2002 Dec 26 “Cordaro to stand ground while others cross line” by Greg Jerrett, The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil
OMAHA – The Rev. Frank Cordaro is out of prison and ready to get back into the fray this holiday season at Offutt Air Force Base. Cordaro has been crossing onto U.S. military installations for 25 years in protest of American foreign policy. With a war in Iraq looming, Cordaro is hosting an annual retreat and line crossing. Why does he do it?
“At Christmas time, Matthew tells us Herod sent death squads to kill the baby Jesus,” Cordaro said. “In our world today, someone like Saddam Hussein is clearly a Herod, but in this country we own a hundred Herods throughout the world. We are the empire. If we were to own up to our role as empire in the world, we could change the way Herod works around the world. “One way we could do that is to shut down Offutt Air Force Base, which is not only home to Stratcom but the Space Command for our militarization of space. There are many good reasons to celebrate Christmas by resisting at Offutt.”
Cordaro was recently released from prison for crossing onto Offutt in August 2001 while under a ban and bar order. He spent the first three months in a high security detention center in Leavenworth, Kan., before he was transferred to a minimum-security camp in Duluth, Minn.
“I had three bad months and three good months,” he said. Cordaro said he has crossed the line for 25 years and will likely do it again in the future, though not the immediate future. “I am prepared to go back, but I will not be crossing the line this time,” Cordaro said. “I had to make a compromise with my bishop. I agreed to two years of jail free time so the bishop can count on me to cover where I’m needed.” Friday, Cordaro and the Des Moines Catholic Worker are holding their 24th Annual Feast of the Holy Innocents Retreat, Witness & Line Crossing. The retreat will be Friday in the basement of St. John’s Church on the Creighton University campus in Omaha beginning with a Christmas party at 7 p.m.
A vigil will begin at noon Saturday at Offutt’s Kenney Gate at Highway 75 and 73 in Bellevue. The line crossing will take place at 12:30. Preregistration is not necessary. “People can join us at any time,” Cordaro said. “What we need in advance is hospitality for the participants. We want people to come and help us expose, confront an