articles tagged "military"
Wednesday, 5 December 2012 | buzz
On Wednesday, Dec 5, our host Jan Miyasaki speaks with Justin Elliott, an investigative reporter at ProPublica, to speak about his piece Meet the Think Tankers: Advising the U.S. Military in Kabul. Justin began his piece amidst the media frenzy regarding former CIA Director General Petraeus’ extra-marital affair, and was struck by the reference in the Washington Post’s story regarding Petraeus’ time running the war in Afghanistan between summer 2010 – 2011. Justin explains that he brought over experts from conservative think tanks to Kabul to provide military advice, and had given them positions there to have strong influence over the way the war was led. This created some controversy back in the U.S. Many think tankers were brought to Afghanistan and Iraq for short periods of time, supported by the military, and flown around the countries. Justin explains that bringing the think tank experts served two purposes for the military: “one, for the military to get advice from these think tank experts, and the other, for the military to influence these experts who are playing prominent roles in policy making in the US.” Justin explains that this is a relatively recent phenomenon. Justin speaks about the think tankers themselves, “it seems to be people from the mainstream think tanks, and those loosely affiliated with those parties”. Among the think tank mentioned are the conservative American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institute (which has a Democratic party leaning), and Center for New American Security (also a Democratic party leaning). The experts brought in to Iraq were not from one party alone, Justin says, “It was clearly not a partisan thing. It shows that in some of these military matters, there’s less of partisan split in Washington and among foreign policy making community than there are with a lot of other issues.” Read more of Justin’s work here, including articles on Campaign Finance, Drones, and more. Listen to the interview here: more »
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 | buzz
On Wednesday November 14, our host Jan Miyasaki interviewed Joshua Kors, investigative reporter for The Nation, covering military and veteran’s issues. He is the winner of the National Magazine Award, for his series on how military doctors purposely misdiagnose soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan with personality disorders in order to deny them medical care and disability pay. Military doctors are diagnosing soldiers with a “phony preexisting condition” called “personality disorder” explains Joshua. The condition is used to explain deafness, blindness, missing limbs, and by claiming this preexisting condition, the military is able to deny the soldiers “a lifetime of disability and medical benefits. And they’re been doing this to tens of thousands of soldiers, at a savings of over 17.2 billion dollars in disability and medical benefits.” Joshua explains that aside from being denied these benefits, the soldiers who have been discharged with personality disorder must give back a portion of their signing bonus, “so that right now, thousands of wounded soldiers leaving Afghanistan are finding out on their final day of uniform, that they actually owe the army several thousand dollars. And that has been a devastating blow for soldiers who are coming back, struggling to find work as it is, now find themselves in debt.” Sgt. Chuck Luther, who was discharged with personality disorder, now organizes an effort, Disposable Warriors, which helps other soldiers who have been wrongfully discharged by helping them get their benefits fixed. In honor of Veteran’s Day, Joshua has a new post on his blog with the Huffington Post, Six Ways to Honor Our Veterans. Joshua has also created a list of organizations that offer free assistance to veterans, including medical and psychological care. He explains that the number one way to honor Veterans is to distribute this list of resources to as many people as possible. Among his other suggestions, Joshua recommends Reporter David Wood’s Pulitzer-winning series on wounded warriors and James Dao’s coverage of suffering soldiers for the New York Times. He also recommends several movies that cover the topic of modern war and its aftermath on soldiers, including When I Came Home, Poster Girl, Restrepo, and Happy New Year. Visit Joshua’s website. Read Joshua’s 3-part series on the personality disorder scandal. Listen to the entire interview here: more »