This video from the USA says about itself:
Keith [Olbermann] reports on the head of the VA lying about the amount vets attempting suicide and trying to cover up the report CBS was doing on the story. Paul Rieckhoff of IAVA weighs in and Think Progress has more: here.
By Naomi Spencer:
US: Emails suggest Veterans Administration cover-up of suicide rate
26 April 2008
Internal emails from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) turned over to a federal district court in San Francisco this week reveal that the agency’s mental health unit saw a staggering 1,000 suicide attempts every month among veterans receiving government care last year. emails also indicated that among all US veterans, the VA was aware of a suicide rate of 6,570 per year, or 18 suicides every day on average.
This figure—which corresponds to the suicide estimate CBS News arrived at independently last fall and which VA officials vehemently contested—further underscores the social costs of the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. The emails also reveal the attitudes and policies of Bush administration and military officials regarding the suffering of veterans and the public’s right to know.
The emails were reviewed by the federal District Court of Northern California on Monday, where a lawsuit against the VA is being heard. The suit, brought by the veterans’ advocacy groups Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans United for Truth, is seeking to force a restructuring of the veterans’ medical system in light of an enormous backlog of healthcare claims, large numbers of suicides and cases of untreated mental trauma among military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
One of the most damning emails, made available by CBS on its web site April 21, was written by VA Mental Health director Ira Katz and headed with the subject line “Not for the CBS News Interview Request.”
See also here.
Women veterans aren’t receiving the same quality of outpatient care as men at many Department of Veterans Affairs’ facilities, according to an agency review obtained exclusively by The Associated Press: here.
Soldiers’ suicides on the rise: here.