But a few chapters in our history – slavery, oppression of the Native American tribes, causes of the civil rights movement, and moments of unconstitutionality on the part of our elected leaders – serve as more than simple blemishes on an otherwise admirable record of defending liberty and freedom. One such stain is the way we’ve treated some of our nation’s military veterans.
The maltreatment is summed up in a recent federal case. In late July, a group of veterans managed to win a court order forcing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to hand over a trove of documents detailing the department’s alleged Cold War-era drug experiments on Vietnam vets. What’s problematic about this case isn’t the decision – the VA owes these veterans any answers they are seeking – but the fact that the case had to be filed at all.