Bans iPhones

Benjamin KrauseVeterans are now receiving leaflets from Veterans Affairs prior to diagnostic appointments that show iPhones are among a short list of “prohibited items” at VA medical centers. Other items on the list are pistols, knives and backpacks.

The decision is a violation of due process and numerous laws protecting the rights of disabled Americans. Let me explain why.

The key here seems to be that VA forgets that veterans are also Americans who are protected by the Constitution and who also possess unalienable rights. Did we sign our rights away forever by fighting our country’s battles?

#veterans need #iphones to help with their #tbi... VA should stop interfering. Click to Tweet

Based on the photo, does this mean iPhone or all cell phones are “prohibited”? Does that also include banning the well-known “Obama Phone”? I wonder if they called the White House before running this one up the flagpole?

Ten-year-olds across the country can bring a backpack and iPhone wherever they want… but a disabled veteran will need to leave her medications, records and iPhone in the car before reporting to her traumatic brain injury (TBI) exam?

According to the leaflet, veterans who show up with an iPhone (or presumably other cell phone types) will be denied due process rights including a disability examination, according to the leaflet.

VA Prohibited Items

The leaflet does not explain what to do if the veteran is prescribed use of an iPhone or backpack as an accommodative device that helps the disabled veteran with a disability.

Changes to policy like this are coming on the back of recent revelations that VA violated the due process rights of more than 300 veterans with reported traumatic brain injuries. There, at Minneapolis VA, at least one veteran (a client of mine) openly recorded his appointment with VA staff in a legal manner because it occurred in Minnesota. In Minnesota, it is legal to record so long as at least one person is aware of the recording. Federal laws do not restrict this. But don’t try that in California and some other dual party states where all parties to a conversation must consent to recording. (It is up to you to ensure you are legally recording a VA official.)

Based on the leaflet going around, VA is apparently afraid such transparency – (ie recording what VA staff are saying to veterans) – will cause some kind of risk severe enough to ban all iPhones. What kind of risk are they working to prevent?

Lately, VA has shown a deeper paranoia of veterans of the current wars and has implemented certain policies that infringe on our due process rights.

Previously, I reported on VA using secret committees when using its “patient flag” system. That system allows VA employees to limit a veteran’s access to health care without notice or an opportunity to confront the accuser. Instead, the veteran is notified only after VA makes a decision.

RELATED: Soviet Style Patient Flag System Exposed

Similarly, last October VA implemented a new policy that would restrict a veteran’s access to her disability compensation records – contained within the CPRS medical record system – under the claim that some veterans are violent.

RELATED: Paranoid VA Officials Paint Veterans As Crazed Psychos

The anecdotal claim is now used to justify denying access to the records until after Veterans Benefits Administration makes a decision on the claim. VA is trying to redefine a medical diagnostic exam as not being the practice of medicine where errors could result in medical malpractice claims.

RELATED: Fear Of Violence Justified Denial Of Medical Records

However, such policies limit access to electronic medical records and may violate HIPAA as a result. But VA never seems to mind making policy decisions that violate clearly established laws and regulations.

RELATED: Is VA Misleading Veterans About The ‘Blue Button’?

Now, VA will deny a veteran access to a lawfully mandated disability examination if that same veteran has an iPhone or backpack. Iphones are routinely used to help veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries take notes and remember appointments. VA doctors often prescribe use of these devices to help disabled veterans.

Additionally, veterans with bad backs, using crutches, or using wheelchairs will also be prohibited from using backpacks as accommodative devices under threat of losing our due process and legal right to receive a disability examination. Many paralyzed veterans will not be able to house their colostomy bags, apparently.

Does this seem strange or is it just me? How many of you receive leaflets like this prior to receiving non-VA health care?

I don’t know about you, but my next step was to file a FOIA request yesterday. It is important to push any Federal agency to follow the law. Otherwise, we will get nothing less then the Communist government we all fought hard to defeat over the years.

How ironic is that? While we fought the Cold War, the Communists were busy infiltrating the Department of Veterans Affairs to give us nothing less than the same horrific and hatefully oppressive treatment we fought 60 years to defeat?

Are current VA policies a sign that we actually lost the Cold War in an ironic twist of fate? When should we call Apple to let them know VA is unlawfully banning their phones?

UPDATE: VA issued an apology for its ‘ill-advised’ ban of cellphones

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/10/01/va-apologizes-for-ill-advised-ban-on-veterans-cellphones/

http://freebeacon.com/issues/va-ban-of-phones-for-veterans-was-ill-advised/

78 COMMENTS

  1. Sounds to me that the VA is trying to quash *any possibility* of any Veteran recording their medical visits, without overtly stating as such.

    Backpacks- That is a huge slap in face because *many* Veterans have to use public transportation, bike, or even moped to get to appointments and keeping these documents/files safe is important. Also, **MANY** Homeless Veterans pretty much carry their ‘whole life’ in a backpack, if they can even afford that.
    I do not intend this as a ‘sexist comment’ when I ask this question then: Why then would it be totally okay for a female Veteran to bring her PURSE to the VAMC, yet a backpack is now not allowed? THAT, my fellow Veterans/Survivors, is discrimination, nothing less. Maybe male Veterans need to fight this by bringing a “man purse/laptop bag” instead?
    What’s next? The VA further vilifying Veterans by unlawful searches and seizures at each VAMC entrance?
    This is unbelievable…but believable none-the-less because of the adversarial stance the VA has taken towards Veterans.
    Very interested in what comes of the FOIA Requests on this because Constitutional and Human Rights are being violated at the VA’s whim.

    • I attended a disabled veteran with his companion dog. Th veteran was being manhandled a VA town hall at Bay Pines in Florida. After the meeting the VA cops were arresting a disabled veteran with a companion dog. The veteran was being manhandled by the thug cops and other veterans leaving the meeting were threatening anybody with a cell phone that it was against the law to take pictures on VA property. I have never figured out why there are full fledged police at any VA facility. These cops acted like thugs in the way that they treated any, and all, veterans that night.

      This is why they are banning cell phones with cameras. Another reason that the VA needs to be done away with. They have created their own police state, and the veterans that use the VA are their target.

      • That would be the KGB secret police, posing as American police. I am not joking. Putin is meeting with Obama today, and he thinks this is funny. Part of the process of our intel community turning KGB to the American side is having our agents act like theirs, and vice versa. The problem is, we have gotten so good at it that our government offices have literally become KGB launching points, especially at the VA where their mission is to destroy our military by working downstream at the VA and then back up into the Pentagon from there.

      • You said: “They have created their own police state.” Exactly! Tyranny is doomed for failure from within. Hundreds, if not thousands of VA whistleblowers are proof of that.

      • People!! People!! People!!

        These VA “police” thugs are nothing more than fodder. My respect for law enforcement is above and beyond, but these Va “cops” must be brought down a few notches….

        Get it!!

        They are abusive and physically, intentionally boasting federal authority. I say to all veterans, if you are at a VA facility, watch your veteran brother and sister and have their 12, 3, 6, 9……. a VA “cop” will wish he could climb back into the very womb from which he fell….

        ENOUGH IS A ENOUGH… Anything VA is worthy of ZILCH!!

  2. Ben, under CFR 38 17.107 the veteran can appeal the decision, but of course they do not follow the law. The best thing you can do is file a sf 95 for defamation and slander , give them proper notice , then sue them under the Equal Protection Doctrine.

  3. 09/28/2015

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Your next step is on the Senate Building doorstep.

    Been tell you for months now.

    The Court system is failing.

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

  4. Ben, I also do wonder what Apple would think of their Brand-Specific Banning, use of their name to encompass ALL “Smart Phones”?

    The question also remains just *how* does the VA ‘define’ iPhone? Will it be all Android and otherwise as well? They all pretty much have digital recording capabilities as well as video, so see how the VA picks and chooses just how to interpret *any* term, (recall 40 mile as crow flies Choice Card debauchery, that still persists), and this continued blatant ignoring put-place procedures and also obscured at best, transparency and truth to Congressional Committees, I think it’s high-time for the VA to have it’s “Carte Blanch” taken away.

    They cannot arbitrarily make Nazi-ish totalitarian rules and rules that totally ignore the Constitution!!!

    PIRATES HAVE TAKEN OVER THE SHIP CALLED THE VA

    Does this then mean that ALL VA EMPLOYEES cannot have ANY iPHONE or such in buildings as well? Great question that exposes the ridiculousness level this reeks of.
    Rant over.

  5. So now the people who can’t get any of my benefits worked out, are always behind when I show up for my appointments want me to not have anything to do when I get there? Get out of here.

    If I need to record my medical docs, type in some notes, or schedule a follow-up visit on my calendar, I should be able to. I’m bringing my damn phone and they can kick rocks!

  6. In Florida, ALL parties must be aware of and give permission to be recorded.
    I wish our laws were the same in Minneapolis. But their not.
    I would also like to know how VA can use a trademark (“Iphone”) brand name without permission?

    • Exactly it seems to be trademark infringement. And some states are still 2 party consent under the wiretapping laws but only like 6 and not for long. with the new federal court ruling in 2011, recording government activity and employees is protected under the first amendment, no more qualified immunity ha!!

    • This is an original story from this website written by me. The leaflet was recently received by a veteran in Colorado. I submitted a FOIA request for additional information from VA yesterday. It will probably take 60 days to get a response.

      • I was at the Denver VA a few years back, recorded all kinds of craziness they did to me. Someone caught wind I was recording then it got to the patient advocates office. The patient advocate tried every avenue to get me ejected form receiving care at the Denver VA. They made it their personal mission to get me out of there. Like the one time I arrive at the ER because I was having chest pains, well the charge nurse told me I couldn’t get into the ER because I wasn’t a combat vet and then when I told her I was having chest pains and I needed to be seen it was hurting me, she called the VA police and had them tell me I wouldn’t be seen, I glad I recorded that one in case I died so other would know what happened to me. Just think if the VA has their way now how many vets will die and no proof of their suffering. Or, another one of my favorites…a social worker agreed to ask about a mental health policy the mental health department would not give to me. I told her specifically and she acknowledged, do not give out my name or my personal information, I do not want me brought up at all, its just a general question, she agreed. This Bitch calls me back and tells me she spoke to so and so in mental health and told them I wanted information on a policy. But this isn’t the worst part!!! When I asked her why she mentioned my name she told me I gave her permission!!! I was so blown away I told her I specifically said not to give my name and she agreed, she denied it, told me she specifically asked me if it was OK to give my name and I consented. She then spent another 30 minutes or so trying to convince me I was actually wrong or hallucinating, she said why would she make something like that up? or why would she lie about asking me? I said…lady I don’t know why you would lie about all this, but you sure as hell are!!! She asked me how I knew for sure what was said and that I must be hallucinating, I told her…no, because I recorded it! She asked me if she could here herself on my recorder and I said…and if I am right what are you gonna do?? She said she would apologize…So I let her listen and she went haywire and accused me of recording her without her consent and she was so angry at me!!! Yeah I am glad I recorded that one!!!!

        Recorders are mandatory. Lets not forget how the VA doctors decide what goes into a vets records. According to the head of mental health at the Tucson VA this is how it works, and yes this is recorded on my recorder. Now this is for mental health…

        Vet meets with Dr.
        Dr. verbally asks vet questions, vet responds.
        While vet is talking, Dr. secretly, in the Dr’s mind, ask vet a question, vet is totally unaware.
        Dr. then proceeds to formulate the answer to the question they asked vet in their mind but vet was completely unaware this was happening.
        Vet continues to ramble on about whatever their current symptoms are, but what goes into the vets records is the answer to the question the Dr. secretly posed in the Dr’s mind but never actually posed to vet.

        example:

        Vet complains they are depressed.
        Dr. verbally asks vet why.
        Vet says it started in military when vet was sexually assaulted.
        Dr. secretly poses question to vet, were you sexually abused as a child.
        Vet is unaware of the question.
        Dr. answers Dr’s secrete question with a yes.
        Dr. flags vets medical file that vet told doctor he was sexually abused as a child and was seeking treatment for related depression…

        This is exactly how the Chief of mental health at the Tucson VA explained it to me, glad
        I recorded that one!!!

        Lets also not forget that the Dr’s believe non service connected vets are only malingering and feigning symptoms for cash $$$ benefits and will be treated as criminals such as they are. I asked for a second opinion on my PTSD diagnosis from the VA, or lack of one and that is what the psychiatrist told me, I was trying to get him to diagnose me with PTSD so I could get cash $$$ money I didn’t deserve. After that he just labeled me as a malingerer with severe narcissistic personality disorder. I see how he got confused as they both start with a P. Never had a personality disorder before in the 10 plus years I had been receiving community mental health care, now all the sudden I have that and not PTSD. Glad I recorded that one!!!

        I could go on and on , I have 60 plus gigabytes of recording my efforts to fight for my rights, now i am just tired.

  7. Ben

    Thank God the VA has banned cell phones! It will make sure there is no way to record meetings like on Jan 23 when the Phoenix VA Social Work Chief David Jacobson admits “5 suicidal vets walked out of the hospital this past week,” and “we are just really lucky nothing bad has happened yet, it was sheer luck.”

    This ban will also keep young combat vets from recording like the one in Georgia who was looking for help with PTSD but was told his clinic was no longer accepting veterans.

    Also has anyone thought what we as veterans are supposed to do when we show up to an appointment scheduled at 11am but we wait until 130pm to get called back?

    Great move VA! Yet another scare tactic. You can’t take away someone’s first amendment rights! This won’t last and I welcome the Phoenix VA to attempt to take my cell the next time I am there.

    Please let that happen. Arrest me for it.

    Take care Ben and keep up the good work!

  8. Yeah, used to work at a local hospital, if you think today’s cellphones interfere with today’s machinery then you are severely mistaken. My brick mobile phone from 1994 would most likely cause issues with hospital machinery from the 1990s but today’s stuff, nope no way nada.
    Then again maybe the VA is still using machinery from the 90s, over 20 yrs old.
    That’s okay, I’ll just take my lil pocket digital recorder with me, & a paper calendar, let’s see how long I can make them wait like they do us.

  9. You mentioned Vets with #TBI in your article, but what about all our Visually Impaired and Blind Vets that use their iPhones for its voiceover function. Taking it away is taking away their independance, just like our TBI vets. I am a lower extermity amputee, unfortunatly most of the time when I go to the VA it is in a wheel chair or on crutches. No matter how little I carry, it is in a backpack (even though I am a female). We have vets with upper extermity amputations that need both backpacks and smart phones. This was ill though out and needs to be quickly revoked. In addition to the above already listed, it also has to be in violation of the ADA!

  10. I can see weapons and things that take pictures: nothing new there. But backpacks?

    Every guy has a backpack like women have purses. There has to be additional information not disclosed in the article. Backpacks like everything else is x-rayed at entrance gates.

    They must be smoking something in CO.

    • Maybe male vets can start using a ‘man purse’ when they go to the VA. What will they ban next? Vests that have pockets? Fanny packs? Coats that have lots of pockets. Cargo pants? The VA is a gigantic social disease, ran by a bunch of lunatics who have taken over the asylum.

  11. My VA issued hearing aids are connected by Bluetooth through my phone. I guess I won’t be able to hear the VA doctor or anyone while in the VA facility.

  12. THIS SMARTPHONE BAN IS ANOTHER VA ‘TAKE-AWAY’ PLOY, A CRUDE BUT EFFECTIVE WAY TO GET VETS ALL WORKED UP AND FOCUSED ON AN OBSCURE BUT VALID AREA OF COMPLAINT. THE TRUE PURPOSE IS TO DISTRACT FROM WHATEVER IT IS THE VA IS REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT, AND IT SURE AS HELL IS NOT SMARTPHONES. IF THEY CAN GET PROMINENT POLITICIANS TALKING ON THE NEWS ABOUT THE INSANITY OF BANNING CELL PHONES, THE VA IS LESS LIKELY TO TAKE HEAT ON ISSUES LIKE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS MISAPPROPRIATED/STOLEN FOR VA HOSPITALS THAT WERE NEVER FINISHED, OR HOW MANY VETS ACTUALLY DIED WHILE WAITING FOR MEDICAL CARE OR ANY OTHER HARD-EARNED BENEFIT. IT IS A CLASSIC CHEAP SALES TACTIC. THE USED CAR SALESMAN GOES OUT AND TAKES THE PREMIUM WHEELS OFF A CAR THAT IS PRICED AT $5,000 THEN OFFERS TO ‘THROW IN’ A NICE SET OF PREMIUM WHEELS AND NEW TIRES THAT THE BUYER SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN FOR THAT PRICE IN THE FIRST PLACE. TAKE AWAY THE SMARTPHONES, THEN GIVE THEM BACK, WHILE ROME BURNS, AND NO ONE EVEN NOTICES THEY WERE DISTRACTED AND PLAYED. THEN WE SIMPLE-MINDED VETS ARE APPEASED AND HAPPY BECAUSE WE GOT OUR SMARTPHONES BACK. FUCKING VA CLOWNS!

  13. Dear Mr. Krause:

    How long is the VA going to be permitted to violate our Constitutional rights, what we were ready to fight and die to protect they are doing this piecemeal, now they are taking our 1st Amendment right along with the rest?

    Something has to be done, if they have to impeach Obama, he is a traitor as far as I am concerned we no longer have to worry about ISIS we have worse now; our own government betraying us.

  14. Well all I have to say is let them try to stop me from having my phone on my person. I have a special needs child and if the need arises that his care provider has to contact me and cannot due to some BS tactic the VA is trying to institute there will be hell to pay. Not entirely sure that his problems were not caused by all the shit I was given prior to or during my service in the Golf War but guess I’m just paranoid!! To hell with the VA burn the damn system down and start all over again but will end up just as corrupt as before. We can’t win this war its been fixed for too long!

    • Its on 42nd Street, I believe, and many years ago, I was blocked from they web-site. Once the VA, in Manhattan, found out that I was visiting their web-site. Thus very old cell phone (pay as you go), that had a battery life time of two, or four hours. That was just how long I would have too wait before someone called me, for our section at the regional office. They knew that I made a computer program. That could record a conversation for up too two or four hours..

      “Well, that’s what they knew but in fact that soft ware could record up too 24-hours, if you wanted to talk that long, or received that many calls in one given day.” And no, I did not record them but, it was nice knowing, they felt that I was, and they had too be a little nicer to me….!!

  15. I guess it’s back to fanny packs! My digital recorder was prescribed by my physician and purchased by Chapter 31. Do you know how many disabled veterans I have been texting with before, during and after their C&Ps? More than a dozen. I have ‘held hands’ with veterans with anxiety disorders and have even translated Spanish to English during these exams in the past (and I might add successfully). Many of these vets had no support person that could be there in their exam, so I was it. I have a cell phone specifically for this purpose, so my move right now is to change the ‘name’ that appears on my calls to ‘Mom’, ‘San Juan Elementary School’, or just to be really annoying, ‘A Hickey’.

    • What VA’s are these? They wont let me have anyone present during my exams no matter how bad my anxiety symptoms are. And yes its with a woman doctor who doesn’t actually examine you for PTSD, rather spends an hour taking a historical background and then politely tells the VBA I don’t have PTSD, but um, she never examined me at all, never asked one question about symptoms or the traumatic events.

  16. Although I am a combat veteran, I will no longer go to the VA for anything. Allow me to elaborate:

    In 2010, a veteran affairs drug addiction intern named Dawn A. Tanner attempted to deny me, a combat veteran, and my father-in-law, a Korean War Veteran, access to the VA hospital in Omaha, Nebraska.

    As a favor to her housemate, Ms. Tanner performed a covert, unlicensed, unauthorized, and improper mental assessment of me, a Federal Air Force employee named Mr. George Sarris.

    Six months later, Ms. Dawn A. Tanner filed a report with the Omaha VA police, falsely claiming that she (Tanner) had an Order of Protection against me, and therefore, my presence at the Omaha VA hospital violated the order of protection (VA UOR# 2011-03-04-1525-3376)

    The improper covert mental assessment, as well as the false VA police report, were used by Ms. Tanner’s housemate (Maj. Dana C. McCown) to revoke my security clearance, a retaliatory action for my 2008 disclosure to Congress that Offutt AFB was operating a fleet of aircraft that were not air worthy. (At the time, Maj. Dana C. McCown was the aircraft maintenance commander at Offutt AFB.)

    Essentially, an unlicensed intern of the VA (Ms. Dawn A. Tanner) disrupted a 2008 Congressional investigation to protect the career of her housemate, Maj. Dana C. McCown. (Ms. Dawn A. Tanner and Ms. Dana C. McCown have since married.)

    The details of this story can be found in Chapter 16, “A Hoax at the VA”. The following link will take you to the 2014 publication of “Cowardice in Leadership – A Lesson in Harassment, Intimidation, and Reprisals”. https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/show/id/46600

    George G. Sarris
    (USAFR RETIRED)

  17. The VA but acts like the enemy of our American vets as in the Stasi, Nazi, and KGB, all combined.while trying to CYA, largely in fact because they know they are being scrutinized by the public. the media and some of the state and federal legislators AND ALSO largely in part that they know they’ve been screwing up on our vets ever so phenomenally. Thanks to Ben for his tenacity and eagle eye vigilance on all of the wrongs committed by the VA.

  18. I bet someone like Crazy Elf or Ron Nesler, or Ben Krause, will do some serious digging and find out what the VA is trying to keep quiet right now by using this absurd smartphone take away. While we get all pissed about this, imagine the major shit they are covering up somewhere. It has to be something huge that has already been in the news, or something and truly diabolical. Dig, dig, dig.

  19. The IPhone is a brand of smart phone. Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, etc, all have their brand of smart phones. Smart phones have an operating system and cell phones don’t. But what is significant about the IPhone that it had to be named and not just stated “smart phones.” If Apple doesn’t have enough money to look into this then no one can move the VA.

  20. Drove 80ty miles to Gainesville, Florida to receive mental health treatment, wound up being charged with a second degree misdemeanor for disruption of the V.A. facility wail in a full blown psychosis, one police officer took it personally. Tried to fight the charge driving the same distance twice to Federal court, could not keep driving that far, gave in to the charge. FUCK THEM MAY THEY ALL ROT IN HELL NEVER GOING BACK AGAIN. I will suffer in silence and die like a dog in the street. Fuck America for letting this take place.

  21. If your concern is that someone wants to record the conversation with the doctor, then leave the cell phone home & bring a small recorder. That is not prohibited. I’m an attorney & I don’t know of any Constitutional right to take a cell phone to an appointment????? Neither do I see any due process issue. If a specific veteran has as you say a “prescribed” need for a phone (which I’ve never heard of) then that veteran should request an exception to policy or accommodation on a case by case basis.
    I believe there is more of an argument to be made for my right to bring my handgun to a VA appointment since I actually do have a right under the 2nd Amendment to bear arms.
    I never take a phone to any meeting or appointment because I think it’s rude and disruptive. If someone is so paranoid they feel they must record every conversation with the VA, then they probably shouldn’t entrust their health, welfare & well being to such evil underhanded & devious people.

    • Dear David, if you are an attorney, you are an idiot and a fool. I have never heard of a constitutional guarantee you can be an idiot, but I bet its there. The concern is idiots like you being subversive, this includes VA employees and doctors. You would bring a handgun onto federal property, but not a phone?? The phone itself obviously isn’t the issue you moron, its what it is used for and what it can do. For one it can document the lies, deceit and fraud the VA is perpetrating against vets and the taxpayers. It can expose the injustice you A** hole and you think that would be rude??

      Dues process? try the first amendment you buffoon!!! maybe you practice in another country like Africa?? or middle east?? where they don’t really have the same rights as AMERICANS are supposed to. Yeah I got a doctors note, actually updated thrice, hell one was from a VA psychologist for the use of an audio recording device to assist me with my PTSD, probably never heard of that either…jerk off.

      You type like VA scum, you already know the VA does not accommodate VETERANS as AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES you swine!

      I think you are rude and disruptive, oh, its not paranoia you gun brandishing hypocrite, its called prudent, but I see how your oppressive mind can get confused since they both start with the letter P…moron!

      But you got one thing right you a** clown…”they probably shouldn’t entrust their health, welfare & well being to such evil underhanded & devious people”

      Boy, you hit the nail right one the head, I suppose the next thing out of that tiny little brain of yours is to politely inform veterans its a free country and they are welcome to go seek healthcare wherever they like…evil bastard!!

      • If only every law school would close for good! It would not be anarchy at all. It would simply expand the welfare rolls by a bunch! Then, let these idiot “lawyers” find a new career. Maybe shoveling s”..t” is a good career for them. Seems to be where they excel anyhow!

    • “[If someone is so paranoid they feel they must record every conversation with the VA, then they probably shouldn’t entrust their health, welfare & well being to such evil underhanded & devious people.]”

      Firstly understand that most Veterans do NOT have the luxury of CHOOSING to utilize whatever HACK VA DR. they give us…and this issue at hand is these Dr.’s are placing completely false info in medical files, and matter-in-fact, they write whatever THEY want to, regardless of what the issues the Veteran has that day and for that visit…not here-say, fact.
      Your comment about “paranoia” was insensitive and insulting…sorry, but it just is. Are you also a Veteran that utilizes the VAMC’s? Perhaps a humble walking in our shoes would adjust your attitude which in all due respect, comes off just as elitist and adversarial as the VA Employees do toward Veterans.
      As an attorney, you should already have been aware that at least 15 of our States are Two Party Consent as far as ability to use a portable recorder…then there’s the fact that regardless of State’s Law, the VA does exactly what it wants to, above the law.
      A law degree does not justify your dismal state of being out of touch and uninformed. Smartphones HAVE been RX’d to help Disabled Veterans in various ways.
      Again, in all due respect, you are obviously not privy to what it’s like to be manipulated by the VA and the Police State they have constructed within VAMC of late.
      It makes you seem like a defensive VA Employee. That could be off…but you definitely ARE out of touch and uninformed. Knowledge is power. Ignorance is not bliss.

    • You may be a lawyer, but it seems that you don’t get it!

      The VA will and does harm veterans if they don’t like what you say about your care, by reporting them to the disruptive committee and once you’re reported you will never be treated like a human being!

      Why should a veteran that is qualified for all treatment, have to take his disability monies to purchase secondary insurance!

      Don’t you think that the VA should just do their job!

      You one day go to the VA and if you say something about the treatment or their work ethic you will see what I mean!

      Sad part they can do this to you and higher management WILL punish you and you will have no say what so ever and they will or do not have to provide you with any proof! Showing that you in fact were even disruptive!

      If you say don’t be disruptive and you won’t get into trouble! The true fact is you don’t have to do anything wrong! If an employee does not like you for what ever reason, that employee can report you as disruptive and your cooked!

      Good luck!

  22. I live in Portland, Oregon. I go to the VA often enough that I should have seen that sign. The ED/ER doesn’t like you to use your phone in that department. But I althe time see others on the phone including doctors and nurses.I bring my phone everywhere I go. That includes the VA. I have yet to be faced with expulsion for having my phone. I am purchasing a new iPhone in November. And they wont have a leg to stand on if I bring it along with me in my purse. I wear hearing aids and use a ancillary device called a streamer. This lets my phone connect to my hearing aids so I don’t have to have the phone in my hands to answer a phone call!

  23. Yesterday I tried to post a comment but the page appeared to freeze, I had earlier seen a db connection error. Is there any confirming source for this please? Some other page that doesn’t just refer here? Or media coverage?

    • This is an original news story and not a repeater story like you are looking for. No one in the main stream media has written about it yet. But I’m sure it will show up shortly just like my investigation into the 300 veterans being defrauded with unlawful TBI examinations by unqualified doctors in Minneapolis.

      Communications about the leaflets started popping up on Facebook on VA is Lying this weekend. Veterans in the Colorado VISN system (VISN-19) started receiving these leaflets before compensation & pension exams in September. I submitted a FOIA on the subject and sent it on to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs to also investigate. I will obviously follow up once I receive the information, but if you are waiting on the main stream media to pick it up, you will be waiting for a bit.

      However, it is a known policy previously undocumented in some facilities where they would specifically make the veteran shut the phone off in front of them – one of which was my client. Minneapolis VAMC started making its employees put all their cell phones into a bucket before “sensitive” meetings due to fear of someone going to the press.

      • You might want to check out the Salt Lake City VA regarding this too. My husband is a 100% Total & Permanent and that is where he goes. The reason the VA does this is so that if ANYTHING goes wrong, verbally or physically with the Veteran, it makes it where they can blame the Veteran and make it their fault. That is also why on letters that Veterans receive from the VA they are NEVER SIGNED by a specific person…that way they cannot be held responsible. I asked once why there was NO name where the signature was, and that is exactly what I was told.

  24. I’m with the others ,shut the whole F ING VA system down its so corrupt & have hurt so many Veterans that they are paranoid that they are going to be punished for all their evils & I’m sorry but I pray for just that,these pele who work for the VA have he same mentality as Enemies on the Battlefield.I would not lose any sleep if they shut to whole thing down ,I know lifelong friends from school that got on at VA CBOC ,something most definitely changed ,like we don’t know each other ,they made their choice fu. kem all

    • …did a search on the va.gov page. Nothing.

      Contacted the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System Public Relations:
      – That flyer is being removed from service;
      – The back of the flyer explains all;
      – Cell phones are not to be used during C&P examines, and;
      – It was never a general ban

      • However, it still stands that the VA apparently finds the NEED TO HIDE what goes on at a C&P as a huge form of obscuring their “liability” for what is and what is NOT performed at any given Veteran’s C&P exam. If the VA were doing their jobs as per Title 38, et al, they would have absolutely no reason nor need to keep the Veteran completely isolated specifically for a C&P exam, which if anything, THAT visit would be one that SHOULD be recorded and also have someone, even a friend, attend with you…VA does not even allow that.
        This is ALL about intimidation. Nothing less, other than fact the VA obviously has something to hide or they would not find the need to create an environment in which it’s entirely your word against them and trusting that they are actually putting truthful line items and checking correct boxes rather than creating their grocery list for after work that day or filling out their organized sport gambling sheet.
        This comes down to the VA wanting absolutely no leaks about their sinister games with Veterans. The adversarial VA now obviously considers ALL veterans potential whistleblowers and are treating as such.

  25. This may be in Part from my last visit when I confronted the VA about my Disability claim and was refused treatment for a fractured rib….. but it didn’t stop there… They also interfered with a visit to the Local ER telling them to deny me service… I was given 2 oxycodone pills no x-ray, and sent on my way in extreme pain…. I laid on my back unable to sleep for almost a week when i finally went into the VA and requested a change of doctors…. My paperwork was misplaced.. I filed again and was due to see this same psycho female doctor who refused me treatment 3 times in 1 week and reduced my pain medication for a back issue which I had an MRI for….. She stepped over the line and set an appointment for a “pain Management” doctor claiming I was abusing my pain meds. so i went from 2.5 pills a day to 2 pills a day mean I would only get relief for about 16 hours a day out of 24 hours… in essence tourchering me.

    She Prescribed me a nerve blocker medication that was above the reccomended dosage and chlinically is shown to have no bennificial effect over 1800 mg a day, by all major research groups including the Mayo Clinic. Now she increased this to 3200 mg a day… it caused me to have heart flutters…. the bitch tried to kill me. When i confronted them and told them for now on before I take any medication you prescribe I will be researching it….. it’s not the first time they tried to kill me. I had high blood pressure do to no pain meds and I was in extreme pain… I was given 25 mg of a pill called Clonondine.. now at the time i didn’t think much of it cause my mom took it i just didn’t know the dosage…. My veins were on fire! my body was on fire.. my heart was racing… I went into meditation… it was the only thing I could think of to control it as I am and was heavily into martial arts. They tried sending me to their ER, I told them you aren’t sending me anywhere you just tried to kill me… I got up and left… got my pain pills from the pharmacy took them 2 hours later went back with a letter in hand took it to records to be entered in my file stating what happend… I’,m sure it got tossed.

    As this was all I could stand being tourchered and attempted to be killed at least 3 times i know of. I started carrying an mp3 player that records…… legal or not i didn’t give a shit… if they kill me someone’s gonna know why. Oh, and btw the dose my mom takes for Clonondine is .10, not even a full mg. I got 25 mg that day.

    so, I am now considered 100% disabled after fighting them for 7 years, I got the news involved and was preparing to sue them for Mal Practice for refusing to treat my fractured rib, no x-rays until it was almost completely healed about 6 weeks later I suffered cruel and unusual punishment by the VA. I ended up going to the store getting a foam weightloss belt and the tape they use to wrap around boxers when injured…. to keep the ribs from moving around… I had to treat myself… and deal with the pain while I laid in bed and suffered 90 % of my day… the pain pills did not reduce the pain long at all.

    After this and getting the news involved they caved on my case in less than 2 weeks I told them b4 I left my last visit after I talked to a Useless Patient Advocate… I told them if you make me do this I’m taking it all the way and I won’t stop… I applied for service at and outside facility of my choice… but was told it didn’t matter if you want our meds you have to come to us and then we still have the final say if you get them or not.

    The VA even if not written is Kill the Veteran on Disability , they have more Veterans coming in the system and they need to make room.

  26. many of us in my support groups i know make use of iphone & android apps to track symptoms and med times and hearing aid apps.

    from TBI, parkinsons, ms, severe migraines, chronic pain, SCI, SCD, etc.

    i think even the fed NIH recommends some of these apps!

    so if VA is actually stopping veteran patients from using their smart phones seems really bad to me. someone who actually uses it for tracking symptoms, hearing, etc so i can show my doctors notes and stuff, as i forget things easily.

    i might add though, and i think i’ve mentioned here or some other veteran site, that in my VA experiences, no VA doctor ever took my handwritten notes on symptoms seriously nor any civilian diagnosis as fact. i.e., basically just glanced at them and laid them down. never saw it put in my records per say. not until after i had gotten an attorney and filed claims to show proof of health issues. well, let me see, i made use of a few VSOs at first but THEN HAD had to seek attorney to help as VSO’s would only go so far. most veterans on this site know how that goes.

    ironic is the hearing aids and smartphone apps i use for the hearing aids were given by VA and VA recommended aid apps!

    i make a suggestion to @Ben that if this banning of smartphones is true, you as a legal person post a note to NIH and NINDS (natl institute of neurological disorders) too. i think i read you already wrote to a Congressional VA committee. no one at those places listens to lil ol avg joe and sue out here in the wilderness, so you as a legal person probably could get more traction i hope.

    sad that i as a veteran who uses VA isn’t at all surprised by this new action plan against veterans. no question in my mind they flag veterans and listen in and/or video some appts without veterans knowledge.

    have we entered the communistic twilight zone in good ol America?

    • I have been through a VHA violent flag grinder that was exposed as complete fraud in two Sunday Editions back to back because the story was so involved and convoluted it took that many pages our regional newspaper.

      I recorded on my home phone the chairman of the DBC committee telling me that they would only remove my designation as violent if I ceased recording telephone calls on my home phone of VHA employees. I live in Oregon, and they had been notified several times this is a legal right. I AM IN MY OWN HOME!!! In the recording he admits that I had never caused a disruption or threat of violence. It all started when I got a Restraining Order served on the CBOC manager for abuse – the judge agreed. The VHA went mental.

      But my point of the reply is that you have missed what the government is banning in that sign, even though it is right in front of you; the words. It’s the words that they banned me with. Any words will do. Any reason. If I die – their numbers go up – but it’s the words that I spoke to the judge that sent them into a tailspin that now is a criminal investigation.

      You are missing the point – it’s words that you are not to bring in addition to your property.

  27. Ben et al; 18 USC, Part 1, Chapter 44 Subsection 930 covers the possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities. This is verbatim from the code: “Except as provided in subsection (d), whoever knowingly or causes to be present or a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility

    • Ben et al; 18 USC, Part 1, Chapter 44 Subsection 930 covers the possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities. This is verbatim from the code: “(a) Except as provided in subsection (d), whoever knowingly or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility…”

      Subsection (d) says “Subsection (a) shall not apply to—

      “(d)(2) The possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon by a Federal official or a member of the Armed Forces if such possession is authorized by law; or

      “(d)(3) the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes.”

      Also see Subsection 930(g)(2) which defines the Federal law definition of a pocket knife. To be legal to carry it has to have a blade length “of less than 2 1/2 inches…”

      I am a retired member of the Armed Forces and I carry an indefinite DD Form 2AF (Grey). I am, by law, still a member of the Armed Forces and still subject to the MCM and other requirements or the Armed Forces. I carry a Swiss Army multi-functional knife with a blade 2 and 3/8 inches long which is legal to carry anywhere according to the DHS.

      Food for thought huh?

      • And do pay attention to the definition of “facility”. Signs posted at my local VA make it seem like you can’t have a gun in your car, but they cite the law you quoted as their AU-THoRi-TIE. Facility only applies to a building and only IF that building has government employees who work (should we define work – most of what the VA does seems more like goofing off) there usually. The parking lot is definitely NOT a facility. And besides there’s always the hunting part of the law. Yeah, I’m running around the VA hospital with my AR15 because I’m hunting…. do you mind?

      • Since the VA used the image of an iPhone, would that fall under “fair use” or did they need permission to use the image? Using that specific product image as the only banned cellphone product would constitute the government giving preferential treatment to all of the iPhone’s competitors. Sounds like Apple could claim damages even though the VA has since apologized.

    • Sensationalist “journalism” here at best- if you want to call this sorry excuse of a site “journalism” at all.. What this “story” fails to mention is that if you flip the flyer being depicted here over on the backside it states that “recording devices” are prohibited, not iPhones. And the backpack is supposed to depict a suspicious package, its not telling vets they can’t bring a backpack or phone to an appointment. Now, were the iPhone and backpack images a poor choice to use? Perhaps – could be confusing to some, who don’t bother to READ THE FLYER. Anyone who has actually seen and read this flyer would know that it is about recording devices, weapons, and suspicious packages being prohibited, standard government policy on all Federal property VA or otherwise. REPORT THE FACTS and stop pushing these non-stories..

      • The VA has a rife historical track record of interpreting anything the way they see fit and cannot tell me the VA would not ban all backpacks and phones…and that just may have been interpreted differently at 50 different State VARO’s and the VAMC’s within…the huge problem is the VA has NO uniformed standard….well they DO, but the VA does not follow the very LAWS and CODES they are supposed to.

        This was not sensationalist journalism by no means. VA employee troll or just selectively ignorant? Either way, you are not as informed as you think you are.

      • What about the TBI patient who can’t read- or needs the recording device to remember a doctor or nurses instructions?! The problem is most definitely with the policy and not the reporting!

  28. I record my conversations all the time due to what is being said to me at times at the va. As a matter of fact I recorded two employees cursing about the other while telling me he is full of sh&” and she is high when I was inquiring why they had not ordered my wheelchair and one was blaming the other. Until one said to me I don’t know what to tell you. I replied , I don’t care about your personal issues with each other. I just want my wheelchair. I then contacted Allison Hickey and let her know what was going on and that I had it recorded. Mrs. Hickey then wrote a letter to them about the issue and I got my chairs ordered after five denials. On my next appointment with one of them they told me that I didn’t have to mention to her what was said and their cursing each other. I replied, “I told you I needed my wheelchair and you guys put your personal lives in front of that issue and now you’re upset that I let a person in Washington know exactly what was happening, well maybe next time you will put the Veterans priority ahead of your personal issues.” I think that the employees need to be held accountable for what they are saying and doing and if that means recording them than so be it. Maybe things will get done.

  29. Children, children. Can’t we all just try to act like adults. Veterans; leave your I phone, backpack, knife, gun and other weapons in your car. VA; make and keep appointments on time, provide doctors to see us instead of Nurse Practitioners, give us reasonable care and remedial treatment, provide us with whatever rehabilitative aids we need to become as whole as we can be, respect us as the people who served and provide you your living.

    • @John, you apparently missed the update I provided above. VA admitted publicly that the ban was ill-advised and apologized. There are many reasons why some disabled veterans need their backpack or iPhone. VA doctors prescribe these items as accommodative devices / tools. It is patently unlawful to ban them in this manner.

      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/10/01/va-apologizes-for-ill-advised-ban-on-veterans-cellphones/

      http://freebeacon.com/issues/va-ban-of-phones-for-veterans-was-ill-advised/

    • I agree that especially backpacks can carry almost anything harmful – or otherwise. However, why can’t the VA give those who need to bring their backpacks identification cards stating that permission is granted to each specific veteran who needs them.

      We live in a very dangerous society and need to safeguard our protection in many different ways. Folks, unfortunately, that is the way it is and safety should be a major concern even for veterans who have served our country. Many veterans today have major issues and can, unknowingly, be potentially dangerous to themselves and others. Just because we are veterans does not keep us from harm’s way.

      • Pearl, I take offense to your last part, many of our veterans do have issues, no more than past veterans, You sound like a VA employee trying to make the case for using the Disruptive Committee to go after as many veterans as they can, if they don’t agree with what is happening to them.
        Veterans deserve respect not retaliation from staff !

        There are staff that are more dangerous than the veterans and you know who you are!

        Lock up ALL the veterans just because they may become distraught! And get upset because the VA is harming them!

        If employees would do their jobs, no one would have to worry about anything!

        Help the veterans! Not tear them down!

  30. what pisses me off is that the hospitals presently care enough to provide WiFi for patients, so they can use tablets or smart phones to read mail, surf the net, etc. while waiting. That means there are decent reasons to allow them. I’m sorry they have cameras and voice recorders, but that’s their problem.

  31. I always thought there was something skanky about the Blue Button. This button was to download my medical records, but I only get lab results and a few other things, such as X-rays. My expectations was that I get the entire record. What I get is less than a 1/4 of my record.

  32. After waiting 6 months for an appointment that was never made and having the patient advocate lie to me about its progress over and over again I went up to his superiors office to complain about his employee. I recorded the whole situation where they told me veterans don’t have the right to complain and then they called the police on me which later I requested a FOIA since I was wondering why they’d even call the police at all. In the FOIA they said,” I was going to be violent until I got everything I wanted”. Of course my audio tells the truth and now I use it to blackmail them to get outside care. This was about a week before the Phoenix Scandal broke out and a week after that they called me and said I actually do have the right to complain…

  33. This is just a tactic to subvert the new Executive Order on accountability. Video evidence is extremely hard to dispute and why they are banning cell phones from their establishments.
    For too long vets that are disabled, retired, and aged have been at best treated as nothing more than a commodity by many of our (HIRED) civilian government employees.
    There has virtually been NO expectation beyond simple attendance!
    The time has finally come for government employees to actually DO THEIR JOB! This Executive Order is designed to filter out the culture and mentality of mediocre performance within the VA. It will either motivate incumbent employees or replace them with prospects that are committed to properly serving vets in their eventual time of need.
    This should only be the beginning of a genuine review of ALL of our tax funded federal programs and specifically, its civilian employment expectations. Dismissal of a civilian government employee is currently far too difficult and they know it!
    I am hopeful this Executive Order to the VA program is only the beginning and will improve the overall performance and services that we pay our government to provide its citizens.
    Now, how to do deal with our elected officials?hmm….

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