Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Waihopai Wonks.

I would have understood if the trial had been held in Christchurch. There's so much really wierd shit that happens in Christchurch that this odd verdict wouldn't have raised an eyebrow.

But it happened in Wellington, which means we have to take it seriously. To recap: a trio of sandal-wearers broke into the so-called spy station at Waihopai a couple of years ago, and destroyed a bunch of property - around a million bucks' worth. They stopped it operating for a little while- perhaps for as long as a week. They did it to protest against the war in Iraq. I heartily approve of their motives, and even - to a degree - their actions. They were prepared to do something fairly buggering major, and were prepared to go to jail for it. It was a matter of principle. And good on them.

They were acquitted, however. Their defence was based on their belief that the intelligence gathered by the site was being used directly by the US to kill people (innocent civilians) in Iraq. They said they believed they were saving lives by doing what they did. The jury bought their story, and let them off. Again, fair enough. That's what juries do. Better that twenty guilty people go free than one innocent one is condemned, and so on.

But I really have to wonder about the hopelessness of the prosecutor. He (or she) did not do a half-decent job. The problem with beliefs, it appears, is simple. It seems that they don't have to be justified by anything that looks anything like a fact.

I want to know if the Waihopai Wonks were asked to provide evidence that backed up their beliefs. To demonstrate with proof that would help us all know, without fail, that they were saving lives in Iraq by their actions. I want them to show me exactly how the satellite surveillance site is being used to kill people in Iraq.

They might be right. I strongly doubt it, but it's possible. I actually believe (because I've heard plausible explanations) that the site is actually used to trace (and hopefully stop) wannabe-vest-bombers in their crazed efforts to kill innocent human beings. I wonder if the Waihopai Wonks' actions could have led to some demented bomber not being apprehended before he detonated a bomb that killed people? I actually think it'spossible. Not probable, but possible.

Listening to: The Phoenix Foundation, "Horsepower". I like.

Reading: Nothing new.

Word of the Day: Tangiwai. I have a story... read all about it on Sunday.


...a bronze shaving mirror that he'd bought in Egypt, soap, a towel, boot polish, and three spare pair of socks, puttees, two shirts, and a thick woollen jersey. On the floor were his boots, cleaned and dried, a kerosene heater that doubled as a hot plate, a bottle of Chapman's Footcare Oil (by appointment to HM's Glorious Troops: Huzzah!), and foot-bath. Arthur was very particular about his feet. He always figured that the time would come when he'd have to run fast, and he didn't want his feet to let him down. Other soldiers, of course, physically promoted the various fungal infections that feet were prone to here in the trenches – it may just get them sent to the rear. Also on the floor was his bullet re-loading kit. Accuracy was everything, and that meant he couldn't rely on the machine-loaded bullets. He kept a supply of fresh cartridge cases, bullets, American gunpowder, and British cordite. Cordite was essentially stabilised nitro-glycerine, in string form. Its explosive power was significantly higher than gunpowder, and it didn't smoke as much. Accuracy, and concealment.
On the wall, beside the shelf, and over his rifle, was a framed picture, face against the wall.
Arthur Tomlinson leaned back against the bunker's rough-sawn wooden wall, balancing on the one-legged milking stool. He could lean back on it to about 30 degrees, then it'd simply scoot out from under his arse, dumping him on the floor. He found the tipping-point, and edged forward, holding his balance just so. He reached for his phrase book, which was helping him with his French – a language that was spoken by most of the civilians back in the small village fifteen miles behinds the lines – but not with his pronunciation. When he had a furlough, and travelled into the village or further afield he amused most of the people he spoke to by the way he mangled the language. But people tended to take a second look at his earnest, broad face, and deal patiently with him.

No comments:

Post a Comment