Monday, December 08, 2008

WILL SHINSEKI’S APPOINTMENT MEAN AN END TO THE “CULT OF DISHONESTY” AT THE VETERANS AFFAIRS? By Kevin Stoda in Kuwait

WILL SHINSEKI’S APPOINTMENT MEAN AN END TO THE “CULT OF DISHONESTY” AT THE VETERANS AFFAIRS?


By Kevin Stoda in Kuwait


Rep. Bob Filner, the head of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, has noted that over the past five years the VA chiefs in Washington had “created a ‘culture of dishonesty’ over the way it [the VA] has treated some of the more than 350,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans under its care.”

According to Jason Leopold, the recent “choice of retired Gen. Eric Shinseki, a Vietnam War veteran who sustained combat-related injuries, to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs sends a clear message to the hundreds of thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans that, unlike President George W. Bush, Obama takes the sacrifices they have made seriously.”

CLEANING UP THE CRIMES AND INJURIES

The appointment of former-Gen. Shinseki comes less than a week after national guardsmen from Indiana sued KBR over chemical exposure.

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/12/4/indiana_guardsmen_sue_kbr_over_chemical

Rep. Bob Fuller is head of the House Veterans Affairs [VA] Committee and has warned America that the, “VA is now at a ‘critical juncture’ and ‘is on the verge of completely losing the trust and confidence of the people that it is supposed to represent - the very same people it has been entrusted to care for . . . .These [benefits claims] are matters of life and death for some of these veterans.”

Currently 100s of thousands of claims remain unprocessed or neglected in VA offices.

This is appointment of Eric Shinseki as new VA head comes only a few weeks after the Department of Veterans Affairs admitted (i.e. five full years after the British military did so) for the first time--in a lengthy 450-page document--that scientific research overwhelmingly recognizes that Gulf War Syndrome is a reality, which needs to be taken seriously by the VA as thousands of Americans continue to make claims.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/GULF-WAR-SYNDROM-RECOGNIZE-by-ALONE-081121-361.html

The full VA report can be found here:

http://sph.bu.edu/insider/images/stories/resources/annual_reports/GWI%20and%20Health%20of%20GW%20Veterans_RAC-GWVI%20Report_2008.pdf

The USA media has usually badly covered the Gulf War Illness Story because (1) many journalists and news agencies are lazy and don’t check up on the facts and because (2) the Pentagon spent nearly 300 million dollars of tax-payer money on propaganda to try and show that Gulf War syndrome was not real.

It was just another boondoggle of American patience and taxpayers money. Eventually, the truth about the reality of the Syndrome of Gulf War veterans cannot be ignored for another generation.

Meanwhile, take time and listen to this report and interview with Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense [VCS], with Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR):

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3658


In this interview, Paul Sullivan, executive director of VCS and veteran of the 1991 Gulf War, notes that over 700,000 veterans need help but have been under-assisted by the VA in recent decades. (Sullivan also notes that 2 to 3 million Iraqis need help, too. I have to ask, “What about those of us in Kuwait?”)

Sullivan also noted that the VA report on the legitimate claims of veterans with Gulf War Syndrome failed to accurately reveal that a lot of evidence exists to demonstrate that usage of uranium-tipped weaponry has played a role in the Gulf War illnesses—suffered

Sullivan is trying his best to drum up media awareness on Gulf War topics, including recent research demonstrating that several hundred-thousand Iraqi-, Afghani-, and American war veterans are suffering from brain damage due to U.S. led bombings in the last two decades.

http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/articleid/11811

These brain injuries from U.S. bombings simulate Alzheimer’s in some American vets.

Jane Akre for VCS writes “Problems [in the recent American war veterans] observed include seizures, aggression and dementia [and] are noted in a report issued Thursday by the nonprofit, Institute of Medicine. Also noted are depression symptoms, Parkinson's-disease-like tremors and unemployment. The report is being called a wake-up call.”

http://www.iom.edu/CMS/3726.aspx

Akre elucidates, “A recent report by the Rand Corp estimated that among 300,000 troops returning from overseas, one in five had suffered a traumatic brain injury. Between 2002 and 2004, the numbers of veterans claiming unemployment for ex-service members increased by about 75 percent. The cost is more than one-half billion dollars in treatment and lost productivity . . . .”

Meanwhile, one-of-the-very-few active generals in February 2003 who basically called Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz’s war and occupation plans inept and inaccurate, was ex-General Eric Shinseki. Shinseki will try to clean up the mistakes and crimes of the Rumsfeld-Bush-Cheney-Wolfowitz clan.

http://www.juancole.com/2008/12/obama-taps-shinseki-for-veterans.html

Shinseki was retired a few months later, i.e. in summer of 2003.

Let’s hope he can do many things better than incompetents (and the criminals) in the White House and under the W. Bush administration before him have done.





NOTES


Akre, Jane, “December 5, VCS in the News: Scientific Review finds Long-Term Brain Injuries for Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan Bombing,” http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/articleid/11811

Leopold, Jason, “December 7, VCS in the News: Shinseki Promises to Overhaul Veterans Administration”, http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/articleid/11835

Paul Sullivan on Gulf War Syndrome . . ., http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3658

Stoda, Kevin, “Gulf War Syndrome Recognize—Now Aid Those in Kuwait and Iraq”, http://www.opednews.com/articles/GULF-WAR-SYNDROM-RECOGNIZE-by-ALONE-081121-361.html

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