Brandon Toy’s Act of Conscience

Ray McGovern, July 19, 2013

From the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence:

Courage, like cowardice, often comes in individual, incremental pieces building toward something great and honorable, or small and dishonorable. The resignation of Brandon Toy from General Dynamics fits into the former category and is so honored by an organization of former intelligence officials.

We, the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII), salute Brandon Toy, who chose to walk away from his job with a U.S. defense contractor to protest the U.S. government’s violation of human and civil rights. Mr. Toy properly followed the dictates of his conscience. His very public renunciation (see below) of misdeeds by the U.S. military-industrial-surveillance complex is an act of protest that, we hope, will inspire others to hold their own governments to account.

Secrecy is a tool states use most commonly in order to mask unethical, unconstitutional, criminal and foolish behavior. Brandon Toy’s informed rejection of a system that is violating the basic rights of its own citizens depends on whistleblowers, who in turn rely on courageous, professional journalists to inform the public.

As committed truth-tellers and whistleblowers from several countries, members of SAAII placed our careers, livelihoods, and, in some cases, our personal freedom on the line so that people like Mr. Toy would have the needed information to weigh career against moral duty.

We note the words of former Republican Sen. Gordon Humphrey, who in a 15 July email to whistleblower Edward Snowden — confirmed as authentic by Sen. Humphrey in a separate message to Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald — praised Mr. Snowden for “exposing what I regard as a massive violation of the U.S. Constitution.”

SAAII is proud to have chosen Mr. Snowden as the 2013 recipient of the Sam Adams Award, which we announced on July 8. We look forward to presenting the award to Mr. Snowden in person, as is our custom, when circumstances permit.

We believe courageous public acts like that of Brandon Toy deserve the support of people everywhere. These actions are essential to making defense of the Constitution and basic human rights and freedoms a shared duty of every citizen, rather than the isolated act of a few.

The Sam Adams Award, named in honor of the late CIA intelligence analyst Sam Adams, has been given in previous years to truth-tellers Coleen Rowley of the FBI; Katharine Gun of British Intelligence; Sibel Edmonds of the FBI; Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan; Sam Provance; former U.S. Army Sergeant at Abu Ghraib; Maj. Frank Grevil of Danish Army Intelligence; Larry Wilkerson, Colonel, U.S. Army (ret.), former chief of staff to Colin Powell at State; Julian Assange of WikiLeaks; Thomas Drake, former senior NSA official; Jesselyn Radack, Director of National Security and Human Rights, Government Accountability Project; and Thomas Fingar, former Assistant Secretary of State and Director, National Intelligence Council. This year’s awardee is Edward Snowden, a former contractor at the National Security Agency.

Below is the full text of Mr. Toy’s statement as published by the CommonDreams.org website, which wrote that “Brandon Toy resigned his job working for US defense contractor General Dynamics as an Engineering Project Manager building Stryker armored fighting vehicles on July 16, 2013. Previously, Brandon served in the Michigan Army National Guard as a Multiple Launch Rocket System Fire Direction Specialist, Team Leader and Vehicle Commander. He was deployed as a military policeman to Baghdad, Iraq in 2004 – 2005.”

I Hereby Resign in Protest Effective Immediately

by Brandon Toy

I hereby resign in protest effective immediately.

I have served the post-911 Military Industrial complex for 10 years, first as a soldier in Baghdad, and now as a defense contractor.

I have always believed that if every foot soldier threw down his rifle war would end. I hereby throw mine down. At the time of my enlistment, I believed in the cause. I was ignorant, naïve, and misled. The narrative, professed by the state, and echoed by the mainstream press, has proven false and criminal. We have become what I thought we were fighting against.

Recent revelations by fearless journalists of war crimes including counterinsurgency “dirty” wars, drone terrorism, the suspension of due process, torture, mass surveillance, and widespread regulatory capture have shed light on the true nature of the current US Government. I encourage you to read more about these topics at the links I have provided below.

Some will say that I am being irresponsible, impractical, and irrational. Others will insist that I am crazy. I have come to believe that the true insanity is doing nothing. As long as we sit in comfort, turning a blind eye to the injustices of the world, nothing will change. It is even worse to play an active part, protesting all along that I am not the true criminal.

I was only a foot soldier, and am now a low level clerk. However, I have always believed that if every foot soldier threw down his rifle war would end. I hereby throw mine down.

Sincerely,

Brandon M. Toy
Stryker Engineering Project Management, ?General Dynamics Land Systems, Sterling Heights, Michigan

Reprinted with permission from Consortium News.




12 Responses to “Brandon Toy’s Act of Conscience”

  1. Long blog post. But thank you Brandon Toy.

    And for all those journalists, political writers, bloggers, shouting into the void about how bad things are, wondering if you make any difference, because the mainstream ignores, the powers that be are vicious scum, and the people seem more apathetic than the bodies in a cemetery. People like Brandon Toy are your reward and your proof. Savor it like the finest reward. And the hope that he will inspire yet more.

    "Recent revelations by fearless journalists of war crimes including counterinsurgency “dirty” wars, drone terrorism, the suspension of due process, torture, mass surveillance, and widespread regulatory capture have shed light on the true nature of the current US Government. I encourage you to read more about these topics at the links I have provided below."

    He directly cites Greenwald but that's a lot of writers he could be talking about there.

  2. I have always believed that if every foot soldier threw down his rifle war would end. I hereby throw mine down. At the time of my enlistment, I believed in the cause. I was ignorant, naïve, and misled. The narrative, professed by the state, and echoed by the mainstream press, has proven false and criminal. We have become what I thought we were fighting against.

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  4. Glory hallelujah! There are still real Americans left.

  5. U$kingz have always believed that if every foot soldier threw down his $rifle for shariaa Allah, war would endNOW. They hereafter Quran understanding throw more money for war tradincc. At the time of their CIA enlistment, They believed in the cause. We were greedy,ignorant, and Full of it. The narrative, professed by the OPEX state, and echoed by the mainstream kingz press, have proven false and criminal. We have become what We all thought we were fighting against..

  6. And the links that he wanted us to follow? I wish that you had included those.

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  9. I wonder if Mr. Toy stumbled onto Smedley Butler's famous treatise War is a Racket, or a friend referred him to it.

  10. I sat in a Directors meeting one day last year while employed by Xcel Power Systems in the UK. I had been employed as Business Development Manager/Director to attempt to increase revenues from a paltry £5M/year to £10M and beyond. I had presented a way of achieving this by evolving out of just being a supplier of power systems to military applications and start to expand into telecommunications and renewables (solar and wind). The ideas were welcomed but I soon found out the company had wishes to achieve but not the real ability. However, this one day in the meeting, there had been media coverage of a possible strike on Iran and my Managing Director and Head of Engineering were gleeful about it because, as they said "It'll mean selling more systems for missiles". I couldn't believe what I was hearing and it made me sick. I voiced my opinion and it wasn't too long after that that I was terminated from my position. In one respect, I was happy to leave. These people disgusted me.

  11. Brandon, I would like to congratulate on your courage and morality for resigning from General Dynamics. You may start an uproar with all of us who were against George W.'s illegal war on Iraq. I was a Marine Corps grunt in the Vietnam War who believed we were doing the right thing. My first patrol into a Vietnamese village show me the people hated us. When we left the village, a booby trap gave us a warning. I did not understand the anti-war protesters like the Berrigan brothers(jesuits),Howard Zinn etc. I started to read about Kerry. I also read about George W. He had lied to the peoples of America and the world about Hussein,W.M.D.s,and terrorism. He was sending innocent men and women to die for those lies and murdered 100's of thousands of Iraqis. With him were Cheney, Rumsfeld,Rice, Wolfowitz etc. The International Criminal Court said they are war criminals and we the people should give them over to the Court. We are not an empire but a nation who follows a great Constitution and its laws. Thank you my hero, Brandon Toy, for your courage and morality. PLEASE, AMERICA, lets show the world our courage! READ! Start with the Downing Street Memos.

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