The credibility of the US Coast Guard historically has caused suspicion on the part of many who follow the prosecution of many of the alleged "violations" prosecuted by theU.S. Government, and this same suspicion breaks the trust of those who uphold and abideby the laws of Marpol. Chalos further cites:"During the U.S. authorities investigation of a suspected Marpol violation,officers, crewmembers, and various shoreside employees may be contacted by theUS prosecution team, including but not limited to representatives of the U.S.Department of Justice, the Coast Guard, the FBI, the Environmental ProtectionAgency or other government agencies. It is imperative that all seafarer's andshoreside personnel involved in such a matter know their rights under U.S. law!"Additionally:"In the U.S every person has the right to representation by a lawyer. The mostbasic, yet essential, advice any lawyer can give to today's mariner is: seek theadvice of counsel as soon as practical, and always be truthful and forthright inyour dealings with the U.S. authorities. If U.S. authorities undertake any onboardinvestigation, which goes beyond the scope of the ordinary port state controlinspection, the Owner and/or its' P&I Club should be immediately contacted andadvised of the situation. Similarly, criminal counsel should be engagedimmediately to protect the rights of the vessel officers and crew, as well as her owner, operator and/or manager. All of the individual crewmembers shouldinvoke their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination until competentcounsel is engaged and present. In short, once a criminal investigation hascommenced and a mariner invokes his own Fifth Amendment privilege, he/she isnot required to speak with the U.S. authorities and/or respond to any of their questions, which may lead to self-incrimination. As a wise, old mariner once said:"The only fish that get caught are the ones with their mouth open." "Knowledge"is, indeed, "power," and today's mariner must be aware of his Fifth Amendmentprivileges when calling U.S. ports."
THAT IS CORRECT - THEY ARE NOT LEGALLY BOUND TO TESTIFY TOTHE U.S. COAST GUARD.
U.S. Law itself provides for this in the Fifth Amendment:"Legally speaking, the Fifth Amendment Privilege against self-incrimination isnot dependent upon the nature of the proceeding in which the testimony is sought.It is applicable wherever the answer might tend to subject one to criminalresponsibility and applies in both civil and criminal proceedings. Lowe's of Roanoke, Inc. vs. Jefferson Standard Life Ins. Co., 219 F. Supp. 181 (S.D.N.Y.,1963); McCarthy vs. Arndstein, 266 U.S. 34 (1924).1"When the United States and the Administration and leadership of our country finallydecide to begin treating the
BP Oil Disaster as a CRIMINAL CASE
, as it should have