Wired Strategies Email Alert

Email Alert January 20, 1998

So, here's the scoop.  

I'm part of Tim McVeigh's defense team (the sailor, not the bomber), and am asking you to email the Prez, et. al., on behalf of Senior Chief McVeigh, the guy who the Navy basically used the Internet to spy on, and is now facing a discharge Wednesday evening, January 21.  This time, however, I'm gonna point you to a really cool Web site to help you send email to the officials... http://www.hrc.org/mcveigh

First, some latest news: 
Tim will be back in court Wednesday January 21.  The judge will make some decision on Tim's complaint he filed against the Defense Department, alleging that they violated federal privacy law and the President's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.  The judge has a number of options including putting a temporary restraining order on DOD, ordering an injunction against DOD's imminent discharge of Tim, throwing the case out, etc.  

An interesting aside, during an hour long NPR radio show yesterday (Monday), Dr. Charles Moskos of Northwestern University -- who is the man who authored the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy -- told a caller that the McVeigh case looked like a clear violation of the policy, that if the government broke the privacy laws the case should be dropped, and that in the meantime McVeigh certainly shouldn't be discharged until a thorough investigation has been completed.  It would be interesting (that's a nice way of putting it) if President Clinton took a more conservative (read "meaner") approach to Don't Ask, Don't Tell than the guy who actually authored the damned policy!  

And now for the alert.....
Thanks folks, JOHN
Day of Online Action - Tuesday, January 20, 1997
Urge the White House and the Department of Defense to
Revoke Discharge Procedures Against Senior Chief Timothy R. McVeigh
Go now to http://www.hrc.org/mcveigh and send a fast message using HRC's
easy-to-use action page! 

Secretary of the Navy, John Dalton, has indicated that the Navy will
discharge Senior Chief Timothy R. McVeigh despite evidence that the Navy
potentially violated both the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA)
and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue." The discharge will occur on
Wednesday, January 21, 1997, unless a federal court orders the Navy to
freeze the discharge pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed by McVeigh on
Thursday, January 15, 1997. 

The Secretary of Defense, William Cohen, and the Commander-in-Chief,
President William J. Clinton, retain discretion to stop the discharge and
avoid potentially embarrassing litigation. They, however, need to hear
from you that you are concerned about the government's actions in this

The first concern is that the Department of Navy and Department of Defense
violated ECPA by obtaining McVeigh's subscriber information from AOL
without a warrant, subpoena or McVeigh's consent. That is a violation of
U.S. law. 

The second concern is that McVeigh's command initiated an inquiry against
McVeigh based only on a suspicion that the AOL profile was his, thus
compelling the Navy to confirm McVeigh's identity through AOL. "Don't Ask,
Don't Tell, Don't Pursue" specifically states that suspicions are not
credible information to start an inquiry. 

President Clinton stated in announcing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't
Pursue" that the policy would provide "a decent regard to the legitimate
privacy and associational rights of all servicemembers." Former Secretary
of Defense, Les Aspin, said that servicemembers would have to work hard to
get on the radar screen under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue." Those
promises have failed in this case. 

The Human Rights Campaign, The Service Members Legal Defense Network,
Planet Out, Wired Strategies, and The Electronic Privacy Information
Center urge you to send an important message to President Clinton, Vice
President Gore, Secretary of Defense William Cohen and Secretary of the
Navy John Dalton. HRC's Online Action Center will send a fax and/or an
email to each of their offices. 



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