Michael Connelly is the Executive Director of the U.S. Justice Foundation, a nonprofit public interest, legal action organization dedicated to instruct, inform and educate the public on and to litigate significant legal issues confronting America.
Michael began by noting that the war against our veterans is being orchestrated not merely by one federal agency but also by the FBI and the HHS with some of it even coming from the White House.
Wasn't the Shinseki resignation supposed to solve the VA problem? Michael believes he was just the 'fall guy' and that the President's assertion that he found out about this through the media was false. He pointed out that in 2009 President Obama was informed about the problems veterans were having concerning their ability to get their benefits and care. He vowed to fix it and that's why he appointed a new secretary. The problem is, instead of fixing it, he began to accelerate the program to declare veterans incompetent to handle their own financial affairs.
If a person is adjudicated (Adjudication involves a person going before a judge for a hearing) to be mentally ill to the point of being a danger to themselves or others then they are put on a list of people who cannot purchase firearms. In order for them to be declared mentally incompetent by the VA to the point where they cannot handle their own affairs, they also have to be adjudicated.
In 2009, it was decided that this process wasn't necessary anymore. It was declared that anyone who works for the federal government, even independent contractors, can adjudicate or declare a veteran as incompetent to handle their own financial affairs.
The result of all of this is that many veterans have received a letter stating that because of their mental or physical disabilities they will be declared incompetent and can no longer own, purchase, possess or transport firearms or ammunition. Since private contractors are involved in this, it means that the VA and the Defense Department are turning over private medical records to these contractors, an act that violates the HIPAA laws.
Michael is fighting this battle for veterans and when you listen to this edition of Crosstalk you can find out where the battle stands and how you can get involved.