News from Anti-Bases Campaign
People from all around New Zealand will be converging on the super-secret Waihopai satellite interception spybase, in Marlborough, on Saturday January 19th.
We will be at the Waihopai spy base’s main gate on Waihopai Valley Road from 11 a.m., with speeches from 1 p.m. Information will be provided on the function of the base and there will be a peaceful protest, involving a range of activities, calling for its closure.
Speakers will be: Adrian Leason, one of the three Ploughshares peace activists acquitted of the 2008 deflation of one of Waihopai’s domes; Steffan Browning, Blenheim’s Green MP; John Minto, of Global Peace and Justice Auckland; and Murray Horton of Anti-Bases Campaign.
One of the activities will be to hand deliver to the base commander a letter from the Anti-Bases Campaign (see below for letter’s text)
The Kim Dotcom saga has certainly put the NZ Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) and its Waihopai spy base smack bang into the glare of the spotlight. It has proved conclusively what the Anti-Bases Campaign (ABC) has been saying for all these long years – that Waihopai and the GCSB spy on New Zealanders. And it/they do so at the behest of their overlords in US intelligence and the US government.
Not coincidentally this confirmation came in the same year that the Government got New Zealand back into ANZUS in all but name. NZ hosted its first visit from a US Defense Secretary for 30 years and he offered to base US Marines here. For the first time since the 1980s, American troops trained here; NZ troops trained in the US; and NZ warships took part in US-led naval exercises. How ironic that all this was happening at the same time as the country was celebrating the 25th anniversary of our nuclear free law.
ABC’s theme this time is that we now have incontrovertible proof that the GCSB spies on New Zealanders and that must be stopped.
Our other longstanding theme is that Waihopai is NZ’s key contribution to all and any of America’s wars. Afghanistan is America’s longest war since WW2, although an “end” of sorts is in sight. But both the US and NZ will continue to be militarily involved in Afghanistan to some degree, even after that “end”. Waihopai is basically a US spybase operating on NZ soil, a vital outpost of the American Empire.
Simultaneously, the US is pushing for a Free Trade Agreement, via the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (which the US wants to be concluded this year) as NZ’s “reward” for supplying our troops as cannon fodder and hosting the Waihopai spybase.
The GCSB has been given well over $600 million of taxpayers’ money in the past two decades. The 2012/13 budget is $59 million, and another $35 million was recently spent on new GCSB headquarters in Wellington. It is a criminal waste of taxpayers’ money (literally criminal, as the Dotcom case proves). Waihopai operations are exempt from the Privacy Act, Crimes Act and Official Information Act, and MPs are specifically prohibited from investigating activities of the GCSB.
Waihopai does not operate in the national interest of New Zealand.
In all but name it is a foreign spybase on NZ soil, paid for with hundreds of millions of our tax dollars, illegally spies on New Zealanders, and involves us in America’s wars.
Waihopai must be closed.
(For details on Waihopai and what it does, go to our Website www.converge.org.nz/abc).
19 January 2013
Officer in Charge
The Prime Minister has admitted that the NZ Government Communications Security Bureau illegally spied on a New Zealand resident, Kim Dotcom.
In accordance with the Official Information Act 1982 please supply the numbers of New Zealand citizens and residents spied on by the GCSB for each year since the Waihopai spy base became operational.
Include in those figures New Zealand citizens and residents who have constituted part of an international communication intercepted by Waihopai.