Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 Email mobuszewski at Verizon.net; Phone
July 1, 2015
Vice Admiral Michael S. RogersDirector, National Security Agency
Chief, Central Security Service
National Security Agency
Fort George G. Meade, MD 20755
Dear Admiral Rogers:
For years, members of the Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore have expressed a grave concern for the National Security Agency’s role in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the attacks on Libya, Pakistan and Yemen. The loss of lives, the devastation wreaked on civilian populations, and the resulting instability cause us to request a meeting with you or your representative.
Your agency has a well-recognized history of activities which violate the constitution. Yes, the illegal surveillance also has us very concerned. Finally, it must be noted that the Obama administration is engaged in an assassination program through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones. We believe this assassination program is immoral, illegal and unconstitutional. Even U.S. citizens have been assassinated by drones without a semblance of due process. Your agency is deeply involved in this program by providing potential targets for the president's "kill list."
If you can arrange a meeting so that we can raise our specific concerns with someone in a policy-making capacity, we would adjust our schedules to be there. As a government official, you have a responsibility to meet with citizen activists. Obviously we would want to discuss our concerns and other issues raised by the renowned whistleblower Edward Snowden.
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, other U.S. citizens have been assassinated by killer drone strikes without any pretense of due process.
Most recently, it was revealed that bogus intelligence caused the deaths of Warren Weinstein, 73, an aid worker from Maryland who was a contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Giovanni Lo Porto, 39, an Italian citizen working for a German aid agency. Both were kidnapped by al-Qaeda in Pakistan. These names should be seared in the conscience of all involved in their killings.
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).
As you know the NSA failed miserably to protect us from the 9/11 terroristic strike. One could argue this monumental failure was caused by gathering too much information. For example, the illegal metadata collection is an enormous waste of time, energy and tax dollars. And such a program is blatantly unconstitutional.
We hope that you will take our concerns seriously, and decide to set up a meeting. You exist in an insular world, and you could benefit from a meeting with peace and justice activists. Presumably, the National Security Agency could be involved in legitimate activities to protect this country, but such activities as illegal spying and surveillance or involvement in warmongering must be immediately discontinued. Doing this could bring some honor to your agency, and also give you an opportunity to promote reconciliation and diplomacy rather than pernicious killer drone strikes. A U.S. policy of endless wars and unconstitutional surveillance must be placed in the dustbin of history. We look forward to your response.
On behalf of the Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs