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14 April 2010 @ 11:54 pm
Film at 11: I'll See Your Outrage And Raise You Some Outrage  
Earlier today, ceruleanst pointed out an article about a wounded American soldier whom the U.S. Army subjected to enhanced interrogation torture, until he signed a paper indicating that he had a preexisting personality disorder when he enlisted, and thus was ineligible for health benefits or disability.

This is, as it transpires, part of a continuing effort to misdiagnose wounded soldiers as having preexiting personality disorders specifically to deny them care and benefits.

Shortly after reading the first article, above, I discovered another article about the suicide rates among military personnel over the last decade, which is larger than the death toll from either the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq. Last year alone, 330 active duty suicides were reported.

That doesn't count the deaths among veterans, who are considered civilians; the VA estimates the suicide rate among veterans at around 6,000 per year.

I wonder how many of those vets were denied health care because of their "personality disorders"?


 
 
I feel: angryangry
 
 
 
Starblade Enkai: Katiestarblade_enkai on April 15th, 2010 07:26 am (UTC)
Wait, how come that one case is on huffpo but nowhere else? How can you be sure it's credile? It's HUFFPO for crying out loud.
Your Obedient Serpent: facepalmathelind on April 15th, 2010 04:24 pm (UTC)
*patient, resigned sigh*
Wait, how come that one case is on huffpo but nowhere else?

Every story has to start somewhere. Once upon a time, when investigative journalism was more common and major news outlets didn't rely almost entirely on Official Press Releases and punditry, this was called a "scoop".

I could be generous and assume that the Major News Outlets are holding off on this while they fact-check and follow up, but I think it's more likely that it's just getting buried. Stories like this don't get a lot of play because they're "off message". They can't be condensed into neat sound bites, they don't paint a good picture of Our Noble Nation , and they don't get the same kind of ratings as the latest dirt on Tiger Woods.

How can you be sure it's credile? It's HUFFPO for crying out loud.

Because, in the course of those three articles, Kors provides source after source, and many of them by name. He gives numbers and data, and references that can, in themselves, be checked and verified. Yes, those things can be falsified, but actually going to the effort to give readers the data to double-check his claims goes a long way toward reinforcing his credibility.

Oh, and because it's not Fox News.
Starblade Enkai: Dragonflystarblade_enkai on April 15th, 2010 07:33 am (UTC)
It's not that I don't believe it's happening, but there are two sides to the story. Somebody I know had a personality disorder before joining (they had also tried to kill themselves with a knife one time) and it was not even noticed.

The reason they are denying care is because the military only takes responsibility for problems it CAUSES. It's kind of harsh but if it were any other way, a lot of unqualified people would join and possibly get hurt, or hurt others. Think of that incident with the Helicopter guy killing people x 1000.
Your Obedient Serpent: tell it like it ISathelind on April 15th, 2010 04:06 pm (UTC)
If you're correct, and these diagnoses are legitimate, then a lot of unqualified people ARE joining and ARE getting hurt.

I should point out that, in the second article, the officer who was defending these diagnoses said:

... there was a simple reason why in so many cases the lifelong condition of personality disorder isn't apparent until after troops serve in Iraq. Traumatic experiences, he said, can trigger a condition that has lain dormant for years. "[Troops] may have done fine in high school and before, but it comes out during the stress of service," he said.


While Kors asserts that this contradicts "accepted medical understanding", IF this claim is accurate, then it sounds to me like military service exacerbated a condition that had little or no impact on the person's life.

And that makes it hard to lend credence to your position that the military has NO responsibility.

Really, though, it's a simple matter of Following The Numbers: they're denying care because they're cheap bastards and want to Blame the Victims, which is, unfortunately, a fairly common "personality disorder" these days.

Edited at 2010-04-15 04:34 pm (UTC)
Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on April 15th, 2010 07:34 am (UTC)
I think all Americans should get the medical care that they need.

I am not surprised that the military is screwing people with mental problems. Military honor has always been a chimera, not localized to this event, the US or this time period - always. An honest history of military honor would conclude, I feel, that it has never actually existed outside of literary fancy and a few weirdos whose military careers have largely been destroyed because they possessed it.
Your Obedient Serpent: cue howardathelind on April 15th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
This would be longer, but I'm too busy sputtering.
I am not surprised that the military is screwing people with mental problems.

That would be bad enough.

If Kors is correct, then the military is also screwing wounded people by fabricating mental problems.

This not only outrages me as a veteran, it outrages me as a former health care professional and a scientist. You do not fabricate data in order to hurt people.

And you sure as fuck don't hurt people in order to fabricate your data.
Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on April 15th, 2010 11:31 pm (UTC)
Re: This would be longer, but I'm too busy sputtering.
I'm not surprised they fabricate data, either. Military honor has always been a chimera, not localized to this event, the US or this time period - always. An honest history of military honor would conclude, I feel, that it has never actually existed outside of literary fancy and a few weirdos whose military careers have largely been destroyed because they possessed it.

The guys who run the military have always been creeps. I agree, that's terrible, rotten and wrong and evil. Absolutely. It is also, however, par for the course.

I don't say that to forgive such behavior, but to suggest that we can't be surprised when scorpions sting.

I do have a solution to the problem, however. Unionize the military. Give the rank-and-file soldier the tools to fight back against the abuse constantly perpetrated by the officers.
Tombfyretombfyre on April 15th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
Yeah, there is something extremely wrong with that right there. :p If that's all confirmed, there had better be some justice granted to the victims. And the perpetrators should be arrested, at the very least. This is the kinda situation where I'd expect to see the lot "hangin' Danny Deever" at some point.