By Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa
The Anti-Bases Campaign congratulates the Waihopai spy base Domebusters – Adrian Leason, Peter Murnane and Sam Land (and we’re proud to have all three of them as ABC members) on their entirely deserved acquittal on all charges arising from their April 2008 deflation of one of the top secret base’s satellite dish domes. And we congratulate the jury of ordinary New Zealand women and men who listened to the evidence for eight days and then, after deliberating for only a few hours, found them innocent. It is a triumph of common sense.
This was no whodunnit case. The Domebusters admitted everything, said that they had the firm belief that they had the law on their side and were proud of what they did; the prosecution case was uncontested and over in an afternoon. The rest of the trial consisted of the defendants and their lawyers explaining to the jury why they did it. They did it because Waihopai operates, in all but name, as an outpost of US intelligence on NZ soil; it makes NZ a partner in crime with the US in each and every war that it is fighting; it means that New Zealanders, involuntarily and unknowingly, have blood on our hands. The Domebusters said that their motivation was to do enough damage to the spy base to stop its normal functions in order to prevent a crime and to save the lives of people in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan endangered by its sinister work. In electrifying testimony Adrian Leason said that he did it thinking of his own three year old daughter and that because of what he did, a three old girl in Iraq is still alive.
If Adrian, Peter and Sam are innocent, then who should be in the dock? The answer is obvious – the shadowy spy bosses and their political masters should face a jury, either domestically or internationally, for active participation in waging wars and crimes against humanity. And the implications of this verdict are obvious – those who attacked and damaged it have been ruled to be have acted lawfully; the spy base is the one which has been found to be acting unlawfully. The historic verdict in this unprecedented case reinforces the call of the Anti-Bases Campaign and a growing groundswell of other organisations and individuals for the Waihopai spy base to be closed immediately. Ordinary New Zealanders, in the form of this Wellington jury, have spoken.