Thursday Morning: Conspiring for Justice

The prosecution called their last four witnesses this morning and continued to use their testimony to document the cost to the government of the Disarm Now Plowshares’ action.  The defense continued with their intensive, incisive, and prophetic questioning to get to the heart of their case.

Below are a few excerpts from the morning’s questioning.

* * *

Susan Crane cross-examining Jason Starks, who supervised the repair of SWFPAC’s fences

I was thinking, in Germany in World War II, there were concentration camps and fences around them, and there were people whose job it was to keep those fences in good repair.  I was wondering, if you were living in Germany at that time, how you would feel about taking care of fences like that?

Objection, argumentative, irrelevance.  Sustained.

And I think about the nuclear weapons within the bunkers inside the fences you’re taking care of. And they’re like flying ovens, they’re weapons of mass destruction ready, when put on trident submarines, to destroy whole cities – and I wonder how you feel about that?

Objection, argumentative, irrelevance.  Sustained.

No further questions.

* * *

Bill Bichsel cross-examining Dane Anderson, whose company is contracted to maintain SWFPAC’s fences

If you your company knew that the fences were protecting deadly assets or systems that could cause dangerous health conditions for the residents of this area, could cause plutonium risks, would you advise your company to continue contracting?

I… I don’t know how to answer that question. It’s not my job to develop business for my company.

But you do have a voice in how your company operates?

I do after they decide on contracts.

Has this come up, that we should take a look at what we’re putting fences around?


Knowing what you know now, would you encourage, or go along, or advise your company to do the fences that interned the Japanese during the Second World War? Would you advise your company to proceed with that kind of work?

Objection, irrelelvance, argumentative.

* * *

The government rested its case before the morning was over, and Anne had a chance to present her opening statement.  Her opening statement spoke eloquently of conspiring, of community, and of invitation.

“We are charged with conspiracy, which has legal definitions and requirements.  However, we will show that, according to the real meaning of the word, we ‘breathed together’ in prayer, reflection, and discernment in forming our intent to expose and symbolically disarm weapons of mass destruction housed in Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific.  Our purpose was that our action would be joined with the efforts of others to abolish war and to restore the billions of dollars poured into this facility to the basic human needs of the victims of war and our military budget.”

Anne invited the jury, invited all of us, to join in community to abolish nuclear weapons together.


2 Responses

  1. I have come here seeking guidance from these, our Mentors. They point a way to the paradise that would be ours should we choose to transcend our acceptance of this perfect solution, the so-called nuclear deterrence. In the meaning of the real, these mentors instruct us that such threat power is not a deterrence but a concentrated detour into nonexistence. If by their bodies the salvage is but a symbolic witness, still in advent hope I wait to be made clean from the soap that’s made of them. From the myth of redemptive violence, wash me, O Lord, and I shall be white as snow.

  2. I pray from afar that we will hear the voices of those who lay down their lives and call us all to stand against both the attitudes and weapons which are war making and death dealing. I thank God that there are humble prophets among us who courageously call us to create peace.

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