An eccentric retired Army Colonel who resigned from her role with the State Department the day before the 2003 Invasion of Iraq is now protesting drone warfare outside Nevada’s Creech Air Force Base, having joined forces with radical organizations like Code Pink.
At 71 years of age, retired Colonel Mary Ann Wright has had an arguably well-documented career prior to becoming an activist. Recruited into the Army from the University of Arkansas, she eventually earned a Master’s Degree from the US Naval War College.
Wright would serve 13 years on active duty and 16 years in the Army Reserve before heading to the State Department’s Foreign Service. Before leaving the Army, however, she allegedly drew up contingency plans for invading Iraq.
While working for the Foreign Service, she helped open the US Embassy in Afghanistan in 2001, as well as doing other work around the world.
In March of 2003, Wright was one of three State Department officials who submitted their resignation letter to then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell, one day before the Invasion of Iraq.
She would soon find a home with Code Pink, an organization set up just prior to the Iraq war. From 2005 onward, she became quite active in various anti-military causes.
In addition to being a peace protester, she is also a Palestinian sympathizer who participated in a 2010 flotilla that was attempting to break an Israeli military blockade and ferry material to the Gaza Strip. After being warned multiple times to disperse, Israeli Navy personnel of Shayetet 13 commando team boarded several ships.
Initially using less-lethal devices against the protesters, three Israeli sailors were captured, disarmed of lethal weapons and attacked with melee weapons, with a fourth thrown from the roof of a ship. In response to armed protestors and tasked with rescuing their fellow sailors the commando team opened fire in self-defense. In all, ten activists were killed in the exchange.
In the aftermath of the incident, Wright would go on tour to claim that she had witnessed the “murder [of] nine innocent civilians,” despite the fact that she was on another ship 150 yards away in the pre-dawn hours. She would later admit that she did not see the clash between the IDF and the armed protesters.
On Thursday, Wright attended a protest outside of Creech Air Force Base, denouncing the use of armed drones in combat. The protests -which involve Veterans For Peace and Code Pink- have been going on for over four years, and can last up to a week at a time.
According to the Associated Press, seven anti-drone protesters were arrested yesterday and were transported to the Clark County Jail.
Wright is still at the Creech protest and has been quite active on social media.
“Drone attacks are war crimes,” she said in a video from today, reading off the message on her sign.
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