Monday, December 13, 2010

Secrecy enables betrayal

Over the weekend, the Sunday Star-Times reported on some of the 1500 US diplomatic cables relating to New Zealand in the Wikileaks cablegate archive, revealing that

Of these, the latter is the most interesting. Both Phil Goff (on Radio New Zealand) and John Key have spoken up to defend the secrecy, both hiding behind the usual line that "the Government does not comment on national security". Bullshit. The cooperation goes well beyond intelligence matters, and the secrecy was demanded by us ("New Zealand is eager to avoid any publicity about this new approach, [and] will only say anything under 'extreme duress'"). And there's a very obvious reason for this: because the public of New Zealand would not have approved had we been told. After all, who wants to cooperate more closely with a psychopathic gang of torturers, who just want to send your kids off to fight their pointless imperial wars?

This is a perfect example of why we need openness around foreign policy: because under cover of secrecy, our government has run amok, making deals which would never be approved if debated openly and entangling us in unnecessary wars the majority of the public want no part of. What these leaks show is that our politicians from both major parties betrayed us and put the interests of a foreign power before those of their voters. We should remember that at the ballot box next year.