Let the Jury Decide Who the Real Criminals Are
(Photo: Google Images)
I hate the subhead in today’s Cincinnati Enquirer report on our effort to subpoena Donald Rumsfeld: “Lawyer says effort to subpoena Rumsfeld not publicity stunt.”
My co-defendants and I are quite serious about this. We want to cross-examine Rumsfeld about the war in Iraq. We were arrested while trying to stop the war, so his testimony is important to our defense.
When our small group of seven citizens sat in Rep. Steve Chabot’s office — for which we were charged with criminal trespassing — we were trying to save human lives. Ohio law provides for a defense of necessity. If someone breaks into a burning building to rescue a child, for example, the law provides that a jury can find that “offense” justified. That’s all we were trying to do: save lives.
Although we did nothing more offensive than sing peace songs and read aloud the names of Americans and Iraqis killed in the war, we knew we might face arrest. But we believe a jury will find that our petty lawbreaking was justified. We want the jury to hear about the false premises on which the war was launched and hear the details of the suffering and death that have resulted; and to accomplish that, Rumsfeld is essential to our defense.
Five of us — Barbara Wolf, the Rev. John Rich, Sister Mary Eleven Jegen, Ellen Dienger and I — are scheduled for trial Jan. 22 before Hamilton County Municipal Judge David Stockdale. In Hamilton County Juvenile Court, charges were dismissed against our comrade Shannon Isaacs and are still pending against Ari Staiger. Instead of being prosecuted, these young women should be commended for their courage.
— Gregory Flannery