Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Showdown at Fort Huachuca

Tomorrow begins the federal trial of two totally bad hombres who threatened Arizona's Fort Huachuca: Jesuit Father Steve Kelly(age 58) and Franciscan Father Louie Vitale (age 75).

Last November 19, the two priests, both longtime peace activists, participated in a witness against torture at Fort Huachuca, which houses the military's school of interrogation technique. Fathers Kelly and Vitale asked to speak to the school's supervisor or the Officer of the Day. When their request was refused, they began to pray for an end to torture and were arrested on charges of federal trespass.
Each of these desperados faces up to 10 months in the hooscow. Immediately after their arrest, the military prosecutor assigned to the case unsuccessfully petitioned that they be jailed without bond until their trial. Apparently he thought the two men, one of whom (Kelly) is a member of a Catholic Worker house in Redwood City and the other (Vitale) a member of Pace e Bene, a threat to the community.
It seems that Fathers Kelly and Vitale were misguided. Army spokesperson Tanya Linton insists that Fort Huachuca doesn't teach torture.
"We train in accordance with DOD (Department of Defense) policies and law," she said.
Linton also noted that the school at Fort Huachuca can't be held responsible for what its graduates do once they arrive in Afghanistan or Iraq.