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Re: MED-PRIVACY digest 137

  I had been confused over the first post, thinking the breach of privacy was 
  Tower's alleged drunkenness.  After re-reading the first post, you did 
  clearly write about the Air Force sargent's records being disclosed.
  Now I have other comments.  Not excusing the Arizona senator's actions, it 
  is my perception that persons in the military are held to lower standards of 
  privacy and they know it when they join.  Therefore, one who blows a whistle 
  on someone, especially someone with political connections, would IMO expect 
  repercussions.  (again, not excusing, just describing reality.) Regardless 
  of access to confidential files, dirt will be dug one way or another for 
  political gain.
  <1. This information read into the congressional record was NOT a PERSONNEL
  record. And it wasn't even John Tower's (the candidate's) record.
  2. It was a MEDICAL record. BIG difference. A psychiatric medical record. A
  WITNESS'S medical record, which was obtained without any release.
  3. It was a psychiatrists opinions and diagnosis for unrelated matters of 
  WITNESS, against Tower, not the candidate.. It was NOT the candidate's 
  health record, either. It was the soldier who accused Tower of being drunk,
  who had HIS mental health records read before the Senate and into the
  congressional record, in order to embarass and humiliate him.. It was not
  Tower's mental health record that was read into the congressional record. I
  believe either I was not clear, or you misread my post.
  4. Of course, all Tower's records should have been fair game, but this is 
  what we're talking about here. We are talking about the unauthorized 
  public announcement, and reading into the nation's historical record, of
  confidential mental health files, on an innocent third party, without a
  release, and without due process, of an unsuspecting person's confidential
  mental health records, simply because he (the sergent) stated that a public
  figure who had been nominated for the highest level defense position in the
  NATION, had been repeatedly been seen under the influence of alcohol at 
  5. The issue here is should a politician be able to use his military
  connections, with no authorization, no release, and no knowledge of the
  patient/witness/testifier, be able to use his contacts, to dig up dirt on
  someone who testifies against his buddy, to smear the witness's reputation,
  betray his confidentiality, and air out the witness's dirty laundry, by
  reading private psychotherapy notes, in front of the Senate, in order to get
  his (The Senator's) buddy into the office of Secretary of Defence.