Friday, November 04, 2011

Drones on Trial: 38 Protesters Face Charges for Disrupting Syracuse Base Used in Overseas Attacks

Drones on Trial: 38 Protesters Face Charges for Disrupting Syracuse Base Used in Overseas Attacks
Democracy Now

The Wall Street Journal is reporting the CIA has made a series of secret concessions in its drone campaign after military and diplomatic officials complained large strikes were damaging the fragile U.S. relationship with Pakistan. Meanwhile, a trial is underway in Syracuse, New York, of 38 protesters arrested in April at the New York Air National Guard base at Hancock Field. The defendants were protesting the MQ-9 Reaper drones, which the 174th Fighter Wing of the Guard has remotely flown over Afghanistan from Syracuse since late 2009. "Citizens have a responsibility to take action when they see crimes being committed," said retired Col. Ann Wright, one of the 38 on trial. "And this goes back to World War II, when German government officials knew what other parts of the German government were doing in executing six million Jews in Germany and other places, and that they took no action. And yet—and they were held responsible later, through the Nuremberg trials. And that is the theory on which we are acting, that we see that our government is committing crimes by the use of these drones, and that we, as citizens, have the responsibility to act."

Col. Ann Wright (Ret.), one of the "Hancock 38 Drone Resisters" who protested the use of MQ-9 Reaper drones at the Air National Guard base at Hancock Field in Syracuse, New York, last April. Wright is a retired U.S. Army colonel and former U.S. diplomat who spent 29 years in the military and later served as a high-ranking diplomat in the State Department. In 2001, she helped oversee the reopening of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. In 2003, she resigned her State Department post to protest the war in Iraq.

Ed Kinane, one of the "Hancock 38 Drone Resisters" who protested the use of MQ-9 Reaper drones at the Air National Guard base at Hancock Field in Syracuse, New York, last April. He is a member of the Syracuse Peace Council.

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