US court: Anti-Whaling Protesters are 'Pirates,' Must Halt Attacks on Japanese whalers
|NOAA PHOTO OF A GREEN PEACE VESSEL. NOTE: NO JOLLY ROGER|
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Judge's Comments notwithstanding about not needing an eye patch or peg leg, real piracy requires "assailing banditry" from a vessel directed against another vessel. Despite tactics that are dangerous and could be the cause of voluntary man slaughter, the greenies don't have designs on the Whaler's personal property or anything aboard the vessels themselves for personal gain. A piracy charge would never stick, and given the seriousness of real piracy today probably shouldn't be bandied about. On the other hand the greenie's charge that the U.S. Courts don't have jurisdiction down in the Antarctic Seas isn't exactly accurate either. The Federal courts have jurisdiction concerning American flag shipping anywhere in the world, more limited jurisdiction on foreign flagged but American owned ships, and jurisdiction over American citizens at sea. The bottom line is that the greenie's tactics are reckless and negligent and especially dangerous in cold waters. Nobody buys that the Japanese are taking whales for anything other than meat for profit
SAN FRANCISCO - Their supporters call them heroes. The Japanese government calls them terrorists.Late Monday, the United States' largest federal court labeled them pirates.
In doing so, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals castigated Paul Watson and members of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society he founded for the tactics used in their relentless campaign to disrupt the annual whale hunt off the dangerous waters of Antarctica.
"You don't need a peg leg or an eye patch," Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel. "When you ram ships; hurl glass containers of acid; drag metal-reinforced ropes in the water to damage propellers and rudders; launch smoke bombs and flares with hooks; and point high-powered lasers at other ships, you are, without a doubt, a pirate, no matter how high-minded you believe your purpose to be."
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