The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1664886
Posted By: Amos
08-Feb-06 - 10:20 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
ACLU Wants Apology to VA Employee Investigated on 'Sedition'
>
> Associated Press
>
>    The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico wants the
> government to apologize to a nurse for seizing her computer and
> investigating her for "sedition'' after she criticized the Bush
> administration.
>      The ACLU said Wednesday the Department of Veterans Affairs
> found no evidence Laura Berg used her VA office computer to write
> the critical letter.
>      VA human resources chief Mel Hooker said in a Nov. 9 letter
> that his agency was obligated to investigate "any act which
> potentially represents sedition,'' the ACLU said.
>      A VA spokesman in Washington could not say Wednesday whether
> the agency had received the ACLU's request.
>      It seeks an apology from Hooker "to remedy the
> unconstitutional chilling effect on the speech of VA employees that
> has resulted from these intimidating tactics.''
>      Even if Berg had used an office computer, neither that nor her
> criticism approached "unlawful insurrection,'' said Peter Simonson,
> executive director of the ACLU.
>      "Is the 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?'' he said.
>      Berg, a clinical nurse specialist, wrote a letter in September
> to a weekly Albuquerque newspaper criticizing how the
> administration handled Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq War. She
> urged people to "act forcefully'' to remove an administration she
> said played games of "vicious deceit.''
>      She signed the letter as a private citizen, and the VA had no
> reason to suspect she used government resources to write it, the
> ACLU said.
>      "From all appearances, the seizure of her work computer was an
> act of retaliation and a hardball attempt to scare Laura into
> silence,'' the ACLU said.