Friday, March 8, 2013. Chaos and violence continue, protests continue
across Iraq, Nouri's forces fire on protesters in Mosul killing 3 and
wounding more, on International Women's Day Barack Obama decides to
insult Iraqi women by giving Brett McGurk a job, and more.
It is Friday. Since December 21st
Friday has meant protests. The protests are over a number of issues
but the final straw was Nouri targeting another Sunni and member of
Iraqiya. Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reported
Finance Minister Rafei al-Essawi said Thursday that "a militia force"
raided his house, headquarters and ministry in Baghdad and kidnapped
150 people, and he holds the nation's prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki,
responsible for their safety. Members
of the al-Essawi's staff and guards were among those kidnapped from the
ministry Thursday, the finance minister said. He also said that his
computers and documents were searched at his house and headquarters. He
said the head of security was arrested Wednesday at a Baghdad checkpoint
for unknown reasons and that now the compound has no security.
The issues are numerous. Layla Anwar (An Arab Woman Blues) has summed up the primary issues as follows
- End of Sectarian Shia rule
- the re-writing of the Iraqi constitution (drafted by the Americans and Iranians)
- the end to arbitrary killings and detention, rape and torture of all detainees on basis of sect alone and their release
- the end of discriminatory policies in employment, education, etc based on sect
- the provision of government services to all
- the end of corruption
- no division between Shias and Sunnis, a one Islam for all Iraqi Muslims and a one Iraq for all Iraqis.
On the torture, Jane Arraf filed a report for Al Jazeera this week which included
International and other groups say much of the torture stems from an
almost sole reliance on confessions to obtain convictions. Despite
hundreds of millions of dollars spent in investigative training by the
United States and other countries, cases rarely rely on forensic
evidence. The use of secret informers, lack of legal representation, and
widespread corruption also stack the deck against those accused.
Aref's office, stacks of hand-written statements from prisoners tell
the same stories that human rights groups say is prevalent among those
facing terrorism charges.
began using my wife and children. They threatened to rape my wife in
front of me if I didn't confess," read one statement. The prisoner said
even after he was sentenced to death, his wife and young children were
held for five months without any charges laid.
prisoner titles a statement signed on May, 27 2012 "after 1,825 days of
injustice". He named the police officers allegedly involved in
torturing him and asked, "Is there anybody who can support me and remove
this injustice from me and my people?"
where anti-government protests started in December against the broad
anti-terrorism law many are imprisoned under, has borne much of the
brunt of mass arrests. The law, known as Article 4, allows the death
penalty for a wide range of offences broadly categorised as terrorism.
IV currently allows innocents to be arrested. If you are the relative
of a suspected terrorist, you can be arrested merely for that 'crime.'
This is why so many women are in Iraq prisons. Protesters are calling
for Article IV to be abolished and some sympathetic members of
Parliament are offering that it can be modified.
Protesters might also be bothered to be living in an oil rich country that offers no jobs. The Iraq Times notes
Iraq is ranked the ninth worst country globally on unemployment and third in the Arab world.
Iraqis continue to march and rally in March. And they continue to be targeted by prime minister and thug Nouri al-Maliki. Kitabat reports
Nouri's forces killed two more protesters. The two protesters killed were in
Mosul with four more left injured. Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) counts
only one dead but the article has other counting problems we'll get to it in a moment. All Iraq News reports
, "Two demonstrators were killed and three others injured" but notes a security source states the number may rise. Dar Addustour also reports
two dead and they note it was the federal police -- a point that AP
seems unclear on -- that did the firing. This was not local police,
this was the federal police -- under Nouri's command because they're
under the direct command of the Ministry of the Interior and, in a power
grab, Nouri's refused to nominate anyone to be Minister of the
Interior. Patrick Cockburn (CounterPunch) notes
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s response to all this
has been to grab as much authority as he can, circumventing agreements
that would parcel out power in a nominally fair way, that, in practice,
paralyses the state machinery. The government in the Green Zone, the
great fortress it inherited from the Americans, is not shy about its
sectarian allegiance. Shia banners and posters of Imam Ali and Imam
Hussein decorate checkpoints and block-houses in the Green Zone and much
of the rest of Baghdad, including prisons and police stations.
Mr Maliki’s efforts to monopolise power – though less effective than
his critics allege – have alienated powerful Shia individuals, parties
and religious institutions. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the
pre-eminent Shia religious leader of immense influence, whom the
Americans at the height of their power found they could not defy, will
no longer see the Prime Minister’s emissaries. The marji’iyyah – the
small group of men at the top of the Shia religious hierarchy – have
come to see the Prime Minister as a provoker of crises that discredit
Shi’ism and may break up the country. Iran, the only other large
Shia-controlled state, with strong but not overwhelming influence in
Iraq, says privately that it is unhappy with Mr Maliki, but does not
want a political explosion in the country while it is facing
ever-mounting pressure over Syria, its other Arab ally, and its economy
is buckling under the impact of sanctions.
The death toll increased as the day continued. National Iraqi News Agency reports
that the death toll increased to 3 and the number injured is five.
Protests continued after an another four were injured when Nouri's
forces again fired, National Iraqi News Agency reports
, but from the first attack, the death toll is now 3 and the number left injured is five. In this video
, a protester shows shells from the bullets fired on the protesters as ambulances are loaded. Alsumaria notes
that there were four ambulances and that the police were refusing to
allow them to provide assistance and that the federal police -- Nouri's
thugs -- attacked one of the paramedics who is described as having been
Responses to the attack? Alsumaria reports
cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr is calling for an investigation into this assault on the Iraqi people. Al Mada reports
that the Kurdistan Alliance is calling for an investigation and for the perpetrators to be punished. All Iraq News notes
that Mosul has been placed on curfew. Ahmed al-Saddy's Facebook page carries
the announcement that there will be a strike at the University of Mosul
March 10th (Sunday) as a result of the attacks on the protesters. Alsumaria reports
the immediate reaction also includes Ezz al-Din al-Dawla resigning as
Minister of Agriculture as a result of the killing of protesters in
Mosul and he stated that the voices that sent him to Baghdad are not
being represented by the government. Last Friday
another member of Nouri's Cabinet resigned:
Of all the protests across Iraq, Ramadi received the most attention due to a high profile speaker. Alsumaria notes
Minister of Finance Rafie al-Issawi attended and, in his speech, resigned his office. Hamdi Alkhshali (CNN) adds, "The finance minister resigned because the government has not met the
demands of the demonstrators to end the marginalization, spokesman Aysar
Ali told CNN."
Zaid Sabah (Bloomberg News) quotes al-Issawi telling the protesters, "I am with you, I am your son. I will not return to this government." Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) quote
al-Issawi telling the crowd, "I am presenting my resignation in front
of you. I do not care about a
government that does not respect the Iraqi blood and its people." Sabah
notes the protesters chanted back, "We are with you! We are with you!"
al-Issawi tells Reuters,
"More than 70 days of demonstrations and this government hasn't
fulfilled our people's demands. It doesn't honor me to be part of a
sectarian government. I decided to stay with my people." Alsumaria notes that Nouri al-Maliki has declared he will not accept the resignation until a legal and financial investigation is completed.
now there are two resignations from Nouri's Cabient. Will it make any
difference? Will it force him to take accountability for what happened
or even to provide answers? Not likely. He's still not answered for
the January 25th massacre
and this brings us back to Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) who references
the massacre and the five dead. Five? Five the day of. As Human Rights Watch explained February 14th
: Iraqi authorities should complete promised investigations into the army
killings of nine protesters in Fallujah on January 25, 2013, and make
the results public. The authorities need to ensure that there will be
independent investigations into the deaths, in addition to the promised
inquiries by a parliamentary committee and the Defense Ministry, and
that if there is evidence of unlawful killing, those responsible are
Nouri never found answers, never pretended to. He probably thinks he'll be able to escape blame on this one as well.
And it's not like warnings have been sounded about the way the federal police behaved in Mosul. Let's drop back to Wednesday's snapshot
NINA also notes
that Nineveh Province Governor Atheel Nujaifi has "warned the security
forces in Nineveh, specifically the Federal Police, which oversees the
protection of Ahrar Square not to encroach upon the demonstrators." He
is calling out the continued targeting of protesters by Nouri's national
force and the warrantless arrests of them.
That is only the most recent example of al-Nujaifi calling on Nouri's
forces to stop harassing and harming the Mosul protesters. Iraqi Spring MC notes
that the people of Adahmiya faced teams of Nouri's forces who attempted
to prevent them from protesting or even having Friday morning
prayers. Kitabat adds
that Nouri's forces have turned the city into a "huge prison" and that
two mosques had to cancel the morning prayers as a result of the
military siege the city is under. Kitabat also notes
that Friday prayers at Baghdad's Abu Hanifa mosque were also cancelled
as a result of the military being sent to encircle the area. Dar Addustour notes
"hundreds of thousands" turned in Falluja and Ramadi and thousands in Kirkuk, Tikrit, Baghdad and Samarra. AP notes
that Falluja and Ramadi protesters again blocked the highway between Baghdad and Jordan. Iraqi Spring MC Tweets
about the security forces in Ramadi attempting to provoke the demonstrators and that Nouri's forces arrested 7 protesters in Falluja
Manning is the US whistle blower who blew the whistle on what was
actually going on in Iraq and Afghanistan behind the press spin and the
carefully tested wording, he saw the counter-insurgency and
counter-terrorism actions and was disgusted by how Iraqis were made to
suffer. In June, he is set to face a military court-martial. He should
be set free but US President Barack Obama would rather punish whistle
blowers. Naomi Spencer (WSWS) points out
, "Organizations that orbit the Obama administration-- including the
International Socialist Organization, which has published a handful of
articles about the case -- have likewise avoided uttering the name of
Manning’s oppressor: the Democratic administration of Barack Obama. The
most recent report in the Socialist Worker
, the ISO’s publication, was a reprint of a February 22 Belfast Telegraph
op-ed which made no mention of Obama." Nathan Fuller (Dissident Voice) goes over
some of the information Bradley had access to:
On 2 March 2010, Bradley was ordered to investigate the Iraqi Federal
Police’s detention of 15 individuals for distributing “anti-Iraqi
literature.” He quickly realized that “none of the individuals had
previous ties to anti-Iraqi actions or suspected terrorist militia
In fact, the literature these academics were distributing was “merely
a scholarly critique” of the “corruption within the cabinet of [Iraqi
Prime Minister Nouri] al-Maliki’s government and the financial impact of
his corruption on the Iraqi people.”
Bradley brought this to the attention of his superiors, but they told
him to “drop it” and help the Iraqi police find more of these
dissidents to detain.
I knew if I continued to assist the Baghdad Federal
Police in identifying the political opponents of Prime Minister
al-Maliki, those people would be arrested and in the custody of the
Special Unit of the Baghdad Federal Police and very likely tortured and
not seen again for a very long time—if ever.
WikiLeaks has yet to publish those files.
Instead of assisting the … Baghdad Federal Police, I decided to take
the information and expose it to [WikiLeaks], before the upcoming 7
March 2010 election, hoping they could generate some immediate press on
the issue and prevent this unit of the Federal Police from continuing to
crack down on political opponents of al-Maliki.
to use the police to target political enemies. He has his forces
follow protesters home from protests to document where they live, he has
the forces videotape the protests, he intimidates and bullies because
that's all he's ever had to offer and, somehow, this struck two
administration -- Bush's and Barack's -- as leadership.
Iraqiya is the political slate that came in first in the March 2010
elections. Ayad Allawi is the leader. Prominent members would include
Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi. Second place in the 2010
election went to Nouri al-Maliki's political slate State of Law. Coming
in second meant Nouri didn't get a crack at a second term as prime
minister. But Nouri had the White House backing and they brokered The
Erbil Agreement which went around the Constitution to give Barack a
National Iraqi News Agency reports
that last night the Free Iraqiya Alliance in Shirqat district was bombed. All Iraq News quotes
MP Qutayba al-Juburi with the Iraqiya Hurra Coalition stating, "This
coward attack will encourage us to expose the criminal acts and
gangsters' methods practiced by the enemies of the Iraqi people. The
people will judge these criminals whose names will be written in history
pages of shame and disgrace." Alsumaria adds
that a Baquba roadside bombing left three people injured. All Iraq News reports
a Tikrit IED exploded killed a cab driver while injuring four others. Big Pond News notes
, "In the city of Mosul gunmen killed an army officer, his wife and child in an attack on their hAP notes
that the Parliament has passed a $118.6 billion. MP Ruz Mahdi tells All Iraq News
that ignoring the Kurdistan people (who opposed the budget). In addition, Iraqiya MP Arshad Salhi tells Alsumaria
that the Kurdistan Alliance also has the option of appealing the budget to the Federal Court.
Today was International Women's Day. From yesterday's snapshot
:Tomorrow (March 8th) is International Women's Day
THIS YEAR'S IWD 2013 EVENTS BY COUNTRY
This year's theme is "Gaining Momentum." Alsumaria reports
that Nouri al-Maliki, prime minister and chief thug of Iraq, gave a
speech today in honor of International Women's Day at the Rashid Hotel
in Baghdad. Whatever the intent, the speech wasn't about Iraqi women.
He denounced the protesters (protests have been going on since December
calling out his leadership, among other things). He denounced the
Parliament (dubbing ti "complacent") and he verbally attacked neighbors,
pointing to Arab Spring countries and insisting that Iraq didn't want
to end up suffering as those countries were -- in his words --
"suffering.now" [***SHOUND END PARAGRAHPH***] suffering now as wives, mothers, sisters, girls,
workers, home makers" -- they suffer as the country suffers. One woman
they write of saw her husband killed in the sectarian violence, saw her
daughter killed in a bombing and now, despite advanced age and illness,
she is left to raise her grandchildren. Attorney Dina Abdel al-Ghafir
speaks of the brutality and injustice Iraqi women face and notes that
some of it is due to what has been put on the books and what is
tolerated such as the so-called 'honor' killings -- where a woman is
killed for actions that supposedly disgraced the family.
That's Nouri's idea of giving a speech to note the occasion of International Women's Day.
Mahmoud Raouf and Inez Tareq (Al Mada -- Tareq took the photo for the story) report Iraqi women suffer "as wives, mothers, sisters, girls, workers, home makers"
-- they suffer as the country suffers. One woman they write of saw her
husband killed in the sectarian violence, saw her daughter killed in a
bombing and now, despite advanced age and illness, she is left to raise
her grandchildren. Attorney Dina Abdel al-Ghafir speaks of the brutality
and injustice Iraqi women face and notes that some of it is due to what
has been put on the books and what is tolerated such as the so-called
'honor' killings -- where a woman is killed for actions that supposedly
disgraced the family.
"[***SHOULD END PARAGRAPH***]" is
where that paragraph should have ended. All that follows is in the Al
Mada paragraph (as it should be). When making changes in the editing
(me saying, "Move the third paragraph to the end, change the sentence . .
.") things can get confusing and I'll take responsibility for that
error. Nouri used his speech to attack, he said nothing about women.
For International Women's Day, Tell Me More's Michel Martin (NPR -- link is audio and text) spoke
with Iraq's Iqbal al-Juboori. Excerpt.
AL-JUBPPRO: And then when the 2003 war happened, because I'm living
in Bagdad and
I was part of the conflict, my house was attacked in 2005. And my
brother was taken by forces that were wearing government clothes,
military clothes. They were not accompanied by any U.S. coalition
forces. It was not only targeting my brother, but they took
approximately 11 men from the neighborhood. And up till this day we
don't know what happened to him. And he left four children, four
daughters, and a wife. And... MICHEL MARTIN: You haven't seen him since?
I haven't seen him. We don't know where he is. Neither he or the 11 men
that were taken. And this is like a similar story that you'll hear
everywhere in Iraq. It's not only me. And then after one year of this,
in 2006, five armed men came to my house. We were only females in that
house. And they said we'll give you 24 hours to leave the house, and if
not, then we're going to kill every one of you.
MARTIN: Why? I mean what was the stated reason? They wanted the house or...
There was no stated - there were no stated reasons. You are Sunnis. You
leave the house. That's it. And immediately I took my family and we
left the neighborhood and we went to another safer place, but all that
feeling inside you, like, bitterness, being violated and just was
translated through my work. I feel very passionate about it, because
nobody deserves to be faced with such an issue - the trauma, the stress.
MARTIN: At this point in the - there were just you, your sister, their four children?
It was only me and my mother, my sister-in-law, and four girls. The
youngest is five years old. She has diabetes right now. She was sleeping
in his - my brother's - arm when they took him away and she never got
over it. I'm a grown up. I can translate that. I can deal with it better
than a child who doesn't understand why.
Shaun Waterman (Washington Times) reports
that the Pentagon is examing allegations made this week of abuse in Iraq, "Earlier this week, the British Guardian
newspaper and the BBC
Arabic language news channel alleged that the United States sent a
veteran of controversial U.S. counter-insurgency efforts in Central
America during the 1980s to oversee Iraqi police
units involved in some of the worst acts of sectarian violence and torture during Iraq
’s bloody insurgency." All around the world, media is covering the details unearthed in the Guardian report by Mona Mahmood, Maggie O'Kane, Chavala Madlena and Teresa Smith
-- all around the world except in the US. For example, The Muslin News carries Al-Akhbar
's "Pentagon used 'dirty wars' tactics in Iraq
." From the article:
In Iraq, Steele and special adviser to Petraeus Colonel James Coffman
worked to establish a ring of detention centers in areas with high
levels of “Sunni insurgency”. In an interview with US military paper
Stars and Stripes Coffman described himself as the “eyes and ears” of
Patraeus, who was General at the time.
In the documentary, Iraqi General Mundadher al-Samari, who aided
Steele and Coffman in setting up the special police commandos said: "I
never saw [Steele and Coffman] apart in the 40 or 50 times I saw them
inside the detention centres. They knew everything that was going on
there ... the torture, the most horrible kinds of torture."
John Glaser (Antiwar.com via Global Research) notes
“The Pentagon sent a US veteran of the ‘dirty wars’ in Central
America to oversee sectarian police commando units in Iraq that set up
secret detention and torture centres to get information from
insurgents,” The Guardian reports.
“These units conducted some of the worst acts of torture during the US
occupation and accelerated the country’s descent into full-scale civil
After a 15-month investigation, The Guardian and the BBC Arabic has published its findings
about the torture and atrocities organized and committed by US
officials reporting directly to the highest echelons of the US
government, including General David Petraeus.
“I remember a 14-year-old who was tied to one of the library’s
columns,” said General Muntadher al-Samari, one of the Bush
administration’s Iraqi proxies who helped run the torture centers. “And
he was tied up, with his legs above his head. Tied up. His whole body
was blue because of the impact of the cables with which he had been
In potential trouble for Iraq, Laura Rozen (Back Channel) reports
Brett McGurk, President Obama’s former nominee for Iraq ambassador,
will likely be tapped as the next State Department Deputy Assistant
Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran, current and former US officials
tell the Back Channel. The State Department plans to fuse the two
offices, officials say.
McGurk has been serving as a senior Iraq advisor at the State
Department since withdrawing from consideration to be US ambassador to
Iraq last summer. McGurk did not immediately respond to a request for
guidance from the Back Channel.
sexism of the White House has been well documented but it's still
appalling. On International Women's Day, they leak to Rozen that Brett
McGurk will be the new Dept. Asst. Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran?
e-mails weren't the problem. Democratic Senators did not tell the
White House, when Barack nominated can't-keep-it-in-his-pants McGurk for
US Ambassador to Iraq. The problem was he was of no help to Iraqi
women. He was a hinderence. They could have no contact with him or the
Embassy if he was ambassador. Because he went to Iraq married and
began an affair with a married woman resulting in two divorces. The US
put thugs in charge to ensure that Iraq became more conservative and
now, when Iraqi women are suffering so much, they want to name someone
to a post that Iraqi women can't interact with -- unless they want to
risk becoming the target of an 'honor' killing.
McGurk was a
lousy choice for ambassador, he's a lousy choice for this post as well.
And that this insult to Iraqi women would come on International Women's
Day makes it all the more insulting. March 6th
the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction
released a report and we noted one of the most important things about
"A FINAL REPORT FROM THE SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION."
That's important because Bowen doesn't believe the office should be
closed. It's important because the White House -- which is spending
billions in Iraq still, via the State Dept -- does not want the SIGIR to
remain open. The State Dept refused to brief SIGIR on what they would
be doing with regards to the billions. The most recent training of
Iraqi police is a failed effort and that's a failed State Dept effort.
That failure includes handing over the training building that US dollars
built -- the highly secure, highly costly building. That includes
putting billions into a program that Iraqis did not want.Ernesto Londono (Washington Post) reported
the next day:
Congress is expected to extend the operations of a watchdog office
tasked with carrying out criminal inquiries of wartime contracting in
Iraq, giving investigators more time to wrap up cases.
The move to fund the office, which otherwise would have had to shut down this spring, follows a Washington Post article that raised questions about the viability of dozens of criminal investigations of wartime contracting.
while that's a needed step with regard to one office, it doesn't
address the larger problem of the administration resisting oversight.
the snapshot for December 7, 2011
Subcommittee Chair Jason Chaffetz: Before recognizing Ranking Member [John]
Tierney, I'd like to note that the Defense Dept, State Dept, USAID and SIGIR will not
have IGs in January. In May of this year, I wrote the President asking him to move
without delay to appoint replacements. That letter was signed by Senators [Joe]
Lieberman, [Susan] Collins, [Claire] McCaskill and [Rob] Portman, as well as [House
Oversight Committee] Chairman [Darrell] Issa and Ranking Member [Elijah] Cummings
and Ranking Member Tierney. I'd like to place a copy of htis record into the record.
Without objection, so ordered. To my knowledge, the President has yet to nominate
any of these replacements, nor has he responded to this letter. I find that totally
unacceptable. This is a massive, massive effort. It's going to take some leadership
from the White House. These jobs cannot and will not be done if the president fails
to make these appointments. Upon taking office, President Obama
promised that his
administration would be "the most open and transparent
in history." You cannot
achieve transparency without inspectors general. Again, I urge President Obama and
the Senate to nominate and confirm inspectors general to fill these vacancies and
The IGs are important positions and you can't have true
oversight without them -- that also means you can't have true oversight
with an 'acting' IG.
Senator Patty Murray is the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee. Her office issued the following today:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 08, 2013
CONTACT: Murray Press Office
Statement on Army Review of Behavorial Health Diagnoses and Treatment Since
(Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator
Patty Murray issued the following statement on the Army Task Force on Behavorial
Health’s Corrective Action Plan that was released after the Task Force did a
comprehensive, Army-wide study on mental health diagnoses going back to 2001.
The report found significant problems associated with the Army’s efforts to
diagnose, evaluate and therefore properly treat soldiers with behavorial health
conditions including PTSD. The study’s findings come at a time when the suicide rate among
active duty service members is outpacing combat deaths.
Senator Murray asked the Army to initiate the
review after hundreds
of servicemembers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in her home state had their PTSD and other
behavioral health diagnoses overturned by a team of
forensic psychiatrists only to have those diagnoses restored after their stories
surfaced and Murray asked for their cases to be reviewed. The episode allowed
Senator Murray to continue to push the Army and the Pentagon on the lack of any
uniform approach to properly diagnosing and treating behavioral health
conditions in the military.
“I am pleased that the Army completed
this review and has vowed to make fixes over the next year, though I am
disappointed it has taken more than a decade of war to get to this point. Many
of the 24 findings and 47 recommendations in this report are not new. Creating a
universal electronic health record, providing better rural health access, and
standardizing the way diagnoses are made for instance have been lingering
problems for far too long. Our servicemembers and their families deserve
“The sheer number of changes this
report recommends is indicative of the size and scope of the problem. This
report lays out shortcomings in diagnosing, identifying, and providing
standardized care for PTSD and a wide range of behavioral health issues. It also
focuses on the painfully long delays that have plagued a joint disability system
that many servicemembers and their families have given up on. And, according to
those who led this review and are tasked with implementing these changes, this
isn’t an issue of not having the resources to make changes. Instead, it is
simply a matter of problems that have been allowed to persist while far too many
soldiers fell through the cracks. That is unacceptable.
“I’ve made clear to Army Secretary
McHugh that I want the most aggressive solutions to these problems, not just
what checks a box so they can say they fixed the problem. If we continue to
simply react to these problems as they arise we’ll never succeed in fully
enacting the systematic changes that are necessary. The only way to truly make
headway on reversing the troubling trends we have seen, including the fact that
suicide deaths continue to outpace combat deaths, is to change the culture
associated with identifying and treating behavioral health conditions.
“This report came about because
servicemembers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state were left to fend
for themselves in a system that was broken and penalized them for having PTSD.
At JBLM, hundreds of servicemembers saw their PTSD diagnoses reversed or
changed, and it became abundantly clear that the DoD had no uniform system for
diagnosing or treating these invisible wounds. My commitment to those
servicemembers and their families at JBLM continues to be that I’ll do
everything possible to ensure that military families like theirs never have to
go through what they did in Washington state or elsewhere. And that is exactly
why I pushed for this study and why I will continue to push Secretary Hagel and
Secretary McHugh to make the changes needed to properly diagnose and treat all
“I believe that the Army wants to do
the right thing by the soldiers who have sacrificed so much for us, and that the
corrective action they are taking now is not solely the result of political
pressure. Though there are places where the action plan could go further, I
believe this plan is a good starting point to make real changes for our
soldiers. I intend to get regular updates on the progress the Army makes in
implementing the solutions in this study and will hold them to their word on
completing these recommendations in a timely fashion.”
U.S. Senator Patty Murray
the associated press
sameer n. yacoub
qassim abdul-zahranprtell me moreantiwar.comall iraq newsnational iraqi news agency
patrick cockburnlaura rozenal jazeerajane arrafal madathe washington post
human rights watch