James Ricks’ Testimony
I’m going to start with this judge. It’s from some notes I took while in Pakistan. It feels appropriate. ” I have had a panoramic view of the suffering experienced by the targets of our illegal, immoral drone assassination program. Here the buffer created by the distance, and the feeling of the effect being muted, is instantly removed. We embraced a Sheikh from Waziristan shortly after his accounting of a 6 rocket drone attack that had obliterated his home killing his brother and his son. The death shrouded faces of both, next to him, on a computer, as he spoke. Fragments of the hell fire missile at our lay at our feet. Ripped and jagged from its deadly explosion. Ripped multicolored wires, torn metal, and serial numbers, three feet away. I wondered about its journey, to end up at our feet. Cold and ominous, still very disturbing, even in its inert state.
First; We recognize these proceedings are being held on stolen Onondaga land. My name is James Ricks. I live on Turtle Island, at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake, in what is now called Tompkins County. So, when I say that these proceedings are on stolen land, it is with absolutely no recrimination.
There are grassroots movements like the Two Row Wampum, Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation(Noon), and Idle No More. Formed to various historical injustices suffered by Indigenous people. The tragic betrayal and genocide can never be rectified. But when people of good hearts and good minds work together to do good works, in truth, with patient perseverance, there is always hope of good news.
Hi Judge, my very patient co-defendants, Mr McNamara, our support, and other concerned citizens. I’ve been here once or twice before, trying my best to perform my duty as a responsible citizen, to uphold the law, and stop war crimes being committed at Hancock Airbase.We come an get arrested and incomprehensibly convicted. Save that one brilliant acquittal by Judge Jokl.
Judge Gideon, I must ask. If you were certain, absolutely as certain, as we are, that war crimes are being committed at that base, would it effect these proceedings at all? Would you try to prevent the crime? Would you still send us to prison for trying to stop these crimes?
Third world suffering has long been an accepted consequence of euro based, out of control materialistic expansionism. After a particularly brutal massacre of Native Americans in 1890, The Saturday Pioneer in Aberdeen N D proclaimed, “The whites by law of conquest, by justice of civilization are the masters of the American continent. And the best safety of the frontier settlers will be secured by the annihilation of the few remaining Indians.” It was genocide. Accepted, encouraged, and normalized, in the anticipation of the financial boon of conquest. It was simply, blood for money.
Now we’ve declared that we have enemies everywhere on the planet. We have made it a deadly crime for any man to walk and carry a gun, in the wilderness of his own sovereign country. We will give him a label. Call him a threat. Kill him, and move on. Wedding parties have become deadly. Traveling to market can be deadly. Any activity that would be done in groups can be fatal.
When asked about these growing attacks in multiple countries, Obama stated that he felt ” the danger for the world is if we disengage”. When I hear him say that, I hear, Se will be made safer by the total annihilation or subjugation of the third world, and or Islam. Back in 1890 the racism was open and readily accepted, the safety of the setters was as stake. Now the language is smoother, not as openly offensive, coded. Sectarian, Sunni , Shia , Taliban, insurgent, fundamentalist. Any number of names designed to trigger fear and suspicion. Follow that with any number of theoretical possibilities threatening national concerns, and the end result is a self justified rationale to kill, very officially.
Right here you honor, I’ll state the obvious, I’m black. That’s my lens. When I watch this legal tug of war, the elephant in the room for me, sad to say, is that I know in the collective conscious of this country lurks the concept that black, brown,red, and yellow lives are less important, less precious,than white lives. I notice the victims are also black, brown, , non white, third world victims. Multiple caskets 10, 15, 20 at a time. Black and brown broken and bloody bodies, with many many Muslim funerals.
What if the bodies were of white children? White mothers and fathers grief stricken and searching for peices of their children. God forbid! I don’t want to see anyone killed, especially children. But I have to ask. Would these arguments be less detached more immediate, if those suffering and dead children looked more like your grandchildren than mine, Judge? Would you then have that ‘ oh my God, what are we doing here moment? Would those innocent lost lives evoke a more immediate call to action if they were white? Their suffering humanized, their lives relatable or more familiar? Would this conversation be somehow different? And if it did change one iota, then there’s a much bigger problem here than alleged trespass and disorderly conduct…
One important point, your honor. Order can be a great thing, so can a hammer. It can be used to build, or to kill: the fire bombing of Dresden, Japan’s attack on Nanjing, the Atlantic Crossing, Dacha, apartheid, Auschwitz, Mai Li, 9-11, Indigenous genocide, cointel pro, Hiroshima, Oscar Grant, Wounded Knee, Shawn Greenwood,peonage, Herman Wallace, Henry Glover, prison industrial (slave labor) complex, the New Jim Crow while the Old Jim Crow is peeking around the corner. All very violent, very immoral, but at some level, all very orderly. Some order, you honor, needs to be dissed (stopped).
My intention was to exercise my right to petition my gov, and to perform my duty as a responsible citizen to halt war crimes at that base. These violation charges and the Order of Protection are a deterrent and a distraction from the real being committed here. Want is troubling to me, is the unshakable feeling that we all really know that. The Emperor is naked , your honor.
They want us prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We waved signs. We stood in they’re driveway. We delivered the indictment accusing them of crimes. They asked for an Order of Protection. Instantly granted. That’s embarrassing.
Why did I come to Hancock? In the short, to impede, slow down or stop the killing of, universally declared innocent victims, questionably defined suspected enemies , and the seemingly surrealistic “signature” strikes. All of the above killed with absolutely no due process. We came to plead for an end to war. To stop the killing of innocents. To invite true human consideration. And to promote life affirming law. We came to protest what we and much of the rest of our ever shrinking global village has defined as an illegal and deadly policy. A policy shrouded in mendacity, duplicity, secrecy, and blood.
We openly accuse Hancock Air Base of executing an illegal policy of killing and torture. Of ripping apart lives and whole communities for materialistic geopolitical ends. All cloaked In a carefully constructed narrative about national interest, and the readily accepted, but never really explained, national security. We have to defend ourselves against charges brought against us but we brought an indictment accusing that base personal, and their chain of command of violating their oath to uphold the constitution extra judicial murder , and violating of national sovereignty. Why aren’t they being investigated ?
We are not well meaning albeit misguided. We do mean well, but we are not misguided. We are not asking you to put aside you obligation as trier of fact. Quite the contrary, your honor. We ask you to follow your heart to also uphold your obligation. Not to let authority be your truth. But to let truth be you authority and your guide.
When questionable and secret interpretations of policy and law leads to intimidation, violence and death, the citizens whose name it’s done in have a “right to know”. How else can they inform their elected officials of the what they agree or object to ?
Don’t Block My Driveway
You can call me a criminal if you want. Just do it from across the street. Accuse me of all sorts of “crazy” things if you must , but don’t block my driveway. Well, yes we did eliminate an insurgent picking up or planting something (perhaps a land mine or IED) with two active observers close by. Oh, a grandma picking vegetables, while her grandchildren watched her blown up, you say. Damn, well those cameras are up pretty high, ya know. Nobody’s perfect asshole. Now, get out of the way, don’t make us call the cops. What? A wedding party? Many wedding parties? Yes…but, all those people moving around. So much movement, and it seemed so coordinated, perhaps military. So suspiciously rhythmical. So much movement. So much energy. From a thermal detection camera five miles up. All that movement, with so many people, it seemed military. Well, sure, they could have been doing the Electric Slide, or The Scooter Booty, but it looked “ominously” coordinated. I never danced like that, damn it!
And we did spot a rifle or two, for sure. When it comes to doing my duty, I will proudly err on the side of safety. I don’t know what you mean by a mistake,that you can’t erase. But I do know, that you better move. The cops or on their way. Well, ya, that is true. To target first responders, is an international war crime. But why would they come to help if they weren’t involved, huh smart ass. Oh ya, the wedding parties, and grandma. Well, yes, it is true that on average of the people we kill, 2% are high value targets. Unfortunately that’s correct, but as usual you never look at the bright side. Chances are, we can only improve. Who, Tarik Aziz? Who the hell is that? Thank God the police are here. The End? No, it’s not. Thank the Maker for you guys.