I am currently focusing on my work supporting Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action (, so you find me posting here (except on rare occasion). I am, however, keeping my extensive listing of links related to (almost) all things nuclear up to date. Drop me an email at if you find a broken or out-of-date link. Thanks and Peace, Leonard

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Truth: Nuclear Weapons are Illegal AND Immoral


The Y-12 National Security Complex in Oakridge, Tennessee is one of the major cogs in our nations nuclear weapons machinery.  The facility has been rebuilding and gearing up to the tune of $$$$$$ Billions, and although its Website would lead us to believe that it is simply "a premier manufacturing facility dedicated to making our nation and the world a safer place," the fact is that Y-12 is engaged in the production of nuclear weapons, weapons that, under the laws of this land as well as international law, are illegal (and immoral to boot).  How nuclear weapons make "the world a safer place" is a mystery to me.

The trial of thirteen nuclear resisters who were arrested at Y-12 protesting the government's continued disregard for national and international law will begin May 9th in Federal Court in Knoxville, Tennessee.  At the heart of this trial is the defendant's right to present a full defense.  In this case, as in so many previous Federal trials, the judge has chosen to preclude a just trial.  Read about it in the following news release.

Fr. Bix Bichsel, SJ, going through the gate at Y-12 last July
 May the truth prevail, and may the members of the jury allow conscience to move them to a just decision on behalf of the defendants.





Magistrate Judge Bruce Guyton issued a ruling on April 29, 2011, gagging thirteen defendants who will appear in federal court in Knoxville, Tennessee on Monday, May 9 to face charges of trespass at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee during a Celebration of Resistance on July 5, 2010.

The Judge's ruling sweeps away the defendants’ right to tell the jury why they committed their act: “The fact that the Defendants felt compelled to enter onto the Y-12 National Security Complex by their own moral, political, and religious beliefs; their desire to exercise their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech or religion; their desire to comply with international law; or their desire to prevent future death and destruction from the use of nuclear weapons does not constitute a legal defense to the charge in the Information and is not relevant at trial. Testimony to this effect is not admissible at trial.”

“With this sweeping ruling, Judge Guyton clearly intends to deny the defendants the right to tell ‘the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,’” said Ralph Hutchison, coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance. “These defendants did not trespass on private property; they didn’t cross a line at WalMart. Their action was an act of conscience, an act of nonviolent civil resistance, at a facility that produces nuclear weapons. The judge doesn’t want the jury to hear anything about that.”

The judge's ruling came in response to a hearing held March 4, 2011 on motions presented by the defense and the prosecution. At the March 4 hearing, Professor Charles Moxley of Fordham University testified that nuclear weapons not only violate international law, but also contravene US law and the military code of conduct of US armed forces. Defendants Mary Dennis Lentsch and Beth Rosdatter also testified on March 4 about their reasons for trespassing at the Y12 complex, where the United States continued to manufacture thermonuclear components for nuclear weapons.

“This ruling actually underscores the government’s fear that a jury, if it were told the whole truth, might turn the indictment on its head and hold the government accountable for its violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty—a treaty which becomes the law of the land under the US Constitution,” Hutchison noted. “Despite the judge’s ruling, it is likely the defendants will insist on telling the whole truth to the jury.”

Jury selection for the trial of the thirteen Y12 Resisters is scheduled for Monday, May 9 in federal court in Knoxville, Tennessee.

more information: Ralph Hutchison 865 776 5050 (contact for news release)

1 comment:

  1. So, lets assume we get rid of all our evil nuclear weapons. . . how are you going to convience the same terrorists that had no compunction about crashing airplanes into buildings not to use those weapons against us?

    Since WWII, has any WESTERN country used nuclear weapons in anger? Do you understand how many Americans and Japanese would have died IF we had NOT used nuclear weapons in Japan? Is is better to die in a firestorm like Tokyo or Dresden than by a Nuclear weapon?