Injured War Zone Contractors Fight to Get Care From AIG and Other Insurers

Contractor Tim Newman, left; contractor Kevin Smith-Idol, middle; widow Rita Richardson, whose husband was killed by a roadside blast in Iraq. (Photos courtesy of Tim Newman, ABC News, Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica and Doug Smith, the Los Angeles Times Civilian workers who suffered devastating injuries while supporting the U.S. war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan have come home to a grinding battle for basic medical care, artificial limbs, psychological counseling and other services. The insurance companies responsible for their treatment under taxpayer-funded [...]

Military Recruiters? Afghanistan?

shirlee-smith

Is the military, with so many career paths open to graduating seniors, an option families really want their sons or daughters to grab on to? Families need to know the real story and not just what the all too friendly recruiters tell our kids. Military recruiters, like college recruiters, have access to students on the [...]

The War Is Not Over: Letter from a Soldier’s Mother

ranadi

I was standing in line at the bank when I heard a customer ask the teller if her son was home from Iraq. The teller responded that he was not home in her house, but he was back and stationed in Texas. The customer said she was glad to hear that. I thought to myself: [...]

Mission Accomplished: Bush Gets the Last Laugh

conquest

For years, George W. Bush has been roundly criticized, even lampooned, for declaring “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq while wearing a flight suit and landing on an aircraft carrier. But like so many other catastrophes associated with the Bush administration, in the end, Bush always seems to get the last laugh. Maybe declaring “Mission Accomplished” was [...]

Warning from Bosnia for Iraq

serbian-militia

Bosnian Serb leaders have threatened to withdraw from Bosnia-Herzegovina, the decentralized entity created by the 1995 Dayton Accords, which ended a brutal civil war in the Balkans that killed more than 100,000 people in the early 1990s. Under the accords, Bosnia-Herzegovina were partitioned into a confederation of the Serb Republic and the Muslim-Croat Federation. Critics [...]

Why Doesn’t Obama Make Iraq the 51st State?

oilbarrels

If President Obama plans to keep 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely after 2010, why doesn’t he just annex Iraq as the 51st State now? Iraqis would have our solemn promise we will never again lay their country to waste and we would work out a deal so that their motorists could have any oil [...]

Bringing Veterans and Military Personnel into the Democratic Party

mays_01

As Democrats, we need to support military families and veterans, and set aside the politics! For too long, we have not done well at separating the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the troops who must fight them. As a result, we have been missing in action in outreach and philanthropic endeavors to the troops, [...]

Lessons of President Obama’s First Two Weeks

presidentobama

It’s been less than two weeks, but patterns have emerged that are likely to continue throughout Barack Obama’s presidency. First, Obama understands how to use the media. Examples are detailed below, but the best is the widespread media story last Thursday about how the usually cool Obama “lost it” — in front of cameras and [...]

LaVena Johnson Military Rape Coverup

LaVena Johnson

LaVena Johnson was found dead on a military base in Balad, Iraq, in a tent belonging to military contractor KBR, a spinoff and former subsidiary of Halliburton.

Who Should Obama Look to for Advice?: Jimmy Carter

carter obama

At the request of President-elect Barack Obama, President George W. Bush convened an awkward meeting of all living former presidents at the White House to meet, and presumably give advice and encouragement to, the new guy. The body language of the participants in the summit photo, taken in the Oval Office, said it all. The [...]

Obama Can Learn From Jimmy Carter, Too

jimmy_carter

Jimmy Carter was the last president to ask the nation for collective sacrifice. Barack Obama ought to do the same. How should he do so? He should ask Congress to approve an economic stimulus plan and then specifically outline the sacrifices Americans will have to make over the next four years to achieve the national [...]

We Can No Longer Afford the Empire

french_indochina

Somebody is going to have to whisper in President-elect Obama’s ear that the unipolar moment has passed and that the United States can no longer afford its informal worldwide empire. Even though the looming economic meltdown will likely be serious—and maybe even cataclysmic—the foreign policy chattering classes of both parties are on autopilot and have [...]

Speaking of Blanket Pardons

bush_legacy

There’s a blanket pardon I want President Bush to issue and one I want him not to. Both would involve preemptively pardoning people before they’re charged with any crime, much less convicted, and doing so without naming them. One would be decent, just, and Constitutional; the other would be none of those things. One would [...]

The 10 Worst People Of The Year; Wait, Actually There’s Only One

bush_bottles

by Charley James – I detest the Top 10 lists sprouting up daily: Newspapers, magazines, television, cable, blogs, whatever. One acquaintance in New Mexico sent a mass e-mail to everyone in her Outlook directory asking each of us to submit our own Top 10 list of whatever we want to rank.

Brinks or Blackwater: My Frightening Encounter With A Combat-Mode Guard & His Gun

armed_guard

For years since the United States invaded Iraq, I’ve witnessed countless photo and video images of innocent civilians – men, women, teens and children – being rudely and aggressively threatened by hired uniformed militants (mostly men), wielding guns

Washington’s Darkest Secret

9-11

by Charley James – According to both the 9/11 Commission report and Richard Clarke’s book, Against All Enemies, in the summer of 2001 former CIA director George Tenet raced around Washington clanging “alarm bells” to anyone who would listen about a possible al Qaeda attack on the United States. The CIA and the National Security [...]

Lessons on the Battlefield Need to Be Learned at a Higher Level

two-generals

General David Petraeus, the former military commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and author of the military’s most recent counterinsurgency manual, learned the lessons of the successful British counterinsurgency experience in Malaya in the 1950s. He was able to reduce the violence in Iraq by instituting a policy of U.S. military restraint in that country.

Good Bye Neoconservatives. Hello to Their Liberal Brethren?

The media and the Washington foreign policy elite breathed a sigh of relief when Barack Obama thumped John McCain in the election. Had John McCain won, there was always the chance that the neoconservatives would have beaten out the Republican realists for his foreign policy soul. With a victory by the liberal Obama, however, the [...]

Testaments: George W. Bush

This week, John Peeler presents “Testaments,” a series of poems that take the form of valedictory statements by each of the postwar presidents, in the poetic manner of Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology. George W. Bush They misunderestimated me. I’m the decider, and I decide what’s best. I’m going to try to see if [...]

We Don’t Need a War on Terrorism

Many opponents of the Bush administration’s invasion and occupation of Iraq have always argued that this conflict is an irrelevant and even counterproductive sideshow to the real “war on terrorism” in Afghanistan. In fact, Barack Obama led the parade to initiate a troop surge in Afghanistan after having opposed it in Iraq.

A Long View on War

Betty Price, David Price, Nea Price, Sharon Kyle

As a 91-year-old U.S. Army retiree, I believe I am entitled to present a long view of our war (invasion) in Iraq. I was born the year we joined our allies in World War I, I fought in World War II, was recalled to duty in the Korean Conflict, and watched my oldest son go [...]

The Winter Soldier Returns

Fighter Pilot

What is Winter Soldier? In 1971, a group of veterans—current Massachusetts Senator John Kerry prominent among them—staged a protest called “Winter Soldier” that helped end the Vietnam War but that also unfairly saddled the Democrats with a “soft on defense” label that dogged the Party for decades.

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