-- For Immediate ReleaseTuesday June 20, 2006
*WMD Found in North Dakota: Disarmament Begins*A Roman Catholic Priest and two Veterans went to a Minuteman III silothis morning and began to disarm the nuclear weapon using hammers.Reverend Carl Kabat, OMI, Gregory Boertje-Obed, and Michael Wallientered the E-9 missile silo on the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation inNorth Dakota about 75 miles southwest of Minot. Using a sledgehammer andhousehold hammers, they disabled the lock on the personnel entry hatchthat provides access to the warhead and they hammered on the silo lidthat covers the 300 kiloton nuclear warhead that is targeted and readyto launch.
The activists painted DISARM on the face of the 110-tonhardened silo cover and the peace activists poured their blood on themissile lid.They were detained and arrested by McLean County Sheriffs and are beingheld in the McLean County jail in Washburn, North Dakota. The three havebeen charged with county Criminal Trespass and Criminal Mischief.
Speaking from jail, Greg Boertje-Obed, from Duluth, Minnesota, explained, Carl Kabat, OMI from St. Louis, Missouri added, "We now prepare for the nuclear bombing of Iran with the reasoning that only weapons of mass destruction can stop weapons of mass destruction. We bombed and strafed in Iraq based on lies that the Iraqis possessed nuclear weapons. Wehave the weapons here.The Minuteman III missile is targeted and on alert for launch. Themissile is armed with a warhead that carries 27 times the heat, blastand radiation of the bomb dropped by the U.S. on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.The activists say that they are following the nonviolent Jesus, thatthey are taught by their faith to love their enemies, and that the moneyused for these weapons of mass destruction is a theft from the poor andshould be used for food, housing, medical care and rebuilding theinfrastructure of our country."
ATTACHED: Statement, Fact Sheet and Biographies. For press updates, moreinformation and images, go to www.jonahhouse.org
Nuclear Weapon Here Plowshares
Please pardon the fracture of the good order. When we were children wethought as children and spoke as children. But now we are adults andthere comes a time when we must speak out and say that the good order isnot so good, and never really was. We know that throughout history therehave been innumerable war crimes. Two of the most terrible war crimesoccurred on August 6th and 9th, 1945. On August 6th, 1945, the UnitedStates dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Japan, killingmore than 100,000 people (including U.S. prisoners of war). Three dayslater the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki, Japan,killing more than 50,000 people. Use of these weapons of mass destructionon civilian populations were abominable crimes against humanity. The U.S. has never repented of these atrocities. On the contrary, theU.S. has deepened and expanded its commitment to nuclear weapons. TheU.S. built a large nuclear-industrial complex which has caused the deathsof many workers and has resulted in killing many more people by nucleartesting. Our country built thousands of nuclear weapons and has dispersedweapons-grade uranium to 43 nations. Each Minuteman III missile carries abomb that is 27 times more powerful than those dropped on the Japanesepeople. The building of these weapons signifies that our hearts haveassented to mass murder. Currently the U.S. is seeking to research a newclass of smaller nuclear weapons demonstrating its desire to find newuses for weapons of mass destruction. The U.S. is rushing down the path that leads to more death anddestruction, ultimately bringing this nation and other nations to ruin.Therefore we issue a call for national repentance. We make an urgentappeal to the people of the U.S. to change course to place our securityin God and not in weapons of mass destruction.We have chosen to start the process of transformation and disarmament byhammering on and pouring our blood on components of the Minuteman IIInuclear missile system. We believe that the concrete that goes into makingmissile silos would be better used for building homes. We know that totaldisarmament of our first-strike system of nuclear weapons will requirenational repentance with a change in the hearts and minds of the people ofthe U.S. The pouring of our blood is meant to make visible the bloodshedresulting from the production, testing, and use of nuclear weapons. Webelieve the message in the Bible that after Cain killed his brother Abelthat Abels blood cried out from the ground. We hear our sisters andbrothers blood crying out from the ground. We believe that God hearsthese cries and grieves deeply over every person whose blood is shed.We call ourselves the Weapon of Mass Destruction Here Plowshares tohighlight that our nation has thousands of horrific weapons of massdestruction. U.S. leaders speak about the dangers of other nationsacquiring nuclear weapons, but they fail to act in accordance with theNuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which commits the U.S. to take steps todisarm its weapons of mass destruction. We act in order to bring attentionto peoples responsibility for disarming weapons of state terrorism. Wecan begin the process of exposing U.S. weapons of mass destruction, namingthem as abominations that cause desolation, and transforming them toobjects that promote life.We dress as clowns to show that humor and laughter are key elements in thestruggle to transform the structures of destruction and death. Saint Paulsaid that we are fools for Gods sake, and we say that we are fools forGod and humanity. Clowns as court jesters were sometimes the only onesable to survive after speaking truth to authorities in power. Is there hope for the world? Yes if people begin to live the truth now.We believe that Jesus reveals who God is, and that God is a God of loveand nonviolence, teaching us to love all people, even our enemies.Furthermore, the prophets Isaiah and Micah prophesy that there will comea time when people will learn the ways of God and They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. By our plowshares/pruning hooks action we have tried to make visibleGods will for disarmament and peacemaking. By living this truth we hopeto shorten this murderous age closing the gap between the future hopefor universal peace and our present reality of endless violence andwar-making. We begin to bring hope into the present moment.Carl Kabat, OMI Greg Boertje Michael Walli
June 20, 2006
WMD Here Plowshares
Greg Boertje-Obed51; from Duluth, Minnesota; member of Loaves and FishesCatholic Worker and Veterans for Peace; former U.S. Army officer;participant in previous plowshares actions which disarmed Trident IInuclear missile tubes in Rhode Island, combat helicopters andnuclear-capable war planes in Pennsylvania, and a Tomahawk nuclear-capablemissile launcher and missile tubes in Virginia; married to MicheleNaar-Obed; father of Rachel Obed,--11 years old.I believe Jesus led us to do this witness based on his teachings ofintervening for the sake of the poor. These weapons are killing us andthe poor today. I believe this plowshares action is a natural extensionof our Catholic Worker mission which is hospitality, providing for theneeds of the poor, and defending the poor.
Carl Kabat, OMI72; from St. Louis, Missouri; 47 years a Roman Catholicpriest; worked as a missionary in the Philippines and Brazil; participatedin the first plowshares/pruning hooks action in 1980 and the first SiloPruning Hooks action in 1984 and other plowshares actions; served about 16years in jails and prisons.We are fools and clowns for God and humanitys sake. Over 2,500 Americansoldiers have died because of nuclear weapons in the past several years inIraq.
I remember Eisenhower who said that every weapon that is made is atheft from the poor
. The only condemnation of Vatican II was that nuclearweapons are a crime against humanity and are to be condemnedunreservedly. Carl Kabat, OMI
Michael R. Walli57; Vietnam veteran; Roman Catholic; currently residingin Duluth, MinnesotaIve been influenced by the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, andthe teachings of the late Pope John Paul II to oppose the culture ofdeath, and this plowshares action seems to me to be a suitable way ofacting on these teachings. Michael Walli
MINUTEMAN III Fact SheetA Minuteman III is a first strike Intercontinental Ballistic Missile(ICBM) nuclear weapon. The current U.S. ICBM force consists of 500Minuteman III's located in three missile fields: F.E. Warren Air ForceBase with 150 missiles covering the corner of Colorado, Nebraska andWyoming; Malmstrom AFB in Montana with 200 ICBMs; and Minot AFB in NorthDakota with 150 missiles. These warheads can be launched from a MinutemanIII missile silo within minutes and reach any destination within 35minutes. A nuclear bomb launched from a Minuteman silo producesuncontrollable radiation, massive heat and a blast capable of vaporizingand leveling everything within a 50-mile radius. Outside the 50 squaremiles -- extending into hundreds of miles -- the blast, wide-spread heat,firestorms and neutron and gamma rays are intended to kill, severely woundand poison every living thing and causing long-term damage to theenvironment. A Minuteman warhead has the potential to destroy the geneticcode of the human race. Current warheads carry 27 times more power thanthe U.S. nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima August 6, 1945.The Minuteman III is currently undergoing upgrades to extend its 2020service limit. Minuteman III is the sole ICBM deployed by the UnitedStates. Each Mark 12 or Mark 12-A warhead in a Minuteman III silo cantravel more than 6,000 miles at 15,000 miles per hour.At one point the U.S. had 1,000 land-based ICBMs at a cost to taxpayers of$7 million each. Minuteman IIIs are in transition from having 3independently targeted warheads to carrying one.The Minuteman missiles are dispersed in hardened silos and connected to anunderground launch control center through a system of hardened cables.Launch crews, consisting of two officers, perform around-the-clock alertin the launch control center. A variety of communication systems providethe National Command Authorities with virtually instantaneous directcontact with each launch crew. Should command capability be lost betweenthe launch control center and remote missile launch facilities, anairborne launch control center dubbed looking glass automaticallyassumes command and control of the missiles.The Minuteman III system is undergoing upgrades to: replace an agingguidance system; increase payloads; remanufacture the solid-fuel rocketmotors; replace standby power system; repair launch facilities; improvecommunication; enhance accuracy; and improve survivability in a nuclearwar.In January 2002 Nuclear Posture Review, issued by the Bush administration,threatens the use of nuclear weapons to deter any attack by chemical orbiological as well as nuclear weapons by any non-nuclear state or entitywithin or sponsored by the axis of evil. We now prepare for nuclearbombing of Iran with the reasoning that only weapons of mass destructioncan stop weapons of mass destruction.By any standard of proof, the threat or use of the Minuteman IIIconstitutes crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanityor genocide.Don't forget to visit our website www.jonahhouse.org