August 1, 2012

Drone Resister Mark Kenney Gets Four Months In Jail

Mark Kenney reported to FPC Duluth on July 18 to begin his 4-month sentence for crossing the line to protest the reaper drones being remotely operated from Whiteman AFB in Missouri. Letters (no checks) may be sent to:
Mark Kenney #14018-047
P.O. BOX 1000
DULUTH, MN 55814
Letters of prayers and any financial support can also be sent to Mark’s wife at:
Marie Kenney
12605 Oak Plaza, #108
Omaha, NE 68144

Mark Kenney of Omaha will serve four months in federal prison for his April 15 “unlawful entry” at Whiteman Air Force Base, near Knob Noster, Mo., to resist the use of reaper drones. On June 6 Kenney received his sentence in the U.S. Courthouse in Jefferson City, Mo. Companion resisters Ron Faust of Kansas City, Mo., and Brian Terrell of Maloy, Iowa, asked for a trial, which will be held at the same courthouse in September.

Trifecta Resista organizers, along with PeaceWorksKC, Occupy KC, Vets for Peace, and KC Peace Planters are planning support activities in early September, and the defendants are inviting expert witnesses, among them Col. Ann Wright, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Kathy Kelly, of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and constitutional law expert Bill Quigley.

The Whiteman AFB trespass brought to a climax the Trifecta Resista April 13-15, featuring a rally at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in support of Bradley Manning; opposition to the new nuke-parts plant; and the Whiteman action. Kenney, Faust, and Terrell, with about 30 supporters who entered the base but soon left, issued an indictment against the use of drones at Whiteman AFB and in the entire U.S. military.

Speaking to Judge Matt Whitworth June 6 after the judge gave the sentence, Kenney said, “It seems only in federal court that there are these overgenerous sentences,” compared with lighter municipal charges. “Four months will be a stress on our family. We have an ailing mother at our home. My wife will have to take care of her by herself.” Kenney asked for a delay of a few months to set aside more funds for the family’s rent. The judge set July 18 as the date Kenney should turn himself in, wherever he’s assigned.

The hearing began at 10 a.m. June 6 and soon recessed for five hours for a study of Kenney’s prior convictions—including three that each led to six months’ imprisonment for crossing the line at Offut Air Force Base near Omaha.

“I would have been lenient, but there’s a real long line pattern of this behavior,” said Whitworth. Referring to Kenney’s background in the Navy, where he was trained in nuclear propulsion in the submarine engine room, Whitworth said, “You ought to understand how important it is to have high security at a military base. I cannot permit the security of the base to be compromised.”

“I’m following the law of a higher power,” said Kenney.

“I don’t think the Lord would mind if you stayed across the street” with a sign, said Whitworth.

“The Good Lord requires me to do what I do,” Kenney replied, fingering his rosary beads.

To join local support activities, contact Trifecta Resista organizers Tamara Severns, 913-710-6347, or Jane Stoever, 913-206-4088.