Friday, November 23, 2007

Sorry soldier, you don't count

By Libby

I'd like to say to I was shocked to discover the Pentagon has been lying about the number of wounded Iraq veterans with head trauma injuries, but we're talking the Bush administration here. Instead I'm inclined to check my Bush countdown ticker -- seems to be stuck in the 400s -- and see how many days of deceit we have left to endure. The extent to which they've underestimated the toll is truly awesome however.

At least 20,000 U.S. troops who were not classified as wounded during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan have been found with signs of brain injuries, according to military and veterans records compiled by USA TODAY.

Of course they have their reasons.

Soldiers and Marines whose wounds were discovered after they left Iraq are not added to the official casualty list, says Army Col. Robert Labutta, a neurologist and brain injury consultant for the Pentagon.

"We are working to do a better job of reflecting accurate data in the official casualty table," Labutta says.

Oh I just bet they are, but at least one person thinks the numbers may be much worse. Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., founder of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force says, "More than 150,000 troops may have suffered head injuries in combat."

To be fair, I can understand how they might miss an injury like this on the battlefield but once it's diagnosed, an honest recordkeeper would add them to the war wounded rolls. Especially for an administration so fond of making lists. Of course, we are talking about the Pentagon here. It seems clear to me that keeping them off the accounting is just one more backdoor method to deny them necessary treatment once they get home and to keep the public in the dark about the human cost of the occupation.

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Blogger Midwestern Progressive said...

"...but once it's diagnosed, an honest recordkeeper would add them to the war wounded rolls."

Well, there's the problem right there, Libby.

"Bush Administration." "Honest."

The two terms are mutually exclusive.

6:36:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Sad but true MW. Nice to hear from you. Hope all is well with you and yours and happy holidays.

8:59:00 PM  

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