“WE LIVE IN AMERICA, NOT NORTH KOREA”
by Sharon Rondeau
The Post & Email was contacted by phone by the soldier’s first power of attorney and was an auditory witness to statements made by a Warrior Transition Brigade medical provider, Capt. Stefanie Varno, to the effect that the evaluation was ordered by Dr. David Williamson, chief psychiatrist at Walter Reed.
Williamson was asked to remove himself from the soldier’s case weeks ago by the power of attorney and acknowledged in writing that he is no longer the soldier’s physician.
The unexpected command directive on Thursday night followed outpatient surgery the soldier had undergone earlier that day. He has previously reported sexual assault, physical assault, and a murder attempt carried out by four perpetrators on April 29, 2013 and was assigned military SHARP (Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Prevention) Attorney Eduardo Palombo. Kimberley Agnew, the SHARP coordinator, was summoned to Walter Reed ER as a witness for the soldier as the events unfolded.
Emails sent in May from Mrs. Agnew on behalf of Attorney Eduardo Palomo provide proof that Walter Reed chief psychiatrist Dr. Williamson was asked to remove himself as the soldier’s doctor. In at least three emails among Attorney Eduardo Palomo, Attorney Jennifer Giambastiani at Fort Belvoir and the POA, the POA directly requested a Military Protection Order (MPO) and a Civilian Protection Order (CPO) to protect the solider from what the POA describes as “daily harassment implemented by Captain Stefanie Varno, Sgt. Anthony Hill, 1st Sgt. Andre Brown, Nurse Case Manager Bobbie Davis, and Dr. David Williamson.”
Repeated requests were denied. Walter Reed’s Inspector General, Chasity Heath, was also notified directly by the soldier and his minister of the alleged repeated harassment, one which revolved around a filing of habeas corpus on behalf of the soldier. As the POA has related previously, Ms. Heath refused to document or investigate the complaint.
Until June, the soldier was under treatment by Williamson, a civilian doctor with whom the family has been very unhappy. At that time, when the soldier was released for leave after more than three years, Williamson acknowledged that he was dismissed by the family and was no longer the soldier’s physician.
After the soldier called the POA in response to Varno and what is believed to be two military police officers’ unexpected arrival at his apartment on Thursday evening, the POA asked to speak with Varno. A female voice then joined the call. “Capt. Varno, come right out and say HIPAA does not apply to XXXXX because we have a right to informed consent. Williamson is not XXXX’s doctor; I have an email from him twice that says he’s removed himself as XXXXX’s doctor,” the POA was clearly heard to say.
“It does apply…” the female voice replied. The POA responded, “It’s 6:45 in the evening; XXXXX is on leave, and he’s constantly getting harassed.” The POA asked the source of authority for the unscheduled “psych eval.” “Who has authorized this, where’s the paperwork; at this point he needs a JAG attorney. He will not say another word; he will not be forced to go get a psych eval while a doctor who is not his doctor and is under investigation for an inappropriate relationship with a patient in violation of federal and state HIPAA laws. Please explain it because the parties on the phone want to know…” the POA said.
Varno responded, “Commander (inaudible) for a mental health evaluation while there will make any determinations once they evaluate him.”
“Who is the command who has directed this? the POA insisted, to which Varno responded, “Myself. Captain Varno.”
“Earlier you told me it was ordered by Dr. Williamson,” the POA said, and Varno replied, “No, ma’am, I said it was ‘recommended’ by Dr. Williamson.”
The POA told Varno that she would be notifying New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, of whom the family has requested a congressional investigation, of the directive. “…You will not continue to try to force him outside of hours and he’s on leave to do these things recommended directly by Dr. Williamson…I have filed an FBI investigation into an inappropriate relationship, and I am hoping you can read between the subliminal lines, or do I need to come out and tell you?”
Varno then asked the POA if the answer would be forthcoming, to which the POA responded that Varno could ask Gillibrand, the White House, the Justice Department, and the FBI for details if she chose.
“Is he on leave, yes or no?” the POA demanded of Varno, to which she said, “Yes.” The POA then suggested that “this is the time” for the command to prepare the paperwork to schedule the psych evaluation for a time when the soldier returns from leave. “Have it come from the JAG…You should be more than glad to have JAG involved. He needs a representative when I’m not there so his basic rights are not violated,” the POA said.
When the POA asked Varno to “put the police on the phone,” Varno said she was “handing the phone back to” the soldier.
“Have they detained you?” the POA asked the soldier.
A male voice was then heard telling the soldier, “…police escort…NOW…There will be negative consequences…”
“Who’s talking to you?” the POA asked the soldier. “I don’t know. Who are you?” the soldier asked the man.
“I’m Major Ryals, the detachment commander.” “Put him on the phone,” the POA said. “He don’t want to talk to you,” the soldier responded.
The male voice is then heard to say to the soldier, “You are being directed to go over to Center West for a psych eval. If you fight, there will be negative consequences.” The POA confirmed to The Post & Email that Ryals is the individual who warned the soldier of “negative consequences” should he refuse to be immediately evaluated.
Despite the POA’s objections, the soldier agreed to report to Walter Reed while keeping the phone line open. After he arrived and the intake person asked him why he was seeking treatment, he said he was instructed to do so by his command.
When she inquired if he has had any history of psychiatric trouble, the soldier responded, “No.”
As The Post & Email has reported, the soldier is taking a number of medications which the family does not believe he needs and had asked Williamson to reduce with the goal of discontinuing one or more of them.
The POA later informed The Post & Email Thursday night that the soldier has had a psychological evaluation within the last several months by a psychologist of the family’s choosing. “It’s a desperate move,” the POA said of the “ambush” commanded evaluation. “They won’t get JAG involved. To force somebody against their will without representation or informed consent…he’s on leave, he hasn’t done anything, and all of a sudden he needs a psych eval.”
During the first call with the soldier and the primary POA, the soldier left briefly. When he returned, he and the POA discussed his ongoing medical needs. Still shaken over the soldier’s treatment at the hands of the U.S. Army, the POA said at one point, “We don’t live in North Korea; we live in America.”
The soldier then informed the POA that he was “walking with Major Ryals” and another individual to Walter Reed.
While the confrontation between the Warrior Transition Brigade and the soldier was transpiring, a spiritual advisor also serving as a POA for the soldier was contacted and shortly thereafter arrived at the Walter Reed emergency room. He was not immediately allowed in the “back” area, to which the soldier was taken, but two Naval police officers eventually granted him permission after he showed them his power of attorney document.
During a subsequent telephone call with a Naval police officer who appeared to be making investigative inquiries, the POA related the new accusation on the part of the soldier: that Dr. Williamson had had “an inappropriate relationship” with the soldier during which he was reportedly “drugged.”
The POA has reported that while in charge of the soldier’s care, Williamson has barred the spiritual advisor/POA and family members from being in the room, insisting on seeing the patient “one-on-one.”
The spiritual advisor/POA joined another call with the primary POA and The Post & Email, relating that two Naval police officers had been dispatched to seek out Williamson in his office. The secondary POA stated that the soldier was in the examination area wearing only a hospital gown and had been asked for bodily fluid samples.
Further updates arrived into Friday morning from the primary POA:
It’s now 11:14 pm the psychiatry has done her eval don’t see a reason to hold XXXXXX yet they are still trying to force him to speak with Williamson with a Jag attorney. Haven’t let him go yet.
12:17 am the soldier complied with the forced medical evaluation. On-duty psychiatric couldn’t find reason to justify holding soldier so they forced the soldier to strip naked under watch by Sgt. Hill and 1st Sgt. Brown and the soldier was forced to get his blood drawn to determine if he has been taking his medication. Soldier has reported for months that he has converted and our religion opposes extreme medications which Williams prescribed. I believe that 17 different narcotics is legal overdosing on Williamson’s part. Keeping him drugged, for what reasons? The most inhuman treatment that I have ever witnessed.
12:43 am soldier still has no legal representation and continues to be held. This seems to be a pattern with Walter Reed commanders this is the second time the soldier is on leave and he has been forced to get his blood checked and forced to do things against his will while on leave. Dr. Williamson is not the soldier’s doctor (refer to Dr. Williamson’s own email), yet he’s giving medical directives to force the patient back into the psychiatric ward to be under his care. For what reasons?
At 12:01 a.m., the primary POA sent the following email to the White House, Sen. Gillibrand’s office, this writer, and a number of employees at Walter Reed to include Williamson, Varno, Ryals and nurse Bobbie Davis. The soldier’s SHARP attorney (Palumbo), Ft. Belvoir/Walter Reed Attorney Jennifer Giambastiani and the U.S. Army ombudsman’s office were among those copied.
Today Captain XXXXXXXX, who is the subject of a “forced” mental evaluation for being a whistle blower, has currently filed a Presidential Congressional and a Congressional with Senator Gillibrand of New York. Several complaints have been filed against Dr. David Williamson for Federal and State violations. The command has also been notified of an inappropriate doctor-patient relation yet they forced XXXXXX into an evaluation ordered by Dr. Williamson, who is no longer XXXXXX’s doctor, to try to get XXXX admitted back upon 7 East with Dr. Williamson so the doctor can continue his abuse. Capt. XXXX is currently on leave yet tonight at 7p.m. Captain Varno and Major Ryals are forcing Captain XXXX to take a “command directed mental eval under the recommendation of Doctor Williamson without justification or legal representation. I notified Capt. Varno 3 times that I was recording our conversation and the events that were transpiring. Captain Vardo did not object to being recorded. In the recording, you will hear Capt. XXXX and myself(the POA) object to the forced mental evaluation she refused to provide any legal merits or show cause to justify the impromptu forced mental evaluation. After refusing the evaluation due to the lack of justification on the commands part, Captain Varno called the Navy police to force Capt. XXXXX to go the emergency room to get an evaluation. Reminder Capt. XXXX is on leave and Capt. Varno refused to provide any show cause to justify XXXX being forced into the ER. Major Ryals is recorded telling Captain XXXX if he doesn’t go to the forced eval” there will be negative consequences!” The soldier was also called a “NIGGA.” Our minister was threatened by Sgt. Hill. Sgt. Hill stated, “You don’t know who you are messing with! Whose head you are trying to bite, you don’t know who you are going up against!” The commands are trying to force Captain XXXX back on 7 East with this pedophile doctor, the same doctor who refused to allow the family in the room while he meeting with the patient, forced medications against our religion, and numerous other well-documented HIPPA violations. I have filed two Congressionals and requested a Congressional hearing as well as a meeting with the President to address these violations. We have hired another medical professional who has completed a full medical report and given XXXXX a mental evaluation. The report is readily available to the Justice Department. The reports clearly provide an accurate, impartial finding about the soldier. The DoD doesn’t need a policy when commanders disregard the policy and make their own rules. This is an injustice to every soldier. We live in America, not North Korea. Since the commands didn’t have a problem with me recording the events that transpired they shouldn’t have a problem explaining the violations to the Justice Department or the nation. Please help us. We have all of the evidence emails, recordings, witnesses and more) for this case to be investigated.
I have asked several times for a WhistleBlower protection for XXXXX. XXXXXXX’s advocates and myself, we are in fear for our lives. We have been threatened, hacked, and stalked by Walter Reed Commanders. I as well as other advocates can provide surveillance of the stalking, police reports of the events, proof that Capt. Varno and Bobbie Davis hacked my email after I filed a Congressional on June 7, 2016 on the soldiers behalf. More importantly, we can provide legal recording to back up everything that I have stated. I fear they will try to bring more harm to us if they are not stopped. All we need is an opportunity is to speak to the Justice Department, Congress, The President, FBI and Senator Gillibrand and provide the evidence to support everything that has been stated in this plea for HELP!
I am afraid of guns. I’ve never owned a gun; I have children never wanted to own a gun, but today my family and I have decided to exercise our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. These military goons at Walter Reed are getting worse with their attacks. We don’t know what’s next, but we will be prepared!