Wired Strategies Email Alert

Email Alert January 14, 1998

Wednesday January 14, 1998 

Friends, Tim McVeigh is scheduled to be discharged from the Navy on Thursday, January 15 at midnight.  His case has gained international attention in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, US News & World Report, CNN, ABC News, Good Morning America, AP, Reuters, San Francisco Chornicle, BBC, CNet, Yahoo!, and MSNBC, to name a few.  So many of you have been so helpful in getting the story placed in the press, spreading the word, offering advice and words of support and inside tips.  We thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Now is the time for us to let our voice be heard.  Don't let the President, Vice President, Department of Defense, and America Online get away with destroying the career of this sailor -- one or more of them are guilty, we must now hold them accountable.  Tim deserves better than the way he has been treated for the last 4 months, and as a nation, we deserve better as well.  Therefore, I ask that you respond to the action alert below, written by Barbara Bode, a key member of the Tim McVeigh defense team, and contact the President, Vice President, Congress and AOL like your life depended on it.  Because if the people who are trying to destroy Tim McVeigh's life getting away with what they've done, none of us in the online world are safe ever again. 

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Written by Barbara Bode, a key member of the Tim McVeigh defense team. 
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"Don't Chat, Don't Tell?"  asks the headline in the  Wall Street Journal this morning.  "Don't ask, don't tell,  don't AOL," warns cyber-activist John Aravosis. 

What's going on? 

A highly decorated senior petty officer with 17 years in the service is to be discharged from the Navy tomorrow  night, Thursday at midnight.  The officer, Timothy R. McVeigh (no relation to the Oklahoma bomber), admits to using the word "gay" to describe his marital status in an electronic profile that he created on AOL but says that he never thought his name would  be linked to that on-line identity. 

Writing from Washington DC, Brock Meeks for MSNBC explains:  http://www.msnbc.com/news/wwwashington.asp

"A series of events has burst onto the cyber landscape and left a Navy career ruined, privacy-rights advocates reeling, America Online scrambling to do damage control and the White House wringing its hands over just how far the ‘don't ask, don't tell' policy toward gays in the military should be taken.  It's a tale that justifies every paranoid statement you've ever heard about cyber-snooping by the feds and the dangers of data collection online. 

Welcome to the nightmare on AOL." 

"AOL appears to have violated its much-touted  privacy policy and destroyed a subscriber's life," said David Sobel, General Counsel of the Electronic Privacy Information  Center (EPIC) http://www.epic.org.  "Every AOL subscriber needs to be concerned..."  A letter from Sobel to the Secretary is posted on the  EPIC site. 

What you can do to help: 
ASAP: 
Contact the Vice President vice.president@whitehouse.gov

Contact your Senators:  Ask them to call Navy Secretary Dalton to postpone the discharge and investigate the circumstances surrounding it.  One website where you can find Senators phone and fax numbers and e-mail addresses is:  http://lcweb.loc.gov/global/legislative/senators.html

Note: calls or faxes still have a greater impact on the  Hill than e-mail. 

Also copy (and complain) to Steve Case, CEO of AOL,  at: SteveCase@aol.com  and copy Tim McVeigh at navyviolation@geocities.com .

"This is the Internet version of illegal search and seizure," said Bob Hattoy, gay Clinton appointee.  "The evidence should be thrown out, this patriot should be set free, and AOL and the Navy should be investigated because it's the fourth amendment that's being threatened, not national security." 

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