Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Creech 14 Court Date Press Release - Judge delay's verdict for 4 months to study issues...

In addition to the press release below, the following two articles by

reporters in the courtroom are worth a read (and a comment or two, to

counter some of the more ignorant ones they receive). – Jim Haber


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For Immediate Release: Contact: Jim Haber 415-828-2506 (cell)

September 14, 2010 Kathy Kelly: 773-619-2418 (cell)


The “Creech 14” went to trial on September 14, 2010 in Clark County

Regional Court in Las Vegas, Nevada. The case originated during a week

of demonstrations and vigils in April 2009, when the activists entered

Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs to highlight the serious

injustice of the U.S. military’s use of drones, or Unmanned Aerial

Vehicles (UAVs) in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Crews at Creech control

the drones used in these expanding wars, including killing civilians

in remote controlled assassination attacks. The protesters were

charged with trespassing. Judge William Jansen scheduled the verdict

for January 27, 2011.


Judge Jansen allowed the pro-se defendants to call three expert

witnesses – former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, retired Col. and

former Embassy Official Ann Wright, and Bill Quigley, Legal Director

of the Center for Constitutional Rights.


“Targeted assassinations by Predator and Reaper drones,” said

defendant Renee Espeland, “must be catapulted into the court of public

opinion. I am bound by the law of our land that makes it my duty to

stop the killing of civilians and to protect U.S. soldiers being

ordered to perform illegal acts.”


The judge limited the defense to questions strictly pertaining to the

charge of trespass. However, through carefully crafted questions, the

defendants were able to extract several key points from their



- Intentional killing is a war crime, as embodied in U.S. constitutional law.


- Drone strikes by U.S. and coalition forces kill a disproportionate

number of civilians.


- People have the right, even the duty, to stop war crimes.


- According to the Nuremberg principles, individuals are required to

disobey domestic orders that cause crimes against humanity.


Defendant Brian Terrell delivered the group's closing statement.

Referring to earlier mention of a classic metaphor used in cases

invoking the necessity defense, he depicted a house on fire, with a

baby trapped inside. “The house is on fire; the baby is in the house,”

said Terrell, “We fourteen are ones who see the smoke, and will not

allow a ‘no trespass’ sign to stop us from reaching burning children.”

Terrell was speaking about the civilian deaths caused by U.S. drones

in Afghanistan.


The Creech 14 include Fr. John Dear, SJ; Dennis DuVall; Renee

Espeland; Judy Homanich; Kathy Kelly; Fr. Steve Kelly, SJ; Mariah

Klusmire; Brad Lyttle; Libby Pappalardo; Sr. Megan Rice, SHCJ; Brian

Terrell; Eve Tetaz; Fr. Louie Vitale, OFM; and Fr. Jerry Zawada, OFM.

Espeland, Fr. Kelly, Klusmire, Rice, Terrell, Vitale and Zawada all

live in or volunteer regularly with various Catholic Worker

communities around the country




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