Saturday, August 01, 2009


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.

Read here

Sunday, July 26, 2009


WASHINGTON – The Bush administration in 2002 considered sending U.S. troops into a Buffalo, N.Y., suburb to arrest a group of terror suspects in what would have been a nearly unprecedented use of military power, The New York Times reported.

Vice President Dick Cheney and several other Bush advisers at the time strongly urged that the military be used to apprehend men who were suspected of plotting with al Qaida, who later became known as the Lackawanna Six, the Times reported on its Web site Friday night. It cited former administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The proposal advanced to at least one-high level administration meeting, before President George W. Bush decided against it.

Dispatching troops into the streets is virtually unheard of. The Constitution and various laws restrict the military from being used to conduct domestic raids and seize property.

According to the Times, Cheney and other Bush aides said an Oct. 23, 2001, Justice Department memo gave broad presidential authority that allowed Bush to use the domestic use of the military against al-Qaida if it was justified on the grounds of national security, rather than law enforcement.

Among those arguing for the military use besides Cheney were his legal adviser David S. Addington and some senior Defense Department officials, the Times reported.

Opposing the idea were Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser; John B. Bellinger III, the top lawyer at the National Security Council; FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III; and Michael Chertoff, then the head of the Justice Department's criminal division.

Bush ultimately nixed the proposal and ordered the FBI to make the arrests in Lackawanna. The men were subsequently arrested and pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges.

Scott L. Silliman, a Duke University law professor specializing in national security law, told the Times that a U.S. president had not deployed the active-duty military on domestic soil in a law enforcement capacity, without specific statutory authority, since the Civil War.