Only 22% of those deemed to be at risk of having PTSD by the Department of Defense are referred for treatment, a new GAO study reports: More veterans with combat stress may need extra help. The full GAO Report: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: DOD Needs to Identify the Factors Its Providers Use to Make Mental Health Evaluation Referrals for Servicemembers [pdf]. Also available: Report highlights [pdf]. Note that DOD says only 5% of returning soldiers are at risk for PTSD, whereas 2004 New England Journal of Medicine study found about 16% of veterans have PTSD. It seems unlikely that the rate of PTSD has declined that dramatically since then, as the initial invasion has metamorphosed into a brutal war of occupation again a hard-to-identify enemy often indistinguishable from civilians.
Thus, the DOD is underestimating those at risk by a large factor, and then not referring them for treatment.
May 11th, 2006
David Rosinger, on LewRockwell.com has a fascinating article on the White Rose, an antiwar movement in Germany in 1943. [The German Anti-War Movement, 1943] I’m ashamed to say I knew nothing about this. It seems that veterans who had served as doctor’s aids on the front and seen the brutality against conquered civilians, as well as the carnage the Wehrmacht soldiers suffered, decided it was time to oppose the war. There was a demonstration at a university:
here was even a campus riot of sorts on January 13, 1943. In a speech to university students in Munich, the Gauleiter of Bavaria took female students to task for wasting their time in the classroom when they should be performing their duty to bring forth sons for the Fatherland. If they were not pretty enough, the gauleiter gibed, then he would provide them with willing studs. At this juncture, a number of women in the audience made for the exit doors. When the gauleiter ordered them arrested, an even larger group of men rose to their feet and secured their release.
After this, a group of students decided to write and distribute antiwar leaflets. One of these was Sophie Scholl, who was caught, tried, and executed. Scholl is the subject of a 2005 German movie, Sophie Scholl: The Final Days, Germany’s 2005 Oscar nominee for best foreign language film. It sounds like a must-see film:
The portrait that emerges is that of a young, middle class woman of strong religious beliefs, committed to the classical liberal ideals of freedom of speech, freedom of belief and the universal value of human life. But we also see she has a boyfriend and loves jazz and Schubert. Clearly this is no fanatic eager for martyrdom. When she is taken to police headquarters for questioning, she denies having anything to do with printing or distributing the seditious pamphlets. She acknowledges only the act of pushing a stack of them off a ledge — which, she says, was just an expression of her impish nature. She convincingly explains away the empty suitcase (she was on her way back home to Ulm to pick up clean laundry) and what she was doing in the empty corridor (waiting to speak to a friend in class).
Only after police discover incriminating evidence in her apartment and exact her brother’s confession does Sophie admit to acts of treason. Suddenly, she abandons the alibi and embraces her civil disobedience without apology.
At this critical point, the suspense that has been building is released — we know her prospect is hopeless. But something even more provocative takes over. What we get in the second half of the film is a rarity in moviemaking: a dialogue of ideas between Sophie and her captors. That those arguing against her are puppets of the regime makes her case no less spirited or persuasive.
When the police inspector tells her, “The law protects order,” Sophie replies, “People are imprisoned for speaking freely. Is that order?”
When the inspector calls her a child who was not brought up properly, she responds, “You think I wasn’t raised right because I feel pity for killing mentally ill children?”
In Julia Jentsch’s remarkable performance, Sophie’s passion burns not as a wildfire but as a votive candle of hope. In her is an abiding sense of a higher justice and loyalty to country above government. In the clutches of the Gestapo and isolated from her companions, she does not waver from principle nor retreat from what a patriot of another land called “the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country.”
One of her leaflets had promised, “We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace!” Even in the face of death, Sophie keeps her word. When the Goebbels-like presiding judge pronounces her sentence, Sophie calmly answers, “You’ll soon be standing where I am now.”
Yet the most unsettling scene in Sophie Scholl is not the interrogation or the show trial or the execution by guillotine.
No, the most disturbing moment comes when Sophie is read her indictment. Her distribution of mimeographed pamphlets, says the prosecutor, is an act of “troop demoralization and aiding the enemy.” It is a “crime against our hard-fighting troops.”
That is when this film should hit home with American audiences. Or at least with those who are not mere puppets.
It turns out (of course) that there is a good article on the White Rose in Wikipedia.
May 11th, 2006
On all fronts, our rights and freedoms are under attack as the wave of government illegality washes over the country. A Cap Cod school conducted illegal criminal background checks on their students’ prom dates, and banned six of them, for such offenses as passion of marijuana years ago [http://news.yahoo.com/s/wcvb/20060509/lo_wcvb/3455946]:
Tonya Dockray, 18, and her family have already spent nearly $700 for Saturday’s prom at the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis.
“I bought a dress, purse, shawl so I don’t get cold,” she said.
As required, Dockray turned in a form to the school with information about her date, a 20-year-old she’s been dating for three years. Last Thursday, her date was denied after failing a criminal background check.
“A couple of years ago, he was caught in possession of marijuana,” Dockray said, adding he was not selling drugs. “He just had it on him.”
May 11th, 2006
On CNN today, at least one commentator had the guts to talk of the looming dictatorship in our country. Of course, the Democrats were much meeker. Some, such as Senator Kennedy, couldn’t even feign outrage Read the Transcript below, or watch on Crooks and Liars:
CNN’s WOLF BLITZER: …[some wisdom] from Jack Cafferty in New York.
CNN’s JACK CAFFERTY: I don’t know about wisdom but you’ll get a bit of outrage. We better hope nothing happens to Arlen Specter, the Republican head of the Judiciary Committee, because he might be all that’s standing between us and a full blown dictatorship in this country. He’s vowed to question these phone company executives about volunteering to provide the government with my telephone records and yours, and tens of millions of other Americans.
Shortly after 9-11, AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth began providing the super secret NSA with information on phone calls of millions of our citizens, all part of the war on terror, President Bush says.
Why don’t you go find Osama Bin Laden and seal the country’s borders and start inspecting the containers that come into our ports?
The President rushed out this morning in the wake of this front page story in USA Today and he declared the government’s doing nothing wrong and all of this is just fine.
Is it? Is it legal?
Then why did the Justice Department suddenly drop its investigation of the warrantless spying on citizens? Because the NSA said Justice Department lawyers didn’t have the necessary security clearance to do the investigation.
Read that sentence again.
A secret government agency has told our Justice Department that it’s not allowed to investigate it. And the Justice Department just says okay and drops the whole thing.
We’re in some serious trouble here boys and girls.
Here’s the question.
“Does it concern you that your phone company may be voluntarily providing your phone records to the government without your knowledge or permission?”
If it doesn’t it sure as hell ought to.
Thanks to AmericaBlog for the Transcript.
May 11th, 2006