WASHINGTON (UP URS) - A National Security Agency (NSA) analyst, who died on June 3, apparently committed suicide over his surveillance assignment, according to evidence collected at the scene of his death and leaked to UP URS. The document, a suicide note penned by the victim, P. Thomas Ogle, 43, blamed his death on his job, according to a photocopy of the note obtained from a source close to the D.C. Police Department.
"I can't stand it anymore," read part of the note. "I can no longer be a part of this."
Some initially believed that the words meant that Ogle, who had worked for the agency for eight years, had killed himself in a fit of conscience over his part in an NSA anti-terrorism program that accesses millions of Americans' private phone, internet, and credit card records.
But the note makes clear that it was boredom that killed Ogle, not principle. Ogle was assigned to track the records of Ima Mentor, a 63-year old elementary school teacher from Normal, Indiana. The full text of the note makes clear Ogle's motive:
I have never been so bored in all my life. All this woman does is work. It's the same thing day after day. Get up. Get ready. Go to work. Teach school. Stay after school hours to prepare for the next day. Go home. Try to straighten up a little. Cook supper. Grade papers while the TV drones on and her husband watches ESPN in the "Man Cave" downstairs. Then she goes to bed and gets up the next day and does it again. It's been the same thing for months now. I thought once summer arrived, there would be a break. But I learned today that she is going to teach summer school too! I can't stand it anymore. I can no longer be a part of this. Good-bye cruel world.The case has drawn attention because of the recent revelation of access to millions of personal records by the NSA. Civil liberties critics have decried the loss of privacy while government officials have defended the program as legal and necessary for America's security.
Ogle was found by police after neighbors reported hearing a gunshot at approximately 10 pm last Monday. The coroner's preliminary report ruled the death a suicide as Ogle, who died from a gunshot wound to the head, was alone in his locked apartment with the weapon, a .32-caliber handgun, beside his chair.
A police spokesman confirmed that hair was found around the chair where Ogle died. "Apparently, the victim tore his hair out in despair before he shot himself," he said.
The NSA has refused to comment on Ogle's death.