Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Seditious Nurse Speaks Out

Almost a month ago, Bruce brought you the story of a Veterans' Administration nurse from Albuquerque, Laura Berg, who was investigated for sedition. Her crime? Writing a letter to her local newspaper in which she criticized the Bush regime for its "tragically misplaced priorities and criminal negligence" in dealing with the aftermath of Katrina. Recently, Berg and Larry Kronen, a lawyer with the New Mexico chapter of the ACLU, spoke with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! AlterNet has the transcript. An excerpt...

Goodman: Let me read again from the memo of November 9 from the Chief of Human Resources Management Service. "In your letter to the editor of the weekly Alibi," the memo says, "you declared yourself a V.A. 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 agency is bound by law to investigate and pursue any act, which potentially represents sedition. You are reminded that government equipment is just that, and the government may apprehend, investigate use or permit the use of such at its discretion and direction. Signed, Mel Hooker, Chief of Human Resources Management Service. " Your response to this letter, saying -- to investigate you for sedition?

Berg: Amy, I did not sign away my First Amendment rights as a citizen, you know, by choosing to serve in the federal government and choosing to serve veterans and care for people that have been wounded like this, you know. And this letter sounds like something from a totalitarian regime, you know, that we are supposedly going in and share our democracy. This is way out of line. This was way out line. I have a right to speak my opinion. I have a right to say I'm a V.A. nurse. I do not speak for the V.A. I speak as a public citizen. And I -- you know, we have to -- I thank Larry, I thank the attorneys and the support across the country, because we really need to speak out about this. This is really, really frightening.

posted at 7:44:00 PM by fdtate

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