Reporting The Truth About American Wounded Should Be By Our Own Media
by James Glaser
We have military hospitals in this country that have to work double shifts and house wounded Marines and Soldiers in cancer wards, because all their beds are filled with troops wounded in Iraq and the American media doesn't even report it.
Since George Bush claimed the end of major military operations in Iraq on May 1st, 55 Americans are claimed to have been killed in hostilities, but the true total is over 112. It is also reported that 827 have been wounded, but that number could be many thousands higher. No one knows and Washington isn't telling because higher numbers makes them look bad.
Once again Americans have to turn to the foreign press to find out what is going on in our own country. Julian Borger on August 4th wrote about American causalities coming home from Iraq, for the Guardian Newspaper in Great Briton, while the US Press remains silent.
Borger writes, "US military casualties from the occupation of Iraq have been more than twice the number most Americans have been led to believe because of an extraordinarily high number of accidents, suicides, and other non-combat deaths in the ranks that have gone largely unreported in the media."
This past week was the first time Central Command started talking about those suicides and now there is a new killer, a strange sickness that has killed some soldiers and has about nineteen others in the hospital. This is some sort of pneumonia that has many of these soldiers on ventilators to help them breathe.
Why our Media fails to cover these things baffles me. The truth about what is happening to our troops can only help those that defend America.
This British report on our troops states, "The other unreported cost of the war for the US is the number of American wounded, 827 since Operation Iraqi Freedom began. Unofficial figures are in the thousands. About half have been injured since the president's triumphant appearance on board the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln at the beginning of May. Many of the wounded have lost limbs"
Why can't we read this in our own newspapers or hear it on American television? What is Washington afraid of?
"Wounded Americans soldiers continue to be flown back to the US at a relentless rate, in twice-weekly transport flights to Andrews Air Force base near Washington. Meanwhile, at the nearby National Navel Medical Center in Bethesda, new Marine injuries are delivered almost daily by a medical plane known as the Nightingale."
The American people have the right to know this is going on and we can all show our support for our troops by not allowing these wounded Soldiers and Marines to secretly be brought home.
The estimate given by Central Command in Qatar is 926 wounded, but according to Lieutenant-Colonel Allen DeLane, who is in charge of the Airlift of wounded into Andrews Air Base, that too is understated. Colonel DeLane said, "Since the war has started, I can't give you an exact number because that's classified information, but I can say to you over 4,000 have stayed here at Andrews and that number doubles when you count the people that come here to Andrews and then we send them to other places like Walter Reed and Bethesda."
Now we have an American military officer telling us that over 4,000 Americans have been wounded, but maybe that number is twice that. It is sick that the Bush Administration is keeping these numbers almost secret and the America media is helping him do it.
Remember, over a 150,000 American soldiers are permanently disabled from the first Gulf War and over 7,500 of those that fought have died from Gulf War Illness. Washington has done a great job, with media help to keep these figures out of public knowledge. So we should not be a bit surprised if Washington can hide four or five thousand wounded from this war.
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