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The Fathers Berrigan & Man's Inhumanity to Man

The Fathers Berrigan: Man's Inhumanity To Man, Dastardly Beyond Conscience Or Reasoning.

By Judith Moriarty

Elizabeth Walz, Steven Kelly, Phil Berrigan, Susan Crane.
19th December 1999

It was a few years ago I drove to Portsmouth with a couple of acquaintances to attend the sentencing of Philip Berrigan. There he was being sentenced to jail (Kissinger goes free), a man in his 70s.

There was a break for lunch and Phil, his brother Daniel and their close friends went down the street to a little hole in the wall place to share lunch together before Philip was dragged off to jail, menace to society that he was. I and one of those with me got a cup of coffee and left them to their soup and crackers. I had never met the man, merely read some of their books, Philip's and Daniels' and felt an outsider to what these people had endured in their conviction against war-annihilation-and the vaporizing of humanity.

Philip a big bear of a man with a gregarious grin, turquoise sparkling clear eyes. No cloudiness, or secretiveness hidden here. His hair a shock of Santa white, a he wore a hand knit cardigan, with a deer design and had on new white sneakers, the only type of shoes allowed in prison.

When the Judge sentenced him the people from his Plowshares organization stood and raised their hands and sang to him as he was led off. Imagine, going to prison because you want to stop killing, vaporizing, and massive poisoning of the land and waters? Doesn't make sense does it? Meantime you have a Kissinger, responsible for God knows how many deaths from Vietnam, to Indonesia, to Cambodia to South America being given the Nobel Peace Prize (what a colossal quackery) and now being appointed to head an investigation, (Warren Commission II) into 911.

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At dawn on Dec 19 1999, Philip was arrested at the Warfield National Guard Base for disarming (with Elizabeth Walz, Steven Kelly and Susan Crane) two A 10 Thunderbolts, nicknamed the Warthog. They hammered on the Gatling gun and on the pylons under the wings, pouring blood into the engines of the plane. WHY?

Phil's reasoning: Attack a village with an A10 Warthog and leave a trench. Attack a village with an A-10 Warthog firing depleted uranium and leave a poisoned graveyard--the people dead, plants dying or sterile, the earth eternally toxic.


Daniel Berrigan

Judge: "Father Berrigan, regardless of the outcome of these hearings, will you promise the court that you will refrain from such acts in the future?"
Dan: "Your honor, it seems to me that you are asking the wrong question."
Judge: "OK, Father Berrigan, what do you think is the proper question?"
Dan: "Well, your honor, it appears to me that you should ask President Bush if he'll stop making missiles; and, if he'll stop making them, then I'll stop banging on them and you and I can go fishing."

-From testimony at the Plowshares Eight resentencing, 1990.


The A-10 is an aircraft built around a gun---a 30mm 7 barrel Gatling that can spew 3,900 rounds per minute. This criminal plane fired 95% of the depleted uranium deployed by the U.S. during the Gulf War, leaving behind 300-800 tons poisoning humans and the elements in Kuwait and Iraq.

Sanctions, a crime against humanity and depleted uranium (a war crime) have killed 2 million Iraqis since the war's end, said Dr. Jannan Ghalib while showing Oliva Ward of the Toronto Star a photograph album of malformed babies. "This one, no head. This one, legs fused together. Another, no limbs and tiny buds on the misshapen chest. Then a face with no eyes, just flaps of skin over empty sockets. Another with a huge water swollen head and no brain. (Atomic Veteran's Radiation News, Vol 3, No. 6)

Depleted uranium is a delayed weapon which burns its way through tank armour and oxidizes, throwing radioactive particles as far away as 25 miles. {Note: our military not warned or protected besides the horror visited on a the highway of death}. When ingested, these particle cause chemical and radioactive damage to the bronchial tree, to kidneys, liver and bones, causing somatic and genetic trauma. Cancer often results. (Note: and they're searching Iraq for weapons of mass destruction? Impossible madness. JM)

Iraq and Yugoslavia are template wars, blueprints for future imperial wars---targeting the total of society--military, civilians, the unborn, the infrastructure, the ecology, the health and spirit of the people. These wars even overflow against the troops that fight them. 90,000 American Gulf War Veterans are now chronically ill. A U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs study of 251 veteran's families in Mississippi shows that 67% had children with severe illnesses and birth defects.

The U.S. has made another fatal mistake with depleted has given it away to a score of other countries, openly inviting them to make their own weapons, fight their own nuclear wars and infest the planet with more radiation. Dec 19th-a time to mark and mourn the civilians killed in America's wars---nine civilians to every soldier, and by converting one hellish instrument of their death. They die forgotten and alone---no grateful nation to sorrow their passing--no flags nor official ritual--no memorial services. They are expendable, they are the true cannon fodder.

We came to embody Isaiah's vision of a disarmed world where hearts are converted to compassion.

Note: The last word of Father Philip Berrigan's condition is that he is now at home, Jonah House, in Maryland, no longer able to speak surrounded by his family and friends. Please look at the reasons that Philip has spent years in prison trying to awaken people to the awfulness and horror of man's inhumanity to man.


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