May America 'Never Forget' What Has Gone on Here...
By Brad Friedman on 1/17/2006, 2:34pm PT  

I'm on the road for a few days, currently near Palm Springs (or, as I like to call it, the Hollywood Old Folks Home), so unable to blog as around-the-clock as normal. But a couple of points today have really got me upset.

One is the spin-meister Bill O'Reilly's unpardonable apologies for the criminal George W. Bush administration. His remarkable rationalizations and attempts to excuse what noted constitutional attorney Jonathon Turley just called "an open and shut criminal case" against Bush (at the bottom of the first hour of O'Reilly's radio show today), are simply appalling.

O'Reilly's reasons why none of these broken rules of law or corruption of the U.S. Constitution rises to impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors? Because the American people don't support the impeachment of Bush. (Never mind the new Zogby poll showing that 52% of Americans would support such action for illegal, warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens. And never mind that no more than 30% of Americans ever supported the impeachment of Clinton!). But more on that, hopefully, later or tomorrow as my stomach, and time-away allows it.

For the moment however, a very disturbing story...just another one of far too many similar ones, I'm afraid...pointing up why this son-of-a-bitch who sits in the White House needs to be held accountable for the horrific actions of which I don't believe he actually has a clue. Or, at least, has insulated and lied to himself so much, that he can't even conceive anymore of the pain he has caused the citizenry of this country which he once swore to protect and defend. That, on top of the cynical claims of looking after the armed forces which he (fallaciously) claims at every opportunity to support.

I received some very disturbing email messages this morning, which have, by now, become all too familiar...

When I spent time doing a special daily broadcast of my radio show out of Crawford, TX over the summer at "Camp Casey", one of the most disturbing aspects was that while we were there, it was announced that the administration was planning to shut down the Waco, TX VA Facility where veterans of Central Texas were able to get treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Due to the shutdown, war veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Korea, etc. would be forced to drive hundreds of miles to receive treatment for their PTSD since the Waco facility was the only one available to have such a psychiatric unit in central Texas.

Ironically, while Wingnut/Bush/War Supporters were driving by honking, yelling and holding signs saying "SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!", many of the war veterans from within "Camp Casey," who were there to support Cindy Sheehan, had driven to Waco to protest the closing of the only PTSD facility for miles around in George W. Bush's own "home state".

As well, I receive Email quite frequently from Iraq/Afghanistan Vets who are suffering themselves from PTSD and find themselves on the brink of clinging to life as they decide whether they'd prefer to live or die.

And then today, my new good friend and occasional BRAD BLOG Guest Blogger, Lydia Cornell, shared an email with me that she received from Doug Basham, who hosts a nationally syndicated daily radio show out of Las Vegas:

Just wanted to share this with you. It hit me pretty hard last night. Back on Dec. 16, a little over a week after you appeared on my show, I had Specialist Douglas Barber as my guest, an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran suffering from PTSD. He was telling us how the VA had abandoned Iraqi vets, and how he couldn't get help for his PTSD. Last night, at the top of my 3rd hour, I received this email...

-----------------

Mr. Basham:

I was a dear friend of Douglas; I say was, because Douglas committed suicide today on the front porch of his trailer around 2:30 pm Opelika, Alabama time. I was just listening to your interview with him so I could hear his voice again. Just thought you might like to know.

[Name Redacted for Privacy]

I touched base with Basham and, in fact, today he was able to confirm the suicide of Spc. Barber as having happened yesterday. Here's the followup note he just sent me, which includes a link to his recent radio interview with Barber, may he finally rest in peace...

Hey Brad:

I just got confirmation from the Police Department that Douglas did indeed commit suicide yesterday. Apparently, it happened with police officers on the spot trying to talk him out of if.

The officer I just spoke to said Douglas took his gun, fired one shot, and killed himself. He said he was the officer in charge of the investigation. I asked him what kind of an investigation was done when someone took their own life. He said they'd like to find out the circumstances surrounding it and perhaps why it happened.

I told him that when Douglas did the interview on my show, he said that he'd been diagnosed with PTSD, and was having trouble getting help from the VA. That seemed to pique his interest and he then asked me if I had that interview on tape. I told him it was archived on my web site. He asked if I could send him a link to the interview, which I just did. Here's the link...

Absolutely, you you have my permission to use this interview along with the email I received in any way it will help get the truth out. I really hate these people, Brad. I really do. Take care.

Doug
www.DougBasham.com

As exhausted as I am right now, and while hoping to sneak in a few hours of R&R on the road, it's shit like this that reminds me --- all too often --- why it's so important to continue doing what I'm doing here. As much as I'd rather be doing almost anything else.

While the rest of the "media" --- the likes of O'Reilly and his despicable ilk --- are out spinning and apologizing for and making a political game out of this abomination of the American ideal...An ideal twisted and tortured and now embodied by the unAmerican Bush Adminstration and their facilitating accomplices of death, destruction and mayhem in Congress and the Rightwing Media Echo Chamber...I'm reminded why it's important to keep at it, no matter how exhausting, and just how very grateful I am to those of you who --- against all odds, and to no end of frustration --- continue to support what we do here, and continue to do everything within your power to make sure the rest of the country takes notice of what is happening in this country during these years of shame.

Thank you all for that.

One day, we will restore the balance of sanity to this great nation. I also pray, however, that once we do, we may "Never Forget" what has gone on here and who it is that must, one day...somehow...be held accountable.

May God Bless America.

UPDATE: A letter from Spc. Douglas Barber... Pay attention.