- July 31, 2013
- US Army Installation Management Command Headquarters
- United States Army Garrison
- Office of the Garrison Commander
- 4551 Llewellyn Avenue, Suite 5000
- Fort George G. Meade, MD 20755-5000
- Dear Ft. George G. Meade Garrison Commander Colonel Edward C. Rothstein,
- Although I have not yet received your letter barring me from Fort George G. Meade installation, I have been made aware of it on the Army’s Freedom of Information Act website. I am writing this letter to present to you matters as to why I should not be barred from the base.
- It was never my intention to cause any threat, harm, intimidation, or confrontation; but I realize now how the messages could be perceived as threatening in nature. I would not have posted this information if I had known that I would be barred from the base and the trial for doing so.
- The lead prosecutor in US v. PFC Bradley Manning, Major Ashden Fein, revealed the location of his lodging to a civilian - a complete stranger who had no need whatsoever to know this information. As far as I know, Maj. Fein did not tell this person to keep this information private. Rather he was boasting about his work on the trial to people who did not know him. Indirectly this information eventually ended up in my possession. I was shocked that the prosecution of such a high profile case regarding information security and assurance would share this information with the public. I was also surprised that they were not staying in a more secure location such as a military installation.
- I never asked for this information. I have never seen the prosecution team outside the courtroom. I have never visited their hotel. In fact, for months I have gone out of my way not to go near the hotel. I never investigated this information. Although I claimed to know, the truth is I never confirmed this information to be fact until I was barred from the base. I immediately deleted the tweets upon removal from the base, and I have refrained from sharing details with anyone. In retrospect I wish that I had found a more direct method of informing you that Maj. Fein had created this security breach that could potentially affect him and his legal team, but at the time I did not feel it was my responsibility.
- I have been a proud member of the credentialed media since March of 2012, attending nearly everyday. I have been hired to illustrate a book of the pretrial, trial, and sentencing; and my drawings have been used by a wide variety of media organizations. Aside from part-time teaching, this work is my livelihood and drawing the proceedings has been a dream-come true. Since I began covering this trial, I have received over a dozen anonymous death threats, and I live every day fully understanding that intimidation, no matter how abstract, should never be taken lightly.
- I believe if you asked the public affairs staff they would tell you that I have been very friendly, respectful, and professional the entire time prior to this incident. For example, In November of 2012 a guard at the visitor gate told several court spectators, including myself “They should take him out back and shoot him.” referring to Pfc. Bradley Manning. I informed public affairs officers of this, and they informed me that they took care of it and the guard had been reprimanded. If I could turn back time, I would have done the same to inform the public affairs office that the lodging location of the prosecution was known publicly so that they could take the proper steps to protect their safety and security.
- I respect your need for safety and security. If you would please reconsider your decision to bar me from the base and allow me to return to for the rest of the sentencing portion of the trial I would be forever grateful. I promise be on my best behavior while on base, during my time off the base, and on social media. I promise not to post any messages that could remotely be considered threatening or do anything that could possibly pose a risk to the safety and security of anyone who works on base.
- You have my word that this will never happen again. If you need any character references, have any questions, or wish to speak to me, please do not hesitate to call or email. I look forward to your reply.
- Clark Stoeckley
Letter to Ft. Meade Garrison Commander
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