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Huotari reports: "The charges against the three activists - Greg Boertje-Obed, Megan Rice, and Michael Walli - ... now face two charges, one accusing them of property depredation and the other alleging they willfully injured the national defense."

Sister Megan Gillespie Rice, now 83 (center); drifter Michael Robin Walli, now 64 (left); and house painter Gregory Irwin Boertje-Obed, 57 (right) penetrated the exterior of Y-12 in Tennessee, supposedly one of the most secure nuclear-weapons facilities in the United States. (photo: Linda Davidson)
Sister Megan Gillespie Rice, now 83 (center); drifter Michael Robin Walli, now 64 (left); and house painter Gregory Irwin Boertje-Obed, 57 (right) penetrated the exterior of Y-12 in Tennessee, supposedly one of the most secure nuclear-weapons facilities in the United States. (photo: Linda Davidson)


Oak Ridge 3 Trial Underway

By John Huotari, Oak Ridge Today

07 May 13

 

federal official who oversees production work at two nuclear weapons plants and the guard who was fired after the unprecedented security breach at the Y-12 National Security Complex in July could both testify this week during the trial of three anti-nuclear weapons activists accused of vandalizing a uranium storage building.

The federal official, Steven C. Erhart, oversees nuclear production work at Y-12 and the Pantex Site in Amarillo, Texas. He manages the National Nuclear Security Administration Production Office, or NPO.

The guard, Kirk Garland, was the first security officer to reach the three anti-nuclear weapons activists, who cut through three fences in a high-security Protected Area at Y-12 before dawn on July 28 and splashed human blood and spray-painted slogans on the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, where most of the nation's bomb-grade uranium is stored. Garland was fired Aug. 10, a few weeks after the intrusion.

Other anticipated witnesses during this week's trial include Rodney Johnson, deputy general manager for security operations, as well as Special Agent Ryan Baker and security officer Sgt. Chad Riggs, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Theodore said during jury selection Monday.

The charges against the three activists - Greg Boertje-Obed, Megan Rice, and Michael Walli - have changed a few times, but the defendants now face two charges, one accusing them of property depredation and the other alleging they willfully injured the national defense. They face potential sentences of up to 30 years in prison.

Chris Irwin, an attorney for Walli, said the defense could call as witnesses Jim Sessions, former director of the Highlander Center, and retired Col. Anne Wright.

Jury selection lasted about 5.5 hours in U.S. District Court in Knoxville on Monday. The panel of twelve jurors and two alternates includes 10 males and four females. They were selected from an initial pool of 70 people.

The trial against Boertje-Obed, Rice, and Walli starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Attorneys have said the trial could last four days.

 

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+7 # lorenbliss 2013-05-07 10:10
That these people are each facing 30 years in prison for an act of civil disobedience proves beyond argument the Far Right's characterizatio n of Obama as a new Hitler is more truth than fiction.
 
 
+5 # cafetomo 2013-05-07 10:39
Hackers consider themselves to be doing a favor, finding ways into various electronic portals of significant financial and governmental institutions. Their doing so points out failings, hopefully embarrassing them into rectifying the situation.

These three have done the same in spades, pointing out very serious nuclear insecurities, but they did not take into account the predilection these days for punishing those who point out shortcomings, rather than trying to fix the shortcomings themselves. They would be more accurately characterized as whistleblowers, but the NSA would rather hide behind how wrong they were to trespass, in hopes of hiding the fact that bomb-grade uranium is kept in a manner so insecure that three old farts can blow past their "security".

Despite any mention of it being made synonymous with conspiratorial wack job, the reasons for 9-11 are somewhere between made to happen, and allowed to happen. Do we really need the next excuse to ramp up the profiteering in homeland security to be of a nuclear variety?
 
 
+4 # PABLO DIABLO 2013-05-07 20:21
These three human beings make me proud. They are HEROES.
 

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