"sailor mongering"??

Greenpeace, charged with the obscure crime of "sailor mongering" that was last prosecuted 114 years ago, goes on trial on Monday in the first U.S. criminal prosecution of an advocacy group for civil disobedience.

Sailor mongering was rife in the 19th century when brothels sent prostitutes laden with booze onto ships as they made their way to harbor. The idea was to get the sailors so drunk they could be whisked to shore and held in bondage, and a law was passed against it in 1872. It has only been used in a court of law twice, the last time in 1890.

U.S. prosecutors argue Greenpeace did something like that when two "climbers" clambered aboard the Jade to hang a sign demanding, "President Bush: Stop Illegal Logging."

Six Greenpeace activists were charged after the 2002 protest in choppy waters off Miami, pleaded guilty and sentenced to time served -- the weekend they spent in jail. But U.S. prosecutors were not satisfied, and 15 months later came up with a grand jury indictment of the entire organization for sailor mongering. [...] If convicted, Greenpeace could be placed on probation, and pay a $10,000 fine.

Not once since the Boston Tea Party have U.S. authorities criminally prosecuted a group for political expression.

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63 Responses:

  1. dzm6 says:

    I always figured the phrase was figurative. Who knew it was code for "booze carrying whores"?

  2. treylis says:

    I think that Greenpeace is mostly composed of true nutbars, but this is absolutely ridiculous.

    • giantlaser says:

      My last job, believe it or not, was working for Greenpeace International. Very few are crazy, but most hold fierce, sometimes irrational, beliefs in a cause. On average they are technophobic (this is particularly difficult for me to tolerate). They are also very well-meaning. They also know this shit isn't very effective on its face, but the purpose is to raise popular awareness.

      • jwz says:

        Wow, from Greenpeace to Imperialist! Cool.

        • giantlaser says:

          I prefer to think of myself as a mercenary. I was with Greenpeace 'cause I wanted to get in some shit. However, the shit wasn't nearly as frequent as the days at the terrible office job. And the pay was, well, N.G.O. pay.

          I wouldn't say I intellectually support imperialism. But I have no problem at all doing my own thing at a job that could very well be interpreted as in support of such. The office job is not terrible, there is PLENTY of shit to get into, and the pay is, well, Opportunistic Capitalist pay. :)

    • massivedude says:

      Sir, those would be *organic* nutbars!

      MWD
      GP non-technophobe

  3. lars_larsen says:

    We have too many laws. How long can we go on making hundreds of new laws every year, but never removing any of them?

    Laws are designed for the ease of prosecution. It is basically up to prosecutors to decide what is and isnt illegal (what laws in their toolkit to apply to a situation).

    This means that pretty much anyone can be arrested and prosecuted based on the whims (or political agendas) of the prosecutors.

    If the judicial system is a seperate branch of government, away from the executive branch, why is the country's prosecutorial system under the executive branch?

    Next thing you know you'll be lynched just for being a liberal.

    • Well, the idea was that the country as a whole could manage to elect an executive who would prosecute fairly... OK, so much for that one, but at least it's still up to the judicial branch to try them!

      • lars_larsen says:

        Yeah, but you run into situations like Kevin Mitnick where he was never tried, just held in prison for years.

          • lars_larsen says:

            This is the first step in taking control of the US government. The idea being that as soon as a resistance movement forms, it can be squashed immedietly. They will control what we think and say.

            If you read the patriot act(s) with this in mind, you'll realize thats exactly what they're intended to do. They need to know when anyone disagrees with them right away. Before anyone can gather any political support for their ideas.

            I'm amazed they didnt make the law itself a secret. Then they could do whatever they want, and just claim there is some secret law somewhere that allows it.

            The most shocking thing about the patriot act to me is that LITTERING is considered a TERRORIST ACT. And you can be arrested and detained without any legal rights and be given the DEATH PENALTY!!!! FOR LITTERING!!!!

            WHAT THE FUCK? Somebody wake me up I'm dreaming.

            • transgress says:

              thus formal organization in resistance becomes a bad thing, the very word insurgent is defined as an unrecognized resistance, which somewhat implies the lack of formal organization. At any rate, we already changed laws that required the government to actually have a reason to be investigating you- this wasnt covered by the patriot act but was changed (by executive order i beleive) shortly after the pass of the patriot act. This revereted laws back to pre-cointelpro days where the government was actively spying/keeping tabs/disrupting any type of movement it didn't agree with. What's funny is that we all keep walking around thinking that we can reform this machine that sits in d.c. knowing that nothing but bombs lies and prison has come out of there for a good 70+ years.

              The more I sit and think about it, it seems to me that Washington D.C. is occupied territory.

              • lars_larsen says:

                Somebody has hijacked the government. I just cant figure out who it is.

                • transgress says:

                  i know, and ive started to believe that is 'by design', who do you fight if you cant find someone to blame? I mean I find it hard to believe there is some guy in some office with a plague behind him that says like 'SCREW EVERYONE. DENY EVERYTHING' or something, but stuff is seriously messed up, and somewhere someone is responsible. But the more I think about it, the more I start to think its as much or more us the public's fault for tolerating this. We are a nation that cares more about our shoes than the wellbeing of a chinese/whatever woman, the majority of americans are quite opposed to giving in to gay rights, yet we are the home of the free, and so on. The problem is us as a whole, and I'm not saying its just an american thing, similar stuff is happening everywhere. I dunno- my solution/idea is that we just need to be split up into smaller countries- why dont countries like I dunno the netherlands (example) do what they want with/to the world (aside from any arguments about them not wanting too), they are simply not big enough. As a big nation, as a super power we have no choice but to force our influence everywhere.

                  But to keep from getting off topic, I'll quote kmfdm.
                  'we dont run washington and no one really does'

                  • lars_larsen says:

                    Bush keeps blabbering about freedom, as he takes it away. Its classic bait and switch.

                  • down8 says:

                    Now that'd be a funny lawsuit. Taking the president to civil court, for illegal marketing to the masses.

                    "You said right here, you are protecting our freedoms. But you clearly have taken them away, repeatedly. You are fined $10,000 per person who believed you were going to protect them."

                    -bZj

                  • lars_larsen says:

                    I should have been a lawyer :)

                  • down8 says:

                    That's a common arguement, and I, like I believe many Americans are, am undecided on it. How can we show we care for the outside world, without proving to be the 'imperialists' that much of the world takes us for, 'forcing' our culture/politics on the rest of the world.

                    My vote, for now, is with benevolent isolationism. Get self sufficient, which really isn't as hard as it may seem, and instead of paying farmers to not grow food, or destroying overproduced product, simply ship it to needy countires. Everyone wins... except those that profit off US imports.

                    Ah, pipe dreams are fun,
                    -bZj

                  • transgress says:

                    ah, pipe dreams are fun. I have this crazy idea about every citizen getting to vote on every bill that affects them (i.e. things like the dmca/patriot act would be voted on by every american citizen while a tax increase for your local elementary school would be voted on by only those who live within the affected area)- the idea is that the current political structure would keep its form, but change what it does exactly- they would propose the laws we would pass them. I've also got another pipe dream where the ultra rich are forced to donate land/money/etc to the indigent, but i cant seem to get anyone to agree with me- everyone's too worried they might become the next bill gates and have to dump 1/100th of their XX billion dollar estate to the people sleeping on the corner. At what point do we stop and realize this is all just silly? Hording all the resources- something like 15% of the nation controls 80% of the money, and if you look at how much of the worlds currency/resources are controlled by the us, it paints a nice picture. But then I've also got commie ideas like the decriminalization of softdrugs, and the removal of right-removal from convicted felons- i mean seriously i dont think that anyone thought about the fact some state somewhere might make it a felony to have a joint and thus lose your right to own a gun/vote/recieve lots of government aid/etc. I mean, you cannot get government assisted housing as a felon- probably the people who need it most. Now consider that and you tell me why our prisons are revolving doors?

                    but more on the note of what you had to say- how do americans show the world where we really stand? RIOT RIOT RIOT!@#!#@!#!@ no um, well that would work- but it will never happen, really we just need to stand up when our government makes a choice on their behalf instead of ours, although again it wont happen; we are too concerned with our hair than the wellbeing of another person, much less one on the other side of the world.

                  • wfaulk says:

                    there is some guy in some office with a plague behind him

                    I'm sure you meant “plaque”, but, somehow, “plague” is much more appropriate.

                • taffer says:

                  See also plutocracy.

                  Note that I'm a potential terrorist (ie, not an American).

            • coldacid says:

              Would now be a good time to state "Slavery is Freedom"? :p

              Or perhaps AYBABTU would be more fitting.

        • transgress says:

          you are slightly incorrect - it was not that he was denied a trial, that isnt how the system works- they provide you with reasons to get you to dismiss your own rights. In Mitnick's case, he waved the right to a preliminary (I believe it was a preliminary, it mightve just been the right to a speedy trial), to get out of solitary confinment and access to talk to his attorney & girlfriend/whatever.

          He then, every 6 months was given the decision to either goto trial with a 'public pretender' (public defenders are horrendously bad lawyers, ive had really bad experiences with them just on small silly stuff, i cant imagine trying to go into a technial case with one), anyways- every 6 months he was given the choice to goto court with a lawyer that wasnt ready, or waive his right to a speedy trial, obviously we know what option he chose.

          Don't be fooled, its actually pretty rare that the .gov just straight up violates your civil rights; they have much better tactics, make you waive them for something you want. I once, as a juvenile on probation, was given 3 months of bootcamp in a max. security regional 'childs prison' (this is the same place the kids who went on a shooting spree in columbine wouldve gone had they not killed themselves), I did 3 months there for a bold lie that my probation officer had told in court, no evidence nothing. What option was I given? use my public pretender, try to fight it and if found guilty do the 6 months until I was 18 in there, then be transfered to a adult facility where i'd finish out the other 9 or so months of my probation in jail OR plead guilty and do a flat 3 months.

          Several years have passed since then, I was eventually adjudicated a juvenile delinquent, which has followed me ever since [viva juvenile justice bills that dont seal your juvenile record], The charge that got me adjudicated a juv. delinquent was being caught with a pack of cigarettes about 2 months before my 18th birthday.
          At any rate- it has been several years since all of that,but i wont forget the way the system hands you a dildo and convinces you its in your best interest to screw yourself. It just doesn't do it for you.

          • jwz says:

            Wow, that's pretty fucked up.

            • transgress says:

              eh yes and no- things could always be worse. I mean, is it better to be in a country that denies housing assistance/financial aid to non-violent drug offenders but not rapists and murderers? or in one that just doesnt have either? Is it better to be unequal with some on top, or equally poor? There are alot of problems in this country, most I've experienced to some light degree in the judicial system, and i firmly am convinced its freedom and justice for all who can afford it [figure i have felony marijuana charges pending against me at the moment [im in arizona, where its all a felony]- figure i have those charges pending, i started to go with a public defender, and they offered me a plea agreement where i would plead guilty to the felony do 1 year probation / 1 year rehab & random drug tests and pay ~750 dollars in fines, i then elected to hire counsel and now im being offered my choice of getting the charges dropped if i goto rehab/submit to random drug tests or get them knocked down to a misdemeanor and take a year probation- the only difference is now I paid for a lawyer.] The funny part is that these charges are over 3 years old, they opted not to press charges for 3 years. At any rate, my overall point is that just because it could be worse, doesnt mean it couldnt also be better.

            • transgress says:

              eh yes and no- things could always be worse. I mean, is it better to be in a country that denies housing assistance/financial aid to non-violent drug offenders but not rapists and murderers? or in one that just doesnt have either? Is it better to be unequal with some on top, or equally poor? There are alot of problems in this country, most I've experienced to some light degree in the judicial system, and i firmly am convinced its freedom and justice for all who can afford it [figure i have felony marijuana charges pending against me at the moment [im in arizona, where its all a felony]- figure i have those charges pending, i started to go with a public defender, and they offered me a plea agreement where i would plead guilty to the felony do 1 year probation / 1 year rehab & random drug tests and pay ~750 dollars in fines, i then elected to hire counsel and now im being offered my choice of getting the charges dropped if i goto rehab/submit to random drug tests or get them knocked down to a misdemeanor and take a year probation- the only difference is now I paid for a lawyer.] The funny part is that these charges are over 3 years old, they opted not to press charges for 3 years. At any rate, my overall point is that just because it could be worse, doesnt mean it couldnt also be better.

          • lars_larsen says:

            Yeah, thats amazing. It sounds like they're tricky fuckers!

            Thats fucking insane that all that happened to you. I know all about the juvenile records following you around thing. Trust me.

    • jkonrath says:

      > How long can we go on making hundreds of new laws every year, but never removing any of them?

      That's funny, when I went to thomas.loc.gov and did a search on "repeal", I got fifty bajillion results. I guess they do remove laws sometimes.

      The judicial system in the sense of the judicial branch of government is only responsible for judicial review, or the ultimate interpretation of laws. This has nothing to do with the prosecution of criminal law, only in the sense that a lower court's decision in a criminal case may ultimately be interpreted differently by a higher court. If you are accused of commiting a crime, there's not a way for your trial to go to Supreme Court, at least in determining your innocence, guilt, or punishment.

      When a case in which the government is involved, a federal attorney from the Department of Justice represents the United States in the case, which is why it is part of the executive branch. If it was part of the judicial branch, anyone with a case against the United States would have both the Supreme Court and the prosecutor in the same branch of government.

      • lars_larsen says:

        If they really repeal that many laws, why wouldnt the crazy "not allowed to have a giraffe in the street" or "bathtubs must be on the front lawn" laws have been removed?

        I'm not saying your wrong, I'm just saying they have to remove more laws.

        Ok so maybe that was a stupid solution. But that doesnt mean the problem doesnt exist.

        My point was that there are laws that are not prosecuted. So the prosecutors decide when they want someone to be guilty and when they dont. The courts hands are tied because they have to follow the law. They cant decide that a certain crazy law shouldnt exist, unless they happen to be the supreme court. And you said yourself that nobody's criminal case can go to the supreme court.

        We shouldnt have laws we dont enforce. If we dont execute everyone for littering, we shouldnt execute anyone for it.

        What if say, embezzling billions of dollars from an energy company were illegal. And a bunch of republicans did it, and werent arrested. And then a bunch of democrats did it, and were executed for it. Whats to stop that from happening?

        • jkonrath says:

          Maybe they should remove more laws, but there's also the issue that adding, modifying, or removing a law takes up so many cycles from a finite number that can be used in a legislative cycle. It's ultimately more fashionable to say "we spent your money passing all of these neat new laws" instead of "we spent all your money repealing stupid laws from a century ago that don't matter anyway."

          The issue about laws being prosecuted is possibly similar (aside from it also being political, which I am not arguing that it's not) in the sense that there's a finite amount of court time, a finite number of prisons, police officers can only drag in so many criminals, and so on. The check/balance on this is supposed to be judicial review. If a bunch of democrats were arrested for embezzling billions of dollars from an energy company, they would not be pulled out of their beds and summarily executed. Their case would go through the courts for a decade, possibly going all the way to the Supreme Court. And if it did, the embezzlement laws having to do with power companies would probably be interpreted in such a way that other embezzlers, regardless of political party, would be handled in a different and hopefully fair way. It's how things like sexual harassment and discrimination have been brought to a national spotlight and defined legally, hopefully to the benefit of minorities and women. Of course, every person sitting on a court has their political sway, but it's hoped that the system allows more public debate and input than someone unloading a pistol in someone's head behind closed doors.

          And courts are not tied on interpreting laws, although it is a hierarchical system. A county traffic court is not going to be doing judicial review to determine the meaning of a parking law, but if the local police are systematically ticketing only racial minorities and there is proof and a good lawyer, the case might go up to a state court and maybe even eventually the Supreme Court. Each step on the ladder has more say on determining when a law applies or how an individual's case might be considered. At any level, a judge could consider a trial total bullshit and throw it out - it happens all the time. And given that the Supreme Court only deals with maybe a hundred cases a year, there's a good chance a lower court may decide that a crazy law doesn't fit the alleged crime.

          • lars_larsen says:

            democrats were arrested for embezzling billions of dollars from an energy company, they would not be pulled out of their beds and summarily executed.

            Whats to stop that from happening if there is a law that says it can be done? If the courts have to go by the law, and thats what the law says, the judge's "hands are tied". Arent they?

            Why on earth would we have a law that says you can be executed for ANY crime if we're not going to use it? And if we ARE going to use it, its OBVIOUS that we arent going to do it to everyone. Thus, lots of room for selective prosecution.

            But you make excellent points. I didnt realize that a lower court could say "yes, they broke the law, and the law says that this should be the punishment, but I think thats just silly, and I will just ignore that law"

            Although I do think they could just hire more cops, lawyers, prisons etc. If they really wanted to. The whole "courts are too busy" thing is silly. Just build more of them. Hire more people. We've already done that with prisons, we have a surplus of prison space right now. If the government is good at anything, its spending money! :)

            But thanks for the info. You've made a confusing subject quite clear.

    • kchrist says:

      This means that pretty much anyone can be arrested and prosecuted based on the whims (or political agendas) of the prosecutors.

      I'm not normally one to go around spouting Ayn Rand quotes, but that one about ruling innocent men and creating a nation of law-breakers might be appropriate here.

      • lars_larsen says:

        I could go on for hours about the flaws in Ayn Rand's philosophy, but that doesnt mean all of it is flawed.

        Sort of like the uni-bomber.

  4. otterley says:

    Greenpeace says the decision by the U.S. Attorney's Office to prosecute the organization rather than just the activists who boarded the APL Jade freighter is a sea change in policy, and a conviction would throttle free speech everywhere.

    Only Greenpeace would do something as dumb as trespass another's property to express their viewpoint and call it "free speech."

    (BTW, I'm pretty sure that the reason they had to charge the organization with sailor mongering was to circumvent jurisdictional issues WRT trespass on the open seas. It wasn't piracy; I guess that's what was left on the books to slap 'em with.)

    • treylis says:

      You know, I actually didn't even think about that when I read it, and I'm extremely pro-property rights.

      Agreed.

    • jwz says:

      I don't have much sympathy for the argument of, "you didn't technically do anything illegal in our jurisdiction, so we had to charge you with this bullshit law left over from the caveman days."

      Getting Capone on tax evasion was not exactly the feds' finest hour.

      • otterley says:

        Getting Capone on tax evasion was not exactly the feds' finest hour.

        Perhaps, but on the other hand, it wasn't much of a secret that he was the man behind a great deal of grief for a lot of folks. In the end, justice was done, difficult though it was to achieve, despite Capone not being charged with the specific murders and other malfeasances he was (perhaps indirectly) responsible for.

        Sometimes you just have to use the tools available at your disposal, even if it is just baling wire and duct tape. It is sometimes as true WRT criminal prosecution as it is with data processing.

        • jwz says:

          "In the end justice was done" is not the kind of excuse the Government should be using. They are too powerful for that.

          Look, I dig Batman, but I don't want the executive branch acting like him.

      • baconmonkey says:

        you realize, of course, that currently the main use of anti-drug laws is to have a convenient way to nail people who you've been unable to prove were involved with other crimes. i.e. when someone either pisses off cops/community/whatever, or cops are pretty certain that individual was the one who committed some crime, but are unable to prove it, drug charges are often an easy way to get someone off the streets.

      • aprilized says:

        I would assume that the only reason Greenpeace activists board ships in international waters is because they're taking advantage of the fact that there is no law forbidding them to do so.

        They purposely choose this type of action so they cannot be held accountable in court. Guess they were mistaken.

        Don't get me wrong..I think that people should be passionate about causes that are important to them and that the American gov't is certainly bending over backwards to cause this group grief..but it seems like this case has come back to bite Greenpeace in the ass...apparently sharks dwell in the high seas as well...

    • volkris says:

      My (now aborted) reply exactly...

    • baconmonkey says:

      related is the puzzling line:

      "It will be very chilling because advocacy groups whose members chose to engage in acts of protest which happen to violate the law will be loathe to act at all."

      which comes across as "gosh, breaking the law as part of political protest might have legal repurcussions?"
      Granted, in this case, the specific invocation of that law is pretty goofy.

      • baconmonkey says:

        whoops, someone else beat me to this. That's what happens when you start a reply, and go off and do other things for over an hour.

      • ioerror says:

        When a law is unjust, you should break it.

        When a group of law makers takes a law that wouldn't normally apply to you and attempts to run you into the ground, you know that the lack of justice is beyond the law.

        This is one of those times.

        The people who committed the crimes were already punished in this case.

        • susano_otter says:

          When a law is unjust, you should break it.

          I disagree.

          When a law is unjust, you should carefully weigh the costs and benefits of breaking it against the costs and benefits of attacking it through other means--and against the costs and benefits of just leaving it be and continuing to obey it.

          If nothing else, breaking an unjust law can lead to tying up law enforcement resources to deal with you. This is especially ludicrous, because you are breaking a law that you have explicitly identified as being wasteful and wrong to enforce. I can't believe that the benefit of wasting your community's resources in this way will always outweigh the cost.

          Also, an individual's conviction, however admirable, cannot be sufficient grounds for determining the justice of this or that law. Before you decide that a law is unjust and in need of breakage, I hope you are comparing your assessment of that law with others' assessment (and that some of these others are experts in the relevant fields). Really, if you truly believe a law is unjust, you should submit your opinion for public review and debate, so that your community can consider it. Ultimately, the decision about the law should reside with your community as a whole (and/or your community's elected representatives), who then decide as a group whether or not the law is unjust (in which case, it should properly be repealed, not broken).

          It's pretty obvious that democracy isn't a perfect solution, but it's also pretty obvious that tyranny is no better solution. Opting out of democracy in favor of a personal, unmediated evaluation of which laws are and are not acceptable hardly seems like an improvement over the current system.

    • ioerror says:

      (BTW, I'm pretty sure that the reason they had to charge the organization with sailor mongering was to circumvent jurisdictional issues WRT trespass on the open seas. It wasn't piracy; I guess that's what was left on the books to slap 'em with.)

      Which sounds to me like a political action on the part of the prosecuter. Does it make sense that they simply want to charge them with _anything_ and so they dig this up?

      This law doesn't even come close to being violated in spirit. GreenPeace activists were hardly bring booze to seduce these "sailors."

      It's a bullshit charge. The administration shouldn't be attacking this group because it lobbies and protests against it's current policies.

      I am also very much for private property. However I hardly see how my valuing private property and hanging a banner to expose a bunch of criminals actually needs to result in these charges.

      • massivedude says:

        Just to be clear: This is not a lawsuit. It's a federal criminal indictment with the objective of shutting down or severely limiting the activities of Greenpeace in the US and around the world.

        Whatever one may think of Greenpeace, its members or its tactics be clear on this: this action by the current administration is nothing other than an frontal assault on the 1st amendment. Thus it impacts us all.

        MWD
        GP non-technophobe

  5. jotunheim says:

    I propose those Greenpeace activists should dress up as pirates and talk like pirates.

  6. volkris says:

    My favorite line in the article:

    "It will be very chilling because advocacy groups whose members chose to engage in acts of protest which happen to violate the law will be loathe to act at all."

    • jwz says:

      That is a pretty stupid quote as-is, but I think I can decipher what they were trying to say:

      • Organization X says "hey kids, let's go picket Megalomart!"
      • Some Black Block dumbass smashes a window;
      • Organization X gets charged instead of (or in addition to) the B.B.D.

      Which leads to the chilling effect of

      • Organization X says, "oh, let's not organize this protest, because the repercussions -- in the event that someone who does not even work for us does something illegal -- are too severe."

      The craziness here is that Greenpeace-as-a-whole is being charged with something-like-kidnapping, in addition to the individuals who actually committed a crime being charged with something-like-tresspassing. I'm all for those individuals being charged, and I'm sure they expected it (that's part of the cost of civil disobedience, and they knew it.)

      The irony here is that Greenpeace is getting the smelly end of the Corporate Person stick: usually it's much more of a shield than a liability.

  7. macguyver says:

    selective enforcement of law = lame

  8. transgress says:

    im just waiting to see them try to apply rico laws against groups like this.

  9. ioerror says:

    For the record, I work at GreenPeace International, so feel free to rip into me just on the merit of that alone. These aren't the statements of my employer, blah blah blah.

    This lawsuit is an attempt to crush political opposition of the current administration. If you are in support of this type of action, you should think about the chilling effect a precedent of this nature sets.

    This type of political fingerpointing is a mistake no matter who it's against.

    The people that should have gone to jail that day were the people bringing in illegally logged wood. They were breaking the law, plain and simple. They continue to do so even now.

    GreenPeace activists breaking the law in my opinion isn't questionable in this case. It seems reasonable that boarding a ship to drop a banner is against some maritime law. However, this doesn't fit the crime at all. If anything these people shouldn't have been arrested in the first place. It doesn't seem reasonable to go after GreenPeace for exposing a criminal smuggling operation, does it?

    If you happen to agree that Bush and Ashcroft shouldn't proceed. If you think this absurd set of charges that could utterly destroy GreenPeace, as well as every other non-profit or political organization in the U.S.A. should be stopped, please let them know.

    This lawsuit is absurd and it's being used as an attempt at pulling a thorn of truth out of the side of the worst environmental administrations the USA has ever seen.

    • down8 says:

      Well... I wasn't going to rip into you, but...

      You do realize, in your above post, you equated GreenPeace with Capone, and though it was a tricky move by the Feds, most are glad they got him off the streets, since he was a BadMan™.

      Hope you took this comment in the joking tone it was meant,
      -bZj

      Though, this comment: "It doesn't seem reasonable to go after GreenPeace for exposing a criminal smuggling operation, does it?" has the obvious reply of "Should I not be arrested for shooting a murderer?" Selective enforcement indeed....

    • sunsetdriver says:

      my understanding is that the ship they hung the banner on was involved in crimminal activity. i assume that the prosecutor went after the owners of the ship for their violations?

      oh, wait, this is america.

      well, you folks get what you elected (i voted for the dems so it's not my fault).

      howard dean's formed a group to get more progressives elected - somewhat like ralph reed did for the anti-christians in the 80's. i suggest that those of you still willing to live in america, god love ya, consider running for office themselves.

      for instance someone could quit grousing about nightclub closing times and get on the city council...