So here's how it goes now. You can break into someone's place whom you believe to be causing harm and wreck everything if you really, really believe that is the right thing to do and, because it is the right thing to do, you'll be able to get off.

This is what a jury decided to do this week in Wellington when it acquitted the Waihopai trio who broke into the Waihopai intelligence facility and laid about the place causing damage to what is New Zealand public property.

It is plainly a dopey decision. So that's the secret. Select a jury of like-minded misguided conspiracy theorists and you can get off charges of destroying spy bases because you believe them to be causing harm.

I do not know what harm the men thought the spy base was doing to whom. Presumably they believe the spy base assists New Zealand governments to persecute its citizens with excessive surveillance.

Perhaps they believe the facility allows the New Zealand Government to assist the United States persecute the world and even kill people. The United States does kill a few people, it has to be said, but I think we can genuinely say that it does so unwillingly and only when it feels its security is threatened.

And people and groups do threaten the security of the United States quite often.

It is hard for some people to remember, I know, the obscenity of 9/11 and the destruction of those mighty towers and the innocent people screaming and crying in the street and fleeing that catastrophe.

The world had never seen anything like it. There are people, I think, who believe the United States has to take whatever anyone dishes out to it because the United States is big enough and tough enough and rich enough, so there.

A woman I went to school with years ago has lived in Canada for a long time and now occupies a senior position in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

She has two beautiful, successful daughters who, at the time of 9/11, both lived in New York and both worked in the World Trade Center part of town.

What's more, my friend knew, one of the girls was due to be flying out of New York that morning. It was hours before Jane knew the girls were safe.

Knowing what Jane went through that day, I do not mind if New Zealand has a couple of big mysterious balls in a field in Marlborough that might, among other things, be able to offer a little assistance to the United States.

The spy facility is owned and run by a mysterious entity called, opaquely, the Government Communications Security Bureau. It is hard to know exactly what the grandly named Government Communications Security Bureau actually does.

It does have a website which manages to tell you very little. What is does say is also opaquely written.

"The increased spotlight on intelligence agencies in the past few years has highlighted the constant need for governments to be supplied with accurate and timely information which enables them to make the best decisions possible. Without an independent and reliable source of intelligence the ability of a government to engage in effectively policy making is curtailed ... In order to maintain our level of effectiveness we must also retain a certain level of secrecy about our intelligence targets and the details of our capabilities sources and methods."

Okay, fair enough. The world can be a bad and dangerous place. There have to be secret squirrels. And we probably have to play our part. And in any case, the facility is ours. And, if the United States is going to share stuff with us, we should probably return the favour.

The Waihopai trio are a treat to look at. I try not to criticise the appearance of people but some are so odd-looking, so extraordinary in their appearance that is impossible to avoid making some modest observation. And the Waihopai trio look morose and unkempt. I mean, just look at the one with the big beard. And look at the misery on their faces.

I assume they're anti-American. I may be wrong but I make an automatic connection between anti-Americanism and people who try to destroy spy bases. Is that unreasonable? Forgive me if I am wrong. It's just, I don't know, I've been around a long time.

Wardrobe is also an indicator, I'm afraid, and here I might be going too far, but these people are dressed in the clothing of the anti-American far left. I am sorry to have to say so, but the clothing in which the men were dressed in the dock screamed out The Internationale in full throat.

These men do not seem to take any pride in their appearance, another indicator of the kind of people who in our lifetimes were always ready to condemn the United States and apologise for the Soviet Union and declare that Stalin was right to sacrifice a generation to industrialise Russia.

Actually, they look like silly undergraduates who have never grown up. When one of them tells the court, as Father Peter Murnane did, that he believed they had been "acting from necessity in the defence of countless others" you know that he and his cohorts have the mentality of the undergraduate who got stuck in time.

You know they also have a lawyer who is too clever by half.

But what kind of a twisted God complex do you have to have to think that you are acting of necessity in the defence of countless others and then to sit around with a couple of others to plan the attack on a nationally owned spy base and then to actually go ahead and do it? What you have here is people with too much time on their hands.

Well, the judge wasn't having a bar of it. Unfortunately, however, he was dealing with a queer jury.

Anyway, this coming week, I'm going to drive around our district putting sugar in the tanks of some of the biggest tractors I see working the neighbouring fields because they use too much diesel.

If I am charged I shall plead "claim of right" - I simply had to destroy the tractors because their carbon footprint threatens countless lives and, what's more, I really believe I have the law on my side to do so.

Used to be that ignorance of the law was no excuse for breaking it.