The United States ambassador to New Zealand is laughing off claims by Waitakere City mayor Bob Harvey that the CIA killed one of our most loved Prime Ministers.
Bob Harvey, who is also the Labour Party's president, suggested that former Prime minister Norman Kirk - called Big Norm by his adoring public - was killed by the American Central intelligence Agency because of his opposition to nuclear weapons amidst the Cold War period.
The US ambassador, Josiah Beeman joked today that Mr Harvey has been reading too many spy books.
Mr Harvey has asked Prime Minister Jenny Shipley to ask US President Bill Clinton to hand over secret CIA files on South Pacific relations covering the Cold War period of when Mr Kirk was Prime Minister. Mrs Shipley says she will not and says Mr Harvey’s comments are “bazaar and sad”.
Labour MPs too have laughed the claim off as odd, saying perhaps that people in west Auckland sometimes have strange dreams.
ACT leader Richard Prebble says: "Bob Harvey's remarks are a deeply offensive reflection on Norman Kirk's doctors. There was never any suggestion that there was any doubt about the reasons for Norman's illness or death.
"He caught a gastric illness when visiting Bangladesh in the 1960s, as have thousands of others. Does Bob Harvey claim the CIA poisoned them all? Norman at the time wasn't Prime Minister, and there's no reason to suppose that the CIA would have had the slightest interest in him."
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