OR IS IT ALL A SMOKESCREEN AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Oct. 15, 2016) — The Power of Attorney for a U.S. Army soldier isolated from his family through an unexpected hospitalization at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) on September 29 has been told that a “Mr. Richard Little and the Inspector General team at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center – Bethesda” will be launching an investigation.
The POA has asked why the soldier has been hospitalized against his will for more than two weeks with his family having been denied communication and updates on his alleged condition.
Although now considered 100% disabled and scheduled for discharge from the service by an unidentified date, the soldier technically remains on active duty, “stationed” in a dormitory at Walter Reed following more than three years of treatment for a traumatic brain injury. His former neuropsychiatrist, Dr. David Williamson, had prescribed a number of medications which the family feels are excessive and causing serious and possibly irreversible side effects.
An independent physician hired by the family believes that the soldier’s diagnoses of “delusional,” “bipolar” and “schizophrenic” are erroneous.
In an email from Army Inspector General Lashanda Cobbs to the POA dated October 11, 2016, Cobbs stated that she had consulted with her “legal team” and referred the matter, in which the POA claims federal habeas corpus for the soldier, to Little and his colleagues. Little was copied on the email.
On September 30, the POA was able to make an emergency flight to Washington, DC following news of the soldier’s hospitalization to observe him on October 1, where she said he was in good spirits and exhibited animation upon her arrival. Following her return home, the charge nurse informed her in a recorded telephone conversation on October 4 that she had been instructed not to permit dissemination of details of the soldier’s medical condition to anyone except “the command.”
The soldier’s family and spiritual adviser believe that because of what the soldier said he witnessed while stationed in South Korea in 2012, the chain of command is attempting to control his movements and even his thoughts so that the behavior of those involved in the alleged misconduct will not be exposed.
Upon reporting what he said he experienced and saw in South Korea, the soldier was returned stateside and classified as having mental illness, then placed in the “Medical Board” process, which often leads to discharge. The POA has reported that the soldier was never before identified as having any type of psychological or psychiatric problem.
Questions directed to the Public Affairs division of the U.S. Department of Defense from The Post & Email on October 7 asking where the family might go given Walter Reed’s aloofness were acknowledged but ultimately received no resolution. At the same time, Walter Reed public affairs officer Sandy Dean said she could not confirm whether or not Williamson or anyone else is employed at the hospital, and our follow-up questions went unanswered.
Apparently speaking in an unusual capacity for the hospital, the sergeant in the soldier’s chain of command who informed the POA on September 29 that the soldier had gone to the emergency room claimed at that time that Williamson “was gone.”
A family member who launched a petition identifying the alleged perpetrators of the chain-of-command misconduct which the soldier said he witnessed in South Korea has had 12 computers and four phones rendered inoperable over the last ten weeks by unidentified hackers. Beginning in June, when the soldier was finally granted leave to visit his family after more than three years, the POA has reported unknown individuals sitting in dark, tinted-glass vehicles outside of her home for extended periods of time as well as computer and phone hacking. The POA believes that the other family member’s contact information was accessed through her phone, which was hacked first.
She has reported the activity to her local police department and retained copies of the police reports.
The POA considers the soldier’s hospitalization “forced” following an apparent attempt by the command to have him admitted on September 1 without notice or his having exhibited any symptoms or complaints. The soldier had undergone outpatient surgery that day and was on approved leave when members of the Warrior Transition Brigade (WTB) unexpectedly appeared at his residence and ordered him to report to the Walter Reed emergency room or face “negative consequences.”
The POA terms their unexpected visit an “ambush.”
The event was recorded with the knowledge of all parties from the time the POA received a call from the soldier reporting WTB’s presence at his residence to the point at which a secondary POA arrived to observe the situation. During the walk from his residence to the ER, Major Daniel Ryals was heard to call the soldier a “n—-,” apologizing later for the crude remark and excusing himself from the duty to which he had been assigned.
The psychiatrist on duty that evening found no reason to admit the soldier and said that she was not willing to risk her career over whatever “political battle” was ensuing over the soldier’s care and condition.
Ryals did not respond to a request for comment from The Post & Email the following day, nor have members of the soldier’s WTB team responded to our invitation to comment on one of our recent articles about the case.
On Friday, the POA followed up on Cobbs’s communication by sending Little an email in which she wrote that “Our family is literally begging for help to remove him from under the command at Walter Reed for his safety before this turns into the worst. It has been two weeks and no medical staff, commanders, no social workers have returned our calls or given us any information about XXXXXXXX’s condition, medication, or his general welfare. Not being able to sleep wondering what is happening to XXXXXXX has been the worst nightmare.”
The POA further asked Little to put into motion four items:
- Removing the soldier “immediately” from Walter Reed;
- Processing the family’s complaint “against the Command for harassment and terrorist threats”;
- Processing the family’s complaint against five doctors for allegedly having used “terrorist interrogation tactics” to bring about “a delusional mental state” in the soldier;
- Processing a separate complaint alleging violation of the soldier’s and family’s civil rights for blocking communication channels while he has been hospitalized.
Speaking of the soldier, the POA further alleged that before his hospitalization, someone at Walter Reed took the opportunity to “slip him a pill, then videotape him in a medicated state, then show XXXXX the video and force him to say he’s delusional.”
“Why choke and punch him, then force him into submission? Again, we have video, paperwork, emails, and recordings to prove everything said,” she told Little.
The POA is now awaiting a response from Little and/or a colleague to include proof that “an investigation” has actually been launched. On Saturday, the POA revealed that Atty. Jennifer Giambastiani, who has represented Walter Reed through her position at Ft. Belvoir in contentious matters involving the soldier and his family, was copied on the email to Little. “I emailed Jennifer Giambastiani and Col. Cobbs asking that Giambastiani not be involved based on her prior direct involvement in this case,” the POA wrote in an email.
Regarding the cost of the soldier’s treatment, including out-of-state facilities which the POA believes were attempts to “keep him quiet” while also distancing him from his family, the POA ruminated:
How much money has been spent on Federal Habeas Corpus? The public needs to know. It’s our tax dollars.
There’s one common denominator in all of this. It’s a shame how many people sold their souls in this cover-up.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.