Why are some men heros and others, like myself, not? This was brought home to me when I read this report of three brave men getting jailed for protesting the presence of 150 nuclear tipped missles under the farmland of North Dakota:
Three men protesting the presence of weapons of mass destruction in North Dakota were sentenced to federal prison terms of over three years and ordered to pay $17,000 in restitution by a federal judge in Bismarck. The three dressed as clowns and went to the Echo-9 launch site of the intercontinental Minuteman III nuclear missile in rural North Dakota in June 2006. They broke the lock off the fence and put up peace banners and posters. One said: "Swords into plowshares - Spears into pruning hooks." They poured some of their own blood on the site, hammered on the nuclear launching facility and waited to be arrested.One was a priest and it reminds me of those other protests so long ago led by Phillip and Daniel Berrigan.
During their trial, the men openly admitted to trying to disarm the nuclear weapon. They pointed out to the jury that each one of these missiles was a devastating weapon of mass destruction, a killing machine precisely designed to murder hundreds of thousands. Testimony by experts about the illegality of these weapons of mass destruction under international law, and their effects, were excluded by the court and never heard by the jury. (emphasis added)
The judge challenged Greg Boertje-Obed's (one of the protestors, DrC) decision to take actions that risked a year in prison instead of staying home with his family. "Why would one leave a wife and daughter at home to engage in juvenile acts of vandalism to protest nuclear weapons? I would think your commitment to your family should far outweigh your calling to such actions." Greg's wife, Michelle Naar Obed, was in the courtroom during this exchange. After the sentencing was over, Michelle shook her head and said, "If Greg had left us his for a year and risked his life to go to war to kill people, no one would question him - they would call him a hero! But, because he risked time in jail to act out his convictions for peace, people question his commitment to his family. That is a tragedy."
This also segues into the post below about the rule of law (Who does this man speak for?), and Digby's post yesterday about the rising of the ghoul Edwin Meese.
To use the vernacular, we be in for hard times.
TPM Muckrater points us to the following report:
In an unexpected move, a judge granted a request Thursday from David Safavian, the former head of the Office of Management and Budget's procurement policy shop, for a stay of his prison sentence, pending an appeal of his June conviction of obstructing justice and making false statements.So, if you protest for peace against the most horrendous weapons that mankind has ever known (far more deadly than flying an airplane into a skyscraper) then you go to jail. If you are in the White House and commit a crime, you go free. We might as well not have Courts and Justices anymore, what a farce.