Change Agents

The two FBI agents proposed a conversation, ‘Since they had
information which they felt would help me and Voices [Voices in the
Wilderness, a direct action group that provides medical supplies to
Iraqi families in deliberate violation of United Nations economic
sanctions and U.S. law] teams in Iraq, both now and in the future.
Likewise, I could help them, and perhaps improve national security,
by answering some of their questions,’ Kathy Kelly wrote from her
dorm in the Pekin Federal Prison.

Environmental and human rights activist Kelly expected the FBI
to talk about her reasons for protesting the U.S. Army’s military
combat training school in Fort Benning, GA — the event that landed
her in prison. Instead the agents talked to Kelly about her work
with Voices in the Wilderness, a group that smuggled medicine and
medical supplies into Iraq before the sanctions were lifted. They
wanted her to share information about her Iraqi contacts in the
name of U.S. security.

Rather than share with the FBI, she writes in her Voices in
the Wilderness
article, she encouraged the agents to resign.
To coax her into talking, the agents reminded her of the pictures
of the dying Iraqi children and their morning families that Voices
posted on its website. Kelly describes the horrors she saw in Iraq
and how the U.S. needs to face the consequences of its own
actions.

‘Instead of searching for blameworthy bad apples as though we
are blind children trying to pin the tail on the donkey, why not
carefully acknowledge our collective, passive responsibility for
systems predicated on threat, force, and violence? …we can expect
constant warfare abroad and the quadrupling of prisoner populations
which occurred in the U.S. over the last 25 years,’ she
laments.
Sara V. Buckwitz

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