On May 4, we will begin to commemorate the Catonsville Nine. For more information, go to http://www.catonsville9.org/.
As part of the commemoration, there will be a protest at the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland on Sunday, May 6 at noon. To participate in the protest, take the Canine Road entrance off of Route 32 and park in the visitors parking lot. Remain in the parking lot until the organizers arrive. There will be a vigil on Route 32, followed by a letter delivery to the main guard station at the NSA.
Can you sign on to the letter to Vice Admiral Michael S. Rogers, the director of the NSA? Can you join us in delivering the letter? Kagiso, Max
Members of the Catonsville Nine Commemoration Committee
Email mobuszewski2001 at comcast.net or phone 410-323-1607.
May 3, 2018
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.
Unfortunately, you have consistently ignored the organization’s request for a meeting with you or one of your representatives to discuss our concerns. There are news reports that you plan to retire this year. We still would like to have a meeting prior to your departure. Your agency has a well-recognized history of illegal surveillance and other activities which violate the constitution. For example, the Trump Administration, like Obama’s, is engaged in an assassination program through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles. We believe this program using killer drone strikes is immoral, illegal and unconstitutional. Even U.S. citizens have been assassinated by drones without due process. Of course, your agency is culpable by providing potential targets for the president's "kill list."
As part of the Commemoration of the Catonsville Nine draft board raid which took place May 17, 1968, a group of citizen activists plan to visit the NSA on May 6. It would be appreciated if a meeting could be arranged. 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 on May 6 to be available at a time convenient to a representative of the Agency.
Please note that Philip Berrigan’s last demonstration took place at the NSA. Also note that in James Bamford’s book, THE PUZZLE PALACE, he reported that the very first protest which took place at the NSA was organized by the Jonah House, founded by Phil Berrigan and Elizabeth McAlister in 1973. Our visit to the NSA will also honor the Kings Bay Plowshares arrested in Georgia on April 5 for a disarmament action. McAlister and six other Plowshares advocates remain in jail in Georgia awaiting a trial date.
Fortunately, there is a handful of courageous insiders who have stepped forward to blow the whistle on the NSA. The most recent whistleblower is Reality Winner, a federal contractor who faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on charges she willfully retained and transmitted national defense information. If she did transmit data, we argue that releasing the information was in the public interest, especially considering that the Trump Administration is trying to deny Russian interference in the 2016 election. What has been written in the media about the alleged leak suggests that she did not transmit “national defense information.” What was allegedly leaked is information that the general public should have seen.
Most every day, journalists depend on leaks, which are a vital source of information in a democracy. Considering the contempt the Trump Administration has for a free press, we are grateful that individuals take a risk in sharing information which belongs in the public realm.
NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake exposed the NSA’s unconstitutional behavior, and suffered greatly. The whistleblowers who have probably suffered the most are Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange. Fortunately, Obama commuted Manning’s sentence. Snowden and Assange are men without a country. Our most immediate concern, however, is Reality Winner.
Join with us in celebrating these whistleblowers who exposed government malfeasance. We ask you to join the celebration: publicly acknowledge that the above whistleblowers were right to speak out and that they should never have been punished; state that they must be compensated for their suffering; call out that all pending and future charges against Assange and Snowden should be dismissed; and finally, inform the president that Ms. Winner should not be prosecuted.
As Dan Berrigan wrote, “Our apologies, good friends, for the fracture of good order, the burning of paper instead of children, the angering of the orderlies in the front parlor of the charnel house.” While the Nine were convicted of a nonviolent protest, the government was never prosecuted though as many as three million people were killed in the Vietnam War.
We need your support for the dismissal of any charges against Winner. You exist in an insular world, and 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. Following up on our demands 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 Committee to Commemorate the Catonsville Nine
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.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