You are hereBlogs / kevinzeese's blog / President Obama Step In to Protect the Constitutional Rights of Veterans and Citizens

President Obama Step In to Protect the Constitutional Rights of Veterans and Citizens


By kevinzeese - Posted on 17 March 2011

The Quantico Command Has Shown It Does Not Respect the Constitution Now They Are Denying Our Freedom of Speech

By Kevin Zeese

As one of the organizers of the non-violent event this Sunday at Quantico in support of Bradley Manning I have been negotiating in good faith with the Marines at Quantico to allow a veteran led flower laying ceremony at the Iwo Jima Monument at the edge of the Marine Base. The monument is open every day of the year except for this Sunday. The Marines are closing it to prevent a veteran led flower laying ceremony.

The disgraceful treatment of Bradley Manning is violating his constitutional rights to Due Process of Law and the Eighth Amendment which forbids cruel and unusual punishment. This young man has not been convicted of anything. He is accused of leaking documents that exposed crimes or misdeeds by the U.S. military and State Department. He was acting as the Constitution urges – to seek a “More Perfect Union.” He should not be prosecuted for this action. President Obama should use this as an opportunity to reconsider the direction of U.S. foreign policy.

Now the Quantico command is showing further disrespect for the Constitution by threatening to deny a veteran led flower laying ceremony to remember the war dead. I have written two memoranda to the Commander at Quantico (see below). In my one conversation with base officials the position of the base was their property rights trump the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution clearly states that our rights should not be abridged.

President Obama needs to step in and correct the command at Quantico. As Commander-in-chief, the President should tell them that the Constitution comes first and order them to allow the flower laying ceremony. Further, Bradley Manning should be removed from Quantico. To begin with, why is a member of the Army at a Marine brig? The Quantico command has shown themselves to be unable to stop torturing Manning and cannot be trusted to properly detain him. His conditions of confinement need to be normalized and his rights protected.

President Obama is the commander-in-chief who has highlighted his experience as a constitutional law professor. He needs to act like the commander in charge of the military and use his power to ensure the Constitution is followed by those who swear to protect it from enemies foreign and domestic. Military veterans are not enemies of the United States, they are people who deserve respect, as do all active citizens.

Please call the White House about this at 202-456-1414 and send them your thoughts along with a link to this article by going to http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact.

First Memorandum to Colonel Daniel J. Choike, Commander Quantico Marine Base, March 16, 2011
Join us this Sunday at 2:00 at the entrance to the Quantico Marine Base. For information visit here.

Colonel Daniel J. Choike
Base Commander

c/o Colonel Thomas V. Johnson
Public Affairs Officer
Via Thomas.V.Johnson@USMC.mil

cc: Lieutenant Patrick G. Aigner
Prince William County Police Department

Dear Colonel Choike:

I am writing to you on behalf of a coalition of veteran and other participating organizations who wish to express our First Amendment and other Constitutionally protected rights on March 20th in public space outside of the Quantico Marine Base.

Our intention is to peacefully and respectfully rally in support of Pfc. Manning across the street from the base. At the end of the rally, veteran Marines and others from multiple U.S. wars will lead us in laying flowers at the Iwo Jima Memorial there. We do this to honor the war dead, including those Marines and all the other soldiers that have given their last full measure of devotion to our country, in order to protect our Constitution and the citizens it serves.
As you know, it is the Constitution that these heroes have fought, and died, to “support and defend.” It is that Constitution, and that defense of it, we wish to utilize and honor. The Iwo Jima Memorial on Rt. 1 is open to the public. It is in public space outside of the check-point for entry into the base. While there is a fence indicating the Marine base is private and a checkpoint prevents people from going onto the base without permission, there is no such fence or checkpoint to visit at the Iwo Jima War Memorial there. The public has an easement and right to lawfully and peacefully visit the Memorial.

We wish to work with you and the local authorities, not against you, to accomplish this goal and express our speech. Closing the memorial, as has been suggested might be done, to prevent our Constitutionally protected political speech would be a violation of the very thing Marines and other troops fought to protect and that we wish to honor and utilize.

The New York Times, which has worked closely with the Department of Defense, wrote in an editorial on March 14th entitled “The Abuse of Private Manning,” that Quantico should “revisit the presumption of innocence and the Constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment.” P.J. Crowley the former Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs has just resigned because he considers the treatment of Pvt. Manning at Quantico "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid." If veterans and other citizens are denied their constitutional right to Freedom of Speech and Assembly, the administration and the USMC will further undermine respect for the Constitution.

We ask you to please work with us in good faith and dignity to make this event work as it should under the Constitution, statutes and laws we all honor and respect. I stand ready and willing to work with you or your representatives, to make this work appropriately, and may be contacted for this purpose at any time, day or night, in furtherance of that goal.

Thank you.

Kevin Zeese, Esq.

Second Memorandum to Colonel Daniel J. Choike, Commander Quantico Marine Base, March 17, 2011

Colonel Daniel J. Choike
Base Commander

c/o Colonel Thomas V. Johnson
Public Affairs Officer
Via Thomas.V.Johnson@USMC.mil

cc: Lieutenant Patrick G. Aigner
Prince William County Police Department

Dear Colonel Choike:

I was disappointed with the response of Colonel Johnson yesterday. He refused to discuss any compromise regarding our intention to lay flowers at the Iwo Jima War Memorial in a ceremony to remember Marines and others who have died in war.

It is important to emphasize that the political event will be taking place off-base property. The only thing that will occur at the edge of base property, in an area always open to the public every day of the year except this Sunday – as I was told on the call – is the laying of flowers to remember the war dead at a war memorial. This is not a political activity, but recognition for those who have died in war.

I am still willing to discuss with you or your representative how we can avoid any conflict on Sunday. I sincerely hope that you share the potential for conflict over the exercise of our Freedom of Speech with officials outside of the Quantico Marine Base. If veterans and other citizens are denied their constitutional rights to Freedom of Speech and Assembly, the Administration and USMC will be further embarrassed by showing a lack of respect for the Constitution which, as you know, assures us of a right to Freedom of Speech and Assembly that cannot be abridged. I hope either you or others in the military will reconsider the possibility of denying our Constitutionally protected rights.

Second, we unequivocally deny any affiliation, knowledge or association with any plans for violence or destruction of property, vandalism or harassment of base personnel as described in the memorandum below. We have nothing to do with the group Anonymous, have had no discussions with them about any cyber-attacks on Quantico and if we were asked would discourage such attacks especially on the day of our Bradley Manning support rally. Such attacks will undermine the message we are intending to send about Pfc. Manning being denied his Constitutional right to Due Process of law and undergoing cruel and unusual punishment which is banned by the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Once again, we ask you to please work with us in good faith and dignity to make this event work as it should under the Constitution, statutes and laws we all honor and respect. I stand ready and willing to work with you or your representatives, to make this work appropriately, and may be contacted for this purpose at any time, day or night, in furtherance of that goal.

Sincerely,

Kevin Zeese, Esq.
301-996-6582

From: Johnson CIV Denise L
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 1:06 PM
To: M&RA All Civilians; M&RA All Officers; M&RA Marines; M&RA NCOs; M&RA
SNCOs
Subject: FW: Possible threat to MCBQ

Good afternoon,
For your situational awareness.

Respectfully,
Denise Johnson

Subject: Possible threat to MCBQ

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There are substantiated indications and warning of possible denial of service attacks on MCBQ by supporters of Wiki-leaks and PFC Manning. It is possible that these attacks will be timed to coincide with protest activity that is scheduled to take place in the vicinity of MCBQ on 20 Mar. Possible threat courses of action could include denial of service attacks on phone, email, and internet services, and could include harassing phone calls (i.e. bomb threats) and mail disruption (i.e. suspicious packages). Additionally, though there is no direct threat, it is possible that actual physical penetrations onto MCBQ property may be undertaken to cause infrastructure damage, vandalism, or harass USMC personnel.

The Base has been involved in detailed response planning with local, regional, and national authorities and is appropriately postured to minimize/mitigate likely threat activity.

Because the exact intent of the protest groups is not known, nor the form of attack they may undertake, MCBQ commands and activities should carefully review their OPSEC and physical security posture.

Recommended actions for MCBQ tenant commands and organizations:

1. Develop alternative communication plans (i.e. installation command net and cell phones) to ensure the ability to communicate with MCBQ emergency services during a denial of service attack.

2. Review MCBQ bomb threat procedures (attached).

3. Review MCBQ procedures for suspicious packages (attached).

4. Area commands shall ensure Installation Command net radios are fully charged and accessible.

5. Ensure Command Duty Officers are briefed on the threat and know the proper response to threatening/harassing phone calls

6. Ensure non-essential fax machines are turned "off"

7. Remind all personnel to be alert for suspicious activity and report it immediately to the MCBQ Security Battalion using the Eagle Eyes hotline (703-432-EYES).

8. Building managers should ensure building perimeters are regularly inspected and that all unmonitored exits are locked when not in use (consider limiting access to a single entrance and mandating ID checks).

9. Remind personnel to avoid posting or discussing aspects of any MCBQ response on Face-Book or other social media forums.

10. Remind personnel, to be aware of phishing (both email and telephone) attempts to gain information about MCBQ personnel or operations.

Additional information concerning protest activities, to include any gate closures, changes to Force Protection Condition, excepted traffic delays, etc., will be distributed via a MCBQ FROSTCALL later this week.

Pete Streng
Director of Operations
3250 Catlin Avenue
Quantico, VA 22134
703-898-9875

Support WarIsACrime



Donate.








Tweet your Congress critters here.


Advertise on this site!




Facebook      Twitter





Our Store:





















The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.