Some questions for Helen Clark in light of her invitation to George Bush to visit New Zealand:
- What is the expected cost to the taxpayer of providing security for such a visit, and how many hip replacements would that purchase?
- Will US bodyguards be permitted to carry firearms?
- Will they be allowed to bring a minigun?
- Will she give an assurance that US bodyguards will not be granted diplomatic immunity, and that they will face New Zealand justice if they shoot anyone?
- Does she agree with the judgement of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg that waging a war of aggression is "the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole"?
- Does she agree with the Convention Against Torture that "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political in stability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture"?
- Does she feel comfortable inviting a man who authorised torture into our country?
- Would she invite Pinochet or P W Botha or General Suharto to make a similar visit?
- Does she think that leaders should be held to account by the international community for crimes such as aggression and torture?
- Does she think George Bush should be held to account for his crimes?
- Will New Zealanders be forbidden to look out their windows or stand on their balconies to view the passing motorcade, as happened when President Bush visited Mainz in 2005?
- Will New Zealanders be confined in "free speech zones", as routinely happens in the US to those protesting against the president?
- Will she give an assurance that New Zealanders' right to protest will not be compromised during this visit?
Hopefully someone will grill Clark in Parliament over this; her answers should be interesting, to say the least.