To the editor:
There is the old adage that in every life some rain must fall. It’s a way of saying that it is extremely rare, if ever, that a person’s life is always on the upbeat with no sorrows, mistakes or regrets.
I had occasion to think about that as I appeared before Judge Anne J. LaBella in Kansas City Municipal Court on Sept. 4 to plead “guilty” for my actions during a July 13 peaceful protest when I and 23 others, purposely trespassed on property used by the Honeywell Corp. in Kansas City to produce some 85 percent of the non-nuclear triggering mechanisms for our U.S. nuclear weapons.
I was given a few moments to explain to her my great love of country and that I had served in more than 35 foreign countries as a deep-cover CIA intelligence officer. I also mentioned that just a few short years ago I was honored as Kansas City’s International Citizen of the Year. But this was not a venue to explain my deep disappointment that my wonderful country was wasting great sums of money that should be used for any number of more meritorious needs.
None of that was pertinent to the present situation. I was guilty. I openly admitted it, and legal niceties must prevail.
There was no opportunity to plead an interest in peace or tell the court that among the guilty were ministers, priests and deeply dedicated persons who throughout their lives had donated many hours visiting prisoners, feeding the hungry, comforting the sick and many other good works.
I was ordered to pay court costs of $154.50 and do 25 hours of community service. That’s the law!
Am I disappointed in the outcome? Actually, no. I look upon it with as much pride as many of my life’s more traditional, socially acceptable honors and activities. It helps me increasingly appreciate Margaret Mead’s pithy observation, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”