Thursday, 24 May 2012

Dotting the coms and crossing the fingers

The FBI might want Kim Dotcom to be perceived as some kind of ‘Bête Noir’ but the New Zealand Police with no small measure of help from Government have made an absolute circus of his arrest and everything that has followed. The effect has been to elevate Dotcom to the level of a man who has been misunderstood and had his rights trampled on by jackbooted fascists.

Whether this is an accurate picture of the man still remains to be seen, but it is kind of hard to side with those who claim to be the good guys when you learn what has gone down here.

Dotcom is claiming police raid was an instance of ‘excessive police action’.  He has said that when police arrived they were not in police uniform and he had no way of knowing they were police. He says he bolted into his panic room when he saw a bunch of heavily armed men arriving on his property and I think I would have done the same if I had a panic room to dive into. He says once he became aware they were police he decided to sit tight rather than surprise them and risk being shot. Once again this is pretty sensible behaviour.

Dotcom further alleges that when police reached the panic room they punched him in the face, kicked him while he was on the ground and stomped on his hand.

But the entire raid appears to have been a gigantic over-reaction at the least and could well result in successful court proceedings by Dotcom against the New Zealand Police. You have to ask yourself whether it was really necessary to helicopter in a battalion of Police armed with pistols and automatic weapons to arrest three businessmen. It is very lucky this episode didn’t turn nasty because Dotcom’s bodyguards had weapons. While this is not a desirable state of affairs, I am sure many of New Zealand’s mega-wealthy citizens are also protected by armed men. If Dotcom’s guys had not realised soon enough they were facing Police there could have been a fire fight and then the coppers would really have had some explaining to do.

As it is there is already a judicial review under way regarding the legality of the warrant used in the raid and now we discover the NZ Police have handed over to the FBI material they seized in the raid which they had assured Dotcom’s lawyer they had not done and would not do without giving notice. What makes this worse is that among that material is footage from Dotcom’s security cameras which would bear out (or otherwise) his claims about the way the raid was conducted. Now those files are in the hands of the FBI, what is the bet they are ‘lost’ or ‘found to be unusable’ or tampered with?

I know Jianqi wants to become the United States’ bestest buddy’ so I shouldn’t really be too surprised that when the FBI snaps their fingers he races out and fetches their paper and sits panting at their feet and wagging his tail. But the American’s must be pissing themselves with laughter at the lengths this moron will go to prostituting our sovereignty and denying the usual expected protection to one of our own citizens. After all, Kim Dotcom might have been born in Germany and he might have spent a lot of time living all over the world but he does hold New Zealand citizenship and that should count for something. Can anyone imagine the United States rolling over like that and denying the rights of one of their citizens to appease a perceived ally? (Did I really ask that question?) Talk about allowing an FBI Sledgehammer (trust me I know what I’m doing) a crack at a nut, albeit an intriguing nut.

I have to admit I rather like Kim Dotcom and as this case unfolds I find myself liking him even more. He has a great sense of humour as evidenced by his “John Banks’ song and as a musician friend of mine recently said, for a bloke whose supposed to be a copyright pariah, he seems to have a good deal of support among the musical community. It is interesting to see how all the pollies who were only too happy to lap up his hospitality have all suffered severe memory loss and tried to distance themselves as far away from him as possible at a time when he needs support. But then they are politicians so this sort of fair-weather friendship is part of their culture.

But aside from the fact I like Dotcom and think he deserves a fairer suck of the sav than he has had so far; what concerns me most of all here are the actions of the Attorney-General’s office and the NZ Police. You might have expected the Police to be a little more cautious after the fiasco that was Tuhoegate; but they seem to have been pretty hyped up and clomping all over the show in their big size 13 boots. The Attorney-General’s office might have to spend some considerable time attempting to extract their much more stylish shoes from their big mouths. They’d better hope they’ve dotted all their coms and crossed all their fingers. This whole circus might be amusing were it not for two things. The first of these is you and I will ultimately pay for all of this when Dotcom sues, and that will be regardless of whether he does so successfully or not. Either way we will be throwing loads of dosh at legal fees. The second point is that once again we are being made to look like international Noddies by our Government. Thanks Jianqi and co! Oh, and lest we forget; thanks to all the pillocks that voted for this barrel of monkeys.  

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