Gary Ashbeck's court statement Print

Opening Statement

I will not bring up treaties or law today; it seems the court has no interest in that. I could talk about the school at Ft. Benning, but that has all been said by now. So today I will talk about faithfulness to the God of Love and Justice.

I witness in prayer and try to take the mandate, to love thy neighbor, where I go. I went to Ft. Benning with that prayer, which has delivered me to the darkness of the county jail and today to this court. This is a prayer that this nation under God, does not recognize. In the Federal Court Temple in Alexandria, Virginia, an inscription over the doors reads, ?Justice Delayed; Justice Denied.? One can expect both when crossing the threshold and witnessing to the abuse and idolatry of this regime.

Or maybe world events are turning the tide; I hope so.

Closing Statement

I ask forgiveness. Forgiveness for Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Argentina, Panama, Guatemala, Iraq, and Nicaragua to begin with. The litany will continue until we come clean about this addiction for domination. After we remove the log from our own eye, only then can we remove the splint from theirs. It was out of faithfulness that friends of mine in Mexico became targets. It is out of faithfulness that I follow their example here in prayer. It is perversely sick that we can pray for victory, speed in domination, and for a speedy return of troops, but it is illegal to pray for the victims of that domination.

I ask forgiveness. After all God, or whatever form the spirit takes, will be around long after the empire is gone.

Sentencing Statement

First I would like to thank all those that have supported me these months. The Love I have felt from this community and for this community has been overwhelming. (I stacked the large pile of envelopes full of letters received in the past months on the podium.) This is a symbol of that support. Many of these letters are written by people I don?t even know. I even have received letters from all over this hemisphere. I have even gotten support from my fellow inmates, many whom served in the military in Bosnia and Iraq.

Next I would like to thank the court. Without prosecution and these sentences, we would not get this support. It mobilized people to do a variety of things like lobbying. I can attest to being outraged enough from sitting in this court to having considered what I did. Our message only spreads further.

I live in a faith community in inner city Baltimore. We do retreats, a food program for our neighbors, and work on issues of militarism and poverty, which are one in the same. We subsist by doing the caretaking for the cemetery that we live in. I do not make a wage nor do I have any assets. If it is the courts choice that I go to Federal Prison I asked to be assigned to Butner North Carolina for visitation reasons, and I ask that my time in county jail be considered.

I will continue to be faithful to the Gospel and confront Idolatry present in this current regime. Thank you.

(The Department of Defense is Offensive)