Prosecute the torture.

April 24, 2008

How Dubya Supports The Troops

By covering up the rates of attempted suicides among the troops.

CBS reports:

In San Francisco federal court Monday, attorneys for veterans' rights groups accused the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs of nothing less than a cover-up - deliberately concealing the real risk of suicide among veterans.

"The system is in crisis and unfortunately the VA is in denial," said veterans rights attorney Gordon Erspamer.

The charges were backed by internal e-mails written by Dr. Ira Katz, the VA's head of Mental Health.

In the past, Katz has repeatedly insisted while the risk of suicide among veterans is serious, it's not outside the norm.

"There is no epidemic in suicide in VA," Katz told Keteyian in November.

But in this e-mail to his top media adviser, written two months ago, Katz appears to be saying something very different, stating: "Our suicide prevention coordinators are identifying about 1,000 suicide attempts per month among veterans we see in our medical facilities."

That's 12,000 per year.
Katz's e-mail was written shortly after the VA provided CBS News data showing there were only 790 attempted suicides in all 2007 - a fraction of Katz's estimate.
By the way, 790 is only about 6.6% of 12,000.

More Bush Administration respect for the troops:

Last November when CBS News exposed an epidemic of more than 6,200 suicides in 2005 among those who had served in the military, Katz attacked our report.

"Their number is not, in fact, an accurate reflection of the rate," he said last November.

But it turns out they were, as Katz admitted in this e-mail, just three days later.

He wrote: there "are about 18 suicides per day among America's 25 million veterans."

That works out to about 6,570 per year, which Katz admits in the same e-mail, "is supported by the CBS numbers."

This is how Dubya supports the troops.

1 comment:

Sherry said...

it doesn't surprise me.
anger and sicken and sadden, but not surprise.