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In 1985, the Rainbow Warrior, a vessel operated by Greenpeace, was blown up in Auckland harbor. It had been sent there to protest French nuclear testing in the Pacific. It subsequently emerged that the bombing—which killed a photographer on board—was a French government operation. The man who ran it, according to French press accounts, was Louis-Pierre Dillais, a lieutenant-colonel in the General Directorate for External Security.
Today Dillais is a senior executive at FNH USA (Motto: “The place where legends are made.”), a McLean, Virginia-based subsidiary of a Belgian arms maker. FNH USA, it turns out, has contracts to supply weapons to a number of American government agencies, including the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI.
In Eyes of Fire: The Last Voyage of the Rainbow Warrior, David Robie reports that in early July 1985 Dillais checked into the Hyatt Kingsgate Hotel which overlooked Auckland Harbor. He checked out on July 10, the day of the bombing, and left New Zealand two weeks later. By Robie’s account, Dillais drove the inflatable craft that delivered the two bombers to their deployment spot in the harbor.
The New Zealand authorities issued a warrant for the arrest of Dillais but he was never detained (only two of the conspirators, Alain Mafart and Dominique Prieur, in the bombing were ever convicted.) Dillais was reportedly protected due to his high-level political connections.
In the years following the bombing, Dillais turned up in news stories as the head of an espionage unit that worked directly for the French defense ministry. According to a 1996 account in the Times of London, was suspected of diverting cash from Saudi arms sales to presidential candidate Edouard Balladur. It’s not clear when he arrived in McLean, but two years ago a documentary film crew from New Zealand’s TVNZ tracked him down there and asked him about Rainbow Warrior incident. “”I’m sorry for the loss of life,” he reportedly said. “It was an unfortunate accident. I’m sorry for the family, but what can you do?”
A search at FedSpending.org shows that FN Herstal, the Belgian parent company, received $8.6 million in U.S. federal contracts in 2005, the last year for which data is available. FNH USA received $118,000 in contracts that same year.
Last September, Greenpeace send a letter to the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, Julie Myers, and asked that Dillais be deported due to his role in Rainbow Warrior’s bombing. Thomas Wetterer, Greenpeace’s general counsel, noted that FNH USA had been awarded a contract the year prior to provide combat rifles to the Special Operations Command. “The press release announcing the contract points out that. ‘The United States Special Operations Command plans, directs, and executes special operations in the conduct of the War on Terrorism’,” he wrote. The irony of this could hardly be clearer.”
On 9 Nov 2006, Greenpeace received a reply stating that the request had been forwarded to the DHS Office of Investigations and to the FBI for “appropriate action.” Since then, there’s been no further word about whether an investigation has formally been launched. “The Bush Administration should be setting a much higher standard for the people they’re doing business with,” Mark Floegel, a Greenpeace investigator, told me. “They shouldn’t be buying arms from state-sponsored terrorists.”
I left a message for Dillais at his office at FNH USA. He failed to return my request for comment.
Deportation Sought by Greenpeace
More from Ken Silverstein:
Commentary — November 17, 2015, 6:41 pm
The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.
Flor Arely Sánchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San Julián region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases — first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.
Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didn’t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.
Average amount of time a child spends in Santa Claus’s lap at Macy’s (in seconds):
Beer does not cause beer bellies.
Following the arrest of at least 10 clowns in Kentucky and Alabama, Tennesseans were warned that clowns could be “predators” and Pennsylvanians were advised not to interact with what one police chief described as “knuckleheads with clown-like clothes on.”
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”