Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Don't ask, don't care

Since the revelation that a kiwi had been murdered by the US in a drone-strike, John Key has been open in his support for the US's policy of extra-judicial assassination. But what's that support based on? Certainly not any legal analysis. Today in Question Time, Key was asked if he'd even sought legal advice on the consistency of the US drone program with international law. His answer was simple: "no":

Hon David Cunliffe: Has the Prime Minister sought or received any advice on whether remote operations such as drone strikes against non-combatants or in non-declared conflicts are compatible with international law?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No.

Which is an appalling position when you remember that he has committed NZ spies to sharing information with this legally dubious program. You'd think he'd check first, if only to ensure that he wasn't exposing either himself or GCSB staff to future war crimes charges, but no. It's just "don't ask, don't care".

There's an obvious followup question that needs to be asked: has Key ever sought legal advice on the consistency with the BORA-affirmed right to life of sharing information which may be used in drone-murders? sadly, I expect the answer to that will also be "no", simply because he doesn't want to be told that what he is doing is illegal.