Sunday, April 23, 2017

Veterans score major victory in Los Angeles

Justice was again served last week against the Veterans Administration — specifically, its LA office, which once again got slapped down in its efforts to squelch a critic.
Exactly why federal prosecutors tried to work the VA’s will is a question Attorney General Jeff Sessions should be asking.
For most of a decade, Vietnam-era vet Robert Rosebrock, now 75, has protested outside the VA compound in Los Angeles, charging that the agency doesn’t do remotely enough for homeless vets. And the VA keeps trying to use criminal law to shut him down.
Years ago, lawyers from the ACLU helped him beat back charges for daring to display the American flag upside-down — a classic protest move — outside a gate to the compound. Last week, lawyers from Judicial Watch convinced the court he wasn’t guilty of a federal crime for hanging two napkin-sized flags on a fence adjacent to a compound’s gate last Memorial Day.
The VA, you see, has a statute that prohibits displays, unless authorized by the facility’s head; violations can mean six months in prison. What bureaucrat is going to OK a protest?
Earlier in the latest case, Judicial Watch got other charges tossed: He’d been arrested for taking “unauthorized pictures” of a VA police officer.
Rosebrock greeted his acquittal humbly, saying he was “honored that the flag was exonerated — and for once the veterans got a victory.”
It wasn’t the vets’ only win that week: On Thursday, President Trump signed a new law that will give vets more rights to use their benefits outside the dysfunctional VA system. And new VA Secretary David Shulkin promises more reforms.
Let’s hope that includes a serious attitude adjustment for VA bureaucrats who think it’s right to imprison veterans who protest the agency’s failures.

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