24 February 2003
Public statement
prepared by Anabel Dwyer Esq. advisory counsel for Ardeth Platte was cleared for release by Ardeth, Carol Gilbert and Jackie Hudson


Nuns anticipate dismissal of charges

Judge Robert Blackburn demonstrated expected and proper adherence to the rule of law and fair procedure at the hearing on "the Nuns case" on Friday. As a result, Sisters Carol Gilbert, Jackie Hudson and Ardeth Platte anticipate an early dismissal of the felony sabotage and depredation of property charges brought against them. At the motions hearing the Nuns proffered further corroboration of their extensively briefed understanding of the gross illegality and criminality of the US's ongoing threat or use of the first-strike, high-alert, 300 kiloton nuclear Minuteman III, N-8 in northern Colorado. In their "Sacred Earth and Space Plowshares II" resistance action, October 6, 2002, the Nuns non-violently inspected and exposed the nuclear missile by lowering two sections of a wire fence. They symbolically disarmed the nuclear missile by hammering on the tracks and putting their blood in the form of crosses on the silo cover.

Without substantive dispute from the Prosecutor, international and criminal law expert Professor Francis Boyle testified that any threat or use of the Minuteman III, N-8, a high-alert, first strike 300 kiloton nuclear weapon of mass extermination, is a crime against peace, war crime and crime against humanity under binding US and international law. International law Professor Ved Nanda of Denver University Law School made it clear that the US threat to attack Iraq was real and in violation of basic US and international law. The Prosecutor was visibly shaken by Professor Nanda's assertion that the US has not excluded use of the nuclear Minuteman III ICBM in Iraq and that the Nuns non-violent and symbolic action was reasonable in the very dangerous circumstances.

It seems unlikely that Judge Blackburn could find that the detailed fact and law testimony are irrelevant since the Nuns carefully showed their direct relevance to the elements of the crimes charged. Sister Ardeth Platte said, "We have shown that under US law the nuclear ICBM Minuteman III is obviously not "defense-material" as defined by law. The Prosecutor seems to be making an undue fuss over our legal and carefully measured methods to fulfill our current legal obligation for nuclear disarmament. Non-violent exposure, inspection and disarmament, one nuclear weapon at a time is the only reasonable and possible way for our great democracy to live within the rule of law."

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Government photos of N-8 Plowshares action

( Other reports on 3 ploughshares nuns here )

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