Author Dalton Trumbo once wrote of a horribly-wounded veteran in his 1939 book "Johnnie Got His Gun." The story spoke of a WWI infantryman whose bomb-inflicted injury left him a deaf and blind quadruple-amputee who with his face blown off - no eyes, no ears, no mouth - had no seeming manner of communication.
He spent years of grueling despair, confined to a bed, where he struggled to develop a body-vibration communication with his nurse. He was finally able to convey the message expressing a reason to live. He wished to be taken from town to town, showing himself to the American public in effect, the true cost of war. That it is not enough to be willing to die for your country. That if you choose to enter a war, you must be willing to become a living, thinking, vegetable for your country.
When the military and governmental leaders were told of Johnny's wish, they turned it down. That truth would damage the war effort. And that was where the book finished.
How real and feared were the notions of that fiction? The White House felt it dangerous enough to ban it during World War II.
Welcome to 2007 and the Walter Reed scandal. A story years in the making. A story that up until last week has been banned by the government and the military. A story kept from American voters by our pro-troop, pro-surge broadcasting Lords of Loud.
If the story that was hidden in plain sight had been exposed and blared ad infinitum with half the energy they use to excoriate the ACLU, the Right's water carriers could have helped avert years of immeasurable misery for so many of our veterans
Certainly the information was out there. All they had to do is talk to the minority Democratic congressmen on the Veteran Affair committee who watched helplessly as House Republicans voted to increase veterans' medical fees and reject increased funds for veterans' health care which, in effect, cut their benefits.
How easy would it have been for, say Bill O'Reilly, to expose this national embarrassment? In 2005 I had Bob Filner (D, CA) from the committee on my little baby radio show in L.A. and he made it quite clear what was happening.
"We were promised and, more importantly, organizations representing veterans were promised by the House Republican leadership that a $1.8 billion increase over the President's inadequate budget request would be included in the Veterans Appropriations bill to provide for the health care for veterans," Filner told me. "It was not!"
If I could get Filner, certainly the guy who's looking out for us could. I mean, at the time, very few pretty blondes had disappeared.
So why did the Right's echo chamber choose to ignore this disgrace? It's a tough one to answer, especially when they (Republican politicians, right wing talk radio, O'Reilly, etc) spend so much time characterizing the left as the anti-soldier cult.
The answer is found by paying any attention to talk radio or Fox News where they'll cover anything else, anything to evade the insidious truth.
Bittany's hair or lack of same
American Idol nudie pics.
Al Gore's perfidious hypocrisy.
Obama's connection to racist churches