An Annual Example of Columbus’ Finest…

This past weekend was one that Columbus, Georgia takes in stride each November. As thousands of protesters from all over the country head our way every year to show their displeasure for the School of the Americas-which, by the way, goes by the name Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC)– Columbus business owners look for the little boost to local economy and our local law enforcement officers prepare for a few more folks to spend the night in the county jail. While many view this as a bunch of long-haired, hippie type, pinko Commies, we here in the Chattahoochee Valley also see dollar signs, not just in court fees, but in motel (not HOTEL) rooms, restaurants, gas, and their favorite spot-and mine- Ruth Ann’s.

Columbus Police Officer, Kenny Herring.

This year, 21 people were arrested with fines varying from $200 to over $1000, and 2 people were sentenced to six months in prison, the maximum the Judge could give.  The two protesters sentenced to prison time, Father Louis John Vitale, 78, and Michael Omondi, 24, scaled the fence onto Post. After Omondi’s attorney told Judge Hyles that his client decided to climb to fence at the last minute, Omondi said:

“With all due respect to my attorney, I came from Los Angeles with the specific intention of climbing that fence.”

While most of folks protesting would argue that it is a “peaceful” protest, many come with the intention of breaking the law and trespassing on to Ft. Benning from Columbus. And that is why I have to brag on our local Police Department, Sheriff and Marshall Offices. With efficiency, authority, and the safety of Columbus citizens in mind, the three departments come together to enforce the law and keep general order. Yes, it is these protesters’ right to voice their opinion, but when they break the law, our men and women in blue and tan are there to restore the peace and make sure the proper consequences are put into place.

So, as the Hippies ride off into the night, we here in Muscogee County say “See ya next year…and don’t forget to bring your cash.”


  1. fishtail says:

    While I certainly don’t believe it is very wise or prudent to trespass on Federal property knowing full well that you are going to the Federal slammer for 6 months, there is a part of me that has to respect these folks’ commitment to their beliefs. Torture teaching techniques definitely goes on at Ft. Benning, and I suppose this is their way of bringing attention to the situation. So if they willingly send themselves off for a 6 month sabbatical courtesy of the taxpayers, so be it.

    • macho says:

      The 6 month sabbatical is a badge of honor; probably a form of street cred. I don’t think any of these folks have to worry about losing their jobs for taking the time off. I’m guessing they are either students, unemployed or tenured philosophy professors.

  2. fishtail says:

    This is not an open thread, but I do wish it was.

    {Edited by Charlie. Wishing it doesn’t make it so. You’ve been around here a lot long enough to know better. Don’t take over one of the newbies threads with an obvious threadjack. Either go back to the last open thread (we had one just yesterday), or if you think it deserves its own thread, use the tipline. Don’t do this again.)

    • Lady Thinker says:


      As you well know, our Bill of Rights were ratified in 1791 and the four Alien and Sedition Acts were passed in 1798 in an effort by the government to suppress the press’s free speech portion of the First Amendment.

      It seems the The Republican Press may have been the target of the Alien and Sedition Act for printing their opposing opinions of several political actions during that time period. The Federalists did not like the Republican Pres and thought they were rebellious and opponents of President John Adams’ administration.

      Long story short, sometimes the government doesn’t fully support free speech when it is against them and prefers to use the press for their gains and manipulations. Or so it seems. What say you about this issue?

      • Rick Day says:

        ahhhhhhhhhhh….well..all I can say is: nice strawman!

        it’s not really the same “Republicans” as today’s GOP.

        The party’s founding members chose the name “Republican Party” in the mid-1850s in part as homage to the name initially used by Thomas Jefferson’s party. The name comes from an editorial by Horace Greeley published in June 1854.

        The term “Grand Old Party” is a traditional nickname for the Republican Party, and the initialism “G.O.P.” (or “GOP”) is a commonly used designation. The first reference to the Republican Party as the “grand old party” is dated to 1876; the first use of the abbreviation “GOP” is dated 1884.

        The Democratic-Republican Party or Republican Party was an American political party founded in the early 1790s by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Contemporaries generally called the party “Republican,”.

        I’m sorry, what was your point again?

        • Lady Thinker says:


          My point was the newspaper in question was called the Republican Press and the Adams administration did not like being attacked in the editorals because of their decisions in 1798. Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts for a variety of reasons one of which was an effort to restrain the editorials written by the Republican Press.

          You took my comments to mean the Republican Party and that is not what I said. The Republican Press was the newspaper name, like the AJC of today.

  3. Bill30097 says:

    Fishtail claims “Torture teaching techniques definitely goes on at Ft. Benning,”. Care to offer any seious documentation fo this taitoous slander of our armed forces, libtard?

    • B Balz says:

      Objectively, part of the mission at the School of the America’s (SOA) included ‘enhanced rendition techniques.’ To help ensure future Congressional funding, we see the name change to WHINSEC, and perhaps a remaking of mission. Make no mistake, some very necessary and unpleasant work went on down there. To think otherwise is silly.

      We are at war with narco-terrorists, right here in Georgia. These folks play nasty, with no compunction about civilian casualties, much less about severe enforcement of their own people. The new brand of narco-terrorists are brutal and we are their single largest market.

      The problem with the folks that protest WHINSEC is that they have not really changed their mission; they think creating a hoopla will change the fact that we live in a nasty World where places like SOA , and perhaps WHINSEC are needed.

      I really like the way Theresa brought the issue to light in terms of a boost to the local economy, too funny. Only in America!

      Finally, Jeff makes a valid point, and I bet that WHINSEC has little of the former and unpleasant SOA mission in place. That ‘work’ is probably done in places that have less sensitivity to such matters.

  4. Jeff says:

    Why can’t we just export our mercenaries and let them handle this training? Why does the government need to be involved? After all, most of our mercenaries are former military, many of them quite good at what they did. (And it could be argued that the mercs who got dishonorables are even better at what they did, depending on the situation.)

    Bad guys exist in this world. Unfortunately, far too many of them have been trained by the United States government. (Concrete examples: Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden)

  5. KD_fiscal conservative says:

    While I have no intelligent comment about the SOA operations as really don’t know enough the issue form an opinion, I will agree that Columbus economy, esp. the hotels/motels definitely get a boost, and hope that the the protesters continue to to come year after year (as long as they don’t stay too long).

    I had the pleasure of going to the SOA protest last year as a”tourist” just to see what the ruckus was all about, and I can say there are definitely a bunch of crazy hippie liberal type folks, although they were fairly peaceful when I was there. But every year there there are idiots who decide they have the right to trespass on Ft. Benning, and then there idiots who decide to claim they had some right violated in the days following the protest. I’m hoping these SOA watch people can produce something more interesting next year…

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