NZ purchase of submarine-hunting jets a ‘mafia tax for US Empire’ membership – Kim Dotcom
The Megaupload founder called out his country of residence on Twitter after New Zealand’s Defence Minister Ron Mark confirmed the purchase of the new P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.
The aircraft, which is specially designed to hunt submarines and can be fitted with missiles, torpedoes and solar technology, is expected to be delivered by 2023 and will replace the country's old P-3 Orions.
The New Zealand government justified the expensive price tag by insisting that the country wanted to have a full spread of military capability options to deter potential aggressors, albeit with “the mere threat” of being “able to do something that is aggressive,” defense force chief Kevin Short said.
“That allows us to operate at the high end of the spectrum, which our friends and allies want us to do,” he added, as reported by Stuff.NZ
In April 2017, the US State Department approved the sale of up to four of the planes, with the estimated cost of US$1.46 billion (NZ$2.1b). Mark said the additional cost was due to potential foreign exchange fluctuations.
In a follow-up tweet Dotcom highlighted New Zealand’s dependant relationship with the US, claiming that “non-compliance” with US demands has serious consequences for the economy.
Dotcom has long been critical of ties between the two countries and has been fighting extradition to the US since his arrest for internet-piracy at his Auckland home in 2012. Last week he lost his third court battle against US extradition at the Court of Appeal but vowed to bring the case to the Supreme Court.
At the start of this year Dotcom announced that he is suing the New Zealand and US governments for billions of dollars in damages over his arrest in 2012 and the subsequent collapse of his business.
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