FBI - British Foreign Office - Department of State Files
408 pages of FBI and British Foreign and Commonwealth Office files, covering Greenpeace and the Rainbow Warrior incident.
In 1970, a group of Canadian and American environmentalists formed the "Don't Make A Wave Committee." They unsuccessfully sought to prevent a nuclear test under the Alaskan island of Amchitka. This lead to the formation of Greenpeace, an international environmental organization founded in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1971. Greenpeace describes itself as "an independent, campaigning organization which uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions for a green and peaceful future."
Greenpeace was known for its use of publicity campaigns and acts of civil disobedience to stop atmospheric and underground nuclear testing. Greenpeace also sought an end to high seas whaling and U.S. offshore oil drilling. Greenpeace in later years focused on other environmental issues, such as bottom trawling, global warming, ancient forest destruction, and genetic engineering. Greenpeace has national and regional offices in 45 countries, all of which have affiliation with the Amsterdam-based Greenpeace International. The global organization receives its income through the individual contributions of an estimated 2.8 million financial supporters, as well as from grants from charitable foundations.
In 1978 Greenpeace paid £40,000 for a 33 year old, 40-metre fishing trawler named the Sir William Hardy. This ship was refitted and renamed the Rainbow Warrior. The ship was used to interfere with the Icelandic whaling fleet, the dumping at sea of toxic and radioactive waste, and various fishing practices. In 1985, the Rainbow Warrior traveled to the vicinity of Moruroa atoll, the site of French nuclear testing. Just before midnight on July 10, 1985, two explosions rocked the Auckland, New Zealand harbor, sinking the Rainbow Warrior. Underwater charges had been placed by frogmen on the Rainbow Warrior's hull, blowing two holes in the ship. The Rainbow Warrior sank almost immediately. All the crew managed to escape, except for a Dutch photographer, Fernando Pereira, who drowned.
On the night of the explosions members of an Auckland boating club saw a man wearing scuba diving gear in an inflatable dinghy, come ashore and tie-up the dinghy, then drive away in a van. The club members were suspicious and took note of the registration number of the vehicle. The police were able to trace the van through a rental firm to a Swiss couple using the name "Turenge". Within 30 hours of the bombing the "Turenges" were interviewed by the police, and then charged. In the meantime, forestry workers had reported a suspicious meeting between occupants of a van and a station wagon, which was later linked to a charter yacht, the Ouvea. Warrants were issued for the crew of the yacht Ouvea, which had been used to bring the explosives and other equipment into New Zealand, but no trace of the yacht or crew could be found.
A month after the bombing, it was revealed that the "Turenges" were Dominique Prieur and Alain Mafart, agents of the French Secret Service, the Direction Generale de la Securité Exterieure (DSGE). New Zealand Police later discovered that up to 11 French agents had entered New Zealand as part of the Rainbow Warrior operation. A French report came out admitting that French agents had been in New Zealand, but denied they had carried out the bombing.
Following a further round of official denials, Monsieur Hernu, the Defence Minister resigned and on September 22, Prime Minister Laurent Fabius admitted that French agents had been responsible. French
President François Mitterrand claimed that because they were members of the military and had acted under orders, they could not be held responsible for their actions. On 4 November, 1985, Mafart and Prieur
appeared in an Auckland court, where they pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter and willful damage and were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
Pressure was put on New Zealand by the French government, including threats to impose sanctions against New Zealand produce. The United Nations Secretary-General agreed to mediate between the two countries, and decided that Mafart and Prieur should be removed to Hao Atoll in French Polynesia, to stay there for the next three years. France was to apologize to New Zealand and pay NZ$13 million in compensation. After renewed pressure from France, including threats to work against New Zealand trade access to the European Economic Community, the two agents left Hao Atoll before the three years was up, and returned to France.
The Rainbow Warrior was refloated, but could not be repaired. It was towed from Auckland and scuttled near the Cavalli Islands, off the Northland New Zealand coast, to become an artificial reef for marine life.
120 pages of FBI files. Files contain approximately 97 pages of narrative files, dating from 1980 to 2002.
Files contain: Memos concerning a 1980 Greenpeace demonstration in front the White House, in which a 55 gallon drum was left on the sidewalk in front of the White House, reported as containing radioactive sand known as uranium tailings. A United States Army Explosive Ordinance detachment and a Nuclear Emergency Search Team were deployed to investigate the barrel's contents. Memos on surveillance of Greenpeace plans for the Rainbow Warrior in 1983, including action against Japanese gill net usage and Soviet whaling. A teletype concerning a Greenpeace mock attack on the Zion Nuclear Station at Zion, Illinois. Memos from 2001 concerning the possibility of Greenpeace interfering with National Missile Defense Initiative tests.
UNITED KINGDOM FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE
210 pages of Foreign and Commonwealth Office files dating from 1985.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, more commonly known as the Foreign Office or the FCO, is the United Kingdom government department responsible for promoting the interests of the United Kingdom abroad. The files show the relationship between Britain and France after the sinking. Files show the British diplomatic role in negotiations between France and New Zealand after the Rainbow Warrior incident. Correspondences convey concern by the British government of press accounts that French officials were commenting on possible British involvement in the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE FILES
78 pages of Department of State Files. Seven Department of State documents containing some mention of Greenpeace.
An August 22, 1973 State Department telegram concerning Canadian protest over the French seizure of a Greenpeace vessel. An October 3, 1973 world press briefing, that includes the government of New Zealand's protest over the French seizure of the ant-nuclear protest ship the Greenpeace III. Two May 28, 1974 telegrams mentioning the appearance of a Greenpeace official at an anti-whaling project press conference. A June 10, 1974 State Department telegram concerning French nuclear tests at Mururoa. World Press summaries from September 18, 1985. Includes a summary of current press reporting on the Rainbow Warrior incident. An April 1994 memorandum sent by the United States ambassador to Brazil, to the State Department, concerning the troubled construction of the Angra II nuclear power plant in Brazil. Mention is made of Greenpeace's interest in Angra II. A transcript of the November 15, 1995 testimony by and questions and answers of Thomas E. McNamara, Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, before the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, concerning nuclear issues in the South Pacific. Mention is made of Greenpeace and problems with the nuclear testing at Mururoa Atoll.
The disc contains a text transcript of all recognizable text embedded into the graphic image of each page of each document, creating a searchable finding aid. Text searches can be done across all files on the disc.