Saturday, 5 February 2011

Wiki Whale Leaks and The Obama Administration

I'm well aware this news isn't exactly hot off the press, but I want to establish a data base of my own here at Only in America.

For it is only in America that a sect of homophobic religious nutters, aka the Mormon Church, can form itself into a Political Action Committee, (PAC) and not have its tax free status questioned or rescinded. 1 - 2 - 3

And where Only in America can a bunch of brainwashing money grabbing thugs, can espouse the most ridiculous bloody nonsense imaginable, and have that nonsense accepted as a religion by the government of that country, and thus enjoy that same tax free status.

And it is only in America where the "yes we can" government of Barrack Obama, would consider, at the behest of a despicable bunch of little yellow fucks, would consider taking away the tax free status of an organisation, the only organisation I add, that thwarts the efforts of these same yellow fucks, as they go about there sordid business of killing the most magnificent creatures on the planet, for no other reason than commercial gain. Only in America.

There are seven billion people on the planet, and only seventy-seven of us down here in these distant waters actually saving the lives of whales, actually damaging illegal Japanese whaling activities and thus actually making a difference. Paul Watson Cyber Wars

WikiLeaks: Secret whaling deal plotted by US and Japan

American diplomats proposed Japan reduce whaling in exchange for US help cracking down on the anti-whaling activists Sea Shepherd, leaked cables reveal

Japan and the US proposed to investigate and act against international anti-whaling activists from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as part of a political deal to reduce whaling in Antarctic waters.

Four confidential cables from the US embassy in Tokyo and the state department in Washington, released by WikiLeaks, show US and Japanese diplomats secretly negotiating a compromise agreement ahead of a key meeting last year of the International Whaling Commission, the body that regulates international whaling.

The American proposal would have forced Japan to reduce the number of whales that Japan killed each year in the Antarctic whale sanctuary in return for the legal right to hunt other whales off its own coasts. In addition, the US proposed to ratify laws that would "guarantee security in the seas" – a reference to acting against groups such as Sea Shepherd that have tried to physically stop whaling.

The US proposal was eventually shot down by Britain and the EU in June 2010, but the cables show that the Sea Shepherd group had become a political embarrassment to Japan after stopping its whaling fleet reaching its annual quota of whale killed for several years.

The group, led by Captain Paul Watson, a co-founder of Greenpeace, has a reputation for physically confronting whalers, sealers and illegal fishing boats. Its flotilla of ships, which sport the skull and crossbones flag, monitors illegal fishing in the Galapagos islands and spends months each year following and harassing the Japanese whaling fleet in frequently dangerous clashes.

Yesterday two Sea Shepherd ships, the Steve Irwin and the Gojira were involved in cat and mouse skirmishes with two whaling ships. Activists reportedly hurled stink bombs onto the deck as whalers tried to use water cannon.

The US cables show how on 2 November 2009, Shuji Yamada, Japan's vice-minister for international affairs, asked lead US negotiator Monica Medina about an investigation of the tax affairs of Sea Shepherd. It is unclear whether the US government had already launched an investigation or which country had proposed it.

"Yamada inquired about an investigation into the tax status of the US-based NGO Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and repeated Japan's request for the US to take action against the organisation, which he said created a very dangerous situation on the seas," says one cable.

The US government dodged this request but the cable continues: "The DCM replied that the US places the highest priority on the safety of vessels and human life at sea, and added that if any violations of US law are discovered, we will take appropriate enforcement action".

But the Japanese diplomats then responded, "It would be easier for Japan to make progress in the IWC negotiations if the US were to take action against the Sea Shepherd".

One week later, the Japanese pressed the US to take action against Sea Shepherd again, saying that "violent protests by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) could limit the government of Japan's flexibility in the negotiations".

It appears from the diplomatic chatter that the US did look into the NGO's status. In the same cable, Medina is reported as saying that the US government, "can demonstrate the group [Sea Shepherd] does not deserve tax exempt status based on their aggressive and harmful actions".

The cables then suggest that the US had itself proposed the tax investigation of Sea Shepherd, saying in the same cable on 9 November 2009: "the Netherlands should have primary responsibly for taking action against the SSCS, but he [the Japanese diplomat] appreciates the US government initiative to address the group's tax exempt status".

The US attempt to compromise with Japan failed at the IWC meeting in June after a majority of countries, led by Australia, the European Union, and the Latin American nations rejected it.

In a statement made yesterday from the Sea Shepherd flagship, Captain Watson said: "The US government may have very well looked into Sea Shepherd's activities and if they did so, then they obviously did not find any irregularities or unlawful activities because Sea Shepherd was never contacted by any US government official in connection with this matter. For Sea Shepherd, the most important part of this document is the declaration by Japan that Sea Shepherd has been responsible for the whaling fleet not reaching their quotas for the last few years. This completely validates Sea Shepherd's actions as effective." Guardian

WikiLeaks: Sea Shepherd, Anti-Whaling Group, Tax Exempt Status Revocation Discussed By U.S., Japan Officials

TOKYO — Japanese and American officials discussed taking action to weaken a prominent anti-whaling group, with Tokyo insisting that Sea Shepherd's confrontations on the high seas actually hurt efforts to reduce whaling, U.S. diplomatic cables show.

The U.S. representative to the International Whaling Commission, Monica Medina, discussed revoking the U.S.-based conservation group's tax exempt status during a meeting with senior officials from the Fisheries Agency of Japan in November 2009, according to the documents released by WikiLeaks on Monday.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's yearly protest campaigns – which chase Japan's whaling fleet in boats trying to disrupt the hunt by fouling fishing lines and throwing rancid butter at whalers – have drawn high-profile donors and volunteers, and spawned the popular Animal Planet series "Whale Wars." In Japan, the harrassment is seen by some as foreign interferance in national affairs, making politicians wary of getting involved.

Action against Sea Shepherd would be a "major element" in achieving success at international negotiations on the number of whales killed each year, the cables cite the director general of Japan's fisheries agency, Katsuhiro Machida, as saying.

Referring to Sea Shepherd, Medina said "she believes the USG (U.S. government) can demonstrate the group does not deserve tax exempt status based on their aggressive and harmful actions," according the cables.

Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd, said Japan has previously pressured foreign governments to take action against the group, such as revoking the registration of its ships. He said the organization had last been audited about two years ago, which is before the exchanges detailed in the cables.

"We have had our tax status since 1981, and we have done nothing different since then to cause the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) to change that," he told The Associated Press by telephone from his ship.

The diplomatic cables, posted on WikiLeaks' secret-sharing website early Monday but dated Jan. 1, show Japanese officials repeatedly told U.S. counterparts the group's actions were making whaling a political issue and hurting any chance of a compromise on the numbers of whales killed each year.

Sea Shepherd vessels are currently chasing Japan's whaling fleet in the Antarctic Ocean in the hopes of interrupting its hunt, which kills up to 1,000 whales annually and typically lasts from December to February.

Japan hunts whales under the research exemption to a 1986 worldwide ban on commercial hunts. Critics say there is no reason to kill the animals, and the research program amounts to commercial whaling in disguise because surplus meat from the hunt is sold domestically.

Protest ships harass the whaling fleet, and clashes between the sides often take place. On Saturday, Watson said that whalers had shot water cannons at anti-whaling activists nearby.

Last January, a Sea Shepherd boat was sunk after its bow was sheared off in a collision with a whaling vessel and a New Zealand protestor was later arrested after he boarded a Japanese whaling ship. He was taken to Tokyo and later deported.

The cables are dated before an International Whaling Commission meeting last year that was seen as a major chance to end a decades long stalemate. They show the U.S. worked with Japan in late 2009 to reach a deal on the issue, calling it an "irritant" in international relations.

The meeting ended without a major agreement.

"Action on the SSCS (Sea Shepherd Conservation Society) would be a major element for Japan in the success of the overall negotiations," a Japanese official said, according to one cable.

Watson said Monday that his group was against anything less than a complete stop to Japan's whaling program in Antarctica. The activists hope to block whaling activities for the Japanese fleet so it incurs deep financial losses.

"I don't think a solution is going to come through politics, it's going to come through economics," Watson told The Associated Press by telephone from his ship while pursuing the Japanese fleet. HuffPo

And I saw something else in that eye – it was pity and not for himself but for us – that we could kill so thoughtlessly and so mercilessly and I realized that the reason the Soviets were killing Sperm whales was for spermaceti oil used for lubricating machinery and one of the uses was in the construction on inter-continental ballistic missiles for the purpose of exterminating mass numbers of human beings and that is when it struck me that we, the human species are insane. So from that day on I have chosen to serve whalekind and the species in the sea – they are our clients – not people. An Interview With Paul Watson

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