Is NSA General Keith Alexander Violating UCMJ by Lobbying Congress Against Amash Bill?Submitted by Sue4theBillofrights on Tue, 07/23/2013 - 20:45
It is my understanding that soldiers may not participate in political activity while in uniform, creating the impression that the activity is endorsed as the official position of the military. General Alexander is just one man, who happens to be in charge of the NSA. Yet he is using his uniform to lobby in an official capacity on an issue to be decided by the civilian leadership, the duly elected Congress of the United States..
Army Lieutenant Ehren Watada was charged in part because of comments he made in a speech last year to an audience at an antiwar convention in Seattle, Washington. Directive 1344.10 specifically prohibits service members from speaking before any political gathering that promotes a partisan party, candidate, or cause. The directive defines a partisan political activity as one that supports issues specifically identified with a national or state political party and associated or ancillary organizations. (9) Veterans for Peace, the national organization that sponsored Watada's speech, arguably qualifies as an ancillary organization as defined by the regulation. Even though Watada was ultimately charged for using contemptuous language toward the President, he could have also been charged with violating a lawful general regulation under Article 92 of the UCMJ for delivering the speech to begin with in violation of Army regulations.
I'd say a gathering of congressmen qualifies as a 'political gathering." And though soldiers retain their right to petition their own congressman, especially for grievances, lobbying Congress as a whole seems to cross the line into political activity.
This is an important principle. Rep. Justin Amash ran for Congress, and was elected by the people of his district in the heat of democratic battle. Keith Alexander ran for nothing, but rose within an institution known to reward ass-kissing. Yet he wields the authority of the entire NSA against an issue to be decided by the people's representatives. And he is doing it in uniform.
Please ask your congressman to furnish an opinion on whether General Alexander's activities cross that line. Capitol Hill switchboard: 202-224-3121.
WASHINGTON -- The National Security Agency called for a "top secret" meeting with members of the House on Tuesday to lobby against the first House amendment to challenge the agency's authority to cull broad swaths of communications data, according to an invitation circulated in Congress.
The amendment was authored by Rep. Justin Amash, a libertarian Republican from Michigan, and cosponsored by former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and liberal Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers. The House ruled the amendment in order on Monday, and it is expected to get a vote sometime this week.... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/23/keith-alexander-jus...