Sunday, August 14, 2005

Dirty Bush to Vets: First We Maim Your Minds, Then We Dump You

No surprises, really. An administration that cuts taxes for rich folks and cuts corners for regular military folks, letting troops risking their lives go into battle without armor. Body armor, armor for vehicles; hey, dudes, you know, you have to invade countries that didn't invade you with the armor you have, not the armor you wish you had.

Now, finally cognizant that they've pissed away the Clinton surplus with their psychotic tax-cuts and no-tax-just-spendism, the Dirty Bushists are trying to balance the budget on the backs of psych-maimed vets.

Wow. Nice one.

Here's the technique: you take "another look" at your current military veterans who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic-stress disorder (you know, that thing that often happens when a guy or gal spends a lot of time watching buddies explode into masses of blood and guts, watching innocent civilians explode into shreds and piles of blood and guts, eye-witnessing various categories of human beings being slaughtered freely so they leave little indelible pieces of their brain and skin on your uniform and on your mind-stream, and so on).

Next, you try to CUT OFF as many of these suffering vets as possible from benefits, such as receiving disability pay and receiving standard of care psychological treatment for PTSD (you know, the kind of treatment which could cure their suffering).

How do you cut them off from benefits? Why, you cleverly "un-diagnose" them. You just move them from one column to the next. You say, your symptoms, debilitating as they are, just AREN'T enough as of today, so we now say, you're fine, just fine, we just don't give a shit. We don't care.

[post-Cindy-at-Crawford update: aha. A true Bushist leitmotif: We don't care! We don't care! We don't care! And, you know, they actually don't!]

Deal with it, major dudes. Commit suicide, homicide, who cares, tough nuts, it's all your fault if you're all fucked up now. Once you're dead, or in jail, we don't have to pay for your psychotherapy anymore. Heh, heh.

Isn't that charming? Isn't that just the way to save a buck?

There's more at Salon:

"Outraged vets say . . . plan is a callous attempt to cuts the costs of an increasingly expensive war."

Easy to sum up the Dirty Bushists: heartless, brainless, soulless.


Anonymous said...

i agree...

Hookah Forum

Thomas Leavitt said...

... fucking Bushies. These people are just evil. What a bunch of slimy hypocritical assholes. They pick the only option where the government is guaranteed to save money (none of them where it might have made an error that shorts the veteran), and put 70,000 of the most mentally screwed up veterans through the wringer again to do it. 2.5% "false positive" rating is pretty good for any system this subjective in nature.

I love this line:

"The report expresses concern that the number of veterans receiving payments for PTSD is growing rapidly, from approximately 120,000 cases in 1999 to 216,000 in 2004. PTSD benefit payments, it notes, have soared from $1.7 billion in 1999 to $4.3 billion in 2004."

Well, DUH. If you haven't noticed, there is a WAR going on, and there are a LOT MORE VETERANS OUT THERE now, than there were in 1999. What a concept! Are these people for real?!?

geloven said...

The Bush Administration (after a lot of very nasty heat from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Disabled Veterans of America -- all these groups are traditionally more politically conservative, in my opinion) backed OFF from this PTSD witch hunt (which was really an attempt to financially cover tax breaks for wealthy Americans). It isn't going to happen now. It's over. I spoke with the American Legion office in Washington, D.C. [Am Legion Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation
(202) 861-2700] and they told me that one veteran with PTSD committed suicide for fear of losing his benefits when this witch hunt began.
No one (at any of these veteran organizations that I spoke to) thinks that Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary R. James Nicholson is competent in the position he holds. The VA has been less than honest about some policy changes, too. One American Legion official compared V.A. Chief Nicholson to former FEMA Chief Michael "You're-doing-a-heck-of a-job-Brownie" Brown. Apparently, the Bush administration is full of political hacks who "qualified" for their jobs by raising money for the GOP as opposed to the professional experience they need. It is sad that our veterans are in the hands of someone who is probably more qualified to cut brush or breed Arabian horses.
I blogged on this in some detail and have some links to press releases from veterans organizations (pertaining to the PTSD benefit witch hunt) and some other news stories.

No Blood for Hubris said...

This was originally posted in August; some months afterwards they retracted their evil policy against vets with PTSD. Rightwingers, however, continue to rail against the diagnosis, even as applied to survivors of 9/11. Really vile.

No Blood for Hubris said...

PS With good treatment, people with PTSD can make remarkable progress. That's the good news. However, it can take time. Time which Bushists would rather not pay for, preferring to waste money on tax cuts for those who can actually afford to pay taxes.