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Across America, Deadly Echoes of Foreign Battles
NY Times ^ | January 13, 2008 | DEBORAH SONTAG and LIZETTE ALVAREZ

Posted on 01/13/2008 3:01:14 PM PST by forkinsocket

Late one night in the summer of 2005, Matthew Sepi, a 20-year-old Iraq combat veteran, headed out to a 7-Eleven in the seedy Las Vegas neighborhood where he had settled after leaving the Army.

This particular 7-Eleven sits in the shadow of the Stratosphere casino-hotel in a section of town called the Naked City. By day, the area, littered with malt liquor cans, looks depressed but not menacing. By night, it becomes, in the words of a local homicide detective, “like Falluja.”

Mr. Sepi did not like to venture outside too late. But, plagued by nightmares about an Iraqi civilian killed by his unit, he often needed alcohol to fall asleep. And so it was that night, when, seized by a gut feeling of lurking danger, he slid a trench coat over his slight frame — and tucked an assault rifle inside it.

“Matthew knew he shouldn’t be taking his AK-47 to the 7-Eleven,” Detective Laura Andersen said, “but he was scared to death in that neighborhood, he was military trained and, in his mind, he needed the weapon to protect himself.”

Head bowed, Mr. Sepi scurried down an alley, ignoring shouts about trespassing on gang turf. A battle-weary grenadier who was still legally under-age, he paid a stranger to buy him two tall cans of beer, his self-prescribed treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

As Mr. Sepi started home, two gang members, both large and both armed, stepped out of the darkness. Mr. Sepi said in an interview that he spied the butt of a gun, heard a boom, saw a flash and “just snapped.”

In the end, one gang member lay dead, bleeding onto the pavement. The other was wounded. And Mr. Sepi fled, “breaking contact” with the enemy, as he later described it.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: banglist; bleedingheart; dims; looneyleft; newyorkslimes; nyslimes; secondamendment; soldiers; vets; war
A series of articles and multimedia about veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who have committed killings, or been charged with them, after coming home.
1 posted on 01/13/2008 3:01:15 PM PST by forkinsocket
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To: forkinsocket

Oh PLEASE... Not this crap again!


2 posted on 01/13/2008 3:05:03 PM PST by Ronin (Bushed out!!! Another tragic victim of BDS.)
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To: forkinsocket

Oh the stress! The post traumatic stress! Maybe we need to commission a study.


3 posted on 01/13/2008 3:13:51 PM PST by cquiggy
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To: forkinsocket
By day, the area, littered with malt liquor cans, looks depressed but not menacing. By night, it becomes, in the words of a local homicide detective, “like Falluja.”

Then shouldn't we withdraw?

4 posted on 01/13/2008 3:20:39 PM PST by SampleMan
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To: Ronin
My sister just sent me some stories that may make you feel better. :-)

When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of ‘empire building’ by George Bush.

He answered by saying, “Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return (home).”

It became very quiet in the room.
***********************************************************
Then there was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break one of the French engineers came back into the room saying “Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?”

A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: “Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck.. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?”
Once again, dead silence.
***********************************************************
A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of Officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone
was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, ‘whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English.’ He then asked, ‘Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?’ Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied ‘Maybe it’s because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't’t have to speak German.’
You could have heard a pin drop!

5 posted on 01/13/2008 3:23:16 PM PST by rwa265
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To: rwa265

That’s a nice list and makes me feel a bit better, but just for your fund of military information, aircraft carriers can produce up to 400,000 gallons of fresh water daily. That’s an average. I imagine if the Chief Engineer was in a hurry and wanted to boost capacity a bit he could probably top that.


6 posted on 01/13/2008 3:38:50 PM PST by Ronin (Bushed out!!! Another tragic victim of BDS.)
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To: Ronin
As far as I can recall, the first article of this general nature I read was in 1966. However, I imagine there were some written to trash GI's after WWII.

Makes me sick to my stomach too.

7 posted on 01/13/2008 4:04:24 PM PST by JimSEA
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To: JimSEA

Eleanor Roosevelt also urged keeping soldiers returning from the Pacific Theater from reentering the civilian world for a considerable time because they would be savages. I suspect it goes back much farther than even that.


8 posted on 01/13/2008 4:11:04 PM PST by RightWhale (Dean Koonz is good, but my favorite authors are Dun and Bradstreet)
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To: forkinsocket

Powerline responded well to this article:

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/2008/01/019533.php

The whole post is good but here’s the weenie:

Now put yourself in the place of a newspaper editor. Suppose you are asked to evaluate whether your paper should run a long article on a nationwide epidemic of murders committed by veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan—a crime wave that, your reporter suggests, constitutes a “cross-country trail of death and heartbreak.” Suppose that the reporter who proposes to write the article says it will be a searing indictment of the U.S. military’s inadequate attention to post-traumatic stress disorder. Suppose further that you are not a complete idiot.

Given that last assumption, I’m pretty sure your first question will be: “How does the murder rate among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan compare to the murder rate for young American men generally?” Remarkably, this is a question the New York Times did not think to ask. Or, if the Times asked the question and figured out the answer, the paper preferred not to report it.


9 posted on 01/13/2008 4:13:52 PM PST by rogue yam
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To: rogue yam

Thanks.


10 posted on 01/13/2008 4:15:07 PM PST by forkinsocket
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To: RightWhale

Yeah. That’s my Dad. Someone only a democrat would call a savage.


11 posted on 01/13/2008 4:15:18 PM PST by null and void (Conservatives are tired of being sucked up to every 4 years and stabbed in the back for the next 3.)
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To: null and void

We couldn’t stand to listen to Eleanor Roosevelt and she was on the radio all the time. Such a screech, drove the kids crazy. A lot like Hillary!08.


12 posted on 01/13/2008 4:21:55 PM PST by RightWhale (Dean Koonz is good, but my favorite authors are Dun and Bradstreet)
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To: rogue yam

This story was up on Yahoo and Breitbart this morning but disappeared by noon or so. I think your suggestion that the murder rate by combat veterans be compared to the rate of males of comparable age in the general population is coming up in various places. And I suspect that if anyone takes the example of singling out veterans to be license to single out other specific groups for comparison, the bleeding heart liberals and leftist MSM MF’s may end up with some egg on their faces.


13 posted on 01/13/2008 4:30:52 PM PST by mathurine
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To: forkinsocket

One gang member dead and another wounded before they could rob the 711, I’m sorry I don’t see the problem here.


14 posted on 01/13/2008 4:40:53 PM PST by usmcobra (I sing Karaoke the way it was meant to be sung, drunk, badly and in Japanese)
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To: forkinsocket

Utterly disgraceful.


15 posted on 01/13/2008 4:51:13 PM PST by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: mathurine

Yes, but its their mindset. Copy Powerline’s response and send it to 10 of your friends. Have them send it to ten of their friends.

The did the same thing in Viet Nam, we can stop it this time.


16 posted on 01/13/2008 4:52:48 PM PST by sgtyork (The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage. Thucydides)
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To: rogue yam

The posters over there gave John (Hinderacker?) a pretty good shellacking over the posting, too.

Take a look at the comments at the end of the article...


17 posted on 01/13/2008 5:27:53 PM PST by rockrr (Global warming is to science what Islam is to religion)
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: TonyRo76
Airborne & Amen!
19 posted on 01/13/2008 6:02:47 PM PST by Tainan (Talk is cheap. Silence is golden. All I got is brass...lotsa brass.)
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To: rwa265
“Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck.. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?”

One, Charles de Gaulle, and being French designed and maintained, she doesn't work most of the time. She's also only a light carrier, and not as big nor as capable, even in this context, as our Nimitz class ships.

20 posted on 01/13/2008 7:36:24 PM PST by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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To: usmcobra
One gang member dead and another wounded before they could rob the 711, I’m sorry I don’t see the problem here.

In the end, neither did the Las Vegas authorities. The charges were dropped. Self Defense.

His only "crime" might have been concealing that AK, open carry is allowed but concealed carry, even of a rifle, requires a permit, which is "shall issue".

But the point of this story is to "improve" upon the NICS improvement Act, just signed by the President, to get things like PTSD, or just minor depression by current or former military, declared a disqualification for firearms ownership. Can't have a bunch of folks who swore to support and defend the Constitution running around with guns. Might make the achieving the Socialist States of America a bit more difficult.

21 posted on 01/13/2008 7:40:52 PM PST by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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To: forkinsocket
“but he was scared to death in that neighborhood, he was military trained and, in his mind, he needed the weapon to protect himself.”

And of course he did need it and he did protect himself. Did a nice favor to the community at the same time. He should have been given another medal, not treated like the scum of the earth.

22 posted on 01/13/2008 7:42:26 PM PST by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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To: forkinsocket

Anti military / Anti gun hit piece


23 posted on 01/13/2008 9:14:33 PM PST by Lancer_N3502A
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To: rockrr
Take a look at the comments at the end of the article...

I read a couple of pages worth and the comments were almost all supportive of the Powerline analysis.

24 posted on 01/13/2008 11:56:46 PM PST by rogue yam
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To: usmcobra

“One gang member dead and another wounded before they could rob the 711, I’m sorry I don’t see the problem here.”

I see a major problem here. Why does an Iraq combat veteran have to have some stranger buy his alcohol for him. Its ridiculous that you can go to war and die for your country at 18, but you can’t have a beer.

They should be sending this guy to the Police academy. Sounds like he has the right abilities.


25 posted on 01/14/2008 5:13:15 AM PST by Old Teufel Hunden
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To: JimSEA
“I imagine there were some written to trash GI’s after WWII.”

Actually, my anecdotal opinion is that there was very little trashing done of WWII vets, or even Korean War vets for that matter. After my returning from Vietnam, my dad, being a combat vet of both of the two previous wars, talked some about this. He said that people mostly made allowances for aberrant or anti-socal behavior with the statement “he was in the war” and thereby showed them some compassion and cut these vets considerable slack - which is how it should be.

26 posted on 01/14/2008 5:21:35 AM PST by snoringbear (')
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To: Old Teufel Hunden

Agreed, a Military ID used to be enough to allow you to buy a beer anywhere.


27 posted on 01/14/2008 5:40:01 AM PST by usmcobra (I sing Karaoke the way it was meant to be sung, drunk, badly and in Japanese)
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To: usmcobra

When I was in (under 21), the drinking age in Hawaii (where I was stationed) and on base was 18. The drinking age overseas was if you could make it to the barstool you were old enough to drink. I never had the problem these current guys have. Even in states where the drinking age was 21 at that time the base was still 18. The base could do that due to the fact it was a federal government installation. I have heard (maybe someone can confirm this) that even the drinking age on base is 21. If so, that is just ridiculous.


28 posted on 01/14/2008 6:05:18 AM PST by Old Teufel Hunden
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To: usmcobra

Hell ain’t half-full.


29 posted on 01/14/2008 6:22:15 AM PST by redstateconfidential (If you are the smartest person in the room,you are hanging out with the wrong people.)
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To: mathurine; rockrr; forkinsocket

The NYT is getting some blogospheric pushback over their anti-troops slander. Powerline has posted the following (as yet unpublished) letter from Thomas H. Lipscomb to the editor of the NYT:

Last week there was a fine investigative report in The National Journal analyzing the shaky figures and phony conclusions of a study largely funded by leftist billionaire George Soros out of a Johns Hopkins center founded by Mayor Bloomberg. It was directed by an admittedly anti-Iraq war professor who gave it to The Lancet on the specific condition they rush it out before the 2006 elections.

This bizarre and professionally unethical statistical construct, alleging more than a half million Iraqi civilians had died up to the time of their report in the Iraq War, ducked the normal peer review and made headlines in a respected journal that gave credence to propaganda masquerading as a scientific report.

Now The New York Times puts out “Across America, Deadly Echoes of Foreign Battles” which is at the very least badly supported by facts and lacks any intelligent context. What it is full of is anecdotal color and tear-jerking prose.

Apparently violent veterans are streaming home “across America” from the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. So far, out of hundreds of thousands of service personnel who have served there, The New York Times has decided to devote more than 6,000 words beginning with three columns out of five and a color montage above the fold of its Sunday front page to “At least 121” veterans, who happen to be, at best, a fraction of 1% of those who have served.

And the Times piece shows the same carefree contempt for statistical validity Soros’s Johns Hopkins hirelings just got nailed with. The Times claims their sample of “At least 121” veterans makes it possible to “paint the patchwork picture of a quiet phenomenon, tracing a cross-country trail of death and heartbreak.” It’s a “patchwork” all right. A Pentagon spokesperson tried to point out to the reporters that a sample: “lumping together different crimes such as involuntary manslaughter with first-degree homicide” makes it rather hard to draw intelligent conclusions.

Which is probably why there are none in the piece. Instead we get hand-wringing extrapolations like this: “… these killings provide a kind of echo sounding for the profound depths to which some veterans have fallen, whether at the bottom of a downward spiral or in a sudden burst of violence.” “A kind of echo sounding?” “Some veterans?” And the article is full of useful hedge words like “some,” “appear,” “most likely” more common to a gypsy fortune teller than an investigative reporter. Now assuming “some” is more than one and less than 121, that isn’t very helpful, is it? And none of it is statistically relevant enough to reawaken the stigma that veterans of the Vietnam War remember well.

I spent some wonderful years associated with the largest job program in the country specifically working with Vietnam veterans. There were hundreds of thousands of them in the New York metro area. They were over 80% black and Hispanic and more than 60% of those unemployed had red flags like drug or alcohol abuse and a lot of them had various brushes with law enforcement. The New York Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program was largely staffed by Vietnam veterans who helped thousands of them find themselves and get back to work at jobs averaging $22,000 a year.

Our single largest problem? Overcoming the constant fixation news media had for stories headlined “Crazed Vietnam Veteran… .” You can fill in the blank. Everyone alive then remembers the stories.

But when current Virginia Senator, and Vietnam veteran, Jim Webb was appointed to the Pentagon by President Reagan, he asked a lot of questions about the whether any of the many charges about disproportionate problems with Vietnam veterans were true. They weren’t. It was a theme John Kerry played to with his promotion of the phony war crimes stories of his despicable Vietnam Veterans Against the War. And as we saw at the VVLP, it sure took the wind out of a veteran who had worked hard to get ready for his first job interview to know his potential employers were constantly exposed to this kind of stereotype.

If you think this front page featuring sloppy reporting of a statistically irrelevant sample of our veterans is helpful in any way, many of us would appreciate your telling us why.

Thomas H. Lipscomb
Senior Fellow
The Heartland Institute


30 posted on 01/14/2008 8:52:01 AM PST by rogue yam
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To: forkinsocket

The bleeding hearts at the NY Slimes want to ban all guns and dismantle the military.


31 posted on 01/14/2008 5:18:58 PM PST by Thunder90
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To: El Gato

All that’s true, but she probably has a fantastic wine cellar.


32 posted on 01/15/2008 12:09:04 AM PST by Ronin (Bushed out!!! Another tragic victim of BDS.)
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