Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Wyoming Veteran Allegedly Threatened by Police at VA For Giving Out Political DVDs and Bible Literature

image credit: sheridan.va.gov
Brian D. Hill, Contributor
Activist Post

A normal 63-year-old Vietnam veteran, who could never have expected a confrontation with the VA police, was allegedly threatened to lose his VA benefits and would have been possibly charged with a felony. His only crime was giving out political documentary DVDs and biblical literature. This all happened at the Sheridan VA Medical Center.

Richard Thorne, a Wyoming veteran that runs his own YouTube channel with 340 subscribers and 227,958 video views, gave out Alex Jones’s Infowars business cards, along with DVDs of Police State 3, to other veterans at his visit to the VA, as well as bible tracts.  He was subsequently treated as a possible enemy combatant and was threatened by police that he would lose his benefits without ever breaking any law.

First of all this veteran would have been protected under the first Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. He is even protected under the Wyoming State Constitution as well under Article 1, Section 20 which protects freedom of speech.

Even if this veteran was found to be in violation of federal or state code, he was clearly giving out political documentaries to other veterans which is his right under freedom of speech and the freedom of the press that guarantees the right to give out informational material and access it without a criminal penalty. He was clearly within his Constitutional Rights.


I will go through the entire situation of what happened as Richard Thorne explained to me in an email for this article.

He passed out several pieces of bible literature with DVDs to other veterans at the VA, he also left some literature in a few waiting areas as well. After he had four teeth pulled he passed out some more literature and then waited for his travel money. He does receive VA benefits. A few minutes later two VA cops dressed in their black uniforms demanded he come with them. Of course he stepped outside of the VA where there were likely no witnesses, so that camera phones don’t catch the attitude of the police there, the two cops started asking him if he had been passing out bible and anti-government literature ... yes, you heard that right, they said anti-government literature. 

Mr. Thorne answered the cops by telling them that he was passing out bible tracts, an Alex Jones business card, and his Police State 3 DVDs. Then out of nowhere the cops asked if he had any weapons; he told them no. Of course in any federal building the patrons are subject to search by security teams so it is pretty hard to believe that any visitor at a federal building would carry a weapon or even conceal carry when federal buildings already prohibit weapons in the first place. He could hardly talk with the cotton in his mouth and with a surgical mask on. He also walks with a cane because he has arthritis in his ankles and back, and is on pain and anti-depressant medication. Pretty hard to believe the police would view a 63-year-old veteran who served his country proudly and honorably, who simply gave out political documentary DVDs, as any kind of enemy combatant. 

Well, according to research I found of various Government training manuals and documents, all have stated that possible domestic extremists or terrorists engage in activities that would not be a violation of any law or would conform within the U.S. Constitution guidelines.

Of course this isn’t all of the nightmarish things the VA cops did to the guy. One of the cops confiscated the remaining literature and DVDs he had.

Also, before he left, the police took all of the DVDs that were already given to veterans as if the veterans themselves were committing a crime just for accepting a free political documentary DVD from someone that just wanted to educate people and offer their own opinion, which is their right under the Constitution.

Of course there is no crime for having your own opinion.

So, yes, every veteran that received a copy had their free copies taken away even though they didn’t complain. Of course they threatened him with a Homeland Security visit and that they would take him away. Under the NDAA that is now Public Law, they can snatch and grab anyone who is simply accused of being a terrorist without charge or trial and can be indefinitely detained, so this was a very real and legitimate threat to make.

They said to him, and I quote: “You don’t want Homeland Security to pull up in front of your apartment do you?” according to his interview on The Alex Jones Show. He was literally crying on air. You can also view another video where he calls in to explain his nightmarish situation hoping to bring light to what has happened.

The hell didn’t just stop with Homeland Security threats. He was told that he could be charged with a felony for distributing anti-government material on federal land. There is no evidence that Police State 3 is anti-government, but under current legislation the police and Homeland Security can simply claim it is anti-government and send people to prison even though they are supposed to be protected under the First Amendment. 

He was terrified of the incident. He had non-threatening literature and felt he had been wrongly interrogated. He apologized to the police and said it would never happen again. That was when the other cop told him that Homeland Security could show up at his door and take him away. With the passage of the NDAA they could likely disappear this veteran into a black hole. He once again said that he would not bring any literature to the VA again. Then the cops finally decided not to harass him anymore for that day and dismissed him. Then one of the cops gave a jab that he would be watched from now on when he comes to the VA. So that means for the rest of his life he will have the police watch his every move; they will look for any minor law or code violation and likely use that against him as if he really deserves prison time for all the fighting he did for the U.S. military and the loyalty he had for this country.

Of course this isn’t the America we had once been familiar with! Ever since 9/11 and the Twin Towers fell, common sense fell along with it!

We have sent some questions to the VA and will write a followup article if needed and will also ask for comments from the other side as to their justification for why they did what they did to a 63-year-old veteran with a cane.

This article was first posted at WeAreChange with additional photos.

Brian Hill is the founder of U.S.W.G.O.  He can be reached at admin@uswgo.com


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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Aaaaaaawe...poor, poor Jesus freak, he was caught with his pants down passing religious bullshit paraphernalia. What a shame they didn't throw him in jail along with this Buybull.

Anonymous said...

Political DVDs and Bible literature? ~augh!~ I cringe at the thought of what kind of perverted, racist right wing shit he was punning on the unsuspecting.

Anonymous said...

I think there is more to this story than is being admitted. In most federal buildings it is illegal to pass out any pamphlets, flyers, advertisements, religous or political material. That goes for customers and government employees. The guys is lucky he was not fined for breaking the law. People at a VA hospital are there to get treatment. I dont think it is appropriate for people to hand out any type of political material. In Wyoming you do not need a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Im sure the police ask that question all the time.

Justin said...

This is what happens when people don't check out the law before they engage in handing out material or protesting. In most government buildings or facilities it is not legal to just start passing out material. I did some research and found out that passing material out at VA facilities is not legal under 38 CFR 1.218(b)(21) and (22). I called our local VA and was told that permission is sometime granted if it is cleared by the faciltiy management. It is amazing how just a few minutes of research will turn up information. Maybe this guy should check before he acts next time.

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