VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP)
Security forces at Vandenberg Air Force Base are allowed to use “deadly force” in some cases if any anti-war demonstrators infiltrate the military complex, officials said.
Some anti-war activists have announced plans to trespass in hopes of disturbing Vandenberg’s mission and to vandalize sensitive equipment they believe helps the war effort.
Vandenberg officials revealed Friday that military security police have always been allowed to shoot to kill, if necessary, to protect base residents and equipment.
It is more critical now that people understand the severity of that policy, a base spokeswoman said.
“This is not fun and games anymore,” said Maj. Stacee Bako. “We’re living in post 9-11. We don’t know what’s going to happen with the war effort in Iraq.”
Military police will use their judgment, experience and training to determine if lethal force is necessary, she said.
“It’s impossible for us to determine what their intent is,” she said. “Are they protesters? Are there terrorists in that group and (do) they plan on killing everyone on base?”
The policy will not deter protesters, said Peter Lumsdaine of the Vandenberg Action Coalition, one of the organizers of the planned trespassing.
“I think it does underline that people in the nonviolent resistance movement are willing to take some risks,” Lumsdaine said.