March 10 Update – VCS Fights for Veterans in Federal Court, Our Civil Liberties Remain in Danger, and President Bush Endorses Torture
Hearings Progress in California – All week long, VCS Executive Director Paul Sullivan was in San Francisco for hearings on our class action lawsuit. Testimony by VA officials revealed many loopholes and inconsistencies in patients’ rights, especially veterans seeking care for suicide. In a local TV interview, Paul said VA failed to deal with the growing problem of veteran suicides. Our case goes to trial Apr. 21, 2008 in Federal District Court in San Francisco.
On Monday, during the court hearing, the nation’s foremost authority on post-traumatic stress disorder testified in Federal Court that up to 30 percent of combat veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are likely to be diagnosed with PTSD and that the Veteran’s Health Administration is not doing enough to help them.
The class action lawsuit forced VA to confirm two important facts: the number of Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran patients continues rising quickly, and the new law mandating five years of free healthcare is an entitlement. VCS encourages veterans to use VA – and we also want VA to be fully ready when veterans arrive for care.
Saving Our Civil Liberties- During a House Judiciary Committee meeting last week, Congressman Alan Clemmons, (R-SC), erroneously claimed that voting is a privilege, not a right. VCS suggests that he read our Constitution again because voting is a right, and efforts to undermine voting rights for anyone are an attack on everyone.
VCS is concerned that some Democrats in the House of Representatives – teetering on the verge of compliance with the spy power demands of the Bush administration – have devised a plan that would give the president everything he has demanded.
FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III told senators yesterday that agents improperly used a type of administrative subpoena to obtain personal data about Americans until internal reforms were enacted last year. Mueller’s comments confirm that our civil liberties were trampled upon during the past six years.
Finally, the President Vetoed Anti-Torture Legislation – President Bush said Saturday he vetoed legislation that would ban the CIA from using harsh interrogation methods such as waterboarding to break suspected terrorists because it would end practices that have prevented attacks. Unfortunately, the President’s disastrous position doesn’t produce results, it undermines our moral authority, and it jeopardizes our combat soldiers.
Remember, VCS stays is largely member-funded, so your generous contributions help us keep up the fight for our veterans, our freedom, and our security!
Veterans for Common Sense
VCS provides advocacy and publicity for issues related to veterans, national security, and civil liberties. VCS is registered with the IRS as a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity, and donations are tax deductible.
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