Steve Sachs Duke


Friday, June 06, 2003


More on France, part II: A friend (and proud New Zealander!) writes in to add to the
laundry list

Just a quick note on bad French things--it's not just about providing weapons! This one is dear to my heart....

In 1985, the French committed state-sponsored terrorism in New Zealand. French ''Security Services'' blew up Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior, which was on a peaceful anti-nuke voyage to French territorial waters. The Rainbow Warrior had 12 people on it--one died, the rest escaped.

The French repeatedly denied having anything to do with the murder. However, after a massive investigation, two French spies pleaded guilty, the French Defence Minister resigned, and Prime Minister Laurent Fabius finally admitted they had ordered the attack.

Both spies were deported to Hao, a tropical island. But after just two years one of them, Alain Mafart, returned to Paris because of ''stomach pains'' and never came back. In 1993 he was promoted to colonel.

The other, Dominique Prieur, returned to France a year later... because she was pregnant. She never went back either--instead, she was promoted to Commandant.

Here's a general link. And another: Where are they now?

Check out her new New Zealand blog at

A philosophical footnote: another New Zealander, political theorist Jeremy Waldron, alleges that French officials may have urged their agents to perjure themselves in New Zealand courts, and generally "conspired to undermine the operation of the criminal justice system in New Zealand." In fact, he makes the incident a centerpiece of his essay on political obligation, illustrating the obligations that individuals might have to respect the just institutions of governments other than their own. (See "Special Ties and Natural Duties," Philosophy & Public Affairs 22 (Winter 1993), pp. 3-30.)




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