Friday, March 03, 2006

The Sedition Edition

Laura Berg is a Veterans Affairs nurse in Albuquerque, New Mexico, whose work brings her in frequent contact with physically and psychologically maimed veterans returning from "Operation Iraqi Freedom [sic]." Last September, outraged over the Bush administration's criminal negligence in failing to deal with Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, Berg wrote a letter to the Albuquerque Weekly Alibi expressing her views. The letter was published September 15, 2005. Here is what she wrote:
Dear Alibi,

I am furious with the tragically misplaced priorities and criminal negligence of this government. The Katrina tragedy in the U.S. shows that the emperor has no clothes! Bush and his team partied and delayed while millions of people were displaced, hundreds of thousands were abandoned to a living hell. Thousands more died of drowning, dehydration, hunger and exposure; most bodies remain unburied and rotting in attics and floodwater. Is this America the beautiful?

The risk of hurricane disaster was clearly predicted, yet funds for repair work for the Gulf States barrier islands and levee system were unconscionably diverted to the Iraq War. Money and manpower and ethics have been diverted to fight a war based on absolute lies! As a VA nurse working with returning OIF vets, I know the public has no sense of the additional devastating human and financial costs of post-traumatic stress disorder; now we will have hundreds of thousands of our civilian citizens with PTSD as well as far too many young soldiers, maimed physically or psychologically—or both—spreading their pain, anger and isolation through family and communities for generations. And most of this natural disaster and war tragedy has been preventable ... how very, very sad!

In the meantime, our war-fueled federal deficit mushrooms—and whither this debt now, as we care for the displaced and destroyed?

Bush, Cheney, Chertoff, Brown and Rice should be tried for criminal negligence. 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. Katrina itself was the size of New Mexico. Denials of global warming are ludicrous and patently irrational at this point. We can anticipate more wild, destructive weather to occur as a response stress of the planet. 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.

Laura Berg

Within a few days of the letter's appearance, Berg was investigated by the FBI for sedition. Read/listen to Berg's March 2 interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! for the story of what happened to her.

Webster's 3rd New International Dictionary (unabridged) defines sedition as
"conduct consisting of speaking, writing, or acting against an established government or seeking to overthrow it by unlawful means."

As an American acquaintance (who prefers to remain anonymous) remarked,
"uh, isn't that what the US does all the time?"


Blogger Elizabeth said...

Wow. I guess this means the FBI isn't reading my blog. I've said essentially the same.

8:58 PM, March 04, 2006  
Blogger Jean said...

I guess it's a hit or miss thing. Or maybe Berg's phrasing--"act forcefully to remove a government"--crossed some stupid arbitrary line in their eyes. Forcefully is not the same as violently, it just means making use of the legal means we have to throw the crooks and liars out of office, i.e. impeachment. But maybe they interpreted it as "remove by force."

Not that the US shies away from forcible regime change as applied to OTHER governments.

Anyway, I guess Berg, with the help of the ACLU and Sen. Bingaman, is demanding an apology from the VA. I'll post any updates I hear.

BTW, I responded to a question of yours lower down, on defection.

11:27 PM, March 04, 2006  

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