Thursday, December 06, 2007
Former State Dept. Official Jailed for Nonviolent Resistance
ANN WRIGHT SENTENCED TO 3 DAYS INCARCERATION IN PROTEST OF AMB RYAN CROCKER TESTIMONY IN SEPT 2007
Dec. 5, 2007
Former US State Department official and retired Army Colonel Ann Wright was sentenced today to three days in jail, for her role in a protest of testimony by US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, at hearings on Sept. 11, 2007. Col. Wright was tried by a jury in DC Superior Court on the charge of “Unlawful Conduct in Congress” (disorderly and disruptive conduct) in connection with hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee. At that hearing, Col. Wright spoke out at the conclusion of Amb. Crocker’s testimony, saying “I am a diplomat, a diplomat for peace. No peace through occupation!” Following her brief statement (which did not interrupt any speaker) she was placed under arrest and charged with unlawful conduct on US Capitol Grounds.
At a jury trial today, Col. Wright was found guilty, following a spirited defense focusing on her personal acquaintanceship with Amb. Crocker and her need to speak to him about his views on Iraq. (Col. Wright was one of the Foreign Service officers who helped Amb. Crocker reopen the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in Dec. 2001.)
After her conviction by the jury, DC Superior Court Associate Judge Zinora Mitchell-Rankin sentenced Col. Wright to a period of 6 months supervised probation, 6 months suspended sentence with 3 days served, community service and a small fine. She was remanded by US Marshals immediately to begin serving her 3-day sentence in the DC Correction Center.
Col. Wright will resume her speaking tour next week, speaking on her forthcoming book and the situation in Iraq and Iran.