I am thinking about Sister Megan Rice, an 84-year-old nun and two army veterans, Michael Walli, 65, and Greg Boertje-Obed, 58, all of them sitting behind prison bars for doing far less than the fraudsters and political thugs who took us into Iraq and killed and tortured so many. Sister Rice & Friends are in prison for daring to protest America’s long love affair with nuclear weapons, a dilemma which has drawn little or no media interest. Sister Megan received a 35-month sentence and the two men 62 months each.
So what was their crime? Cutting a hole in a barbed wire fence in one of Oak Ridge’s ultra-secret National Security sites on July 28, 2012, and then crossing over into prohibited ground, hammering on the Highly Enriched Uranium Material Facility and spray painting some “Biblical graffiti,” leaving behind Isaiah’s subversive aphorism about beating swords into plowshares.
You would think that the break-in at the highly secretive, presumably well-protected Y-12 National Security Complex at the Oak Ridge, Tennessee, nuclear facility, their subsequent federal trial in Knoxville, why they did it yet failed to convince the jury, let alone the American public, would merit some serious attention from the handful of remaining inquisitive American newspapers, or network TV’s evening “news.” But no one was murdered or even wounded by a hail of bullets from vigilant guards. No one was captured and beaten. No one resisted arrest. The trio did what they did, and surrendered, willing and eager to explain.
The NY Times’ William J. Broad did have a substantial piece, “The Nun Who Broke Into the Nuclear Sanctum” about Sister Megan Rice but that was back on August 12, 2012, after the break-in. The last time I’m aware of any interest on their part was October 31, 2012, when an article discussed the failure of the site’s security, where incredibly, no-one at the facility shouted, “Halt, who goes there?” at the trespassers. Since then, silence except for a tiny Reuters sidebar on Feb. 19, 2014 announcing their sentences – 35 months for Sister Megan Rice and 62 months for Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed.
Continue reading “Life in Our Scared National Security State”