Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Pentagon cover-up of wounded

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AmericaBlog is really on the case. Latest post:

Pentagon intentionally hiding 1/2 of Iraq injured and wounded — no wonder the health care budget for those troops isn’t enough

I’ve been asking myself the last two days why the Pentagon and George Bush’s White House dont seem to have asked for enough money to provide for the health care needs of all of our injured and wounded vets coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Did they not know how many of our soldiers would be hurt and live? Or, did they know the number of injured and wounded who would return, but didn’t tell congress because that would require admitting that the “real” cost of the war is, at the very least, several times more expensive than what we’ve already spent? Or is it that the Pentagon and White House folks handling all of this are simply inept morons?

It seems to be option 2, cover-up.

First, here is what Harvard Professor Linda Bilmes uncovered:

The central argument of the new Bilmes paper is that so many soldiers are being injured that the costs of caring for them over their lifetimes is likely to be $350 billion, or up to twice that, depending on how long the war lasts. The high cost is the result of huge advances in military medicine that have greatly reduced the chances that a soldier injured in Iraq will die. As a result, the ratio of injuries to deaths — 16:1 by her estimate — is higher than in any other war in U.S. history. (By comparison, in Vietnam the ratio was 2.8:1 and in World War II the ratio was 1.6:1.)

Wonkette explains what happened next:

Turns out the VA “misunderstood” the DoD numbers, because the Pentagon doesn’t want anybody adding up the 25,000 or so troops hurt in “non combat” situations to the 22,000 or so it admits have been injured in battle.

Blimes says it hardly matters if somebody falls off a ladder or gets blown apart by insurgents — if they survive, they will be in the VA health-care system for the rest of their lives. A soldier shot by “friendly fire” is no less hurt than one hit by whoever it is we’re supposedly fighting over there.

As for the Pentagon, it has ensured Blimes will never find those numbers on DoD websites again, because all the damning evidence has just been changed on the military websites.

The publication Insider Higher Ed then nails the Pentagon to the wall about their lies:

Smith, the Pentagon spokeswoman, does not dispute Bilmes on the point that soldiers are entitled to health care regardless of how they are injured. “They are all cared for,” she said. So if Bilmes is correct that she’s counting injured veterans who are entitled to health care and the source for her data is the U.S. government (before the Pentagon had the public data changed), why is Smith issuing statements saying that Bilmes is engaging in “gross distortion,” as she said in an e-mail? And why is a top Pentagon official calling Harvard suggesting that numbers are erroneous when they are just not the numbers the Pentagon wants out?

So there you have it. The Pentagon and the White House know perfectly well how many wounded and injured we have and how much it’s going to cost. They’re simply lying about the numbers so as to keep the public in the dark, and buck up support for the war. Sure, it screws our injured and maimed vets because there’s now not enough money to provide them with the health care they need and deserve. But hey, no one ever said the Pentagon and the White House really gave a damn about the troops, so why start now?

Written by Leisureguy

19 February 2007 at 8:09 pm

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