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Your Civil Rights Are Being Violated by JBLM: Meet the man leading this illegal activity.
The JBLM Force Protection Division is publishing daily reports about American citizens to INTELINK, a United States Intelligence Community Database. Just what kind of information does an agency that is supposed to be maintaining the physical security of JBLM need to share with the United States Intelligence Community on a daily basis? Meet Daniel L. Vessels, the JBLM employee leading this illegal collection activity and violating your civil rights on a daily basis.
Daniel L. Vessels is the deputy chief (under Thomas R. Rudd) of the JBLM Force Protection Division, the agency accused in the lawsuit (Panagacos v. Towery - https://aclu-wa.org/cases/panagacos-v-towery) of violating the civil rights of hundreds of Americans by conducting an intensive, invasive, and illegal intelligence-gathering operation against people involved in political protest in Washington and Oregon.
The court case clearly showed that the JBLM Force Protection Division was (and obviously still is):
* illegally collecting and disseminating information about non-military-affiliated civilians
* illegally conducting electronic monitoring of social media accounts of non-military-affiliated civilians
* illegally entering email groups to gather information about political activities protected by the First Amendment
* illegally targeting political groups in Washington, listing their activities in intelligence databases and falsely describing their social and political activities as dangerous protests and a threat to the community
On April 7, 2017 at 9:30 AM in the 7th Floor Courtroom # 2 of William K. Nakamura Courthouse in Seattle Washington the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in the case of Julianne Panagacos v. John Towery - an appeal from a summary judgment in an action alleging that civilian army employees spied on participants in Port Militarization Resistance, a political movement based in Olympia and Tacoma, Washington and shared information with the Olympia Police. According to the ACLU during this case JBLM "raised several arguments in favor of dismissal. Their briefs raised questions about what facts are, or would be, sufficient to demonstrate standing in a claim challenging allegedly unlawful government surveillance, questions that have been litigated by the ACLU and others in cases challenging national surveillance programs, including NSA wiretapping." In simple terms, JBLM was able to outspend those of us who filed suit against their illegal acts, and after a long legal battle our case was dismissed on appeal.
So, the lawsuit ended, the case is over, why not let it go and move on to other things. Well, we did and then came Daniel L. Vessels re-doubling their illegal collection activity, building illegal databases on the US Intelink site, and disseminating information about non-military-affiliated civilians to anyone he could get to read his daily "Protection Update". We began to suffer a pattern of threats and harassment stemming directly from Daniel Vessels; threats and harassment that continue to this very day.
Multiple calls, emails, and complaints through the JBLM online comment system called ICE (https://ice.disa.mil/index.cfm?fa=card&sp=109607&s=957&dep=*DoD&sc=29) attempting to address the clearly illegal actions of Daniel Vessels and the JBLM Force Protection Division were all ignored. On one occasion, we were even able to speak with Daniel Vessels on the telephone. His immediate reply to our concerns was to refer to our caller as a "Little Bitch" and then state "Go F*ck Yourself! I can do whatever we want, and there is not a damn thing you can do about it. If you have a f*cking problem, take it up with Trump." This attitude of telling the American people to f*ck off is pervasive throughout the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division. And complaints about this conduct are consistently ignored by all of the leadership at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
So, who is Daniel L Vessels, and just what is his job on JBLM?
We contacted the JBLM Civilian Personnel Office, and they provided us with a link to his job description (https://acpol2.army.mil/fasclass/search_fs/search_fs_output.asp?fcp=zutpk3eFRtaToL2jpsdGuam0buidbYGblqRQf2C7hLBmZ4Oelak%3D) Daniel Vessels is supposed to be a Garrison Antiterrorism Officer. He is supposed to be focused on protecting the base from terrorists, not collecting information about American citizens and building databases on US Intelligence Community sites about political and social activities in Washington and Oregon. When we expressed concerns about the illegal activities being conducted by Daniel Vessels, the Civilian Personnel Office told us that none of what he was doing was within the scope of his job description, but then referred us back to the same people who have ignored our concerns for years to address the issue of criminal activity in the JBLM Force Protection Division.
We had our day in court, and exposed illegal targeting and collection of information about American citizens by the JBLM Force Protection Division. But with the lawsuit dismissed, JBLM has re-doubled its efforts to collect information about political and social activities in Washington and Oregon, and to illegally disseminate that information to others. Of course, we do not hold every person on JBLM accountable for this illegal activity. We have friends on the base and they tell us that there is no way that what the JBLM Force Protection Division is doing can be legal. It violates all sorts of military regulations federal laws, but they say there is nothing that they can do to fix it if the leadership of JBLM won’t address the issue. Those few who dared try to get someone to listen were either ignored or threatened and ordered to shut up about these crimes… or else! At least we have a few people on JBLM who can keep an eye on Daniel Vessels and the JBLM Force Protection Division and tell us about is on-going illegal activities and misconduct; and we will make all of his crimes public.
So, we are here in a public forum to warn of the illegal activities being conducted by the JBLM Force Protection Division and to expose the person who now seems to be leading those illegal activities … Daniel L. Vessels. It has been said that the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing. Well, we refuse to stand by and do nothing while JBLM continues to violate our civil rights. We will continue to shine the public light on the JBLM Force Protection Division and evil men like Daniel Vessels, and the rest of his ilk, until they stop their illegal activity, and publicly apologize to all those they have harmed.
The Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division is illegally collecting and disseminating information about you. Political movements such as AntiFa and Black Lives Matter are labeled as "Terrorism, Extremism, and Anti-Government Activity", and are targeted by DOD Anti-Terrorism Officers.
On November 3, 2017 the Electronic Frontier Foundation warned that "the Department of Defense has broadened surveillance to encompass a new type of potential, U.S.-based threat... and that the Department of Defense can now conduct surveillance of U.S. persons who some in the government refer to as "homegrown violent extremists." But the definition of homegrown violent extremist is not clear and pretty much comes down to anyone who opposes government actions or protests government policy.
At Joint Base Lewis-McChord your political activities and social media comments are tracked, recorded and published to US Intelligence Community databases by Daniel L. Vessels, the deputy chief of the installation’s Force Protection Division. This illegal collection, data-basing, and distribution of information about American Citizens, their political activities, and their comments on social media is nothing new. We have warned about this illegal activity many times in the past, and we have even attempted to speak with Daniel L. Vessels on the phone. When we contacted him he became verbally abusive, referring to our caller as a "Little Bitch" and then stated Go F*ck Yourself! We can do whatever we want, and there is not a damn thing you can do about it. If you have a f*cking problem, take it up with Trump.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord has consistently refused to provide any type of oversight, transparency, or control of their Force Protection Division. When the government refuses to stop its illegal activities, it is necessary for the people to stand up in protest, and make public the illegal activities of corrupt government officials.
Make public every illegal activity of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division and contact the base Commander through the ICE public comment system - https://ice.disa.mil/index.cfm?fa=card&s=957&sp=121425&dep=*DoD - and demand that Daniel L. Vessels be removed from his position at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for illegally collecting information about American citizens.