Nine years ago, my letter of resignation focused on my opposition to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, but I also mentioned the lack of Bush administration effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The lack of effort has continued in the Obama administration.
In the past three years, all during the Obama administration, I have been to Gaza four times, the first time days after the Israeli 22-day attack on Gaza that killed 1,440, wounded 5,000 and left 50,000 homeless. I have been to Israel and to the West Bank in the past three years and have seen the illegal Israeli settlements, the apartheid walls and the demeaning endless checkpoints. I was a passenger on the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla that the Israeli commandos attacked and killed nine unarmed passengers and wounded 50 others. I was an organizer and a passenger on the 2011 U.S. Boat to Gaza, the Audacity of Hope.
Nine years after my resignation, the land and sea blockade of Gaza continues as do the illegal Israeli settlements, the apartheid walls and the inhumane Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank.
Other than mounting Israeli crimes on Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, not much has changed in nine years!
Massive Assault on Civil Liberties in the U.S.
my resignation letter nine years ago, I also mentioned my concern about the
curtailment of civil liberties under Bush's Patriot Act. Bush's illegal surveillance and wiretapping
was codified into US law. Under the
Obama administration we have assassinations of US citizens by drones upheld by
the Attorney General as due process -- not judicial process -- but good enough for
We have the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) giving the US military rights to arrest and imprison American citizens in the United States. Whistleblowers are now charged with espionage and, if you are a Muslim in America, for the 10th year in a row, you had better watch out for local, state and federal police watching your every move. Secret America has placed cameras everywhere and is monitoring your every email, Facebook and GPS connection.
Two weeks ago, Attorney General Eric Holder, in defending Obama's decision to assassinate by drone strikes three American citizens in Yemen, said that our Constitution does not require judicial process in determining whether Americans, or anyone else, are guilty of crimes. Instead, "due process" is all that is required -- due process of a political administration determining who are their enemies and executing them without a trial. This Attorney General, like the three before him -- Ashcroft, Gonzalez and Mukasey -- have subverted our Constitution on torture, wiretapping, illegal detention and now execution.
And because of US government policies and the curtailments of civil liberties, I firmly believe America is less secure than in 2001.
U.S. Government is Running Scared
The US Government is still running scared. It is scared of everything and everyone, including Americans who are trying valiantly to turn our country and government from a fear-based society to a rational society looking at the good and the bad and how we fix the challenges.
The brutal response of police to the OCCUPY movement across the nation is an indication of the fright of government and law enforcement to those who are saying that the scare policies of our government are not working and that the extreme corporate greed, much of it coming from the tremendous amounts of money thrown to "combat terrorism" must end. The double-dipping of police in most big cities of the US, of city policing by day and being the hired security squads of corporate America, has blurred to many police what their duties and responsibilities really are.
My Hope is Standing with Those Challenging U.S. Policies
Nine years after my resignation from the US government, I am proud to stand with the millions of Americans who work each day to challenge our governments at every level, to force them to respond to the needs of the people, not the needs of corporate America and the military-industrial complex.
Nine years after my resignation from the US government, I am proud to stand with the millions of Americans who work each day to challenge our governments at every level, to force them to respond to the needs of the people, not the needs of corporate America and the military-industrial complex!
In the rain, snow and hot sun, they stand on street corners and in front of Federal buildings with their signs and leaflets telling fellow citizens of their concerns. They are in front of the White House and at the U.S. Capitol giving the President and the Congress an earful of comments on the direction our country should be going! They are in tents and on streets with OCCUPY EVERYTHING, the latest, greatest action(s) in our history of citizens telling the government what it needs to hear.
Those who challenge our government's unlawful policies are truly the hope for our country and I am proud to have been for the past nine years to be one of them!