When Paul ventured to Iceland in 1988, offering himself up for trial, the State was suddenly keen to dismiss the matter and simply deported the defiant Ahab as quickly as possible. Yet he admitted to and took full responsibility for the sabotage in front of a prosecutor. Watson left Iceland laughing his silly marine-pants off. What’s worse: the bastard wrote a book in which Icelanders are perhaps accurately portrayed as slow-witted, timid and gullible.
Slaughter on the High Seas?
His book: Ocean Warrior: My Battle to End the Illegal Slaughter on the High Seas, describes how Watson was interrogated in Iceland. He was asked if he himself was the perpetrator; the active agent involved in the attack? “No,” he responded, “but I am responsible for all activities undertaken in the name of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. I give the orders.” The prosecutor then asked him, “Did you give the orders to sink the ships?” and the suspect confessed, “I did.” As if all this wasn’t enough, Watson claims to have threatened the prosecutor that “we intend to sink the two other ships at the first opportunity.” Yet nothing was done; the State’s major action against the leader of an organization that had declared itself at war with Iceland seems to have been trying to serve him whale meat in the cafeteria of a “most comfortable jail”, in which he was being held for questioning.
Mr. Ocean Warrior
What’s more, once Mr. Ocean Warrior (starving for media attention) had verified that Iceland did not intend to prosecute him, he offered to call on the ones who did in fact do the dirty work and have them come over to face trial. Motion denied. The prosecutor’s attitude being something like, “No, Mr Watson, you don’t tell us what to do; just get the hell out of the country and don’t come back for at least five years, please.” Justice served.
The government of Iceland didn’t dare prosecute, for it would have brought international media attention to whaling, an unpopular industry at the time. This would have hurt the nation’s fish exports. Soon after Watson’s visit, Iceland admitted defeat and abandoned whale hunting. But when it came to invading Afghanistan and destroying Iraq, the government was steadfast, loyal and true. That does not appear to be the case on home ground.