By Derek Brouwer
September 9, 2019
Two leading critics of the F-35 fighter jets tried to lay blame for the noisy aircraft’s imminent arrival at the feet of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Monday by staging a sit-in at the senator’s Burlington office.
Rosanne Greco and Roger Bourassa, both retired military officers, were eventually cited for trespass — but only after Burlington police deputy chief Jon Murad tried for 30 minutes to persuade them to leave voluntarily by citing political theorists.
Trailed by a gaggle of reporters, the pair arrived at Courthouse Plaza an hour before the close of business and vowed to remain inside Leahy’s office lobby until the senator agreed to a written demand that he direct the U.S. Air Force to delay its plan to base F-35s at the Burlington International Airport.
The jets are expected to arrive this month.
All three members of Vermont’s congressional delegation support the F-35s, but Leahy lobbied aggressively for Burlington to be chosen as a base, leading an unnamed whistleblower to tell the Boston Globe in 2013 that the site-selection process was “fudged.”