May 27, 2010
Text of email from National Whistleblowers Center
A former prosecutor who blew the whistle on the abuse of our Constitution in the Guantánamo Bay military commissions is now in danger of losing his 19-year military career. Lieutenant Colonel Darrel Vandeveld was retaliated against for having the courage to follow orders and speak the truth about the mockery of due process afforded to detainees in Guantánamo Bay.
On June 1, a military promotions board will meet, ironically, not to honor or promote Lt. Col. Vandeveld, a highly decorated member of the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps who served in Bosnia, Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan, as both a solder in combat and a prosecutor. More than likely, they will smear his name, preventing him from an honorable retirement just 4 months away from 20 years of outstanding service to our nation.
Lt. Col. Vandeveld needs your help to defend his honor, as he has stood up to defend the Constitution.
Lt. Col. Vandeveld resigned from his position at Guantánamo, because he could not ethically or legally prosecute Mohammed Jawad. The Jawad case brought to light many of the problems occurring at Guantánamo, including abusive interrogations, evidence withheld from the defense, judicial incompetence, and confessions coerced through torture. Lt. Col. Vandeveld gave judge-ordered testimony in the Jawad case, and in return for his honesty under oath and the public outrage that followed, the military issued him his first negative performance evaluation.
Lt. Col. Vandeveld was then subpoenaed in 2009 to testify before Congress regarding the Military Commissions Act of 2009, where he again spoke the truth, stating, “the military commission system is broken beyond repair. Even good faith efforts at revision…leave in place provisions that are illegal and unconstitutional.”
Instead of taking his testimony seriously, the Army chose to retaliate against Lt. Col. Vandeveld for his courageous stand and also to resume the commissions at Guantánamo with minimal revisions.
We cannot allow the reputation of a distinguished soldier to be destroyed because he had the courage speak honestly when ordered to do so. We need to defend men and women of conscience who, like Lt. Col. Vandeveld, honor American values of justice, due process and basic human rights above all else. Their courage on the battlefield and in the courtroom to step forward and put an end to abuses of the Constitution they swore to protect and defend should be rewarded, not punished.
We urge you to pass this message on to your friends, family, and anyone who may be concerned for our nation’s safety and security.