GCSB helps in targeted assassination of New Zealand citizen

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Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill made it clear in an interview with TV3s The Nation this weekend that the New Zealand government and its security agency the GCSB was complicit in the targeted assassination of New Zealand citizen Daryl Jones in Yemen last year.

Jones was killed in a US drone strike along with several other “suspected” al-Qaida members.

Scahill said, based on documents released by Edward Snowden which he has seen, that John Key’s government has serious questions to answer over Jones’s murder. He says our government and GCSB would have known about Jones and provided information to the US National Security Agency which contributed his extra-judicial killing.

Scahill describes our government involvement as “pretty scandalous”.

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That’s an understatement.

It would be nice to think that when a New Zealander is murdered overseas by agents of a foreign government our Prime Minister would be outraged and demand an explanation.

Instead John Key issued a few cynical, callous, words at a media conference earlier this year and justified Jones’s murder.

Jones was a suspected member of al-Qaida and that was enough for Key who refused initially to even name the victim – a way of dehumanising Jones and helping reduce any public backlash.

It was good to learn from Scahill that the human rights organisation Reprieve is now conducting an investigation of the killing. They are doing the job the New Zealand government has refused to do.

A previous Human Rights Watch report released last year examined six such strikes in Yemen carried out between 2009–2013 and found that of the 82 people killed, at least 57 were civilians.

Was Daryl Jones just more collateral damage? We don’t know and our government couldn’t care less.

In an earlier blogpost I raised several questions about Jones’s assassination and Scahill’s interview makes it even more important they are answered by the government.

  • What evidence is there this New Zealander was a “terrorist” or was the label added after his death to justify the crime?
  • How long had the GCSB been spying on him?
  • Why was he allowed to travel overseas when other New Zealanders wanting to go overseas to fight in places like Syria for example have had their passports seized?
  • What was he doing when he was killed?
  • Why did the US launch a drone strike against him?
  • If there was evidence of terrorist activity why was he not simply arrested when he returned to New Zealand or entered a third country?
  • Was New Zealand informed by the US before they attacked and killed this Kiwi citizen?
  • If so what was the response of our spy agencies and their political master John Key?
  • If New Zealand was not informed then why not?
  • In aligning this country in support for US drone strikes what additional terrorist threat does that expose New Zealanders to?
  • Why did the government not make the information about the killing public at the time when it occurred?
  • Would the government ever have made this public if the information has not leaked out?

So come on John Key – time to front up!

New Zealand has no place involved in US wars and targeted assassinations which put our safety and security at risk.

We need an independent foreign policy rather than one which tags along with the biggest schoolyard bully as it murders anyone in its way – including New Zealanders.

The GCSB has to be closed down we must withdraw from the so-called “five eyes” spy network which exists to promote US global dominance rather than the interests of New Zealand.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Another question.

    If Dishonest John and Fletcher, his mate at the GCSB can be shown to be complicit in this murder are there grounds for a private prosecution for conspiracy to commit murder, even given the act was committed abroad?

    Private prosecution seemingly now the only avenue some in our society are ever held to account.

  2. ….Was there are trial by jury or a name picked out of the hat . Someone has to be made accountable for taking a life especially if there is a New Zealander involved. If the NZ Govt has been implicated in anyway , The whole concept of The GCSB must be brought to bear….. And the connection of The Prime Minister Of New Zealand .

  3. The mainstream media were quick to give him a muslim name “Muslim bin John” and “Abu Suhaib al-Australi” attempts to link him to terrorism.

  4. You’ll just love this then .

    http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/witness/2014/05/lab-20145475423526313.html

    The USA . The Second State of Israel .

    Replace ‘ Palistine etc with New Zealand etc and you get the picture .

    Israel 1 |ˈɪzreɪəl|
    1 (also children of Israel)the Hebrew nation or people. According to tradition they are descended from the twelve sons of the patriarch Jacob (also named Israel).
    2 the northern kingdom of the Hebrews ( c.930–721 bc), formed after the reign of Solomon, whose inhabitants were carried away to captivity in Assyria. See also Judah ( sense 2).
    ORIGIN from Hebrew Yiśrā’ēl ‘he that strives with God’ (see Gen. 32:28).
    Israel 2 |ˈɪzreɪəl|
    a country in the Middle East, on the Mediterranean Sea; pop. 7,233,700 (est. 2009); languages, Hebrew (official), English, Arabic; capital (not recognized as such by the United Nations), Jerusalem.
    The modern state of Israel was established as a Jewish homeland in 1948, on land that was at that time part of the British mandated territory of Palestine. Israel was immediately attacked by the surrounding Arab states, which it defeated. The continuing conflict with the neighbouring Arabs, mainly over the rights of the Palestinians displaced from their homes or living under Israeli rule, has caused continual tension and intermittent terrorist and military activity. Further wars occurred in 1956, 1967, and 1973, which resulted in Israeli occupation of eastern Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights. In 1993 Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization signed an agreement for limited Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, but this proved unsuccessful in bringing about an end to conflict. See also Palestine.
    Israel 2

  5. Jeremy Scahill is awesome and hugely respected around the world (unless you are the US and some other governments). One can take it as read, that New Zealand’s involvement in these sorts of things is being noted.

  6. There’s an excellent interview with Glenn Greenwald at Democracy Now! on US and its allies spying but I thought the quote from it below was interesting in relationship to the disappearance of the Malaysian airliner.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2014/5/13/collect_it_all_glenn_greenwald_on

    GLENN GREENWALD: Yeah, I mean, you know, the reason why I published this story was because it reveals so much about how these agencies think. And, you know, the documents demonstrate that there have been tens—hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars spent to make certain that the NSA and the GCHQ can listen to any in-flight cellphone calls that they want, from those phones that are embedded on the seats in front of you, and, more importantly, to be able to monitor all Internet activity that takes place over the wi-fi service of a commercial jet. And they didn’t do this because there was a case where someone on a plane plotted something that they weren’t able to monitor. They’re not doing it because there are specific, targeted concerns. The reason they’re doing this is because they are obsessed with the idea that there might be some place on the planet that you can go for a few hours and communicate without their being able to monitor what it is that you’re saying. That shows the institutional mindset, which is there should never be a moment where you can develop the capability to go and speak without their surveillance net. And that’s the reason why they targeted airplanes as the one place left in the world, other than in person in the middle of nowhere, that you can actually speak or do things without their knowledge.

    • I should add that part of the significance of the above quote is that if the Malaysian airliner did fly on after the pilot signed off, which seems quite likely, it may have been technically possible to follow the cell phone and Internet communications of those on board.

      Also, another thing people may not know is that Boeing in 2008 patented the technology to extermally control the flight of its airliners if needs be.

      Not saying what all this means, just that it adds extra dimensions to the possibilities of what might have happened.

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