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[P]
Ashcroft selectively prosecuting Greenpeace?

By BrianWCarver in Op-Ed
Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 10:53:22 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

Greenpeace, has been charged with crimes by the Federal Government. Some Greenpeace members boarded a vessel that was carrying an illegal shipment of mahogany from the Brazilian rain forest to Miami. They hung a banner that read, "President Bush, Stop Illegal Logging."

Is Ashcroft abusing his authority as attorney general? Would the current administration retaliate against someone that has publicly spoken out against them in the past? (No, this isn't a story on leaking the names of undercover CIA agents who happened to be married to administration critics.) Read on for details.



Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organization that uses non-violent direct action to raise awareness of and promote solutions to global environmental problems.

This prosecution is remarkable in at least two ways. First, Greenpeace, the organization itself, is being prosecuted for the actions of its members. The attorneys for Greenpeace say in their brief that they cannot find a single prior instance of this happening. They give as an example, Operation Rescue, an organization whose members are regularly prosecuted for preventing women from accessing constitutionally protected medical care. However, Operation Rescue itself has never been prosecuted for the actions of its members.

Second, Greenpeace is being prosecuted under an ancient and almost never used statute that bars boarding "any vessel about to arrive at the place of her destination, before her actual arrival, and before she has been completely moored." 18 U.S.C. 2279. Greenpeace's attorneys point out that the vessel in question was several miles out to sea and was not "about to arrive" at her destination. In addition they argue that the statute is unconstitutionally vague.

Greenpeace further argues that they are being singled out for their political views which have been critical of the Bush administration. There are apparently only two cases of prosecution under this statute and they date back to the nineteenth century. The statute was originally intended to prevent a criminal scheme whereby sailors were basically kidnapped, lost their pay, and then sold to an outgoing ship for an enormous fee.

The briefs linked above tell an intriguing story of the illegal mahogany trade. As the primary or perhaps only wood valuable enough to warrant extreme efforts to retrieve it, the mahogany smuggling business has become quite sophisticated. Helicopters are used to locate trees, roads are built through the rain forest to the trees, destroying the forest in the process, and after the mahogany is gone, others use the roads to further clear-cut the rain forest. It has become then, a key factor in the devastation of the rain forest in Brazil. Brazilian law has banned such mahogany exporting, the species has recently been upgraded to a higher level of endangerment on the endangered species list, and U.S. law forbids the importing of illegally-obtained Brazilian mahogany.

Greenpeace activists, then, were hoping to stop a crime in progress as well as raise awareness about a larger global problem. For this, the organization of which they are a part is being charged with crimes itself. This seems odd. One would rather have expected the Justice Department to impound the cargo of the ship, and to seek to develop better means of discovering on their own when illegal importing of this nature is being conducted. The conclusion that Greenpeace draws seems hard to escape: they are being singled out as retribution for their vocal criticisms of the Bush administration's environmental record.

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Ashcroft selectively prosecuting Greenpeace? | 273 comments (226 topical, 47 editorial, 0 hidden)
Ads (2.40 / 15) (#4)
by BrianWCarver on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 06:27:31 PM EST

I wrote the story. I am not a member of Greenpeace, though I am sympathetic with their goals. It is common practice to describe an organization one is discussing for those who might not be familiar with it. Also, if you click the "About Us" link on Greenpeace's site, you'll see that they use far more favorable language to describe themselves than I did. I too would encourage Greenpeace or anyone else to buy an ad to support this site, as I'm finding it an interesting forum. But that has nothing to do with the point of this story, which is another example of the current administration abusing its power to silence its critics. That is scary and every instance of it should be uncovered, discussed, and widely publicized in a purportedly free and democratic society.

Are you going to edit this before voting? (1.85 / 7) (#72)
by elenchos on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 03:32:42 PM EST

You have to at least remove the howler "Operation Rescue itself has never been prosecuted for the actions of its members". Others have pointed out that the organization was not only prosecuted but convicted under the anti-organized crimes statute. Just Google "Operation Rescue RICO". In fact, take any assertion you've written and Google it; it really saves us all a lot of time.

A little more cynicism in tone might help this get posted too. Any fool can see that Greenpeace must be thrilled to be in Ashcroft's sights; after all a minor protest action has been moved from page 23 to page 1 (er, well, maybe page 3) news due to the Bush administration's patented ham-fisted tactics.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Prosecuting Organizations (1.50 / 6) (#84)
by BrianWCarver on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 06:15:42 PM EST

You are right that I'm not familiar with Operation Rescue's prosecution under the RICO act. But, I think the claims in Greenpeace's brief may still be accurate. An organization can be prosecuted or sued for a lot of things. An organization can be guilty of accounting fraud, as we've learned too well recently, and a host of other things. But it's hard to imagine an organization itself climbing on board a ship. People board ships, not organizations. Perhaps if every single member of the organization boarded a ship, then it would be an appropriate description, but here no one disputes that just a handful of Greenpeace activists participated in this protest action. Prosecute those individuals under this ancient law, if you've got a case. The organization might be an accomplice or might be guilty of lending support to a crime, but under the terms of the statute it's pretty clear that the organization itself didn't board any ships. Only a few members did that. That's one of the puzzling and troublesome things about this litigation. If a member of your church shoots someone, should the government be able to prosecute your church to recover damages for the victim's family? Should the company you work for be held liable for things you do in your free time? Etc. These are interesting questions that this litigation brings up. It's especially interesting since the DOJ chose an organization with such a clear history of opposing them. Looks a little retributive.

[ Parent ]
Oh, I didn't realize. (1.80 / 5) (#88)
by elenchos on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 07:00:10 PM EST

You are in way, way over your head.

Have you ever wondered how you can sue Duff Beer as an organization for putting a dead mouse in your beer, even though every single person there didn't actually participate in putting the mouse in your beer? Organizations can be held to account in all sorts of ways.

Do you have any idea what RICO is? It has something to do with organized crime. As in when a group exists in order to break the law. You are quite right that prosecuting other members of a church for the actions of one member is absurd. So absurd that you would have to believe that other people are no where near as smart as you are to think that they would do something so asinine. So either everyone else is a moron and you are some kind of superman to them, or else there is more going on here than just guilt by association.

I'd yank this article and go get some basic understanding of what the racketeering statute RICO is all about, and why the law was passed -- to combat the mafia. And how it sent shockwaves when the law as used against Operation Rescue, because for the first time "political" activists whose organizations systematically broke the law and encouraged and facilitated their members to do so also were treated as gangsters.

Go swallow all that, then re-write your article after you have some basic understanding that if in fact Greenpeace is structurally functioning as a means for its members to break the law, then they are indeed nothing less than gangsters -- regardless of whether or not Ashcroft is singling out this particular group of gangsters and tolerating pro-life mafiosi.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

It's hard for hippies to accept (1.50 / 6) (#93)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 07:41:07 PM EST

that the break-in-and-protest model they pioneered really is just another form of extortion.

--
Heinz was quoted as saying: "But the sheep are so soft and wooley," immediately before he was put into custody.


[ Parent ]
and of couse... (none / 2) (#136)
by Wah on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 01:53:08 PM EST

...pioneered a powerful tactic to fight extortion.

Somehow I don't think the Mafia has adopted a rather strict non-violence policy.

Equating walking into a place and refusing to leave until you are heard with walking into a place and demanding to get paid money or you will blow it up is only a good analogy for partisan talk shows.
--
kewpie
[ Parent ]

Heh. (none / 2) (#148)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 02:53:28 PM EST

Chaining yourself to a gate and preventing people from entering or leaving a building isn't exactly the kind of non-violence that Ghandi would recognize.

My analogy is only suitable for partisan talk shows? Denying that protests are an attempt to coerce compliance is hardly suitable for honest debate.

--
Heinz was quoted as saying: "But the sheep are so soft and wooley," immediately before he was put into custody.


[ Parent ]
yup (none / 2) (#175)
by Wah on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:38:24 PM EST

Denying that protests are an attempt to coerce compliance is hardly suitable for honest debate.

Oh, they are most definitely at attempt to influence behaviour.  However, the non-violent aspect of the action, and the lack of any violent threat at all, coupled with the lack of monetary incentives makes it difficult to call their actions 'extortion'.   And generallly belittles the word, much like the overuse of the word 'terrorist'.

...isn't exactly the kind of non-violence that Ghandi would recognize.

Perhaps, tough to know.  Regardless, it is non-violent, which puts it in entirely another class of behaviour than violent action.
--
kewpie
[ Parent ]

non-violence (none / 0) (#266)
by muppetspanker on Sat Nov 08, 2003 at 03:21:49 PM EST

Frankly, non-violence doesnt exactly work. While Ghandi preached non-violence, the english didn't leave his country for reasons of protest (they left, because like Bush in Iraq and Afghanistan, it was no longer profitable). And while I havent participated in the whole argument, I do agree that protest is coercion and damaging. However organized protest is less damaging than Enron and Worldcom, so I have to side with Greenpeace in this one.

[ Parent ]
Legal Persons (none / 2) (#132)
by 0xA on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 12:58:21 PM EST

Have you ever wondered how you can sue Duff Beer as an organization for putting a dead mouse in your beer, even though every single person there didn't actually participate in putting the mouse in your beer? Organizations can be held to account in all sorts of ways.

You would sue Duff Beer Inc. which is a corporation. A corporation is a legal person. An oranization such as Green Peace doesn't fall into that category.

[ Parent ]

Umm (none / 3) (#138)
by Wah on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 01:56:08 PM EST

from the pdf.

Number 1 : GREENPEACE, INC was incorporated under the laws of California and was doing business under the name GREENPEACE USA.
--
kewpie
[ Parent ]

Neither does the mafia. (none / 2) (#139)
by elenchos on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 01:57:55 PM EST

Hence RICO. Organizations can be held to account in all sorts of ways.

This whole conversation is a little surprising to me. Is there something here that is hard to understand? We have special laws that apply to criminal enterprises, meaning that beyond prosecuting the ones who break a certain law, and beyond prosecuting those who conspire to break a law, an entire organization can be classified as a criminal enterprise, in that breaking the law is a fundamental part of what the organization is there for. Obviously that is what the mafia is all about. A judge decided that that is what Operation Rescue is all about.

And now Greenpeace? Perhaps.

Confused?

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Prosecuting Orgs/suing Organizations (2.00 / 13) (#6)
by xC0000005 on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 06:31:29 PM EST

The whole concept of prosecuting an organization is as ridiculous as suing an organization.  Recently when a racist org was sued for its assets for "violating civil rights", many people applauded.  While I detested the racists, I worried about how long it would be until someone applied this concept to other places.  Instead of protesting abortion, why not sue Planned Parenthood when members/volunteers transport minors across state lines?  Ashcroft probably sees this as a good thing.  Instead of going after those pesky tree huggers one at a time, why not prosecute an entire organization (greenpeace) when members board a ship?

Like so many slides downhill, it began with a few steps, a few actions "for a good cause".  Now you can prosecute an entire organization. Or sue one.  How long until the government allows incarceration of an entire org?  

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't

You can't have it both ways (2.20 / 5) (#16)
by Rich0 on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 07:33:46 PM EST

Ok, either organizations are not recognized by government of they are.

If they aren't recognized, then you can't sue them, but they also don't have rights, can't file petitions, can't file to organize events, can't have bank accounts, etc.

If they are recognized, then they can have bank accounts, can file petitions, etc.  But they also can be sued.  

I actually prefer the former system.  If John Smith heads up the NRA you can just make your donations out to him.  If he as an individual does bad things with that money you can sue him as an individual.  However, this would not stop Greenpeace from being sued.

Whether Greenpeace is being rightfully presecuted or not, we can't have a society where some people are immune from the law.

[ Parent ]

Idiot (none / 2) (#153)
by trhurler on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:08:17 PM EST

So you don't think corporations, companies, partnerships, and so on should be punishable for the acts of their members? Fantastic. I'll go start one right now, and begin my crime spree using minimum wage suckers. You've just decided I should be invincible!

Oh, you mean that you think Greenpeace and other "activist organizations" are somehow legally better and more noble than companies. Yes, you really are a dipshit then. A company that illegally boarded a ship would end up facing fines in the tens of millions after losing in both civil and criminal courts. Think Greenpeace will pay that much? I bet not.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Sorry greenies (1.46 / 15) (#9)
by NaCh0 on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 06:38:33 PM EST

Vigilantes are always made an example of.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
Yes (2.00 / 7) (#14)
by kaemaril on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 07:08:54 PM EST

Let's hope President Bush finds that out in 2004... :)


Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?


[ Parent ]
Fuck Greenpeace (1.55 / 36) (#12)
by thelizman on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 07:03:17 PM EST

Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organization that uses non-violent direct action
Greenpeace is a political organization which consolidates power from smaller eco-terrorist and communist organizations, and uses lies, disinformation, and scare tactics to generate financial support and public awareness of themselves. At one point, Greenpeace even lost their non-profit status in Canada.

They hung a banner that read, "President Bush, Stop Illegal Logging."
Take note kiddies: Leftist liberal organizations support imperialism when it makes them look good.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Empty Rhetoric (2.00 / 3) (#32)
by RaveX on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 10:22:46 PM EST

"...consolidates power from smaller eco-terrorist and communist organizations..."

Right... please explain how they qualify either as terrorists or Communists? Your sentence construction implies that they are... is this actually what you mean? And... from what "smaller eco-terrorist and communist organizations" have they consolidated power?
---
The Reconstruction
[ Parent ]

Reading Comprehension Skills (1.37 / 8) (#34)
by thelizman on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 11:37:25 PM EST

Right... please explain how they qualify either as terrorists or Communists?
Why? I never made any such assertion. In spite of your pretended ignorance of the question, I'll explain this as succinctly as possible: Greenpeace's supporting members are also active in communist organizations, and in militant eco-terrorist organizations like the Earth Liberation Front. In fact, much in the same way Greenpeace started as a militant faction of the Sierra Club (a true environmental organization), ELF started as a more extreme faction of Greenpeace.

One only has to look at GP's action. Protesting the war in Iraq? That is not a function of an environmentalist organization. Even one of the founders and former presidents claims they've been hijacked, saying ""They're using environmental rhetoric to cloak agendas like class warfare and anti-corporatism that, in fact, have almost nothing to do with ecology."

If you want to know the real Greenpeace, check out this site. Also, bear in mind that trespassing on a ship in high seas is considered a crime in every seafaring nation in the world. It's called Piracy.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Sentence construction skills (2.30 / 13) (#49)
by RaveX on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 06:54:39 AM EST

Reading comprehension skills? It's always cute when someone makes comments like that but clearly doesn't understand what they're talking about.

"Greenpeace is a political organization which consolidates power from smaller eco-terrorist and communist organizations..."

Okay, apparently you need a lesson in the English language. Here we go:

When you say that Greenpeace consolidates power from "smaller" eco-terrorist and communist organizations, that's very different from saying that it consolidates power from "small" or "relatively small" eco-terrorist and communist organizations. Why is this? Because in order to use a comparative word like "smaller," there has to be an express or implied comparison-- in this case, the eco-terrorist and communist organizations have to be smaller than something else. In this case, they're smaller than Greenpeace.

We're good so far, right?

Unfortunately for you and your wise comments, when you stack modifers like you did, the modifiers apply to both sides of the comparison. Observe:

Fido stole the bone from a smaller rabid dog.

Note how this means that Fido is also rabid. Commas help solve this problem, and I suggest you use them appropriately:

Fido stole the bone from a smaller, rabid dog.

See?

So what you apparently meant to say was as follows:

"Greenpeace is a political organization which consolidates power from smaller, eco-terrorist and communist organizations..."

Which I also disagree with. Some members may also be active in communist or militant eco-terrorist organizations, but the ones I know are not (I know several). You're attempting to use a pretty sad rhetorical technique. If you have a problem with Greenpeace, address what it is that they do or what position they take that offends you, not their alleged ties to Commmunists. What you're doing makes as much sense as me claiming that "Republicans are racists." Yes, some Republicans are racist, and there may even be a fairly high correlation between voting Republican and holding racist beliefs, but that's a far cry from Republicans being racist.

Your history of Greenpeace and ELF is quite simply wrong, and not worth addressing.

And the war in Iraq could have had severe environmental consequences, and (it could be argued) is tied directly to our oil consumption as a nation (I have plenty of problems with this assertion myself, so I'm not the one to argue this point).

"One of the founders" (Patrick Moore) is also a spokesperson for an association representing the world's largest logging companies. Thanks, but I'm familiar with him and what he has to offer, and I'm aware that it's complete bunk. Nice try.

And... finally, read the briefs. It wasn't in the high seas, and was therefore not piracy. That's why the DOJ is prosecuting them using this odd piece of law.
---
The Reconstruction
[ Parent ]

Shut up already (none / 2) (#156)
by lordDogma on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:22:28 PM EST

Dude, you're playing on semantics. Your petty objections to how he structures his sentences don't change the point of his post. So...

shut the fuck up already!

-- LD

[ Parent ]

Wrong... (none / 2) (#121)
by br284 on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 11:42:59 AM EST

... it's not piracy, it's copyright infringement! The two are different!

Oh, wait. Wrong site... I guess this really is piracy.

Who screwed with my Mozilla bookmarks again?

-Chris

[ Parent ]

It could be... (none / 2) (#127)
by kcidx on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 12:27:45 PM EST

Protesting the war in Iraq? That is not a function of an environmentalist organization.

Dropping depleted uranium bombs on cities is certainly not *GOOD* for the environment...

All sorts of nasty stuff burns when you do that...and all of it pollutes.

[ Parent ]

Not piracy (none / 1) (#128)
by flimflam on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 12:33:41 PM EST

This didn't occur on the "high seas", it was in U.S. territory.


-- I am always optimistic, but frankly there is no hope. --Hosni Mubarek
[ Parent ]
Sneak Preview of my Upcoming K5 Hit Article (1.90 / 10) (#43)
by thelizman on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 01:20:03 AM EST

...see it here, first, before I've even finished it....

Greenpeace as Pro-Communists
The Links from Greenpeace, to the KGB

On July 10th at 8:30 PM, explosions rocked the world-famous Greenpeace ship "Rainbow Warrior" which was docked in New Zealand. Police were quick to respond to the first and only-ever terrorist act on New Zealand soil, and apprehended two French citizens working for Greenpeace. In a matter of weeks, the world would learn directly from the French Prime Minister that two agents of the French Secret Service (Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure, or DGSE), operating on orders, planted the explosives. Killed in the explosion was Fernando Pereira, a Dutch photographer from Portugal.

The twist to this story is that Pereira was more than just a photographer. Dutch and German intelligence files publicized by the French revealed that Pereira was a member of the Second of June, a splinter faction of Bader-Meinhoff Gang (itself being an off-shoot of the Red-Army Faction). Pereira was working as an editor for the Dutch Communist Party's paper, Der Waarheld, when he was arrested on charges of espionage. He was later released, and through his connections in the World Peace Council (a known KGB front organization) he was able to secure a job with Greenpeace. It was at this point that the world first became aware of connections between Soviet Russia's State Intelligence Service (the KGB) and Greenpeace that went deeper than coincidental infiltration.

Pereria was one of many intelligence contacts for the KGB within Greenpeace, who exploited Greenpeace's somewhat neutral status as an observer to nuclear tests to gather photographic and eyewitness intelligence on the state of NATO nuclear capability. At the time, Rainbow Warrior was on its way to observe French nuclear tests in the pacific. Largely, however, Rainbow Warrior and Greenpeace's fleet of smaller private ships were used to observe US and British naval vessels up close during "protest" floatillas. The KGB-Greenpeace relationship doesn't end there.

The Rainbow Warrior incident was a deliberate act of sabotage in the murky world of espionage, and Pereria was at least one of the targets. KGB agents within Greenpeace were also conspiring with pro-communist elements in the organization to incite unrest in the French colonies with the aim of forcing the French out of their South Pacific posessions, and opening up a Soviet Naval corridor.

Aside from Pereira, another prominant Greenpeace activist was William Arkin, who now heads the Nuclear Information Unit of Greenpeace. In the mid-80's, Arkin was also a fellow for the Intitute of Policy Studies, a think-tank which defended Marxist-Leninist ideals in the West. In the book, " Covert Cadre: Inside the Institute for Policy Studies, author Stephen S. Powell details the actions of the IPS, including how Arkin leaked classified documents related to the US nuclear defenses. Powell also goes on to document links between Greenpeace and the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE), an organization headed by IPS notables and supported speaking engagements such as that of Italian Communist Party candidate Nino Pasti who addressed a Washington DC meeting of Greenpeace.
<-- End Transcript -->

--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Oh, Lizman, you sexy bitch you (none / 1) (#206)
by fenix down on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:20:13 AM EST

Nice information about Fernando.  Didn't know that.  Although I question that, since the entire point of the Warrior's trip was to prevent France from going through with the test due to the risk of Geenpeace members observing things that were supposed to be secret, Fernando really would have gotten anything.

The other problem, of course, being that the only source I can find for Fernando's Second of June membership is a single Forbes article in which they say that "a German intelligence official" says that the files exist.  Since you tell me the French publicized the files, I'm assuming they ought to be out there somewhere, so I think at least a link to a summary of them would help your article somewhat.  I'm sort of skeptical about Forbes, seeing how they're not exactly known for their foreign intelligence reporting, and how the author of the article also works for the Cascade Policy Institute, which believes in "free market evironmentalism" and wants Clean Air, Water, Superfund, and the Endangered Species Act repealed.

And while I'm sure President Nixon only writes introductions for the most impartial of books, I think that bit is a little off-topic.  Though it's certaintly important to your thesis to debunk as many people who've attacked Gen. "My God Could Beat Up Your God" Boykin as possible, I think the 6 Degrees of Filthy Commies game gets a little distracting if you don't keep your target the same throughout.  Remeber, you're connecting Greenpeace with the KGB, not Greenpeace with Nino Pasti (though Nino's pasties are indeed to die for).

Just lending a hand, Lizzie baby.

[ Parent ]

Why do you hate society so much? (nt) (1.75 / 4) (#51)
by A Proud American on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 08:25:09 AM EST

 

____________________________
The weak are killed and eaten...


[ Parent ]
This is a bad sign (2.18 / 16) (#13)
by Tatarigami on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 07:04:48 PM EST

Selectively prosecuting to support a personal political agenda is a cynical abuse of Ashcroft's position, and using a law which was last successfully exercised two centuries ago means he's not even bothering to hide it. Either he hates his job and he wants to lose his title, or he doesn't think there's anyone anything can do about it.

Irrelevant (1.25 / 4) (#21)
by Brandybuck on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 08:06:54 PM EST

using a law which was last successfully exercised two centuries ago means he's not even bothering to hide it If Ashcroft wasn't in charge of the DoJ for the last two centuries, then this is irrelevant. It is not proof that he's selectively applying the law, since he hasn't been in office long enough to demonstrate that. If this were a common activity, then his two years in office might be long enough to determine this, but this law covers stuff that's uncommon. He's enforcing the laws that are on the books. Whether the particular law is worthy of being protected is another matter entirely. When was the last time you heard a politician promise, "I will enforce the laws, except those that the prior administration didn't enforce!"

[ Parent ]
Bad laws (1.00 / 4) (#54)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 08:28:31 AM EST

Ashcroft is an evil thug. How dare you prosecute a group who boards and highjacks ocean-going vessels.

After we throw out these laws, let's make it legal to hijack plane and make it legal for private people to search the property of those suspected of criminal activity.

It's amazing how political hatred colors one's vision.

[ Parent ]

The Real Issue (2.25 / 4) (#64)
by virg on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 11:18:55 AM EST

> Ashcroft is an evil thug. How dare you prosecute a group who boards and highjacks ocean-going vessels.

That argument isn't about whether to prosecute, it's who to prosecute. Historically (for the last century), when a member of a group commits a crime, that particular person is charged with the crime. This time, for the first time, J. Ashcroft decided to charge the Greenpeace organization as a whole with the crime. This happens even when the AG's office prosecutes members of Operation Rescue regularly, but never charges the organization as a whole with the offenses of its members. Therefore, it's reasonable to assume that the action is political in nature.

> After we throw out these laws, let's make it legal to hijack plane and make it legal for private people to search the property of those suspected of criminal activity.

Since there's no push by Greenpeace to throw out the law being prosecuted, this statment is nonsensical. The only comment they made is that Ashcroft is stretching a hundred-year-old law just so he'll have something to apply to the group instead of using much more familiar and regularly-enforced laws to prosecute individual Greenpeace members.

> It's amazing how political hatred colors one's vision.

It is, isn't it?

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Re: The Real Issue (none / 1) (#67)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 12:41:25 PM EST

Companies as well as individuals get charged with crimes routinely... I'm not sure what exactly you are talking about there.

Greenpeace is organizing the illegal activity of its members it should be prosecuted. If Operation Rescue does the same, it should be prosecuted as well.

[ Parent ]

Side Issue (none / 2) (#71)
by virg on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 02:54:48 PM EST

> Companies as well as individuals get charged with crimes routinely... I'm not sure what exactly you are talking about there.

Care to point to an example? Remember that civil torts and crimes are very different things.

> [If] Greenpeace is organizing the illegal activity of its members it should be prosecuted. If Operation Rescue does the same, it should be prosecuted as well.

This is the very crux of Greenpeace's argument. The argument is that historically, the AG's office has not done this, and yet in this case, they are, and they put forth that the only reason Ashcroft is breaking with two centuries of precedent is that it's politically based, not because it's of any use to justice. I agree that if they organize criminal activity they should be prosecuted. But if J. Ashcroft is going to do it to one organization, he needs to do it to all of them, and in reverse, if he hasn't done it to most organizations, he shouldn't be doing it to this one. Remember that the complaint in this case isn't enforcement, it's selective enforcement based on a political agenda.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
One Example (none / 1) (#89)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 07:04:14 PM EST

GE plead guilty to misdirecting funds.

http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/1292/9212009.html

Companies and organizations are routinely charged with criminal actions.

Selective enforcement is obviously not a good thing... but the law does not require a prosecutor to prosecute every case. This is why you routinely see drug kingpins chared with tax evasion, while regular people who grossly inflate their charitable contributions or fail to report tips or other income are rarely criminally charged.

Also note that selective or politically motivated prosecution is not limited to Ashcroft's justtice department, federal government or even US government.

So while you may have problems with the system, that does not change the fact that greenpeace is in the wrong.

[ Parent ]

Relevance (none / 2) (#157)
by virg on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:26:32 PM EST

> GE plead guilty to misdirecting funds.
http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/1292/9212009.html
Companies and organizations are routinely charged with criminal actions.


I will yield this, but only with the caveat that the article you linked does not describe the nature of the charges, so I'm not yet sure that GE (as a corporation) was charged with a criminal offense, as opposed to civil offense, like some form of breach-of-trust.

> Selective enforcement is obviously not a good thing... but the law does not require a prosecutor to prosecute every case.

It does require that a prosecutor prosecute similar cases similarly.

> Also note that selective or politically motivated prosecution is not limited to Ashcroft's justtice department, federal government or even US government.

Does that make it right? Does the fact that other departments do it make it somehow improper for me to point it out when the AG does it?

> So while you may have problems with the system, that does not change the fact that greenpeace is in the wrong.

The fact that Greenpeace is in the wrong does not excuse Ashcroft's alleged wrongdoing. You seem to think that they can't both be wrong. I think Greenpeace should be charged. I'm just incensed that they are charged when other organizations who are doing the same things don't get charged, especially when it carries such an appearance of governmental bias.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Ashcroft (2.22 / 22) (#17)
by hamsterboy on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 07:34:15 PM EST

I know I'm being trolled here, but what the heck, it's Monday.
Is Ashcroft abusing his authority as attorney general?
Interesting how all actions performed by the US Government that people don't like get blamed on Ashcroft. Do you really think he sat down in his big chair and said, "I missed my coffee this morning. Mary, could you arrange to have some lefties arrested? Thanks, that's much better." Ha.

First of all, what do you want the US government to do? This logging operation is already illegal, so Congress can't just pass another law making it illegal again. Would you pull FBI and Coast Guard away from their security patrols and anti-terrorism investigations to find one ship full of logs? "Car 59, you are ordered to stand down on the rape-in-progress 911 call. We have a truck full of lumber that needs stopped."

Anyways, whether the logging is illegal or not is besides the point. What Greenpeace did was, or should have been, illegal. If they put up a big sign in your front yard, you'd call the cops. If you were driving an 18-wheeler, and somebody nailed a banner to the side of the trailer, you'd call the cops. But boarding somebody else's ship shouldn't be illegal? (This is the part where I sigh disgustedly.) Did anybody check to see if the crew of the ship were arrested? I don't think the cops would have arrested the Greenpeace "climbers" and told the smugglers to go on their merry way.

The enemy of your enemy is your friend? Do you agree with every anti-Bush, anti-Ashcroft, anti-Rumsfeld group out there?

Hamster

Repliable (2.54 / 11) (#62)
by virg on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 11:10:03 AM EST

> Interesting how all actions performed by the US Government that people don't like get blamed on Ashcroft.

Well, is it interesting that actions by the Attorney General's office that people don't like get blamed on the Attorney General? The blame is appropriate here.

> First of all, what do you want the US government to do? This logging operation is already illegal, so Congress can't just pass another law making it illegal again.

Congress? Who mentioned them? What I'd like the government to do (well, the Attorney General's office to do) is prosecute the people smuggling logs, and not charge an organization instead of the particular members that actually committed the offense. Again, this doesn't seem like a stretch.

> Would you pull FBI and Coast Guard away from their security patrols and anti-terrorism investigations to find one ship full of logs?

Am I going out on a limb to point out that a ship full of Greenpeace protesters and a big sign really isn't so hard to find? They managed to find out that Greenpeace members were aboard. So, yes, I think it's reasonable that the Coast Guard stop smugglers, especially when someone points them out. After all, that is their job.

> Anyways, whether the logging is illegal or not is besides the point. What Greenpeace did was, or should have been, illegal.

The basis of their complaint is that historically, when members of a group commit a crime, those members are charged, not the organization itself. In a hundred years, the AG's office has never charged an organization for its member's offenses, they charged the members directly. Therefore, it's reasonable to assume that the fact that they're now charging Greenpeace for its members' actions is politically motivated.

> If they put up a big sign in your front yard, you'd call the cops. If you were driving an 18-wheeler, and somebody nailed a banner to the side of the trailer, you'd call the cops. But boarding somebody else's ship shouldn't be illegal? (This is the part where I sigh disgustedly.)

The part where I sigh disgustedly is where you think that this argument is about whether what they did was a crime, rather than who's being prosecuted and how, and why.

> Did anybody check to see if the crew of the ship were arrested? I don't think the cops would have arrested the Greenpeace "climbers" and told the smugglers to go on their merry way.

As you said, why does that matter?

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Hmmm (none / 3) (#86)
by jmzero on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 06:35:07 PM EST

and not charge an organization instead of the particular members that actually committed the offense

This is an interesting question.  In other cases, it's obviously the other way.  Tobacco sufferers sued companies, not CEOs or company scientists.  Similarly, it would be difficult to sue my employer if I started defacing web pages at lunch breaks.

What it comes down to is the level of involvement from the organization.  The filing linked to doesn't dispute the organizations connection to the event.  

What's the alternative?  Have organizations free to endorse any criminal behavior they see fit?  I think it's the right thing to do (in general - this case is sort of silly), regardless of whether it's what they have done in the past.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

Not the Same (none / 0) (#245)
by virg on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 05:44:05 PM EST

> In other cases, it's obviously the other way. Tobacco sufferers sued companies, not CEOs or company scientists.

Nope, this is proof of my point, not refutation. These cases are civil torts, brought by citizens or groups of citizens for monetary damages, not criminal charges. These are not criminal proceedings. The telling portion of this is that Phillip Morris was never in danger of having its corporate charter revoked (the corporate version of the death penalty). The only thing at risk was money.

> What it comes down to is the level of involvement from the organization. The filing linked to doesn't dispute the organizations connection to the event.

Incorrect. Proof that the organization was involved does not equate to criminal charges in any case but this one, including other cases where an organization was involved in organizing the criminal actions of its members. Since J. Ashcroft didn't press criminal charges against the Aryan Nation (instead charging its leaders) why other than politics does he decide to charge Greenpeace itself for the actions of its members?

> What's the alternative? Have organizations free to endorse any criminal behavior they see fit?

Of course not, but when such an activity occurs, it's reasonable to charge those directly involved, not the organization.

> I think it's the right thing to do (in general - this case is sort of silly), regardless of whether it's what they have done in the past.

Considering the nature of the charge, it's possible that if convicted, the organization could be criminalized. While there are those who would like it to be illegal to be a member of Greenpeace, it sets an extremely dangerous precedent for political action against other groups. Since he's never done this sort of thing before, he should not be doing it now.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Some Problems (none / 1) (#170)
by CENGEL3 on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:11:37 PM EST

1) Firstly it appears that Greenpeace boarded the wrong ship. Since the ship was not after-all carrying mahogany. Greenpeace has subsequently admited as much.

2) It's a HUGE problem when private organizations decide to take the law into thier own hands. Although most countries do have provisions in thier laws for "citizens arrest" type situations....these are designed for situations where citizens inadvertantly stumble upon a crime in progress and don't have the opportunity to alert authorities before the crime is done... particulary situations where the life and limb of the victem is at risk. In this case Greenpeace had plenty of opportunity to alert the authorties ahead of time...rather then stage this stunt themselves and put people at risk.

3) Attempting to board a ship at sea without authorization is an incredibly stupid and dangerous proposition. It puts everyone at risk, including the ships crew. While it's unlikely that the crew would mistake these bozo's for real pirates being only 3 miles out of Miami (real piracy does still happen by the way), it's still an incredibly dangerous and stupid thing to do. This is especialy true for an organization with as bad a safety track record as Greenpeace has.

4) Governments have and do, in fact, bring charges against organizations which orchestrate crimes by thier members. Thay is part of what Rico is all about. If Greenpeace orchestrated this as an organization then it indeed may be held liable. If this is just a group of individuals who happen to be members of Greenpeace doing it on thier own without direction from the organization as a whole then it's a different matter.

[ Parent ]

Points Redux (none / 0) (#246)
by virg on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 05:52:33 PM EST

> 1) Firstly it appears that Greenpeace boarded the wrong ship. Since the ship was not after-all carrying mahogany. Greenpeace has subsequently admited as much.

Not relevant. Greenpeace was charged with boarding a ship, not that ship.

> 2) It's a HUGE problem when private organizations decide to take the law into thier own hands.

Yes, it is. Nobody, not even Greenpeace, is disputing that charges should be brought. The dispute is that charges are being brought against Greenpeace, the organization as a whole, not the specific Greenpeace members that did the deed.

> 3) Attempting to board a ship at sea without authorization is an incredibly stupid and dangerous proposition.

Again, not relevant to the issue. They didn't dispute the illegality of the act, just the manner of prosecution.

> 4) Governments have and do, in fact, bring charges against organizations which orchestrate crimes by thier members. Thay is part of what Rico is all about. If Greenpeace orchestrated this as an organization then it indeed may be held liable. If this is just a group of individuals who happen to be members of Greenpeace doing it on thier own without direction from the organization as a whole then it's a different matter.

If it's been done so often, why is there not a single case in nearly a century of this method of enforcement? The very argument is that this is such an unusual way to prosecute that Greenpeace alleges it's politically motivated. If it happened all the time, this wouldn't be an issue to begin with.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
What makes you think that? (none / 0) (#248)
by CENGEL3 on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 08:29:32 AM EST

"If it's been done so often, why is there not a single case in nearly a century of this method of enforcement? " - What makes you think there hasn't? The fact that Greenpeaces lawyers said so? Yes, lawyers have never been known to misrepresent the facts.

                  Please do some research on your own and then tell me whether organizations/corporations ever get charged as a whole.


[ Parent ]

My Take (none / 0) (#258)
by virg on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 12:46:39 PM EST

My take on the issue is fairly straightforward. Firstly, the law that the AG's office chose to prosecute was designed over 100 years ago to prevent press gang tactics of indentured servitude, which makes it unusual to apply in this case. Secondly, there are a large number of maritime laws that would directly apply to this case, but none of those laws are organizational in nature (they're designed to be applied to individual boarders), and they're not being used despite the fact that they specifically apply. Thirdly, in similar cases, like the Aryan Nation's bomb threats and Operation Rescue's harassment rallies, organizations are passed over to apply charges directly to specific members. Now, on the basis of these three circumstances, I find myself wondering what reason Ashcroft has to choose to do such unusual things in what should be a very straightforward prosecution, and I can find no reason other than political motivation that makes any sense. The fact that organizations sometimes get charged as a whole is tempered by the third consideration, in that similar situations did not draw such action in the past, even actions taken in the past against Greenpeace members. Why Greenpeace (as opposed to its members), and why now? If you can provide some insight that doesn't include the idea that Ashcroft is cherry-picking his laws to target Greenpeace, I'd be pleased to hear it.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
My Take (none / 0) (#260)
by CENGEL3 on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 01:43:36 PM EST

Is that since Greenpeace keeps pulling these stunts over and over again that there must be some meat to the fact that Greenpeace is orchestrating them rather then being the sponaneous decision of a few individuals who happen to be members.

If an organization is orchestrating a criminal activity then it doesn't seem inappropriate at all to me to file charges against the organization itself. At the very least, it seems to me reasonable to threaten to indite the organization itself in order to get some leverage to determine exactly who in the organization is responsible for orchestrating the criminal activity.

It seems to me what you are advocating will just end up with charging the privates who carried out the orders and absolving the generals who wrote the orders in the first place.

[ Parent ]

Incorrect Again (none / 0) (#263)
by virg on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 03:41:29 PM EST

> It seems to me what you are advocating will just end up with charging the privates who carried out the orders and absolving the generals who wrote the orders in the first place.

You are incorrect again, and I'm beginning to think it's because you're hearing what you want me to say, not what I'm actually saying. So, in a single sentence, in bold, just so I'm certain.

I don't advocate not charging Greenpeace as an organization if they engineer an illegal act.

I can't get it any clearer than that. However, this particular case, at this particular time, is about the worst case to try to prosecute this way. There have been other cases, and even other cases involving Greenpeace, that would have been better. However, this case comes hard on the heels of Greenpeace lambasting Bush's policies publically. They say that the only reason this particular case, at this particular time, is being prosecuted in this particular way is due to political retaliation, and I'm inclined to agree. There's no reason why this particular case should be prosecuted against the organization, and if the only motivation for doing it is political, then that is improper in the extreme.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
You sure live in a strange time-zone (none / 3) (#75)
by nkyad on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 04:32:03 PM EST

I know I'm being trolled here, but what the heck, it's Monday.

I live at GMT - 3 and Tuesday is ending. Somewhere on the other side of the planet it is already Wednesday. I wonder where it could be Monday.

As for the illegality of Greenpeace actions, boarding someone's else ship is illegal. On the other hand, most countries have provisions for civilians stopping crimes by force (civil arrests, etc). If a ship carrying drugs was boarded and aprehended by a NGO, I think the American government would seriously consider giving medals to the boarders...

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
Umm.... (none / 3) (#81)
by curien on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 05:58:47 PM EST

Because he wrote it yesterday?

--
Screw teh tiger woods! I am teh Lunix Tarballs!
[ Parent ]
Time travel now a subscriber feature? (none / 2) (#108)
by nkyad on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 11:00:40 PM EST

How did he manage to write a comment on Monday under an article posted on Tuesday (just below the title, "Tue Nov 4th, 2003 at 06:15:02 PM EST")? :))

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
Because he posted the comment (none / 2) (#113)
by curien on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 06:39:08 AM EST

when the article was still in the edit queue.

--
Screw teh tiger woods! I am teh Lunix Tarballs!
[ Parent ]
Vigilanteeism (2.14 / 14) (#18)
by Rich0 on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 07:38:01 PM EST

Ok, I agree that the smugglers should be prosecuted.  They should be captured when they enter territorial waters and consequently the sovereignty of the USA.  Alternatively, the government whose flag they fly should be contacted (though some governments don't do much about this).

Boarding a ship in the high seas is an act of piracy.  Under many standards of law the owners of the ship would be justified in using force to defend their ship - including sinking the Greenpeace vessel.  Even the US Coast Guard doesn't arbitrarily board ships in the high seas.

Governments can board vessels in their own waters.  Greenpeace isn't a government - they can't board anybody, anywhere.  They should certainly encourage the USA to enforce the law, but they shouldn't take that upon themselves.

Personally, I think Greenpeace acted in piracy.  Does that mean that I can buy a ship with some big guns, go out to sea, and sink any Greenpeace vessels I find?  Of course not - I'm not the navy - and neither are they.

Then perhaps (2.42 / 7) (#19)
by Happy Monkey on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 07:45:49 PM EST

they should be charged with piracy on the high seas...
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
hmm (2.62 / 8) (#20)
by reklaw on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 07:53:15 PM EST

Greenpeace pirates... I find that idea strangely amusing for some reason.

Arr! Save the rainforests! YARR! Let's go save that whale, ye scurvy dogs! etc. etc. It's more amusing in my head, really. I'll shut up now.
-
[ Parent ]

yes. (1.20 / 5) (#22)
by Suppafly on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 08:15:05 PM EST

Does that mean that I can buy a ship with some big guns, go out to sea, and sink any Greenpeace vessels I find? If you are out on open waters where no goverment has jurisdiction, you sure can.
---
Playstation Sucks.
[ Parent ]
Wrong! (2.00 / 6) (#29)
by RaveX on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 10:14:52 PM EST

Sorry, piracy was actually the first (and is still one of the only) acts covered under international law and prosecutable by just about every country in the world. Try again.
---
The Reconstruction
[ Parent ]
Wrong! (1.20 / 5) (#37)
by Suppafly on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 12:14:43 AM EST

I think you are mistaken, considering that the treaty on the site you linked to is just over 20 years old and it doesn't mention piracy at all.
---
Playstation Sucks.
[ Parent ]
sigh... (2.40 / 5) (#48)
by RaveX on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 06:26:29 AM EST

Right... so apparently Articles 100-107 don't exist, and they weren't folded in from the Geneva Convention on the High Seas? As an aside, international law is a funny thing this way, you'll notice that it's quite young. The first piracy convention dates only back to 1937, yet the anti-piracy regime is generally considered to be the first international law regime.
---
The Reconstruction
[ Parent ]
Only if you come back. [nt] (none / 0) (#198)
by fenix down on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 10:41:05 PM EST



[ Parent ]
The ship wasn't in international waters... (2.00 / 5) (#30)
by RaveX on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 10:16:09 PM EST

So it's not piracy. Read the briefs.
---
The Reconstruction
[ Parent ]
BS (1.60 / 10) (#50)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 08:24:31 AM EST

The briefs are FUD.

The greenpeace folks are criminals and should be arrested.

The Geneva Conventional of the High Seas states that piracy is the "violent seizure on the high seas of a private ship or the illegal detainment of persons or property aboard said ship for the purpose of private gain"

So to be a pirate according to the standards of the Geneva Convention you must:

1. Commit a crime against property or citizens.
2. Commit the crime in international waters.
3. Be motivated by greed.

So while the Greenpeace thugs may not have meet the requirements to be prosecuted as "Pirates" they are certainly guilty of any number of Federal laws or regulations and probaly could be charged with US piracy laws.


[ Parent ]

Not BS (none / 3) (#91)
by RaveX on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 07:25:04 PM EST

How is what I said BS if you're willing to concede that, exactly as I said, they haven't committed piracy?

Anyway, you are right that they may be guilty of violating Federal law, and could be -- make that are being -- charged under Federal statutes. Not piracy laws, persay, but that's neither here nor there. Note that I didn't say that what they did wasn't illegal, nor did I say that they shouldn't face consequences. I was just pointing out that all this talk about piracy was nonsense.

This also doesn't address the issue of whether Greenpeace as an organization should be held responsible or its individual members, a point on which I'm undecided...
---
The Reconstruction
[ Parent ]

Apples and Oranges (none / 1) (#102)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 10:03:32 PM EST

I misunderstood your position. My humble apologies if I slighted you in any way.

[ Parent ]
"violent seizure" (none / 1) (#134)
by joschi on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 01:30:01 PM EST

show me when greenpiece *violently* *seized* anything... it didnt happen.

[ Parent ]
The charge (none / 1) (#133)
by sinexoverx on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 01:12:06 PM EST

The charge was under Title 18 section 2279 and here it is:
Sec. 2279. - Boarding vessels before arrival

Whoever, not being in the United States service, and not being duly authorized by law for the purpose, goes on board any vessel about to arrive at the place of her destination, before her actual arrival, and before she has been completely moored, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

The master of such vessel may take any such person into custody, and deliver him up forthwith to any law enforcement officer, to be by him taken before any committing magistrate, to be dealt with according to law.

Greenpeace's call for dismissal is like many such calls in lawsuits. It was a long shot and in this case very unlikely to work. In this case the problen is that little "and". Greenpeace is argueing that the ship was 3 miles from shore and near the port and so that it had arrived. You don't even have to be a lawyer to figure out this law.

[ Parent ]
Greenpeace is a terrorist organization (1.27 / 18) (#24)
by tofubar on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 08:44:56 PM EST

Well Greenpeace has done terrorist acts so it's a terrorist organization. Although a lot of people in our government and some would argue our government itself is terrorist is nature, and it certainly is very selective (why do we continue to trade with Saudi Arabia when they are well-known sponsors of Al-Qaeda, for instance) in who gets the good ol' USian bitchslap..

Complete Bull (2.60 / 10) (#28)
by RaveX on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 10:04:39 PM EST

The source you just cited labeling Greenpeace as a "terrorist" organization is a press release from a whaling organization that has long been targeted by one of Greenpeace's most high-profile campaigns. Japan's "scientific" whaling has for years been a cover for commercial whaling efforts in direct conflict with an international moratorium.

Now for the pop quiz: what terrorist acts has Greenpeace committed? By whose definition is Greenpeace a "terrorist" organization? Keep in mind that most definitions of terrorism (see the bottom of the page) require that violent acts be committed.

There are two sides to every story, and the collision referred to in your source has been addressed more than once in the past. Maybe you should be aware that the incident is indeed officially recorded, as noted here in a reply to the press release you cited, as a ramming by the Japanese vessel.

The "terrorist" label has been a rather popular perjorative term lately, but by wrongly using it, you only display your own ignorance. I wouldn't argue if we were talking about a group like the "Earth Liberation Front," but we're not. Instead you're suggesting that the U.S. has simply ignored a terrorist organization within its own borders with 501(c)3 status and offices in the Washington, D.C. area. That's the stupidest thing I've heard all day.
---
The Reconstruction
[ Parent ]

So they interrupt humanity's progress (none / 2) (#36)
by tofubar on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 11:42:59 PM EST

Great.

[ Parent ]
More like enhance. (none / 2) (#130)
by cburke on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 12:49:29 PM EST

Humanity's progress will inevitably involve learning to obtain the energy and mineral resources we need to further our progress while sustaining the environment. Progress isn't the goal -- it's long-term sustainable progress. Damaging the environment in the name of progress is ultimately self-defeating. Failing to develop appropriate ecological technologies to go along with industrial and scientific developments will result in increasing eco-damage. If the problem is neglected, this results in spending all your time and resources fighting off giant mind worm boils, stalling progress.

[ Parent ]
sometimes... (none / 1) (#158)
by Wah on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:40:25 PM EST

...I miss the 5.

You do forget though, that with a properly developed sustainable ecological policy...you can capture a good many of those mind worms and put them to use yourself.  Not to mention the energy one can collect with properly outfitted psy-warriors.
--
kewpie
[ Parent ]

"Terrorist" (2.30 / 10) (#52)
by A Proud American on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 08:27:02 AM EST

Some people call PETA members who occasionally free farm animals from their certain slaughter "terrorists."

I call them "heroes."

____________________________
The weak are killed and eaten...


[ Parent ]

I call them terrorists (1.75 / 4) (#63)
by CodeWright on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 11:12:39 AM EST

And a far bigger threat to Western Civilization than a bunch of maladjusted Middle Easterners...

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --
[ Parent ]
um (none / 3) (#99)
by tps12 on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 08:54:20 PM EST

I think I missed your irony there, but just in case...how can freeing farm animals be considered an act of terror? Are people afraid to leave their houses lest they be mauled by rampaging chickens?

[ Parent ]
How about setting fire to car dealerships? (none / 3) (#107)
by CodeWright on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 10:57:15 PM EST

Hurling paint at women wearing furs? Destroying SUVs? Destroying logging equipment? Disrupting safe transfer of radioactive waste?

Repeat after me.... TERRORISTS.

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --
[ Parent ]
right, vandalism (nt) (none / 3) (#119)
by tps12 on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 11:13:11 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Firebombing a car dealership...oh sure (none / 1) (#122)
by CodeWright on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 11:44:18 AM EST

Widespread conspiracy to engage in assault, arson, and other dangerous destructive acts are all peachy keen, because ITS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT.

Of course, if they were doing the same damn thing for God, Allah, or The-Voices-In-Their-Heads, it would be terrorism.

Doesn't it bother you that you can dismiss these heinous acts as mere pranksterism when you find common cause with those who commit them?

You life-hating Gaia-worshipping new-age wackjobs are twice as depressing as the life-hating fundie wackjobs.

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --
[ Parent ]
Let's see (none / 2) (#126)
by kcidx on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 12:22:21 PM EST

life-hating Gaia-worshipping new-age wackjobs : Burn down car dealerships with no one inside and no one gets hurt.

life-hating fundie wackjobs: Take down the world trade center and kill 3000+ people.

Hmm....for some reason I don't think that adds up. But of course you weren't being serious.

[ Parent ]

Deadly serious (none / 1) (#129)
by CodeWright on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 12:37:22 PM EST

The life-hating Gaia-worshipping new-age wackjobs continually exert their power to prevent the development of the third world, consigning countless millions of people to lives of stone age misery and lingering death.

The life-hating Gaia-worshipping new-age wackjobs will not rest until they have reduced all of humanity to living in lice-ridden neolithic "communion" with nature.

Of course, it's all "for the environment", so it's justifiable.

FUCK. THAT.

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --
[ Parent ]
not pranksterism (none / 2) (#186)
by tps12 on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 07:23:07 PM EST

I'm not trivializing the costs of vandalism. But it's still just destruction of property, politically motivated or not; without violence, it's hard to call it terrorism (except figuratively, in which case it's still questionable rhetoric).

[ Parent ]
Wrong (none / 0) (#238)
by CodeWright on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 10:53:40 AM EST

vandalism = violence against property

When you attack someone's livelihood, you are, in essence, attacking their person and the persons of their family.

Much like protecting one's home from a burglar with lethal force is justifiable homicide, I think that a group of loggers protecting their machinery with lethal force is equivalent, both legally and morally.

Clearly, voluntarily engaging in conflict activities that have very real risks to human life cannot be interpreted as anything but criminal. And conspiracy to commit criminal acts for the purposes of molding public opinion sure sounds like the definition of 'Terrorism' to me...

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --
[ Parent ]
You've got the wrong people (none / 1) (#144)
by RaveX on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 02:10:46 PM EST

Setting fire to car dealerships: ELF
Hurling paint at women wearing furs: PETA
Destroying SUVs: ELF
Destroying logging equipment: ELF

Disrupting safe transfer of radioactive waste... well the "safe" is in question, but yeah, that's Greenpeace (and a whole host of others). Now, please tell me how delaying the transfer of radioactive waste through non-violent means qualifies as "terrorism?"

I think we've established here that ELF, the "Earth Liberation Front," is a bunch of crazies. However, I don't think we've established that Greenpeace is a terrorist group at all.
---
The Reconstruction
[ Parent ]

Before we continue... (none / 1) (#145)
by CodeWright on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 02:28:56 PM EST

...you're confirming that ELF is indeed a terrorist organization?

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --
[ Parent ]
"organization" in the loosest sense (none / 0) (#203)
by fenix down on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 11:04:51 PM EST

In the same sense that the anarchy symbol is a terrorist organization.  ELF is what you spraypaint on the flaming SUV to differentiate it from the rest of the flaming SUVs that weren't lit under a self-righteous political agenda.  Organization usually implies there's been some... organization going on.  More "get drunk and fuck up some shit" than an organization.

I'd also argue terrorist, since I really don't know anybody who's really afraid of the ELF.  I can't really see any demands either.  Then again I'd say the same thing about Al Quaeda.  "Terrorism" is fear as a political tool.  Al Quaeda and ELF are just some goofballs that got fucked up on Oxycontin and opium and started having delusions of grandeur.  When I think terrorists, I think people with a goal other than cool explosions.  Hamaas I could see as terrorist, but Al Quaeda and ELF are just some 80s action movie geeks with too much free time.  I think the better word would be symphorophiliacs.

[ Parent ]

We may continue (none / 0) (#244)
by RaveX on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:04:11 PM EST

Yes, ELF is a terrorist organization, although I'll have to agree with the other poster-- they follow an ideal terrorist group structure and are thus quite decentralized, so they're only an "organization" in the loosest sense. However, the use of violence and the threat of violence to achieve their political goals would place them, in my opinion, in the category of "terrorists."
---
The Reconstruction
[ Parent ]
Yes. (none / 0) (#207)
by Zerotime on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 02:14:38 AM EST

Obviously you've never seen an Australian chicken.

---
"You don't even have to drink it. You just rub it on your hips and it eats its way through to your liver."
[ Parent ]
I call them "dumb city slickers" (nt) (none / 2) (#96)
by pyramid termite on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 08:26:12 PM EST


On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Terrorist (none / 0) (#269)
by czolgosz on Tue Nov 11, 2003 at 08:09:05 PM EST

So, who have Greenpeace killed or threatened to kill in order to achieve their political objectives?

I know of at least one instance where Greenpeace activists were murdered (remember the Rainbow Warrior?) but none in which they've done anything violent.

So, by "terrorist," you really mean that you don't approve of GP's actions and you want them to be fair game for our attorney general, who seems to get a stiffie whenever there's an opportunity to punish someone. And, of course, law enforcement officers don't mind pursuing non-violent offenders, including those practicing civil disobedience, since they don't shoot at cops like real crooks do. Much safer.


Why should I let the toad work squat on my life? --Larkin
[ Parent ]
..and for extra hypocrisy... (1.83 / 12) (#25)
by RyoCokey on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 09:23:50 PM EST

Here's Greenpeace saying that pulling over their vessel in international waters is piracy!



The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
Well... it is.. (none / 2) (#76)
by Kwil on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 04:47:22 PM EST

..and what these Greenpeace members did was piracy as well.

But the key is, it's what the members did. Not the organization as a whole. If one of them happens to hold an NRA membership as well, does that mean the NRA should also be charged?

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
Greepeace Org should be prosecuted (none / 3) (#80)
by RyoCokey on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 05:53:04 PM EST

The organization itself is organizing the unlawful acts. It's not rogue members, it's the designs of the entire organization. If the NRA told it's members to shoot gun control sympathizers, I'd say the same thing.



The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
[
Parent ]
not really piracy tho (none / 2) (#83)
by phred on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 06:12:06 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Argh (none / 0) (#196)
by andamac on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 10:20:12 PM EST

And the makers of violent video games should be charged with murder if some kid plays it and then goes and beats someone to death with a golf club.

I think this is a dangerous line we're walking here. There's a very important difference between suggesting and orchestrating. If Greenpeace said to some of its members "hey there is an evil ship trying to bring in illegal mahogany" then don't prosecute, even if there is an implied suggestion that the members should do something about it. If they provided transportation and the ship the Greenpeace members used etc, then prosecute.

[ Parent ]

Huh (none / 1) (#87)
by jmzero on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 06:40:42 PM EST

But the key is, it's what the members did. Not the organization as a whole

There's clearly two different topics going on.  While you may not think this topic is interesting or debatable, a few people appear to be on either side of it.  

So quit trying to hijack the thread.  (Unless it's with pointless meta-discussion like this.)
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

More on Greenpeace piracy: (2.00 / 8) (#26)
by RyoCokey on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 09:29:08 PM EST

Here they are accounting for the only acts of piracy in the Pacific Ocean proper.



The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
Can we talk more (1.20 / 20) (#31)
by bankind on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 10:19:14 PM EST

about the French blowing up their gay sailboat.

I love that story.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman

Sure thing you thilly fella! (2.07 / 14) (#42)
by thelizman on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 01:13:01 AM EST

...two thilly frogmen from the French thecret thervice...I think they was named "Pierre" and "Mauchot"...oh who careth, they are jutht tho cute in thothe tight diving thuits. Tsk! Anywaaaaay, like...the put thethe two thilly little bombth on the Rainbow Warrior (I jutht luff that name, dont you?), and they blew that fucking boat to hell! Oh, and they killed a pro-communitht KGB agent who wath uthing Rainbow Warrior to conduct clandethine intelligenthe mithions on NATO thips. But we'll talk about that later. TA TA!
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
that, my queen, (2.33 / 6) (#45)
by bankind on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 01:41:08 AM EST

was an outstanding reply. Maybe I should have said "jolly sail boat."

BTW: for future such posts please include "thimply fabulouth!!" and lisping emoticons.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

-1. Unfairly stigmatizes (2.80 / 5) (#70)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 01:56:18 PM EST

hairlipped homosexual french intelligence agents.

--
Heinz was quoted as saying: "But the sheep are so soft and wooley," immediately before he was put into custody.


[ Parent ]
I think you should consider drinking decaf (none / 1) (#98)
by pyramid termite on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 08:30:44 PM EST

Seriously.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Thppppttttbbbbbthhhhhh. (none / 0) (#200)
by fenix down on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 10:56:07 PM EST

Thrbttttpppppththhhhhpppppppppppmmmbbbbbpptpthttht Oh, that was a joke about gay people, I thought you were just making noises.

[ Parent ]
Greenpeace is run by extremists... (1.33 / 12) (#46)
by TunkeyMicket on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 04:37:34 AM EST

...but serve a good purpose. If you take what they say on a general level, not going into the crackpot specifics, you find they speak out on matters that should be acted on.

I remember when members of Greenpeace were arrested trying to get onto a controlled GE site (contained spent fuel and new fuel). It seems Greenpeace has a thing against Nuclear Energy (I should know, I dated a girl who fought GE:NE, and I myself am employed by GE:NE). But do they have this grudge for the wrong reasons? Yes. What you should take from their grudge is that we need to look to cleaner energy where applicable, and use the most efficient (typically this means clean also) form of energy where 'nature friendly' plants cannot operate.

The point man! The point!!

So: Yes the people in Greenpeace should be locked up for being hippy extremist eco-terrorists. I think there was due cause to lock them up; if you illegally step foot on my boat, you're goddamn right I'm going to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law (even if that means digging up 100 year old laws). It would be utterly ridiculous to think otherwise. Yes there was illegal wood on that boat, but it is NOT the job of Greenpeace to act on (by act on I mean enforce) these things; Customs will handle that when they dock. If you think Customs is letting this slip, talk to the wonderful Liberal Media, they'd love to report on more failings in the US Government (and if Customs is letting it slip, I support bending some Customs officials over and checking their oil for water).

Even though we should lock them up, remember that they are just letting us know about problems in general that should be given more thought (via civil disobedience).

Having said my lot on why they're necessary, I should add that we should jail more of them (Bubba, down at County lockup, ain't had good lovin' in a while, some nice supple Greenpeace ass may do).

In summation, don't write comments at 3:22am because you find yourself to be excessively divergent (I'm not a continuous function at t = 3:22am).
--
Chris "TunkeyMicket" Watford

Let's invade Iran! (2.50 / 6) (#55)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 08:33:33 AM EST

If you ignore the specifics of why it is wrong to just wake up an invade Iran, you'll realize that it is a pretty good thing.

Iran supports terrorist organizations and is a backwards theocracy. I should know, I'm catholic and dated a hungarian.

[ Parent ]

Pardon me (none / 2) (#106)
by TunkeyMicket on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 10:25:33 PM EST

I decided to not delve into why nuclear energy is the wrong thing to target for the sake of comment length. I'll do up a diary or story sometime detailing why we shouldn't be afraid of nuclear power, but for the comment it required little expansion.
--
Chris "TunkeyMicket" Watford
[ Parent ]
Asshole (1.42 / 7) (#68)
by MonkeyMan on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 01:46:01 PM EST

we should jail more of them (Bubba, down at County lockup, ain't had good lovin' in a while, some nice supple Greenpeace ass may do).
Anybody who thinks prison rape is funny or deserved punishment should be sent to prison on trumped up charges.

[ Parent ]
Lighten up jackhole (its a yoke son, a yoke) (none / 3) (#74)
by TunkeyMicket on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 04:28:52 PM EST

Since when is it wrong for a lonely stronger man to love a scared weaker man?
--
Chris "TunkeyMicket" Watford
[ Parent ]
don't fault tunkeymicket (none / 3) (#82)
by phred on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 06:04:39 PM EST

for liking buggary.

I don't fault tunkeymicket for liking this, as I'm pretty much a liberal, I don't really care how gay this tunkeymicket is. Heck, tunkeymicket can fantasize about m on m prison rape sex all he wants.

I do agree with your assessment that tunkeymicket is a bit out there for strong fantasies of non-consensual buggary, but as long as tunkeymicket keeps this a fantasy and doesn't actually try to act out his prison rape fetish (by getting arrested I guess), I think we should be tolerent of his lifestyle choice. I'm sure him and his BF keep the fantasy machine "well lubed" so to speak, and otherwise he is a well adjusted individual with no permanent rope burns, right Chris?

So lets be a little more tolerent of our gay friends ok?

[ Parent ]

While I disagree with what you say... (none / 2) (#104)
by TunkeyMicket on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 10:18:14 PM EST

...I'll defend your right to say it to the death!

You silly goose.
--
Chris "TunkeyMicket" Watford
[ Parent ]

Well... (none / 2) (#151)
by trhurler on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:02:25 PM EST

I wouldn't say "deserved punishment," but I am willing to bet that in a world of South Park, Bum Fights, and Cops, the majority of Americans find prison rape to be very, very funny. Do you really suggest we send over 120 million people to prison?:)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Nonsense. Operation Rescue was hit with RICO (2.05 / 17) (#69)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 01:53:34 PM EST

and bankrupted by the feds - the same law that was supposed to only be used against "mobsters".

IIRC, RICO can't be used against individuals, only organizations.

--
Heinz was quoted as saying: "But the sheep are so soft and wooley," immediately before he was put into custody.


-1, Factually Wrong. (2.70 / 10) (#79)
by sllort on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 05:22:35 PM EST

http://www.now.org/press/09-97/09-23-97.html

Judge Coar's ruling affects several key areas of the lawsuit; his opinion:

    * Finds that plaintiffs' evidence of racketeering activity against Randall Terry and Operation Rescue is more than sufficient to proceed to trial. This ruling confirms that the plaintiffs have provided a "plethora of evidence" that defendants forced the "closing of clinics through the use of fear."

http://www.operationsaveamerica.org/wwworn/legal/rico.htm

You are correct sir.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

Wow (2.25 / 4) (#142)
by Wah on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 02:07:00 PM EST

If I ever run out of nutjob reading material, I know where to head.

Closing down a witch's shop for a day. (with pictures)

On Saturday, October 25, 2003, OSA-Dallas stormed the gates of the local witch in town. We went to the psychic with the Good News that Jesus Christ is Lord and that, yes even a witch can be set free from the bondage of sin and death!

They set her free of death by closing down her store for a day.  I'm not really sure how many people went to bed hungry in Dallas that day, but they sure didn't go to bed hungry thinking about Psychic revelations, that's for sure.
--
kewpie
[ Parent ]

Sir (none / 1) (#176)
by sllort on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:42:41 PM EST

It is the duty of every Christian to defend oneself from the witchcraft of Harry Potter. These people, Harry Potter, the fortune tellers - they're all just baby killers.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
No (none / 3) (#149)
by trhurler on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 02:58:08 PM EST

First of all, mobsters have no legally prosecutable "organization," which was the entire impetus for RICO - it makes a wide variety of activities illegal if they're in support of an illegal and unrecognized organization - such as, say, the mob.

Second, RICO has found various uses; any time you have a conspiracy in which many of the members have carried out activities that are only really "wrong" because they support an organization used to promote other wrongs, RICO is probably used to prosecute that. If I understand correctly, the members have to be aware of the situation in order to be guilty, but other than that, there aren't any real limits, and why should there be?

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Greenpeace are Hypocrites (2.09 / 22) (#90)
by pmc on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 07:15:15 PM EST

Hypocrite - a strong word, but one I feel is fully justified for this rather contemptible organisation.

A while ago Greenpeace waged a successful campaign against Shell over the sinking of the Brent Spar. The Brent Spar was a disused oil storage platform - essentially a big oil drum - that was used in the early days of the North Sea exploration. Shell decided - after years of consultation - to sink the rig in the North Atlantic, at the depth of a couple of miles.

When Shell started to tow the rig their, up popped Greenpeace saying "Stop. This rig is full of oil. You can't dump it in the North Atlantic as it will pollute it. It must be disposed of on land." This stirred up a hornets nest of adverse publicity, and eventually Shell abandoned the plan and broke up the rig on land, at huge cost to them, and a high risk to the workforce.

What was wrong with the Greenpeace statements was, basically, everything: they were either chronically incompetent, or a bunch of liars who somehow thought that lying for a higher purpose was somehow ethical. The eventually agreed that the rig was, essentially, free of toxins, but stated that it was wrong to dispose of unwanted marine structures by sinking them - they must be disposed of on land. This whole escapade just shows them to be dishonourable sleazebags, but not hypocrites.

So where does the hypocrisy come in? Well, there have been a lot of posts to this article about "The Rainbow Warrior" - the ship that was sunk by the French. Well, it wasn't ultimately sunk by the French. It was refloated, towed out to sea, and then resunk by Greenpeace.

It is, apparently, OK for a nice Eco organisation to go about leaving large chunks of metal on the sea bed, but not OK when it comes to an oil company. Now, that's hypocrisy.

So that means they're not allowed the law? (2.28 / 7) (#92)
by lakeland on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 07:37:49 PM EST

Perhaps they are hypocrites. But the last time I looked, everybody is supposed to be treated equally under the law, and you're not supposed to get picked on because someone powerful doesn't like you.

[ Parent ]
If by picked on, you mean... (1.71 / 7) (#105)
by TunkeyMicket on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 10:22:39 PM EST

...prosecuted for breaking the law, then yes they're being picked on.

The position Greenpeace puts governments in is not an easy one. They go about breaking the law (generalization, sorry, but it seems every time I hear about GP its cause they got busted) then expect to be let off because "it is for a good cause".

Well, civil disobediance comes with a price, sometimes its 3 to 5.
--
Chris "TunkeyMicket" Watford
[ Parent ]

Stop picking on the poor li'l Nazis! (none / 2) (#197)
by fenix down on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 10:28:16 PM EST

Greenpeace itself is being prosecuted, though.  I mean, the anti-abortion group Eric Rudolph worked with didn't get prosecuted for his bombings.

Ok, that's a bit of a bigger seperation than Greenpeace and the boarders, but it's something you know.   Better examples would be the guy in Oregon, I believe, who shot a number of black people one night, who was on a mailing list from the World Church of the Creator which had sent out messages saying that it was every white man's duty to kill as many black people as he could for most of the week before he went out shooting.  He admitted that the WCotC mailings were what inspired him, WCotC has never been prosecuted.  And I don't think even you're claiming that Greenpeace sends out letters specifically demanding that its members go out and commit crimes.

If we can excuse WCotC's actions because of their right to free speech, why not Greenpeace?

[ Parent ]

Humph (none / 0) (#210)
by TunkeyMicket on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:33:20 AM EST

Now the difference with being on a mailing list, and being a "card carrying member", well I don't know where to draw the line.

Possibly its been shown that GP is consistantly the source behind illegal actions, while not directly connected in each case; they play a role in the motive.

Can't say I agree entirely with going after GP itself, but from the viewpoint of a government, GP is a huge thorn. Going after the members does nothing to curb the illegal actions. Going after the source (is it GP driving the illegal actions, or suggestions by GP that motivated the conscious nature of the persons into acting illegally?) seems like the next step in solving the problem.

And on the WCotC bit, I was under the impression that hate-speech designed to promote violence is not protected by the 1st Ammendment? Am I mistaken on this? If I am not, I'd be interested in knowing how WCotC got off the hook :/
--
Chris "TunkeyMicket" Watford
[ Parent ]

I respectfully disagree (2.14 / 7) (#114)
by blakdogg on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 09:43:51 AM EST

Greenpeace did overstate the amount of oil being sunk with the Brent Spar, but they apologised when they realized their mistake. And it seems the issue was resolved prior to the final resolution of the Brent Spar dumping. They claim that their position is that dumping at sea is wrong.

There is little information, independent or otherwise, about the original dumping ground of the Brent Spar. But the Rainbow Warrior seems to now be a part of a concerted artificial reef program.

The issue is not simply dumping a ship, the location and rationale must also be considered. E.g. a wreck in a shipping lane is more of danger than either of these.
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]

Greenpeace said lots of things (1.50 / 4) (#124)
by pmc on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 12:18:16 PM EST

Among the things they said were

30 tonnes of radioactive waste - true, but highly misleading. The level of radioactivity was about the same as found in granite - the building material popular in Aberdeen, the local oil town. If the same standards as they were trying to apply to Shell was applied to the building trade in Aberdeen then it would be impossible to demolish a house without it being occupied by GP protesters. To add insult to injury Greenpeace protested against Shell disposing of the waste in a nuclear waster reprocessing plant some two years later.

100 tonnes of toxic sludge - this consisted of 90 tonnes of sand, and about 10 tonnes of bitumen, and very small quantities of toxic metals. So small a quantity, indeed, that 100 tonnes of plankton or general marine sediment would have similar levels of these toxic metals.

5000 tonnes of oil - flat out wrong. They were told repeatedly at the time it was wrong, and they refused to recant. Only when it was proved beyond doubt - after the disposal was abandoned - did they apologise (and even then they tried to dismiss the mistake by saying "it's not really about the oil.")

Greenpeace, I think, found the victory over Shell more expensive than Shell - it moved them from "fact based" environmentalists to "fringe loonies" in the eyes of the press. This was because the press felt that they'd been duped. Even to this day the press in the UK treat Greenpeace with skepticism, and this continues to damage their reputation.

Of course, the biggest irony is that the structure was actually disposed of at sea - it is used as the foundation of a quay for a car ferry in Norway. This helps point out the real agenda of Greenpeace - they have no problem with disposing things at sea: the ultimate fate of the Brent Spar and the original Rainbow Warrior testify to that. Their aim is to stir up battles, and in these battles cast themselves as the underdogs in order to raise money: the purpose of Greenpeace is Greenpeace, and environmental campaigning is now merely the means to perpetuate the organisation.


[ Parent ]

Splitting infinitives. (none / 0) (#253)
by Cackmobile on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 10:46:55 AM EST

Ok the French didn't sink the Rainbow Warrior (except I seem to recall a photo of it in Auckland HArbour up to in Gunwales in water) but they did disable it/render it useless/etc. Basically they made it unusable for Greenpeace which was their aim.

[ Parent ]
Que? (none / 0) (#257)
by pmc on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 12:26:15 PM EST

I'm not sure what you're getting at. I didn't say the French didn't sink Rainbow Warrior (they did, by any reasonable definition). I am saying they were not the last people to sink the Rainbow Warrior - that was Greenpeace.

Shell has a structure that has been rendered useless - dumping it at sea is bad.

Greenpeace has a structure that has been rendered useless - dumping it at sea is good.

[ Parent ]

Environment damage much over-emphasized (1.04 / 25) (#101)
by Night In White Satin4 on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 09:35:14 PM EST

Greenpeace and other groups such as the World Wildlife Fund make a huge stunt of how the world is going to hell in a handbasket citing global warming, loss of native habitat and overpopulation as reasons, and they're wrong.

First of all, global warming is an unproven theory. Then, who cares about loss of habitat of some dumb animal I'll never see in my entire life. Also, what's more important? Starving children in Ethipia or some ugly-ass zebras in Africa? These people want to twart human development so that they have a pretty forest to look at while mantaining such forest costs decades of lost development to a poor nation, with it's people suffering.

I'd like to accuse them of being communists, but they're quite the opposite of that. They're oppressors. Their policies of preservation are tools of human destruction. They're holding back the development of such a fine area of the world as Amazonia Forest for the sake of some academic ivory-tower idealistics.

JOIN THE NIGHT IN WHITE SATIN IMPERSONATOR CLUB TODAY!!! – FREE T-SHIRT

You are so very lost....it's sad. [n/t] (none / 3) (#123)
by kcidx on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 12:00:44 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Never been much of a thinker, have you? (none / 3) (#135)
by redrum on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 01:49:32 PM EST

I can't believe a human being could be so arrogant, ignorant and self-centered as you've been in your post. The effects of global warming are all around us to be seen. Do some research, and unless you're entirely closed-minded and *stupid* you'll change your backward opinion on that issue. I suggest you perhaps try to learn how to appreciate the finer things in life, like nature, instead of staying home this weekend, sitting in front of the tv, drinking - because I know that's what your routine consists of, judging by your (lack of) reasoning and tone of voice in your post. Nature's something that can't be recovered once it's destroyed, and it was what we were bestowed with when we first started down the road to civilisation. There's a reason for that: it's necessary for life. If the natural chain and order of things is disrupted, there'll be many more than just the children in Ethiopia starving to death. You are a disgustingly ignorant person. The world could do with fewer of you.

[ Parent ]
So you rather leave children to starve? (nt) (none / 2) (#141)
by Night In White Satin4 on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 02:04:28 PM EST



JOIN THE NIGHT IN WHITE SATIN IMPERSONATOR CLUB TODAY!!! – FREE T-SHIRT
[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 1) (#154)
by ckm on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:09:14 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Or (none / 0) (#191)
by white light on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 09:10:55 PM EST

YHBT


..do you really want to help foster this type of laziness?
[ Parent ]
Re: Environment damage much over-emphasized (none / 2) (#150)
by wastl on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:00:18 PM EST

First of all, global warming is an unproven theory.

I'd say "there is no global warning" is an unproven theory. You are blind if you do not see that there is in fact global warning. The only issue that is still discussed is whether it is human-made or natural.

These people want to twart human development so that they have a pretty forest to look at while mantaining such forest costs decades of lost development to a poor nation, with it's people suffering.

You probably don't understand too much about ecology. Forests are not only pretty to look at. They produce oxygen in huge masses, they consume carbon dioxide and have a major effect on the climate, keeping "reasonable". I promise you, less forests will make the *whole world* less habitable than a few children starving. All that are proven facts, while your statements merely show that you are undereducated.

Besides, there are other ways to help those children, like spending 10% of the current US military budget which would be sufficient to provide the starving with enough food to survive.

Sebastian

[ Parent ]

Too much. (none / 2) (#180)
by lordDogma on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 05:18:06 PM EST

10% of our defense budget is almost $40 billion. Thats too much. Let them starve.

-- LD

[ Parent ]

The Hati example (none / 0) (#239)
by CtrlBR on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 10:58:07 AM EST

There economic development has been the top priority, at the expense of nature.

Now we have half an island (the other half is another country) almost without any vegetation and now that there isn't anything to retain it the soil itself taken by rainwater...

So much for capitalism in action...

If no-one thinks you're a freedom fighter than you're probably not a terrorist.
-- Gully Foyle

[ Parent ]
Maybe not (none / 0) (#252)
by Cackmobile on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 10:43:36 AM EST

Even if Global warming hasn't been proved is it worth risking it. Maybe it isn't true and maybe it is. I for one want to keep this world going. As yes an ugly ass zebra is worth it. THere are plenty of humans around. Didn't you everr do ecology. Everything is in balance. You take one thing out and phucks the whole systems up.

btw Communism is the perfect form of government on paper. It is just impossible to implement. ALl the countries that have claimed to be communist havn't been. They were just different versions of dictatorship.

I hope you are being a troll becuase anyone who makes a statement like , who cares about loss of habitat of some dumb animal I'll never see in my entire life

PS please don't try and get back at me by pointing out spelling or grammar mistakes.

[ Parent ]
A terrorist Act: (1.04 / 25) (#110)
by sellison on Tue Nov 04, 2003 at 11:37:30 PM EST

Some Greenpeace members boarded a vessel

Deserves the full prosecution of the law, Mr. Ashcroft should be cheered on!

We all know the "Greens" idea of "peace" is a  world socialist state where the tofu eating atheist intellectuals are the new kings.

They are almost as anti-American in their war for their green religion and their pagan avatar of satan, gaia as are the islamic terrorists who also love to violate personal property to "protest".


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush

What 'American'? (none / 2) (#140)
by jongleur on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 02:00:29 PM EST

'American' is to forever act like there's no tomorrow? The world had a lot of resources, it felt like an infinite amount for a long time but, 6 billion people with high-tech extraction has changed that. We can't keep pretending that mother nature will just clean up after us and give us new stuff anymore. Things have changed, we've swamped the earth. We have to take greater care; we're already fouling our own nest.
--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]
don't bother to argue with morons... (none / 1) (#146)
by Alhazred on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 02:31:41 PM EST

They have their heads stuck in the sand my friend. Right up to the very end they'll be claiming nothing is wrong and life can go on just like it always did. In short they are broken with reality. This whole society is quite obviously broken from reality, ie insane.
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]
God will take care of us (1.00 / 5) (#155)
by sellison on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:17:12 PM EST

we can't destroy the world, only He can.

In fact the idea that we can destroy or save the world is a major affront to core Christian values: this world is an illusion, the only perfection available to human beings is to be found in the love of Jesus Christ.

All who are saved will go a perfect world upon our death, until that time we are here to 'go forth and multiply' not eat tofu and reverse our population growth!


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

I see your god is a big as mine (none / 0) (#195)
by fenix down on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 10:14:04 PM EST

but let's see how well you can handle it!

[ Parent ]
Reminds me of the Boston Tea Party (1.42 / 7) (#120)
by johnny on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 11:23:20 AM EST

I wonder what Mr. Ashcroft would think of that comparison?

yr frn,
jrs
Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Che
Except (none / 2) (#125)
by ad hoc on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 12:20:21 PM EST

the ship in that case was docked in port, not out at sea.


--

[ Parent ]
Good point (none / 0) (#251)
by Cackmobile on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 10:33:56 AM EST

Maybe people should read up on the history of there country. THe boston tea parties broke a law. I guess they should have been gunned down with .50 calibre and had the book thrown at them etc etc etc.

[ Parent ]
What's the problem here? (2.00 / 10) (#131)
by cestmoi on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 12:51:06 PM EST

Some guys illegally board a boat and they're busted.

Government figures the boarders were encouraged to break the law by Greenpeace so goes after Greenpeace as well. Maybe the government can make their case or maybe not - the courts will decide.

But why all the hand wringing? It's puerile to expect that just because you're "making a statement" or "protecting Mother Gaia" that you're not going to get nailed if you break the law. Being prosecuted is the price for civil disobedience.

The problem is the following (2.25 / 4) (#159)
by flo on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:50:11 PM EST

Nobody, not even Greenpeace, is complaining about the arrest of the activists themselves. The problem is that, in additition, the organization Greenpeace itself is being charged with a crime. This is, apparently, unprecedented.

Greenpeace claims that never before has an activist organization itself been charged for the actions of its members. They point out the interesting case of "Operation Rescue", an anti-abortion group that tries to prevent women seeking abortions from entering the clinics. Their members are often arrested (blocking access to a clinic is illegal), but "Operation Rescue" itself has never been charged.

Therefor, Greenpeace is arguing that they are being singled out for prosecution.
---------
"Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
[ Parent ]
Then again... (2.50 / 6) (#137)
by Skywise on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 01:55:52 PM EST

The ship wasn't carrying any Mahogany at all, and Greenpeace doesn't bother contesting the charges.

http://www.enn.com/news/2003-08-05/s_7210.asp

A judge issued an arrest warrant for a Greenpeace representative on Monday, after the environmental group and its attorney failed to appear in court on an indictment charging the illegal boarding of a cargo ship.

Prosecutors charged that the group boarded the Singapore-registered ship last year under the mistaken belief that it was carrying contraband mahogany from Brazil.

U.S. Magistrate Judge William Turnoff agreed to stay the warrant calling for the arrest of a Greenpeace representative until Tuesday. The warrant did not specify any particular member of Greenpeace.

Calls to a spokeswoman for the Washington-based group were not immediately returned Monday. The group's Miami attorney was not immediately available for comment.

Greenpeace was indicted two weeks ago on charges that it illegally boarded the APL Jade, owned by Neptune Orient Line, shortly before it docked in Miami last year.

Six Greenpeace members from the United States, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands settled misdemeanor charges over the boarding. The new charges against the organization carry a possible $20,000 fine plus probation.

Greenpeace criticized the indictment when it was issued as heavy-handed overkill.

Brazil imposed a moratorium on mahogany exports in 2001. Greenpeace says 80 percent of all timber from the Amazon rain forest is illegally cut on land owned by indigenous tribes.

We should note (none / 1) (#163)
by scruffyMark on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:56:54 PM EST

The date on that story is August 5. So, the charges of selective prosecution seem to be pretty recent compared to that (about late October). Has something changed since then?

I ask because I don't know, not as a rebuttal or anything

[ Parent ]

You should not that the PDF this guy is pushing (none / 1) (#171)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:12:01 PM EST

is even older: It's dated July.

--
Heinz was quoted as saying: "But the sheep are so soft and wooley," immediately before he was put into custody.


[ Parent ]
Bush and co. (1.00 / 9) (#143)
by crazycanuck on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 02:07:26 PM EST

should be executed for treason against the american people and crimes against humanity.

Story? (none / 3) (#152)
by I8TheWorm on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:04:01 PM EST

I'm not certain why this is a story. It seems to me if you break the law, you shouldn't be surprised when you are fingered for it. Many organizations (fraternities stand out) are sued because of actions of members, why not prosecuted as well?

If you ram a car that is trying to evade police, in an attempt to stop them, you've just broken the law. If you hold a bank robber at knifepoint to thwart their attempt, you've just broken the law.

In this case, it's a rarely used law, but you know the old saying... ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Did you read it? (none / 1) (#160)
by scruffyMark on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:51:51 PM EST

As the article states - as far as their lawyer can tell, never before has any organization been charged with a crime for its members actions. So if this goes through, it would set a major precedent. That warrants very careful consideration.

And, there are some more points here to consider. First, it looks like the law may be being stretched quite a lot to fit the situation. If this is so, why is the government apparently going out of its way to find something to prosecute these people for, while not prosecuting the smugglers at all? If I held a bank robber at knifepoint, I might accept being sent to jail, but I would expect that the robber would be sent to jail as well, not given a free cab ride to another bank to deposit the money he just stole.

[ Parent ]

Then their article is lying. (none / 1) (#164)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:00:47 PM EST

Because organizations are prosecuted for their members actions all the damn time.

And, as I mentioned elsewhere, they are explicitly wrong or lying about Operation Rescue. OR was convicted under RICO and basically bankrupted.

--
Heinz was quoted as saying: "But the sheep are so soft and wooley," immediately before he was put into custody.


[ Parent ]
Prove it or shut up (nt) (none / 0) (#237)
by scruffyMark on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 10:47:49 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Will you believe NOW? (none / 0) (#241)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 01:11:10 PM EST

Haven't you read this whole thread?

sllort has already posted links to NOW bragging about how Operation Rescue was crushed by RICO.

Here's another reference.

Here's a third.

Here's a fourth.

--
Heinz was quoted as saying: "But the sheep are so soft and wooley," immediately before he was put into custody.


[ Parent ]
did you read? (none / 1) (#168)
by I8TheWorm on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:09:46 PM EST

never before has any organization been charged with a crime for its members actions

Did you read what I wrote? Fraternities are sued EVERY YEAR for the actions of their members, and they are all registered as not-for-profit organizations. I'm sure it doesn't surprise anyone to hear that what an attorney says to the media may not always be true.

while not prosecuting the smugglers at all There was a link to an article posted earler on this thread that showed that the boat they boarded wasn't smuggling anything, that Greenpeace was mistaken. I think that does warrant prosecution. Can you imagine being the captain of a ship transporting widgets that aren't illegal when several angry protestors board your boat as if they were the Coast Guard? I think this has nothing to do with Ashcroft "abusing" any power, and everything to do with liberal media spin.

That being said, I agree with you regarding the analogies, but only to the point that the person accused in the first place (read: the ship that was boarded) were actually breaking the law. It appears in this case that they weren't.

[ Parent ]
civil != criminal (none / 2) (#188)
by duckl07 on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 08:25:39 PM EST

Being sued is a civil court action, not a criminal one. I frankly am too lazy to look it up, but I am pretty sure that Greenpeace has been sued before. If the government thought they could get away with it, I am sure that they'd use RICO laws to charge Greenpeace as a criminal organization rather than some old nautical law that its memebers violated.

As for the law being an old one (responding to alot of people here), there is a thing known as (and prominatly mentioned by the article) equal protection protection under the law. Don't tell me that no ship has been boarded illegally since the 19th century. I am sure that these boardings were prosecuted in some way, just not by some ancient federal law. Selectivly applying old un-used laws to political irritants (which are all Greenpeace are, at best) is most definitely not equal protection, and therefore shoulf be considered unconstitutional. May not bother alot of Americans, but then if it doesn't, well, what can I say but shame on you.

And finally, I don't really care if Greenpeace fucked up, they do it all the time. The merits of Greenpeace and their ineffectual arrogance is another discussion (though you can't deny they got balls). The point is that this is yet another example of how our government is inching closer and closer to tyranny.

[ Parent ]

or.... (none / 0) (#231)
by I8TheWorm on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 08:50:34 AM EST

The point is that this is yet another example of how our government is inching closer and closer to tyranny

... or that the media is one step closer to liberal.

Next in the news, man murdered by U.S. Government for selling missile secrets to Syria, under the guise of "treason." More at 11....

[ Parent ]
Greanpeace blockades Australia (1.20 / 5) (#161)
by lordDogma on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:54:42 PM EST

Here is a story and picture of Greenpeace(ofshit) boarding an Australian navy frigate while it was underway.

"Greenpeace said it had organised 'a blockade' of HMAS Sydney as it left the harbour." So all of a sudden Greenpeace thinks it has the right to declare and enforce blockades on sovereign nations.

I swear to God, if I was the Captain of that ship I would have opened up on them with .50 cal machineguns and shot dead any one of them that made it on to the foc'sle.

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/04/08/1049567651003.html

Brillaint strategy Admiral! (none / 2) (#194)
by fenix down on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 10:04:03 PM EST

But fortunately the real Captain was the kind that doesn't jump the gun and start committing war crimes before he even manages to launch his fucking ship.

I think some of us have missed some salient details about this "Greenpeace" thing.  See, they don't think they have the "right" to do anything, they accept that they will be prosecuted for their actions and generally plead guilty as soon as they're charged with something.  They're not protesting laws against blockading ports, as you might have guessed from the wording of the banner, they just didn't want the ship to leave, so they drove their cheapass little boat in front of it.  Not that tough to figure out.

And who the hell does have a right to declare and enforce blockades on sovereign nations?  The official UN Sovereignty-volating Comittee?  I think Greenpeace has as much right to violate Australia's sovereignty as any of us.  Might makes right, you know, if Greenpeace has better naval strategists working for them than the Australian Navy, more power to 'em.

[ Parent ]

Thank you commodore! (none / 0) (#201)
by lordDogma on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 10:57:41 PM EST

But fortunately the real Captain was the kind that doesn't jump the gun and start committing war crimes

What's so furtunate about that?

they don't think they have the "right" to do anything, they accept that they will be prosecuted for their actions and generally plead guilty as soon as they're charged with something.

Bull. "A judge issued an arrest warrant for a Greenpeace representative on Monday, after the environmental group and its attorney failed to appear in court on an indictment charging the illegal boarding of a cargo ship." They commit crimes and then they don't take responsibility for them.

Might makes right, you know

Hence the reason I suggested blasting them out of the water. Everyone seems to agree that Greenpeace is a terrorist organization hell bent on committing terrorist acts. How do we know they aren't a bunch of suicide bombers? Huh, idiot? You think your so damn smart, answer that!

-- LD

[ Parent ]

Bullshit (1.87 / 8) (#162)
by trhurler on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:56:11 PM EST

Greenpeace is lucky they're not being hit with anti-terrorism statutes. What they did is illegal, and most of their activities are illegal, which makes them a legitimate target for both RICO and the various antiterrorism and conspiracy statutes. More scary, it would make any reasonably well informed Greenpeace member or donor, regardless of his personal actions, a criminal.

But, considering that these are the people who broadcast to terrorists the world round the exact locations of shipments of nuclear material, knowingly help nations whose policies they favor to spy on western nations, illegally board ships that end up not even having the cargo they were suspected of having, illegally sink their own "flagship,"(yes, they sank it themselves, and yes, it was illegal in the manner in which they did it, and yes, they're subject to the law, because their ship was registered,) and so on, and considering that they engage in very few actually LEGAL forms of activism, really all of that sounds very good to me.

Cloaking yourself with the green mantle of nobility does not excuse the fact that you are a crude cross between a mafia and al Qaida.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

If you're talking about the Rainbow Warrior.. (1.50 / 4) (#167)
by Magnetic North on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:06:42 PM EST

If Greenpace did sink their own ship, why would the french prime-minister claim that it was their secret police that bombed it?

It's hardly good PR.



--
<33333
[ Parent ]
Oh.. (none / 1) (#169)
by Magnetic North on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:11:33 PM EST

You're talking about the diving reef they made out of it, sorry.. thought you were on about some intricate conspiracy theory.



--
<33333
[ Parent ]
The point is... (none / 2) (#177)
by trhurler on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:43:21 PM EST

People go around accusing the French of sinking the Rainbow Warrior. That's not true. The French did disable the ship, but they did not sink it. And when Greenpeace sank it, that was almost certainly illegal.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Wrong! (none / 2) (#181)
by hengist on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 05:22:03 PM EST

The Rainbow Warrior was sunk with the full knowledge and co-operation of the New Zealand government and Department of Conservation.

It's interesting that the only terrorist attack in New Zealand was committed by the French.

There can be no Pax Americana
[ Parent ]

Wrong! (none / 3) (#182)
by hengist on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 05:22:13 PM EST

The Rainbow Warrior was sunk with the full knowledge and co-operation of the New Zealand government and Department of Conservation.

It's interesting that the only terrorist attack in New Zealand was committed by the French.

There can be no Pax Americana
[ Parent ]

Hehe (none / 1) (#183)
by trhurler on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 05:30:12 PM EST

What did you expect the French to do? They certainly weren't going to attack the ship with an ordinary assault team; that'd be a real fight, and the French don't do that:)

As for a terror attack though, I don't think this qualifies. The attack killed a spy. If all espionage operations involving violence were terror attacks, then the world would have no nations which were not terrorists.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
In this post-9/11, post-Columbine world... (none / 0) (#193)
by fenix down on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 09:40:02 PM EST

Everyone's a terrorist.  Especially France.  Tell me that's not a terrorist.  Look at the neckerchief, for God's sake!  The neckerchief!

Anyway, the judge who sentanced them called them terrorists, so I'm going with him.  I missed how Fernando the camera guy was a spy, though.  Could you explain that one?

[ Parent ]

Look people... (1.20 / 5) (#165)
by lordDogma on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:05:02 PM EST

never before has any organization been charged with a crime for its members actions. So if this goes through, it would set a major precedent. That warrants very careful consideration.

The criminal audaciousness of Greenpeace is what is unprecedented here. Never before have we ever had to deal with a band of hooligans as bold and out of control as these.

The fact that we are prosecuting the organization is not an indication that we are being selective. It is an indication that Greenpeace has finally gone overboard (no pun intended) - they have totally abused the system more than any other organization has ever dared in history and are now paying the price.

Heck, the morons are so incompetent that they accidentally boarded the wrong ship anyway - the ship wasn't smuggling Mohogany as it turns out. Maybe if they weren't so doped up on pot they wouldn't have botched the operation.

-- LD

Funny stuff (none / 2) (#190)
by newellm on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 08:45:33 PM EST

they have totally abused the system more than any other organization has ever dared in history and are now paying the price.

Can you say that with a straight face?



[ Parent ]
Illegal logging vs climbing on a ship (none / 0) (#219)
by nebbish on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:55:26 AM EST

Greenpeace are doing the right thing. Before this I didn't know the US was still involved in illegal logging. Now I do, and so do thousands of other people.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Read up before opening big mouth. (none / 0) (#243)
by lordDogma on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 03:07:27 PM EST

You obviously have no clue on this issue. IT IS A FEDERAL CRIME IN THE US TO IMPORT ILLEGAL WOOD TAKEN FROM BRAZIL. Just because some people in the country are breaking the law doesn't mean the United States government is involved moron. If someone is dealing drugs on the street corner outside your house does that mean your country's government is involved in the illegal drug trade?

Not to mention there wasn't any illegal wood on the ship - Greenpeace boarded it in error, thinking there was wood on it when there was not.

Read up on the issues before you post next time idiot.

[ Parent ]

Temper, temper (none / 0) (#247)
by nebbish on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 04:50:44 AM EST

At what point did I say the government was involved in importing? By US I mean the country as a whole. Obviously US business is involved, and the laws in place to stop this are not being enforced properly. Hence the need to draw attention to the problem. Now go and have a lie down.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Deep Breath (none / 0) (#264)
by lordDogma on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 05:59:02 PM EST

By US I mean the country as a whole.

Ahh I see. So if one drug dealer manages to deal so much as a gram of cocaine in your country then the country as a whole is guilty of dealing drugs.

laws in place to stop this are not being enforced properly

How the h*ll do you know? The ship wasn't even carrying illegal timber - Greenpeace only thought they were.

-- LD

[ Parent ]

Answers (none / 0) (#268)
by nebbish on Mon Nov 10, 2003 at 10:05:11 AM EST

The US is the world's largest importer of mahogany, scroll down to conclusions to see that illegal imports are poorly policed.

The US government has to take responsibility for the actions of US companies - to argue otherwise is to tell me you live in a state of anarchy where the government has no control over the actions of US companies.

And to follow your drugs analogy - if I say "There is a cocaine problem in the US", would you think I was referring to cocaine abuse within the government? Furthermore, it suggests that not enough is being done to tackle it - the domain of the governemnt. See what I mean now?

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Let the flames begin... (1.16 / 12) (#166)
by SwampGas on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:06:03 PM EST

I hate Greenpeace, PETA, et al.  I hope they get run out of this country.

Ashcroft has my support.

Your poll is ridiculus. (1.33 / 12) (#172)
by partykidd on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:25:19 PM EST

You are asking if Ashcroft can be closely compared to Jesus Christ, Adolph Hitler, Darth Vader, or Napoleon? I smell a high school level of intellect with you. Either that or a warped sense of humor.

Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organization that uses non-violent direct action to raise awareness of and promote solutions to global environmental problems.
How about also adding that they are a socialist Marxist organization that hates capitalism and the creation of wealth? To say that Greenpeace is just an environmental organization is to ignore their political agendas.

In your article you say, "Second, Greenpeace is being prosecuted under an ancient and almost never used statute that bars boarding 'any vessel about to arrive at the place of her destination, before her actual arrival, and before she has been completely moored.' 18 U.S.C. 2279." As if that matters. So it hasn't been used and is an old law. Big deal.

Greenpeace should have alerted authorities. They had no right to board a vessel that doesn't belong to them. I hope they get prosecuted. Your alluding to comparing Ashcroft with a bunch of evil men, then offering Jesus Christ as a balance was immature at best.

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


It is a big deal (2.00 / 4) (#179)
by Eater on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 05:09:34 PM EST

I'm sure the United States has plenty of laws on illegal boarding of vessels at sea, but the fact that this specific law is being used indicates that they couldn't find anything better to string them on.

Eater.

[ Parent ]
That's a weak justification. (2.50 / 2) (#189)
by partykidd on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 08:29:57 PM EST

Simple fact of the matter is that it's illegal to board a vessel without the owner's stated acceptance. It's a violation of private property rights. It doesn't really matter what law they get them on or the perceived indications that might arise from using this law.

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


[ Parent ]

that's called trespassing. (3.00 / 5) (#192)
by fenix down on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 09:25:29 PM EST

That's why they've already pled guilty to trespassing. Ashcroft's trying to force a trial here, though god knows why, by charging them with something so insane that a public defender could probably get them off. It's not like Ashcroft would be setting any useful precedent here, if you're willing to risk trespassing and getting shot by surly sea captains, I think sticking "improper boarding procedure" on top isn't going to scare you off, but who knows how an Ashcroft's brain is wired.

[ Parent ]
Greenpeace and Marxism (none / 2) (#217)
by nebbish on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:46:12 AM EST

Proof, sources etc please.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Look at their agenda and enemies. (none / 0) (#262)
by partykidd on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 03:29:25 PM EST

Also look at who they let off the hook and who their target is the most.

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


[ Parent ]

A certified 'Terrorist Organization'... (2.00 / 5) (#173)
by mikelist on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:26:37 PM EST

...is what the goal is here. Greenpeace has some extremely sincere folks, their dedication matched only by their stupidity. The worst thing is that they seem to rarely engage in any action that has more than a symbolic result. There is nothing that GP did that couldn't have been done when the ship got into port. Boarding a ship underway isn't a realistic way to stop illicit wood importation (I support GP's goals, and share their assessment of the damage caused by mahogany logging.), tenaciously and persistently informing appropriate commerce and law enforcement agencies, then sticking around to make sure action is taken is. Shame and even more, if there in fact wasn't any contraband lumber aboard, although I failed to note any source to claim decisively that there wasn't.

Publicity (none / 0) (#250)
by Cackmobile on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 10:26:49 AM EST

Thats what these stunts are about. If they had gone down to the port as it docked and made a fuss it would be any where as big. People are much more aware of the issues now.

[ Parent ]
you board boat illegally (1.12 / 8) (#174)
by valar on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:31:44 PM EST

you get arrested. if you are protesting, congratulations, you are getting the attention you wanted. If you weren't, what the fuck were you doing on the boat? Having a big old piracy party? Stopping in for a drink and redecorating?

The charge (none / 3) (#178)
by Eater on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:58:40 PM EST

They are not being charged with "piracy" or anything of the sort - if you read the article, you would know that the actual charge is very rare, has not been pressed for quite some time, and even the fact that it applies to this case at all can be called into question.

Eater.

[ Parent ]
Overwhelmed... (2.58 / 12) (#184)
by TheDon on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 05:31:22 PM EST

by the aggressive ignorance being displayed in many of these responses. From the desire to gun down Greenpeace members with .50 cal bullets to comparing them to terrorists, I have to seriously wonder about the education level of respondents.

Were Greenpeace no longer in existence I would hope that another organization would take its place because without those willing to take risks for (perceptible) just causes where would we be in this World?

Better to assume that a ship has illegal mahogany and try and bring attention to it than invading an entire country on the mistaken intelligence that there were weapons of mass destruction. Let's not lose sight of Greenpeace's objectives. Love them or hate them they aren't about violence or hatred; they're about peace and balance amongst people and nature. Some may not be quite so "touchy-feely" as this but do we really have to be subjected to comments about gunning them down?

Finally, though it's upsetting to see such anger towards Greenpeace I have far more respect for those who can debate their worth by citing examples, links and personal experiences than vague comments, suggested threats or plain ol' s tupidity.


--------------------------

Memory says, "I did that." Pride replies, "I could not have done that." Eventually, memory yields.
--Friedrich Nietzsche

What's not to love about Green Peace (none / 2) (#205)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 11:32:39 PM EST

I mean, other than the way they distort science to fit their political agenda, punish developing countries for trying to get ahead and demonize people who don't agree with them?

--
Heinz was quoted as saying: "But the sheep are so soft and wooley," immediately before he was put into custody.


[ Parent ]
And all this... (none / 1) (#216)
by nebbish on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:40:08 AM EST

From someone who knows so much about them he can't spell their name (it's Greenpeace).

Maybe you could provide some evidence? I don't believe you.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Subtle (2.76 / 13) (#187)
by phriedom on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 07:24:32 PM EST

The "Hang 'em high" folks who are saying "they got what they deserved" seem to be missing the not so subtle point of this article. The individuals who broke the law and hung the sign on the ship were charged with and pled guilty to tresspassing. I think all reasonable people would agree that this is fair.

But the story doesn't end there. In an unprecedented move, the Justice Department is using an old, obscure law to prosecute the organization. It looks like they are singleing out GreenPeace for political reasons because GP has been critical of The Administration. This looks like it is not equal protection under the law, and it isn't fair.

So if you think GP are a bunch of communist, eco-facist, hippy, whatevers, why should you care? Because we pay Sect. Ashcroft to uphold the laws of the land in service to our country, NOT to use his station to silence his political opponents. He is abusing his power for his good not for our good. This is wrong for the same reason that VP Gore was wrong to use his Whitehouse phone to solicit campaign donations, or President Clinton handing out last-minute pardons, or The President using the USS Licoln for a big photo op. If this doesn't make you made, then you aren't paying attention.

I don't ask for much, I just want a lot of it.
You really aren't paying attention, are you? (1.75 / 4) (#204)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 11:24:35 PM EST

This isn't unprecedented. It's the same thing Clinton did to Operation Rescue.

If it's right to use RICO to target people protesting abortion, it's right to use RICO to target people protesting logging.

--
Heinz was quoted as saying: "But the sheep are so soft and wooley," immediately before he was put into custody.


[ Parent ]
But it isn't right (none / 1) (#214)
by nebbish on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:33:33 AM EST

In either case. Why should it be right just because it has been used before?

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Why should you believe them (none / 1) (#221)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 07:13:40 AM EST

when they are demonstrably lying about their own court case?

--
Heinz was quoted as saying: "But the sheep are so soft and wooley," immediately before he was put into custody.


[ Parent ]
Its different (none / 1) (#249)
by Cackmobile on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 10:21:15 AM EST

They weren't protesting logging. Mahogany logging IS illegal and they were highlighting an illegal shipment. If abortion was illegal and they were 'protesting'(for lack of a better word) at an illegal clinic, that would be similar.

[ Parent ]
Some thoughts... (2.75 / 8) (#199)
by jd on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 10:44:33 PM EST

First, the trade was illegal. Would the reaction have been the same, if Greenpeace had discovered a few thousand tonnes of heroin, or processed uranium from Iraq?

Somehow, I doubt it. On the other hand, mahogany makes for excellent high-end luxury wooden goods. Just right for rich contributors to the Republican coffers.

Boarding a vessel could be considered piracy. That's a crime, and tghe US has certainly prosecuted people for it. It's an accepted law, it's a reasonable law, and it's not being applied. There's also trespass. It's in US waters, so US law would apply.

Conclusion? This prosecution is not about illegal boarding. There are far more appropriate laws to use, if that had been the case.

This is part of the "war on terrorism" - we can see that from the reaction of some of the other posters here. Greenpeace have never (even in their "proactive" era) conducted violence against another person or an establishment.

Sure, they've blocked nuclear waste pipes that were illegally dumping uranium into the sea. However, that's hardly violence. Civil disobedience, sure, but hardly violence.

We are not talking ski-masked guys wielding machine-guns. We're not talking maniacs shooting or fire-bombing doctors who work in clinics of disrepute. We're not even talking tobacco farmers threatening to blow up New York.

We're talking people who chant, who stage camp-out protests, who make stupidly large banners, who court media attention for the purpose of drawing attention to an actual crime in progress.

Personally, I'm impressed that the protesters weren't arrested by the military and held in an "undisclosed location" for "debriefing" with the help of a cattle prod and noxious disco music. The US military might have figured out that being sued for $10,000,000 by a Pakistani lawyer they arrested and tortured is enough bad publicity for one week.

We'll see more of this, though. Greenpeace, especially, are too visible and too popular with evironmentalists and academics. The Bush administration almost has to declare them illegal and a terrorist group, if it is to retain any credibility and/or any chance of illegal drilling in Alaska.

The French were happy to kill Greenpeace activists by bombing ships in foreign ports. The US Government probably won't go that way -- too risky with the ratings. Declaring a bunch of defenceless protesters with terrorist activities is less likely to stir up trouble. Accusing them of an obscure law that their lawyers almost had to have researched prior to the incident to have discovered it.... That's safe. Nobody'll understand what's going on, or particularly care.

so what if he is. (1.20 / 5) (#202)
by /dev/trash on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 10:59:24 PM EST

The law is the law.  Break it and you may get caught.

---
Updated NEW 10/15/2003!!
New Site, More Parks
Who is "he"? (none / 0) (#213)
by nebbish on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:31:29 AM EST

Are you referring to Greenpeace the organisation as a "he"?

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

uh nooooo (none / 1) (#233)
by /dev/trash on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 08:57:05 AM EST

I was referring to Ashcroft.

---
Updated NEW 10/15/2003!!
New Site, More Parks
[ Parent ]
Hah hah (none / 0) (#235)
by nebbish on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 09:25:13 AM EST

Don't I feel fucking stupid!

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Fuck Greenpeace. (none / 3) (#208)
by causticmtl on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:03:30 AM EST

You know, I actually support most of their "causes" ... except for the one they seem to be working harder at than any other: getting paying members.

Here in Montreal, they are annonying. I have never had Jehovah's Witnesses call on me, yet I did have members of Greenpeace call on me *twice*. Both times I told them: "I don't believe in groups. Why? Often times, groups do things you know nothing about. I believe in critical individuals. Thanks, bye".

On my way to work, I often see people with clipboards and Greenpeace pins hasseling people on the street to sign up, giving their spiel.

These morons piss me off.

I'm happy the Greenpeace site makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside but, when it gets right down to it, they're trying to milk people for cash so they can pay themselves. Come and live in my neighbourhood and see what's really going on.

It goes to show that no matter how benign a group's politics might sound, their methods are what people should be paying attention to. I disagree with their method hence, I disagree with them. Their politics might sound nice but the way they go about things really pisses me off.

Obscure laws (none / 2) (#209)
by sinexoverx on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:22:22 AM EST

A lot of people here seem to think, as GP puts forward in their brief, that this is an obscure and vague law. If you read the law you can see it isn't vague at all. As far as being obscure, it isn't like some weird law about not kissing your horse on Sundays. It is a good and sound law and I think it needs to be there. And as some others have pointed out, the law is the law. And ingorance of a law is no excuse.

As far as Ashcroft persecuting or making an example of GP, I don't think that is really an issue. GP is known for their sometimes illegal "protests". As an analogy I would say it's like being pulled over for a traffic violation. Sometimes the officer will let you go with a warning. But if you are a known abuser of the local traffic laws, then I would say they will cite you and look over your vehicle for any other infractions such as a broken tail light. To me that makes sense.

Also note, that this law in question is one of only 11 criminal laws dealing with shipping. If GP has a lawyer, surely they consulted him/her before the action. And I would say they should fire that lawyer for being an idiot. The law is simple, practical and serves a purpose. Boarding a merchant vessle does seem a bit more criminal than being on someones private property illegally. The vessal was in motion. Imagine someone hopping in your car as you drove down the street.



Not the issue (none / 0) (#212)
by nebbish on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:30:18 AM EST

The issue is prosecuting Greenpeace as an organisation for the actions of its members.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

I realize that (none / 1) (#222)
by sinexoverx on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 07:14:19 AM EST

But many people here seem to have an objection to the crime itself. The Greenpeace briefs seem to focus on the crime itself, hence my references to obscure and vague laws. The RICO violition involves organizations and others here have addressed that. GP is an organization that violates laws on purpose. They have an agenda which calls for flagrant violation of statutes. And I say it again, if GP didn't have a lawyer capable of proper advise on such a simple matter, they deserve their lot.

[ Parent ]
Sorry (none / 0) (#223)
by nebbish on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 07:23:28 AM EST

I re-read your post and can see that you addressed that now.

We're down to a difference of opinion - in my eyes shipping illegally felled rainforest is a bigger crime than boarding the ship that ships it, and Ashcroft's priorities are pretty fucked up, but legally he can prosecute if he thinks it's for the best.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Um, greenpeace was wrong about that. (none / 3) (#227)
by la princesa on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 07:52:37 AM EST

As noted in some other comments, the wood in question was legally obtained.  They had no reason to do what they did at all.  

___
<qpt> Disprove people? <qpt> What happens when you disprove them? Do they disappear in a flash of logic?
[ Parent ]
You should post (none / 0) (#228)
by sinexoverx on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 08:00:44 AM EST

You should post that top level!

[ Parent ]
Illegally boarding a vessel (none / 2) (#211)
by anonimouse on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:30:15 AM EST

I always thought that if the captain of a vessel had not invited someone (barring legal authorities) aboard he was entitled to use any means to repel boarders, in laws going back to "Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!".
~
Sleepyhel:
Relationships and friendships are complex beasts. There's nothing wrong with doing things a little differently.
Read the article (none / 0) (#215)
by nebbish on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:37:59 AM EST

The problem is prosecuting an organisation for the actions of its members. The members have already pleaded guilty.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Greenpeace (none / 0) (#218)
by anonimouse on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:49:28 AM EST

..actively encourages its members to take part in actions which, while they may be non-violent, are against the law. So it is hardly surprising.

Besides, an organisation which encourages piracy on the high seas would be shut down pretty quickly IMO.
~
Sleepyhel:
Relationships and friendships are complex beasts. There's nothing wrong with doing things a little differently.
[ Parent ]

You have a point (none / 0) (#220)
by nebbish on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:57:11 AM EST

But who is prosecuting the importers of the illegally logged mahogany? And which is the bigger crime?

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Excuses (none / 1) (#224)
by sinexoverx on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 07:24:46 AM EST

One crime does not excuse the other. And actually the illegal importing of timber is not a crime but a treaty violation. There is a difference. Has anybody investigated whether the illegal timber importation has been found to be in violation? Well, here it is. JUDGE BLOCKS RELEASE OF MAHOGANY HELD IN U.S. PORTS. So piss off.

[ Parent ]
Being civilised (none / 0) (#229)
by nebbish on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 08:10:13 AM EST

So piss off.

Sigh. I was trying to be polite. I resepct what you have to say but want to discuss it. What's the problem?

the illegal importing of timber is not a crime but a treaty violation

Which makes it a crime. It is illegal, as you say.

Greenpeace takes part in direct action to bring attention to instances of contravention of international law such as this. Without their intervention these crimes go unnoticed.

A judge has blocked one instance of importation of illegally logged timber. Great. From the site you cited - "we have to keep in mind that in the end we're talking about a handful of shipments in a multi-million dollar annual trade."

I was talking about proper enforcement from the centre - from the Bush administration I am criticising - rather than pointlessly chasing organisations that bring attention to it.

You know as well as I do that this is because the Republicans and environmentalists fundamentally disagree, not because of legal ins and outs.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Wrong (none / 2) (#230)
by sinexoverx on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 08:49:04 AM EST

Legally speaking treaty violations are not crimes. They are in a different category. Treaty violations are violations of agreements between nations and therefore more like contracts and traeated as such but not in a civil law setting (which they are most like). Crimes are a legal category and covered in Title 18 (here in the US). After looking at RICO I really don't see a RICO violation, but then after looking at the indictment I don't see an indictment of GP as an organization either. But then indictment does not mention RICO and is targeting persons not organizations. Like many stories here, the truth is much different than the story. IANAL

Nebbish. I apologise for being an ass (been one all my life (as my geometry instructor once admitted)). So "stiff upper lip and cheerio!". So sorry. You are a good person from what I read here. I just get carried away sometimes. Heat of the moment. Good thing we don't drink together or I would offend you constantly.



[ Parent ]
Heh (none / 0) (#232)
by nebbish on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 08:54:54 AM EST

;-)

I think the drink would probably be OK personally.

Point taken about the legal side of things. I find that I trip up on that all the time anyway - my excuse is it's not my country, but there is a certain amount of stupidity involved :-)

Not wanting to drag this out or anything, but isn't it interesting how we argue legal points when basically it is down to a matter of opinion? It is in my case anyway.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

actually (none / 1) (#234)
by sinexoverx on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 09:13:39 AM EST

As I tried to explain the matter of the illegal timber was at a completely different level of law. The breaking of treaties is not covered under the heading of Crimes. A legal distinction. Please peruse the list of US crimes but note that the states of the US have more to say on the subject. The Title 18 statutes are actually quite simple and not as complex as many would proclaim. Perhaps you think I am arguing sematics, but the topic is law.

As I said before, surely GP consulted their lawyer ahead of the action. Only an idiot lawyer would not warn them that their action was illegal. I mean, ships, shipping, Title 18 Shipping. Only 11 laws, all easy to understand. I think it is safe to assume that GP ignored legal advice and boarded a vessel knowing full well they were commiting a crime. It would not be the first time.

There are other levels to reporting a treaty violation than commiting a crime.



[ Parent ]
It's actually not a simple matter of opinion (none / 0) (#267)
by Anonymous Hiro on Mon Nov 10, 2003 at 09:37:00 AM EST

Maybe this analogy might explain things better: there are criminal offenses and there are civil offenses.

You don't pay for parking and get ticketed - that's not usually a criminal offense. You don't pay your taxes that's often a criminal offense.

It's a different sort of offense.

I think that's what sinexoverx was trying to explain.

[ Parent ]

You didn't read (none / 0) (#225)
by sinexoverx on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 07:28:32 AM EST

I cited the law, it covers that. The fact that the GP idiots were not repelled or arrested does not have any bearing on the crime.

[ Parent ]
Oops (none / 0) (#226)
by sinexoverx on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 07:35:00 AM EST

I got a little excited. Maybe you had not read my response below. http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2003/11/3/181255/612/209#209

[ Parent ]
They're Lucky... (none / 3) (#236)
by DesScorp on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 10:19:05 AM EST

I used to be a sailor, and if I was the Captain, I would've called Repel Boarders and passed firearms out to my crew. I don't give a shit what their aims were. You do not board another vessel at sea without permission. Greenpeace's defense that "our reputation demonstrates to the crew that we're safety conscious" is horseshit. The sea is a dangerous place, thats why there are strict rules and codes of conduct regarding navigation procedures. Greenpeace put both their own people and the target vessel in danger by attempting a non-authorized, hostile boarding. I don't care what their purpose was. Just as there are rules of the road in driving, there are "rules of the road" at sea.

So just how morally superior is Greenpeace for ignoring those rules as long as it suits their goals?


Go straight to Hell; Do not pass Go, Do not collect 200 Dollars

Double standards (none / 0) (#256)
by holly on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 11:11:14 AM EST

yes, there are rules of the sea. not shipping illegal goods is one of them. in this case it was illegally logged timber.

[ Parent ]
Rhetorical device... (none / 0) (#259)
by Francis on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 01:11:13 PM EST

The old "two wrongs make a right" argument... Unfortunately, there is no logical support for that position. Perhaps the cargo was illegal, but it does not detract from the illegality of piracy, and an unauthorized boarding of a ship at sea is an act of piracy.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Insults are the first and last arguments of fools. -- Unknown
[ Parent ]

huh? (none / 0) (#271)
by Remfin on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 08:22:58 PM EST

No, the act of boarding a ship at sea is boarding a ship at sea illegally. PIRACY (and the emotional baggage you are trying to attach to their action) involves THEFT

[ Parent ]
Really? (none / 0) (#273)
by Francis on Wed Nov 19, 2003 at 02:19:20 PM EST

According to Article 101 of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS):

"Piracy consists of any of the following acts: (a) any illegal acts of violence or detention, or any act of depredation, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a private aircraft, and directed:
(i) on the high seas, against another ship or aircraft, or against persons or property on board such ship or aircraft;
(ii) against a ship, aircraft, persons or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State;"

Additionally, the subjective definition of piracy (according to Miriam Webster) is:

an act of robbery on the high seas; also : an act resembling such robbery

It could certainly be argued that forcing yourself onto a ship at sea is an act that resembles robbery. So, perhaps you're right to say that calling this incident piracy is a stretch, but you're wrong to say that piracy necessarily involves theft. I, for one, will hold to my assessment of the situation as piracy.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Insults are the first and last arguments of fools. -- Unknown
[ Parent ]

what i'm waiting for (none / 3) (#240)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:38:45 PM EST

is for you americans to "get it" your country is not run by just, fair, humane mother figures who want to help their citizenry and comfort them against the cold of night. in fact they are an extention of that cold, and due to recent and some non-recent history, you are now nothing but meat to them. you have no rights. you are no one, worthless, and unless you make yourself a threat to them, completely defenseless. the best you can hope for is a slow painless death after a bored life of fakeness and shopping malls, and to ignore your curiosity, and to do what you are told, when you are told to do it. your governments actions are irrelevant - we know they are corrup, we know they do things to terrorize their citizenry and the world at large, why is article this worthy of your and my time? who cares? another group of people conquored or threatened by the great american pig empire...big deal.
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
Funny. (none / 1) (#242)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 01:14:44 PM EST

That's the same thing we keep waiting for Europe to do.

--
Heinz was quoted as saying: "But the sheep are so soft and wooley," immediately before he was put into custody.


[ Parent ]
So, in what fuzzy, warm country are you living?/nt (none / 0) (#272)
by Kuranes on Wed Nov 19, 2003 at 10:04:38 AM EST




Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot.
[ Parent ]
Civil Disobedience (none / 1) (#254)
by Cackmobile on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 10:55:29 AM EST

If it wasn't for protests and protestor where would we be. They have always push the boundaries and got things changed. Without them the US may not even exist. If it wasn't for the Tea Party protesters in Boston maybe the whole revolution wouldn't have kicked off. I'll list a few things that may not have changed with out protest

-Civil Rights
-Womans vote
-Working conditions
-Gay rights

I could go on but can't be bothered. And ever since protesters have been around there have been people calling them scumbags etc.

Think about it

Civil Disobedience (none / 1) (#255)
by Cackmobile on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 11:03:28 AM EST

If it wasn't for protests and protestor where would we be. They have always push the boundaries and got things changed. Without them the US may not even exist. If it wasn't for the Tea Party protesters in Boston maybe the whole revolution wouldn't have kicked off. I'll list a few things that may not have changed with out protest

-Civil Rights
-Womans vote
-Working conditions
-Gay rights

I could go on but can't be bothered. And ever since protesters have been around there have been people calling them scumbags etc. Think about it

Seems a bit silly... (3.00 / 4) (#261)
by Francis on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 02:39:06 PM EST

to suggest that Greenpeace is being punished for their "vocal criticisms of the Bush Administration's environmental record." After all, who hasn't been vocally critical of the Bush Administration's environmental record?

Greenpeace boards vessels at sea by force, and does so routinely. This is generally considered an act of piracy (according to the United Nations), and is generally not considered non-violent. If you feel this is what is necessary to get their point across, fine; but don't sugarcoat it as non-violent.

I won't accept the "two wrongs make a right" position. Stealing timber is one thing (and I don't mean to minimize the reprehensible act of forestry poaching), but forcing yourself onto freight ship is a different matter. I would contend that security at sea is especially important to maritime laws and regulations in today's climate, in which international terrorism is so pervasive. Consider the damage that could be done with an 800 ft., 50,000-ton ship in an industrial port. If you want to protest non-violently, great, but this was not non-violent. Piracy is a very big problem today, particularly in Southeast Asia (the Straits of Malacca are some of the most dangerous waters in the world), and it is getting worse. There are illegal boardings and acts of piracy every day. Often the crew of the ship is kidnapped for ransom, or they are assaulted and their personal belongings are stolen along with the ship's stores, or they are killed. Occasionally they manage to repel the boarders, but there are no guns on these ships--the IMO discourages ships from carrying firearms as a defense to piracy. Normally they only have a general alarm and the ship's firefighting system to repel boarders. It is, needless to say, a security vulnerability that should be treated seriously.

A phone call notifying the U.S. Coast Guard or U.S. Customs about the timber would have probably had the same practical effect; only it wouldn't have given Greenpeace a publicity stunt, upon which they thrive. And as for the "ancient, and almost never used statute," it is probably worth pointing out that the statute is almost never used because it happens extremely rarely that someone commits this offense in the United States.

I will also say that Greenpeace's filing probably has merit. The statute is vague on its surface, and should probably be considered unenforceable.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Insults are the first and last arguments of fools. -- Unknown

Of course (none / 1) (#265)
by jasonditz on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 07:39:55 PM EST

"Is Ashcroft abusing his authority as attorney general? Would the current administration retaliate against someone that has publicly spoken out against them in the past?"

why the hell would he be different from anyone else in that regard? Of course he is, and of course they would.


Ashcroft selectively prosecuting Greenpeace? | 273 comments (226 topical, 47 editorial, 0 hidden)
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