The Domebusters - One Year On


It is one year today since the Ploughshares peace activists deflated one of the two domes at the top secret Waihopai spybase (and, in the process, severely deflated the supposed top security of that base). No date has yet been set for the trial of Adrian Leason, Sam Land and Peter Murnane.

Anti-Bases Campaign declared our support for their symbolic action at the time and nothing has happened since to change our view. Indeed, the need to close the Waihopai spybase ASAP is more urgent than ever.

There is a sham debate going on within the Government at present about whether to agree or not to the formal US request to re-commit NZ combat troops, namely the SAS, to help the US wage its worsening war in Afghanistan. New Zealand’s biggest commitment to that, and any other US-led war (Pakistan is next on the list) is not troops or frigates, etc, but Waihopai which, 24 hours a day, every day of the year, is functioning as a vital outpost of US Intelligence on NZ soil. The Bush Administration declared intelligence to be a vital component of its warfighting capacity. The Obama Administration has not changed that emphasis, indeed it relies on it even more in its re-prioritising the war in Afghanistan (and, increasingly, Pakistan) over that in Iraq. Waihopai is part of a global network of US-controlled spybases gathering electronic intelligence and that is what the US military depends on in wars such as in Afghanistan.

April 30 is also the anniversary of the liberation of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), the biggest defeat thus far in the history of the American Empire. That war also spread into the countries neighbouring Vietnam, with disastrous consequences, just as the Afghan war has spread into its neighbour.

The coincidence of these two anniversaries on April 30 is a good time for New Zealand to reflect upon what it is still doing, a generation later and despite being nuclear free and out of ANZUS, loyally serving the US and helping it fight its wars and bully the world by hosting a small but vital cog in the global American network of spybases. We pride ourselves on being independent. That won’t be a fact until we have broken the covert ties that still closely bind us to the US war machine.

Close Waihopai spybase now!

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