As you know, we have been hammering out issues with Juria Jones from Specter's office. The following letter we believe covers all issues of abuses exempted by the Feres doctrine. However, what this letter says is INTRODUCE the BILL NOW! If so, then, we did not alert them to the fact that we are going to possibly seek criminal indictments against those with military pensions and other major issues suchs as a potential law such as the "911 Victims Compensation Fund" ... lots of work to do ahead but right now ... we need a bill. This should do it.
I hope this letter meets the approval of all the board and it was constructed with everyone's injustice in mind.
Equal Rights Protection Advocacy, Inc.
P.O. Box 8225, Medford, OR 97504-0225
"Veterans & Families For Equal Justice Under Law"
Inc. December 1999
Chairman: John McCarthy (CA) * Founder/Executive Director: Jeffrey A. Trueman (PA)
Legislative Coordinator: Barbara Cragnotti (OR) * VA Abuse Coordinator: Susan Bauer (IL)
Human Rights Coordinator: Rusty Rustan (CA) * Legal Coordinator: Misha Coale (VA)
Gulf War S/I Coordinator: Robert J. Jones (NC) * PR Coordinator: Renee Thurlow (MI)
National Security Coordinator: Mark Zeller (GA)
Web site: WWW.VERPA.ORG * Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
March 18, 2004
Dear Ms. Jones:
With this letter, we hope the information you requested to address the "negligence" issue, meets with your approval. After discussing the matter with attorneys, we feel our proposed legislation mirrors the previous Bill (S.1970) Senator Specter introduced at the 106th Congress. Of course, we must all overcome the "negligence" factor. As you know, we feel negligence is a "mistake" in its most common sense term. What we are seeking is "individual accountability" arising from intentional and deliberate violations of human and constitutional rights, arising from the wrongful acts and omissions of federal employees via abolishment of the Feres Doctrine.
We have provided substantial amounts of documentary evidence to you in support of our proposed legislation. We have and we will continue to ensure, what we are seeking as military, veterans and families is "equal justice" to redress wrongful acts or omissions resulting in injury or injustice, without disrupting good order and discipline in our military. We know there is much work to be done and considerable time must be spent by the Congress to right the Feres wrong. They need to establish an amicable working relationship with us, their constituents. Therefore, at this point a bill must be introduced.
you know, the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. §2671 et seq., waived
the Federal Government's sovereign immunity from liability for personal injuries.
We found a case that states our position well. It is United States v. James,
478 U.S. 597, 106 S. Ct. 3116; 92 L. Ed. 2d 483; 1986 U.S. LEXIS 136. In this
case, the court assessed substantial damages, stating that the case went "beyond
gross negligence" and "[constituted] a classic classroom example of
a death and injuries resulting from conscious governmental indifference to the
safety of the public." App. to Pet. for Cert. 66a. United States v. James,
597, ; 106 S. Ct. 3116; 92 L. Ed. 2d 483; 1986 U.S. LEXIS 136. (emphasis added).
March 18, 2004
We believe the language "conscious governmental indifference to the protection of human and constitutional rights" of American service members outside "combat" applies with our Feres abolishment initiative. Therefore, all we are asking at this time is for our Congress to begin the process of ending the Feres Doctrine injustice. Therefore, we need something to take back to our veterans and families across the nation to show them Congress is taking us seriously. Hence, we are asking the following language be placed on the Bill:
Title: "Military and Veterans Equal Rights Protection Act." Short title: VERPA Act.
Purpose: "To abolish the Feres doctrine by amending chapter 171 of title 28, United States Code, with respect to the liability of the United States for claims of military personnel for damages for certain injuries arising from intentional, deliberate, gross, criminally wrongful acts or omissions of federal employees and for other purposes."
Thus, to begin the process to ensure equal justice under the United States Constitution for Americans serving the nation under the VERPA Act reform measures, we must overcome the "negligence" factor.
We must concede, the incident to combat exemption under the FTCA cannot be disturbed to maintain good order and discipline. Issues of personal injury or injustice arising out of combat must be addressed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). However, when a uniformed or civilian employee of the government is so grossly or criminally negligent, or intentionally and deliberately causes physical, mental or constitutional injuries, these matters can no longer be simply dismissed due to the Feres Doctrine.
Obviously, there is much work ahead to specifically "define" what "certain injuries" will mean under the Bill to avoid the disruption of good order and discipline in the military. Moreover, the term "for other purposes" will allow time for needed reforms to ensure existing federal laws on the books, to address fraud, waste, abuse and specific dangers to the public health and welfare, are fully enforced within the intra-military system of justice.
March 18, 2004
It is the ultimate goal of VERPA to prevent lawsuits via reform of the military's Medical/Physical Examination (MEB/PEB) and Veterans Health Care Administration (VA) statutory disability rating systems. The bottom line, it would make more sense to utilize the hundreds of millions of dollars expended by the Department of Justice (DOJ), used to defend claims under Feres, via shifting those expenditures to helping veterans and their families.
Very truly yours,
Legislative Coordinator, VERPA
cc: VERPA Board of Directors
they fail to act, we are petition the International Criminal Court (ICC)
if all the veterans and families support this.