Preface: At the boundary of Ft. Benning begins a demarcation between civilian and military property. This separation of powers is enshrined in U.S.C. 32 section 18 which stipulates that civil liberties have no protection upon entering military grounds. In violation of this statue many have contended that a higher authority than humankind’s own had impelled them to do so and give cries of lamentation on behalf of the silent majority. They plead not guilty to charges of trespassing because the military had first broken the social contract. First were the trespasses committed by the military, namely those trained on the campus of Ft. Benning in the School of the Americas (SOA) / WHINSEC. Since these alumni violated civilian standards by so many extrajudicial assassinations and massacres, civilians who discovered this could only be culpable of accessory to the violence if they in turn did nothing.
In the twenty-one year history of the movement to close the SOA, the impetus that awoke a mass outcry was the indiscriminate killing of six priests and two women on the grounds of the Jesuit university in El Salvador. If this was the Kristalnacht—a reference to the horrific destruction of Jewish synagogues by Nazi mobs—then the three week closure of the SOA in 2001 was the act of appeasement by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. Renamed WHINSEC, graduates have not abated from active desecration of civil liberties throughout the Americas:
- In view of 32,000 disappeared and four million displaced in Colombia as seven U.S. bases operate in the country;
- in view of a world terrorized by wars in Iraq and Af-pakistan plaintive to our policies of rendition and subcontracting, Guantanamos and Abu Ghraibs, the millions of refugees and the millions dead who met with ends now instructed at the SOA with “lessons learned”;
- in view of the former president of Honduras subject to a coup perpetrated by SOA graduates in 2009;
- in view of the currently molested in Mexico where two-thirds of the drug-running gang, Los Zetas, are SOA trained.
In view of all this, my complicity stands naked before the staring spectre of holocaust victims. Nevermind remembering horrors of the past, a holocaust on my watch requires me to act!
St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that the starving who steal bread have broken no law. Injustice is the law that would prevent a life from flourishing, so I starve as long as my brother and sister pale from the famine inflicted upon them by SOA graduates. I flourish not when my hunger is appeased, but when the Americas flourish. The violence is unnatural, the military wasteful. Its victims are like little babies left bloody from birth in between cornfields, abandoned. My dream is to be a Christian even if it means becoming a Samaritan, to take that baby in my arms with thanksgiving the way her dignity deserves.
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I face six months of prison...see part 2: "intention forming" here.