Veterans Affairs Tries New Angle To Silence Whistleblowers, Attacks Free Speech

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free speech

The Department of Veterans Affairs has concocted a new scheme to silence whistleblowers who publicly disclose certain whistleblower retaliation facts.

The new scheme involves penalizing whistleblowers who publicly disclose the identity of anyone who is engaged in harassing them for being a whistleblower. VA is now treating such statements as a violation of the privacy rights of the alleged wrongdoer and while infringing on the free speech rights of the victim.

Phoenix VA Anti-Free Speech

The practice involves none other than Phoenix VA and its assault against Kuauhtemoc Rodriguez, a whistleblower who disclosed the facility is still engaged in wait list type treatment of veterans.

After Rodriguez disclosed the continued practice to the press, he began being harassed by facility supervision.

He then disclosed the identity of one of the VA employees who engaged in the harassment to his contact in the press. It was this latter act that resulted in VA threatening to terminate Rodriguez employment.

VA Secrecy

“The Department of Veterans Affairs is obligated to ensure the confidentiality of its beneficiaries’ and employees’ personal identifying information,” the VA said in a statement regarding Rodriguez’s pending discipline. “Employees are expected to act in a manner that is consistent with VA’s core values of Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence. Leadership should take action to ensure the safety of our patients and staff and preserve the integrity of our mission within applicable laws and regulations.”

What does punishing a whistleblower who acknowledges information about the person who is harassing him to a member of the press?

First Amendment Coalition

VA has long asserted VA employees have a right to privacy in their name, but at least one First Amendment advocacy group believes the use of the privacy act in this manner is overly broad.

David Snyder, executive director of The First Amendment Coalition, said, “To threaten discipline up to and included firing seems at the very least heavy-handed; it’s not like the Social Security or bank account numbers were released.”

“Is the mere existence of an employee’s name secret or to be withheld from the public? Certainly not,” Snyder said. “The mere existence of a name isn’t something they are entitled to redact” in document requests.

VA treats its activities in a manner consistent with that of the NSA – everything is secret unless the agency chooses to disclose the matter. It is this level of unwarranted secrecy that has prevented the agency from the reforms necessary to turn around the corrupt culture rotting away in facilities like Phoenix VA.

Congress On Rodriguez Harassment Case

The new House Committee on Veterans Affairs chairman, Dr. Phil Roe (R-TN), believes the anti-free speech scheme is unwarranted and planned a trip to the facility.

“It is unacceptable that any law-abiding whistle-blower would be punished for bringing the issues within VA to light,” Roe said in a statement. Roe went on to add that he has introduced legislation to enhance whistle-blower protections and allow for easier suspension, demotion or firing of bad employees.

But doesn’t it seem like no amount of scrutiny or sunlight can fix the corrupt cultural rot that has too infected the culture in Phoenix? At what point should the fed step in and prosecute the criminal elements within VA?

Rodriguez disclosed to the press that over 200 veterans died as a result of the scandal. VA OIG previously attempted to cover up the total impact of the bonus and performance fraud scheme, and apparently, VA is none too happy with Rodriguez calling his co-workers on the carpet.

Maybe it’s time to shut Phoenix VA down?

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/04/10/veterans-affairs-whistle-blower-faces-punishment-for-revealing-alleged-harasser-email-shows.html

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Don Avant
Don Avant

RE: The Department of Veterans Affairs is obligated to ensure the confidentiality of its beneficiaries’ and employees’ personal identifying information,” the VA said in a statement regarding Rodriguez’s pending discipline.

That much is true…The VA is so required…

That doesn’t mean that VA employees give up their right to free speech just because they’re employees…
This is BLATANT whistleblower retaliation and AGAINST THE LAW…Call the FBI a Crime is being commited here…

cj
cj

I agree with Don Avant, a crime has obviously been commited and someone need to start upholding the law and start prosecuting these assholes. Send the right message, violate the law go directly to jail.

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

Great Article, Ben.

This “new” VA Policy against those employees that demonstrate “moral courage” AKA Whistleblowers by speaking publicly about the rampant wrongdoings within the VA should surprise no one.

The VA exists only to serve itself. Not Veterans. Not Honest Employees.

Phoenix Vets and now Kuauhtemoc Rodriguez are about to be “RIMA’d” by none other than Rima Nelson herself. After her “Command Performance” as Director of Saint Louis, MO. VA exposing over 1500 veterans to HIV and Hepatitis, she was given a safe hiding spot at the Manila ROP Clinic until things cooled down.

Now she is back, and in command of one of the two most troubled facilities in the United States. Probably got a pay raise as well.

It is unfortunate that another good VA employee (Yes, there are some) is going to harassed for speaking the truth. I hope Kuauhtemoc Rodriguez is able to sue them for a few million.

FIX THE BROKEN VA:
1. Fire all the Lazy No Good Workers. Fire EVERY single AFGE/SES Employee.
2. Sell off all the VA facilities.
3. Issue all veterans a card that allows them to choose their own doctors that they can TRUST.
4. US Government will PAY those doctors promptly for the care they give veterans.
5. ELIMINATE the “Federal Protection” Umbrella for incompetent QUACKS that the VA sends to other states other than their own. Gonna practice in Hawaii? You need to be LICENSED in Hawaii. Same applies to all other states.

Rima Nelson should not pass go, should not collect $200. She should go directly to jail. And no get out of jail free card for her.

namnibor
namnibor

@Don– Totally agree. The FBI and DOJ need to perform a modern day war crimes trial, with the AFGE and VA prosecuted for failure to assist and many more, including war profiteering (contracts).

I fully predict at such a modern day “Nuremburg Trials”, the results would be exactly the same. Those on the stand would all state the same, “We were only following orders”, and hopefully once the Army Corps of Engineers complete the gallows in adjoining room, those end results will also be exactly the same.

I think it would greatly help Veteran’s PTSD to be able to watch close caption these thugs getting their due justice, then let the demons in hell take over.

VeteransCannabisRanch
VeteransCannabisRanch

Sorry to say, but pretty sure the Nuremburg trials were a big farce and show to punish the Germans for trying to be Germans instead of pawns for bankers & profiteers – like we (Americans) are.

Hitler tried to stop this mess we have now. Its called communism. Democracy.

There has never ever been one order shown to mass exterminate anyone, even the self-chosen gang. Don’t you think if there was an order, we would see it? Nobody sees no orders because there ain’t none. zip. zero. Or proof of mass extermination. And, several scholars have done extraordinary work on exposing the farce of those Nuremburg trials.

Like other whistleblowers, the scholars who expose truth are ridiculed and then they are the ones exterminated. From jobs, school, family, life. Just like the fellow in this article.

This whistleblower will be exterminated in some fashion by the same ones who exterminated, mass hanging the Germans at Nuremburg. That was after they holocausted the Germans in mass firebombings.

What did the Germans do to deserve that?
What did Rodriguiez do to deserve being threatened with firing? Tell the truth? Same with Germans. No different.

Be wise as to who/what we dealing with.

namnibor
namnibor

Could not disagree with you more. I guess we never landed on the moon, the earth is really flat, we never nuked Japan, and Vietnam War never happened? Should I go on? Sounds to me like your tinfoil hat needs fine-tuning, but believe whatever you wish to believe, but I have to stand-up and say that’s rather offensive to discount the Holocaust as you just did.

Why it irritates me is, then according to you, the three WW2 pilots in my family for USAF and RAF saw atrocities that were just stage props and they fought for nothing?

I was not even going to comment but that just pissed me off.

VeteransCannabisRanch
VeteransCannabisRanch

you can continue to believe those who persecute us whistleblowers and truth tellers, because it is an uncomfortable story for you.

where is the evidence for what you claim?

you talk a partial good talk, but you fall flat on the uptake of new truth.

us and british troops fought with communist stalin to crush every remnant of those outstanding German people. they stood up for truth.

you turn a blind eye. whatever drugs you take from VA seem to be doing a good job. maybe your job on this site is to prevent people from knowing the truth.

you are one of them.

Bleiburg. Katyn. Dresden. Hamburg. plus more.

/s/ Sepp Dietrich

VeteransCannabisRanch
VeteransCannabisRanch

As I said before, I stand with General George Patton who was murdered when he tried to expose the fraud/hoax. He was dead 3 days after he revealed that we fought the wrong enemy.

My dad was master sarge at motorpool in nuremburg during trials. i have ticket stub still from when he went to trials. He said the germans were great and he agreed with Patton.

He was sorry for what happened to the Germans.

I stand with dad & Patton. You stick with Stalin.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@VeteransCannabisRanch – You’re full of shit.

91Veteran
91Veteran

VeteransCRanch,

I once stood in the underground shower room at Dachau, I have pictures of the entry door.

I also have pictures of the ovens, among many others I took at that camp.

I must have been hallucinating because of a mass conspiracy.

As did the residents of Munich (German) who witnessed the ashes falling from the sky when the ovens were fired up.

Fucking delusional.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@VeteransCannabisRanch – @91Veteran @Namnibor [I’m with you] The only identity that I’ve accused of spewing out what I refer to as “Dirty Science,” has been the VA. And now, its you. Secondly, the US is a fucking Republic, not a Democratic, or Communism country. I hope you don’t teach US History to the younger generations, you’ll only screw their minds up even more than what most of them already are. Your a pure misleading figure to young minds, when it comes to history, so far that is. Your giving Marijuana smokers a bad name.

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

@VeteransCannabisRanch – – – What the fuck is this Mickey Mouse Horse Shit you are spouting? Do you REALLY believe that nonsense you are typing?

Best Therapy I can recommend to you is to GO FUCK A DUCK. You are totally QUACKERS!

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

@91Veteran @ANutterVet @Namnibor – – – Right on! Well said, to all of you.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Hey Namnibor,

It’s clear that VCR has been put too much ranch dressing on the salad he has been smoking.

namnibor
namnibor

@Seymore Klearly-

…or, just not smoking the right stuff. However, my brain takes it multileveled in that’s exactly the type of stuff an “ethical hacking agent” would do, say such over the top provocative statements such as VCR has, in order to possibly instigate Veterans bring-out statements much later regretted, then used by the VA and Piggy VSO’s to point and say, “Look at those fringe group Veteran Advocates, that’s why we do not invite them to our feeding trough…” 🙂

Then again, it may just be that VCR requires his tinfoil hat to be a little thicker and smoke more. 🙂

WH Spokehack Spicer also made a WW2 Nazi Germany Hitler gaff today in his beyond poor taste of making an analogy to Syria attacks and stating or implying in the minds of rabid press core, that Spicer implied Germany never utilized such chemical agents on their own people, as well.
Funny thing is, how short people’s memories can become because in the talking head press when they were all talking about this and the reality of what did take place in Germany, they conveniently forget to mention all the mustard and chlorine gas and more all sides continued to use even after WW1.

Rant Out.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Nam, I equate ignorance of history to the drivel being taught in schools rather than actual history. Last night I saw a post on Facebook. It was a picture of some US POW’s after the Bataan Death March.

It kind of startled me that a commenter on that picture expressed surprise at it, and said he had never heard of it. I don’t know the guys background, but clearly he was at least old enough to know how to comment on Facebook. It’s his kind of ignorance I chalk up to public schools.

What VCR is saying I chalk up to willful ignorance at best.

VA IS LYING INC
VA IS LYING INC

VA DC HQ @ VA DEATHCARE ARE ONE BIG BIG BIG FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKET CONGRESS COWARDS PUNKS SHUT THIS VA DEATHCARE RICO CRIME RAACKET DOWN ASAP

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

@VA IS LYING INC – – – Well Stated. So Correct.

cj
cj

VA IS LYING INC<——-I am really beginning to like this guy, consistent, always on point.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@cj @VA IS LYING INC @Disgruntled Veteran – Well, Shootz, stop on over, we’ll have a nice Barbie with kangaroo meat, ribs, grilled ahi with lemon mayo sauce. You bring the punks [no VA employees] for the mosquitos.

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

@ANutterVet – – – King Brand, or the “new” Shirakiku kine? Made in Japan, and they really do a good job. Daiei get ’em cheap. I’ll also bring some sushi. Inari, Maki, Uramaki, Nigiri, Temaki, and Sashimi.

Ono grindz, Brah!

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

I’m going to paraphrase what Ben asked – “WHEN should the feds be brought in?”
The should have been brought in a long time ago – when the scandals broke back in 2014!
Many VA employees should/could have been arrested, tried and convicted by now! But, NO!
Every one of these VHA’s and VBA’s are like little “fiefdoms” or “Banana Republics”! Run by reprobates of the worst kind!
I say, Shut them all down!
I also agree with “Disgruntled Veteran” on all his suggestions!

namnibor
namnibor

“[“The Department of Veterans Affairs is obligated to ensure the confidentiality of its beneficiaries’ and employees’ personal identifying information,” the VA said in a statement regarding Rodriguez’s pending discipline. “Employees are expected to act in a manner that is consistent with VA’s core values of Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence. Leadership should take action to ensure the safety of our patients and staff and preserve the integrity of our mission within applicable laws and regulations.”]”

Okay, hold-on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride:

1) Notice the VA cannot or will not even refer to Veterans as Veterans? Instead, we are specifically marginalized in the very separation of titles of “beneficiaries” and “employees”, the classic “us and them”, in the very wording they spun from only the very best crap.

2) Privacy is highly valued at the VA when it comes to the “THEM” crowd (employees), but when opportunity to sell all medical and DNA data to a company to further sell to highest bidder…YEAH, RIGHT…that “highly valued” privacy is not so much as important to the “beneficiaries”.

3) If we are all now only considered the “beneficiaries” rather than Veterans, how are Vets “benefiting” from being treated so indifferently?

4) VA has it ass backwards: The VA is “benefiting” from having living, breathing Veterans for their fraud and corruption. So that makes the “employee” and “beneficiaries” crowds one in the same genus of lamprey.

5) Privacy only matters to the self-serving VA when it serves the VA’s advantage, not so much caring about we so-called “beneficiaries”.

6) Correct me if I’m mistaken but I am pretty sure those “employees” are “beneficiaries” of the very freedom we Vets took an oath to serve and protect.

7) CLOSE DOWN THE VHA PART OF THE VA. Not just Phoenix, as it’s a systemic problem from Arizona to Maine to Florida to Alaska and HI. Systemic Beneficiaries, that’s the VA.

8 )Maybe I would not be so “butthurt” over words and labels if the VA could have placed that word “Veteran” in front of “Veteran Beneficiaries”, but even that would be confusing because it would imply we Veterans are indeed benefiting.

9) Thank You Whistleblowers! Keep it up!

10) “Beneficiaries or Employees”. Sure seems to me that the VA is employed by The People/Taxpayers, meaning the VA are the actual beneficiaries of Veterans employed to protect our freedoms. Marginalized into nothing more than an insurance and liability metric: Beneficiaries. Of what?

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

@Namnibor @Crazy Elf – – – I agree with all your observations/recommendations regarding this matter. If President Trump were serious about “Fixing the VA” – – – He could start by putting together several Tiger Teams to go into the field and assess the problems. I am sure there are several of us on this board (as end-users/consumers) who could quickly assess the major specific problems at each facility.

Then we could call in the Hatchet Teams. Just give me a blank, signed Presidential Pardon (full) and allow me to fill in the dates later. I would be one of the first to volunteer. ‘Cause – – – you know – – – one precisely placed bullet in 1937, and all of WWII pretty much would have been avoided . . .

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Disgruntled Veteran,
I’m sorry to say, President Trump isn’t fielding anything. He put his son-in-law – Kushner – in charge of trying/wanting to straighten out the VA!
I haven’t heard a peep outta him. (Has anyone?)
WHY: because he’s busy trying to make a name for himself over in the Middle East!

I gotta real bad feeling about what’s NOT going to happen – as in: it will be “business as usual at VHA’s and VBA’s nationwide!”

That’s my opinion!

Cantigny
Cantigny

i’m in the same camp with @Crazy Elf regarding Trump/son-n-law/VA/America. with recent events, difficult to see any other scenario with this.

with manhattan global elitists, they have no empathy for American veterans and their decades old plights with VA/VBA…only how much money they can grab from American taxpayer funded coffers and exploiting the American veteran all the while ensuring it looks the opposite..they are experts at such devices.

i agree, this isn’t looking good at all for American veterans or America.

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

@Crazy elf – – – I am sorry as well. You are correct thus far. That is why I said “If POTUS Trump were serious . . .”

But, I do think my idea would work at “reforming” the corrupt VA. Just need to be able to pick the correct team – – – – 95% of whom I read their postings on this Blog. Then we be allowed to take ACTION with complete AIR COVER supplied by the White House for a One Year Period.

After that? Throw me to the Wolves. I am willing to bet that an Iron Fist coupled with some good old ’70’s Marine Boot Camp discipline – – – dispersed among the “Senior VA Leadership” will effect the required attitude adjustment required.

VeteransCannabisRanch
VeteransCannabisRanch

Beneficiary is a legal term of art.
The VA is a trust.
Trust & contract law describes the terms they are using.
They are providing notice in legal form, properly describing the parties to the contract.
The veterans are the beneficiaries of the trust.
The trustee of the trust, through the terms of the employment agreement, hires employees.
The rules/laws, etc., are very different about how to treat beneficiaries named in a trust, and how to treat employees designated in an employment contract.

The VA is a business. The “government” you all talk about is a corporation. Looks like the corporation was sold and we now have new owners. Jared Kushner on escorted tour of Iraq. New owners saying hello to more beneficiaries (military folks). Diplomats are probably employees, but we don’t really know until we know, which we don’t. Have to read the documents.

Bless.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@VeteransCannabisRanch – Dude, what type of indica are you smoking. Shootz, you one get a few tokers in, and the kine stuff one kick your butt, then you one stay on da couch. Wow, I’m totally confused. If you’re a Veteran, add we instead of y’all. Thanks Bro

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

The Holocaust Hoax Exposed – Steven Anderson …… look that one up on u tube

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@OLDMARINE – Geesh, you believe everything that is on the net. My, my, and I’ll see you a bridge in NY’s prime real estate market for cheap.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

Should be sell instead of see. Its the meds.

91Veteran
91Veteran

It’s the same wordsmithing used when calling a Patient Advocate a Customer Service Representative, as if I am asking to have my Fucking Hoover vacuum checked.

Or referring to veterans as “stakeholders”.

Yeah, sometimes I would like to be holding a stake.

In a mood after that stupid comment above.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

I just got up, swilled off the dried crusty rheum from my eyes, and made a c[_] of pure Kona coffee. Things are never dull with the VA. Therefore, let me quieten down a bit so that I can jot down a retort to Ben’s latest scoop apropos to the VA. This article has my mind frazzled, so I to need to first call my tele-shrink to get my mind in a unflappable mood.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Crazy elf, @Namnibor, @Disgruntled Veteran – All of you are right on point. Its time to have the FBI to investigate the VA to clean up and remove the scum from within this Federal Agency [VA]. The leadership of the VA . . . , I’m so pissed that I can’t finish my thought. And this is quite unusual, especially for me.

LP
LP

Don’t shut down the facilities, rather replace all staff (with the exception of janitorial, maintenance, etc)
Open a large for profit prison.
Dump All replaced staff inside.
Secure facility with Veterans.
Squash all litigation in a manner equal to how Veteran claims are denied.
Continue on with life as if those staff members never existed.

Yeah?

namnibor
namnibor

@LP– That might work but I must insist that we treat the facilities as the Russians dealt with Chernobyl, and place a concrete encasement over entire facilities.
Why?
Because every rat knows multiple ways to escape from their ratty nests, and the VA is no different.

Encasement then nuke from low orbit just to be sure. 🙂

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

@LP – – – Sounds pretty good. Or we could repurpose those facilities into housing for homeless veterans. My estimate is that the Spark Matsunaga Clinic could house 2500 vets at any one time. That would get approximately 65% of the homeless veterans off the street here in Honolulu. Which while not a perfect solution, would be a good start.

Dennis
Dennis

There are so many vets now flagged by the notorious VA Disruptive Behavior Committee that the 2013 OIG report on the matter said they simply have no way to determine exactly how many. Thousands.

From my experience tha VAST majority of those so found guilty of betraying America and therefor are being punished by VA through denial of service are PURLEY matters in which the individual engaged in Constitutionally protected free speech.

Some folks on that list, according to OIG, were placed on it for “threatening” that safety and welfare of VA emoloyees up to 400 days after the so called threat was levelled. I personally have entered into my medical record the contents of my home voicemail system, which greets callers with a welcome on condition that they are not federal workers and ends the greeting with, “…and if you are a federal employee you can go to hell.” This merited an entry into my medical record and an entry that the clinician refused to further communicate healthcare information to me.

You might not like my message but unpopular speech is the sole reason for First Ammendment protections to be in place in America.

Yet, have we heard about a SINGLE legislator express outrage over the literally uncountable number of vets that have been labelled a traitor by VA? Where are the hearings over the suicides that occured immediately after being condemned by a notorious DBC? Where is the godamn outrage that folks from foreign lands sit in judgement of Americans in these kangaroo courts at VA. I say fuck the employees, UNTIL VA can figure out how to serve vets without labelling them a menace to society by ANY Tom, Dick, or Mustaffa that happens to catch wind of a godamn voicemail greeting!

The agency has gone rogue – the inevitable result of unionization. The Brotherhood of AFGE is running the show and their allegience is not impacted by what any two bit congressman might say or do. Now conges wants to pass even more layers to the onion and pile yet more regulations on top of the MOUNTAIN of laws already in place to stop this abomination of an agency?

My message to the VA folks getting screwed by VA’s thirst for vendetta; “welcome to the crowd” but expect no aid from me you assholes because my brothers and sisters who work at VA, you are on somebody’s side and it has NEVER, NEVER, NEVER been mine. Don’t come complaining to me when the grizzly bear eats you because you are the one who chose to lay down with them. Having fun yet?

Rick b
Rick b

Dennis,

I hate to say it but here goes….BS!

I have leveled many accusations at the VA in my 30+ years having to deal with them. I have initiated many congressional inquires ( so many I lost count). Not once has any derogatory information been entered into my medical records concerning any of the inquiries. I can go online right now and download my medical records and not one item entered about any of my complaints. I also have a friend that works at the VA and asked her if there was any part of my medical record that I cannot download and she insures me there my entire record is available for download and that the VA does not enter derogatory information in them unless it pertains to the actual treatment of the veteran, fore example non-compliance with medications, or not using cpap machine etc…. As to any other watch list I cannot speak too, but I doubt they actually exist. First off most VA employees are too lazy to go out of their way and do anything that is not required of them, remember that Union… well the union would be in there crap if they did something outside the scope of their duties….. so that is my two cents….

Factually, almost ever congressional inquiry I initiated the VA’s answer was to paint me a Liar, level there own false claims and pretty much make me look stupid…. It took me a while to figure out that the VA directors, PT Representatives, and even my Congress Critters don’t give a flock about my concerns, and they don’t want to know about my issues….

I do find it very interesting how the VA will hang their own employees out to dry, but they will not disclose the name of the VA C/P examiners prior to the exam and they claim this is for the examiners protection. More BS!

91Veteran
91Veteran

Rick, I at one time was skeptical about a DBC, but I have read enough comments from veterans who have been unfairly labeled as disruptive, other evidence they have proving the vindictive actions taken against them and the VAs policy on DBCs to become a believer and know they exist.

I, like you, have also submitted complaints, in writing, to VA officials from local doctors, hospital directors, the VAIG all the way to the Secretary himself going back to when Jesse Brown was Secretary, and to various Senators and Congressmen.

After reading about DBCs, I have been convinced I have not been labeled as Disruptive simply because I have been lucky in that I get responses from politicians who will inquire, I know how to use FOIA, I cannot be discredited by the VA using my VA medical record, and the media will respond.

Each of these are useful in my opinion in keeping me off the DBC list, along with addressing issues to employees that can recognize when they have been called out, and care about keeping their job.
In many of the comments I have read from veterans labeled as Disruptive, there is often a piece missing, such as having high level employees having no fear of breaking the law, with other high level employees covering for them as I see with Dennis.

Now, before you claim veterans just cannot be unfairly labeled as disruptive, do 3 things.

1. Read more comments from veterans labeled as such.

2. Read the VA policy on DBCs.

3. Obtain your entire C file. I know I was shocked when I received mine recently to find the VA had carefully filed away letters I had written to Senators in the early 90s…among other things.

If you want to be really shocked, submit a FOIA to your hospital directors office for any internal documents they have containing your name. I did, and it was quite eye-opening to me on just what kind of fucking snakes we are dealing with.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Rick b – From one Vet to another, don’t give these people any benefits of the doubt. I have, and they keep on disappointing and taking advantage of me. The VA has zero trust with me. The only thing that I’d give them is a poopy bag.

Dennis
Dennis

I levelled an accusation at them in District Court, and upon the District Court concurring with me and issuing a Restraining Order against VA to stop harassing me, the VA, according to,their own letter to me, convened a “special” DBC committee (their words). They determined that the act of obtaining a RO in Circuit Court fell within the guidelines of Disruptive Behavior (their words) and cited the Restraining Order as the causitive factor for the reason I was flagged. It is on letterhead from VA and signed by Chief Of Staff. Then they eneteree into my record that I had threatened to,murder the entire CBOC staff knowing beyond any doubt that the charge was simply made up by them.

After the newspaper vetted those facts and printed up an extensive expose regarding the DBC and their clearly unconstitutional behavior, the VA further retaliated.

My crime was I refused to stop appealling the flag and in front of the reporter during an interview, the VA spokeswoman said plint blank, “Every time you appeal this flag it will just be extended another six months.”

I am either lieing or I am telling the truth. The reporter who printed a two part series on the matter is either lieing or is telling the truth.

It either does or it does not happen, but let me assure you of one thing – if it does land on you that it will indeed feel very, very real.

Jane
Jane

I have leveled complaints proof even that Dr did not have the extra “letters” of certifications after their names, not qualified to diagnosis mt rare disease that I still have and it only gets worse; VA Employees did not do their job on date time and place facts part of my medical records have sent numerous letters to VA Sec and others in WAsh DC all CC with my US Senators n US Congress person yet not one verbal foul language usage at the VA itself and yet lies are made up by the VA Employees for their farce Kangaroo Court called DBC and how can you appeal something you have no knowledge of dates times let alone not allowed to know WHOM and every time a letter made it to Wash DC another DBC Flag was levied proved it to one of the US Senators who told the VA to know off the FLAGS continuations but it is is still there on my records!

I am supposed to have to “Point of Contacts when calling into the VA for consults appointments etc” but it is now one-year another person has yet to be assign the one person is sick , has other duties in the VA that takes the away for a week or more at a tie! Not fair to my health. Worse the VA is mad as I do not want their so called mental health care as those lie, add but even more false information in my records! Refuse to do a proper evaluation or listen to the outside mental health I do or have seen so VA GO TO HELL until list all names redacting and retaliating when proven you do not do your job!

I have seen this done to too many other veterans for simple retaliation do not want to see certain Drs as we know they are not properly licensed, have excessive number of FTCA won by vets who wants a quack in a specialty field anyways but hte VA higher ups seems to and the VA Lawyers who loose needs to stop anther part of VA REform get rid of DBC Flags maybe just maybe 1000 total vets may need to be put on it nationwide but doubt the number that are on it currently is such a farce!
Oh for us who are US Marines VA Employees seem to be even more scared of us regardless of gender I have found ohh watch out!! !LOL

Lem
Lem

Bonus fraud or privatization lobby? Why the gifts?

Jo3n
Jo3n

I haven’t heard a word of most of the VA stories Ben is giving us. Why isn’t McCain opening his mouth? I have sent articles from this site today Alabama congress, Senator Sessions, Senator Shelby, and have never heard a reply. There’s no where, and no one in Alabama that gives a damn about Veterans. We have a proud history of Veterans, THEY, aren’t concerned nor do THEY give a darn. Get rid of VHA, they killing us…

Rick b
Rick b

Sessions isn’t a senator anymore… sure you sent it to him?

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Jo3n,
I read where Alabama just got a new Governor.
The other one was kicked out recently, as in the past week!

namnibor
namnibor

Yeah, the former Alabama Gov. was one of those types that occasionally preached church sermons on how important it is that one man and one woman be bonded into marriage and anything outside of that was sulfur & brimstone.

The former Alabama Gov. indeed had mistresses on the side. Probably a male stripper or two as well. Classic case of outspoken hypocrite gets nailed for what they are outspoken for. “He is such a religious man”….he religiously had to get his freak on.

Jo3n
Jo3n

What happened to that, “Accountability Act”? Also, in the story, Ben mentioned that the whistleblower was threatened to be fired. How can the VA fire one employee, and, THEY can’t be fired? Think I need sleep..

91Veteran
91Veteran

First the column, then the comment.

I just love making VA look like the horses asses they are.

So disclosing a name to the media is a violation of PII?

Hmmm. Yep. That’s a YUUUUGE stretch.

According to Wikipedia, PII can include FULL names, but names are not generally considered PII if they are common, like Smith or Johnson.

“”https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personally_identifiable_information””

Besides, the entire VA is guilty of violating PII if names only is a violation by the very fact of having leadership bios and provider directory listings on every VA web site for every hospital.

Fucking clowns!

Yes, technically names can be PII, but so is genetic information and the VA was just about to hand over the PII on over 20 million veterans to Russian connected scam artists.

The VAs penchant for nitwittery may explain why I got a FOIA response from the VACO with all the names, email addresses and phone numbers redacted, but got the exact same information unredacted from a different response.

Friggin clowns!

Besides, if I was a business man, I could submit a FOIA to them for a list of every VA employee that has a US government credit card or has purchasing authority, and they would have to provide it.

If you look at that Wikipedia entry, there is federal law that governs PII…the Privacy Act. Of 1974. I don’t know how much of that or the US Code has been amended since 1974, but much of what is considered PII just came recently because of internet hacking, and policies derive from NIST Publication 800-122…NOT from federal law.

So they want to fire a whistle blower, but they will look damn stupid when it is pointed out how many times there are data breaches, HIPAA violations or Privacy Act violations by VA flunkies on a daily basis, and NOBODY got fired.

If the VA takes PII so seriously, they must have considerable policy on its handling, with training records to back up employees being trained on those policies.

This is a double edged sword for them since if they could produce those records, it would show how badly they violate it every day with veterans.

Go ahead clowns. Produce the records.

This is another in a long list of examples of just how poor the management or leadership is in the VA. This is not a low level employee pushing this bullshit charge of violating PII. This is Phoenix management pushing it.

Because they got caught.

cj
cj

I am not getting email notifications. Lastnight, we were talking and a commenter asked about getting together for a march on DC, When nobody responded he was a little upset. I asured him we were on the same page, and posted details of a May march. Soon after, the blog started acting up, we were booted, and when I came back, everything after the man posting his second comment disapeared. There was a lot of content that isn’t there any longer. What’s up?

Jo3n
Jo3n

@Cj, I was about to ask the same question. What’s up? Thought I had imagined it. Tough to get things straight. Keep on digging Ben…..

91Veteran
91Veteran

Cj, Jo3n, I was just about to comment that Ben needs to kick the server since I too haven’t gotten emails.

I think when people post links that are not in quotes, the spam filter goes crazy and locks everything down.

Sorta like a VA whale AFGE thug seeing her jelly donut is missing.

cj
cj

@91Veteran: Shhhhh, the jelly donut was placed on the rat trap. Okay good to know it wasn’t aliens. Than you.

namnibor
namnibor

@cj & 91Veteran–

Just to be sure, please replace all jelly donut traps with the following:

Use a carbon steel bear trap and of course, bait it with a bear claw yummy donut. Maybe also place a few random white tablets next to the bear claw to ensure the bait is irresistible to the VA whale AFGE thug.

RAND Corp. recommends making note of following changes:
Jelly donuts have been delegated to the Oregonian Poop Canon Project (OPCP), and is superseded by bear claws.
RAND further notes that jelly donuts were found ineffective on bear traps because the VA AFGE whale thugs have been known to chew and gnaw their own arms off in order to continue feasting on jelly donuts.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Ben, to let you know, I just got the email stating your column (this one) was posted, but no comment emails yet.

Rick b
Rick b

ANuttervet and 911veteran

Just to be sure — I am not defending the VA. although they certainly could use some defense. I* was just stating my opinion on the subject based on my interactions with VA Pukes…. If you really want to see just how much I love the accusations .. read what I said in yesterdays blog.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Rick, I understand what you are saying because it is hard to believe in America that a federal employee, in the name of a federal agency, can so thoroughly violate the civil rights of US citizens and veterans and essentially remove what should be provided by contract.

After the hell I have raised over the past 25 years with the VA, I found it hard to believe since I was not added to the DBC long ago, but after reading so many details of others hammered by the VA, I would more take the veterans word than that of the VA.

After reading that the VA has actually developed a policy on this, and after dealing with some of these snakes, I can easily see how any veteran can be falsely accused and added to their little hit list.

cj
cj

So, I have been getting this popup from Google, blocking me from everything google, except gmail. It is law they need my permission, in order to collect info from me, surfing habits etc. I won’t give them permission, so now I can’t use youtube. In other words, they are holding part of the Internet hostage until I comply. kind of like the damn VA, does it’s business. Libtards, birds of a feather………..

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

I wanted to let y’all know a little more about Jared Kushner!

#1) His father is a full blown criminal. Arrested for a bunch of crimes totaling in the BILLIONS, according to the DOJ website.

#2.) According to Eric Trump, his sister, Ivanka, was very Instrumental in having her father, President Trump, attack Syria!

#3.a.) Jared definitely wants Israel to be a leader in the Middle East. Could that be because Kushner is Jewish?
On Utube, many are “upset”, in that Kushner is in charge of so much. What I mean by “upset” is; Most are pissed!
#3.b.) Kushner has been associating with Kissinger and Soros! Both are Jews. Except Soros turned in his Jewish neighbors to the Nazis during WWII!
Most of us Vietnam Vets know about Kissinger, and his involvement in Vietnam with Presidents Johnson and Nixon!

4.) President Trump put Kushner “in charge of straightening out the VA!” (As I’ve said before!) Not one word has come out of that “BOYS” mouth over this issue! “WHY?” Is he afraid he can’t handle it? Is it because his main mission is to bring more disruption in the Middle East?
No one is having “cordial conversations” with him. Usually what happens is they don’t agree with him!
Could it be because Kushner is a fuckin’ Democrat at heart!?
We all know how MORE corrupt the VA got in the past eight years!

I surely hope this isn’t the beginning of the S.O.S. we’ve had to put up with!

namnibor
namnibor

@Crazy elf- Keep your mind also geared toward Biblical Revelation type stuff. There’s people literally hell-bent to bring hell on earth, again, literally.

Wait for potential announcement in future that Kushner/Trump want to rebuild the Temple…after a stray Tomahawk destroys the mosque sitting on Dome of The Rock. Wait for it…

(no tinfoil hat needed here, as the sleeper indeed has awoken)

namnibor
namnibor

Easter and current world events always stirs my anxiety because the truly mad crazies come out every year and they started early this year.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

namnibor,
I forgot something about Ivanka Trump.
Before the Nov election, she “conveniently forgot to change her ‘party’ affiliation’ from Democrat to Republican!” Thereby making it impossible for her to even vote for her own father!

Yep, I agree with you on that “Trump/Kushner Tag Team” combination! “End Times” – maybe or maybe NOT!

It’s definitely going to get interesting in the coming months!

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Crazy elf @Namnibor – Building material is already there to build the temple. All that is needed, . . . let there be build, so that it will be built, . . . , then the mean lower class person shall reveal itself. Oh, you see more than hell breaking loose, when HE comes through the clouds on HIS white horse. But wait, are you planning to be here or what?

Light bulb repair man
Light bulb repair man

The va hospital in Virginia is infested with mold. Employees are being moved to new offices because the union said so but patient clinics with mold stay open exposing veterans. Osha fined them too.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@light bulb repair man – Yeah, shut it down. Shut the dam place down. Those sporababies are shooting all over the place. If you go there lbrm, don’t get that stuff on your face, if you do, your face will start to morph in 24 hours. After getting out of that place, cleanse your face with facial wipes. The VA employees should have extras, they received a caseload of them after being promoted. Look for the boxes labeled ass wipes. LMAO I’d wear a mask, call OSHA, FBI, CIA, NSA, POTUS, NOTUS, SCOTUS, your next of kin. Burn it down! LOL Welcome aboard to Ben’s World.

ThisVet2017
ThisVet2017

This is disgusting. I’m a whistleblower at the Atlanta Regional Office. In November 2016, I reported to the VA (via my chain of command) that a coworker (and God knows who else) had unauthorized access to my VA claim, health, medical, and personal records. To this date, the VA has not responded to me as to what was the disposition of said complaint.

In January I filed an administrative claim against the VA. All I got was a letter from the VA where it “alleges” it is investigating my claim (well, the administrative claim sort of “obligates” an agency to investigate an administrative claim in six months). So, don’t hold your breath. The VA didn’t do this to help me out.

The employee(s) involved in the unauthorized access to my records remain employed by the VA, and before the VA threw me out of the building (pending my removal from employment at the VA), the main subject of my complaint threatened me by pointing at me and exclaiming to my coworkers “There goes your target practice”.

So, wonderful to see that the VA takes the protection of veterans’ information seriously – only when the accused of such violations is a whistleblower.

I sit here with my mouth on the floor. I am at a lost for words on how disgusting this is. The VA, won’t lift a finger to address when a whistleblower’s privacy is violated – yet, are dropping the hammer on Mr. Rodriguez? Oh, I forgot, whistleblowers have no rights at the VA and/or federal government.

Oh, I forgot the kicker…I reported this to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) and to several representatives, senators, etc. and, no one is stepping in on my behalf to address this.

ThisVet2017
ThisVet2017

Oh, I forgot the additional kicker. On top of this cowerker’s unauthorized access to my records. I also reported his and tenured VA employees’ failure to safeguard veterans’ information (i.e. sharing PIV card access to VA systems amongst each other and people who have not received security clearances yet, leaving VA systems/monitors unlocked, taking video chats with people not authorized to VA systems, etc.)…and, this coworker of mine and other VA employees remain undisciplined, employed – while the VA is moving heaven and earth to remove “ME”. And, OSC and others I contacted still haven’t interviened.

namnibor
namnibor

You need to Tweet Isaacson early in the morning repeatedly and make him fly across gym off his Stairmaster. Keep doing it.

91Veteran
91Veteran

I would suggest a FOIA for any record showing what action they have taken regarding your claim. Ben has a previous article on submitting a FOIA request.

The other action you can take is requesting the records showing the local VA reported this privacy violation. I found a VA web site somewhere, or it may have even been a USA Today site where you could access reports to HIPAA violations from every VA in the US. There was some kind of program the VA was touting as something where even unclear violations were reported, with the VA claiming it was to improve employee knowledge and understanding of how to protect veteran privacy.

If someone reports a privacy or HIPAA violation, what action did local officials take to report it, as required by law.

You might also request the logs showing exactly who accessed your records. I assume the VA has computer logs showing every instance of someone accessing a record.

Finally, you might look at other entities such as HHS to see if you can file a HIPAA violation with them.

Ex va
Ex va

ThisVet2017, i know exactly what you are going thru. I experienced some of the same things you have gone thru. I went thru a lot of avenues and nothing really helped. Keep trying. Sorry you have had to go thru this, you not the only one who has suffered retaliation.

cj
cj

@ThisVet2017: Retaliation is unlawful, what sucks is being left feeling your on your own out in the cold. Just goes to show what rat bastards they really are. I hope you get Justice served on a platter, in triplicate. Rotten to the core the VA is. I am sorry you have been through the ringer and back.

cj
cj

@ANutterVet,@Ex va: you guys around?

Ex va
Ex va

@cj, last night things i posted was posted and just disappeared. cj, did that happen to you too?

lily
lily

The VA is like 1000x worse than the department of water and power in Los Angeles, CA. If the city of LA can’t get the Union to hand over papers on tax payer money they misused you might as well just give up on the VA. Only way to reform it is to abolish it and start over.

cj
cj

@lily: Lily, good to see you again.I am sue you have figured out email notifications are not working, so you have to refresh the page to see new answers. I think we broke it last night.

cj
cj

@Ex va: Yes same here, and still no email notifications of new comments, you have to just refresh the page to see.

lily
lily

It looks like he tried to fix the “comments closed” and something else got messed up,lol.

cj
cj

@lily: I like thinking it’s a conspiracy, much more fun.

cj
cj

@lily. OHHH your right, I didn’t notice the “comments closed” was gone. Good eye you have there Lily.