Every week, Truthdig recognizes an individual or group of people who spoke truth to power, blew the whistle or stood up in the face of injustice. You can see past winners here, and make your own nomination for our next awardee here.
Rather than obey orders to bomb protesters, two Libyan air force pilots left everything behind and fled below radar to Malta. Two other pilots, according to a newspaper in the liberated city of Benghazi, ditched their jet in the desert. This week we recognize those who would lay down their arms and refuse to assist Moammar Gadhafi’s crimes against his people.
Reader SarcastiCanuck, among those who nominated the pilots this week, said they should be acknowledged “for not following orders like brainwashed morons and bombing [their] protesting countrymen. They stood up to the ultimate power and are potentially now marked men. Bravo.”
Every war crime needs someone to just follow orders. Here’s to those who say no.
The Heroes of Wisconsin
Many of our readers sent notes of support for the men and women who took a stand in Wisconsin on behalf of working people, from the public employees and their supporters who stormed the state Capitol to the Democratic legislators who walked out. And let’s not forget the prankster who exposed the governor’s obedience to certain moneyed interests.
In a comment typical of those we received, reader BlueGreen Girl wrote: “Ian Murphy gave average Americans who believe Wisconsin public employees are being scapegoated and abused what we have secretly longed for—an opportunity to be a fly on the wall when the best and the brightest or the rich and the connected are having private conversations with our elected officials. Listening to the taped conversation confirmed some of my [worst] fears. And I am grateful for the revelation.”
Reader Nanette Bulebosh said of the protesters in general: “I have never been so proud of Wisconsin and my fellow citizens. History is being made.”
Several of our readers singled out Mother Jones, in particular, for its reporting on Wisconsin.
And, finally, reader Tim says of the Democratic lawmakers who went AWOL to keep the state from union busting: “The average Wisconsin state employee makes $24,000 a year, so we aren’t talking about addressing waste in budgeting, but rather a sly attack on worker’s rights. So, I say ‘run dems, run!’ ”
Lino Arrigo Azzopardi
One of two Libyan fighter pilots who defected climbs down from his jet at Malta International Airport.