In the wee hours of Saturday, February 25th, nuclear expert (and Pentagon Papers whistleblower) Daniel Ellsberg, along with David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF), Cindy Sheehan, Fr. Louis Vitale, four members of CodePink, and six other concerned citizens, were all arrested for trespassing on military property while conducting an act of civil disobedience at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California.
They were protesting the test launch of the first [of five tests slated for 2012] of the Minuteman III InterContinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). This specific launch was targeted to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, and hours after the arrests of Ellsberg, et al, the launching of the nuclear-capable dummy missile was conducted at 2:46 a.m. Thirty minutes later it had traveled the 4,200 miles to reach the target in the Marshall Islands.
According to a video posted on YouTube of the protest, Ellsberg stated outside the military base to approximately 100 supporters, including representatives of the coastal Chumash Tribe, and the Women's International League of Peace and Freedom (WILPF) that, "What we have here is a vulnerable missile that is designed for only one thing: to catch land-based missiles before they leave the ground, and it has to get off the ground here before any Russian missiles get here.
"So the existence of these weapons, in this country, compels virtually both sides to be on a High Alert status, prepared to go off on what might be a false alarm ... The risks of having nuclear accidents are outrageous, and it is inexcusable that these weapons continue to exist."
Currently, in military bases located in Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota, there are 450 of these specific ICBMs on alert in the U.S.
According to the Santa Barbara Independent, while Ellsberg was being arrested, war ...