The Pitstop Ploughshares have never had an easy ride with the mainstream media. From the lies broadcast about the nonexistant assault on the Garda in the hangar. To the oft reported fabrication that the Irish taxpayer was picking up the "US2.5 million for repairs to the warplane. The powerful defense testimony was largely censored form the Irish media. Now the battle of the myths rages post-trial Alos a frightening repsonse form the White House to the jury's acquittal in Dublin.
Three articles appear in today's "Sunday Independent" (July 30th. 2006) in reference to the acquittal of the Pitstop Ploughshares. One is entitled "Acquitted peace activist protestor has many convictions: Cleared of $2.5million to a U.S. plane, Ciaron O'Reilly says he plans to force closure of Shannon".
I will deconstruct this article further later as comments when I have more time, I'm posting this now to alert folks to the issues and if they wish to purchase a copy of the paper for further analysis.
This article is written by Maeve Sheehan, it mention's Ciaron's long history of civil disobedience. The reporter refers to Ciaron's "record of violent protests", even though Ciaron is an internationally renowned pacifist and both Judge and Prosecution (who had in his possession Ciaron's "criminal" history continually refered to him as nonviolent.)
The article also refers to Brendan Daily (FF Co. Clare Senator) call to have O'Reilly investigated for "incitement", in relation to the statement that the airport would be shut down nonviolently if the government did not demilitarise it by a certain date. More on this aritcle (as comment) later.
2) The second article (Page 25), "The naivete of a nation incapable of taken a balanced view" by Emer O'Kelly libels the Pit Stop Ploughshares with the accusation "A crime is a crime, even when you don't like the vicitm. What happened at Shannon was a serious crime........" The ploughshares were unconvicted for their activity at Shannon. Emma implies they are guilty of criminal activity. Three of the Pitstops have no previuous criminal history. A case to answer methinks in terms of libel.
3) The third article celebrates the Ploughshares action and the verdict of the jurors. Soapbox (Page 36) columnist Gene Kerrigan pens "Welcome sanity when lunacy is so often applauded" celebrating the PItstop Ploughshares. He does raise the spectre that there may have been an immediate totalitarian White House response to the Dublin jury's decision......"On Friday, the Washington Post quoted from a draft law, being prepared to try those the Bush regime regards as "engaged in hostilities". It applies to acts from killing to damaging "protected property". Military Commissions will try suspects. Evidence need not be shown to the accused. The accused need not be present. The trial can be postponed for years. The accused will have a U.S. military lawyer. Hearsay evidence is admissable (and plentiful) when suspects are "rendered") to secret prisons fo torture.) The commission can give life sentences -or death. It's credible that future protestors at Shannon could be rendered into such "justice".
Was this White House draft late last week in response to the Dublin Ploughshares acquittal? Would have happened if the PItstops were found guilty? Is there a paradigm shift to move the 26 year old pacifist nonviolent disarmament plowshares movement www.plowsharesactions.org to the status of "enemy combatant in the war on terror"?