VA ANSWERS LAWSUIT WITH POOR LEGAL PLOY, WANTS TO QUICKLY LOSE AND MAKE PROBLEM GO AWAY
By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor
Veterans began protesting a strange pattern of land “give-aways” over two years ago. The Department of Veterans Affairs holds billions of dollars of prime real estate in ultra-wealthy West Los Angeles/Brentwood “in trust” for homeless veterans and has since the late 1800s when the National Veterans Home was opened there.
Some of the land wasn’t used immediately though the facility expanded into a National Cemetary as the veterans living there died and a Medical Center was later constructed on the site. During WWII, the National Veterans Home served as a military base to defend the area against a possible Japanese invasion. However, the deed has always stated that the land has had one purpose, to house homeless vets. That has never changed.
Back in the late 1980s, a local group, one continually changing its name, first the Veterans Memorial Garden something or other, then the Committee to Save Veteran Land and later the Veterans Park Conservency were formed. A search of early documents tells the whole story, the purpose of the group was to keep veterans out, frankly to keep the land from housing the vets it was intended for, though the region is in the middle of the largest group of homeless veterans in the nation, a nation nearing its 10th year of war.
The group opposing the veterans is a powerful and mysterious one, a “shadow” organization espousing neighborhood beautification and enrichment, all to be done on land they don’t own.
The combined net worth of the members of these committees is incalcuable and their power and influence with local VA officials is a matter of great controversy. The most recent embodiement of these organizations is the highly secretive “Veterans Park Conservency” whose membership reads like a who’s who of the insurance and financial industry in America.
Below is a key portion of one of the founding documents in the move to prevent “The Grand Plan” to re-develop the Veterans National Home for our homeless heroes:
WHAT THIS DOCUMENT TELLS US
“Permanent damage to historically and ecologically significant property.”
Housing veterans at the West Los Angeles National Veterans Home, the use it was “historically” established for is “damage?” Exactly what aspect of dog fouling is either “historical” or “ecological?” This reeking “pet play” arena is one of the pet projects of the VA standing in the way of veterans housing.
This is the original position paper behind the entire controversy over the accused theft of veterans land in Los Angeles by wealthy local homeowners, land meant for housing, now used to walk dogs, run marathons, provide recreation and sports fields for exclusive private schools that don’t offer scholarships to children of deserving veterans, these and endless more abuses. The deal is simple, use veterans land as a “country club annex” for the neighborhood, block homeless veterans, using the new million dollar “Beauty Honor Country” fence to lock them out and protect the neighborhood from “undesirables.”
Though the DVA had the ability to rent land to movie crews, some paying tens of thousands a day, to offset costs, we found a record of “dollar a year” or well under market value leases transferring hundreds of millions of dollars of land with little or no revenue at all and no rational reason. The only land policy the VA has been involved in has been deception and misdirection on behalf of politically powerful local groups with strong ties to the “West Los Angles Political Machine” headed by Congressman Henry Waxman. This is why “Old Guard” veterans have been protesting for 2 years, despite assaults, illegal arrests and threats.
WHY THE LAWSUIT
The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against Donna Beiter and Ron Mathis. Beiter is the local VA director, the one who told members of veterans groups, “we do surveillance all the time.” Ron Mathis runs the VA police who stand accused of violations of law.
Originally, Mathis’ VA police illegally cited protesting veterans for trespassing. When the case came to federal court in Los Angles, charges were dropped but the harassment, intimidation and spying continued.
For months, VA police followed vets around Los Angeles, cars screaming up and down city streets, areas where they have no jurisdiction whatsoever, and continually threatened and harassed vets.
The “surveillance” Ms. Beiter described took place on VA property and off. Indications are that it may have included wiretapping, filming of veterans and staff in and around the facility, taping of conversations and certainly following veterans around the streets of Los Angeles, looking for potential terrorist and troublemakers. Most closely watched, we find, were VA employees, police officers and doctors. Some of them have come forward with horror stories.
At one point, Military Police, in uniform, were called and physically attacked the elderly veterans. This was filmed, documented and an investigation shows that these “rogue” reservists were tied to something very strange, very insidious and very illegal. All the protesting veterans wanted was to get housing built, housing described in the Grand Plan that is gaining approval with groups all across California. Instead, our investigators, including former FBI agents, find that possible irregularities of a more extreme nature exist.
A review of the answer to ACLU charges of First Amendment violation by VA employees showed a document of little legal relevence and rambling inconsistencies. Attorney’s for the ACLU found the response “puzzling.”
When contacted on this subject, the Department of Veterans Affairs refused to comment.
WHISTLEBLOWERS AND REPORTS OF A FEDERAL INVESTIGATION FOR CORRUPTION
VA police have reported to us that there is an ongoing federal investigation into wrongdoing at the Los Angeles VA Medical Center. We have been told that this investiation has looked into systematic irregularities in handling of financing tied to use of veterans land for events. Informants tell us that employees who cooperated with federal authorities in this investigation have been retaliated against and threatened.
The same US Attorney’s office defending Beiter and Mathis is said to be reviewing potential charges against a number of individuals involved in federal crimes tied to the use of veterans land.
Members of the West Los Angeles VA police report a total breakdown of leadership and discipline with efforts being made to stop employees leaking information to federal investigators and the press.
It is said that the dangerous confrontations with Old Guard veterans had little to do with VA security and much to do with stopping any questions from being asked about management practices tied to alleged financial abuses. Police report a “climate of fear” surrounding the entire facility.
Along with allegation of misuse of funds, further reports of VA spying, not only on VA police but on VA physicians as well. Complaints of systematic surveillance, reading of emails have been submitted to us by senior VA doctors. They tell of broad opposition to Washington’s new programs to assist homeless veterans and PTSD sufferers, programs being derailed, mismanaged and sabatoged. We have received more stories of retaliation against doctors including disciplinary action and extensive harassment.
With reports of “lost” and “recycled” medical records, poor standards of treatment and systematic patient abuse being made, the situation at the Veterans Affairs West Los Angeles Medical Center is particularly troubling.
Repeated requests through the Freedom of Information Act for financial records tied to revenues from lease and rental of veterans land and facilities have been refused by the Los Angeles Regional Veterans Affairs Office.
Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades.
Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.
Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.