The N.Z. Dotcom Sitcom by Trevor Plumbly
On Friday 20th January, 76 N.Z. police officers – some armed – carried out dawn raids on 3 North Auckland residential properties. The target for this show of force? A middle-aged German millionaire and a couple of his executives with serious issues with the United States. Not terrorist issues you understand; financial ones, and we all know how tetchy the Yanks can get over a dollar or two, look at the Warner Brothers/Hobbitt Movie saga for example.
It seems to me that a lot of small countries sit and wag their tails at the first sign of American displeasure. In this case the F.B.I. made a “mutual legal assistance request” and we went in boots and all, prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to incarcerate a tubby middle-aged guy with a heavily pregnant wife and two young daughters. Don’t laugh, some of those heavily pregnant spouses can get nasty!
Neighbours could be forgiven for assuming that the police were dealing with a local branch of Al Qaeda, but the media reports left me wondering about the overkill. With the might of the F.B.I. in cahoots with the cops, surely someone could have pointed out that Mr. Dotcom was not of the Osama Bin Laden ilk? Thus, three of the men in blue could have called at a reasonable hour and done the deed, without the helicopters and guns, thereby leaving the remaining 73 officers free to nick a few more wrongdoers. After this monetary monster was caged, I presume they were all de-briefed and a lot of reports filed. No expense should be spared in situations like these; if you’re dating Uncle Sam, you gotta look good!
The comedy continued: he was imprisoned, then released; his assets were frozen, then partially thawed; Internet access was banned, then allowed. Meanwhile, over in ‘the land of the free’, the cast-iron case seems to be hitting a few judicial barriers and here in N.Z. (God’s own country) we sit cross legged like a nervous Nellie at the ball, hoping the American hero will ask us to dance.
God knows if this fiasco will ever be resolved or just how much it will cost the taxpayers, but in this writer’s opinion, it could have been dealt with more carefully in human and financial terms. But not to worry folks, the F.B.I. is ‘assisting’. How? Making coffee? Yeah right!
I couldn’t agree more T!
Nice analysis of a case that asks a lot of questions of who we are, how we would have the world view us, and the value we place upon freedom.
If my memory serves me correctly, Mr. .com gained NZ residency by the simple expedient of paying NZ a lot of money, notwithstanding convictions that should have voided his eligibility.
To me the most humorous aspect of it all is the overweight gentleman and his diminutive servant Mr Banks. Sadly, poor Mr Banks in his advancing years is exhibiting Alzheimer symptoms regarding Mr .com’s largesse.
I wonder whether our law enforcers will seek Uncle Sam’s approval before subjecting Mr Banks to their stern investigations ?
Don’t we live in a strange world ?