By Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance
The U.S. Marshals have placed a “cone of silence” over Sister Megan Rice, the 83-year-old defendant in the Transform Now Plowshares action who is being held in jail in Knoxville awaiting her sentencing on Tuesday, Jan. 28, in federal court in Knoxville on charges of sabotage and depredation of federal property. Her actual crime was embarrassing the federal government, along with Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli, by sneaking into the nation’s ultra-secure Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge and painting peace slogans and pouring blood on the side of a warehouse that stores hundreds of tons of weapons-grade highly enriched uranium.
She has been in jail since a jury delivered a guilty verdict on the trumped-up charges in May 2013.
On Sunday, Jan. 26, Megan called local supporters to report that a phone interview that had been arranged with BBC-London had suddeny been denied. “They were so helpful here at the jail yesterday with making arrangements for the call,” she said, “and then tonight the woman was loud and rude and told me there would be no call. The U.S. Marshals were not allowing it.”
On Monday, Jan. 27, a reporter for the Guardian UK arrived at the jail in Knoxville; she had been careful to arrange her visit according to the jail rules and was listed on Megan’s list of approved visitors. Arrangements had been made for the half-hour morning visit to be split into two 15-minute segments which, according to jail officials, is routine. A friend went in to visit Megan and left after 10 minutes so the Guardian reporter could make her visit—but the jail denied the visit, saying the reporter would have to get approval from the U.S. Marshals. No one else was permitted to visit Megan for the remainder of her half-hour visit.
“It’s clear the government is desperate to shut this nun up,” said Ralph Hutchison, coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance. “She has something to say that scares them—because she wants to tell the truth about nuclear weapons production in Oak Ridge. It is, as Ramsey Clark told us in April, unlawful. That’s the truth Megan has to tell, and the government knows it has no real defense. They were able to get the judge to keep it out of the trial, and they have asked the judge to put her in prison until she is 90 years old, just to keep her quiet.
“This is not China, where they lock up people who disagree with official policy, or Iran or Russia. At least that’s what we were taught in school, right?
“Megan Rice has taken full responsibility for her actions at Y-12. She is not asking to be let out of jail. She’s just asking to be allowed to talk to people who want to talk to her. She has done everything required by the jail policy to make arrangements. But the U.S. Marshals, acting for the federal government, have stepped in to try to silence her.”
What are International Laws saying on Atomic bombs.
What principle of Nuremberg was violated.
Jean Pierre Herveg MD (Belgium)
An opinion is an opinion but I respectfully disagree. A bit extreme and paranoid to some extent.