TRI In The News
Veterans Quietly Forced into Mental Hospitals
Original article available here
A new report suggests that since 2009 U.S. veterans are being quietly forced into mental hospitals across the country where they are committed against their will and detained indefinitely.
The report by Susanne Posel, which was published Monday, indicates that increasingly the U.S. government is designating veterans who return home from service overseas as mentally unfit. Their firearms are then confiscated, and they are forced into psychiatric facilities to receive treatment for conditions as common and non-threatening as post traumatic stress.
Posel cites a recent case in which a former U.S. Marine was sentenced by a judge to 30 days in a psychiatric facility, only to have the ruling overturned by a circuit court judge who stated that there was no factual basis for the original petition.
But since the circuit court judge released the former Marine, yet another veteran was detained in a mental hospital without charge or complaint.
John Whitehead, lead attorney for the Rutherford Institute, stated that he has heard from numerous veterans who report that the federal government is targeting them for indefinite detention based upon vague allegations of various emotional disorders, some of which have only recently been coined as viable diagnoses.
Perhaps the most troubling of these newly coined illnesses is "oppositional defiance disorder," which denotes that the person exhibits "symptoms" such as the questioning of authority, the refusal to follow directions, stubbornness, the unwillingness to go along with the crowd, and the practice of disobeying or ignoring orders. Persons may also receive such a label if they are considered free thinkers, nonconformists, or individuals who are suspicious of large, centralized government.
Some critics view the process of declaring such persons emotionally unfit as a major step toward designating all so-called "right wing extremists" as mentally ill.
At one time the accepted protocol among mental health professionals was to reserve the diagnosis of oppositional defiance disorder for children or adolescents who exhibited uncontrollable defiance toward their parents and teachers.
In 2009 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through its Office of Intelligence and Analysis published a report titled "Rightwing Extremism." The report states that ultra conservatives form that biggest threat to the security and safety to the United States since the rise of al-Qaida. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano expressed the fear that soldiers returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan would be recruited by "right wing terrorist groups."
Critics say that the attempts by the federal government to link veterans to the possibility that they may commit extremist acts of violence and terror is no accident. Veterans represent a threat to those within government who push toward greater centralized government power and control. Often these persons express the belief that citizens must be disarmed and gradually acclimated to a new way of thinking in which government surveillance, control over behavior including when and where to travel, and restrictions of choices such as food, automobiles, and power sources are determined by the centralized authority rather than the individual citizens.
The forced committal of veterans to mental hospitals for nothing more than post traumatic stress is raising the eyebrows of more than one of the numerous government watchdog groups who are convinced that a more sinister goal lies beneath the government's treatment of veterans.