealand, if it has troops on the ground as it has in the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamiyan to want to be alerted to any potential threat that might exist for them.”

His comments are reported without any criticism. Now compare that to this story from October 2007, also from the Herald headline “Key’s gaffe reveals spies role“:

National Party leader last night tried to defend himself over an embarrassing gaffe in which he revealed that he had a Security Intelligence Service briefing ahead of this week’s dramatic police raids. …

But last night Mr Key insisted he had not breached any long-standing protocols in revealing that he had been briefed by the .

So I a a bit confused that when John Key as Opposition Leader comments that the SIS briefed him on a domestic issue, this is headlined a “gaffe” and “embarrassing” while Phil Goff commenting on what the SIS or GCSB are doing in Afghanistan doesn’t attract any negative comment at all from the Herald?

I should make it clear that I don’t regard the comments of either Key in 2007 or Goff in 2009 as a massive issue, but I am puzzled by the significant disparity in how they were reported.

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