Someone in authority has to take control at Greenpeace, or it will lose much of its credibility. Since yesterday Greenpeace has posted at least three versions of their collision with the Japanese whaling mother ship on Sunday.
This is a serious matter that might even have repercussions in criminal law. Greenpeace has to tell the truth, discipline its operatives and move on. Otherwise the organisation that drew so much credibility from the criminal actions against it of the French government will lose its own credibility, not just on whaling, but on all of its campaign issues.
On Sunday, 8th January, 2006 Greenpeace Southern Ocean Expedition Leader Shane Rattenbury was quick off the mark in a media release entitled ‘Whalers ram Greenpeace Ship in Southern Ocean’.
“…the Nisshin Mura suddenly disengaged from the supply vessel coming around a full 360 degrees before making for the Arctic Sunrise and striking it on the port side.
Well, this picture posted by Greenpeace says it all. This is the Greenpeace ship, these are its injuries, and Greenpeace claims it was rammed? The damage is to the bow because as the video, also posted by Greenpeace shows, their ship struck the whaling vessel amidships.
Rattensbury also said,
The ship’s captain tried to pull out of the way of the oncoming whaler.”
In the Greenpeace video, their Captain says that because their ship the Arctic Sunrise had right-of-way,
“I maintained course at speed”.
Greenpeace’s own video contradicts Rattenbury’s story.
In order to restore its credibility Greenpeace’s first move is obvious. It has to stand aside its frontline operatives, specifically Rattenbury, and explain why they misled the press, the public, and their own supporters.
This is a serious matter. Damage has been done to private property. It could fall within the ambit of the criminal law. A respectable organisation cannot allow itself to even potentially shelter wrong-doers.