‘Support the troops!’

May 16, 2008

Is Decider George’s government heartless and cruel at every level?
Apparently, the whole shebang is not worth a shit:

  • WASHINGTON (AP) — An internal e-mail message written by a Veteran’s Affairs Department employee suggested that the agency avoid giving a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder for veterans and instead consider a diagnosis that might result in a lower disability payment.
    The message, dated March 20 and titled “Suggestion,” said: “Given that we are having more and more compensation seeking veterans, I’d like to suggest that we refrain from giving a diagnosis of PTSD straight out. Consider a diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder, R/O PTSD.” R/O stands for “rule out.”
    “Additionally,” it said, “we really don’t or have time to do the extensive testing that should be done to determine PTSD.”
    In a statement, Dr.James B. Peake, the secretary of veterans affairs, called the suggestions “inappropriate.” The employee’s name was not released.
    Associated Press, (5/16/08)

Despite all the evidence, despite all the bullshit about supporting the troops, Bootjack John McCain keeping US GIs in Iraq a 100 years (now it’s just until 2013, according to a fairy-tale speech he gave yesterday), despite all the lofty tones for US fighting men and women:

  • An estimated 300,000 veterans among the nearly 1.7 million who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are battling depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. More than half of these people, according to the study conducted by the Rand Corp., are slipping through the cracks in the bureaucratic system, going without necessary treatment.
    The Rand study underscores one of the lessons of modern counterinsurgency conflicts: Such wars may kill fewer troops than traditional fighting but can leave deeper psychological scars.

    — Julian E. Barnes, latimes.com/news/science, (4/18/08)

And on the other side of the fence, which is actually the same side:

  • A poorly run Pentagon program for providing civilian employees in Iraq and Afghanistan with workman’s compensation has allowed defense contractors and insurance companies to gouge American taxpayers, a House oversight committee said Thursday.
    Insurance companies alone have pocketed $600 million in excessive profits over the past five years, says a staff report from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, but the Defense Department refuses to adjust its approach for managing the program.
    According to the committee, the Pentagon allows its contractors to negotiate their own insurance contracts. By contrast, the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development and the Army Corps of Engineers have all selected a single insurance carrier to provide the insurance at fixed rates.
    “What makes the situation even worse is the people this program is supposed to benefit — the injured employees working for contractors — have to fight the insurance companies to get their benefits,” committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said at a hearing Thursday. “Delays and denials in paying claims are the rule.”
    KBR Inc., one of the largest defense contractors in Iraq, paid the insurance giant AIG $284 million for medical and disability coverage under the Defense Base Act, a reference to the federal law mandating the insurance. Due to the way KBR’s contract is structured, this premium, along with an $8 million markup for KBR, gets billed to the taxpayer.
    “Out of this amount, just $73 million actually goes to injured contractors, and AIG and KBR pocket over $100 million as profit,” Waxman said.
    — Richard Lardner, AP, (5/15/08)

Decider George has got to be the most openly deceitful leader in the whole, wide world.
‘Support the troops’ my ass!
Maybe along with uncle Karl Rove, the US Congress should have Decider George arrested and ass-stomped into the basement.

And the public:

In the nothingness on the public airwaves about the Pentagon propaganda machine — no not that one — but where all these half-looped retired military officers lied about Decider George’s foreign policy on every news network in the US, comes another nail in the coffin of truth.
Joe Galloway, a long-time war correspondent and author of the book, We Were Soldiers Once…And Young, was cited this week as one of the critics “reached out” for by big Don Rumsfeld during the operation lie-to-the-Americans exercise performed by those lying, greedy retired military assholes on TV.
Galloway also says Rumsfeld is a liar.
In a story posted on Thursday at editorandpublisher.com, Galloway writes

  • This is why alarm bells should be ringing all over Washington about The New York Times’ disclosure that then-Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld encouraged a secret Pentagon program to care for and spoon-feed more than 50 retired senior military officers whom the administration deemed reliable friends who could be counted on “to carry our water” on the television and cable networks.
    Feeding the military analysts “key and valuable information” in secret briefings by Pentagon and White House officials, the idea went, would make them the go-to guys for the networks and encourage the networks to “weed out the less reliably friendly analysts . . . .”
    Let the record show that Rumsfelds’ folks reached out to me on these few occasions:
    –In early summer of 2003, half a dozen of us were invited to an off-the-record lunch with Rumsfeld in the Pentagon. The defense secretary seemed to have a poor grasp of the reality on the ground in Iraq and was still declaring that we’d do no nation-building there. He saw no insurgency, only a handful of “dead-enders”.
    — In November 2005, DiRita invited me to a “one-on-one” lunch with Rumsfeld at the Pentagon. This one I accepted. I arrived to find across the table Rumsfeld, the then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Peter Pace; Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Dick Cody; Joint Staff Director Lt. Gen. Walter Sharp and (then Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Larry) DiRita.
    We went at it hammer and tongs for an hour and a half over their conduct of the war and the errors that were costing the lives of American soldiers. As I left, I told Rumsfeld that I’d continue to point out those mistakes every week in my column.
    –In April 2006, DiRita sent me an e-mail telling me that my most recent column was “silly”. That column had discussed an expensive war game the Pentagon conducted about a U.S. attack on a thinly disguised country that obviously was Iran. His complaint sparked an escalating e-mail war that most reckon DiRita lost .
    So much for the Rumsfeld/DiRita outreach to their critics. They were much too busy hand-feeding horse manure to their TV generals, who in turn were feeding the same product to the American public by the cubic yard.
    There’s little doubt that this program violated the laws against covert propaganda operations mounted against the American public by their own government. But in this administration, there’s no one left to enforce that law or any of the other laws the Bush operatives have been busy violating.
    The real crime is that the scheme worked. The television network bosses swallowed the bait, the hook, the line and the sinker, and they have yet to answer for it.

So far no one in Decider George’s government has answered for any thing.
Common folk answer.


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