Australia’s crackpot left has once again thrown its lot in with eco-terrorist group Sea Shepherd, demanding Japan release operative Peter Bethune, arrested for illegally boarding a whaling vessel on the high seas, supposedly in an effort to capture it.
After former Sea Shepherd captain Peter Bethune (a New Zealand national) boarded the Japanese whaler, he was held in loose confinement onboard whilst the ship made its way back to Japan, then transferred to Tokyo where he was arrested pending an investigation by the Japan Coast Guard.
Sea Shepherd’s backers in the Australian Green Party vow that they will see him escape punishment for his crimes, and Green leader Senator Bob Brown called on Australian Prime Minister Rudd to secure the terrorist’s release.
Grandstanding for the cameras, he fraudulently claimed Japan “has no jury system” and highlights the “98%” conviction rate of Japanese courts, apparently implying that fair trials are impossible there as a result:
“There will be an international campaign to free Peter Bethune so if either the Australian or New Zealand authorities thought it was all going to die away, it will not.
The crew on the Shonan Maru No.2 ought to be in the dock and the ship impounded … for illegal whaling and illegally refuelling in the Antarctic and illegally running down the Ady Gil.”
As well as calling for the release of a pirate and terrorist, the party also criticised its own government for allowing federal police to conduct searches of Sea Shepherd vessels, accusing them of being in Tokyo’s thrall, a charge which would undoubtedly strike many in Japan as ironic considering the unerringly supine position of their own government in international relations.
Meanwhile Japanese media gleefully reports how the confined skipper happily tucked in to meals of meat and fish on the voyage back to Japan, despite supposedly enforcing a strictly vegetarian diet on his own vessel.
The year’s theatrics have otherwise subsided, with Japanese whalers thought to have taken about 700 Minke whales in the season, of a global population estimated to be around 1,000,000. How much Sea Shepherd received in donations is not recorded.