Today, CREW received a truly remarkable response from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to its FOIA request for documents relating to the VA’s abhorrent practice of under-diagnosing PTSD in veterans to save money. According to the VA, CREW is not entitled to a fee waiver -- meaning it has to pay for the costs of finding and copying responsive documents -- because there is no longer any public interest in this issue! Ignoring the wealth of news articles triggered by CREW’s and VoteVets.org’s release of an internal VA e-mail and the congressional hearing that release prompted, the VA claims that any records CREW requests “would not reveal anything new.”
We know what that means -- fee waiver or not, the VA has no intention of letting any more incriminating e-mails out of its clutches. Let’s hope there are more courageous VA employees willing to blow the whistle on what the VA is, and is not, doing for our veterans.
The VA also claimed it could not respond to the request as written because CREW failed to identify the specific VA offices and employees that would have responsive records. As CREW made clear in its response, we are committed to shining the brightest light possible on the VA’s treatment of veterans suffering from undiagnosed PTSD and we will not back down from these shameless excuses that the VA has offered.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
No Public Interest in Iraq PTSD Cases? Really?!?
From the CREW website: