Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Iraq: One jury is in

In a remarkable verdict, an Irish jury has acquitted 5 anti-war protestors of charges of damaging a US plane at Shannon in 2003. It's remarkable because no facts were actually in dispute: the accused accepted that they had damaged the plane. Instead they argued that their action was lawful because it helped save lives in Iraq. This was their 3rd trial, the 2nd having collapsed when the judge was revealed to have had unusually familiar contacts with Texas Republicans, including Tom DeLay (and by extension, George W. Bush). Since the protestors' defence probably failed to meet any legal standard of specificity (e.g. showing how this plane would have led to deaths in Iraq), the verdict instead reveals concerns about the overall nod-and-wink policy of the government towards the use of Shannon in US military operations.

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