Be a whistleblower, avoid NSA visit to AU campus

For those who have not heard, the National Security Agency is excited to inform us it will be visiting our campus on Sept. 23 to discuss with students its (surveillance) programs and employment opportunities.

Always looking out for us, the NSA offered to assist AU with promoting its event:

To assist you with promoting our event, we are providing the following majors and/or minors that may be interested in attending: International Relations, International Studies, International Security, International Affairs, Global/Regional Studies, Security & Intelligence Studies, Political Science (international focus only; non-U.S. centric), Geospatial/Geography, Topical studies (such as counter-proliferation, counterterrorism, international crime, etc.), Computer Science, Computer Networks, Computer Forensics, Telecommunications, Critical languages (GWOT languages), Finance/International Economics, Chemistry/Biology.

Noticeably missing from the NSA’s suggested majors and minors is the study of human rights. This is likely because, despite the NSA’s attempt to propagate the illusion that it does not violate the rights of Americans through the inclusion of “non-U.S. centric” political sciences, the NSA has routinely violated the rights of Americans and non-Americans alike.

Furthermore, even if Americans were immune from the rights violations perpetrated by the NSA and the U.S. government, it would not immunize the American citizenry from responsibility for the actions of its government.

There is far more information on NSA activities than I can possibly chronicle in this space. So, here is a quick recap via links to the stories in the order they were revealed:

Let us also not forget the lengths to which the Obama administration has gone in its effort to detain NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden:

The timing of the NSA visit, coincidentally, coincides with an event I began organizing in June. On Sept. 23 at 5 p.m., I will be hosting a screening and discussion of Brave New Foundation’s War on Whistleblowers in coordination with the Government Accountability Project as part of GAP’s American Whistleblower Tour: Essential Voices for Accountability.

The event is also being sponsored by Creative Peace Initiatives and the Society for Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs (SEPGA). The NSA, meanwhile, will be recruiting in MGC 4 from 5:00-6:30. SEPGA is also organizing a silent vigil.

Please join us in the SIS Abramson Family Founders Room beginning at 5 p.m. where we will be joined by Jesselyn Radack, a former whistleblower and currently the Government Accountability Project’s National Security and Human Rights Director, and Thomas Drake, whistleblower and former senior member of the NSA, whose life was irrevocably changed the day he decided to blow the whistle.

Following an interview session with Radack and Drake, hosted by Robert Vaughn, WCL Professor of Law, we will screen War on Whistleblowers (pizza will be served). This will be followed by Q&A.

Jeffrey Bachman, Ph.D., is a professorial lecturer in Human Rights and the Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs Program Director in the School of International Service.

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