<\body> Stories in America: Welcome to Bush's Brave New World

Friday, February 10, 2006

Welcome to Bush's Brave New World

Criticize Bush. Be investigated for sedition. This from the Progressive Magazine:
Laura Berg is a clinical nurse specialist at the VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, where she has worked for 15 years.

Shortly after Katrina, she wrote a letter to the editor of the weekly paper the Alibi criticizing the Bush Administration.

After the paper published the letter in its September 15-21 issue, VA administrators seized her computer, alleged that she had written the letter on that computer, and accused her of "sedition."

Here's what her letter said.

"I am furious with the tragically misplaced priorities and criminal negligence of this government," it began. "The Katrina tragedy in the U.S. shows that the emperor has no clothes!" She mentioned that she was "a VA nurse" working with returning vets. "The public has no sense of the additional devastating human and financial costs of post-traumatic stress disorder," she wrote, and she worried about the hundreds of thousands of additional cases that might result from Katrina and the Iraq War.

"Bush, Cheney, Chertoff, Brown, and Rice should be tried for criminal negligence," she wrote. "This country needs to get out of Iraq now and return to our original vision and priorities of caring for land and people and resources rather than killing for oil. . . . We need to wake up and get real here, and act forcefully to remove a government administration playing games of smoke and mirrors and vicious deceit.

Otherwise, many more of us will be facing living hell in these times."

After her computer was seized, Berg wrote a memo to her bosses seeking information and an explanation.

Mel Hooker, chief of the human resources management service at the Albuquerque VA, wrote Berg back on November 9 and acknowledged that "your personal computer files did not contain the editorial letter written to the editor of the weekly Alibi."

But rather than apologize, he leveled the sedition charge: "The Agency is bound by law to investigate and pursue any act which potentially represents sedition," he said. "In your letter . . . you declared yourself 'as a VA nurse' and publicly declared the Government which employs you to have 'tragically misplaced priorities and criminal negligence' and advocated, 'act forcefully to remove a government administration playing games of smoke and mirrors and vicious deceit.'"
The entire story is worth reading. The ACLU is working on Berg's behalf. "We were shocked to see the word sedition' used," said Peter Simonson, executive director of the ACLU of New Mexico in an interview with The Progressive. "Sedition? That's like something out of the history books."

In a press release, Simonson also said: "Is this government so jealous of its power, so fearful of dissent, that it needs to threaten people who openly oppose its policies with charges of 'sedition'?"


At 2/10/2006 3:38 PM, Anonymous sara said...

I'm sure Fox and Friends will be all over this tonight.

At 2/10/2006 8:37 PM, Anonymous timmy said...

cranky, pissed off nurse with a political axe to grind + grouchy, hot-head boss who hasn't been laid for 6 months = 1984?

1984? The Aldous Huxley book?


Take some Soma and relax...this tempest in a teapot will be settled in about 5 minutes by a couple lawyers who can't stand either of these dolts.

At 2/11/2006 8:43 AM, Anonymous truthseeker said...

Sen. Jeff Bingaman asked Veterans Affairs Secretary James Nicholson for a thorough inquiry of his agency's investigation into whether a VA nurse's letter criticizing the Bush administration amounted to "sedition.''
The agency's human resources office ultimately cleared her of any wrongdoing, but Bingaman, D-N.M., said Tuesday he was concerned the VA investigated Laura Berg of Albuquerque in the first place.
Merely opposing government policies and expressing a desire to change course "does not provide reason to believe that a person is involved in illegal subversive activity,'' he said.


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