Monday, May 19, 2014

Are the GCSB murderers?

Over the weekend TV3's The Nation interviewed Jeremy Scahill, the author of Dirty Wars - during which he alleged that "our" spies are likely to have provided information which led to the murder of a New Zealand citizen by the US last year:

An American investigative journalist claims New Zealand spies likely provided crucial information to the United States ahead of a drone strike that killed a New Zealander last year.

Jeremy Scahill says his claims are based on the Edward Snowden files, to which he has had access.

"The fact is that New Zealand, through signal intercepts, is directly involved with what is effectively an American assassination programme," Mr Scahill told TV3's The Nation this morning.


Last month it was revealed Kiwi al Qaeda suspect Daryl Jones, who had a dual Australian New Zealand citizenship, was killed by a drone strike in Yemen in November.

"It would be very difficult to believe that it, the New Zealand Government – if it had information about one of its citizens that the United States was tracking – that it wouldn't share that information with the US Government," says Mr Scahill.

Under the law of New Zealand, that's sufficient to make the spies a party to the murder, putting them on the hook for a 14-year sentence.

The Prime Minister's response? They don't comment on "security matters". But this isn't a "security matter" - its a serious crime by our government against one of our own citizens. And when that's alleged, we deserve a far better explanation than the usual spy-bullshit.

Our spies are supposed to protect us, not conspire to murder us overseas. Labour is promising an inquiry into the GCSB and its powers if elected - but we need to go beyond that, into a criminal investigation. And if a case for criminal wrongdoing can be made against "our" spies, they need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.