Powerful Testimony of Targeted Activist, Suzie Dawson (2019 video; 0 to 50 minutes)
This testimony is also presented in edited form in “The Human Cost of Speaking Truth To Power” at 55:15 onward in Episode 5 of Suzie Dawson’s series:
Excerpts of Susan Dawson’s Testimony (2019):
I am also hyper aware that those who target us know full well how miserable we (TIs) are sometimes, how much suffering we are going through, and how hideous what we are going through is. They know this because they constantly spy on us and broadcast it live to Langley, Virginia to CIA headquarters. They were spying on Julian (Assange) on every single second of every day, including in the bathroom. They knew how much Julian was suffering. They watch and study the effects on us targets of what they do to us. We are like lab rats to them. They will tailor their targeting of other people based on the impact that they gauge from monitoring the effects of what they’ve done to us.
… The Enabling Act of 1933 set legislative groundwork that enabled WWII acts by Nazis. After 9/11, Bush asserted both the right and the intention to wage preemptive war or preventative war… this became the basis of “The Bush Doctrine.” This is the same premise as the Nazi War Powers Act of 1933. The Nazis soon used their powers to justify the imprisonment and execution of their own people. The USA Patriot Act of 2001 gave these powers to the US government. Since 9/11, the US empire has likewise used drones to kill Americans extra-judicially. In 2012, the NDAA, the National Defense Authorization Act, had provisions for indefinite detention without trial and American targets have become targets in extra-judicial killings. All this is justified by Bush’s AUMF (Authorization to Use Military Force) of 2001.
I have been trying to spread the word about abuses by the intelligence agencies against activists and dissidents around the world. I am now trying to sue these agencies and bring a halt to their illegal activities.
Nicky Hagar is an investigative journalist in New Zealand and author of seminal books about the intelligence agencies who is targeted by the same intelligence agencies that have targeted me. His work is extremely important. But our situations are extremely different. Nicky Hagar is very famous. When I was being targeted in New Zealand, I wasn’t famous and I had no one to protect me. Not politicians, not the police, not state agencies. I had no ability to maintain safety for myself and my children. The police told me to my face that I would continue being targeted as long as I was an activist.
In 2018, the same companies I named as responsible for my targeting were confirmed in the media. I was telling the truth all along. For me, it was either stay in New Zealand and die or leave and stay alive. Every day I’m in exile, I see the impacts of that exile on my kids.
The people who continue to persecute me use anything I disclose to continue to persecute me and hurt me. The invasion of privacy is next level. I remember that in New Zealand that every word I said was being recorded and scrutinized by security agencies that had it in for me and were trying to destroy me. I feel that these agencies robbed me of some of the most precious years of my life and that of my children. I knew I was being targeted by the state.
They come at you through your children. Going into exile, there are whole other layers to that. There’s the obvious, incredible isolation. Because we lost access to our family, all of our friends, our entire social support network. My kids lost their friends and their belongings. They lost their home they grew up in. They lost their ability to learn and speak their native language like every other child in New Zealand does. They lost the carefree and attentive parent that I was before. I used to be fun, but I have to constantly stay need-focused. So I’m not fun-Mum, I’m stress-Mum, almost all the time. And then you add the language barrier. And to that that I’m constantly probed by intel agents in all the spaces I communicate in. I have to cope with that (spying and sabotage) in digital spaces all of the time.
My way of coping with the isolation was to over-work. I did 20-hour days every day. Then my body started to give out on me. I have been feeling so heart-broken and so vulnerable. I have been campaigning for years for Julian Assange to talk in the public realm about what he was going through. People didn’t understand the reality of what he was suffering through every day. The decline in his health has been going on for the entire decade, from 2010 onward. Eventually, after I kept trying get him to provide this kind of information, Julian did release his medical records. It was a very Julian way to handle the issue. I wanted people to know how dire his situation was.
Julian, like many of our men, doesn’t like to be perceived as vulnerable. Nobody understood how much he suffered every single day. Our (targeted-activist) men don’t like to show vulnerability, particularly when they know that their adversaries are the highest level adversaries in the world who will exploit any weakness and any vulnerability to further hurt them. So our men don’t like to show vulnerability. They like to project strength and power.
A lot of people constantly tell me that I’m really strong. It puzzles me because I haven’t felt strong through any of this. I have had to constantly deal with things in real time. I think perhaps people confuse the strength of my convictions with the idea that I have some kind of personal invulnerability or superpower. I am also hyper aware that those who target us know full well how miserable we are sometimes, how much suffering we are going through, and how hideous what we are going through is. They know this because they constantly spy on us and broadcast it live to Langley, Virginia to CIA headquarters. They were spying on Julian on every single second of every day, including in the bathroom. They knew how much Julian was suffering. They watch and study and the effects on us targets of what they do to us. We are like lab rats to them. They will tailor their targeting of other people based on the impact that they gauge from monitoring the effects of what they’ve done to us.
So what use is it for us to hide all our suffering and what we are going through from those who do love us and who do support us? I don’t think it’s much use at all. That’s why I’ve given a tiny window of what we go through tonight. If you’ve ever had someone really highly manipulative in your life, who lies to you for an extended period of time, and lies to you about fundamental things which relate to why you even chose to engage in any type of relationship with them in the first place, you’ll understand that when you find out the truth, which you inevitably do, you feel like they’ve stolen a piece of your life from you, because if they told you the truth up front you’d have made different decisions. That’s how I feel about this entire process of being targeted. I feel like years of our lives have been stolen and arguably are still being stolen.
Had they not done to us what they did (however), I never would have become an investigative journalist. I never would have become any type of expert on the insane things they do to us every single day. In that sense, they created my investigative journalism by waking me up to the evils that they do.