ederal Magistrate judge Rita Federman last Wednesday allowed the U.S. government to dismiss all trespassing charges against the "Vandenberg 15," a group of citizens who in February conducted a civil disobedience action at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The group was attempting to stop a testing of the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile that later reached a target in the Marshall Islands (without a nuclear warhead). The group was urging the base commander to stop the testing of thermonuclear warhead delivery vehicles and to eliminate land-based missiles in the U.S.
The Vandenberg 15 included prominent leaders of the anti-nuclear movement - Daniel Ellsberg, a former Pentagon nuclear weapons strategist, (who also released the Pentagon Papers to the press in 1971); Father Louis Vitale, a Franciscan monk and co-founder of the Nevada Desert Experience; Cindy Sheehan, founder of the Gold Star Families for Peace, whose son, Casey, was killed in the Iraq war; and David Krieger, president of Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF), member of Veterans for Peace, etc.
Attorney Matthew Umhofer stated, "Ultimately the government did the right thing to dismiss this case, because they had no real trespassing issues. It is the highest form of patriotism for my clients to petition their government, and they were acting within their rights, and did not trespass as charged. Truly, they are the true patriots, because these nuclear weapons can threaten our national security."
Read rest of article: