MMQB: Update On DHS Harassment Of Veterans

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DHS Harassment of Veterans

Benjamin KrauseLast Friday, we broke the story about DHS police busting into a VA health care facility and harassing sick veterans for “presence deterrence”. Those same DHS police refused to identify themselves to bystanders and threatened those who asked.

In our story about DHS police harassing veterans, we exposed reports from witnesses present during the exercise and a VA OIG complaint. The DHS police wore black uniforms with no identifying patches or nametags. The police threatened veterans who asked the federal employees to identify themselves with arrest. VA allowed the police to perform sweeps without anyone apparently approving the action within VA and without the police clearly indicating who they were.

A psychiatrist posed a great question regarding the San Diego / VA Mission Valley DHS police action last week. Are these actions training Americans and veterans to accept anonymous black para-military uniforms as a sign of authority like a sheriff’s badge in the day of old? For the Fed, are anonymous, easily faked black para-military uniforms the “new black” for identification of authority? Are we more safe with these uniforms?

Hi and welcome to another edition of Monday Morning Quarterback for Veterans. I am your host, Benjamin Krause, creator of DisabledVeterans.org. This is where I catch you up on issues from last week and keep you posted on issues we are working on through the week.

The point of this MMQB will be to highlight how the nation is waking up to the plight of veterans. We at DisabledVeterans.org are doing our part, and this article will give insight into that fight.

Here is what we are covering today:

  • Updates on DHS harassment of veterans
  • Radio interview with Tavis Smiley on NPR about the VA Wait List Scandal and VA media manipulation
  • Radio interview with Will Roberts on DHS harassment of veterans
  • Foreign Policy citation on Obama vetting team embarrassment
  • Upcoming hearings from  House Committee on Veterans Affairs
  • Crap movie of the week for targeting Iraq veterans to make a buck: Liam Neeson in Non-Stop

SEND A NOTE IF YOU HAVE WITNESSED A DHS EXERCISE AT VA

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UPDATES ON DHS HARASSMENT OF VETERANS

Witnesses in San Diego reported DHS officers threatened veterans outside of a VA health care clinic. Veterans were threatened with fine and arrest for questioning the authority of unidentifiable DHS employees. One day later, VA Public Affairs confirmed reports that DHS-FPS did perform an exercise at the VA Mission Valley Health Care Clinic by San Diego.

VA aggressively sought to bury the story after reports surfaced on Thursday in four ways. First, VA used traditional intimidation tactics perfected by VA against whistleblowers. Second, VA attempted to say only 4 DHS police were onsite after stating higher numbers a day earlier. Third, VA claimed the facility at Mission Valley was only temporary. Fourth, DHS reportedly took possession of surveillance footage at the site the next day. I will cover these more in depth below.

First, the staff at Honoring Our Troops (HRT) received numerous threatening phone calls to their personal cell phones after staff filed a complaint with VA OIG by email. These calls resulted in the organization backing off of the complaint at the request of VA heads who demanded the organization bury the story or else. Organization staff members have now been instructed to not speak publicly about the complaint. By threatening the organization after a VA OIG complaint was filed, VA officials involved have violated VA law by interfering with a whistleblower.

Second, VA attempted to diminish the incident by lowering the number of DHS police onsite at the time. Initial reports indicated 20 DHS police were onsite for the exercise in para-military uniforms without nametags or other identification. VA’s local Public Affairs told me approximately 6 police were onsite with 2 new team members. By Friday afternoon, VA had circulated that only 4 DHS police were participating in the exercise. Of course, how would those 4 DHS police drive the 8 DHS-FPS vehicles at the scene?

Third, for whatever reason, VA Public Affairs told sources that after 10 years the VA Mission Valley health care facility is only “temporary” and that somehow this temporary status negates concerns somehow. VA used this wordsmithery to evade responsibility.

Fourth, DHS police reportedly went back to VA Mission Valley Care Clinic last Thursday to take and evaluate VA surveillance footage. This footage shows what happened, and it is thusly important for VA to ensure the footage is not destroyed.

Beyond this, VA claims to have no control over DHS during these actions and for that reason the matter should not be investigated. However, I have heard numerous similar reports of harassment across the country, and if hospital patients are being harassed and threatened while in the care of VA, then VA owes a duty to ensure these veterans are safe and secure while seeking care. VA’s failure to prevent harassment of veterans seeking health care is a violation of the Constitution since that health care is a vested property right for many veterans.

One of the many things that alarm me is the Feds use of anonymous para-military uniforms. Apparently, to the Fed, anonymous, unidentifiable, black para-military uniforms with ski masks are the “new black”. Over the past decade, para-military uniforms have seen greater use within our stateside police forces. DHS’ recent use of anonymous unidentifiable uniforms with no nametags took the matter to a new level of creepy last week.

Back to the psychiatrist’s question, does the use of anonymous black uniforms actually harm our security rather than enhance it? My answer, in this instance, depends on the goal of the security action. In the example of the DHS last week in San Diego, it is clear that the agency intended to intimidate and threaten for the stated purpose of “presence deterrence”. Since that was the stated goal, verified by VA Public Affairs, then I would say the uniforms were a huge success, all be it a very creepy success. But does this fundamental un-American use of anonymous black uniforms increase security?

If the answer is “No”, then the use of these anonymous black uniforms pose a significant threat to the security of veterans and any other Americans forced to endure a security operation conducted by an anonymous agency police officer. It increases apprehension of veterans in the facility and also deters use of the facility. I would think an unidentifiable black uniform with a facemask is the easiest form of identification to fake, so VA’s blind acceptance of authority without visual verification is an assault against the safety of everyone. VA must least require a badge, no facemasks, and nametags or officer numbers.

Yet, if the goal of the agency is to increase blood pressure of veterans while lowing costs through lower usage of health care, then I have to say lend a congratulatory, “mission accomplished” to the Fed.

 

RADIO INTERVIEW WITH TAVIS SMILEY ON VA WAIT LIST SCANDAL

Last Thursday, I interviewed on PRI’s Tavis Smiley Show. Tavis Smiley is an international talk show host based in Los Angeles on both radio and TV. I have the show linked below.

Tavis Smiley’s executive producer contacted me last week to interview on the current VA Wait List Scandal and other scandals within the agency.

We talked about:

  • VA Wait List and criminal investigations
  • Agency credentialing problems
  • VA’s manipulation of media, monitoring of Congress
  • Secretary Sloan’s primary initiatives to fix VA quickly

RADIO INTERVIEW WITH WILL ROBERTS ON DHS HARASSMENT OF VETERANS

Last week, Will and I talked about the DHS harassment scandal in San Diego. I am a regular guest on the show Will Roberts Weekly Telegram. Will Roberts is a “main street” radio and talk show host and public speaker. Skip to minute 34:30 to listen to the start of my interview:

FOREIGN POLICY CITATION ON OBAMA VETTING TEAM EMBARRASSMENT

In its National Security Daily BriefForeign Policy included a great variety of commentary on the VA scandal from a number of sources including DisabledVeterans.org:

Benjamin Krause, writing in a blog post on the DisabledVeterans.org Website: Obama “will need to address the apparent and embarrassing incompetence of his staff regarding its inability to properly vet candidates in [a] timely manner…The second, and most difficult, is that he will need to address the fact that being an executive at VA is a very unpopular career choice in the middle of a major scandal.”

This may lead some of you to ask the question, “Why is the VA Scandal and treatment of veterans a foreign policy issue?”

Read the answer here in the article, Why is the VA Scandal a Foreign Policy Issue?

Please check back later to learn more about what VA and DHS are working on when they claim to be working for the safety of veterans.

 

UPCOMING HOUSE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS AFFAIRS HEARINGS

Non-VA Care: An Integrated Solution for Veteran Access JUN 18, 2014 | Hearing

Review of Awarding Bonuses to Senior Executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs JUN 20, 2014 | Hearing

 

CRAP MOVIE OF THE WEEK FOR TARGETING IRAQ VETERANS TO MAKE A BUCK

Thanks Liam Neeson in Non-Stop.

I am a huge Liam Neeson fan. I am not a fan of anyone who supports the myth of the renegade veteran that turns into a homegrown terrorist – all for the purpose of a mega million-dollar production company to make a buck in the box office.

We have plenty of bad guys in the world. There is no reason to support this myth that former American heroes of the current wars will turn into terrorists. This form of myth building is clearly not lost on the DHS police from last week who reportedly told veterans they were “homegrown terrorists”.

Thanks Hollywood for supporting this ridiculous notion that veterans will hijack a plane, risk suicide, and kill innocent civilians. Thanks.

 

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19 Comments

  1. Happy Monday Ben. Is there any videos or eye witnesses to this DHS “presence deterrence” events? I`m sure someone took a smart phone video of this event.
    And you should add the list of crap movies…”White House Down” with Jamie Fox, Channing Tatum, Richard Jenkins and James Woods. Senior Secret Service Agent goes rogue when Marines son is killed in a black ops mission. And a veteran turn capital police saves the day. We want to see videos Ben… If this event can be proven, it`s just the beginning.

    • VA Public Affairs already confirmed the event on Thursday. Surveillance footage from VA at the facility and of the parking lot will show everything you need if DHS does not destroy it on Thursday. Veterans on site were threatened with arrest and $10,000 fines if they did not delete the photos they took. I will give you one guess as to what they did with the footage they took.

      • Ben, this is very strange-I just wrote you something, pretty scary for everyone-hit the submit, and a no show? What’s up with that? Very odd-and very disconcerting especially since it is something everyone should know! Let me know if you’ve seen it, if not, ——–>question everything

  2. Not surprised. I am going to need a damn good lawyer with my medical records I have. You know, do they think that some of us actually do not know proper care, treatment, how to read an x-ray, see that they “fill in the blanks of a legal document.” You see, as I have stated, there is no possible way what so ever that a Toradol shot given IM ( usually that is the buttocks up higher by the hips) will work in 10,15 or even twenty minutes. And since my record states, “must ask permission for a male to be present” why would she bring in an x-ray tech and not the nurse? Oh, I know, “it was her ER, and I was “wasting her time” with what should have been an appointment. PROBLEM: I worked in an ER, my symptoms were getting worse, but since she decided a waste of “HER ER TIME?” Um, you got issues dear. I asked for an x-ray, of course, see, listening skills are no longer required by these bottom of the primordial soup so called doctors, but even taking one of my fusion site? I saw it, I know “how” to read it, and my oh my, you could hardly see the hardware-plenty of by the way. She and her tech stated it was fine, as she walked back I am sure to go sleep, the place was vacant and maybe people call to see who is on duty! But, a problem came up-the radiologist stated abnormal. So she had to establish the fact I left before it was read. Well gee, you stated I wasted your time, and surely I felt I wasted my time, and gee, reading my record? You can’t do anything but laugh, or can you? Let me say this, I am no way a stupid female, but will play that hand in Texas and gave just a bit of info to Kenny Marchant VA guy-well, as expected-magic happens! Things are changed. But, justify your don’t know what the hell I am doing with an idiot who makes a quick assumption six days later? I came in for my back, she states, “bladder retention times 3 months. HUH? Since when? Heck, my dog and I are pretty much on the same schedule for emptying our bladders! Hope that makes you laugh. I however will demand to be seen by an outside doctor of my choice no VA half dim wits please, I have had my fill. And it so happens a nurse stating, don’t go to your test, wait till they call you, oh they did, the day after I didn’t show up-I stated, well I guess I should play you the message from the nurse right?
    Just FYI-YOU THINK THAT THOSE TACTICS ARE JUST FOR THE VA? GET READY FOLKS, IT AIN’T. LET ME SAY THIS, HOW READY ARE YOU FOR A POLICE STATE? I DON’T JEST. IT SEEMS THE MILITARY IS GIVING THESE VEHICLES TO POLICE DEPARTMENTS AND THEY ASK WHY? “WELL, JUST KEEP IT, BUT IF WE ASK FOR A FAVOR, YOU WILL NEED TO USE IT THEN.”
    THIS FROM A PERSON WHO HAPPENS TO BE ONE-AND ISN’T quite happy about the government asking for “FAVORS.”
    I guess I am a tattle tale, or tail- BEST TO FIND A PLACE AND GET LOST RIGHT?

    • Denise, I am 68 years old and have been in the failed Veterans Administration Health Care System since (VAHCS)1968. I just received medical records from 1986 and the feeling of “man did I waste my time and lost all trust in that failed, bigoted and prejudice system. The things I have heard in the hearings these past week’s are so true and to tell you the truth I don’t believe the veterans groups and their NSO’s or VSO’s are on our side and I have lost faith in any of the ones I have dealt with because they seem to all be on the VA side and this was uttered by an undersecretary of the VA Matkovsky said, “all the veterans groups are our partner’s” which explains why my NSO from the American Legion has failed to document or do any of the do diligence to protect rights that I have that the VA denies at every step. They are the enemy and only care in words not in action because like the VAHCS they don’t care and if other VA Facilities like the Martinez, California or Northern California VA Health Care System. I have complained for decades to congressmen George Miller and his office did nothing as did Mike Thompson and several veterans have lost there lives do to the incompetence at the Martinez, California VAHC…even today these so called leaders and perverts believe that the VA is great in their medical care…it should be “great in their DON”T care!” I was wounded in Vietnam with a head wound and was Medically Retired for that wound May 1968. The VA denied recently that I had a TBI. I had to go through two C&P Exam’s to prove that! Now, the VA Comp I have been collecting for 47 years must have been for something else when a dope addict or person that fell off a curb gets better care. The VA is failed and the only way to fix it is to get rid of all the so called doctors and medical personnel and start anew…It was amazing to find out that these dirt bags would get a bonus…for what!!!? I have been told by a doctor Richardson that “I have no rights!” In hearing what is going on in Washington in these times and has been going on in the VAHCS over time( in my case 1968 to date) I elected to have private medical care over five years ago and I truly believe if I hadn’t that the VAHCS would have killed me of rendered me even more disabled than I am! FTVA!

  3. I guess it showed up, but usually more veterans on here than a few-strange don’t you think?
    Ben, keep us up to date regarding you. You have every right to blog, speak, assists any veteran and if they think differently, why would that be? I mean you are helping veterans professionally so there should be no difference if you help assist others for free with updates. SERIOUSLY? ARE THEY THAT STUPID? ITS ON THE DAMN NEWS IDIOTS!

  4. beware of gas lighting and gang stalking at the San Diego VA hospital ! anybody comes at me in a black suit with no badge or name tag you are going to end up picking yourself up off the floor !! shame on you people for doing that to us vets it’s business as usual for the San Diego va ! like I said educate yourself on gas lighting and gang stalking cuz its going on at the San Diego VA hospital shame shame shame on the San Diego VA hospital

  5. Welcome back HITLER. The new GESTAPO. This trend started, believe or not, when local authorities were allowed to STOP/FRISK “SUSPICIOUS” vehicles or persons they “DEEMED” to be a DANGER. As an AFrican-American, i have had to deal with this all my life.

    • You know, some idiot politician stated “rape was a good thing if a child comes from it.” Ignorance is bliss. Because science/medicine is an art and not a perfected science. But seeing that? Seriously, wonder why it becomes an unreported crime? Think of the idiots that seem to gather in one place, D.C. Rich too because people don’t bother to seek a fact.
      I am going to say what many of us older females think; “What is going on in this country with fundamentalist establishing “new rules” is this the ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW? ARE WE DOING THE TIME WARP BACKWARDS?” Truly scary. But me? Frustrated but will continue, and I shall keep up the fight, it is because I know the oath and the ethics, shame on them for not doing their job right, “we will help you to find information that will help your claim? REALLY? Because I hear a bunch of “Ducks, and constantly quack quack quack!!!

  6. Homeland Police have a real bad attitudes and big heads for such little men. Harassment and intimidation is DHS’s modus operandi when their para-military goons over-step their bounds. I am sure they have covered up their tracks and I bet you they will be back business as usual harassing veterans again at the VA. We just got to be keeping our eyes out for it again and not tolerate this gross abusive of power and harassment of our veterans.

    Check this article out on Homeland’s SWAT tactics and targeting of vets as terrorists.
    https://www.yourhoustonnews.com/bay_area/opinion/whitehead-has-the-dept-of-homeland-security-become-america-s/article_84d64ddf-e14e-5d51-90da-976d042f721e.html

  7. If DHS was protecting the VA Medical from a threat that wasn’t publicized – good. However, it could have taken measures to bring on board the VA Police, local Police and had a DHS team their to greet Veterans and answer questions – all the while performing this “presence deterrence” mission. On the other hand, if FPS is just showing up at VA Medical facilities in an effort to intimidate Veterans because of the recent backlash and scandals at the VA, then I would say that FPS has certainly overstepped its bounds and is creating a situation that will lead to a Congressional Investigation and the curtailing of FPS authorities and powers, or the elimination of FPS altogether.

  8. I am having trouble with the most recent posting by the blood-and-guts jarhead’s purportedly firsthand narrative account which disputes this story about a DHS exercise. I really feel that Ben or Lawrence need to respond to this Marine, if they can? I have seen this same DHS “presence deterrence” story about sick patients at a VA facility being accosted by the DHS in perhaps a dozen other locations on the Internet. I would normally say this lends greater credibility to this event having transpired as reported here; however, I am hesitant to accept this carte Blanche for several reasons. Foremost, the language of the Marine ‘Joshua’ is plain and convincing. I do not feel that there is any contrivance at work here, as in an intentionally planted story to defuse and refute this story performed by some DHS agent. There is the ring of truth to the Marine’s narrative.
    Of course his blind faith in the DHS and police and TSA, etc., is where he loses my support, because he is obviously so bought into the ‘America—right or wrong!’ Concept.

    So, Ben, please respond to Joshua? Either confirm or deny his account, or you leave an air of over-reactionary conspiracy clouding this report. It seems to me much depends upon the surveillance video, and that it would be against the DHS best interests to have deleted or destroyed the proof that no heavy-handed training exercise took place.

    • I read the account of Joshua and deleted it since it was clearly not factual – I am deleting all stories / statements from potential government trolls and troll supporters.

      His story deviates from what the VA Public Affairs Officer told me by phone. The exercise was for “presence deterrence” according to VA. I had never heard the term prior to speaking with VA about the issue. Beyond this, I spoke with enough veterans on site that day about the matter and the forced deletion of video taken by a veteran that day. It is obviously tricky to back up a story with video when the officers threaten vets observing the incident with a camera. The fact is, DHS did run an exercise there that day, period. One anecdotal story about how one veteran did not share the same experience as the other veterans on site does not make the other veterans or VA employee a liar… I’ll let any reader fill in the blanks.

      • Ben,
        I’m glad to see you responded to the contradictory comment, by a potential ‘troll’. Now that it has been deleted, would you please delete mine because the context is missing on which it is based and it now makes very little sense? Thank you.
        BTW, the Ft Harrison, MT DBC group is now bullying me and restricting my access to health services. I am 100% disabled but at this juncture they have, by de facto, placed me in a limbo with NO primary care doctor until mid-December,— and then only if I capitulate and sign some ‘Health Care Agreement’ prior to receiving further services. I told their “patient advocate” liaison I would read it, but it is doubtful I will sign it. At that stage I imagine they shall escalate the retaliation for non-compliance.

      • Deleting posts? Sounds like censorship…By the press. Good thing we have laws that prevent big brother from censoring you. Ironic

  9. Gang stalking is happening in waco.. I’ve had my house broke into.. My medical records stolen and followed everywhere I go.. Surveillance 24/7. They have spread lies Defamed me.. They try to run me off the road.. I poisoned my dog.. And it gets worse every day.

    • They poisoned my dogs.. It’s the va doing all this.. These are sick twisted individuals

  10. Just discovered this blog.

    If one is an active duty servicemember, or a veteran of the military,

    One would be very wise to keep an eye on this election season, and see what more filth comes out in this great quadrennial mud-smack. I have watched the “Clintoons” for years as I was still in the service when Billy-Bob was elected and became “our” president! That woman absolutely HATES American fighting men, and so gleefully uses them as “arm ornaments” when she can get away with it. Then, disposes of them when their “usefulness” is done.

    If you are as I,

    I would worry, greatly, about our future, as a People, as a nation. We, as formerly-trained professionals, are a major obstacle to their finalization of their euphemistic “new world order”. This “war, is one about to be waged against us! Even as a Pagan-Naturist, If pray for the common well-being of all, and an end to this “master plan” that seeks to bind ALL OF US to a subject set of “laws”, that renders all of us, as lesser than mere insects. We really need to educate and reach out to the ignorant in the masses. We, as veterans, have been on the inside, and know enough of its general workings and processes, to be most capable of reaching out to the many.

    God Bless Everyone,
    And Let’s wage Peace on Earth!

    WE, must be the ones to do it.

    – Jim (U.S.Army, Airborne!)

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