Sign Our Statement of Concerns
Are you a JPLer concerned about HSPD-12? We invite you to publicly
affirm your concerns by signing this
statement. We invite you to do so whether or not you have already
participated in the badging process. Doing this does not associate you
with the legal case now pending. It does, however, offer a means for
your concerns to be counted.
The best thing you can do is to become informed. You may be
shocked when you find out what is really involved, how dangerous it is,
and how much of your freedom you are giving up. To get rebadged, you
don't simply provide information on forms-- you provide information that
begins an investigation of you.
Did you know:
- That SF85 remains in effect for two years, whether or not you stay at JPL? In other words, federal agents can use your SF85 release as permission to investigate you for two full years, even if you are no longer affiliated with a federal agency.
- That for each place you have lived in the last five years, you
are required to list a neighbor other person who knew you there, and
that these neighbors will be contacted with a questionnaire about
- That the release form on the SF85 or SF85P authorizes an investigator to obtain "any information" on you from schools, residences, employers, criminal establishments, and any other sources?
- That because of the rights you waive, the investigators are explicitly "not limited" in who they can contact about you and what they can ask?
- That you will be asked whether you have taken illegal drugs? That others will be asked whether you abuse drugs/alcohol?
- That others will be asked whether you are mentally/emotionally stable?
- That the new rules prevent JPL from issuing retiree badges?
- That the official SF85 and SF85P forms describe the process as "voluntary," but that JPL will terminate your employment if you don't fill it out?
Delay filling out the rebadging form
The power of delay is important. Consider what would happen if
even 25% of the lab failed to meet the October 27, 2007 deadline for
rebadging. The deadline might be extended. It might delay
implementation. In the meantime, court challenges or congressional
action may cancel the rebadging. If we all participate, and participate
early, we will all be investigated, with our fingerprints being sent to
the FBI's crminal database, and we'll have lost the battle.
There is no single date we recommend you delay to. You should wait
as long as you feel comfortable doing, given the circumstances in your
life. The length of time to delay is a personal choice. For someone
near retirement, this may mean waiting until October 27, 2007, to see
how legal challenges play out, with the acceptance that there is a risk
that JPL may force them to retire or resign. For a person in good
financial condition (e.g., a single full-time engineer or scientist),
this may mean waiting until October 1, with the understanding that there
is a risk they may be put on leave without pay (LWOP) in November. For
someone in a more constrained situation, it may mean simply waiting
until the 15th day of a 15 day deadline given to them by management.
Every day of delay helps!
In decided if or by what date you will participate, you should be
aware that the deadlines and consequences are ill-defined (see FAQ on
deadlines) and frequently changing or being differently interpreted. It
is important for you to remain flexible.
Tell your concerns to your supervisor and others
Tell your concerns to your supervisor, and make him or her
understand them. Don't use off-topic or vitrolic reasons. Stick
to the facts, and use a reasoned argument. Refuse to be pressured into
signing the paperwork without first having all your pending questions
Talk to others in your group, and get them informed of the issues
by pointing them to information resources. Exchange personal email
addresses, in order to have discussions of the topic not bound by JPL's
Use of Resources policy (e.g., to discuss letters to Congress). Make
rebadging a daily topic, and sneak it into the conversation at every
meeting that has new people. We need to promote awareness, otherwise we
risk being sheep led to the slaughter of our freedoms.
Write to your Representative or Senators
Several employees have written to federal or local government officials to voice their concerns about the HSPD-12 implementation. Some of those officials are listed below:
Hon. David Dreier, District Office, 2220 East Route 66, Suite 225, Glendora, CA 91740 -- JPL is within his district
Hon. Adam B. Schiff, 87 North Raymond Avenue, Suite 800, Pasadena, CA 91103 -- many JPL employees live within his district
If you live in another district, you can find your representative and the correct mailing address at House of Representatives. You will need your Zip Code (including +4 in some cases).
California's Senators can be reached via snail mail or email at the locations below:
Hon. Barbara Boxer, 312 N. Spring Street, Suite 1748, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Hon. Dianne Feinstein, 11111 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 915, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Keep the letters short and to the point, reference previous news stories if possible. Also note that submitting your request via email tends to expedite the process significantly. JPL does depend on the efforts of Dreier and Schiff to ensure it's portion of the NASA budget; therefore writing to your representatives will have substantial effects.
Original letters are more convincing and are preferable if you have the time. You can also use a form letter such as the one provided with "A Recourse to HSPD12".
Inform Other Government Employees and Contractors
The HSPD-12/FIPS-201 implementation is not just a JPL or NASA program. It is happening to employees and contractors across all agencies of the government. You likely know other people who will be affected. Tell them of your concerns about the process and encourage them to take action, especially in contacting their representatives in the House and Senate. Point them to this site so they can start getting informed, and be prepared to discuss how this affects them and their colleagues. Action by Congress is more likely if many members of the House and Senate are hearing from their constituents.
"A recourse to HSPD12" provides an easy way to recruit for new members, with a minimum amount of effort.
Ask tough questions and insist on answers
Advertise this web site to your colleagues
Send the URL of this web site to your colleagues. They might thank you!
Join the HSPD12JPL list server to share information
Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HSPD12JPL/ and click on "Join This Group!" or
send an email to Peter Eisenhardt, group moderator, at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the group email list or join the group.
Email sent to HSPD12JPL@yahoogroups.com goes to all members of the list. Replies to such messages will also go to the whole list, so think twice before replying. New members must be approved, so that it doesn't get taken over by spam.
To be approved, ask Dennis Byrnes, Bob Nelson, Susan Foster or anyone you know who is already on the group to send an email
vouching for you to one of the list moderators.
There are several organizations dedicated to promoting civil liberties, preserving our privacy rights. Please consider writing to them and pleading our case:
Fight the rebadging in court
Some people have suggested that they feel like hiring a lawyer. If
you do, please share your experiences. A group of like-minded
individuals is joining forces and combining resources to explore legal
action. Please consider joining the HSPD12JPL Yahoo Group, described
An alternate strategy is to fight in the court of public opinion.
Leave the laboratory
If you decide to leave the laboratory, by either resigning or
retiring, and at least part of the reason involves concerns about the
rebadging process, you are to be admired for taking strong action! Do
not let your strong action speak for itself, however. You need to
document that rebadging is the reason you left, otherwise it will
have little effect. Dan McCleese, the JPL chief scientist, understands
that there are concerns about the rebadging process, and has asked
people to send him written evidence from people that the
rebadging process played a role in their decision to leave the
laboratory or decline an offer of employment. When JPL sees their
talent pool draining before their eyes, it can have a big effect.
Verbal information, especially if it is not first-hand, is not going to
have an effect.
For those who are leaving, letters to the L.A. Times and Pasadena
Star-News may also be effective ways of raising awareness of this issue.
In fact, this is more effective than hiring lawyers; institutions,
particularly universities, will avoid bad publicity at all costs -- and
will be more responsive as a result.
File a FOIA request to see your investigation data
You normally would not have access to the information that the
investigation found about you. However, you may request a copy of your
investigation file under provisions of the Privacy Act. For an
investigation request, write to OPM-IS, FOIP, Post Office Box 618,
Boyers, PA 16018-0618. You must include your full name, Social Security
Number, date and place of birth, and you must sign your request. Call
OPM's Federal Investigations Processing Center, Freedom of Information /
Privacy Act Services, at 724-794-5612 if you have any questions.
Everyone should do this, for a couple of reasons. First, just as
with a credit report, you want to be sure that the information gathered
about you is correct. If it is not correct, you want to insist that it
be corrected, and verify that it is corrected. This is serious. You
don't want to accidentally get on a no-fly list when your name has been
confused with a terrorist (this has actually happened).
Secondly, you want to insist that the government operate
transparently. It is shameful that a FOIA request is necessary to get
this information. Compare this with credit reports-- credit agencies
are required to share your credit information with you, but with the
rebadging investigation, which has much more personal
information, the subject must go through a more difficult process.
Until the law changes, we need to press the issue by forcing them to
deal with as many FOIA requests as possible.