Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 and Nuclear Annihilation

Below is a copy of a letter I sent today to the judge overseeing sentencing for the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, a group of activists, several of them elderly, who in April 2018 entered the Kings Bay Trident nuclear missile submarine base in St. Mary’s, Georgia to protest the dangers of nuclear weapons. In October they were found guilty of various federal crimes. They now face up to a quarter century in prison; their sentencing is set for early in 2020.

If you’d like to send your own letter in support, you can learn how here.


November 26, 2019

Dear Judge Wood,

As a former CIA officer—these days a novelist, activist against torture, and patriotic American—I’m writing on behalf of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7.

I respect the law and I understand it’s your job to follow it. I would only ask that, to the extent possible, you consider how rare and valuable in America are citizens like the accused.

Our country spends almost a trillion dollars a year on the militarymore than the next seven countries combined, four of whom are our allies. Of this, approximately $626 million per year alone is dedicated to public relations. In addition, the Pentagon and various corporate news networks cooperate to promote scores of retired generals as television talking heads. Yet amid all this spending and marketing and information domination, you would be hard-pressed to ever hear how frequently mistakes and miscalculations have taken the world to within an eyeblink of nuclear Armageddon.

There are obvious and unique dangers inherent in fallible humans possessing weapons that, if ever used, will end human civilization and extinguish almost all human life. Yet the government devotes tremendous resources to preventing discussion of these dangers. In such an unequal contest, I believe that anyone with the conscience, courage, and conviction to engage in civil disobedience intended to increase awareness of how close we are tottering to the edge of a final abyss should be cherished and celebrated, not punished.

Thank you for considering these thoughts as you grapple with what would be just for the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, and best for America and the world.

Sincerely yours,

Barry Eisler

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