Friday, February 10, 2006

Sedition? Sedition??? You must be kidding?

Senator Bingaman wants probe into VA 'sedition' investigation of nurse, and I for one am glad he has asked for this probe. As a nurse and a former VA nurse to boot, I am totally apalled that the VA even called her disagreement with Bush's policies "sedition." She has the right to express her opinion, period. Of course now we know that even T-shirts with opinions on them can get you arrested. Bring it on boys, I am NOT scared.

February 8, 2006

(AP) - Sen. Jeff Bingaman asked Veterans Affairs Secretary James Nicholson
for a thorough inquiry of his agency's investigation into whether a VA
nurse's letter criticizing the Bush administration amounted to "sedition."

The agency's human resources office ultimately cleared her of any
wrongdoing, but Senator Bingaman, D-N.M., said Tuesday he was concerned that
the VA investigated Laura Berg of Albuquerque in the first place.

Merely opposing government policies and expressing a desire to change course
"does not provide reason to believe that a person is involved in illegal
subversive activity," he said.

Senator Bingaman said such investigations raise "a very real possibility of
chilling legitimate political speech."

"In a democracy, expressing disagreement with the government's actions does
not amount to sedition or insurrection," he wrote. "It is, and must remain,
protected speech. Although it may be permissible to implement restrictions
regarding a government employee's political activities during work hours or
on government premises, such employees do not surrender their right to
freedom of speech when they enlist in government service."

Senator Bingaman said he wants the matter investigated so VA officials will
have guidance about handling similar situations in the future.

Laura Berg, a clinical nurse specialist, wrote a letter in September to a
weekly Albuquerque newspaper criticizing how the Bush administration
mishandled Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq War. She urged people to "act
forcefully" to remove an administration she said played games of "vicious

She signed the letter as a private citizen, and the VA had no reason to
suspect she used government resources to write it, according to the American
Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, which last week asked the government to
apologize to Berg for seizing her computer and investigating her.

VA human resources chief Mel Hooker had said in a Nov. 9 letter that his
agency was obligated to investigate "any act which potentially represents
sedition," the ACLU said. Copyright 2006 The Associated Press

Here is a portion of what Ms. Berg wrote:
I am furious with the tragically misplaced priorities and criminal negligence of this government. The Katrina tragedy in the U.S. shows that the emperor has no clothes!...The public has no sense of the additional devastating human and financial costs of post-traumatic stress disorder....

Bush, Cheney, Chertoff, Brown, and Rice should be tried for criminal negligence....This country needs to get out of Iraq now and return to our original vision and priorities of caring for land and people and resources rather than killing for oil. . . . We need to wake up and get real here, and act forcefully to remove a government administration playing games of smoke and mirrors and vicious deceit. Otherwise, many more of us will be facing living hell in these times.


Blogger VTexan said...

Just for grins...think back 10 years ago...can you even IMAGINE someone back then calling a letter of this tone, complaining about the Clinton administration... SEDITION?

Time for this country to live up to its claims of being a free country. Claiming you're free ain't the hard part. It's actually BEING free that's tough.

10:09 PM  

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