Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spy Base: For The "Greater Good"?

Are these the faces of urban terrorists or social freedom fighters?Three activists, who breached the Waihopai spy base, Blenheim in 2008 and slashed a plastic weather cover on a satellite dish, have walked free.
Their defence? They were driven by a belief that the satellite caused human suffering and so their actions to shut it down were lawful. This has been successfully used by Iraq-war protesters overseas, but is a New Zealand first. In acquitting them, the jury would have considered whether the men genuinely believed their actions would save lives and, if so, whether the force they used was reasonable.
What am I missing here? They admitted wilful trespass and NZ$1-million damage to government property... but they're free because they believed their actions would save people and so were lawful!
Let's follow that "logic". I currently drive an old car (borderline road-safe)... so could I legally steal a Volvo car because it has a great safety record and would therefore be for "the greater good" of my family?
Then there're those who claim NZ gains nothing from supporting the US with this spy base. Well, we don't know WHAT information is being gleaned. We'll NEVER be told if information from this spy base has averted threats in the Asia/Pacific region – or if lives were lost BECAUSE of it. That's the very nature of spying: it's clandestine – and for the most part, it serves "the greater good" of the community.
So which example of servitude provides more benefit? Temporarily closing a spy base because of a self-righteous belief...or maintaining surveillance over a volatile region on our back doorstep?
Which is the greater "greater good"?
PS: 31 Aug.2011 - FINALLY! The High Court has awarded the Crown the right to sue these three idiots for damages to the tune of $1.2m!

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