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Guitar Doc

French Terrorism

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France has committed government sanctioned Terrorism in the past and never been held accountable for it internationally.


In 1985 the French government ordered a Green Peace ship The Rainbow Warrior to be Bombed while in New Zealand at port. One person was killed and the ship was wrecked.

The resulting uproar sparked NZ's anti Nuclear policy which bars all US armed Warships from NZ ports. (all Nuclear armed warship bu the USA has a policy of neither confirming or denying their vessels are nuclear armed) NZ's defence ally the USA knew of the operation (through intelligence gathering operations ) but refused to warn the NZ government as they tacitly backed the Bombing of the Green Peace vessel.


The Rainbow Warrior, then captained by Peter Willcox, was sabotaged and sunk just before midnight NZST on 10 July 1985, by two explosive devices attached to the hull by operatives of the French intelligence service (DGSE). One of the twelve people on board, photographer Fernando Pereira, returned to the ship after the first explosion to attempt to retrieve his equipment, and was killed when the ship was sunk by the second, larger explosion.

A murder enquiry began and two French agents were tracked and arrested. The revelations of French involvement caused a political scandal and the French Minister of Defence Charles Hernu resigned. The captured French agents were imprisoned, but later transferred to French custody. They were confined to the French military base on the Island of Hao for a brief period before being released. After facing international pressure, France agreed to pay compensation to Greenpeace, and later admissions from the former head of the DGSE revealed that three teams had carried out the bombings. In addition to those successfully prosecuted, a two-man team had carried out the actual bombing, but their identities have never been officially confirmed.[4] On 22 September 1985, the French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius summoned journalists to his office to read a 200-word statement in which he said: "The truth is cruel," and acknowledged there had been a cover-up, he went on to say that "Agents of the French secret service sank this boat. They were acting on orders.


While I don't endorse the loss of life in France I do find it remarkable their aggressive stance on Terrorism when they refused to prosecute their own President for Terrorism himself. When the War on Terror was declared in the USA I did think perhaps some justice would finally come, but it never has and François Mitterrand died in 1996 and can never be held to account for what he authorised.


To date the only act of Terrorism conducted in NZ was that of a National Government and one which proclaims Liberty, Equality and Freedom as part of their national identity.

While I do have sympathy for the people who have died and their families I find it hard to have sympathy for the French nation as they had previously declined to bring to justice their own government over Terrorism and send a message to the world that they do stand by their proclaimed ethics.

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