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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Wife-Beating Federal Judge Finally Mentioned on MSNBC
MSNBC contributor asks about lack of outrage, impeachment for federal judge Mark Fuller who beat his wife bloody in August...
Outrage Slowly Grows After Wife-Beating Federal Judge Avoids Prosecution
Fellow GOP District Court judge calls for accountability, says 'no one should trust Mark Fuller's judgment in a federal trial courtroom'...
GOP PHOTO ID RESTRICTION LAW RESTORED IN WI
Republican voter suppression laws getting huge boosts from GOP-appointed federal judges in NC, where 100s recently disenfranchised, and now in WI, in advance of critical mid-terms...
Not Taking the ISIS Bait
The media and the U.S. Government have decided to give the latest barbaric idiots to rise up in the Middle East all the publicity they crave, despite the 'exaggerated' threat posed to the U.S., or even in the region. We're not interested in playing along...
'Green News Report' 9/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Greenhouse gas emissions jump at record rate; Australia's emissions soar after carbon tax axed; Oceans acidifying at historic rate; PLUS: Some good news: Ozone Hole begone!...
Previous GNRs: 9/9/14 - 9/4/14 - Archives...
Accountability for Judge Fuller?; O, Mighty ISIS!:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Will Alabama's wife-beating U.S. District Court Judge face impeachment? Plus: Callers, lots of 'em, on what to do about ISIS...
Wife-Beaters: Rice Loses Job; Judge Fuller Continues Lifetime Appointment
America was outraged by the NFL superstar. So, what about Alabama's federal judge who beat his wife bloody and is now off scot-free?...
'Green News Report' 9/9/14
Floods: Catastrophic in Pakistan, Historic in Phoenix; Hillary on Global Warming; Rand Paul dismisses; PLUS: Lobster Boat Blockade wins!...
GA GOP State Senator: Too Many Black People Will Vote in DeKalb County!
Vows to close 'election loophole' allowing convenient Early Voting in area 'dominated by African Americans'; UPDATE: Says just wants 'more educated voters'...
GOP Allows 'Citizens United' Amendment to Move Forward, Will Vote Against
Koch Brothers' beneficiary Sen. Rand Paul wouldn't even allow that much...
NYT Public Editor Calls Out Paper for Phony 'Balance' on 'Voter Fraud', Global Warming
Margaret Sullivan's no weasel (unlike a predecessor). She's calling out the 'paper of record' again for misreporting on GOP myths...
Siegelman's Judge Strikes Deal to Avoid Trial After Beating Wife Bloody
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller to have record expunged following drug/alcohol evaluation, domestic abuse counseling...
ObamaCare 'Nightmare': 2015 Premiums Rates to DECLINE in Many Major Cities
This whole 'tyrannical government takeover of health care' thing is really a disaster...for Republicans...
Federal Judge Orders Restoration of Early Voting Hours in OH -- Again
'Ohio GOP keeps trying to cut early voting and federal courts keep striking the cuts down'...
'Green News Report' 9/4/14
Accountability for BP in Gulf Oil Spill Disaster and for PG&E in deadly pipeline explosion; CA bans plastic bags, regulates groundwater for first time in history...
The Corruption of U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman: KPFK 'BradCast'
GUEST: Attorney and BRAD BLOG legal analyst Ernest A. Canning...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


'Peace Mom' Cindy Sheehan, Code Pink, and Others Drown Out Democrats Press Op on Ethics Reform
UPDATE: Dems Gave Up, Sheehan Took Over Microphone, Vowed to be Around All Week...
By Brad Friedman on 1/3/2007 6:27pm PT  

Poor Rahm and the Democrats. They've not even been sworn into the Majority yet, and they're already having their feet held to the fire.

We suspect this won't be the last time. Particularly if the Dems decide to play it safe instead of taking seriously the clear mandate for accountability they received at the polls last November.

Gold Star mom Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son Casey in Iraq, joined other protesters on Capitol Hill today to lobby Congress Members for a swift end to the War in Iraq. They interrupted a Democratic press conference today, held to announce ethics reform packages, with chants of "De-escalate! Investigate! Troops Home Now!" Rahm never stood a chance.

Of course, he might have seen it coming. This was on the Gold Star Families for Peace website today:

Walk the halls of Congress with Gold Star Families for Peace. Lets let the 110th congress know what is expected of them from Day 1. We will be insisting that an immediate exit strategy from Iraq be implemented. We will insist that all funding for the War stop and the money spent on rebuilding Iraq. We will be insisting that hearings begin immediately into Bushco's crimes against humanity and the lies told to the American people. We will demand IMPEACHMENT.

Fox "News" deemed to tell the story. David Edwards, over at RAW STORY, covers it along with the video.

UPDATE: New York Times blogged the incident tonight, and if you care to put any stock in those dreaded "bloggers," they described the pathetic reaction of Emanuel and the other Dems this way...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 12/31/2006 4:46pm PT  

It was only June of this year when Tony Snow blithely commented on behalf of the White House, upon the news that the 2500th American troop had been killed in Iraq, "It’s a number."

There is a certain warped and tragic sense of unavoidable poesy in the announced death of the 3000th fallen U.S. troop coming, as it does, today --the last day of 2006. Yet I can't help but be reminded that as awful as that "number" is, it comes nowhere near expressing the full pain, suffering, horror, mutilation, and unbearably high cost to humanity that this administration --- and their supporters --- have wrought on this world via their tragic arrogance and folly.

The 3000 "number" includes only American troops killed in Iraq. It doesn't include the number of those, thousands over, who have been injured for lifetime. It doesn't include American contractors who have also been killed. It doesn't include Americans killed in Afghanistan. Neither does it include the troops and citizens from other countries who --- for reasons good or bad --- were deployed to the region after having bought into the mercilessly cruel confidence game that these Administration cretins --- and their supporters --- have perpetrated on the people of this planet. Most disturbingly, however, the "number" 3000 doesn't even begin to include the uncountable --- and mostly uncounted --- hundreds of thousands of citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan who were born with the unfortunate trait of having being born where they were born, only to end up in the deadly literal crossfire ordered by people who neither know them nor give a damn about them.

"River" at Baghdad Burning, one of the citizens born with that unfortunate trait, has been chronicling the misery of such citizens from Iraq for the past three years when the power is on, and she is able to access an Internet computer and she has the stomach to share her pain with the rest of the world. She now shares the same sense, expressed by the White House via Snow, that these landmark statistics "simply represent numbers." The irony would likely be lost on this White House.

A few days ago, "River" reminded us once again of the real cost of this sham war. And as cold-hearted as her thoughts may seem, they are yet another wake up call. Yet another one most likely to be ignored by the desperate fanatics whose simple-minded sense of self-importance has left the rest of the world --- likely for generations --- with the burden of cleaning up behind their crushing cruelty, unforgivable arrogance, and indescribable incompetence.

I believe "River" offers a glimpse of what we all will be forced to come to cold, hard grips with in the year --- and years --- ahead...


Here we come to the end of 2006 and I am sad. Not simply sad for the state of the country, but for the state of our humanity, as Iraqis. We've all lost some of the compassion and civility that I felt made us special four years ago. I take myself as an example. Nearly four years ago, I cringed every time I heard about the death of an American soldier. They were occupiers, but they were humans also and the knowledge that they were being killed in my country gave me sleepless nights. Never mind they crossed oceans to attack the country, I actually felt for them.

Had I not chronicled those feelings of agitation in this very blog, I wouldn't believe them now. Today, they simply represent numbers. 3000 Americans dead over nearly four years? Really? That's the number of dead Iraqis in less than a month. The Americans had families? Too bad. So do we. So do the corpses in the streets and the ones waiting for identification in the morgue.

Is the American soldier that died today in Anbar more important than a cousin I have who was shot last month on the night of his engagement to a woman he's wanted to marry for the last six years? I don't think so.

Just because Americans die in smaller numbers, it doesn't make them more significant, does it?

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With Wise Words from Josh Marshall and Joseph Cannon...
As Bush Sleeps Through His Legacy...
By Brad Friedman on 12/30/2006 2:51pm PT  

We had a few thoughts late last night on Saddam's execution. Today we have a few more, as Josh Marshall reminds us why he's likely both the best blogger and best writer in the business...

This whole endeavor, from the very start, has been about taking tawdry, cheap acts and dressing them up in a papier-mache grandeur --- phony victory celebrations, ersatz democratization, reconstruction headed up by toadies, con artists and grifters. And this is no different. Hanging Saddam is easy. It's a job, for once, that these folks can actually see through to completion. So this execution, ironically and pathetically, becomes a stand-in for the failures, incompetence and general betrayal of country on every other front that President Bush has brought us.
...
The Iraq War has been many things, but for its prime promoters and cheerleaders and now-dwindling body of defenders, the war and all its ideological and literary trappings have always been an exercise in moral-historical dress-up for a crew of folks whose times aren't grand enough to live up to their own self-regard and whose imaginations are great enough to make up the difference. This is just more play-acting.

These jokers are being dragged kicking and screaming to the realization that the whole thing's a mess and that they're going to be remembered for it --- defined by it --- for decades and centuries. But before we go, we can hang Saddam. Quite a bit of this was about the president's issues with his dad and the hang-ups he had about finishing Saddam off --- so before we go, we can hang the guy as some big cosmic 'So There!'
...
This is what we're reduced to, what the president has reduced us to. This is the best we can do. Hang Saddam Hussein because there's nothing else this president can get right.

What do you figure this farce will look like 10, 30, or 50 years down the road? A signal of American power or weakness?

Hat-tip for the pointer to the above to Joseph Cannon, who aptly adds:

The war had many motives, all of them bad. Among them was the determination of a churchmouse to play Churchill.

And while we're hat-tipping to the much beloved Cannon, we'll point to his brief, yet enlightening summary today of how the United States handcrafted its own, ultimately self-defeating, legacy named Saddam Hussein.

Of course, most of those who have spent the last 6 years mindlessly salivating to the sound of their master's voice will be unlikely to take the time to read it. Lest they take notice of anything to upset their creepy and cultish devotion to the notion of an infallible America. But the rest of us, with intellectual curiosity and honesty intact, can at least learn a thing or two about this whole nightmare having been the work of the self-same criminal crew who --- as the last of their "papier-mache grandeur" flakes away, for now --- cling pathetically to today's barbaric murder of Saddam as some sort of "victory."

Sadly --- and shamefully --- it is anything but.

I don't know whether it's apocryphal or not, but it's been said that criminals, after their arrest, tend to fall asleep in their holding cell, while the innocent stay awake, yelling and screaming in protest.

This from RAW STORY's coverage of today's hanging of Saddam Hussein...

Spokesman Scott Stanzel said the president was told of the impending hanging Friday afternoon and went to bed shortly before it took place, with instructions not to be woken up.
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'Revenge Accomplished' as Osama Still Runs Free, Uncountable Thousands Lie Dead in Bush's Path of Mass Destruction
Little to Change for American Troops in Harm's Way, According to Vet Group...
By Brad Friedman on 12/29/2006 5:21pm PT  

"The Americans want him to be hanged respectfully," one of Hussein's attorneys points out, according to AP, apparently without even a hint of irony.

The oxymoron aside, for our part we don't have much to say about all of this, other than how brutally disgusting it is, how Osama still runs free, how well more than the number of Americans killed on 9/11 have now been killed in Bush's appalling revenge plot on behalf of his father, and how neither Americans in general, nor certainly the troops on the ground, are any safer due to Bush's appalling failure as a U.S. "President."

Iraq War veteran Jon Soltz, co-founder of VoteVets.org, an advocacy group representing vets of both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, issued this statement earlier today:

"There can be no doubt that the execution of Saddam Hussein is justice for the Iraqis who died at his hands. For Americans, and our troops in Iraq, though, his execution means very little, ultimately. There is still a fierce insurgency in Iraq. Our men and women will continue to die every day in a war that has no direction or plan. For our troops in Iraq, when the sun rises tomorrow on a world without Saddam, it will look and feel no different than the day before."

For George W. Bush, however, who lives in the safe confines of his well protected mobile bunker, his presiding over this barbaric ending to the life of a barbaric man is ultimately just another shameful chapter in an already tragic-beyond-description tale.

Congratulations and Happy New Year, Mr. Bush. You got your man.

UPDATE 7:50pm PT: The deed is done. Good luck washing all of that blood off your hands, Mr. Bush. Only you could turn a despicable man like Hussein into a martyr. By year's end, in a few hours, the 3000 mark may be passed for dead U.S. troops in your war. Though, as Baghdad Burning points out so movingly today, 3000 Iraqis are lost in an average month. So I guess it's no biggie. You've had quite the reign, sir.

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(Heckuva Job, Dubya)
By Brad Friedman on 12/25/2006 11:29pm PT  

Merry frickin' Christmas.

From AP. December 25, 11:51pm ET.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The U.S. military death toll in Iraq has reached 2,974, one more than the number of deaths in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, according to an Associated Press count on Tuesday.

The U.S. military announced the deaths of two soldiers in a bomb explosion southwest of Baghdad on Monday. The deaths raised the number of troops killed to 2,974 since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003.

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By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2006 11:50pm PT  

BRAD BLOG readers know that we take no particular joy in even appearing to defend the corporate mainstream media. Nonetheless, the hateful rightwing loons that have taken over the majority of the discourse in this country have been so intolerably wrong on so many issues for so very long, it's nice to see one of them admit --- even tacitly --- that "conservatives" (as they call themselves) have been wrong in their idiotic attacks on MSM reporting. Particularly in regard to the War in Iraq.

So now, the Bush Administration, and the last of its dead-enders, have even lost National Review's Richard Lowry...

Most of the pessimistic warnings from the mainstream media have turned out to be right — that the initial invasion would be the easy part, that seeming turning points (the capture of Saddam, the elections, the killing of Zarqawi) were illusory, that the country was dissolving into a civil war.
...
The “good news” that conservatives have accused the media of not reporting has generally been pretty weak. The Iraqi elections were indeed major accomplishments. But the opening of schools and hospitals is not particularly newsworthy, at least not compared with American casualties and with sectarian attacks meant to bring Iraq down around everyone’s heads in a full-scale civil war.
...
In their distrust of the mainstream media, their defensiveness over President Bush and the war, and their understandable urge to buck up the nation’s will, many conservatives lost touch with reality on Iraq. They thought that they were contributing to our success, but they were only helping to forestall a cold look at conditions there and the change in strategy and tactics that would be dictated by it.

There's more, but you get the drift. A moment of intellectual honesty from Lowry. Though not nearly enough. Note his use of "they," not "we" or "I." And he can't help but take several idiotic, unsupported shots in the piece, lest he completely lose his readership base all together.

So it's not enough to earn himself a coveted, yet rarely bestowed, BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award." Either way, we hope for his sake that the waters are warm these days for the rats as they dive off the sinking ship.

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By Alan Breslauer on 12/19/2006 7:08pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

This clip is from a Noam Chomsky speech given over the weekend titled, "What's Next? Creating Another World in a Time of War, Empire and Devastation," which aired today on Democracy Now! In this excerpt (3:45), Chomsky uses the recent Baker/Hamilton Report as the starting point for his critique of US foreign policy. He questions the selective use of polling data in the Report which fails to mention that the vast majority of both Iraqis and Americans desire an immediate pullout of US troops or a definitive time-line for withdrawal. It's all a bit strange to Chomsky, who states, "In our mission to bring democracy to the world we don't care about the opinions of people --- they're kinda irrelevant."

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Finally, Someone in the 'Media' Demands Some Accountability...But it Wasn't CBS...
By Brad Friedman on 12/18/2006 10:13pm PT  

Yesterday, at CBS, a reporter with a camera crew asked a number of very tough, very overdue questions of Colin Powell, who has received an inexplicable Get Out of Jail Free card from the media and almost everyone else. No, we're not referring to his much ballyhooed --- and also very overdue --- admissions on Face the Nation that "we are losing" in Iraq, and that he's "not persuaded that another surge of troops into Baghdad...will work."

The very tough questions, which obviously irritated Powell, concerned his own complicity in getting us into this mess in the first place. But the questions weren't asked by CBS's Bob Schieffer during his own televised "exclusive." Nor were they asked by a determined reporter from the NY Times or Washington Post or Newsweek or any of the networks.

The questions were asked by a guy named Sam Husseini of Washington Stakeout. He stands outside the network studios on Sunday mornings trying to ask actual questions of the "newsmakers" after they've left their softball interviews with Bob and Tim and George.

Jonathan Schwartz highlights the questions for Powell and his answers (both caught in short video segments) in which Husseini simply nails Powell on his UN garbage.

Imagine if the corporate mainstream media actually asked such questions --- before we end up in intractable wars at unspeakable cost...though we'd settle for them asking such questions now. Any takers out there?

Until then, thank you, Sam. Keep up the good work. We'll try to keep watching.

(Hat-tip David Swanson for the heads up.)

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By Brad Friedman on 12/17/2006 7:09pm PT  

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 12/11/2006 4:48pm PT  

Paul Krugman's Friday column about the praise --- and apologies --- now owed to those who warned us before going into Iraq about what we now face needs to be read by all. Since the complete column is behind the New York Times' iron curtain, I'm joining several other websites out there in reposting the column in its entirety below.

Those who not only ignored but attacked the messengers relentlessly and inexcusably (and worse, attacked their patriotism in the bargain!) prior to the ill-conceived assault on Baghdad and just after it's "fall" should be held accountable for their egregious behavior. Yes, we're talking to you, Fox "News", New Republic, Rush Limbaugh, Weekly Standard, NY Post et al! You owe a lot of people a lot of apologies.

Krugman follows in full. Please read it...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Somebody Needs a Nap...
By Brad Friedman on 12/7/2006 5:33pm PT  

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Fortunately, We're Not at War or Anything...
By Brad Friedman on 12/5/2006 11:09am PT  

The Senate confirmation hearings for the nomination of Robert Gates to be the next Secretary of Defense were not carried live on any broadcast or cable news networks. Neither C-SPAN 1 or 2 carried it live either, although they have an excuse (by charter, as we understand it, they must carry live coverage from the House and Senate floor when in session.)

It's a good thing we're not at war, that we have a broad national consensus about the direction of the nation and its military, and that the matter of who will lead the Pentagon as the next Sec. of Defense isn't all that important to the country at this time.

Otherwise, we might have suggested the cable news outlets' decision to carry live coverage of a press conference on a missing man in Oregon (he's still missing), the auction of Princess Diana's death car (she's still dead), and Gwyneth Paltrow's comments about America (she didn't say them), was somewhat less than responsible or in the best interests of the nation they like to suggest they are serving.

Just one of the benefits of being at peace around the globe. Thank you, media.

(P.S. We were able to listen to the hearings live on the radio via NPR. Gates says we're not winning the War in Iraq, blah, blah, blah, who cares...)

UPDATE: Who needs cable? David Swanson of AfterDowningStreet.org decides to be the media, he's live blogging the event from within the hearing room.

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NPR Reports on Soldiers 'Dishonorably' Discharged from the Army Rather Than Receiving the Help They Deserve for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder...
By Brad Friedman on 12/4/2006 6:35pm PT  

This story really ticks me off.

Some BRAD BLOG readers may recall the story of Army Specialist Douglas Barber, who committed suicide last January after suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) upon returning from Iraq. We followed up with a letter that Barber himself had written in 2005 describing what some of the troops coming home from Iraq were dealing with. One graf:

We come home from war trying to put our lives back together but some cannot stand the memories and decide that death is better. They kill themselves because they are so haunted by seeing children killed and whole families wiped out.

In his letter, Barber wrote about the struggle that soldiers face in dealing with PTSD when they return stateside: "PTSD comes in many forms not understood by many: but yet if a soldier has it, America thinks the soldiers are crazy." He then goes on to excoriate those in the media who claim to "support the troops" even while they ignore this enormous problem and the administration's lack of funding for VA programs:

Talk show hosts like Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and so many others act like they know all about war; then they refuse to give any credence to soldiers like me who have been to war and seen the brutality of war. These guys are nothing but WEAK SPINELESS COWARDS hiding behind microphones while soldiers come home and are losing everything they have.

Well, were it up to Sean and O'Reilly and Limbaugh, there would be no more NPR either. But thank god, they are still there.

Love 'em or hate 'em, they seem to be the only media outlet to have followed up on a GAO report [PDF] from back in May which they report says "that about 80 percent of the soldiers who showed potential signs of PTSD were not referred for mental health follow-ups" by the military.

While the Pentagon apparently disputes those numbers, according to the report from NPR's Morning Edition today, "Army studies show that at least 20 percent to 25 percent of the soldiers who have served in Iraq display symptoms of" PTSD.

And yet, with all of that, NPR's investigation of the treatment soldiers are (or aren't) receiving in at least one location, Colorado's Fort Carson, reveals a shameful reality. These troops who have been putting themselves in harm's way to serve their country are simply not getting the mental health support they deserve upon returning home. That, even while many of them are run out of the Army with less-than-honorable discharges --- which makes re-adjusting to civilian life even more difficult for them --- in order to mask the problem and avoid having to pay them benefits.

Shameful. The gauntlet such troops are reportedly forced to run in order to receive appropriate treatment is to all of our eternal shame.

I recall while broadcasting from Crawford, Texas, during the summer of 2005 --- even with Iraq and Afghanistan vets inside the tent at Camp Casey supporting Cindy Sheehan's stand --- the creeps who would drive by, honking horns, giving us the finger and yelling epithets as they waved their "Support the Troops!" signs in ignorance.

While I'd like to believe those days are coming to an end --- where the insidious chicken-hawk cowards and opportunists like Rush, O'Reilly, Hannity, and George W. Bush were able to use their microphones to manipulate American citizens into believing those who were against the war were somehow against the troops --- I fear it'll be a long and hard battle to ensure the men and women of our armed forces actually receive the support they are due from this Administration, this military, and those in the future.

The NPR report does not bode well. I can't do it justice here and urge you to read their written report and/or listen to their audio report (linked from the same page) in full. But here are just a few examples of the shameful treatment some of the troops at Fort Carson have had to deal with...

For instance, soldiers fill out questionnaires when they return from Iraq that are supposed to warn officials if they might be getting depressed, or suffering from PTSD, or abusing alcohol or drugs. But many soldiers at Ft. Carson say that even though they acknowledged on the questionnaires that they were having disturbing symptoms, nobody at the base followed up to make sure they got appropriate support.
...
Soldiers at Ft. Carson also say that even when they request support, the mental-health unit is so overwhelmed that they can't get the help they need. Corey Davis, who was a machine gunner in Iraq, says he began "freaking out" after he came back to Ft. Carson; he had constant nightmares and began using drugs. He says he finally got up the courage to go to the Army hospital to beg for help.

"They said I had to wait a month and a half before I'd be seen," Davis said. "I almost started crying right there."

Perhaps most disturbingly, there are the ones who are treated like pariahs by friends, employers, and yes...the Army itself:

Almost all of the soldiers said that their worst problem is that their supervisors and friends turned them into pariahs when they learned that they were having an emotional crisis. Supervisors said it's true: They are giving some soldiers with problems a hard time, because they don't belong in the Army.

Jennings called a supervisor at Ft. Carson to say that he had almost killed himself, so he was going to skip formation to check into a psychiatric ward. The Defense Department's clinical guidelines say that when a soldier has been planning suicide, one of the main ways to help is to put him in the hospital. Instead, officers sent a team of soldiers to his house to put him in jail, saying that Jennings was AWOL for missing work.

And the purges of these troops from the ranks seem to be more than simply isolated incidents...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Alan Breslauer on 12/1/2006 3:29pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan have at each other debating President Bush's stay the course policy in Iraq in this entertaining clip (10:00) from yesterday's Scarborough Country. Buchanan actually defends Bush despite calling the war a "horrible mistake" and suggesting that the President may be acting with his legacy in mind.

Scarborough finds Buchanan's stance perplexing since he knows that "there are not ten Republicans on Capitol Hill that agree with this President" and that the "President stands alone in the world in his view on Iraq".

The clip begins about 3 minutes into the segment while the real fireworks start at approximately the 7 minute mark. Finally, despite all appearances, the clip is not cut off at the end as Scarborough only goes on to thank his guests.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 12/1/2006 7:35am PT  

...Bob Geiger gets it exactly right.

(Someone remind me to read him more often. He gets quite a bit right.)

ReddIt this story!



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