Silence is Consent

If you don't speak up you accept what is happening. This site was born out of the mainstream media's inability to cover the news. I am just an American cititzen trying to spread the word in the era of FCC consolidation, post 9/11 Patriot Act hysteria, hackable voting machines and war without end. I rant and post news items I perceive to be relevant to our current situation.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
- Thomas Jefferson

Social Security is not broken and therefore does not need to be fixed

So Called Social Security Crisis (SCSSC)

Comments, questions, corrections, rebuttals are always welcome.

Monday, February 28, 2005
 
War Is Hell But..
..coming home isn't all it's cracked up to be either (PBU9). As if on cue USA Today brings us this article in today's paper, Trauma of Iraq war haunting thousands returning home:
"I had real bad flashbacks. I couldn't control them," (Jesus) Bocanegra, 23, says. "I saw the murder of children, women. It was just horrible for anyone to experience."

[and]

Lt. Julian Goodrum, an Army reservist from Knoxville, Tenn., is being treated for PTSD with therapy and anti-anxiety drugs at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. He checked himself into a civilian psychiatric hospital after he was turned away from a military clinic, where he had sought attention for his mental problems at Fort Knox, Ky. He's facing a court-martial for being AWOL while in the civilian facility.

[and]

(Sean) Huze, 30, says the horror often isn't felt until later. "I saw a dead child, probably 3 or 4 years old, lying on the road in Nasiriyah," he says. "It moved me less than if I saw a dead dog at the time. I didn't care. Then you come back, if you are fortunate enough, and hold your own child, and you think of the dead child you didn't care about. ... You think about how little you cared at the time, and that hurts."

[and]

( Allen Walsh) At home, he found he couldn't sleep more than three or four hours a night. When the nightmares began, he started smoking cigarettes. He'd find himself shaking and quick-tempered.

"Any little noise and I'd jump out of bed and run around the house with a gun," he says. "I'd wake up at night with cold sweats."
In these four people we see a soldier having flashbacks, a soldier being turned away by a military clinic, we see another not waking up to reality until he gets home, and the last becoming very edgy. Do you remember all of those fast food joints that were shot up after Vietnam? Now I'm not saying that's going to start happening again but we have many, many people coming home after a very traumatic experience and if we, meaning every American, don't assist them in working through that it could happen all over again. I haven't even mentioned Depleted Uranium (DU) yet. So here we go. This is one of the most informative articles I've seen on the subject, Weapons of Self-Destruction. This stuff is just horrifying. This is the part that my wife was taken aback by -- it gets pretty graphic:
If D.U. is as dangerous as its critics allege, it can kill even without causing cancer. At her home in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Susan Riordon recalls the return of her husband, Terry, from the Gulf in 1991. Terry, a security captain, served in intelligence during the war: his service record refers to his setting up a "safe haven" in the Iraqi "theatre." Possibly, Susan speculates, this led him behind enemy lines and exposed him to D.U. during the long aerial bombing campaign that preceded the 1991 invasion. In any event, "when he came home, he didn't really come home," she says.

At first, Terry merely had the usual headaches, body pain, oozing rash, and other symptoms. But later he began to suffer from another symptom which afflicts some of those exposed to D.U.: burning semen. "If he leaked a little lubrication from his penis, it would feel like sunburn on your skin. If you got to the point where you did have intercourse, you were up and out of that bed so fast-it actually causes vaginal blisters that burst and bleed." Terry's medical records support her description. In England, Malcolm Hooper, professor emeritus of medicinal chemistry at the University of Sunderland, is aware of 4,000 such cases. He hypothesizes that the presence of D.U. may be associated with the transformation of semen into a caustic alkali.

"It hurt [Terry] too. He said it was like forcing it through barbed wire," Riordon says. "It seemed to burn through condoms; if he got any on his thighs or his testicles, he was in hell." In a last, desperate attempt to save their sex life, says Riordon, "I used to fill condoms with frozen peas and insert them [after sex] with a lubricant." That, she says, made her pain just about bearable. Perhaps inevitably, he became impotent. "And that was like our last little intimacy gone."

By late 1995, Terry was seriously deteriorating. Susan shows me her journal-she titled it "The Twilight Zone"-and his medical record. It makes harrowing reading. He lost his fine motor control to the point where he could not button his shirt or zip his fly. While walking, he would fall without warning. At night, he shook so violently that the bed would move across the floor. He became unpredictably violent: one terrible day in 1997 he attacked their 16-year-old son and started choking him. By the time armed police arrived to pull him off, the boy's bottom lip had turned blue. After such rages, he would fall into a deep sleep for as long as 24 hours, and awake with no memory of what had happened. That year, Terry and Susan stopped sleeping in the same bedroom. Then "he began to barricade himself in his room for days, surviving on granola bars and cartons of juice."

As he went downhill, Terry was assessed as completely disabled, but there was no diagnosis as to why. His records contain references to "somatization disorder," post-traumatic stress, and depression. In 1995 the army doctors even suggested that he had become ill only after reading of Gulf War syndrome. Through 1998 and 1999, he began to lose all cognitive functions and was sometimes lucid for just a few hours each week.

Even after he died, on April 29, 1999, Terry's Canadian doctors remained unable to explain his illness. "This patient has a history [of] 'Gulf War Syndrome' with multiple motor, sensory and emotional problems," the autopsy report by pathologist Dr. B. Jollymore, of Yarmouth, begins. "During extensive investigation, no definitive diagnosis has been determined.... Essentially it appears that this gentleman remains an enigma in death as he was in life."
War has long lasting effects and not just on those that were there. Therefore these types of medical conditions are even more egregious when a war is waged that didn't need to happen in the first place. Remember all of this the next time your president talks about how much better off we are now that Saddam Hussein is no longer in power and that his torture chambers are closed. Also remember it the next time some asshole says, "they knew what they were signing up for when they got in". Do you think anyone knew about DU when they signed up?

[UPDATE] DU: Possibly the Worst War Crime in History
Terry Jamison, Public Affairs Specialist, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs, at the VA Central Office, recently reported that ‘Gulf Era Veterans’ now on medical disability, since 1991, number 518,739 Veterans.” Bernklau added: “The long-term effects have revealed that DU (uranium oxide) is a virtual death sentence,” stated Berklau. “Marion Fulk, a nuclear physical chemist, who retired from the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab, and was also involved with the Manhattan Project, interprets the new and rapid malignancies in the soldiers (from the 2003 Iraq War) as ’spectacular … and a matter of concern!’”

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