Saturday, August 09, 2003


for breaking the law. I'm happy to see them applied.
A woman who went to Iraq to serve as a human shield during the war faces thousands of dollars in federal civil penalties. She says she'll go to prison rather than pay.

Faith Fippinger of Sarasota was told in a letter from the U.S. Department of Treasury that she broke the law by crossing the Iraqi border, violating U.S. sanctions that prohibit American citizens from "virtually all direct or indirect commercial, financial or trade transactions with Iraq."

Fippinger, 62, who learned of the March 20 letter when she returned home May 4, owes the United States at least $10,000, she was told.

"If it comes to fines or imprisonment, please be aware that I will not contribute money to the United States government to continue the build-up of its arsenal of weapons," Fippinger wrote back.

She said she has no intention of paying. "Therefore, perhaps the alternative should be considered."

The alternative could be as much as 12 years in prison.

"She was (in Iraq) in violation of U.S. sanctions," Taylor Griffin, a Treasury Department spokesman, told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. "That's what happens."

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