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Vet Illnesses/ Cover-Ups

Date: 08-20-12
Host: George Noory
Guests: Richard Belzer, Joyce Riley

In the first half, registered nurse and talk show host, Joyce Riley, talked about war vets' illnesses and increased rate of suicide. Among troops, suicides are up 22% from a year ago, and this past July was the worst month on record. We have a military that has more deaths from suicides than from war, she noted. The problem is even more severe, if you include those who aren't tracked in studies-- the Guard and Reserve, and vets who have left the military, Riley added. The Dept. of Defense denies any involvement, and says those who killed themselves were just troubled people, she said. They do however hand off money for the VA to research the problem, who in turn report that they can't single out a cause, so they give funding to the Rand Corp. and Instit. of Medicine and other organizations to further look at the problem, and yet nothing is done to actually help the soldiers, Riley bemoaned.

She cited a variety issues that contribute to vets' suicides and illnesses. In addition to family problems that can develop during a soldier's absence, vets are exposed to contaminants while working in depleted uranium areas. They can develop breathing problems, headaches, and cardiovascular issues but are told to "man up" and prescribed various psychotropic medications, she continued. The website ssristories.com documents crimes and suicides involving soldiers who were on these types of drugs. Riley also discussed a Report to the Secretary of the Dept. of Veteran Affairs, which documented the deleterious effects of Agent Orange in Viet Nam. She's encouraged Viet Nam vets to show this document to the VA, in order to raise the issue of compensation.

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In the latter half, stand-up comedian, actor, and author, Richard Belzer, (best known for his role as John Munch on the hit NBC show, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) discussed his new book, Dead Wrong, co-written with researcher David Wayne, which looks at various controversial cover-ups. Rather than commit suicide, Marilyn Monroe was actually murdered, he asserted. The first police officer on the scene declared that it was a "staged suicide," and "it's literally impossible that she swallowed the pills they say that killed her because there were no refractive crystals in her digestive system," Belzer reported. He believes she was murdered to embarrass the Kennedys (Bobby Kennedy was said to visit Marilyn on her last day), and subsequently the murder scene was cleaned up, so it would not be investigated as a murder, and bring attention to the Kennedys.

He detailed how in 1999 a jury in Tennessee found that the US govt. was involved in the assassination of Martin Luther King. James Earl Ray's rifle didn't match the bullet that killed Dr. King, he added. Belzer also described the case of Frank Olson, an Army specialist who in 1953, protested some of the post-war interrogation techniques, and was then given LSD without his knowledge by the government, and subsequently was thought to have committed suicide. It took his family years to get his body exhumed "to prove that he was in fact murdered," and the government had to reach a settlement with the family, he revealed.

News segment guests: Jeff Nelken, Christian Wilde

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