-Rosanne Greco , PJC Member and member of Save Our Skies/Stop the F-35s
There is evidence that the Burlington F-35 basing selection process was corrupt. This evidence came to light as part of a lawsuit against the Secretary of the Air Force. Included in the Air Force legal documentation were dozens and dozens of references showing that Senator Patrick Leahy, in collaboration with Vermont Air National Guard officials, manipulated data and pressured the Air Force to select Burlington while claiming they had not been involved. There are also numerous quotations from Air Force basing experts stating that Burlington was not environmentally or operationally a suitable location for the F-35.
While this evidence has been available for years, it has not been widely disseminated. In September, distinguished Vermonters (religious leaders, military veterans, physicians, elected officials and residents) presented this evidence to Senator Leahy during week-long visits to his office. On each of the five days of visits, Senator Leahy’s staff was given a 35-page document titled “Evidence of Corruption of the F-35 Burlington Basing Process” detailing some of the lies and corruption. The Senator ignored this and his constituents.
The press was also given copies of the evidence, but they too ignored it, perhaps because of its length and military jargon. Therefore, the evidence has now been re-packaged into individual quotations accompanied by a lay interpretation of the quotation if it is not self-evident. Beginning in mid-October, Vermonters have been going on a daily basis to Senator Leahy’s office at 199 Main St in Burlington to read one of the statements from the official record to whomever of the Senator’s staff answers the doorbell.
We are looking for more volunteers in this “Speaking Truth to Power” campaign. It requires very little time and it runs no risk of arrest. Ideally, people find a partner (going two-by-two allows one to read the statement and one to film it), pick a convenient day and time (Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm) and sign up for that on the scheduling spreadsheet. Click here for the spreadsheet.
After arriving at the Senator’s office and asking to speak with a staff person, one person reads the quotation (along with introductory words and a concluding statement — all of which are provided ahead of time) and the other person records it. The video is later sent to Rachel at the Peace & Justice Center at <<firstname.lastname@example.org>> for distribution to the press and for posting on social media.
From the time of arrival at Senator Leahy’s office, the process should take about 5-10 minutes. The more people who volunteer to visit the Senator’s office, the less often individuals may be asked to re-visit. Folks are most welcome to sign up for multiple visits.
Are you ready to speak truth to power?
Please click here and sign up for the dates (or dates) to contribute to this truth-telling effort.