“Our weapons dictate what we are to do. They force us into awful corners.
They give us our living, they sustain our economy, they bolster up our politicians,
they sell our mass media, in short we live by them.
But if they continue to rule us we will also most surely die by them.”
Thomas Merton, Cold
War Letters (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2006), p. 65.
On February 18, 2014, three nonviolent protesters against nuclear weapons,
Sr. Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Gregory Boertje-Obed, are scheduled to
be sentenced in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, Tennessee, for the
supposed crime of sabotage.
They risked their lives, but threatened no one else,
when they entered the free-fire zone of a supposedly top-security nuclear
weapons facility called Y-2 in Tennessee. They spray painted messages of
peace and exposed the lack of security.
Since the 1963
Limited Test Ban Treaty, the United States has been committed to “the
speediest possible achievement of an agreement on general and complete
The law and morality demand disarmament, but those
calling attention to the ongoing evil of nuclear weapons production and
maintenance stand convicted and face the risk of 30 years behind bars.
“Letters from a Georgia Jail: Anti-Nuclear Activists Await Sentencing,”
by David Cook, Religion & Politics, January 22, 2014
“We are truly human when we act responsibly to restore
harmony and act with love and compassion
to restore truth,
transparency and the equitable distribution of
the resources endowed by our common Creator.”
—Sister Megan Rice
“We were fulfilling our right and duty according to the US-signed
Nuremberg Charter that if one knows of one’s government committing a
war crime, one has a right and a duty to take steps to try to stop that
“In heaven Jesus has no arsenal of nuclear weapons. And as we pray
in the Our Father prayer:
‘Here on Earth as it is in
heaven.’ ... Nuclear weapons are a product of hell and we need to
send them back there.”
Fifty years ago President Kennedy gave the commencement
address to the graduating class at American University. In his book,
The Improbable Triumvirate: John F. Kennedy, Pope John, Nikita
Khrushchev, Saturday Review editor Norman Cousins summed
up the significance of that remarkable speech: “At American
University on June 10, 1963, President Kennedy proposed an end to the
Cold War.” Khrushchev called the American University Address
“the greatest speech by any American President since
Roosevelt.” This is the real jubilee of 2013, not 22 November.
handful of NSA documents,
Edward Snowden has
given us a glimpse of future U.S. global policy and the changing
architecture of power on this planet.”
AND must listen:
35 min. 7/24/13
McCoy I-view on Jeff Blankfort’s
on the World prog
broadcast quality production of same
But then it must be asked if we can remove cultural value from one
part of our lives without destroying it also in the other parts. Can
we justify secrecy, lying, and burglary in our so-called intelligence
organizations and yet preserve openness, honesty, and devotion to
principle in the rest of our government? Can we subsidize mayhem in
the military establishment and yet have peace, order, and respect
for human life in the streets? Can we degrade all forms of essential
work and yet expect arts and graces to flourish on weekends? And can
we ignore all questions of value on the farm and yet have them
answered affirmatively in the grocery store and the household?
answer is that, though such distinctions can be made theoretically,
they cannot be preserved in practice. Values may be corrupted or
abolished in only one discipline at the start, but the damage must
sooner or later spread to all; it can no more be confined than air
pollution. If we corrupt agriculture we corrupt culture, for in
nature and within certain invariable social necessities we are one
body, and what afflicts the hand will afflict the brain.
I’m just another guy who sits there, day to day, in the office, watches
what’s happening, and goes, “This is something that’s not
our place to decide. The public needs to decide whether these [surveillance]
programs and policies are right or wrong.” And I’m willing to go
on the record to defend the authenticity of them and say, “I didn’t
change these. I didn’t modify the story. This is the truth. This is
what’s happening. You should decide whether we need to be doing
Yeah, I could be, you know, rendered by the CIA. I could have people come after
me or any of their third-party partners.... And that’s a fear I’ll
live under for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be. You
can’t come forward against the world’s most powerful intelligence
agencies and be completely free from risk, because they’re such powerful
adversaries that no one can meaningfully oppose them. If they want to get you,
they’ll get you, in time.
We forget ... that violence is so securely founded among us—in war,
in forms of land use, in various methods of economic “growth” and
“development”—because it is immensely profitable. People
do not become wealthy by treating one another or the world kindly and with
respect. Do we not need to remember this? Do we have a single eminent
leader who would dare to remind us?