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The Rainbow Warrior apology

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, September 7th, 2015 - 22 comments
Categories: history, International - Tags: , , , ,

I have to say I never expected this:

Rainbow Warrior bomber apologises after 30 years

The French secret service frogman who attached the mines which sank the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand 30 years ago apologised for his actions in an interview today with investigative website Mediapart.

Jean-Luc Kister, whose face was not covered in the hour-long video interview, said he believed it was now the right time to say sorry to the family of Portuguese photographer Fernando Pereira, who was killed in the explosion, to Greenpeace and to the people of New Zealand.

“Thirty years after the event, now that emotions have subsided and also with the distance I now have from my professional life, I thought it was the right time for me to express both my deepest regret and my apologies,” Kister said.

“I have the blood of an innocent man on my conscience, and that weighs on me,” a visibly emotional Kister said in the interview. …

It is Pereira’s family to whom apology is most due of course, at time of writing I haven’t seen any account of response from them. In my opinion Kister’s apology, like the official apology of France before it, while welcome, changes nothing. The bombing of the Rainbow Warrior remains an inexcusable act.

22 comments on “The Rainbow Warrior apology ”

  1. vto 1

    “The bombing of the Rainbow Warrior remains an inexcusable act.”

    and an act of terrorism

    and a reminder to never trust people in government

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      and a reminder to never trust people in government

      Or perhaps a lesson in the idea that we don’t need a government and that we can, and should, govern ourselves. Government departments would still exist but they’d be there to do the administration and day to day running of the country but not to set the policies.

      • DoublePlusGood 1.1.1

        So you propose the general public do the policy development and setting? Does the general public have the expertise in enough areas to do that?

        • weka

          collectively they do if they also have the option of using experts to help them in the process.

          What we don’t have is experience and skill in working collectively. Whether we can learn that I don’t know.

  2. D'Esterre 2

    Talk is cheap. If he’s sincere in this, he ought to come to NZ and hand himself in to police. Then he can face justice here. Fat chance that’ll happen, though.

    • dukeofurl 2.1

      I was struck by how dissembling and avoiding blame he was during his ‘quasi confession’
      He was very careful to minimise what he and his colleagues did, and his excuses dont ring true.

      The bomb under the keel, wasnt to keep the ‘crew away’ it was deliberately done to prevent the ship being repaired economically and used again. Thats what under keel explosions do.
      As for the explosion on the side of the ship being ‘too big’ thats ridiculous as the amound of explosive used would certainly blow a large hole, this has been known for a long time as one of the uses of underater explosive against a hull, the effect is magnified by the water

  3. JanM 3

    I think it does change something – it is not often that someone who has been involved in dishonourable practices on behalf of their country (and there is blood on the hands of us all) fronts up. It has added a little drop of honesty in a very nasty international game.

    • Anne 3.1

      I agree JanM. It does change something.

      It seems to me TV1 “Sunday” were in receipt of information that perhaps prompted them to track down this Jean-Luk Kister in the first place. He clearly wanted to make a public apology for the part he played in the tragedy.

      This terrorist act together with the Lange government’s anti-nuclear legislation caused wide-spread fallout that was distressing for a lot of innocent people – not the least David Lange himself. I also refer to other individuals who, for one reason or another, found themselves on the periphery of either one or possibly both affairs. I fell into the latter category as a result of ‘who I knew’ rather than ‘what I knew’ so can speak with experience. It was a truly nasty time.

  4. RedLogix 4

    Yes it does change something. It opens the door to forgiveness.

    Jean-Luc Kister was in fact serving his country at the time and was following orders. There are millions upon millions who have been required to commit morally dubious or abhorrent acts in similar circumstances. The tiny few (like Snowden) who do speak up are treated as traitors and criminals. Holding Kister to a moral standard few others have the courage to achieve is a cheap and easy judgmentalism.

    Of course the bombing was wrong. The fact that Kister feels compelled to make an open and clearly sincere personal apology so many years later speaks to this fact. It should be welcomed and accepted at face value, as one small but important step in the healing process.

  5. weka 5

    “like the official apology of France before it”

    Wiki says there has been no official apology from France. Which is it?

  6. maui 6

    At the end of the Sunday show on tv last night they had a response from Pereira’s daughter. In rough summary she declined to meet with Jean-Luc Kister and accepted that he was remorseful and that he has to live with himself knowing what he did.

    Full item: http://tvnz.co.nz/sunday-news/rainbow-bomber-video-6383506

  7. amy 7

    For myself, I would prefer that the UK government came out and acknowledged the Rainbow Warrior bombing as terroism.

    Apparently Margaret Thatcher when repeatedly questioned on this at the time absolutely refused to acknowledge it as such. And it does not seem as though any of our other supposed allies did much to support us at the time either.

    This was our upposed Allie the UK, whose flag is disgusyingly included on our own flsg And people wonder why I adamantly want our flag changed.

  8. Johan 8

    It is interesting, what some people, who are approaching their final years on Earth will do in order to save their soul, like a good Catholic.

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