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News and reports

September 15, 2006 | Page 11

WMD in the USA
By Bob Kosuth

DULUTH, Minn.--Hey, George Bush, are you still looking for weapons of mass destruction?

Forget about Iraq. Just head west from Duluth, Minn., on Highway 2, and go clear across the state until you get to Grand Forks, N.D. Keep heading west across North Dakota and you'll start getting into "WMD" territory. They are in some farm fields and pastures and they're not really that well hidden.

Three Minnesotans recently made the trip. Seventy-two-year-old Catholic priest Carl Kabat, 51-year-old husband, father and ex-military officer Greg Boertje-Obed and 57-year-old Vietnam veteran Michael Walli traveled across the state to a Minuteman III missile silo located near Garrison, N.D.

On June 21, when they got to the silo, they appropriately got dressed up as court jesters. They painted "It's a sin to build a nuclear weapon" on the face of the silo cover, hammered on it and poured their own blood on it.

A Minuteman III can travel 6,000 miles in 35 minutes and level everything in a 50-mile radius wherever it hits. There's no doubt that it qualifies as a weapon of mass destruction.

Their thought was that a group of three court jesters might be able to call attention to U.S. hypocrisy on WMDs and survive. Unfortunately, Federal District Court Judge Daniel Hovland failed to appreciate this ironic humor.

Indeed, he added his own particular terror to the existing state terror of these weapons by opening the way for the three to be tried before a federal jury. The men are currently being held without bond in the Burleigh County Detention Center on charges of "destruction of government property." If convicted, they could face 10 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 each.

In a September 5 order refusing to dismiss the case, Hovland wrote that, "the laws of the United States do not support the theory that an individual has a right or a responsibility to correct a perceived violation of international law/humanitarian law/tribal law/religious law by willfully destroying government property."

Thus, the defendants have had to change their jester outfits for jailhouse jumpsuits as they await trial set for September 13 in Bismarck.

Letters of support for Carl Kabat, Greg Beortje-Obed and Michael Walli, can be sent in care of Hannah House, 1705 Jefferson St., Duluth, MN 55812.

Oppose the U.S.-Israel war on Lebanon
By Katrina Storey

BERKELEY, Calif.--On September 7, 400 people turned out for an antiwar teach-in at the University of California (UC) Berkeley. The teach-in was titled "Questioning the 'New Middle East': War and Resistance in Lebanon," and focused on the recent war by Israel against Lebanon, which killed hundreds and drove a quarter of Lebanese civilians from their homes.

Speakers included a number of UC Berkeley professors, including Judith Butler, Beshara Doumani, Charles Hirschkind and Saba Mahmood, along with Zeina Zaatari, of the Global Fund for Women. More than 100 people had to be turned away due to lack of space.

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