Remember the post I did the other day about how the TSA wants to screen returning vets, based partially from VA records, for "mental deficency"?
Well, that's assuming they can even get a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder from the VA in the first place:
The growing national debate over the Iraq war has changed the nature of the discussion over PTSD, some participants said. "It has become a pro-war-versus-antiwar issue," said one VA official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because politics is not supposed to enter the debate. "If we show that PTSD is prevalent and severe, that becomes one more little reason we should stop waging war. If, on the other hand, PTSD rates are low . . . that is convenient for the Bush administration."
PTSD experts summoned to Philadelphia for the two-day internal "expert panel" meeting were asked to discuss "evidence regarding validity, reliability, and feasibility" of the department's PTSD assessment and treatment practices, according to an e-mail invitation obtained by The Washington Post. The goal, the e-mail added, is "to improve clinical exams used to help determine benefit payments for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder."
"What they are trying to do is figure out a way not to diagnose vets with PTSD," said Steve Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center, a veterans advocacy group. "It's like telling a patient with cancer, 'if we tell you, you don't have cancer, then you won't suffer from cancer.' "
So, yipee. BushCo is pushing to let vets go untreated for any PTSD they may develop, 'cause it costs too much otherwise... and if they DO bite the bullet and pass a diagnosis (and funding doesn't get cut, leaving even those diagnosed in the lurch) and they DO get treatment, they're in danger, as I said, of being taken out by an overexcitable air marshal.
But THEY'RE the ones who Support The Troops, y'know.