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Senate Privacy Invasion
Today, I received a personal e'mail note to the effect that, by making
mention of the previously covered former sergent of the Air Force who had his
psychiatric records and summary excerpts read, critiqued, and ridiculed
before the U.S. Senate, (in defense of the late Sen. John Tower, who, in
1989, was running a bid for Secretary of Defence for the United States of
America), by a certain Senator in the hunt for the current VP position, as a
way to smear the sergent, who had testified that Mr. Tower had been seen
drunk on the job often, THAT, by publishing this e'mail, I WAS CAUSING THE
SAME VIOLATION OF PRIVACY I WAS COMPLAINING ABOUT.
In other words, my posting of this event was equated with the event of which
Let me make several things clear:
1. I did not read, type, criticize, or dissect the text or the summary or
excerpts of the soldier's psychiatric notes before med-privacy or the United
States Senate. I have never even seen them.
2. I did not cause a permanent record of the above to be recorded, word for
word, in the Congressional Record of the United States Government for all
3. While I named the name of the individual, I did not identify his current
address, social security number, or other identifying information in my
posting; also, in my small town alone there are 26 persons who go by the name
I listed, in our local phone book. I gave no place of birth, home town,
military ID #, or any other such identifiable information which could breach
this person's identity or privacy.
4. Since this event was covered in the book I mentioned, is already recorded
in the Congressional record, and has been covered in magazines, it is now a
matter of public domain. It has been put in print, in far greater detail than
the general information I provided, in numerous places. The cat, so to speak,
is, and has been out of the bag for some years.
I know this is a touchy subject, and some folks who hold the Senator who
perpetrated this privacy intrusion in high regard (I was one, formerly), feel
this is an emotional issue. But lets be realistic.
Talking about an event that was thoroughly documented in books, and in the
press 4 to 7 years before I even broached the subject, and equating my
mention of it, with the original transgression, is unthinkable, and
I read no psychiatric entries into med-privacy. I publicized no private
discussions of a patient with his or her therapist onto med-privacy. I
certainly did not reveal which of the hundreds of thousands of XXX XXXXXX's
this was, and absolutely never ridiculed the said records, assaulted anyone
with them, nor did I use them to smear the individual patient in order to
benefit a buddy of mine in his quest for higher office, and discredit his
If we are to hold a frank discussion on privacy on this list, we surely must
constrain ourselves to pertinent and pragmatic topics. Equating my mention of
this violation of patient privacy with the act itself is not only a non
event, it was a waste of valuable bandwidth.
If someone wants references to this event, and how to verify the original
event, send me a private message, and, in order to avoid publicizing writers'
works, I will give references to anyone interested, on a personal basis.