Presentation on theme: "U.S. nuclear bomb-builders vie for a new $22.8 billion 10-year contract and imprison an elderly Nun and two Veterans. The Transform Now Plowshares Case."— Presentation transcript:
U.S. nuclear bomb-builders vie for a new $22.8 billion 10-year contract and imprison an elderly Nun and two Veterans. The Transform Now Plowshares Case Non-violent Civil Resistance At the Y-12 National Security Complex, Oak Ridge Tennessee By Anabel Dwyer Board Member, The Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy for and with The Straits Area Concerned Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment June 19, 1013 Stand with Sr. Megan Rice, Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli
Supporting Transform Now Plowshares : On July 28, 2012, Sr. Megan Rice, 82, Michael Walli, 63 and Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, calling themselves, Transform Now Plowshares (TNP), entered the Y-12 U.S. National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee “because our very humanity rejects the designs of nuclearism.” They reached the Highly Enriched Uranium Facilities Building to peaceably and symbolically call for “transformation [to] instruments that serve life, peace and harmony.”
Famous quotes from trial “Normalization of deviations occurred culturally overtime  ”  vs “Let’s stop pouring billions into false and impossible security  ”    The Y-12’s NNSA head, Steven Erhart   Sr. Megan Rice On May 10, 2013, a jury convicted the TNP of two felonies depredation of US property over $1000 (18 USC 1361) [10 years] and injury to the national defense (18 USC 2155) [20 years] for cutting through four fences and putting peace messages and blood on the Highly Enriched Uranium Building at the Y-12 nuclear weapons production site in Oak Ridge Tennessee. The Court and Prosecutor label the TNP 3 “violent” and imprison them. What went wrong?
[ Numerous Congressional and Administrative investigations and hearings have been held. Col. Ann Wright testified at trial, that the DOE/NNSA considered the TNP action a “wake-up” call and necessary administrative readjustments and investigations that resulted from the TNP acts exposed contractor carelessness regarding highly dangerous materials and nuclear weapons at Y-12 ( DOE/IG-0868, Aug. 2012, “Inquiry into the Security Breach at the NNSA’s Y-12 National Security Complex.”). Subcommittee on Strategic Force Oversight of US House Armed Services Committee Hearing of February 28, 2013
“Pervasive culture of tolerating the intolerable and accepting the unacceptable” Norman Augustine, former CEO of Lockheed Martin in a Dec. 6, 2012 letter to DOE Secretary Chu “Unacceptable and inexcusable” were the words aptly used by the Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) testifying before the Congress with regard to the events of July 28 at Oak Ridge; as you know, three individuals, one an 82- year-old nun, penetrated four fences and several clear-zones during the night, and when finally confronted, these individuals faced a trained security officer who acted principally as a spectator. Disconcertingly, I can see little reason why, under the specific prevailing circumstances, the intruding group could not have included, in addition to the three persons actually participating in the incursion, a well-armed follow-up group. I must disclose that I have been involved in dozens of failure analyses of a variety of types during my career, and none has been more difficult for me to comprehend than this one. Many security professionals with whom we spoke reacted to the Y- 12 incident with extreme embarrassment and, as in my own case, perplexity…”
According to the US government, “This Y-12 HEUMF building contains 400-500 tons of weapons-grade uranium.” This case is about “the most dangerous materials on the planet including nuclear warheads,” said the Chairman of the Oversight and Investigation subcommittee of the US House Energy & Commerce Committee (Hearing 9/12/12). Or is this case about contracts? Bloomberg Business Week May 13, 2013 Aerospace and Defense Company Overview Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Y- 12, LLC engages in the production, refurbishment, and dismantlement of nuclear weapons components, storage of nuclear material, and the prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction... Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Y- 12, LLC is a joint venture between BWX Technologies, Inc. and Bechtel National, Inc. 301 Bear Creek Road Oak Ridge, TN 37831 United States Ph 865-574-1000; Fax: 865-574-1809 www.y12.doe.govwww.y12.doe.gov
Private contractors perpetuate nuclear weapons for a “whopping good profit.” The Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) admit that Y-12 “… focuses in the processing and storage of uranium, an activity essential to the safety, security and effectiveness of the US nuclear weapons stockpile” (DOE/IG-0868). Life Extension Programs (LEPs) for the W76, B61, and W78 are scheduled for the next 10 years. On 11/2/12 Bloomberg Business Week touted investment opportunities in Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Y-12 L.L.C. seeing nothing wrong with working both ends (Catch 22) of “production, refurbishment and dismantlement of nuclear weapons components” and baldly lying about “preventing proliferation of weapons of of mass destruction.” TNP argue that good-faith complete nuclear disarmament is a present legal obligation of all countries because “safety and security” cannot be achieved through non-functioning fences/cameras to “protect” HEU and nuclear weapons which are inherently insecure, unsafe and environmentally calamitous.
At the TNP trial What depredation of US property over $1000? The US through National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)/ Department of Energy (DOE) submitted no evidence of the credibility or validity of “damage” amounts. Contractors determined that overtime Saturday “emergency” workers on the day of the TNP action, July 28, 2012 were required to “clean” the HEU building walls of words or blood and “repair” the fences which had not been functioning for months. The costs were submitted, ordered or claimed by G4S/WSI Wackenhut, the security contractor fired by the NNSA in August and Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services (BWXTS) Y-12 LLC, the management and production contractor (a subsidiary of BWX Technologies and Bechtel National) whose contract was not renewed in Jan. 2013. During the TNP proceedings, the NNSA awarded a new Y-12 and Pantex “security, management and production” contract for $22.8 billion over ten years to Consolidated Nuclear Security led by Bechtel (a parent company of BWTSY-12LLC) and Lockheed. Now Nuclear Production Partners, LLC headed by Babcock and Wilcox (the other parent of BWXTY-12 LLC) has successfully protested that award through the GAO because of unsubstantiated claims of cost savings..
So what is this case about? “The biggest security breach in the history of the nation’s atomic complex”….or as Megan Rice said“It’s the criminality of this 70-year industry.” “The Nun Who Broke Into the Nuclear Sanctum,” Wm. Broad, New York Times, p. A1 8/11/12 c.f. “The Prophets of Oak Ridge” By Dan Zak, The Washington Post 4/30/13 and Frank Munger Atomic Underground Knoxville-News Sentinel It’s the Profits of Oak Ridge! : Come and get it! A $22.8 billion ten year "single cost reimbursement contract” to consolidate the management and operation (M&O) of NNSA's Y-12 and Pantex plants and for design and construction of the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF). BWX Technologies, Inc. and Bechtel National, Inc parents of B & W TS Y-12 LLC The NNSA awarded the new M & O contract to: Consolidated Nuclear Security led by Bechtel and Lockheed. Now Nuclear Production Partners, LLC headed by Babcock and Wilcox (the other parent of BWXTY-12 LLC) has successfully protested that award through the GAO. The GAO Record of Decision ( B-407948, et al Apr. 29, 2013) found "unsupported presumption that all cost savings proposed by every offeror were feasible." Meanwhile even though in Jan. 2013,NNSA did not renew Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services (BWXTS) Y-12 LLC’s management and operations contract BWXTSY-12 LLC remains in charge at Y-12 but invisible in proceedings against the TNP-3.
These interlocked corporations/companies fight over a $22.8 billion contract to principally do what? Refurbish at and deploy from Y-12 thermonuclear warhead secondaries and cases through 10 Year Life Extension Programs (LEPs) the W76, B61, W78, W 88 warheads:. 1) W-76, 100 Kt (kilotons), approximately 8 times larger than the Hiroshima bomb; 2) the W-78 has yield of 335 to 350 Kt, approximately 30 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb; 3) and the W-88 has a yield of 475 Kt, some 40 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb… The prosecutor did not attempt to hide the details of the Y-12 site or the specific warheads produced, refurbished or planned at Y-12. The US did not even dispute the known and intended effects of those warheads. Still the TNP were prohibited from presenting at trial non-refutable evidence of the known and intended catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences of the specific thermonuclear warheads secondaries and cases produced or refurbished at Y-12.  cf., Declaration of Ira Helfand, TNP website. 
From the Declaration of Dr. Ira Helfand 4/17/13 The contracts executed at Y-12 require production and refurbishment of specific thermonuclear warheads secondaries and cases so that these warheads are effective or reliable for credible threat/active deployment of or use for detonation (purposeful or accidental). If only 100 Hiroshima sized bombs were detonated over cities the resulting firestorms would loft enough soot into the upper atmosphere to drop temperatures across the globe an average of 1.3 o C. The resultant drop in food production would put more than one billion people at risk of starvation. Each US Trident submarine can carry up to 96 W-76 warheads. That means that each of them can create this Nuclear Famine scenario many times over. The US has 14 of them. Any or all of the warheads produced or refurbished at Y-12 are as a matter of known and intended fact, uncontrollable and indiscriminate and designed and intended to result in catastrophic humanitarian consequences not only from the heat and blast but also from the powerful and prolonged radiation. For all these reasons, I urge the court to dismiss the charges against these Defendants and order the parties involved to devise ways to immediately end contracts let at Y-12 to refurbish or produce these warheads and to take necessary, verifiable and practical steps in good-faith toward unequivocal and obligatory nuclear disarmament in all its aspects. The reality is that nothing less than our common survival is at stake.
So what Sabotage? Injury to the National Defense? According to the government’s witnesses, the TNP injured the national defense by putting into question the “credibility of US nuclear deterrent.” The prosecutor “justified” the planning, preparation of unusable thermonuclear warheads at Y-12 by arguing that they are for “deterrence.” The US Courts and Prosecutors know or should know that the “policy” of nuclear deterrence” consists of a “credible threat to use” and is therefore fundamentally unlawful. It will take many thousands of us to stand up and say: Release Megan, Greg and Mike so we can get on with good-faith disarmament and transformation at Y-12.
The TNP action pointed out specific roadblocks to pursuit and conclusion in good-faith of unequivocal steps toward obligatory nuclear disarmament in all its aspects. 1. The Court got as far as admitting that the Y-12 warheads are indiscriminate but refused evidence that these Y-12 warheads are uncontrollable and thus categorically in any circumstance violate the bedrock rules and principles of humanitarian law. The US’s reliance on “legitimate” national defense for “deterrence” actually constitutes known and intended US plans and preparations for war crimes and genocide well outside the Constitutional war powers of the US Congress or Executive. In addition, as Ramsey Clark testified, the plans and preparations at Y-12 constitute a grave breach of the Disarmament obligation agreed to in Article VI of the NPT in violation of the Article 6 of the US Constitution. 2. The Courts and prosecutors continue to read the ICJ Opinion wrongly to say that whatever is not specifically prohibited in or of war by name or per se, is permitted. The US, all its departments and branches and the corporations doing business in these weapons and nuclear materials are bound by fundamental limits to the national defense or Constitutional war powers and have a duty to end the ongoing violations dangerously and very harmfully flouted at Y-12.
We agree with Sr. Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed and their right and privilege to stand up and to say “Transform Now,” and call for their release and acquittal. Organize how? Send letters to the TNP-3, to the Judge, to … Under principles of democracy the TNP exercised the right of every citizen of this republic and this planet to peacefully resist the nuclear threat, attacking as it does every core concept of human rights. Continuing production and deployment of thermonuclear warheads at and from Y-12 flies in the face of eliminates the most basic Constitutional promise of these United States which “assures domestic Tranquility, promotes the general Welfare, and secures the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”
Letters to TNP-3 Gregory Boertje-Obed 22090 Irwin County Detention Center 132 Cotton Drive Ocilla GA 31774 Michael Walli 4444 Irwin County Detention Center 132 Cotton Drive Ocilla GA 31774 Megan Rice 22100 Irwin County Detention Center 132 Cotton Drive Ocilla GA 31774 Please make sure to include your entire return address on the outside of the envelope. No staples or paperclips can be included in your mail; no oversized envelopes. Magazines and books must be sent directly from the publisher or bookstore/Amazon. Photocopies of brief articles are likely to be permitted (based on our past experience).
To the Editor The New York Times April 30, 2013 Re: “Throwing Money at Nukes” (ed. 5/27/13) President Obama can act to right askew priorities in budgeting upgrades of the B-61 nuclear bomb when we move together beyond absurd roadblocks to good-faith disarmament. For instance, last August, an elderly nun and two veterans, “Transform Now Plowshares” (TNP), peaceably wrote “transform” and “disarm” on the highly enriched (bomb grade) uranium building at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge Tennessee. They now sit in a for-profit prison before sentencing, convicted of sabotage and destruction of government property over $1000 for exposing the following: 1. This generation of US Courts and Prosecutors doesn’t comprehend the grim realities of nuclear weapons, for and of mass annihilation. They are both immoral and the antithesis of the rule of law. 2. As a result they fall for the Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) line that the TNP compromised “the credibility of US’s nuclear deterrent.” The reality is that the “policy” of nuclear deterrence” depends upon a “credible threat to use” useless nuclear weapons. 3. Through long-standing Congressional largesse and DOE/NNSA complicity corporations like Babcock and Wilcox, Lockheed, and Bechtel act as parent companies to subsidiaries whose contracts DOE/NNSA have not renewed because of fraud and negligence revealed by the Transform Now Plowshares’ “security breach.” 4. The Government Accountability Office without regard for the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental effects of thermonuclear warheads “resolves” these same corporations’ dispute over a $22.8 billion contract for the next ten years to continue producing/refurbishing nuclear warheads and to build a new uranium processing facility. Let’s demand release of the TNP and with them call for an end to upgrading any US nuclear warheads so we can honestly dismantle and disarm; and an end to marketing in nuclear materials to ensure real non- proliferation. Anabel Dwyer, Board Member, Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy PO Box 1091 Mackinaw City, MI 49701 231 436 5654
The Honorable Amul R. Thapar United States District Judge US District Court 35 West Fifth Street Covington, KY 41011 30 May 2013 Your Honor, We write on behalf of Greg Boertje-Obed, Megan Rice, and Michael Walli, who await sentencing in your court in September 2013 for their act of nonviolent civil resistance at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on 28 July, 2012. We recognize these people as colleagues in the struggle to create a more just and peaceful world and commend their action, carried out in a spirit of hope and compassion for the earth and all its inhabitants. The court faces a great challenge—making a careful distinction between persons who act in clear conscience, guided by a moral vision, and others whose actions may be self-serving or maleficent in nature. In cases like these, the law is sometimes incapable of making such distinctions. The burden of seeking a just disposition then falls to the jurist who will render a sentence. We appeal to you to consider the nature and intention of these three who stand with dignity in a long line of men and women who have taken nonviolent actions throughout history to appeal to the conscience of society and its institutions for the advancement of justice, freedom and peace. Too often, courts have exacted a heavy price for such acts of conscience. It does not need to be this way. The actions of Greg Boertje-Obed, Megan Rice and Michael Walli required not only clarity of purpose, but also great courage. Some of these same qualities may be required of you, Your Honor, as you approach your sentencing decision. We ask that you embrace the deepest meaning of justice. What is moral is not always legal in our courts, but it must be in our hearts. We ask you to listen to the law, and to your mind, and also to your heart; wisdom and justice require the drawing together of all three. Thank you for your consideration of our appeal.
Major cultural change occurs when “a critical mass of individuals (1) perceive a discrepancy between current practice and the dominant conceptualization of the social context [that nuclear weapons, war, environmental and human exploitation] are necessary for “security,” “success,” and/or “safety”] and (2) adopt a sufficiently unified way to define the problem and the new solution it appears to demand.” Leman- Langlois, Stephane, Constructing a Common Language: The Function of Nuremberg in the Problematization of Postapartheid Justice, 2002, Law and Social Inquiry. 27.1:79, 83.
We write to organize for our common security and work for release of Sr. Megan Rice, Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli, Transform Now Plowshares (TNP). We heed their wise advice: “Let’s stop pouring billions into false and impossible security. All thermonuclear nuclear warheads including those pointed out by the TNP at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge Tennessee have common characteristics. Contractors prepare these warheads so that they “effective” for unleashing uncontrollable and indiscriminate heat, blast and radiation. Contracts to produce these warheads violate our fundamental rights because these weapons result in known and intended catastrophic human and environmental consequences far outside essential limits to the use of force. We call on US to abide by its own law and take the promised unequivocal steps toward complete nuclear disarmament in good faith. We call on the US to rewrite the $22.8 billion management and operations contract now in dispute to end production/refurbishment of any nuclear warheads at Y-12 and Pantex and cancel plans to build new nuclear weapons facilities such as the Uranium Processing Facility. Promised environmental cleanup of the Oak Ridge Nuclear Reservation, a Superfund site, can not be achieved while nuclear weapons continue to be produced and contractors market in nuclear materials. We take action to support the Transform Now Plowshares to devise programs to transfer our tax money away from nuclear weapons production/refurbishment to environmental cleanup including of nuclear and chemical wastes, comprehensive health care and compensation and sustainable environmentally sound technologies. All are essential to remediate the debilitating effects of the nuclear system on ourselves, our watersheds, the ecosystem of this planet.
Thank you, Anabel Dwyer June 19, 2013 Issues & Forums in support of TNP & nuclear disarmament The prosecutor says the TNP were “furthering their cause of nuclear disarmament.” (cf ICJ Opinion) The TNP letter delivered on site at Y-12 said, “Our very humanity rejects nuclearism” and called for “transformations … in economy and social structure.” cf Martens Clause) The DOE called the TNP action a “wake-up call” requiring “structural and cultural changes.” Petitions directed at/for specific decisions Pre-trial & trial support. new hot lawyers? Budget negotiations specific Pentagon/DOE cuts Requests to relevant Congresspeople/Barbara Lee letter Committee Hearings Manhattan Project National Park Energy & Commerce Committee hearing supporters Ethics Complaints Against Prosecutors & B & WTS Y-12 LLC Building coalitions among anti-nuclear, human rights, environmental, unions peacemaking. anti- torture & drones groups. Accept limits of peremptory rules and principles of humanitarian law. End environmental exploitation.. MPT & MFR at MMIII silos in Colorado 2003
Fundamental Legal Obligations Regarding Nuclear Weapons We urge all parties and civil society groups to insist upon compliance with legal obligations outlined below: Threat or use of nuclear weapons is unlawful. So is planning or preparation for threat or use. The unequivocal undertaking to eliminate nuclear arsenals in compliance with NPT Article VI requires implementation of the practical steps agreed upon at the 2000 NPT Review Conference and cancelling upgrades or replacements of current nuclear weapons systems. A. Threat or use of nuclear weapons is illegal and criminal because the obligations to conform to the intransgressible rules and principles of humanitarian law cannot be reconciled with nuclear weapons’ known and understood indiscriminate and uncontrollable effects. B. Under Article VI of the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT), all states are legally obligated "to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control" (ICJ Op., § 105(2)F; NPT Art. VI). C. Practical and lawful solutions. See: Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy (LCNP.org) for the full 2-page summary. The Manhattan Project institutionalized: *secrecy, lies, denial *lack of accountability for known harms (vast military profits private/ costs public) *reliance on imperial exploitation/ violence *purposeful harm & degradation to common environment and health * imperial presidency, no limits to war powers * compliant judiciary, congress, press and public * “national security” & “success” & “safety” = unlimited militarism
War “Nuclear weapons stand at the very apex of all the violence war represents.” Mayor Takashi Hiraoka Environment Bombs and high level waste are the inevitable and wholly unacceptable end results of the nuclear cycle with radioactive and toxic waste & emissions involved in every step.
h Effective education depends upon facing the realities of the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and results of atmospheric tests and environmental damage from the whole nuclear cycle. The facts show overwhelmingly and that any accidental or purposeful detonation anywhere would be catastrophic and that nuclear weapons cannot comport with the basic rules and principles of humanitarian law.
We view the earth as an ecosystem. We human beings have created grave harms and dangers to it, yet we have the capacity to better and change our ways. “It is as if we’ve been listening to lunatics. What has happened to us? Why are we listening to lunatics? What good is a nuclear bomb? What country what people are we hoping to defend? The poisons that seep into our water system and the tailings’ dust in the air around us will kill us slowly and silently. “Have a vision not clouded by fear.” Lorraine Rekmans, “Feeding the Monster” an essay in This is My Homeland March 1999 Mayor Iccho Itoh of Nagasaki, before the ICJ, quoted Joseph Rotblat “I would like to conclude my talk by reminding you of the long-range implications of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nuclear weapons have put into peril the very existence of the human species…We must abolish all war because any war once begun may escalate into a nuclear holocaust.” Lunatics, bombs, poison, fear, holocaust, Put into peril our existence
Y-12 National Security Complex Ten-Year Site Plan FY 2012–2021 May 2011 Prepared by Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Y-12, LLC Management & Operating Contractor for the Y-12 National Security Complex under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22800 with the U.S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration LEPs depend on Y-12’s capability to sustain and refurbish all nuclear weapons in the active and active reserve stockpile p.21 Near-term (FY 2012–2021): Life Extension Programs (LEPs) for the W76, B61, and W78 are scheduled for the next 10 years. (p.22) Assembly capabilities are necessary for planned LEPs. Affected systems include W76, B61, W78, and W88. An increase is planned for the development and production of limited life Components. (p.23)