Saturday, November 07, 2015

military has betrayed thousands of combat veterans...,

      Daniel Zwerdling and Michael De Yoanna have an extensive report on the investigations done by NPR and Colorado Public Radio. (Audio will be available at 7:00pm EST) One of the key elements in breaking the story was 20 hours of recordings made secretly by a soldier who had been targeted for discharge, despite plenty of evidence he had serious medical issues. Fort Carson is the main subject of the investigation, but the practice has also been found at other posts. From the NPR story:
...an investigation, based on hours of secret recordings from James, hundreds of pages of confidential documents from Fort Carson, and interviews with dozens of sources both inside and outside the base. And that evidence suggests the Army failed to pursue key evidence in its investigation, ruling out claims of mistreatment from nine other war veterans without ever interviewing or even contacting the men.
And according to figures acquired by NPR and CPR under the Freedom of Information Act, the Army has been pushing out soldiers diagnosed with mental health problems not just at Fort Carson but at bases across the country.
The figures show that since January 2009, the Army has "separated" 22,000 soldiers for "misconduct" after they came back from Iraq and Afghanistan and were diagnosed with mental health problems or TBI. As a result, many of the dismissed soldiers have not received crucial retirement and health care benefits that soldiers receive with an honorable discharge.
   Read the whole report; listen to the audio. This is damnable stuff. The Army generals continue to whitewash the problem; until heads roll in the upper ranks, this is likely to continue. This is the kind of thing a functioning Congress should be investigating. It will be interesting to see how far this story goes, and if any of the presidential campaigners will pick up on it.