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The European Parliament recently got a glimpse of the life-threatening living nightmare that thousands upon thousands of targeted individuals (TIs) experience daily. A high-profile NSA whistle blower’s testimony to the lawmakers included what surveillance really means, far more than government watching every move and listening to every word of every individual.

Government Accountability Project (GPA) client, NSA whistleblower and TI Thomas Drake, 56, testified before the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on September 30, 2013.  The Committee designated an inquiry into NSA Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens, according to the GPA.

If there’s anyone who knows firsthand about post 9/11 “surveillance,” it’s Thomas Drake. And if there’s anyone who can testify that surveillance involves far more than conventional media and other NSA whistleblowers tell (and thus, most people naively associate with it: “Big Brother watching”), it’s Drake. He was there in the inception of the surveillance abuse program. He was ”an eyewitness to the very foundations of a persistent surveillance state greatly expanded in the deepest of secrecy right after 9/11,” he said in his testimony.

“I was there at the beginning,” Louisiana born Drake said.

“Put your entire life in a box, your documents, bank accounts, your passwords, everything — and give it to a complete stranger — a fellow American for safekeeping,” suggests Drake in presentations. “Would you do it?”

He’s yet to encounter a “yes” response.

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Severe retaliation, reprisal, retribution

In his testimony to the EU Parliament, Drake explained that for upholding the U.S. Constitution and taking a stand for the common good, the United States government targeted him.

Summarizing what every targeted individual known to this author has written or said to her in interviews since 2005, Drake said:

“[T]he government made me a target… and subjected me to severe retaliation, reprisal and retribution that started with forcing me out from my job as a career public servant.”

Blacklisted, no income, wasted attorney fees, financial ruin

“I was subsequently blacklisted, no longer had a stream of income, while simultaneously incurring substantial attorney fees and other huge costs, necessitating a second mortgage on my house, emptying of my bank accounts, including retirement and savings,” explained Drake.

“What I experienced as a whistleblower sends the most chilling of messages about what the government can and will do when one speaks truth to and of power—a direct form of political repression and censorship.”

What every bona fide self-identified TI experiences sends the most chilling of messages about what the government will do and is doing to people who are ordinary law abiding, low-profile people.

While Drake is a high-profile whistleblower, thousands of other individuals have had their names submitted for persecution after far lesser actions. 

Even a jilted lover with “the right connections” can add their innocent ex-partner’s name to the government targeted persecution list. Once listed, these law-abiding citizens will be blacklisted, unable to hold an ordinary job he or she is qualified to hold, be financially ruined, and thus suffer a downward spiral of a life in 24/7 invisible prison – misery all TIs know. 

In that expanding invisible prison, TIs beg for help. Like in any other U.S. prison SHU, (“Segregated Housing Unit,” better known as solitary confinement), where torture is applied 24/7 and pleas for mercy go unheard, the TI remains an in-home, in-community, tortured captive.

With their families and friends misunderstanding and rejecting their claims, targets remains isolated. In isolated confinement, it is easy to continue the targeting abuses.

To date, no effective legal or emotional support exists for such “ordinary” persecuted targets.


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