A U.S. Army staff sergeant dreamed up a plan for fellow soldiers to kill three Afghan civilians this year because he was motivated by “pure hatred,” another soldier accused in the slayings has told investigators
Oooops, Military.com reports that:
The drug Ecstasy shows positive results in the majority of patients when used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a report coming out Monday in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
Marine Corps Times reports:
Moved by a huge tide of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress, Congress has pressured the Department of Veterans Affairs to settle their disability claims — quickly, humanely and mostly in the vets’ favor.
This 1969 photo shows Keith Roberts in Navy uniform. Starting in 1987, Roberts filed a string of disability claims with the Veterans Affairs, eventually blaming PTSD for everything from smoking addiction to arthritis. In 1999, Roberts was declared 100 percent disabled and got a lump sum payment, retroactive to August 1993. He was convicted of wire fraud, sentenced to 48 months in prison and ordered to pay $262,943.52 in restitution.
Marine Corps Times
The problem: The system is dysfunctional, an open invitation to fraud. And the VA has proposed changes that could make deception even easier.
PTSD’s real but invisible scars can mark clerks and cooks just as easily as they can infantrymen fighting a faceless enemy in these wars without front lines. The VA is seeking to ease the burden of proof to ensure that their claims are processed swiftly.
Gazette.com reports that:
An Army prosecutor Tuesday opened the trial of an Iraq war veteran by accusing him of the “ultimate betrayal” — raping a comrade’s wife.
Spc. Philip C. Vermeiren, 28, is accused of assaulting the woman early Oct. 31 during an alcohol-fueled party at the Fort Carson apartment she shared with her husband.
The military will formally discipline at least six officers, mostly from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, for failing to take action against the officer accused of carrying out last year’s deadly shooting rampage at Fort Hood, according to people familiar with the matter.
In announcing the findings, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he had directed Army Secretary John McHugh to take "appropriate action" against Maj. Hasan’s past supervisors. Mr. McHugh, in turn, appointed Gen. Ham to investigate whether specific officers should be punished for failing to raise the alarm about Maj. Hasan.
Wall Street Journal reports.
(No pun intended.)
The Army said Monday it has appointed an investigating officer for an Article 32 hearing, which will determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed with a court-martial for Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who’s charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder in the deadly shooting rampage on Nov. 5 at Fort Hood’s Soldier Readiness Center.
I have posted about this issue here, here, and here.
As noted previously on this blog, there have been some notable recent examples of judges reducing a sentence based on the hardships a defendant previously suffered as a result of military service. Now, as detailed in this local article from Kansas, this concept is getting some legislative attention:
Judges would be able to reduce sentences for defendants who are combat veterans and have post-traumatic stress disorder, under a bill being considered by the Kansas Legislature.
Army officials agreed to delay a mental evaluation for the man suspected of going on a shooting spree at Fort Hood until after a military court hearing that will determine if he will stand trial, his attorney said Wednesday.
Houston Chronicle.com reports.
Lamb denied a request for civilian mental health experts to be on the panel, Galligan said, adding that "we will continue to fight that."
You’ll remember some time ago now that a suspect was arrested trying to visit Major Hasan while in hospital.
A Texas man accused of saying he legally represented alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan is bipolar and was off his medication, his lawyer said.
Senan Kahtan Abrahem of San Antonio was released Monday on unsecured bond after his lawyer told a federal magistrate Abrahem had resumed his medication and was not a flight risk, the San Antonio Express-News reported Tuesday.
An attorney for the Army psychiatrist accused of going on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood said Monday he wants his client’s mental evaluation delayed, citing a potential conflict of interest with the exam panel.
Army officials previously appointed a three-member board of military mental health professionals to determine whether Maj. Nidal Hasan is competent to stand trial and his mental status the day of the November shooting, which left 13 dead and dozens wounded on the Texas Army post.