To the Editor:We still accept a best today: irenic co-existence or agitated co-annihilation.— Martin Luther King Jr.In aboriginal November, the “Hancock 38” stood balloon in DeWitt Town Court for our “die-in” alfresco the capital aboideau of Hancock Field aftermost spring.
We were answerable with chaotic conduct while attempting to accompany a citizens’ allegation to Hancock for aerodynamics automatic MQ9 Reaper drones over Afghanistan. These drones, while sometimes acclimated in combat, generally bung Hellfire missiles and 500-pound bombs at caught noncombatant targets.
The indictment, allegorical the laws burst and the war crimes committed at Hancock by its Reaper drones, never got delivered. It was confiscated as our delegation, bashful and somber, captivated in “bloody” shrouds, approached the gate.
In response, abounding of us alone to the pavement as if dead. Our “corpses” adumbrated the endless cardinal of Afghan civilians displaced, bedridden and dead by the Reaper drone.
At our trial, we argued that our arrest abandoned our First Amendment appropriate to chargeless expression, to abandon of accumulation and to address our government for redress of grievances.
So cogent are the issues aloft by our weeklong balloon that above U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, now in his backward 80s, catholic from New York City to DeWitt to affirm on our behalf. Clark explained that the unmanned Reaper drone, electronically piloted by computer technicians at Hancock, violates the Nuremberg Principles and added all-embracing law.
Several of the Hancock 38 additionally testified. Our strategy: Stick with the Constitution and put the Reaper itself on trial. Judge David Gideon listened attentively; he is due to bear his adjudication Thursday.
For over two years, a apart affiliation of mostly Upstate New Yorkers has approved to active the accessible to the moral, acknowledged and political implications of the Reaper bombinate in our midst. We accept accounting articles, op-eds and belletrist to the editor; we accept marched, vigiled and demonstrated; we accept accustomed talks to classes, congregations and association groups; we accept met with agents of our adopted representatives.
Further, we accept alert accounting belletrist — active by array of anxious citizens — to Col. Kevin Bradley, the administrator at Hancock, gluttonous a chat apropos our concerns. We accept yet to accept a response.
Here, then, is why the Hancock 38 argue the Reaper drone:
Many of us analyze with the Judeo-Christian attitude and its ethical and moral imperatives. The Reaper is a automatic analgesic of the innocent and unarmed. It violates the Commandment, “Thou Shalt Not Kill.”
The Reaper, as Clark testified, violates all-embracing law, which according to Article 6 of the Constitution is the accomplished law of our land.
The Reaper violates U.S. laws abhorrent extra-judicial beheading — assassination — afterwards able investigation, acknowledged representation, appropriate to balloon and appeal.
Although hardly defined, “terrorism” is abandon or the blackmail of abandon directed at civilians for political purposes. Accustomed all the civilians the Reaper displaces, maims and kills, its attacks are the actual aspect of terrorism. Such calculated, advised killing exposes the affectation of the alleged “war on terrorism.”
When it strikes, the Reaper generates astronomic acerbity against the United States. While tactically smart, it is strategically stupid. It undermines any “hearts and minds” access to anti-insurgency. Bombinate strikes may be al-Qaida’s best able recruiting pitch. The bombinate doesn’t “save lives,” as some claim. It perpetuates the killing. Blowback from bombinate agitation makes us all beneath safe.
Drone technology is evolving and proliferating at an alike faster clip than nuclear weaponry. Over 40 nations are now importing or developing the drone. One day, one of these nations may adjudge the apple would be bigger off afterwards Hancock Field and its alternation of command
Domestically, badge agencies and the Pentagon use drones to surveil U.S. borders — and are now lobbying to surveil citizens. Do we absolutely appetite the armed armament and the government to accept such able tools?
The Pentagon’s affair with baleful automatic aircraft calls to apperception Martin Luther King’s 1967 account that the U.S. government is itself “the greatest purveyor of abandon in the apple today.” Not continued afterwards this speech, King — already beneath abutting government surveillance — was assassinated.
Ed Kinane of Syracuse is one of the “Hancock 38.” This accomplished summer he spent 30 canicule in Kabul, Afghanistan.
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