Saturday, December 14, 2013

Hello, veterans. Thanks for your service. Now lie down for your lobotomy.

You just can't make this up:

“The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans—and likely hundreds more—during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal. Besieged by psychologically damaged troops returning from the battlefields of North Africa, Europe and the Pacific, the Veterans Administration performed the brain-altering operation on former servicemen it diagnosed as depressives, psychotics and schizophrenics, and occasionally on people identified as homosexuals.” 
“The VA’s practice, described in depth here for the first time, sometimes brought veterans relief from their inner demons. Often, however, the surgery left them little more than overgrown children, unable to care for themselves. Many suffered seizures, amnesia and loss of motor skills. Some died from the operation itself.”
This, of course, fits right in with what I reminded Ezra Klein of in 2009 when he derided those who thought the government capable of awfulness:
The US government's culpability in the Tuskegee Syphillis Experiment.
The US Army's LSD experiments and the US military's intentional exposure of troops to radiation during atomic testing.
The US government's role in the involuntary sterilization of thousands of Native American women in the 1970s.
The US government's conscious decision in the late 1800s to kill off all the buffalo herds in North America to force Native Americans onto reservations because they would starve if they did not go.
The US government's role in overthrowing the legally elected government of Guatemala and the assassination of Chilean President Salvadore Allende.
The US government's continuing war on drugs which now has our country having a larger percentage of the population incarcerated than communist China.
The US government's clandestine programs to help former SS officers and other war criminals from Nazi Germany to enter this country illegally, assume new identities, and avoid prosecution for war crimes.
The US government's illegal expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia and Laos.
The US government's direct military support of regimes that tortured and killed their peaceful political opposition in places like pre-revolutionary Iran, Honduras, and South Vietnam.
The US government has repeatedly, throughout American history beginning in 1798, attempted to curb freedom of the press and even freedom of speech at pretty much the drop of a hat. 

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