Thursday, November 09, 2006

Frisking American Military Veterans Like Common Criminals

That may be happening again soon at the West Los Angeles VA hospital. Today I spoke with the Director of the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, Charles Dorman who told me that’s exactly what they intend to do.

Apparently Mr. Dorman feels that his workers are at risk because of a couple of scary incidents involving veteran patients. What Mr. Dorman forgot is things like crime happen in any free society. They also happen in secure prisons.

Mr. Dorman has not learned that even in America’s most secure prisons, weapons, even guns have been used to commit murders. Determined criminals or terrorists really can’t be stopped by frisking them or using metal detectors.

Then there is the sticky issue of the Fourth Amendment to our Constitution. The intended searches do not come about with required Probable Cause or Warrants. The argument of consent searching is not valid since avoiding health care is not an option. Must we trade our privacy, freedom and dignity for our very lives at the VA Medical Center?

The kinds of governmets that insist on these types of security checkpoints are the police states that we so often go to war against.

Wasn’t our Freedom and Liberty the very reasons millions of men like me were drafted into the Army during the Viet Nam War? Are veterans not worthy to enjoy Constitutional rights?

With this type of intrusion in our liberty and freedom that’s been happening over that last three decades, we as a country are becoming what we used to loathe. This kind of policy must have limits of civility and that has been exceeded when we abuse the very defenders of our way of life.

Let me also say that this healthcare facility is world class and the staff there deserves protection. Trading Liberty for security was never a good idea according to Benjamin Franklin. We can have both without the offensive, and incredibly un-American frisking of veterans.

Today Mr. Dorman gave a very moving and eloquent Veteran’s Day speech about his country’s citizen soldiers. Were his words simply lip service or did they mean anything at all? For me the jury won’t come in until the metal detectors are shipped out of the hospital.

I hope that Mr. Dorman can click on the video play button below, watch and hear an excerpt from his speech today. I hope his very own words influence any decision to begin treating the men and women who served our country like foreign terrorists.


Anonymous said...

Paul I think you are shoving this poor guy's words right up his own ass! That's not nice, but you're right about this one.

Anonymous said...

Can you imaginge if they tried this in 1961? I think President Kennedy would have made some quick and drastic changes in the VA's management.