CIA Officer's Plea
An open letter to civil rights groups in the U.S.
By Jeffrey Sterling
August 14, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" -
Dear NAACP, National Action Network, Rainbow
PUSH Coalition, Congressional Black Caucus and others:
Where were you?
Where were you when I was faced with blatant
discrimination at my job, when my employer told me I was “too big
and too black” to do the job?
Where were you when I, one of the first black
officers to do so, filed a discrimination suit against the Central
Where were you when the justice system of the
United States dismissed my discrimination suit because the U.S.
government maintained that trying my suit would endanger national
Where were you during the many years I reached out
to you, begging, pleading for help from you while the United States
government pursued and tormented me for years, bent on retaliation
Where were you when I begged for help from
Congressman Lacy Clay’s office and they told me to run away, to
leave the country? I was there ... and I didn’t run.
Where were you when the United States government
arrested me, put me in jail and branded me with espionage?
Where were you when the United States put me — the
only person and only black face investigated over a 10-year period
of time — on trial in federal court on Espionage Act charges,
claiming that I am a traitor to national security? When the
prosecution used against me the same issues from my discrimination
case that I had not been allowed to pursue in civil court? When a
jury without a single black member found me guilty, even when the
FBI itself said there was no evidence?
Where were you when a white official, Gen. David
Petraeus — accused of far more violations than I — was given a slap
on the wrist?
Where were you when Archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke
up for me?
Where were you when the judge sentenced me to
prison for 42 months?
I have seen you around.
I saw you when Michael Brown lay dead in the
street only a few miles from my home.
I saw you when other black faces were either
killed or mistreated. I was out there, too.
I felt the joy and promise of the Million Man
March. I felt the joy and the promise when the first black president
was elected. I was there with you then.
Though I am invisible to you, others, many others,
see me and see the injustice that I have endured for a very long
time. Have you not read the editorials, articles and commentaries?
I am now in prison for a crime I did not commit.
The many others I speak of do not claim to be
mighty advocates for civil rights on the same level as you, but they
are there and have been with me, and will be with me as I appeal.
And, they will be with me when I am free.
Where are you?