Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Last chance: Can you sign the letter?/Can you join us on May 3 at the NSA?
National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR], 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 Email mobuszewski at verizon.net; Phone 410-366-1637
April 28, 2014
Vice Admiral Michael S. Rogers
Director, National Security Agency
Chief, Central Security Service
National Security Agency
Fort George G. Meade, MD 20755
Dear Admiral Rogers:
As members of peace and justice groups with grave concern for the National Security Agency’s role in the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan and Yemen, we are writing to request a meeting. We are deeply concerned about our government’s use of unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, to assassinate people in the countries listed above. As you know the NSA is involved in this assassination program by providing potential targets for the president's "kill list."
We are aware that the NSA is open 24 hours a day,7 days a week. Therefore, we are suggesting a meeting at the NSA on Saturday, May 3, 2014. We are confident that someone in a policy-making capacity will be available to meet with us and to arrange a subsequent meeting due to the important nature of our concern.
At the meeting, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance representatives will urge you to support an end to this assassination program which we believe to be illegal. Please confirm that a meeting can take place on May 3.
In 2011 in Yemen, CIA drone attacks were used to kill, first, Anwar Al-Awlaki and weeks later his son. They were U.S. citizens, who were never charged, brought to trial, or convicted of any crime. In fact, four other U.S. citizens have been assassinated by killer drone strikes without any pretense of due process.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights brought a lawsuit in US federal court against the Obama Administration regarding the assassination of Al-Awlaki. The suit was lost on procedural grounds; however, the judge in the case stated "Can the executive order the assassination of a US citizen without first affording him any form of judicial process whatsoever, based on the mere assertion that he is a dangerous member of a terrorist organization?"
The killer drone strikes only promote more terrorism directed at the US. This point was made by Malala Yousafzai when she met with President Obama and his family. On Oct. 11, 2013 Philip Rucker of THE WASHINGTON POST wrote this: “Yousafzai said she was honored to meet Obama and that she raised concerns with him about the administration's use of drones, saying they are ‘fueling terrorism.’”
We are also disturbed by the lack of transparency and oversight by congress. In spite of assurances from President Obama that the victims of drone strikes are surgical targets, it has been reported that hundreds of victims who are innocent of crimes against the US have been killed including civilian men, women, and children. These people have names and families who love them.
According to a report, “US: Reassess Targeted Killings in Yemen,” released on October 21, 2013 by Human Rights Watch “United States targeted airstrikes against alleged terrorists in Yemen have killed civilians in violation of international law." The report added that the strikes are creating a public backlash that undermines US efforts against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
We hope that you will take our concerns seriously, as it is our position that killer drone strikes are wrong on many levels: the illegality and immorality of assassinations, the violation of international law and the constitutional protection of due process, the targeting of civilian populations, and the disregard of sovereignty. We have great concern for people caught up in conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia and Yemen. We believe the US killer drone program must be brought to an end immediately.
Please respond to our request to meet and to discuss your role in terminating the National Security Agency's role in this assassination program. This is an opportunity to consider our proposal of reconciliation and diplomacy rather than pernicious killer drone strikes. A U.S. policy of endless wars must be placed in the dustbin of history. We look forward to your response.
On behalf of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance