Monday, July 22, 2013

Military Industry Employee 'Throws Down Rifle' for 'Good of the World'

From:  Common Dreams 

Taking inspiration from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Brandon Toy publicly resigns from private 'defense' contractor and says 'you can do it too'

- Sarah Lazare, staff writer
A five-year employee at private defense contracting corporation General Dynamics publicly resigned Tuesday in protest of the company's arming of US-led wars, declaring: "I have always believed that if every foot soldier threw down his rifle war would end. I hereby throw mine down."
Brandon Toy sent his resignation letter in an email to his immediate supervisors, coworkers, and the corporate chain of command, as well as to Common Dreams, who published the statement Tuesday.
The letter has since gone viral, racketing tens of thousands of views on social media sites as attention continues to climb.
Toy—who penned the letter in May and sat on it for months—says that when he pressed send and walked out of his office, he felt that a "giant weight had been lifted from [his] shoulders."
"I feel fantastic," he told Common Dreams. "I did the right thing. I am a little concerned about what I will do for work, but I know I will be working for the good of the world."
Robert Doolittle, General Dynamics spokesperson, told Common Dreams he was aware of Toy's resignation but had no comment.
The Detroit-based Army veteran, who had worked as an engineering project manager for General Dynamics, says that as a paper-pusher for this arms industry giant, he was ethically implicated in its role arming and fighting US-led wars.
"I felt a lot of cognitive dissonance for last two or three years," he explains. "I knew what the truth was and what the consequences of our actions were. But I needed to make a living."
One of the top 'defense' companies in the world, General Dynamics has been mired in controversy for its over 100 years of war profiteering, with profit windfalls from the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, thanks to extensive US contracts. The company has been met with harsh criticism for supplying weapons, including Stryker armored vehicles, tanks and guns, to the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while operating behind a veil of secrecy.

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