Retired US Navy Commander Faces Jail Over Interruption of Super Committee Hearing

Veterans for Peace (VFP) President Leah Bolger is facing jail time for her interruption last year of a Super Committee hearing on the deficit. Bolger, a former US Navy commander, is due in court next Thursday, and faces six months in jail for disrupting the Congressional hearing. Bolger will plead guilty.

Bolger disrupted a public hearing of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, better known as the Super Committee, last October. “All this obfuscation, with percentages of GDP, this is just trying to confuse the issue,” Bolger said at the hearing, interrupting the testimony of Chief Budget Officer Douglas Elmendorf. “The vast majority of the public want you to tax the rich, end the wars.” 

The Super Committee, a specially created Congressional body to address the US deficit, failed to reach an agreement last November.

In a YouTube video posted by VFP, Bolger explains why she’s pleading guilty. “I’m pleading guilty because I did technically” break the law, she says. “I’m trying to now use this guilty plea and arrest and this event to amplify the people’s voice.”

Here’s part of a Veterans for Peace statement on Bolger’s impending court date:

Ralph Nader, a member of Veterans For Peace, applauded retired Naval Commander, Bolger's effort to challenge the Super Committee for a minute of an un-scheduled reminder that cutting much needed social programs that saves lives rather than cutting the bloated military budget and taxing the 1% is Congressional insanity.  "The government is dysfunctional, working for corporate interests rather than providing for the peoples necessities.

Bolger showed what active citizens should be doing peacefully-- confronting the corruption head on and making sure the public knows what is really going on.  She should be honored for her actions."Bolger was a member of the Occupation of Washington, DCat Freedom Plaza.  The occupation protested the Super Committee by holding an Occupied Super Committee hearing which was aired on C-SPAN, see CSPAN Coverage of Occupied Super Committee Hearings, and produced its own report.  By cutting military spending and taxing the wealthy, the Occupied Super Committee reached the ten year deficit targets set by President Obama and Congress in two years, and was able to fund a jobs program, forgive student debt and secure social programs.  See The 99%’s Deficit Proposal: How to create jobs, reduce the wealth divide and control spending. As a result of the actions of Bolger, the Occupy movement and other activists, the Super Committee, which had been on course to cut Social Security and Medicare, decided not to issue a report.

Watch VFP's YouTube video on Bolger's action here. A press conference with Bolger and other activists will be held next Thursday in Washington, D.C.

AlterNet / By Alex Kane

Posted at April 6, 2012, 11:12am