Sick Vets Terrorized in DHS Show of Force
Before he destroyed his career through irresponsible self-indulgence, zillionaire trial lawyer John Edwards used to demagogue about there being two Americas. Maybe he was right. But it isn’t the two Americas of wicked capitalists and the righteous proletariat, as characterized by Edwards. The two Americas are the one veterans fought for, and the one they find themselves living in, now that the country has found itself fundamentally transformed by Hope & Change:
Veterans were horrified while seeking VA health care [last week] when approached by Homeland Security police in an Operation Shield exercise. The exercise was for the purpose of “presence deterrence” at a VA health care facility in San Diego. Many veterans’ legal advocates are concerned about what this “presence deterrence” actually means and what it seeks to accomplish for veterans needing care.
According to reports, 20 officers from the DHS Federal Protective Service (FPS) dressed in full black combat gear crowded at the entrance of VA Mission Valley Health Care Clinic [last] Wednesday. These officers were not wearing any name tags and refused to identify themselves. Four bomb-sniffing dogs accompanied the secretive police group that arrived at the facility in 8 white SUVs marked “FPS”, which then blocked all access to parking for disabled veterans. Veterans arriving for care were alarmed and some frightened away.
Why wouldn’t they be frightened? They have already been designated by the country they fought for as potential terrorists.
VA Mission Valley Health Care Clinic houses numerous service centers including a general practice clinic, psychiatric clinic, PTSD treatment clinic, and the disability compensation evaluation clinic. The impact of this event on veterans is disturbing.
The advocacy group, Honoring Our Troops (HRT), promptly wrote a formal complaint to VA OIG in Washington, DC after fielding numerous communications from veterans who were shocked by these recent federal secret police actions. …
According to HRT’s OIG complaint, veterans on site were harassed and threatened when they took pictures and asked questions about this bizarre behavior. One veteran was threatened with a fine of $10,000 and arrest if he did not delete a photo he had taken. Another elderly veteran refused to enter the clinic with his wife. When the veteran’s wife asked a VA doctor about the action, she was told it was a “familiarization exercise.”
I guess that means an exercise in becoming familiar with what Hope & Change actually means.
Since the OIG complaint, HRT received numerous threatening calls to their organization’s volunteers by individuals whom they believed were VA or DHS employees. Callers blasted the organization saying, “VA does not need this type of exposure right now; bringing this up will not help veterans.” Other harassing calls threatened the staff with stalking and investigations into their own personal conduct. According to HRT, the calls were all blocked to hide the caller’s phone number.
Evidently a message was being sent: we will have no bellyaching to Fox News (which has been blocked from at least one VA hospital) about the quality of government healthcare, even if preventable deaths have been occurring by the dozens. The message some were likely to have received: the bad guys we fought overseas are running America now.
On tips from G. Fox and Henry. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.