VA staff allegedly use little-known committee to harass and silence Veterans.
Last week, journalist Angela Rae, who hosts D.C. Breakdown, a new national political talk show, conducted a powerful interview with Benjamin Kraus, a 100-percent permanently disabled Air Force Special Ops Veteran and attorney who told Rae how Veterans nationwide are being mistreated through a little-known process some VA employees use against them.
If Veterans criticize any aspect of their experience at VA, and especially if they file a malpractice lawsuit against the department, Kraus said some VA employees retaliate by lodging what he says are “illegal complaints” against Veterans. Kraus said these complaints manipulate the purpose of the department’s so-called disruptive behavior committees.
These committees are intended to address threatening and hostile Veterans while they seek health care from VA. Kraus said in the interview that this appears legitimate because there are some veterans who are dangerous.
But the problem with these committees is that the review process is done in secret, Kraus explained to Rae, and that these committees are sometimes used by VA to escalate the intensity of the conversation and even threaten Veterans.
Kraus, who attended Northwestern University and the University of Minnesota Law School and served in the Air Force from 1996-2001, recently wrote on his disabledveteran.org website that this form of retaliation is one of the biggest crimes VA is committing across the country, because it “chills the speech of Veterans who respectfully file complaints that have merit.”
Kraus said these retaliatory responses to many valid complaints from Veterans can at times “defame the Veteran and diminish their credibility,” and the end result is a Veteran having an improper flag on their file, harassment from VA police, and/or restrictions in access to timely health care.