The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore will do its annual Interdependence Day visit to the National Security Agency. We will depart at 10:15 AM on July 4 for Fort Meade, and then vigil at the NSA from 11 AM to noon. We will then have a 6 PM potluck picnic. RSVP to me at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski at verizon.net. I will inform you as to where we are meeting to carpool to the NSA and the site of the picnic. Get to know better the government agency which is keeping close attention to you.
Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 Email mobuszewski at verizon.net; Phone 410-323-1607
June 30, 2016
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:
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, Syria and Yemen. The loss of lives, the devastation wreaked on civilian populations, and the resulting instability has only emboldened the terrorists to take advantage of the disarray.
Your agency has a well-recognized history of illegal surveillance and other activities which violate the constitution. The Obama administration is engaged in an assassination program through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles. We believe this program using killer drones is immoral, illegal and unconstitutional. Even U.S. citizens have been assassinated by drones without a semblance of due process. Of course, your agency is culpable by providing potential targets for the president's "kill list."
Because of these concerns, we would like to meet with you or your representative. The Nuremberg Tribunals taught us that when a government is involved in war crimes, citizens must speak out. As a government employee, you have a responsibility to hear from the citizenry. We are willing to adjust our schedules to be available at any time or day. We do plan to be at Fort Meade for our annual Interdependence Day visit.
Fortunately, there is a handful of courageous insiders who have stepped forward to blow the whistle on the NSA. Sadly, if unsurprisingly, these whistleblowers have not been recognized as the heroes that they are for attempting to shine the light on the NSA’s illegal and unconstitutional activities. For example, after blowing the whistle on the Stellar Wind program and revealing key details about the NSA’s illegal warrantless wiretapping and data collection of U.S. citizens, NSA employees William Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe suffered the consequences. After being punished, both chose to accept early retirement packages rather than to work for an agency that was breaking the law.
Unfortunately, NSA psychologists have labeled whistleblowers as mentally ill. One person who was so labeled was Russ Tice, one of the sources for the New York Times story that first exposed the NSA’s illegal surveillance program. Because he blew the whistle, he was fired. NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake was one of only four people ever to be charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 with the crime of “willful detention” of “national security information.” These bogus charges were eventually dismissed, but his career with the government was over. Drake accepted a plea agreement to plead guilty to a misdemeanor of “misusing the agency’s computer system.”
The whistleblowers who have probably suffered the most are Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange. Manning may be incarcerated for decades. As for Snowden and Assange, they are men without a country. Our government, instead of welcoming the assertions of whistleblowers, severely punishes those who expose serious violations of the law. Of course, the intent is to remind government employees of the severe consequences meted out to whistleblowers.
On the Fourth of July, we will celebrate these whistleblowers who exposed government malfeasance. We ask you to join the celebration. First, publicly acknowledge that the above whistleblowers were right to speak out and that they should never have been punished; second, say that they must be compensated for their suffering; third, state that all pending and future charges against Assange and Snowden should be dismissed; and fourth, inform the president that he should commute Manning’s sentence.
We could provide a long list of the times the NSA shredded the constitution. Instead, we will mention a few notorious examples.
In 2015, 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, in a U.S. drone strike. Both were kidnapped by al-Qaeda in Pakistan.
In 2003, the NSA’s Frank Koza was involved in a scheme to spy on members of the UN Security Council prior to a vote on an invasion of Iraq by the Bush administration. Finally, as you know, the NSA failed miserably to protect us from the 9/11 terror attacks, possibly because illegal surveillance gathered too much data to recognize an impending attack on U.S. soil.
We hope that you will take our concerns seriously, and decide to set up a meeting with us. You exist in an insular world, and you could benefit from a meeting with peace and justice activists. At this meeting we will urge the NSA to promote reconciliation and diplomacy and renounce pernicious killer drone strikes and illegal surveillance which violates the 4th Amendment. Doing what we suggest will be a positive step for the National Security Agency to rebuild its tarnished reputation. 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: 410-323-1607; 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