“ To get soldiers … coming home is more lethal than in combat . ” ― Brené Dark brown, research professor at the University of Houston
The Oughout. S. government is still waging war on America’s army veterans.
Especially veterans who exercise their First Amendment right to speak out against govt wrongdoing.
Consider: we raise our the younger generation on a steady diet of militarism and war, market them on the idea that protecting freedom abroad by offering in the military is their particular patriotic duty, then when they will return home, bruised plus battle-scarred and committed to protecting their freedoms at home, we regularly treat them like criminals merely for working out those rights they risked their lives to defend.
As very first reported by the Wall Street Journal , the government also has a name for its battle on America’s veterans: Operation Vigilant Eagle .
This Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program tracks military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and characterizes them as extremists and potential domestic terrorist dangers because they may be “ negative, disillusioned or suffering from the particular psychological effects of war. ”
Coupled with the DHS’ dual reports on Rightwing and Leftwing “ Extremism, ” which broadly determine extremists as individuals, army veterans and groups “ that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of condition or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely, ” these tactics bode ill for anyone seen as opposing the government.
Yet the government is not merely targeting individuals who are voicing their discontent so much as it is taking aim at individuals been trained in military warfare .
Don’t be fooled by the fact that the DHS has gone extremely quiet about Operation Vigilant Eagle.
Where there’s smoke, may possibly be bound to be fire.
And the government’s initiatives to target military veterans in whose views may be perceived as “ anti-government” make clear that something happens to be afoot.
In recent years, military servicemen and women have found themselves increasingly targeted for surveillance , censorship, threatened with incarceration or involuntary commitment, tagged as extremists and/or mentally sick, and stripped of the Second Amendment rights .
In light of the government’s efforts to lay the groundwork to weaponize the public’s biomedical data and predict who have might pose a threat to public safety based on mental health sensor data (a hassle-free means by which to punish certain “ unacceptable” social behaviors), encounters with the police could get even more deadly, particularly if those involved have a mental illness or disability along with a military background.
Incredibly, as part of the proposal introduced under the Trump Administration, a new government agency HARPA (a healthcare version to the Pentagon’s research and development equip DARPA) will take the lead in identifying and targeting “ signs” of mental illness or chaotic inclinations among the populace by using artificial cleverness to collect data from Apple company Watches, Fitbits, Amazon Echo and Google Home.
These tactics are certainly not really new.
Many times throughout history within totalitarian regimes, such government authorities have declared dissidents mentally ill and unfit just for society as a means of object rendering them disempowering them.
For example , government authorities in the Cold War-era Soviet Union often used psychiatric hospitals as prisons in order to isolate political prisoners from the rest of society, discredit their ideas, and break them mentally and physically through the use of electric shocks, medications and various medical procedures.
This age-old exercise by which despotic regimes eliminate their critics or potential adversaries by declaring them mentally ill and locking them up in psychiatric wards for extended periods of time is a common practice in present-day China.
What is particularly unnerving, however , is certainly how this practice of eliminating or undermining possible critics, including military veterans, is happening with increasing frequency in the United States.
Keep in mind, the National Defense Consent Act (NDAA) opened the doorway for the government to detain as a threat to nationwide security anyone viewed as a troublemaker. According to government recommendations for identifying domestic extremists— a word used interchangeably with terrorists— technically, anyone exercising their First Amendment rights in order to criticize the government qualifies.
Keep in mind that take much anymore to become flagged as potentially anti-government in a government database somewhere— Main Core , for example— that identifies and tracks individuals who usually are inclined to march within lockstep to the government’s requires.
In fact , as the Washington Submit reports, residential areas are being mapped and inhabitants assigned a color-coded threat score — green, yellow or red— so police are forewarned about a person’s potential desire to be a troublemaker depending on whether or not they’ve had a career within the military, posted a opinion perceived as threatening on Facebook, suffer from a particular medical condition, or even know someone who knows someone who might have committed a criminal offense.
The case of Brandon Raub is a prime example of Operation Vigilant Eagle for.
Raub, the 26-year-old decorated Marine, actually found himself interrogated simply by government agents about their views on government problem, arrested with no warning, tagged mentally ill for subscribing to so-called “ conspiratorial” views about the government, detained towards his will in a psychology ward for standing by his views, and isolated through his family, friends plus attorneys. Within days of Raub being seized and forcibly held in a VA psych ward, news reports started appearing of other veterans getting similar experiences.
“ Oppositional defiance disorder” (ODD) is another diagnosis being used towards veterans who challenge the status quo. As journalist Anthony Martin explains, an ODD diagnosis
“ denotes that the person exhibits ‘ symptoms’ such as the asking of authority, the refusal to follow directions, stubbornness, the particular unwillingness to go along with the group, and the practice of disobeying or ignoring orders. Persons may also receive such a label if they are considered free thinkers, nonconformists, or even individuals who are suspicious of huge, centralized government … At one time the accepted process among mental health professionals was to reserve the associated with oppositional defiance disorder for children or adolescents who also exhibited uncontrollable defiance toward their parents and educators. ”
That the government is using the particular charge of mental disease as the means by which in order to immobilize (and disarm) these veterans is diabolical. Along with one stroke of a magistrate’s pen, these veterans are being declared mentally ill, secured away against their may, and stripped of their constitutional rights.
If it were just being categorized as “ anti-government, ” that would be one thing.
Unfortunately, anyone with a military background and training is also now being viewed as a greater security threat by police who are trained to shoot initial and ask questions later.
Feeding this belief of veterans since ticking time bombs in need of intervention, the particular Justice Department launched a pilot program this year aimed at training SWAT groups to deal with confrontations involving highly trained and often heavily armed combat veterans .
Law enforcement encounters with military veterans often escalate very quickly directly into an explosive and fatal situation, especially when SWAT teams are involved.
For example , Jose Guerena, a Ocean who served in 2 tours in Iraq, was killed after a good Arizona SWAT team kicked open the door of his home during a mistaken drug raid plus opened fire. Thinking their home was being invaded simply by criminals, Guerena told their wife and child to hide in a closet, grabbed that gun and waited in the hallway to confront the intruders. He never fired their weapon. In fact , the security was still on his gun when he was killed. The SWAT officers, however , not as restrained, fired 70 rounds of ammunition in Guerena— 23 of those principal points made contact. Apart from their military background, Guerena had had no prior criminal record, and the police found nothing illegal in his home.
John Edward Chesney, a 62-year-old Vietnam experienced, was killed with a SWAT team allegedly responding to a contact that the Army veteran was standing in his San Diego residence window waving what appeared as if a semi-automatic rifle. SWAT officers locked down Chesney’s street, took up positions about his home, and terminated 12 rounds into Chesney’s apartment window. It turned out which the gun Chesney reportedly directed at police from 3 stories up was a “ realistic-looking mock assault gun. ”
Ramon Hooks’ encounter using a Houston SWAT team did not end as tragically, however it very easily could have . Tow hooks, a 25-year-old Iraq battle veteran, was using an air flow rifle gun for focus on practice outside when a Homeland Security Agent, allegedly home shopping in the area, reported him as an active shooter. This wasn’t long before the peaceful neighborhood was transformed into the war zone, with dozens of police officer cars, an armored vehicle and heavily armed law enforcement. Hooks was arrested, his air rifle pellets plus toy gun confiscated, and charges filed against him for “ criminal mischief. ”
Provided the government’s increasing look at of veterans as potential domestic terrorists, it makes 1 think twice about federal government programs encouraging veterans to include a veterans designation on the drivers’ licenses and IDENTIFICATION cards .
Hailed by politicians so as to “ make it simplier and easier for military veterans to reach discounts from retailers, dining places, hotels and vendors throughout the state , ” it will make it that much easier for that government to identify and address itself to veterans who dare to challenge the status quo.
Remember: no one is spared in a police state.
Eventually, as I explain in Battlefield America: The War on the particular American People and in its fictional counterpart The particular Erik Blair Diaries , we all suffer similar fate.
The idea stands to reason that if the government can not be bothered to abide by it has the constitutional mandate to adhere to the citizenry’s rights— whether it is the right to be free from government other cctv and censorship, the right to by reason of process and fair proceedings, the right to be free from roadside rob searches and militarized law enforcement agency, or the right to peacefully accumulate and protest and work out our right to free speech— then why should anyone expect to have the government to treat our country’s veterans with respect plus dignity?
Undoubtedly, veterans have enough physical plus psychological war wounds to overcome without adding the government to the mix. Although the U. S. boasts more than 20 million veterans who have served in World Conflict II through the present day, many veterans are impoverished, without a job, traumatized mentally and personally, struggling with depression, suicide , and relationship stress, homeless, subjected to sub-par treatment at clinics together with hospitals, and left to molder while their paperwork piles up within Veterans Administration offices .
More than 60, 000 veterans was killed by suicide between 2008 and 2017.
On average, 6, 000 experienced kill themselves every year . However , a recent study suggests that the rate of suicide between veterans may be more than twice what federal officials record annually.
The plight of veterans today— and their treatment at the hands of the Ough. S. government— remains Many badge of shame.