Saturday, August 01, 2009
GUILT BY ASSOCIATION, BAD NEWS FOR NEW ZEALAND...
Guilt by its association with the Bush regime could spell bad news for New Zealand. While NZ kept their combat forces out of Iraq, they have been involved in Afghanistan for a number of years and have cost the New Zealand taxpayer millions of dollars..
Their highly proficient special forces, the SAS, apparently handed over 50-70 Afghan prisoners to the Americans from 2002, and now may be guilty by association with those responsible for torturing these prisoners. New Zealand could be guilty of "war crimes" because of that association with President George W Bush's campaign against terror.
After a two year investigation, awkward questions may now be asked of New Zealand's involvement with alleged torture of prisoners at the Kandahar detention centre in southern Afghanistan - known as 'Camp Slappy'. This could account for the apparent delay by the new conservative National Government in NZ to make a decision concerning the future of the New Zealand SAS's involvement in Afghanistan.
New Zealand has had a proud record with its highly trained and well disciplined combat troops. It doesn't have a large number of special forces troops, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up in quality. The NZ Government will not be happy campers with these allegations of torture, and may well decide against sending the troops to Afghanistan in future. However, that will not be the only criteria for consideration of the SAS's future involvement - potential terrorism within NZ will also have to be considered as well.
"Its a war crime to keep a ghost detainee; its a war crime to let them be abused. I've come to expect bad of the United States since post 9/11. But I would have hoped New Zealand which is a signatory to the (Geneva) Convention, would have obeyed the Convention".
Human Rights lawyer, Michael Ratner.