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Vets vetoed

Anyone who read our recent story about the rash of personality disorder discharges in the U.S. military will wonder at this Bush veto.

The $686-billion National Defense Authorization Bill, HR 1585, would have addressed many needs in the veterans community, including pay raises for servicemembers and increased benefits for those who have returned.

It also would have eliminated the practice of "personality disorder" discharges until an investigation into the practice had been completed by the GAO.

It is estimated that more than 22,000 veterans have been discharged from the military for preexisting mental conditions in the last six years. Many of these have also seen combat or incurred battle wounds along the way. Still, most are stranded without access to the VA. One of the worst cases of obvious injustice was chronicled by Johua Kors early this year.

Jaded vets and cynics alike wonder how so many allegedly crazy folks got through the military's screenings in the first place.

While the bill blasted through the House, 370-49, and eased through the Senate, 90-3, Bush killed it with a veto December 28, while you were sleeping off your eggnog.

According to Congressional Quarterly, Bush

... under intense pressure from the Iraqi government— vetoed the bill over a provision that the White House contends could have rendered Iraqi assets vulnerable to a freeze by plaintiffs seeking redress in U.S. courts for acts committed under Saddam Hussein's regime.
The Iraqi government had threatened to withdraw $25 billion worth of assets from U.S. capital markets last week if Bush signed the bill.

What provision this was and why the White House didn't  communicate about it in the months in which the bill was being crafted is a mystery. So apparently not only are we in the U.S. captive to the whims of the Chinese market, Bush's war policy, but to the Iraqi financiers, as well.

The House leadership is now considering an attempt to override the veto, which Bush is claiming has magic "pocket" powers that can't be undone.

We'll just have to see about that.

Log into Chisme Libre to discuss veteran's issues in more detail.

vet two
Photo Credit: Greg Harman

Posted by Greg Harman on 1/3/2008
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