Burying the lead, missing the story and wool over your eyes

VIRGINIA TECH

It is interesting to note that when a South Korean immigrant youth went on a shooting rampage in Virginia Tech last April, killing 32 people and himself while wounding 25 others, the story became the Second Amendment and gun control.  This false debate hid the real story and the real culprits.

Isn’t the real culprit Virginia Special Justice Paul Barnett who certified that Seung-hui Cho “presented an imminent danger” but only recommended treatment as an outpatient?  This decision got Cho released from a mental health facility where he was interned by the New River Valley Community Services Board who had suspected Cho of being “an imminent danger to himself and others.

Isn’t the real story Courts trying to cut back on government spending by not hospitalizing a madman whom all admitted was dangerous?  What about a society that does not invest in the health and wellbeing of its fellow citizens?  This judge should be taken to court for reckless endangerment at the least and perhaps even complicity. I hold his decision responsible for 33 deaths at Virginia Tech.

Those who argue the real cause of the killings is the Second Amendment are hypocrites at best.  Bad guys will always get guns.

OPERATION TAILWIND

In June 1998 TIME and CNN ran a story about US Forces using sarin nerve gas in Laos on a secret mission in September 1970.  The story was retracted because they had no verified facts to back it up. They ran the story on mere testimony, albeit important figures including top military brass.  The rule is always check it out, and if it does not check out, don’t run it.  This said, it is not because TIME and CNN did not get the hard proof of the use of sarin gas that it is not true.

The story which may have been missed is allegations there was a special unit whose job it was to track down and kill American deserters who defected to the enemy.  Although the Pentagon only confirms two, those involved in the operations, said there were scores if not a few hundred, according to the article written by April Oliver and Peter Arnett.  This story was never followed up.

How many US deserters did that unit kill?  How many GI’s actually went over to the enemy? Are they listed among the Missing in Action which conservatives have used as arguments to against trade with and reparations to the Vietnamese?  And how many illegal, unreported missions did the US conduct in Laos?

DAN RATHER AND G. W. BUSH

Dan Rather resigned from CBS after fall-out for a September 8, 2004 “Sixty Minutes” program he did on George W. Bush’s time with the Texas Air National Guard in which he used copies of documents rather than the originals.  The program aired during the heat of the 2004 Presidential campaign.  Conservative pro-Bush bloggers immediately called four of the six documents faked and the mainstream press surprisingly related their stories rather than try to verify them.

 It still has not been proven the documents are fakes and some experts have said they are real. Marian Carr Knox, who had been a pool secretary at the base for Texas Army National Guard officer Lt. Col. Bill Burket, Lt. George W. Bush’s commander, said she could not say whether the documents were real but she said their content was true. Bush was found unfit for flight status after failing to obey an order to submit to a physical examination. The story was forgotten while Rather was ‘swift-boated’ out of the news world after 43 years on the job. CBS News President Andrew Heyward said, “…CBS News cannot prove that the documents are authentic, which is the only acceptable journalistic standard to justify using them.”  He did not say they were false. 

The questions remain.  How did Bush get out of going to Vietnam?  Did his father intervene to get him special status?  Did Bush go AWOL?  Why did Bush refuse a physical examination?  During my service in the Army, we often tried to avoid an examination because we did not want our drug use to be detected.

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