Responses to Irish Independent 'Ispy' journalist attack

Smashing US Navy plane wasn't illegal
- May I comment on Ian O'Doherty's views in his column concerning Damien Moran's recent deportation from the USA (Irish Independent, April 9).

Mr Moran's actions at Shannon Airport were legal, as confirmed by his court acquittal by a jury after due process under Irish law.

The actions were also in the tradition of non-violent civil disobedience -- a central principle of our Western political culture.

There has been no major change in world values without a small number of courageous individuals willing to sacrifice their own freedom in order to awaken the conscience of the community -- in the struggle for labour rights, racial discrimination, or women's votes.

In India, non-violent civil disobedience played a key role in the struggle for freedom from colonial rule, changing the focus of the community and presenting new possibilities for the human family.

This tradition has been well described by Mahatma Gandhi, Dorothy Day, and Martin Luther King jnr, who, in their own time, were able to challenge us to a new vision which put human law at the service of human dignity and life.

What indeed did the USA have to fear from the presence of Mr Moran in the country?

Is the intellectual defence of the Iraq war so fragile that US citizens need to be protected from Mr Moran's voice for peace?

It's a sad day for the USA when it feels so vulnerable that free speech is prevented and a sadder day for the Irish Independent when it is unable to value people of conscience who are striving for a more peaceful and just world.



- Ian O'Doherty should be reminded that Damien Moran was invited to speak in the US.

He does not travel the world imposing his views on others. He is a thoughtful, modest and thoroughly decent human being whose anti-war, anti-aggression views are, I believe, largely determined by his strong Catholic faith.

Further, he has no criminal record. I was in the Four Courts and heard him (and the other four young people) pronounced not guilty on all charges.

I am proud to call him a friend.




Damien Moran said…
Dear Editor,

I am increasingly concerned that your 'Ispy' columnist Ian O'Doherty is afflicted with 'Alien Hand Syndrome', better known as 'Dr. Strangelove Syndrome.' Those who have had to endure this strange condition speak of their hands having a mind of their own, best embodied by Peter Seller's relentless throttling of himself in the famous 1964 Stanley Kubrick film, 'Dr. Strangelove.'

In his Wednesday column (April 9th), Mr. O'Doherty claimed that I am a 'self-confessed vandal'. One can only presume Ian's uncontrollable hand and unfortunate inability to write factually actually intended for him to write that our disarmament action at Shannon, in February 2003, was an accountable act that we were found innocent of, by unanimous decision of a jury trial in Dublin, almost 2 years ago.

Why? Because we had a lawful excuse in Irish law. Criminal law allows one to disable somebody's property 'only' (Harry's car does not apply) in order to save someone's life and property. In our case, we acted to save life and property in Iraq. International military and legal experts testified in court that it was reasonable to believe we had achieved our goal.

I was deported from the U.S. last weekend despite having been invited to lecture at conferences and university classes by US citizens. This merely proves the fear U.S. security services and the government have of allowing law-abiding citizens to promote the rich tradition of nonviolence and civil disobedience against war.

I sincerely hope Ian contacts me before writing next time. At least then we could have a heart to heart chat (tungsten-free) about why 12 Dublin jurors deemed our peace group innocent 2 years ago, thus making one of the braver and more just legal decisions in recent legal history.

Damien Moran
Damien Moran said…
Letter to Indo. from Iraq War veteran

Mr. Ian O' Doherty,
I hope you are having a wonderful afternoon and I am writing you from my home state in the Mountains of the Cherokee, North Carolina, USA, on behalf of and the defense of MR. Moran, for action taken at Shannon Airport.

I have to say that I am appalled by your recent smear tactics against MR. Moran, his action, as well as the actions of the other Plow Share members, that took part in the disabling of the illegal use of Irelands air space, as a taxi service for N. American Imperialism, has saved the lives of innocent Iraq women and children who are caught in the cross fire of a illegal war.

I was in Iraq during the initial invasion in 2003 'Sir' and have seen first hand the power of Carpet Bombings and so on.

Mr. Ian O' Doherty, Humanity and the protection of Humanity is the highest selfless, sacrifice any human being can make.

I can honestly say, without a shadow of doubt, that MR. Moran displays the courage and tenacity of the late, REV. Martin Luther King. I live in the rural South and the name of MR. King is spoken, with the love of Humanity, so Mr. O' Doherty, I feel your comments are unfounded and as far as the way, we, Son and Daughters of the South, feel about you and your most recent libel.

You, Sir and 'I use the word Sir, loosely', are a Cat Fish in the bottom of the Mississippi River, digging your hard nose into the red, Mississippi mud!.

Truth and Justice,
Jimmy JR. Massey
Damien Moran said…
To the Editor

Dear Sir/Madam
I can only gather from Ian O'Doherty's reference to Foster & Allen ( Wed. 8th.April) playing Sun City under the former South African regime that he will be equally affronted by Bono's - of U2 fame - planned attendance at Israel's forthcoming 60th anniversary celebrations in Jerusalem; or perhaps that's expecting too
much by way of consistency from this journogoonalist whose formula appears to be one of simply ticking opinion boxes for the boss.

Take his attack on Catholic Workers peace activist Damien Moran which
involved libelling both the jury that acquitted the Pitstop Ploughshares Five and Moran himself.

Ian's column wanders about from lambasting the Chinese for crimes in Tibet to extolling the virtues of the US for crimes in Iraq and praising their decision to send Moran packing from Chicago airport
last week, because of his planned attendance at a peace conference, which coincided with celebrations commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. drawing a parallel which Ian found challenging; the idea that we should seek favourable comparison with our role models and mentors, specifically that Moran should seek to identify with King the martyred Afro-American Preacher.

(Righteousness is inherent in struggle and inherited through action. It has no breed or seed and belongs to all who defend what is right. It is universal or not at all).

They say it's all about whose side your on and Ian for one certainly knows what side his bread is buttered on. As for serving the truth Ian would rather serve it up on a platter - to his Boss.

Certainly he is remarkably
gifted in the consistency of his inconsistency, so much so one wonders whether he hasn't studied at Bertie's School of Porkie Pies & Posturing.

But it is not until one is deluded to the point of no longer knowing what truth is that one can be expected to put on sterling performances like Bertie's 'How I wept for the weeping woman that wept coz of the lies they made her say I told'. The frisson of excitement which swept across the
country after that performance is evident in today's opinion poll, which is the clearest indication yet that the public actively endorses corruption.

Surely Ian's big moment is still ahead of him. Still, till then he must satisfy himself with libelling a jury and the reputation of a man who thought nothing of crossing the world for peace and who spent his Summer holidays in Palestine, after railing across Europe - not to mention risking imprisonment in Ireland and his tireless anti-war activism in Poland.

Well gosh isn't it just great to have writers like Messer O'Doherty to let us know when our thinking has gone astray. From his very own self constructed leaning tower of lob-side opinions pieces he is ideally placed to drop indo-munitions on the upright passer bye. All we need now is a mass grave to bury his victims in, somewhere down in Meath I suspect.

Paul Cassidy
(Monaghan Sinn Fein)
Damien Moran said…
"If there's one thing that even the most vociferous Left-wingers of this column's acquaintance will admit, it's a growing discomfort with the fact that lies and distortions and character assassination have now become acceptable in a debate"

That's for sure. A man acquitted unanimously in court is described as a vandal. A vandal is a criminal. Damien Moran has no criminal convictions. An aircraft used to transport the tools of death is compared to a journalist's car.

Harry Browne's car, doesn't transport weapons used to kill people in illegal invasions. Unless you know something the rest of us do not?

Still when you get your news from Tony O'Reilly, who cares about an inconvenient truth?

Tim Hourigan
Damien Moran said…
Dear Editor,
Poor Ian O'Doherty. In the same column (April 9th) where he excoriates a few bloggers (and by extension "the Left") for lacking civility and balance about Charlton Heston, he can't resist indulging in distortion and invective against Shannon-Five peace activist Damien Moran and, incidentally, "journalist Harry Browne".
Did Moran compare himself to Martin Luther King? Of course he didn't.
Did I, as O'Doherty reports, ascribe Moran's instant deportation from the US to the "skewed sense of justice that plagues America". No, I did not.
Although O'Doherty prefers to erase all subtlety, the fact is that, like him, I was unsurprised that US authorities refused admission to a man who happily confesses his part in the "disarmament" of a US military plane. Moran might have faced worse.
But what does that lack of surprise tell us? That we -- O'Doherty and I -- have absorbed a dangerous identification of "America" with its military machine. That we have lost our capacity to be outraged that ordinary people in that country -- Moran's brother, the activists who looked forward to meeting him, the majority who oppose the war -- should be deprived of his presence because he acted against that machine. That the careful decision of an Irish jury, who after a complex trial ruled Moran innocent of any crime, is self-evidently irrelevant to US authorities.
O'Doherty asks if my attitude to Moran would extend to someone who trashed my car. A better analogy would be, say, my crazy uncle's car, parked on someone else's lawn, already used in crimes all over the neighbourhood and on its way to another one.

Harry Browne
Dublin 12
Damien Moran said…
Dear Editor,

I don't know if Ian O'Doherty agrees that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty, but he clearly believes that Irish peace activist Damien Moran is guilty despite having been proven innocent - unanimously - by an Irish jury in what he, O'Doherty, calls "one of the most disgraceful
decisions in recent legal history" (8th April).

That decision was Moran's acquittal (along with four other activists)
on a charge of criminal damage for having taken a hammer to a US war-plane at Shannon in 2003.

In 2006 the jury accepted that the defendants' actions were intended to save Iraqi lives, and that the "disarmament" of the plane was done with "lawful excuse" - relevant details omitted by Mr O'Doherty, who wasn't present at the trial or either of those that preceded it.

I have little doubt that Damien Moran is used to the jibes o right-wing journalists, but on this occasion Mr O'Doherty has stooped to insulting the legal process and the twelve jurors who scrupulously implemented it.

I was once present at a media debate at which Mr O'Doherty, unable to defend himself against the criticism that he had no factual basis for certain
comments on Palestine in his column, burst out with the admission that "I'm a contrarian - my role is to present a perspective opposed to political correctness!"

The implication was that this role necessitated no respect for truth or accuracy. His snide abuse of Damien Moran should be read in this light.

Sincerely -

Raymond Deane
Damien Moran said…
Perhaps Ian Doherty may disagree with the unanimous ‘not guilty’ verdict handed down
by twelve Irish citizens who actually listened to the evidence in the case of the five
protestors who damaged a US military warplane (or ‘disarmed’ it by their own assertion),
as is his right to do.

He may not however attempt to mislead or undermine that verdict by attempting to defame one of them in light of his refusal into the US.

This State has not challenged the verdict and if this is a democracy we live in we all must adhere to the laws of this State, and its findings, like it or not.

Mr Doherty shows a positively juvenile baseless approach to the law it seems when he dosent agree with its findings by calling it

Citing Damien Moran as ‘playing a game of smashy smashy with its engines’ shows Ian Doherty’s ignorance for both the law and the evidence.

He also ignores the wider context
of what Mr Moran and his friends had attempted- to prevent an un-provoked war. Mr Doherty also childishly attacks Harry Brown in saying that ...‘perhaps..the next time someone trashes Browne's car.... he'll be the first to invite the guilty party into his

Perhaps Ian Doherty would be better showing a little remorse for the 1.2 million lives lost and a country destroyed (now theres vandalism), than using this paper to attack someone who at least tried to prevent this attrocity happening.

Perhaps if someone like
Damien Moran and his friends played ‘smashy smashy’ with the car carrying the Omagh Bomb-which Baghdad suffers daily, Ian might have regarded him differently.

Would Mr. Doherty condemn this act? There is an obligation on us all to prevent injustice and the
unanimous acquittal of the five peace activists was an act of sanity in this ever increasingly insane world.

This is Devin from over at Bock's.Thanks for the follow up and clarification.I misspoke in my comment and submitted it after a rather hasty (too hasty) scan of your original post.
I'm sorry about that.As usual it turns out the problem is me.Best of luck.
Damien Moran said…
No bother. It's just a pain in the hole. I understand. It's more a pain in the hole when people like O'Doherty get paid for writing shite.
Let me know if u are in Warsaw and I'll give ya a free tour;))
You're on Damien.I'd invite you to Washington but you know...

Things will get better.Wait and see.
You're on Damien.I'd invite you to Washington but you know...

Things will get better.Wait and see.
Stephen said…
Hello! My name is Stephen, and I am an American college student who is hoping to move to Warsaw in the fall after I graduate from school. If you would be willing, I would love to ask you some questions about life in Poland and such. I'm just trying to get the logistics figured out and would love to talk to someone who has had the experience. My email address is: Ta!
geez said…
Damien, I posted something at the Independent site in your support but for some reason it didn't appear. Just wanted to take the minute to letcha know I appreciate ya for the stuff you do.

Keep on keeping on!
Damien Moran said…
Thanks Geez. It's important to not let journalists away with their 'opinions' at the expense of the public being misled. At least the Indo, by publishing some letters in response to O'Doherty's column, allowed both sides of the argument. That's all that one can expect, and after that it is up to the judgement of the reader.

your response was not published (I guess you posted online?) as it was either too harsh on the journo or it was just too clever or maybe too long to publish.

O'Doherty's latest garbage

Thanks for taking the effort for letting him know that those on the other side of the Atlantic don't agree with Harper and Bush's policies and lack of respect for free speech, freedom of movement, etc.
Quickroute said…
what a surprise - NOT! that 'The Indo' prints garbage and people still read it instead of using it for what it's meant for i.e. toilet paper!
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Damien Moran said…
Thanks qishaya. You write like Ian O'Doherty.

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