Dear Gov. Dannel Malloy, Lt. Gov Nancy Wyman, CT Public Safety Commissioner Dora Schriro:
We Refuse to Be Enemies is a coalition of Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Connecticut, committed to peace and justice, and particularly focused on the Middle East. Thus we were dismayed to learn about the on-going and perhaps even increasing NYPD, FBI, and likely CIA surveillance, and worse, of our Muslim brothers and sisters in Connecticut. Especially reprehensible to us is the undercover intrusion into the constitutionally protected activities of university students and personnel, as well as of people who pray in local mosques.
This letter is a follow up to the meeting with Governor Malloy on April 13, 2012 at the Governor’s mansion. There was a promise from then CT Public Safety Commissioner Reuben Bradford to at least look into the matter. However, no response has come forth, including from the office of current CT Public Safety Commissioner, Dora Schriro.
The members of We Refuse to be Enemies would like to express to you our strong condemnation of the Islamophobic policies, behaviors, and attitudes deeply rooted within NYPD’s Intelligence Division (NYPD ID). The NYPD ID and its “counter-terrorism” operations were established and conducted in collaboration with the CIA (both current and former CIA officers), as exposed in part by the Associated Press (AP) series and NYPD Confidential. All collaborations with the CIA for ongoing and past domestic operations (NYPD or FBI) are in violation of the National Security Act of 1947 and Executive Order 12333, and therefore are illegal. The NYPD-CIA, in their highly politicized, discrimina
It would have been alarming enough if the NYPD were conducting these operations and practices only in New York City. However, not only did/does the NYPD-CIA operate within the legal jurisdiction of New York City, but also outside of its traditional jurisdiction, all across the region, nation, and even world (International Liaison Program), including the state of Connecticut. The NYPD ID even had units termed “Out of City units” to conduct documented operations and “visits/letters” in New Jersey, Long Island, and Connecticut, including “Operation NEXUS”, according to the NYPD ID’s 2006 “Strategic Posture” document (pages 100, 103-104, 107), released by Handschu and NYCLU legal efforts.
The NYPD-CIA in particular focused on the annual conventions of Islamic Circle of North America—Muslim American Society (ICNA-MAS), which had been regularly held in Hartford’s Connecticut Convention Center for many years. Outrageously, one particular AP article illustrated a baiting technique of one NYPD-CIA spy, who attended the ICNA-MAS convention(s) in Hartford, CT to conduct his spying and baiting on behalf of the NYPD (and indirectly, the CIA). These ICNA-MAS conventions were and are events at which many notable national public figures speak, including Rep. André Carson, as one can see from the video of his talk at the 2012 ICNA-MAS convention in Hartford. In fact, a foreign power, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was exposed as a major financial sponsor of the NYPD’s slush fund, the NYC Police Foundation, which funds the NYPD ILPs. The UAE is not only a host of one of the NYPD’s International Liaison Program (ILP) satellites, but it also defamed the Muslim American Society (MAS) part of the ICNA-MAS conference organizers, as being terrorists! So in effect, a foreign power, which is funding and wielding influence on operations in the United States through the NYPD-CIA, is accusing a Muslim-American US Congressman of speaking before terrorists in Hartford, CT!
We the members of We Refuse to be Enemies strongly condemn those particular operations within the state of Connecticut. We also condemn such activities by all those who collaborate with and enable the NYPD ID, namely several institutions within the state of Connecticut (CT State police) and parts of the FBI. Other states, like New Jersey, have signed agreements between NYC and their state, to permit operations of the NYPD-CIA within its borders. Given the established presence of the NYPD-CIA within the state of Connecticut, we request that the existence and text of any and all agreements between the state of Connecticut and NYC/NYPD be released to the public.
We have come to understand that despite the “settlement” between the NYPD and some legal groups, the spying and abuses by the NYPD persist to this day, by the current NYPD leadership (Bratton and Miller), just as the abuses persisted through the AP series from 2011 to 2013. As the recent blockbuster Intercept article
We totally reject the prevailing NYPD-CIA notion–unfortunately escalating in the public discourse since 9/11 and now amplified exponentially by certain US election rhetoric–that all Muslims are inherently determined to do destruction to the US. We know better! We have closely followed mainstream media stories that count mass killings in the US by Muslims as “terrorism,” while equally horrific killings by right-wing nationalists or segregationists or white fundamentalists are never assumed to be “terrorism.” When we hear about “failed terrorist attempts,” we worry that the sons and daughters of Muslims across the country are being set up by the FBI and CIA in sting operations to do outrageous things they never would have considered doing, or that they are being pressured to become informants for the security state. These stings and entrapments are not constitutionally protected activities, nor do they keep the country more secure. They divide our communities from each other and from themselves. This is not at all healthy, nor humane, nor good for democracy.
Therefore we ask you to begin to heal the trauma within Connecticut by releasing all information about NYPD-CIA agreements/operations within the state of Connecticut, and by rescinding all connections and collaboration between NYC regarding NYPD ID and the state of Connecticut, particularly since they are operating outside of New York City. In addition, we call upon the Governor, Lt. Governor, and the CT state legislature to propose, pass, sign, and implement legislation against the NYPD-CIA operating within its state. There is a precedent in New Jersey’s 2013 legislation curtailing NYPD and other out-of-state illegal spying, though we assert this legislation does not go far enough.
In summary, the following items are our requests:
1. That the state release all information about NYPD-CIA agreements and operations within Connecticut.
2. That the state rescind all connections and collaborations between NYC/NYPD ID and the state of Connecticut.
3. That the Connecticut State Legislature and Governor develop, pass, and implement legislation halting the NYPD-CIA’s operations of any kind within Connecticut.
The members of We Refuse To Be Enemies take our organization’s name seriously. Deciding not to be enemies with our neighbors is step one. Your urgent action on this matter will indicate that, like our coalition of CT citizens, you are unwilling to be complicit with the ugly ascendancy and assumptions of Islamophobia.
We hope you will actively refuse to allow any spying on CT citizens.
Thank you very much for your attention to this matter. We look forward to hearing from you.
We Refuse to Be Enemies, represented by:
Joyce C. Rawitscher
Omar Scott Antar
Please co-sign this open letter by adding your name to this online petition at change.org:
The following organizations and individuals have already co-signed this open letter:
1) We Refuse To Be Enemies
2) Elizabeth Aaronsohn, Professor Emerita CCSU
3) Joyce C. Rawitscher
4) Omar Scott Antar
5) Yale Muslim Students’ Association (MSA)
6) UCONN Muslim Students’ Association (MSA)
7) Reda Ammar, UCONN Professor
8) Metin Cosgel, UCONN Professor
9) Ana Lachelier
10) David W. Good, Reverend, Minister Emeritus for The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme
11) Tree of Life Education Fund
12) Steven Jungkeit
13) Robert Gelbach
14) Shelly Altman
15) Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven
16) Rabbi Michael Lerner of Tikkun
17) Dr. Margaret Flowers, Co-Director of Popular Resistance
18) Peter Marcuse, Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning, Columbia University
Please join them by adding your name to this online petition!
Thank you very much!
We Refuse To Be Enemies