Letters to the editor, Feb. 1

Earnestly fair
Thanks to Marty Moore for his kind words and positive views in his column in The Suncoast News regarding the quality of care he has received over the years within the Department of Veterans Affairs’ health care system.
I was struck by Moore’s in-depth understanding of the many challenges and opportunities before the Veterans Health Administration as we strive to provide exceptional care to over six million veterans and other beneficiaries annually. I believe his assessment was earnest, fair and balanced.
Please be assured that the VA is aggressively pressing forward to advance the gains we have made since 2009, when we launched a top-to-bottom transformation initiative. Our goal, then as now, is to provide our clients a high-quality, high-performance VA experience across all our points of care, benefits and services.
I appreciate Mr. Moore’s support and thank him again for taking the time to share his thoughts in a public forum.
Eric K. Shinseki
Washington, D.C.
The writer, who was Chief of Staff of the Army from 1999 until 2003, is the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Puzzling portrayal
I found a number of inaccuracies in Marty Moore’s Jan. 22 column, “Don’t Risk Security Over Fake Privacy Fears.” I’d like to focus on his claim that President Barack Obama’s review panel stated there were no Fourth Amendment violations in Section 215 of the Patriot Act.
The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board’s report actually says the opposite. It states the U.S. government alleges there are no Fourth Amendment violations, but the board disagrees.
The report then discredits Section 215 of the report for having “shown minimal value in safeguarding the nation from terrorism” and notes that the PCLOB was unable to find a single instance in which the program made any difference in a counterterrorism investigation.
The many, many analyses of the PCLOB report tend to agree it is a strong call for surveillance reform. It’s puzzling why Moore would choose to portray the report the way he did.
Douglas Burdette
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