Thursday, December 28, 2006

President Ford: Cheney has a Fever!!!!!

In a article this morning from the Bob Woodward releases an embargoed interview with President Ford that could not be publicshed until after his death, and Bob waster no time in making front page news with it. He says these are not the people he knew three decades ago, that Cheney and Rumsfeld have contracted a war fever, and that he was under the impression that keeping Iraq contained was enough, spreading democracy was not a reason to invade another nation.

The article shows me that 1) I am not alone in my thinking 2) that Cheney and Rumsfeld have changed or become more reckless in their older age

"Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction," Ford said. "And now, I've never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error in how they should justify what they were going to do."

In a conversation that veered between the current realities of a war in the Middle East and the old complexities of the war in Vietnam whose bitter end he presided over as president, Ford took issue with the notion of the United States entering a conflict in service of the idea of spreading democracy.

"Well, I can understand the theory of wanting to free people," Ford said, referring to Bush's assertion that the United States has a "duty to free people." But the former president said he was skeptical "whether you can detach that from the obligation number one, of what's in our national interest." He added: "And I just don't think we should go hellfire damnation around the globe freeing people, unless it is directly related to our own national security."

I was 18 when I traveled from Edgewood Arsenal on August 8th 1974, to Washington DC to be at the White House when President Nixon left and to see my Congressman from Michigan sworn in as the 38th President of the United States, I was a Private E-2 in the Army assigned to the 9th Infantry Divsion, Fort Lewis, Washington. But with 9 other men, we had been sent on a two month (60)day temporary assignment to the "medical research unit" the human experiments involving chemical weapons and drugs that the Army/CIA/DOD conducted from 1952 thru 1975.

It was party time in Lafayette Park right in front of the White House, hippies were hanging from the statues smoking pot, there were so many of them the police were not even trying to stop them. I was not the only curious person in DC that day, by the time the helicopter carring the ex President and Mrs. Nixon left the White House lawn there had to be 250,000 people between the Washington Monument and the South Lawn. I got to see the now famous photo where Nixon was doing the 2 handed peace signs as he left and the entire crowd was giving him the one finger salute in return.

As a soldier I was mixed, he was a crook, deceitful and a very manipulating man, on the other hand he gave the military the largest pay raises they had ever seen, my pay doubled from 200 a month to 400 a month under him. It had to do with changing the military to an all volunteer force.

I don't know what led Cheney and Rumsfeld to become the chickenhawks they have become, if it was a change of heart after they met Bill Kristol, the head of PNAC, or long held beliefs that joining this group allowed to surface. But the choices they made leading up to the Iraq war has just left me shaking my head, they ignored General Powell, who had led the military thru our most successful war in decades, General Shinseki, who told them they needed a force of 3-400,000 to occupy Iraq after the regime toppled.

The past three years have shown us that Generals Powell and Shinseki were right and Cheney and Rumsfeld were wrong.

I don't believe history will be nice to these men, they have done things that fly in the face of the Constitution, and they have attempted to resurrect the "Imperial Presidency" which I believe will come to a boiling point in the next two years during the investigations that are sure to begin in the 110th Congress.

Friday, December 22, 2006

PTSD and Futility

This article from Mark Benjamin is an excellent read on the problems coming from the soldiers perceived use and abuse with no real understanding of their repeated deployments to Iraq.

Despite nearly a week of phone calls and e-mails, Army medical officials failed to make anyone available to Salon to discuss the issue. Ira Katz, deputy chief patient care services officer for mental health at the Department of Veterans Affairs, did speak with Salon. Not surprisingly, he seemed much more circumspect than the nongovernmental experts about any relationship between disenchantment and mental wounds. He emphasized that such a correlation has not been thoroughly studied. "I don’t think it is proven," Katz said. He then suggested that it might not even be worth studying. "Why does it matter? ... Our job is to treat suffering and impairment." (The outside experts also argue that discussing serious disenchantment with PTSD-afflicted veterans should be an important part of their therapy. Katz disagreed.)

Then there is this quote, oh my god Sally Satel agrees with other PTSD expects on this issue, did hell freeze over?
There is remarkable unanimity among experts on the issue, largely based on their experiences treating veterans. "When people have grave doubts about whether it was all worthwhile, it may make their psychological problems worse," explained Dr. Arthur S. Blank Jr., who helped pioneer the diagnosis of PTSD after the Vietnam War. Even those who question the pervasiveness of PTSD accept the connection between mental health and a belief in the military's mission. Sally Satel, a psychiatrist and resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, has drawn fire from veterans' groups and some of her medical colleagues for claiming that PTSD might not be as widespread as some data suggests. But on the connection between disillusionment and PTSD, Satel and her peers agree. "Demoralization, or the difficulty of making meaning of a task, is one of the risk factors," Satel confirmed in an interview.

The families need more education on the problems that PTSD causes, the soldiers will more than likely ignore them or drink or try drugs, the families have to look for the signs of trouble and get help before it gets to late to help their loved one before they make their lives worse, by letting PTSD go untreated.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Wheel of Fortune I am

You are The Wheel of Fortune

Good fortune and happiness but sometimes a species of
intoxication with success

The Wheel of Fortune is all about big things, luck, change, fortune. Almost always good fortune. You are lucky in all things that you do and happy with the things that come to you. Be careful that success does not go to your head however. Sometimes luck can change.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

A friends blog had this learn what you are exam on it, and this is what I learned lol I am supposedly of "good luck" link to the post so you can take your own test and find out what card are you

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Old Blogs

there are some good articles and some really bad rants and then there is and there is also and then there is the Gulf War site

this is a random collection of my writings off and on since I became disabled and started spending my time researching the Edgewood experiments and other mis-adventures of my youth

the men who replaced Van Sim and Siddell,0,388794.story?coll=bal-attack-headlines

He's been called one of the U.S. Army's premier chemical weapons experts, and has worked around the world to disarm rockets, bombs and shells containing some of the world's most toxic substances.

When it comes to handling and defusing weapons of mass destruction, Timothy A. Blades, a 31-year veteran of the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, has few peers. "Tim has handled every dangerous and deadly and lethal compound known to man," said Jim Allingham, a retired spokesman for Aberdeen Proving Ground, where the Edgewood center is located.

William E. White, a retired Edgewood chemist, called Blades "an amazing person," as comfortable taking apart a chemical warhead as he is testifying before Congress.

At the Harford County military post, he has helped direct the disposal of tons of obsolete U.S. chemical arms. He and his crews have worked at poison arms depots, dump sites and disposal areas around the world. As a U.N. weapons inspector in the 1990s, he made 42 trips to Iraq.

At Aukheider, near the Iraqi city of Karbala, he drilled mustard gas bombs cooled by ice. He came to admire the resourcefulness of Iraqi weapons scientists. "They made mustard agent in an incredibly elegant way that was so simple," he recalled.

At Kamisiyah in southern Iraq, he supervised the destruction in 131-degree heat of 1,000 sarin-filled rockets that the Iraqis had incompletely burned and abandoned. In the United States, with its strict environmental standards, the project would have taken years and millions of dollars, he said. In Iraq, it took six days, with Blades and his crew working in lightweight protective gear because of the heat.

He has helped destroy stockpiles of aging Soviet chemical weapons in Romania, the Czech Republic and -- in recent months -- Albania.

As deputy director of Edgewood's Chemical Biological Services Directorate, Blades supervises a staff of 244 technicians and weapons experts from a small office in a one-room building, nicknamed "The Condo," on King's Creek in an isolated corner of the base.

Edgewood Arsenal 2006,0,7347228.story?coll=bal-attack-headlines

This is just part of the article due to copyright laws I am posting just part of it under fair use of the news

Located on a neck of land in the northern Chesapeake Bay between the Gunpowder and Bush rivers, Edgewood's forests and fields brood over a minefield, a dump where workers once burned toxic compounds, former weapons test ranges and a factory-like structure built to dispose of unexploded chemical ordnance found on site. Once known as Edgewood Arsenal, today it is part of neighboring Aberdeen Proving Ground, the Army's oldest active weapons development center.

Edgewood has several abandoned brick buildings too contaminated to use, and too expensive to tear down. They sprout weeds and small trees. Labs that study super-toxic compounds bristle with pipes and ventilation ducts, and are surrounded by barbed wire and crash barriers. Medical evacuation helicopters stand ready on the base's central runway at all times.

For decades, Edgewood was one of this nation's most secret research labs. Even after the United States ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention outlawing chemical arms in 1997, the base has kept a low profile.

In the aftermath of Sept. 11, the National Guard set up machine-gun emplacements and tightened security. The Army accelerated plans to destroy 1,600 tons of mustard agent stored outdoors in steel containers, out of fear of an air strike that might create a lung-searing vapor cloud 30 miles from Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

Despite concerns about security, ECBC officials agreed last summer to give The Sun access to some of their scientists and programs. Officials there opened the doors of some labs, workshops and offices that had been closed to the outside world.

The result was a glimpse of a formerly secret world, inhabited by what one scientist called "the 100-pound brains" behind America's chemical defenses.

Until about a decade ago, the ECBC and other Edgewood labs seemed like quaint relics of yesterday's wars. Standard chemical weapons are more of an annoyance than a threat to well-equipped and well-trained troops. They are useless against insurgents and guerrillas, America's most likely foes.