Letter to Rep. Herger
Chico Second Ward’s Bishopric Christmas 2005 greeting contained a message from Bishop Charles R. Passantino containing the following: “I know that America is a choice land. God prepared the founding fathers of the United States of America to establish the Constitution. This was required for the restoration of the gospel to take place. America will be a blessed land if the inhabitants remain righteous. It is the base from which God will continue to direct the world-wide latter-day operations of His kingdom.”
Sir, I ask you to reflect upon the fact that our Constitution followed upon the Declaration of Independence, affirming the self-evident truths of having been created equal and with certain Rights. And, to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted and derive their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed. As you know, this past November I participated in a non-violent demonstration and vigil in Columbus, Ga., at the gates of Ft. Benning to protest the existence of the School of the Americas which is based there. That facility has as its sole mission the training of Latin American military in methods of counterinsurgency to keep their citizens from gaining the Rights we so abundantly enjoy. Furthermore, these same tactics are used when our government wants to usurp the powers of a legitimately elected leader. These highly trained, well-paid individuals create havoc in the countryside by kidnapping community leaders and using “death squad” techniques, killing innocent campesino families. There is abundant documentation for these charges.
On Jan. 30, 2006, 36 of us will stand before the U.S. Magistrate Judge for sentencing of our alleged crime of trespass. Most of us face the probable sentence of 3 months in federal prison. Several are repeat witnesses to beliefs in the inhumanity of this training for assassins and will spend from six months to a year paying for their audacity.
And so, back to my opening paragraph: How can we, inhabitants of this blessed land, remain righteous when we allow our tax dollars to support this blatantly inhumane activity?
Please support HR 1217, which would suspend the authority for the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the United States Army School of the Americas.