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JBLM Force Protection Division before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
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 will hear 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.
On April 7th, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division will present oral arguments, through their attorneys, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The outcome of this appeal should be of great interest to every person that cares about civil rights, individual liberties, and personal privacy. The Panagacos v. Towery case stems from the fact that the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division illegally spied on political groups in Washington and Oregon and continues to do so to this day. The Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division is a government / military agency with a long history of violating the civil rights of the American people. This office is lead Thomas R. Rudd and his deputy Daniel L. Vessels. These are the same men accused in the current 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 Army admits in their report that... Rudd... broke regulations and committed major violations of Posse Comitatus. Rudd and those under his command in the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division treated local political activists as enemy combatants and conducted intensive and invasive intelligence-gathering about them... they used everything in their arsenal, including reporting on their personal lives, political and religious beliefs, and even getting a few labeled as domestic terrorists."
After the violations of law and regulation came to light, John Towery (one of the spies employed by Thomas Rudd) left his employment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (then, Fort Lewis), and Thomas Rudd, the supervisor in charge of this illegal activity was reprimanded and ordered to immediately cease his illegal activities. However, Thomas Rudd remained the head to the Force Protection Division and continued his illegal spying on political groups and individuals throughout the Pacific Northwest. In a legal deposition in 2014, Thomas Rudd admitted "that he continued to anonymously spy on email listservs of political activists" even after being reprimanded and instructed to cease his illegal activities. We saw clear evidence of Thomas Rudd, and his deputy Daniel Vessels, illegally monitoring the social media accounts of political activists, collecting information about political activities and reporting are political gathering - calling them terrorist protests in their daily bulletin. Most recently we saw them targeting the political gatherings of Seattle Council member Sawant, calling her initiatives for a better Seattle violent protests, domestic terrorism, and a threat to JBLM personnel.
Thomas Rudd and his deputy Daniel Vessels continue their illegal activity and spying on American citizens to this very day in 2017. Daniel Vessels, a former Army Infantry NCO, has engaged in a pattern of violent intimidation and harassment of anyone who questioned the illegal activities of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division. Even today in 2017, in their daily bulletin Thomas Rudd and Daniel Vessels instruct the military and civilian personnel living and working on the base, and in communities throughout the United States that receive their bulletin, to report "suspicious activity" directly to them. And just what is this suspicious activity these evil men want reported to them? Well, in their own words "nothing is too trivial to report". Take a photograph, ask an innocent question, attend a political gathering, or even express an opinion on social media that the government does not approve of, and you will find your life being scrutinized by Thomas Rudd and Daniel Vessels at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division. Your name and personal details will be entered into military antiterrorism databases, to be shared with law enforcement and security agencies nationwide.
And so, it happens again and again until it becomes natural for you to fear taking a photograph, supporting a political point of view, or expressing your opinion on social media, for fear of being reported to the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division and thereafter being brutalized by the military and civilian police that work on the base, or by police in the civilian communities where you live, at the request of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Like the schoolyard bully who is allowed to terrorize and assault the other children, if that behavior is not addressed and immediately corrected it will continue. And it has continued to this very day. Proof of this can be found in any one of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division's daily bulletins; e-mailed to hundreds of agencies throughout the United States every day. (A copy of their email distribution list was recently published online, letting us clearly see the great expanse of their criminal activity.)
In the past, we have suggested that you contact the Commander of Joint Base Lewis-McChord and ask that he put a stop to the illegal activities of Thomas Rudd and Daniel Vessels in the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division. While many of you contacted the Commander, the illegal activities of Thomas Rudd and Daniel Vessels continues to this very day. Most attempts to address our concerns with Joint Base Lewis-McChord are simply ignored. And on the few occasions when anyone has been able to speak with someone at the base, the response has been less than professional. In January 2017, we were able to speak with Daniel Vessels on the telephone. His immediate reply to our concerns was "Go F*ck Yourself. I don’t work for you." 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.
And so, April 7, 2017 becomes an essential date in the fight for civil rights, individual liberties, and personal privacy. If the Ninth Circuit Court allows the summary judgment (trial court dismissal) of the charges against the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division to stand; it shows just how pervasive government tyranny has become. The court must send this case back to trial, and the trial court must find the illegal activities of men like Thomas Rudd and Daniel Vessel unacceptable. The Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division must be shut down and this type of illegal activity on the part of government must never be allowed to happen in the future.
In these last few days before arguments go before the Ninth Circuit Court; help gather more proof of ongoing illegal activity being conducted by Thomas Rudd and Daniel Vessels. Gather every piece of information that you can about the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division's current illegal activities. Show every time where they are still violating law, regulation, and policy. Send copies of any information that you develop to Plaintiffs' Lead Attorney Larry Hildes 360-599-4339 / LHildes [at] earthlink.net