Ann Mcaleer and Phelim Mcaleer discuss their movie about Kermit Gosnell.
Published on Mar 3, 2015
Mike talks with film makers Ann McElhinney & Phelim Mcakeer about their documentary concerning the abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell and the atrocities he committed at his clinic. They discuss Gosnell’s trial and why the media was so quiet about it.
PJTV: ZoNation: Left-Wing Media Ignore the Gosnell House of Horrors
“See No Evil” – the case of Kermit Gosnell (45 minutes)
Doctor Kermit Gosnell’s ‘House of Horrors’ (Warning Very Graphic) Casa de horror
Dr. Kermit Gosnell Verdict: Guilty on three counts of first-degree murder (May 13, 2013)
‘Gosnell’ The Movie: Is America Ready for a Pro-Life Film?
Megyn Kelly’s heated debate with Kermit Gosnell’s attorney
Gosnell Trial – House of Horrors: Why The Media Has Avoided The Story
!!!Disturbing!!! MARK LEVIN on Abortion Dr. Kermit GUILTY Gosnell PLOPPED PARENTHOOD PLANNED
Gosnell 2010 interview
“Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer” Is A Disgusting, Disturbing Book. You Need To Read It.
Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer manage to both grip the reader and utterly horrify them in their retelling of the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Officially, he was convicted of three counts of murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter, but his actual death toll is estimated to be in the hundreds, if not thousands. Through a technique described as “snipping,” Gosnell would sever the spinal cords of infants who survived his (illegal) late-term abortions to “ensure fetal demise.”
Imagine the most disgusting place possible–something straight out of an episode of Hoarders, or one of Stephen King’s more twisted works, perhaps. Gosnell’s clinic in Philadelphia was worse. Through interviews with police officers who initially busted the clinic for being a pill mill, former patients, and former clinic employees, McElhinney and McAleer manage to paint a vivid yet utterly disturbing picture of just how disgusting the conditions were at the office. Dirty, broken equipment. Disposable equipment being re-used. Bloodstains everywhere. Girls getting STDs from procedures. Unqualified staffers administering anesthesia. A pair of cats roaming around freely. Just when you think things can’t get any more disturbing, they somehow do. It’s a miracle more women weren’t killed.
Throughout the book, the major feeling conveyed is a sense of utter despair and confusion that this was allowed to happen for as long as it did. Thanks to regulations that were designed to ensure that women had easy access to safe abortion, the clinic was not inspected for a period of 17 years. Until the police raided the place in 2010 after a tip that Gosnell was supplying drug dealers with opiates, the clinic had last been inspected in 1993. To put things into comparison, nail salons in Pennsylvania are inspected at least every other year. Yet, nobody did anything about Gosnell’s clinic for nearly two decades–even after two women died after their abortions and another came very close to being a third. Nothing.
McElhinney and McAleer do an excellent job of describing the horrors of Gosnell’s crimes without being overly preachy. McElhinney has written about how she had previously been annoyed by pro-life activists, and her writing comes off as about as objective as a person can be when confronted with crimes of this magnitude. The authors do not shy away from graphic descriptions of both the scene and of Gosnell’s victims–even if the reader may prefer they do as such.
It’s important that the utter evil is confronted head on–which in the chapter Media Malpractice, the authors outline how this story was almost swept entirely under the rug. Their effort to correct this wrong culminated in this book, and in their upcoming film.
In short: This is the most disgusting, upsetting, and utterly disturbing book I’ve ever read. Yet, in order to prevent something like this from happening ever again, it’s one that absolutely needs to be read.
Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.
State charges (Pennsylvania): First-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter (7 counts total)
Federal charges: Conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution and aiding and abetting the distribution of oxycodone, and maintaining a place for the illegal distribution of controlled substances (12 counts total)
Convicted on 3 counts of first-degree murder, 1 count involuntary manslaughter, pled guilty to federal charges
Convicted on four state counts, hundreds of similar incidents reported
United States of America
Kermit Barron Gosnell (born February 9, 1941) is an American former abortion-provider who was convicted of murdering three infants who were born alive during attempted abortion procedures.
Gosnell owned and operated the Women’s Medical Society clinic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and he was a prolific prescriber of OxyContin. In 2011, Gosnell and various co-defendant employees were charged with eight counts of murder, 24 felony counts of performing illegal abortions beyond the state of Pennsylvania’s 24-week time limit, and 227 misdemeanor counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law. The murder charges related to an adult patient, Karnamaya Mongar, who died following an abortion procedure, and seven newborns said to have been killed by having their spinal cords severed with scissors after being born alive during attempted abortions. In May 2013, Gosnell was convicted of first degree murder in the deaths of three of the infants and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Karnamaya Mongar. Gosnell was also convicted of 21 felony counts of illegal late-term abortion, and 211 counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law. After his conviction, Gosnell waived his right to appeal in exchange for an agreement not to seek the death penalty. He was sentenced instead to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Background and early career
Kermit Gosnell was born on February 9, 1941, in Philadelphia, the only child of a gas station operator and a government clerk in an African-American family. He was a top student at the city’s Central High School from which he graduated in 1959. Gosnell graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA with a bachelor’s degree. Gosnell received his Medical Degree at the Jefferson Medical School in 1966. It has been reported that he spent four decades practising medicine among the poor, including opening the Mantua Halfway House, a rehab clinic for drug addicts in the impoverished Mantua neighborhood of West Philadelphia near where he grew up, and a teen aid program. He became an early proponent of abortion rights in the 1960s and 1970s and, in 1972, he returned from a stint in New York City to open up an abortion clinic on Lancaster Avenue in Mantua. Gosnell told a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter in October 1972: “as a physician, I am very concerned about the sanctity of life. But it is for this precise reason that I provide abortions for women who want and need them”.
In the same year, he also performed fifteen televised second-trimester abortions, using an experimental “Super Coil” method invented by Harvey Karman. The coils were inserted into the uterus, where they caused irritation leading to the expulsion of the fetus. However, complications from the procedure were reported by nine of the women, with three of these reporting severe complications. The super coil experiment by Gosnell has been dubbed the “mother’s day massacre” by some.
The 1972 Inquirer article also said that Gosnell was a “respected man” in his community, a finalist for the Junior Chamber of Commerce’s “Young Philadelphian of the Year” because of his work directing the Mantua Halfway House. By the late 1980s, however, public records showed state tax liens were piling up against the halfway house, and the abortion clinic had a $41,000 federal tax lien.
Gosnell has been married three times. His third and current wife, Pearl, had worked at the Women’s Medical Society as a full-time medical assistant from 1982 until their marriage in 1990. They have two children; the younger, being a minor, is being cared for by friends Gosnell has four other children from his two previous marriages. In covering his background, media commentators drew attention to the “incredibly diverse” portrayals of Gosnell, touching on both his community works – the creation of a drugs halfway house and teen aid program – contrasted with portrayals of his practice as an alleged abortion mill in which viable fetuses and babies were routinely killed following illegal late-term procedures.
In 2011, he was reported to be well known in Philadelphia for providing abortions to poor minority and immigrant women. It was also claimed that Gosnell charged $1,600–$3,000 for each late-term abortion. Dr. Gosnell was also associated with clinics in Delaware and Louisiana. Atlantic Women’s Services in Wilmington, Delaware, was Dr. Gosnell’s place of work one day a week. The owner of Atlantic Women’s Services, Leroy Brinkley, also owned Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and facilitated the hiring of staff from there for Gosnell’s operation in Philadelphia.
Known prior complaints
1989 and 1993 – cited by Pennsylvania Department of Health for having no nurses in the recovery room.
1996 – censured and fined in both Pennsylvania and New York states, for employing unlicensed personnel.
Around 1996 – Pediatrician Dr Schwartz – the former head of adolescent services at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and as of 2010, Philadelphia’s health commissioner – testified in the 2010 hearing that around 1996 or 1997, he had hand-delivered a letter of complaint about Gosnell’s practice to the Secretary of Health’s office and stopped referring patients to the clinic, but received no response.
2000 – Civil lawsuit filed on behalf of the children of Semika Shaw, who had called the clinic the day after an abortion to report heavy bleeding, and died 3 days later of a perforated uterus and a bloodstream infection. The case alleged that Gosnell had failed to tell her to return to the clinic or seek emergency medical care. It was settled out of court in 2002 for $900,000.
Around 2001 – Gosnell claimed to be providing children’s vaccines under a program administered by the Health Department’s Division of Disease Control, but was repeatedly suspended for failing to maintain logs and for storing vaccines in unsanitary and inappropriate refrigerators, and at improper temperatures.
December 2001 – ex-employee Marcella Choung gave what the Grand Jury would later call “a detailed written complaint” to the Pennsylvania Department of State, one which she followed up with an interview in March 2002.
2006 – Civil lawsuit filed by patient but dismissed as out of time. The complaint was that Gosnell had been unable to complete an abortion, but then apparently failed or refused to call paramedics or other clinical emergency personnel, after the patient had needed help. The patient reported, “I really felt like he was going to let me die.”
In total during the course of his career, 46 known lawsuits had been filed against Gosnell over some 32 years. Observers claimed that there was a complete failure by Pennsylvania regulators who had overlooked other repeated concerns brought to their attention, including lack of trained staff, “barbaric” conditions, and a high level of illegal late-term abortions.
The Women’s Medical Society was raided on 18 February 2010 under a search warrant by investigators from the FBI and state police. The raid was the result of a months-long investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Philadelphia Police Department, and the State’s Dangerous Drug-Offender Unit into suspected illegal drug prescription use at the practice. The investigation had also revealed the suspicious death of patient Karnamaya Mongar in 2009, which had in turn brought to light further information about unsanitary operations, use of untrained staff, and use of powerful drugs without proper medical supervision and control. Thus, when the February 2010 raid took place, staff from the Pennsylvania Department of State and Pennsylvania Department of Health also attended, as these issues were under their remit:
When the team members entered the clinic, they were appalled, describing it to the Grand Jury as ‘filthy,’ ‘deplorable,’ ‘disgusting,’ ‘very unsanitary, very outdated, horrendous,’ and ‘by far, the worst’ that these experienced investigators had ever encountered. There was blood on the floor. A stench of urine filled the air. A flea-infested cat was wandering through the facility, and there were cat feces on the stairs. Semi-conscious women scheduled for abortions were moaning in the waiting room or the recovery room, where they sat on dirty recliners covered with blood-stained blankets. All the women had been sedated by unlicensed staff – long before Gosnell arrived at the clinic – and staff members could not accurately state what medications or dosages they had administered to the waiting patients. Many of the medications in inventory were past their expiration dates… surgical procedure rooms were filthy and unsanitary… resembling ‘a bad gas station restroom.’ Instruments were not sterile. Equipment was rusty and outdated. Oxygen equipment was covered with dust, and had not been inspected. The same corroded suction tubing used for abortions was the only tubing available for oral airways if assistance for breathing was needed…”
[F]etal remains [were] haphazardly stored throughout the clinic– in bags, milk jugs, orange juice cartons, and even in cat-food containers… Gosnell admitted to Detective Wood that at least 10 to 20 percent… were probably older than 24 weeks [the legal limit]… In some instances, surgical incisions had been made at the base of the fetal skulls. The investigators found a row of jars containing just the severed feet of fetuses. In the basement, they discovered medical waste piled high. The intact 19-week fetus delivered by Mrs. Mongar three months earlier was in a freezer. In all, the remains of 45 fetuses were recovered … at least two of them, and probably three, had been viable.”
Gosnell’s license to practice was suspended on 22 February 2010, and these and other findings were presented to a Grand Jury on 4 May 2010. Public discussion focused on claims of unsanitary conditions and other unacceptable conditions at the practices. Media reports stated that furniture and blankets were stained with blood, freely roaming cats deposited their feces wherever they pleased, and that non-sterilized equipment was used and reused on patients. According to the grand jury report, patients were given labor-inducing drugs by staff who had no medical training. Once labor began, the patient would be placed on a toilet. After the fetus fell into the toilet, it would be fished out, so as not to clog the plumbing. In the recovery room, patients were seated on dirty recliners covered in blood-stained blankets. Prosecutors alleged that Gosnell had not been certified in either gynecology or obstetrics. The Grand Jury estimated that Gosnell’s practice “took in $10,000 to $15,000 a night” additional to income from his exceedingly high level of prescriptions.
Gosnell was arrested on January 19, 2011, five days after the certification of the Grand Jury’s report. He was charged with eight counts of murder. Prosecutors alleged that he killed seven babies born alive by severing their spinal cords with scissors, and that he was also responsible for the death in 2009 of Karnamaya Mongar, a 41-year-old refugee from Bhutan, who died in his care. Gosnell’s wife, Pearl, and eight other suspects were also arrested in connection with the case. The Drug Enforcement Administration, The Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Office of the Inspector General also sought a 23-count indictment charging Gosnell and seven members of his former staff with drug conspiracy, relating to the practice’s illegally prescribing highly-addictive painkillers and sedatives outside the usual course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.
The third degree murder charge relates to Karnamaya Mongar; according to prosecutors, Gosnell’s staff gave the 90-pound woman a lethal dose of anesthesia and painkillers. Gosnell’s lawyer asserts that Karnamaya Mongar also had in her system other drugs that did not come from Gosnell’s clinic, and that none of the infants were born alive. The claim was rejected by the Grand Jury, based upon expert testimony that “it was the overdose of Demerol, not some mystery pill, that killed Mrs. Mongar.”
The seven other murder charges are all of first degree murder; they relate to babies, whom staff have testified they saw move or cry after complete birth, and whose deaths are alleged to have resulted from subsequent lethal action. They arise because of the “born alive rule“, a principle of common law which stipulates that by default, for legal purposes, personhood arises – and therefore unlawful killing constituting murder becomes possible – immediately upon the victim’s being born alive (several US states as well as Federal legislation have more specific laws to protect fetuses and newborn babies; see fetal rights and born alive laws in the United States). Steven Massof, a clinic employee who pleaded guilty to similar charges in 2011, testified that he (Massof) had snipped the spines of more than 100 infants after they had been born alive, and that this was considered “standard procedure” at the clinic; a number of other employees had also testified to the same point. No physical evidence exists for five of the seven cases — charges are based on staff testimony and denied by Gosnell. A photograph exists of the sixth, who allegedly had a gestational age of 30 weeks, and the physical remains were obtained of the seventh. The Grand Jury report states that “A medical expert with 43 years of experience in performing abortions was appalled. This expert told us, ‘I’ve never heard of it [cutting the spinal cord] being done during an abortion’.”
The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania also alleges that Gosnell’s former office staff at Family and Women’s Medical Society (WMS) ran a prescription “pill mill.” From June 2008 through February 18, 2010, Gosnell allegedly engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise by writing and dispensing fraudulent prescriptions for thousands of pills of the frequently-abused tablets OxyContin, Percocet, and Xanax, and the frequently-abused syrups Phenergan and Promethazine with Codeine. Authorities further allege that Gosnell and his staff allowed customers to purchase multiple prescriptions under multiple names. For the first office visit, Gosnell allegedly charged $115, but that increased around December 2009 when he allegedly increased the initial office visit fee to $150. Staff at the clinic went from writing several hundred prescriptions for controlled substances per month filled at pharmacies in 2008 to over 2,300 filled at pharmacies in January 2010. Gosnell, with the assistance of his staff, is said to have distributed and dispensed more than 500,000 pills containing oxycodone; more than 400,000 pills containing alprazolam; and more than 19,000 ounces of cough syrup containing codeine.
Gosnell’s lawyer states that “Everybody’s made him the butcher, this, that and the other thing without any trial, without anything being exposed to the public and everybody’s found him guilty, that’s not right”. He accused the government of a “lynching” and stated, “This is a targeted, elitist and racist prosecution of a doctor who’s done nothing but give (back) to the poor and the people of West Philadelphia.”
Cases cited in the media
Examples of cases cited in the media include:
Girl age 15, accompanied by relative (1998): said to have told Gosnell she changed her mind about the abortion once inside the practice. Gosnell allegedly got upset, ripped off the patient’s clothing, and forcibly restrained her. The patient later stated that Gosnell told her “This is the same care that I would give to my own daughter.” She regained consciousness 12 hours later at her aunt’s home, the abortion having been completed against her will.
Woman age 28, five months pregnant (2001): Patient described the pain four days after abortion as being so bad she could barely walk. The patient described that upon returning to the clinic because of the pain, ultrasound showed fetal remains left inside her uterus, and that Gosnell suctioned these out without anesthesia. “I was just laying on the table and crying and I just asked the Lord to get me through it.”
Fifteen-year-old (undated): damages awarded in court upon a finding that Gosnell performed an abortion on a fifteen-year-old without parental permission.
Karnamaya Mongar, a 41-year-old refugee from Bhutan (2009): according to prosecutors, Gosnell’s staff gave the 90-pound woman a lethal dose of anesthesia and painkillers during a 2009 abortion (this is the adult whose death is charged as third degree murder). During Gosnell’s trial, a toxicologist testified to unsafe levels of the drug, and the chair of Anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School testified that the dose received by her was “outrageous” and “most” average adults would have stopped breathing if dosed in the manner described. Gosnell’s lawyer asserts that Karnamaya Mongar also had other drugs in her system that did not come from Gosnell’s clinic, and that none of the infants were born alive.
Lack of government oversight
Reports state that state officials had failed to visit or inspect Gosnell’s practices since 1993. The grand jury report noted that the medical examiner of Delaware County alerted the Pennsylvania Department of Health that Gosnell had performed an illegal abortion on a 14-year-old who was thirty weeks pregnant; it is also claimed the Pennsylvania Department of Health did not act when they became aware of Gosnell’s involvement in the death of Karnamaya Mongar.
Brenda Green, executive director of CHOICE, a nonprofit that connects the underinsured and uninsured with health services, told Katha Pollitt of The Nation that “it tried to report complaints from clients, but the department wouldn’t accept them from a third party. Instead, the patients had to fill out a daunting five-page form, available only in English, that required them to reveal their identities upfront and be available to testify in Harrisburg. Even with CHOICE staffers there to help, only two women agreed to fill out the form, and both decided not to submit it. The Department of State and the Philadelphia Public Health Department also had ample warning of dire conditions and took no action.”
In 2011, it was reported that none of Pennsylvania’s 22 abortion clinics had been inspected by the government for more than 15 years. Inspections (other than those triggered by complaints) had ceased under Ridge’s governorship, as they were perceived to create a barrier to women seeking abortion services.
Grand Jury report
The grand Jury published its 280-page report in January 2011. It stated that, while some might see the issue and case through the lens of pro- and anti-abortion politics, it was in reality:
not about that controversy; it is about disregard of the law and disdain for the lives and health of mothers and infants. We find common ground in exposing what happened here, and in recommending measures to prevent anything like this from ever happening again.
The grand jury concluded that the practice was a corrupt organization within the meaning of racketeering law, based upon what it considered evidence of deliberate “standard” use of “bogus” doctors, falsification of records, grossly unprofessional procedures with little or no regard for human life, and flagrant disregard for medical and abortion laws and their consequences. Key findings included:
Practice conditions and procedures
Extreme unsanitary conditions (resulting in cases of STDs and sepsis); pervasive non-sterile conditions; blood stained materials and instruments; contamination of the facilities by animal feces, urine, and other noxious fluids and waste; and months-old fetal remains stored in “jars, bags and jugs” (in 2013 the trial heard that Gosnell had also been in dispute with his medical waste company, with the latter stopping their services);
Surgical malpractice including perforation of bodily organs and “on at least two occasions” death;
Improper equipment and usage, including repeated reuse (“over and over”) of disposable supplies, and “generally broken” life-saving and monitoring equipment (including blood pressure monitoring, oximeters, and defibrillators);
Lack of properly trained staff, “bogus doctors” — unqualified, unlicensed and unsupervised staff who misrepresented themselves to patients as qualified licensed clinicians — and no qualified nurses. The jury reported that “Most of Gosnell’s employees who worked with patients had little or no remotely relevant training or education” (ex-employee Marcella Choung, who in 2001 and at interview in 2002 gave a detailed written complaint to the Pennsylvania Department of State, testified that her ‘training’ for anesthesia consisted of “a 15-minute description by Gosnell and reading a chart he had posted in a cabinet.”)
Gosnell himself was largely absent and left the clinic to be operated by his unqualified employees, whom he sometimes “ordered” to perform medical actions even if they “protested” that they were unqualified. Employees testified they had to rely on themselves, as “Gosnell disliked it when workers disturbed him by calling for medication advice”;
Operation of a “prescription treadmill” whereby blank signed prescriptions would be left for those seeking controlled medications, unsupervised and uncontrolled by a practitioner (which was the subject of a parallel and separate Federal investigation);
Willful non-compliance with laws intended to safeguard vulnerable women, including non-compliance with requirements for mandatory counseling, consent (for minors), waiting periods (between visiting and surgery);
Fraudulent temporary employment of a nurse for 4 days during an NAF inspection, with the aim of deceiving the inspectors into believing that his practice staff included a licensed registered nurse (which it did not); over the few days of their on-site review, the nurse resigned upon realizing the fraud, which also involved Gosnell taking her paycheck back afterwards and paying her in cash instead;
Fraudulent recording of gestational age and training of staff to manipulate ultrasound in a way that would match the stated number of weeks;
Dishonest statements by Gosnell and employees to investigators, including claims that Ms. Mongar’s death was due to her own action (discredited forensically), falsification and destruction of records, and lying about the manner of her death and Gosnell’s (lack of) presence for anesthesia;
Patients given labor and delivery inducing drugs during the day, then left waiting until late evening for Gosnell to attend or for surgery. Many gave birth during the day as a result, and employees testified “it was standard procedure for women to deliver fetuses – and viable babies – into toilets” while waiting for his arrival.
Practice staff routinely delivered living babies in the third trimester, subsequently killing them (or ensuring their death). As part of this, fetuses and babies had their demise “ensured” post-operatively by severing of the spinal cord with scissors, known by staff as “snipping”. Most of these were deemed infeasible to prosecute because files and other evidence were not held, although the report stipulates they numbered in the “hundreds”. Among the “few cases” where tangible evidence existed, the jury noted a boy aged 30 weeks at 6 pounds; a frozen body in a water container of “at least” 28 weeks; remains of at least one abortion of over 32 weeks for which an extra $1000 had been demanded; testimony of a baby heard to make noise; and a baby left “moving and breathing for at least 20 minutes” prior to “snipping”. The jury heard testimony about “special” Sunday sessions, at which only Gosnell and his wife were present, which the jury suspected (and in some cases was able to corroborate) would include cases that were more advanced in time, or more disturbing;
Over time, Gosnell and his practice acquired a “bad reputation” and during the decade 2000–9, local community organizations ceased referring patients there. To compensate, the practice took on referrals from other in-state cities; it became understood that Gosnell’s center would perform abortions “at any stage, without regard for legal limits”;
Where induced labor failed, Dr Gosnell would attempt to abort surgically, “often calamitous[ly]” for the woman involved. Example outcomes included:
Woman “left lying in place for hours after Gosnell tore her cervix and colon“; relatives called police after entrance refused, remedial colon surgery required.
Woman sent home with fetal remains unremoved, “serious infection” led to near death.
Punctured uterus leading to shock from blood loss and hysterectomy; woman “held for hours” by the practice.
Patient suffered “convulsions” and fell off the operating table, sustaining a head injury, Gosnell “wouldn’t call an ambulance, and wouldn’t let the woman’s companion leave the building so that he could call an ambulance”
Sedation used to mute sounds of pain; Gosnell specified pre-set amounts of drugs for non-physician staff to use on patients, but without reference to individual needs, and without records or monitoring of condition. On numerous occasions, the same patient was dosed multiple times in quick succession by different employees;
Death of Karnamaya Mongar, who received “repeated unmonitored, unrecorded intravenous injections of Demerol” (meperidine hydrochloride, an opioidanalgesic which the report describes practice staff using as a cheap but dangerous sedative), and ceased breathing. Staff were unable to revive her (emergency medications were not used and the defibrillator was not working), and paramedics were unable to revive her after gaining access, in part because they were deceived by staff as to what had happened and the drugs and dosages responsible.
Government and third-party handling
Gosnell’s practice was “caught by accident” during a raid for illegal drugs prescribing. State officials had been invited to attend the raid as well, since preparations for the drugs raid had revealed prior reports and information suggesting grossly substandard practise conditions at the clinic;
Pennsylvania Department of Health failed to regulate properly and failed to ensure that the issues noticed were addressed on the few occasions around 1990 that Gosnell was inspected; and ceased inspections “for political reasons” (to reduce a perceived deterrent) at the time Tom Ridge took office as Governor of the State;
Inspections were still to continue if complaints were received, yet repeated complaints did not trigger an investigation; the department’s response came after media exposure;
The Department of State’s Board of Medicine, which licenses and oversees physicians, had “more damning information than anyone else”, including a description of the practice by an ex-employee (Choung) a decade previously (2001 and again 2002), as well as knowledge of at least one of the serious incidents cited of surgical malpractice, but took verbal assurances from Gosnell and no other effective or substantial investigative action was taken over these;
Department of Public Health employees “regularly” visited the practice but had not adequately reported the issues present. One inspection confirmed “numerous violations of protocols for storage and disposal of infectious waste” but no follow-up occurred;
A “health department representative” visiting for a vaccination program in 2009 “discovered that Gosnell was scamming the program” and “was able to file detailed reports identifying many of the most egregious elements of Gosnell’s practice.” Her attempts to raise concerns were ignored; the Grand Jury report states “her reports went into a black hole”;
Other third parties had knowledge, but took no visible action. These included the pediatrician and subsequent head of the city’s health department, Dr Schwartz, who around 1996–97, reported concerns about the practice, concerns on which no action was taken, and who did not himself act after being promoted, University of Pennsylvania hospital and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center who treated numerous surgical failures from Gosnell’s practice, including a “flagrantly illegal abortion”, but reported only one of them; the National Abortion Federation whose evaluator around 2009 noted “records were not properly kept, that risks were not explained, that patients were not monitored, that equipment was not available, that anesthesia was misused” and concluded “[i]t was the worst abortion clinic she had ever inspected”, but no report was made of this to any official body;
The report divided offences by Gosnell and other practice employees into three categories: “charges arising from the baby murders and illegal abortions; charges in connection with the death of Karnamaya Mongar; and charges stemming generally from the ongoing operation of a criminal enterprise“. The charges recommended were:
Gosnell, Williams, Moton, and Massof – charged with first degree murder for the post-operative killings where evidence existed that the baby was born alive
Gosnell, Williams, Moton, Massof, and West – charged with conspiracy to commit murder in relation to “hundreds of unidentifiable instances” of post-operative killings (called “snipping” by staff). The jury also recommended charges of solicitation to commit murder by Gosnell.
Gosnell and (as co-conspirators) Williams, West, and Gosnell’s wife – charged with various violations of the Abortion Control Act, including infanticide and illegal late-term abortions;
Gosnell, Williams, and West – charged with third-degree murder (Pennsylvania’s equivalent to reckless or voluntary manslaughter), drug delivery resulting in death, violations of the Controlled Substances Act and conspiracy in regard to the death of Karnamaya Mongar. The report states: “Gosnell’s contempt for the law and his patients cost Karnamaya Mongar her life. Her death was the direct result of deliberate and dangerous conduct by Gosnell and his staff.”
Gosnell, West, and Hampton – charged with hindering apprehension, and lying to the police, medical practitioners, and the grand jury about the circumstances of Mongar’s death (Hampton was also charged with perjury in the same matter);
Gosnell – recommended to be charged with abuse of corpses, in regards to the “mutilat[ion of] babies and fetuses by cutting off their feet” and the “bizarre” storage of parts of fetal bodies in around 30 jars and other containers at his practice; his explanation that this was done for possible paternity cases was “rejected out of hand”.
The Grand Jury also concluded that “Illegality was so integral to the operation of the Women’s Medical Society that the business itself was a corrupt organization” (18 Pa.C.S. § 911, “based on a pattern of racketeering activity”):
Gosnell, Williams, West, Moton, Joe, Baldwin, Gosnell’s wife, Massof, and O’Neill – charged with running that organization or conspiring to do so;
Massof and O’Neill – charged with theft by deception for pretending to be doctors, and billing for their services as if they were licensed physicians, and (with Gosnell) conspiracy to this effect;
Gosnell and Baldwin – charged with corrupting the morals of a minor, by hiring her 15-year-old daughter as a staff member, who was “required to work 50-hour weeks, starting after school until past midnight, during which she was exposed to the full horrors of Gosnell’s practice”.
Of Gosnell himself, the report concluded,
We believe, given the manner in which Gosnell operated, that he killed the vast majority of babies that he aborted after 24 weeks. We cannot, however, recommend murder charges for all of these cases. In order to constitute murder, the act must involve a baby who was born alive. Because files were falsified or removed from the facility and possibly destroyed, we cannot substantiate all of the individual cases in which charges might otherwise have resulted.”
The report also examined the failings of official parties, and the key findings, analyzed in two categories:
“Janice Staloski of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, who personally participated in the 1992 site visit, but decided to let Gosnell slide on the violations that were already evident then. She eventually rose to become director of the division that was supposed to regulate abortion providers, but never looked at Gosnell despite specific complaints from lawyers, a doctor, and a medical examiner. After she was nonetheless promoted, her successor as division director, Cynthia Boyne, failed to order an investigation of the clinic even when Karnamaya Mongar died there. Senior legal counsel Kenneth Brody insisted that the department had no legal obligation to monitor abortion clinics, even though it exercised such a duty until the Ridge administration, and exercised it again as soon as Gosnell became big news. The agency’s head lawyer, chief counsel Christine Dutton, defended the department’s indifference: ‘People die,’ she said.”
“Lawyers at the Pennsylvania Department of State behaved in the same fashion. Attorneys Mark Greenwald, Charles Hartwell, David Grubb, Andrew Kramer, William Newport, Juan Ruiz, and Kerry Maloney were confronted with a growing pile of disquieting facts about Gosnell, including a detailed, inside account from a former employee (Marcella Choung, 2001), and a 22-year-old dead woman. Every time, though, they managed to dismiss the evidence as immaterial… until the facts hit the fan.”
The Department of Health should explicitly regulate and annually inspect abortion practices, and examine patient files, licenses, and equipment on-site;
Second-trimester abortions should be performed or supervised by doctors who are board-certified obstetrics and gynecology;
The Department of State “must repair its review process”, including easier reporting, confidentiality, post-investigation response, with cases automatically checked against past records, malpractice databases, and full past history;
Reports about individual doctors checked against reports of medical offices where they worked, and vice versa;
The Department of Public Health “should do at least as much to control infectious medical waste as it does to inspect swimming pools”;
The conclusions finished by examining the extent to which legislation had been inadequate, and the scope for legislative change, concluding that:
Statutory changes are necessary as well. Infanticide and third-trimester abortion are serious crimes. The two-year statute of limitations currently applicable for these offenses is inadequate to their severity. The limitations period for late abortion should be extended to five years; infanticide, like homicide, should have none. Impersonating a physician is also a serious, and potentially very dangerous, act. Yet under current law it is not a crime at all. An appropriate criminal provision should be enacted. There may also be other statutory and regulatory revisions that we, as lay people, have not thought to consider. Legislative hearings may be appropriate to further examine these issues.
In 2011, Gosnell, his wife Pearl, and eight other clinic employees were charged in the case. Eight, including Gosnell’s wife, subsequently pleaded guilty, most of whom would testify against Gosnell, and three of these pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, carrying a 20- to 40-year term. A gag order was imposed on both defense and prosecution in April 2011, to bar them from talking to the media before the trial. In December 2011 Pearl Gosnell pleaded guilty to performing illegal abortions, conspiracy, criminal conspiracy and corrupt organization; due to spousal privilege, she will not have to testify against Gosnell, although she may still go to prison. She had testified to the grand jury that she alone assisted on Sundays, and that her role was to “help do the instruments” in the procedure room and to monitor patients in the recovery room. Another employee testified that she assisted with late-term abortions “on Sundays or days we were closed [to] do special cases.”
As a result, the only employee on trial with Gosnell is Eileen O’Neill, an employee who allegedly held herself out as a doctor at the clinic when she was not licensed. Her lawyer told jurors she never did so, and performed medical duties only under Gosnell’s orders.
On March 18, 2013, opening statements were given in a Philadelphia court. On April 23, after the prosecution had rested its case, the judge dismissed three of the seven first-degree murder charges (the next day the judge reinstated charges related to one and dismissed another, explaining the wrong charge had been mistakenly dismissed), the one count of infanticide, and all five charges of abusing a corpse Gosnell had been charged with, as well as six of the nine charges of theft by deception faced by O’Neill. No formal ruling has yet been given for these dismissals. Media sources following the trial have suggested that there may have been insufficient evidence of post-procedure life to sustain charges in law. Although prosecutors had argued the movements were voluntary and therefore signs of life, it was argued that the evidence offered by prosecutors were equally capable of being interpreted in some or all of these as single autonomous post-mortem motor movements or spasms instead of clinical signs of life, and additionally that none of the seven were capable of being alive as all had been previously killed clinically in utero by means of drugs as part of the procedure. Also, although staff had used descriptions such as “jumping” and “screaming” in their testimony, Gosnell’s defense noted that testimony had shown only single movements or breaths, stating that the testimony was not evidence of “the movements of a live child”, and the medical examiner had also testified that tests could not determine whether or not any of the 47 fetuses found had been born alive due to tissue deterioration.
The remaining four first-degree murder charges could still have led to the death penalty. The 3rd-degree murder charges in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, the racketeering charge, and over 200 charges related to multiple violations of abortion law were also left standing. Gosnell’s defense attorney rested his case summarily without calling or questioning any witnesses, and without Gosnell taking the stand in his defense, leaving the defense case until final arguments (under US law, a defendant may choose not to take the stand; if so then the jury is instructed that no inference or assumption may be drawn from this). O’Neill also did not testify in her defense. The case went to jury deliberation on April 30, 2013.
Defendants, related charges, verdicts and sentencing
Gosnell was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder (reduced to 4 counts at trial) and one count of third-degree murder, as well as infanticide (dismissed at trial), 5 counts of abusing a corpse (all dismissed at trial), multiple counts of conspiracy, criminal solicitation and violation of a state law that forbids abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy. The non-murder charges included 24 counts of violating Pennsylvania’s Abortion Act by performing illegal third-trimester abortions, 227 counts of violating a 24-hour waiting-period requirement, failing to counsel patients, and racketeering. His co-defendants were:
Steven Massof, a medical school graduate who lacked a license, pleaded guilty in November 2011 to two counts of 3rd-degree murder for the deaths of two babies who had been born alive.
Pearl Gosnell, Kermit’s wife, was charged with abortion at 24 or more weeks, conspiracy and participating in a corrupt organization. She pleaded guilty to these charged on Dec. 13, 2011. Pearl Gosnell was sentenced to 7 to 23 months in prison.
Steven Massof and Eileen O’Neill, both medical school graduates without proper licensing to be doctors in Pennsylvania. Gosnell presented these employees as physicians and billed insurance companies more on this allegation. All three are charged with theft by deception for these acts.
Kareema Cross, who testified at the state trial she had seen at least ten babies breathe after being aborted who were then killed, pleaded guilty to federal drug charges over improper distribution of pain medicine from Gosnell’s clinic.
On May 13, 2013, the jury reported that they were deadlocked on two counts. After returning to deliberations, the jury convicted Gosnell of 3 counts of murder, one count of involuntary manslaughter, and many lesser counts. He was found not guilty on one of the counts of murder.
On May 14, 2013, Gosnell struck a deal with prosecutors in which he agreed to waive all his appeal rights regarding his conviction on the day earlier. In exchange, prosecutors allowed Gosnell to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
On May 15, 2013, Gosnell was sentenced to life in prison for the third child’s murder.
Impact and aftermath
Other bodies and persons claiming to have made reports
In April 2011 the University of Pennsylvania Health System claimed as early as 1999 that they had provided to authorities reports about botched procedures by Gosnell. The only case for which any reports were produced was that of Semika Shaw, a 22-year-old, who died at the University of Pennsylvania hospital as a result of bleeding and sepsis caused by a botched procedure by Gosnell. Gosnell’s insurers settled a lawsuit with family members of Shaw for $900,000. The health system also claims other undocumented reports were made orally, for which they did not have records.
Regulatory and legislative impact
The Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee of the Pennsylvania State Senate, led by Robert M. Tomlinson, began a hearing in February 2011 to look into the failure of the Pennsylvania Department of State — which is responsible for licensing doctors — to provide any oversight of Gosnell’s activities. At the same time, the Public Health and Welfare Committee of the state Senate, chaired by Pat Vance, conducted hearings on the Pennsylvania State Health Department’s failure to put a stop to Gosnell’s activities.
In part as a result of the grand jury report on Gosnell, in late 2011, Pennsylvania passed a law, SB 732, that places abortion clinics under the same health and safety regulations as other outpatient surgical centers. Among those who supported the bill was Democrat Margo L. Davidson, whose cousin Semika Shaw died as a result of procedures done by Gosnell. Davidson specifically linked her support for the additional regulations to her cousin’s death, which she attributed to poor medical practices.
In May 2013, as a result of the Kermit Gosnell case, Representative Joe Pitts (R-Pennsylvania), chair of the health-matters subcommittee of the United States House of Representatives‘ Energy and Commerce Committee, began an inquiry into states’ oversight of abortion clinics.
In February 2011 Pennsylvania Governor and former State Attorney GeneralTom Corbett fired six employees and commenced action to fire eight others where for legal or contractual reasons, more extensive dismissal procedures were required. These included Basil Merenda, the acting head of the Pennsylvania Department of State, Christine Dutton, the Department of Health’s chief counsel (who, in reaction to being questioned why the Department did not react to a death at Gosnell’s clinic, said “people die”), and Stacy Mitchell, a deputy secretary in the health department (whom the grand jury cited as a key figure in the Health Department’s indifference to, and non-regulation of, abortion clinics). Some of the people most connected by the grand jury report with the failure of the government to act, such as Janice Staloski, had retired by this point and so no action was taken against them.
The family of Karnamaya Mongar has brought a wrongful death suit against Gosnell and sought to freeze his assets to prevent him from transferring them to other people to avoid paying. As of April 2013 the suit is still pending.
Media coverage and public reactions
Gosnell’s arrest has been the subject of much public comment and expressions of condemnation and shock by senior public figures of all parties. Mayor Michael Nutter (D-PA) said, “I think it’s quite clear that, if these allegations are true, we’ve had a monster living in our midst” while vowing to watch the city’s remaining abortion clinics more closely. Outgoing Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA) criticized Department of Health officials saying, “I was flabbergasted to learn that the Department of Health did not think their authority to protect public health extended to clinics offering abortion services”, while incoming Governor Tom Corbett (R-PA) stated through a spokesperson that he was “appalled at the inaction on the part of the Health Department and the Department of State,” and District Attorney of the city of Philadelphia R. Seth Williams said “My comprehension of the English language can’t adequately describe the barbaric nature of Dr. Gosnell… Pennsylvania is not a third-world country… There were several oversight agencies that stumbled upon and should have shut down Kermit Gosnell long ago.”
Gosnell also practiced in other states, including Delaware. In January 2011, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden (D-Delaware) promised a wide-ranging investigations into the abortions Gosnell performed in Delaware saying; “I’m disturbed by the allegations that were handed up by the grand jury in Philadelphia”.
A spokesperson for the National Abortion Federation, an association of abortion providers, noted that Gosnell had been rejected for membership following inspection, because his clinics did not meet appropriate standards of care, but that “they’d cleaned the place up and hired an RN [registered nurse] for our visit. We only saw first-trimester procedures.” She adding that “Unfortunately, some women don’t know where to turn. You sometimes have substandard providers preying on low-income women who don’t know that they do have other (safe) options.” A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood in Southeastern Pennsylvania, condemned Gosnell, saying, “We would condemn any physician who does not follow the law or endangers anyone’s health… All women should have access to high-quality care when they are vulnerable and facing difficult decisions.” Dayle Steinberg, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania, says she knew that Gosnell had provided abortions in Philadelphia for many years, but says she hadn’t heard of any problems at his clinic until the allegations surfaced. She has been quoted as stating that “when Gosnell was in practice, women would sometimes come to Planned Parenthood for services after first visiting Gosnell’s West Philadelphia clinic, and would complain to staff about the conditions there. We would always encourage them to report it to the Department of Health.”  She clarified that “when Gosnell was arrested, I asked our staff if anyone had ever heard of him, and clinic staff members reported that a few women over the years said they were concerned about the uncleanliness of his facility and came to Planned Parenthood instead… if we had heard anything remotely like the conditions that have since come to light about Gosnell’s facility, of course we would have alerted the state and other authorities”.
Kermit Gosnell himself gave an interview to Fox 29 in February 2011, in which he stated that:
“I expect to be vindicated.”
[Regarding the allegations] “to tell you the truth, I hope to read them in 3 to 6 months […] because I have lived through negative publicity before.”
“It’s something I have personally experienced several times before where my surgical abilities have been challenged, where the choices that I have made have not always been perfect.”
“If you are not making mistakes, you are not really attempting to do something, so I think that my patients are aware that I do my very best by them.”
“The standard that I share with everyone that, I frequently say is that I provide the same care that I would provide my own daughter I feel.”
“I have a story to tell. […] my work to the community is of value.”
Gosnell reported that he received outpouring of support: “letters, I have gotten wonderful little messages of support, and confidence that I am a good person will prevail.”
While Kirsten Powers is credited by some for drawing media coverage to the Gosnell trial, Dave Weigel at Slate.com reported it was conservatives’ aggressive use of social media, especially Twitter, that “goaded” the press into covering the trial in Philadelphia. According to Weigel, Troy Newman, president of the Kansas-based pro-life Operation Rescue, had organized a Twitter campaign using “#Gosnell” to break the “Gosnell Media Blackout.” Key to that social media campaign was a picture of rows of empty media seats in the Gosnell courtroom taken by Calkins Media columnist J.D. Mullane.
Mullane told Weigel he was struck by the absence of media at the trial, and took out his iPhone and snapped the picture, tweeting it later that night.
“Mullane retweeted the photo a few more times, with different captions, because it had been packed into a snowball (of criticism)” which included Powers’ column for USA Today, Weigel wrote. The empty seats photograph was used by pro-life activists to show “proof” of media dereliction. Weigel wrote: “It worked. An estimated 106,000 #Gosnell tweets later, on April 15, Mullane reported that major networks and newspapers had sent their reporters to cover the trial—Fox News, the New York Times, the Washington Post.”
Writing for The Washington Post, Melinda Henneberger responded that “we didn’t write more because the only abortion story most outlets ever cover in the news pages is every single threat or perceived threat to abortion rights. In fact, that is so fixed a view of what constitutes coverage of that issue that it’s genuinely hard, I think, for many journalists to see a story outside that paradigm as news. That’s not so much a conscious decision as a reflex, but the effect is one-sided coverage”. Explaining why some of her colleagues did not report on the story, Henneberger wrote, “One colleague viewed Gosnell’s alleged atrocities as a local crime story, though I can’t think of another mass murder, with hundreds of victims, that we ever saw that way. Another said it was just too lurid, though that didn’t keep us from covering Jeffrey Dahmer, or that aspiring cannibal at the NYPD.” Writing for Bloomberg View, Jeffrey Goldberg said that this story “upsets a particular narrative about the reality of certain types of abortion, and that reality isn’t something some pro-choice absolutists want to discuss”.
The Los Angeles Times,The Atlantic,Slate, and Time all published opinion columns where the writer thought the incident was not getting as much media coverage as it deserved. Megan McArdle explains that she didn’t cover it because it made her ill, but also how being pro-choice influenced writers saying “most of us tend to be less interested in sick-making stories if the sick-making was done by ‘our side,'” saying, “this story should have been covered much more than it was — covered as a national policy issue, not a ‘local crime story.'” Martin Baron, The Post’s executive editor, claims he wasn’t aware of the story until Thursday, 11 April, when readers began emailing him about it, saying “I wish I could be conscious of all stories everywhere, but I can’t be”. They ultimately decided that, in fact, the story warranted attention because of “the seriousness and scope of the alleged crimes and because this was a case that resonated in policy arguments and national politics”, adding “In retrospect, we regret not having staffed the trial sooner. But, as you know, we don’t have unlimited resources, and […] there is a lot of competition for our staff’s attention”. He insisted that “we never decide what to cover for ideological reasons, no matter what critics might claim. Accusations of ideological motives are easy to make, even if they’re not supported by the facts”.The New York Times also acknowledged the lack of coverage and reported on the online campaign and subsequent increase in coverage of the case. While Powers’ piece clearly sparked debate among journalists, Katherine Bindley also highlights contrasting views, as does Paul Farhi. A column on Salon.com questioned whether the Gosnell case was an example of liberal media bias, saying that conservative media and politicians had also given little attention to the story until April 2013.
In April 2013, 71 other Members of Congress joined Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn in a letter condemning the media “blackout” on the Gosnell trial.
As well, the filmmakers wrote a book titled, Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer. The book was released on January 24, 2017. The book quickly rose to the number three spot on Amazon’s “Best Seller” list and number one on their “Hot New Releases” list. 
SSRI Stories is a collection of over 6,000 stories that have appeared in the media (newspapers, TV, scientific journals) in which prescription drugs were mentioned and in which the drugs may be linked to a variety of adverse outcomes including violence.
This updated site includes the stories from the previous site and new ones from 2011 to date. We have used a new “category” classification system on the new stories. We are working back through previously SSRI Stories to bring them into the new classification system. In the meantime use the search box in the upper right column to search through both the old and the new stories.
SSRI Stories focuses primarily on problems caused by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), of which Prozac (fluoxetine) was the first. For more see About SSRIs. Other medications prescribed as antidepressants that fit the “nightmares” theme of the collected stories are sometimes included.
Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit (Grace Slick, Woodstock, aug 17 1969)
Jefferson Airplane – Somebody to love
Dylann Roof makes first South Carolina court appearance
Bond Hearing For Charleston Church Shooter Dylann Roof (Full Unedited): First Court Appearance
New video shows church group moments before shooting
Who is Dylann Roof?
Dylann Roof: Charleston Church Shooting | True News
Obama in 2004 on His Personal Drinking/Drug Use
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Friend: Dyllan Storm Roof Took Gun from His Mom – She Didn’t Trust Him With It (VIDEO)
Witnesses: Shooter said he was there ‘to shoot black…
Charleston Church Shootings: Special Report
Best 7 minutes on gun control I have ever seen!
In this segment of his Virtual State of the Union, the Virtual President talks about why politicians want to talk about gun control rather than crime control, and delivers the factual evidence and historical truths that make the case for the Second Amendment self-evident.
Dr Susan Gratia-Hupp – Survivor of the 1991 Kileen TX Lubys Shooting Massacre
Hupp and her parents were having lunch at the Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen in 1991 when the Luby’s massacre commenced. The gunman shot 50 people and killed 23, including Hupp’s parents. Hupp later expressed regret about deciding to remove her gun from her purse and lock it in her car lest she risk possibly running afoul of the state’s concealed weapons laws; during the shootings, she reached for her weapon but then remembered that it was “a hundred feet away in my car.” Her father, Al Gratia, tried to rush the gunman and was shot in the chest. As the gunman reloaded, Hupp escaped through a broken window and believed that her mother, Ursula Gratia, was behind her. Actually however, her mother went to her mortally-wounded husband’s aid and was then shot in the head.
As a survivor of the Luby’s massacre, Hupp testified across the country in support of concealed-handgun laws. She said that if there had been a second chance to prevent the slaughter, she would have violated the Texas law and carried the handgun inside her purse into the restaurant. She testified across the country in support of concealed handgun laws, and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1996. The law was signed by then-Governor George W. Bush.
The Animals – The House of the Rising Sun
“House Of The Rising Sun”
There is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy
And God, I know I’m oneMy mother was a tailor
She sewed my new blue jeans
My father was a gamblin’ man
Down in New OrleansNow the only thing a gambler needs
Is a suitcase and trunk
And the only time he’s satisfied
Is when he’s on a drunk[Organ Solo]Oh mother, tell your children
Not to do what I have done
Spend your lives in sin and misery
In the House of the Rising SunWell, I got one foot on the platform
The other foot on the train
I’m goin’ back to New Orleans
To wear that ball and chainWell, there is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy
And God, I know I’m one
The Moody Blues – Nights In White Satin
Charleston shooting: c’s stepmother defends ‘smart’ boy ‘drawn in by internet evil’
The stepmother of Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old charged with nine counts of murder for the shooting at a church in Charleston, has spoken out in his defence.
Paige Mann, who was married to Mr Roof’s father for 10 years and helped raise him, said that her stepson was so smart that he became bored in school and was a germophobe for some time.
“He went to catechism, he went to church,” Ms Mann said. “He was locked in his room looking up bad stuff on the computer.”
In an interview with the New York Daily News, she said: “Something on the computer drew him in – this is Internet evil. We just thought he was a lazy, this-generation kind of kid.”
Mr Roof’s manifesto, published online, shows how the 21-year-old’s views hardened after the shooting of Travyon Martin in Florida in 2012. Ms Paige claimed that it was only after her step-son began living with his mother over the past few years that he became a recluse.
Mr Roof sat with members of the Emanuel African Methodist Epsicopal Church for nearly an hour before he allegedly shot nine of them dead, including the pastor.
Divorce papers filed by Ms Paige in 2008 claim that Franklin Roof had hit her and that any hope Dylann had of a normal home left with her, it was reported by the Inquisitr.
According to the manifesto, which was updated just hours before the fatal attack, he believed that he had no choice but to carry out the attack on the church and “chose Charleston because it is the most historic city in my state”.
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Ft. Hood Shooting Reactions And The Horrors Of SSRIs
Affidavits spell out chilling case against Dylann Roof
As a subdued Dylann Roof made his first official appearance Friday on charges of killing nine people at a historic black church, police affidavits offered grim details of the murder case, including an allegation that the gunman fired multiple shots into each victim and stood over them to issue “a racially inflammatory statement.”
The documents also said that Roof’s father and uncle contacted police to positively identify the 21-year-old as the suspect after authorities issued photos of the gunman within hours of the attack at the Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston Wednesday evening.
As those details trickled out, the suspect’s family issued a statement expressing sadness and offering condolences to the families of the victims:
Dylann Roof’s father, according to the court documents, told investigators that his son owned a .45-caliber handgun. The documents note that .45-caliber casings were found at the scene of the shootings.
The affidavits allege that Roof, wearing a fanny pack apparently to hide a weapon, spent an hour with the parishioners before opening fire on the group. Before leaving the scene of the carnage, he allegedly “uttered a racially inflammatory statement” over the bodies to a witness who was apparently allowed to survive to convey the message.
Roof was returned to South Carolina after waiving his extradition rights following his arrest Thursday near Shelby, N.C., about 245 miles northwest of Charleston.
He appeared at ease when he allegedly told investigators shortly after his capture that he had launched the attack that left nine dead, a federal law enforcement official said. The official, who is not authorized to comment publicly, said that the suspect expressed no remorse and appeared “comfortable” with what he had done.
Authorities have determined that Roof legally obtained a .45-caliber handgun earlier this year, using money likely provided as birthday gift from his family, the official said. The weapon was purchased at gun store near Columbia, S.C.
Statements made by some family members of victims were particularly powerful.
Charleston shooting: What is a ‘hate crime’?
Appearing by video link from jail, the 21-year-old Roof, who was handcuffed and wore a striped jail jumpsuit, often pursed his lips, closed his eyes, or stared at the floor as the relatives of five victims spoke to the court at the bond hearing.
“You took something really precious away from me, I will never talk to her again, never hold her again, but I forgive you,” said the daughter of one of the victims, Ethel Lance. “You hurt me, you hurt a lot of people but God forgive you and I forgive you.”
Roof appeared wan and subdued, his distinctive bowl hair, shown in surveillance photos outside the church on the night of the killings, stringy and unkempt. He stood with his hands cuffed behind his back. Two heavily armed guards stood behind him.
Bethanee Middleton-Brown, sister of another victim, DePayne Middleton-Doctor, addressed the hearing amid sniffles and sobs in the tiny courtroom.
She said her sister “taught me me that we are the family that love built, we have no room for hate, so we have to forgive. And I pray to God for your soul and I also thank God that And I also thank God I won’t be around when your judgment day comes with him.”
Although the court legally could not issue any bond in on the murder charges, Magistrate James Gosnell Jr. set Roof’s bond on a related weapons possession charge at $1 million.
Roof, who often swallowed hard as the judge asked questions, spoke only three times, answering “yes, sir” and “no, sir” to questions about his employment status. Roof is unemployed.
At the opening of the emotional, 13-minute hearing, Gosnell addressed the court, saying Charleston is a strong, loving community with “big hearts.”
“We are going to reach out to everyone, all the victims, and we will touch them,” he said. “We have victims — nine of them — but we also have victims on the other side.
“There are victims on this young man’s side of the family. No one would have ever thrown them into the whirlwind of events that they have been thrown into … We must find it in their heart to also help his family as well.”
In Washington, meanwhile, Justice Department spokeswoman Emily Pierce said the federal inquiry into the church shooting is ongoing.
What happens to mass killers: the data behind the crimes
Pierce said the investigation will not only consider possible hate crime violations, but prosecutors also will review the shooting as a possible “act of domestic terrorism.”
“This heartbreaking episode was undoubtedly designed to strike fear and terror into this community, and the department is looking at this crime from all angles,” Pierce said.
Charleston, South Carolina Mayor Joseph Riley said although he doesn’t condone the death penalty, he thinks prosecutors will seek it in the Emanuel AME church shooting. VPC
Gov. Nikki Haley, speaking on NBC’s Today show on Friday, said that “we will absolutely will want him to have the death penalty” for the fatal shooting of nine members of a Bible study group at the Emanuel AME Church on Wednesday evening.
Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., said at a news conference Friday that though he’s not a proponent of the death penalty, it’s the law in South Carolina and he expects it will be sought in the church shooting. “If you are going to have a death penalty, certainly this case would merit it,” Riley said.
Shelby police officials did not interview Roof formally, according to WBTV, a Charlotte TV station, which quotes an unidentified source as saying the suspect was videotaped during the entire time he was at the Shelby police department.
The source told WBTV that Roof spoke freely, told investigators he had been planning the attack for a period of time, had researched the Emanuel AME Church and targeted it because it was a historic African-American church.
According to WBTV’s source, Roof told investigators he had a Glock handgun hidden behind a pouch he was wearing around his waist. He also told investigators he thought he’d only shot a few people and when told he actually had killed nine people, he appeared to be somewhat remorseful, according to the source.
During the recorded conversation, Roof reportedly told investigators he actually thought he would be caught in Charleston before fleeing and was headed to Nashville when he was captured. When asked why he was going to Nashville, he reportedly told investigators “I’ve never been there before.”
Police alleged that Roof opened fire on worshipers after sitting with them for at least an hour. The victims included the pastor, Clementa Pinckney, 41, who was also a state senator.
The 21-year-old man accused of killing nine people as they worshiped at a Charleston, South Carolina church has a criminal past. Dylann Roof was arrested twice this year and images of him posted to social media seem to show a racist ideology. WCNC
Roof allegedly told police he “almost didn’t go through with (the shooting) because everyone was so nice to him,” other sources told NBC News’ Craig Melvin.
Police say they thought Roof was the lone gunman within hours of the bloody attack on the church, which was founded in 1816. Asked whether authorities believe Roof had acted alone, Mullen said: “We don’t have any reason to believe anyone else was involved.”
A one-time acquaintance of Roof’s told the Associated Press that he would rant that “blacks were taking over the world” as the pair got drunk on vodka.
Roof railed that “someone needed to do something about it for the white race,” said the former friend, Joseph Meek Jr., according to the AP.
Story 2: The Benghazi Cover-up and Scandal — Explosive Testimony of CIA — Americans Died — Obama Lied — False Narrative = The Big Lie — Democrat Deceivers — Tyrants Liars Club (TLC) — A Lie is A Lie is A Lie — Videos
“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
“Anything is better than lies and deceit!”
~ Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
April 2 Benghazi hearing with Mike Morell
Former CIA deputy director Michael Morrell denies Benghazi cover-up – Lone Wolf
Bachmann Challenges Former Acting CIA Director on Benghazi
Treason Exposed! Obama Used Benghazi Attack to Cover Up Arms Shipments to Muslim Brotherhood
House Intel CMTE Holds Hearing On Benghazi Scandal – Michele Bachmann Heated Exchange
Fox praises Thornberry’s questions at Benghazi hearing
Rep. Thornberry Questions former CIA Deputy Director about Benghazi
Rep. Thornberry questions former CIA Deputy Director about Benghazi Part 2
Political Fallout From Michael Morell’s Benghazi Testimony
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Rogers: ‘Some Disagreement’ Between Morrell’s Prior Testimony and CIA Libyan Station Chief
Westmoreland Questions Former CIA Deputy
Director in Benghazi Hearing
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Rep. Thornberry Questions former CIA Deputy Director about Benghazi
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Lying To Congress – Mike Morell’s Benghazi Attack
Testimony Coming Under Fire – Dc Scandal
Fox News Benghazi cover up Mike Morell’s testimony comes under fire
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Things Get Tense When Bachmann Grills Former CIA Deputy Director Over Benghazi Talking Points
The former deputy director of the CIA insisted during a congressional hearing Wednesday that he did not alter the infamous 2012 Benghazi talking points due to political pressure, despite pointed questioning by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).
“The narrative that the attack evolved spontaneously from a protest was a narrative that intelligence community analysts believed,” Mike Morell said. “That turned out to be incorrect. But that is what they believed at the time. So there is no politics there whatsoever.”
“Let me actually give you the facts,” Morell added to Bachmann, before contending the five edits that were made had nothing to do with politics, but instead involved minor stylistic changes and edits to increase accuracy.
Just four days after the attack, the former deputy director of the CIA removed references about threats from extremists tied to Al Qaeda, substituting it by saying that “there are indications extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”
Bachmann argued such changes were of importance.
“You made significant, substantive changes for the White House,” she said. “Whether it was on behalf, we don’t know. But we know you are the one that made those changes.”
“Ma’am, if you look at the record, what you will see that the changes were fully consistent with what our analysts believed at the time. Period,” the former deputy director replied.
Bachmann said that those on the ground at the time of the attack were ignored and argued that there was an “intentional misleading of the public.”
Morell maintained that the changes he made to the widely debunked 2012 talking points were not for political reasons.
Morell was deputy director of the agency at the time of the attack on Sept. 11, 2012, on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which led to the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Both Morell and the agency, as well as the administration, have faced criticism from the right regarding the handling of the attack, including claims that there were political motives behind the framing of the information surrounding the incident.
Many took issue with the talking points following the attack, namely the delay in calling it a terrorist attack carried out by Al Qaeda versus a spontaneous demonstration in protest of an anti-Muslim video.
Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said the talking points “did not reflect the best information available” and were used by the administration “to perpetrate a false narrative about the attacks.”
Rogers also asked Morell why he did not say during a November 2012 hearing following the attack why references to Al Qaeda had been taken out of the talking points. Morell said that at the time, he did not know who took them out.
“But to be fair, and, in retrospect, what I wish I would have done, was to say to you, ‘Chairman, I do not know who took Al Qaeda out of the talking points, but you should know that I myself made a number of changes to the points.’ That’s what I should have said. I didn’t,” Morell said.
Morell also said there are things that both he and the agency “should have done differently,” but he dismissed political motivations.
“There are areas where the CIA’s performance and my own performance could have been better, but none of our actions were the result of political influence in the intelligence process. None.”
Morell said he did not know that the talking points would be used by Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, in her appearances on the Sunday talk shows shortly following the attacks, which were widely criticized and, many say, cost her the secretary of state position, as she later withdrew her consideration for the spot.
“In fact, I didn’t even know she was going to be on the Sunday shows,” Morell said, adding that no one asked him or the agency to prepare Rice.
Morell said he believed that Rice, who is now national security adviser, would have had the talking points, as well as intelligence information from the days prior. However, he acknowledged that she did not have information sent by the CIA’s station chief on the ground, which concluded that the attack was possibly preplanned.
“Don’t you think that was an important document to get in the hands of someone who is going to brief the country on what was actually happening on the ground?” Rogers asked.
Morell said that the information had not been disseminated outside of the CIA and that at the time, he did not find the arguments that it was a preplanned attack “compelling.” Morell said earlier in the hearing that when the information from the station chief was first sent to analysts, they were “sticking to their judgment” that it was a protest.
“So I believed what my analysts said, that there was a protest. I also believed it to be a terrorist attack. You see, we never, we never saw those two things as mutually exclusive, and so I believed both of those at the same time,” Morell said.
Taking issue with Morell’s testimony was Rep. Devin Nunes.
”The problem is that you have all of these conflicting stories, right?” Nunes (R-Calif.) said to Morell, after questioning him on the sequence of dialogue regarding the attack.
“I read your testimony, and you have an excuse for everything,” Nunes later added. “For everything … which is fine, but when the chairman asks you about when you sat next to Director of National Intelligence [James] Clapper in November of 2012, you don’t have an excuse, you only have an apology.”
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who has been a vocal critic in the handling of Benghazi, also criticized Morell’s testimony.
“He gave a lot of excuses today and a lot of reasons,” King said Wednesday on Fox News’s “Happening Now.”
“The fact is, to believe him you have to believe, basically, everything is contradictory to the facts,” King said, adding that the administration has not told the truth on Benghazi and that Morell has been part of that process.
“Bottom line is, Susan Rice and the administration told the American people it arose out of a video and demonstration,” King said. “They never mentioned terrorism at all, and that’s the reality. They can’t rewrite history.”
Morell, during his testimony Wednesday, said, “no doubt it was a terrorist attack,” but he said the motivations of those who carried out the attack is unknown, because they have not been caught.
CIA officer confirmed no protests before misleading Benghazi account given
Information on ground rejects protest account
Before the Obama administration gave an inaccurate narrative on national television that the Benghazi attacks grew from an anti-American protest, the CIA’s station chief in Libya pointedly told his superiors in Washington that no such demonstration occurred, documents and interviews with current and former intelligence officials show.
The attack was “not an escalation of protests,” the station chief wrote to then-Deputy CIA Director Michael J. Morell in an email dated Sept. 15, 2012 — a full day before the White House sent Susan E. Rice to several Sunday talk shows to disseminate talking points claiming that the Benghazi attack began as a protest over an anti-Islam video.
That the talking points used by Mrs. Rice, who was then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, were written by a CIA that ignored the assessment by its own station chief inside Libya, has emerged as one of the major bones of contention in the more than two years of political fireworks and congressional investigations into the Benghazi attack.
Two former intelligence officials have told The Washington Times that this question likely will be answered at a Wednesday hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence during which Mr. Morell is scheduled to give his public testimony.
Why they ignored it remains a topic of heated debate within the wider intelligence community.
A third source told The Times on Monday that Mr. Morell and other CIA officials in Washington were weighing several pieces of “conflicting information” streaming in about the Benghazi attack as the talking points were being crafted.
“That’s why they ultimately came up with the analysis that they did,” the source said. “The piece that was coming out of Tripoli was important, but it was one piece amid several streams of information.”
One of the former intelligence officials said the Libya station chief’s assessment was being weighed against media reports from the ground in Benghazi that quoted witnesses as saying there had been a protest. Analysts at the CIA, the source said, also were weighing it against reporting by other intelligence divisions, including the National Security Agency.
“The chief of station in Tripoli who was 600 or 700 miles away from the attacks wouldn’t necessarily have the only view of what actually went on in Benghazi,” that former official said.
While the testimony is expected to focus on Benghazi, the hearing arrives at a time of growing tensions between Congress and the CIA over such matters as the Bush administration’s interrogation rules and mutual charges of spying and illegality between the Senate intelligence committee and the agency.
Lawmakers are likely to press Mr. Morell for a reaction to reports this week that a classified Senate intelligence report has concluded that harsh interrogation methods used in the years after Sept. 11 provided no key evidence in the hunt for Osama bin Laden and that the CIA misled Congress on the matter.
The CIA disputes that conclusion. The Senate panel is expected to vote Thursday on sending the Obama administration a 400-page executive summary of the “enhanced interrogation” report to start a monthslong declassification process.
One of the key issues likely to come up during the House hearing involves what was said during a series of secure teleconferences between CIA officials in Washington and Libya from the time of the attack on Sept. 11, 2012, to the completion of Mrs. Rice’s talking points for dissemination on the Sunday talk shows Sept. 16.
Multiple sources confirmed to The Times on Monday that the station chief’s email to Mr. Morell was written after one of the teleconferences during which senior CIA officials in Washington — Mr. Morell among them — made clear to the Tripoli station chief that they were examining alternative information that suggested there was a protest before the attack.
After the exchange, Mr. Morell signed off on the CIA talking points given to Mrs. Rice promoting what turned out to be the false narrative of a protest. The development ultimately triggered an angry reaction from Republicans, who have long claimed that the Obama administration, with an eye on the November elections, was downplaying the role of terrorists in order to protect the president’s record on counterterrorism.
Documents since released by the White House show that administration officials boasted in internal emails at the time about Mr. Morell’s personal role in editing and rewriting the talking points.
What is not clear is whether the email was in any way referring to the conflicting intelligence streams about a protest in Benghazi.
Alternatively, the email notes that Mr. Morell was uncomfortable with an initial draft of the talking points batted back and forth between White House and CIA officials “because they seemed to encourage the reader to infer incorrectly that the CIA had warned about a specific attack” in Benghazi.
During interviews with The Times, several former senior intelligence officials have lamented the whole “talking points” issue, saying the CIA was caught in the middle of the White House, Congress and the reality on the ground in Benghazi while crafting the points.
The reason the CIA ended up taking the lead on the talking points was because, as news of the attack was breaking around the world, lawmakers on the House intelligence committee were seeking guidance from the agency on how to respond to media questions without revealing classified information.
Specifically, Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican and the committee chairman, and ranking Democrat C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland asked for the guidance.
One former senior intelligence official told The Times that as word circulated through the inner circles of the intelligence community that the CIA was working on the talking points, officials within the Obama administration steered the mission toward crafting something Mrs. Rice could say on national talk shows.
“In essence, the talking points got repurposed,” the former official said. “What it turned into — and I don’t think Michael ever knew this, it’s something to watch for in his testimony this week — was, ‘Let’s hand this thing to the U.N. ambassador and make it what she should say.’”
“That’s a big deal,” the former official said. “It’s one thing to prepare something for lawmakers so they don’t make a mistake or say something inaccurate. It’s quite another matter to have that feed the administration’s then-current, definitive account of what had actually happened in Benghazi.”
“There are a lot of twists and turns in this,” added another former intelligence official. “A lot of it hangs on the fact that the agency thought they were crafting these talking points for Dutch Ruppersberger and Mike Rogers, not the White House.”
Former CIA official accused of misleading lawmakers on Benghazi
By Catherine Herridge
Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell is facing accusations from Republicans that he misled lawmakers about the Obama administration’s role in crafting the bogus storyline that a protest gone awry was to blame for the deadly Benghazi attack.
Among other discrepancies, Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee allege Morell insisted the talking points were sent to the White House for informational purposes, and not for their input — but emails, later released by the administration, showed otherwise.
“We found that there was actual coordination which could influence then — and did influence — what CIA conveyed to the committees about what happened [in Benghazi],” Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., told Fox News.
Burr was one of six Republicans who leveled the allegations against Morell, who also served as acting director, in an addendum to a recently released Senate Intelligence Committee report. According to the claims, in late 2012, Morell testified the so-called Benghazi talking points were sent to the White House “for their awareness, not for their coordination.”
The 16-page addendum continues, “No effort was made to correct the record … the Acting Director’s (Morell) testimony perpetuated the myth that the White House played no part in the drafting or editing of the talking points.”
After Morell’s 2012 testimony, committee Republicans say they insisted on reading the raw email traffic in the days leading up to then-Ambassador Susan Rice’s controversial Sunday show appearances, where she linked the attack to a protest. Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., told Fox News in a recent interview that they only got the emails between the CIA, State Department and White House because lawmakers threatened to hold up former White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan’s confirmation as CIA director.
Once the emails were released, Republican lawmakers say the conflict with Morell’s testimony was clear. Morell, who at the time was CIA Director David Petraeus’ deputy, was at the heart of the process, cutting some 50 percent of the text — and Republicans say White House coordination began at the earliest stages.
Also in late 2012, Morell and Rice met with Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. In a statement released at the time, the senators said Morell blamed the FBI for cutting references to Al Qaeda and did so to prevent compromising an ongoing criminal investigation.
“What I found curious is that he did not accept responsibility for changing the talking points. He told me the FBI had done this. I called the FBI. They went ballistic,” Graham said in a recent interview. “Within 24 hours, his statement was changed where he admitted the CIA had done it.”
Graham’s characterization of the meeting was backed up by Ayotte in a recent interview. “I was in that meeting when Susan Rice was with Director Morell when he blamed the FBI for changing those talking points, and you know then we call the FBI, the FBI goes crazy and said ‘we didn’t change the talking points.’ And so you have to wonder particularly now that we know that he may have received that email the day before what was going on.”
The email Ayotte is referring to was sent by the CIA’s top operative on the ground in Libya to Morell, and others at the CIA, one day before Rice’s Sunday show appearances. In the Sept. 15, 2012 email, first publicly documented in the bipartisan section of the Senate Intelligence Committee report, the CIA chief of station in Tripoli reported the attacks were “not/not an escalation of protests.”
One Republican lawmaker, Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia, is now urging that Morell be recalled to clear up his testimony.
“I think it’s important for the integrity of the oversight,” Wolf said, adding that congressional oversight would be rendered meaningless if Morell were not recalled given the allegations against him.
Wolf, whose resolution to establish a select committee has the backing of a Republican majority in the House, recently wrote a letter to all House Republicans calling for Morell to testify again, potentially in both chambers, to address possible conflicts with previous testimony.
New details, confirmed by Fox News, suggest a similar scenario played out before the House Intelligence committee, chaired by Republican Mike Rogers.
In mid-November 2012, Morell testified along with James Clapper, the nation’s intelligence chief, and Matt Olsen, a senior counterrorism official.
When asked who was responsible for the talking points, first requested by Rogers’ committee, Clapper said he had no idea, while Morell remained silent, according to sources familiar with the testimony.
“If your silence does create a misleading impression even if you don’t have a strict legal obligation to speak up I think as a public official — somebody entrusted, infused with the public trust — you do have an obligation to speak up to make the truth known,” Tom Dupree, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Bush administration, said.
Once the talking points emails were released, and Morell’s involvement came into sharper focus, in May 2013 he was asked to testify a second time before the House Intelligence Committee. Sources familiar with Morell’s second testimony say he admitted to changing the talking points, and he offered shifting explanations — from classification issues, to not compromising the FBI investigation — and that exposing the failure of Hillary Clinton’s State Department to act on repeated security warnings seemed unprofessional.
While two sources say Morell insisted the talking points were an afterthought at a White House meeting on Sept. 15 where the text was finalized, an email from White House adviser Ben Rhodes suggests otherwise. Late in the evening of Sept. 14, Rhodes wrote to email addresses at the FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, CIA, State Department, White House and National Security Staff: “There is a ton of wrong information getting out into the public domain from Congress and people who are not particularly informed … we need to have the capability to correct the record, as there are significant policy and messaging ramifications that would flow from a hardened mis-impression. We can take this up tomorrow morning at deputies.”
Dupree said lawmakers face a choice. “If you’re not getting the full truth in those questions, well then you can either abandon your oversight function or you can call those people back and press them and confront them with the facts.”
Since retiring from the CIA, Morell has taken on high-profile assignments for the administration, including the NSA review panel and the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board. He is now a paid TV commentator for CBS News, has a book deal, and works for Beacon Global Strategies, whose founder Philippe Reines has been described by the New York Times magazine as Clinton’s “principal gatekeeper.”
In an email to Fox News on Feb. 13, Morell said: “I stand behind what I have said to you and testified to Congress about the talking point issue. Neither the Agency, the analysts, nor I cooked the books in any way.”
When asked specific questions about Republican allegations he provided misleading testimony, Morell did not answer the questions, instead referring Fox News to the CIA public affairs office.
Spokesman Dean Boyd provided this statement to Fox News: “As we have said multiple times, the talking points on Benghazi were written, upon a request from Congress, so that members of Congress could say something preliminary and in an unclassified forum about the attacks. As former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell has stated publicly time and again, the talking points were never meant to be definitive and, in fact, the points themselves noted that the initial assessment may change. He has addressed his role in the talking points numerous times. We don’t have anything further to add to the large body of detail on the talking points that is already in the public domain.”
Mike Morell: Man in the Middle of Benghazi Talking Points Scandal
Recent reporting has centered on CIA deputy director Mike Morell as a key player in critical and misleading changes made to the Obama Administration’s Benghazi talking points. The CIA talking points were cited by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on five different national Sunday talk shows on September 16, five days after the attack. Administration officials from President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on down cited them. The initial draft of the talking points was produced by the CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis on September 14 at 11:15 a.m. A demonstration was mentioned, but so was al-Qaeda and Ansar-al-Sharia involvement. It referred to the CIA’s “numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al Qaeda in Benghazi and eastern Libya.” National Security Council (NSC) staff edited the talking points on the 14th. But it was the State Department that had the most reservations. Hillary Clinton’s spokeswoman (and now Assistant Secretary of State for Europe) Victoria Nuland did not like the CIA’s draft—nor did her “building leadership,” as she said in an e-mail on September 14 at 9:24 p.m. She wrote to the NSC staff:
Why do we want Hill to start fingering Ansar Al Sharia, when we aren’t doing that ourselves until we have the investigation results…and the penultimate point could be abused by Members to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings so why do we want to feed that?… Concerned.
The next morning, September 15, at 9.45 a.m., Morell produced what became essentially thefinal version of the talking points (Senate report, p. 51), removing references to known terrorist groups and identifying a non-existing demonstration as the cause. Outrageously, the official talking points contradicted the known facts. According to the recent report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (p. 33), on September 15, the CIA’s Chief of Station in Tripoli reported in an e-mail that the Benghazi attacks were “not an escalation of protests.” Morrell completely ignored it. Below are the finalized talking points:
“The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”
“The assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated.”
“The investigation is on-going, and the US Government is working with the Libyan authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of US citizens.”
The text was not only misleading but so pathetic that then-CIA director David Petraeus commented, “Frankly, I’d just as soon not use this.” However, it was the State Department and the White House that were calling to shots, and Mike Morell played along.
Michael Joseph Morell (born September 4, 1958) was the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency and served as acting director twice in 2011 and from 2012 to 2013. Morell retired from his post on August 9, 2013, to devote more time to his family and to pursue other professional opportunities. As of 2014, Morell is CBS News‘ Senior Security Correspondent.
Most of Morell’s work in the agency was devoted to Asian projects. He also managed the staff that produced the Presidential Daily Briefings for PresidentGeorge W. Bush. Morell was Bush’s briefer during the September 11, 2001 attacks, and has been quoted as saying, “I would bet every dollar I have that it’s al Qaeda.” Furthermore, Morell was a trusted asset to PresidentBarack H. Obama II in the Osama bin Laden raid on May 2, 2011. Before his 2010 nomination as deputy director, Morell served as director for intelligence, a position he had held since 2008. Before that, he served as the CIA’s first associate deputy director from 2006 to 2008.
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A soldier opened fire Wednesday on fellow service members at the Fort Hood military base, killing three people and wounding 16 before committing suicide at the same post where more than a dozen people were slain in a 2009 attack, authorities said.
The shooter, 34-year-old Ivan Lopez who served in Iraq in 2011, had been undergoing an assessment to determine whether he had post-traumatic stress disorder, according to Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the senior officer on the base. He was also undergoing psychiatric treatment for depression.
There was no indication the attack was related to terrorism, Milley said “although we are not ruling anything out.”
A Texas congressman said the shooting happened at a medical center. Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, also identified the suspect as Ivan Lopez. But additional details about the gunman were not immediately available.
The injured were taken to Darnall Army Community Hospital at Fort Hood and other local hospitals. Dr. Glen Couchman, chief medical officer at Scott and White Hospital in Temple, said the first four people admitted there had gunshots to chest, abdomen, neck and extremities and that their conditions range from stable to “quite critical.” At last check, nine patients had been admitted to Scott and White.
The 2009 assault on Fort Hood was the deadliest attack on a domestic military installation in U.S. history. Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 wounded.
After the shooting began, the Army’s official Twitter feed said the post had been locked down. Hours later, all-clear sirens sounded.
On Wednesday evening, a fatigue-clad soldier and a military police officer stood about a quarter-mile from the main gate waving away traffic. Other lanes were blocked by a police car and van.
Meanwhile, relatives of soldiers waited for news about their loved ones.
Tayra DeHart, 33, said she had last heard from her husband, a soldier at the post, that he was safe, but that was hours earlier.
“The last two hours have been the most nerve-racking I’ve ever felt. I know God is here protecting me and all the soldiers, but I have my phone in my hand just hoping it will ring and it will be my husband,” DeHart said.
Brooke Conover, whose husband was on base at the time of the shooting, said she found out about it while checking Facebook. She said she called her husband, Staff Sgt. Sean Conover, immediately to make sure he was OK, but he could not even tell her exactly what was going on, only that the base was locked down.
“I’m still hearing conflicting stories about what happened and where the shooting was exactly,” Conover said in a telephone interview, explaining that she still did not know how close the incident was to her husband.
“I just want him to come home,” said Conover, who moved to Fort Hood with her husband and three daughters two years ago.
President Barack Obama vowed that investigators would get to the bottom of the shooting.
In a hastily arranged statement in Chicago, Obama said he was following the situation closely. He said the shooting brought back painful memories of the 2009 attack.
Obama reflected on the sacrifices that troops stationed at Fort Hood have made – including enduring multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.
“They serve with valor. They serve with distinction, and when they’re at their home base, they need to feel safe,” Obama said. “We don’t yet know what happened tonight, but obviously that sense of safety has been broken once again.”
The president spoke without notes or prepared remarks in the same room of a steakhouse where he had just met with about 25 donors at a previously scheduled fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. White House officials quickly pushed tables to the side of the room to make room for Obama to speak to the nation.
The November 2009 attack happened inside a crowded building where soldiers were waiting to get vaccines and routine paperwork after recently returning from deployments or preparing to go to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan was convicted and sentenced to death last year in that mass shooting. He said he acted to protect Islamic insurgents abroad from American aggression.
According to testimony during Hasan’s trial last August, Hasan walked inside carrying two weapons and several loaded magazines, shouted “Allahu Akbar!” – Arabic for “God is great!” – and opened fire with a handgun.
Witnesses said he targeted soldiers as he walked through the building, leaving pools of blood, spent casings and dying soldiers on the floor. Photos of the scene were shown to the 13 officers on the military jury.
The rampage ended when Hasan was shot in the back by Fort Hood police officers outside the building. He was paralyzed from the waist down and is now on death row at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.
After that shooting, the military tightened security at bases nationwide. Those measures included issuing security personnel long-barreled weapons, adding an insider-attack scenario to their training and strengthening ties to local law enforcement, according to Peter Daly, a vice admiral who retired from the Navy in 2011. The military also joined an FBI intelligence-sharing program aimed at identifying terror threats.
Four people are dead, including the gunman, and another 16 are injured in a mass shooting at the Fort Hood Army post Wednesday. One of the survivors is in grave condition, NBC News reports.
More than four hours after the shooting, all-clear sirens sounded as the lockdown at the post was lifted. Hundreds of cars began streaming from the giant complex, many including children who had been kept locked-down in schools since gunshots were first reported at about 4:30 p.m.
A military official told NBC News that the deceased shooter, identified as 34-year-old enlisted Army soldier Ivan Lopez, took his own life and appeared to be the only shooter, despite an earlier report of two possible gunmen.
Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, the commanding general at Fort Hood, refused to identify the gunman during a news conference Wednesday night pending notification of family members.
Milley said the sequence of events are not 100 percent clear but that investigators believe the shooting began when a soldier assigned to the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) fired shots at individuals in the 1st Medical Brigade. Milley said the shooter then left that building, got into a vehicle and continued firing. He then went to another building at the post, went inside and opened fire. The gunman, when confronted by a military police officer, put his gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
The gunman was armed with a single weapon, a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun he had recently purchased, Milley said.
The gunman had served four months in Iraq in 2011 and was currently under diagnosis for post traumatic stress disorder, but had not been officially diagnosed with PTSD, Milley said. He added the shooter was undergoing behavioral health care for depression and anxiety, had a self-reported traumatic brain injury and was not physically injured in combat.
NBC News learned that Lopez served with the Puerto Rican Army National Guard and was an E4 in the U.S. Army. NBC News reported that the shooter was in uniform and that the shooting rampage may have resulted from an argument with other soldiers in the motor pool and was not related to terrorism.
The names of the victims have not yet been released, though Milley did confirm that all of the victims are military personnel. Officials at Fort Hood said the names of the victims will be released 24 hours after all family have been notified.
Temple Hospital Taking Fort Hood Patients
Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Temple confirms they have a command center in place and have received nine patients from the post.
All patients are in the intensive care unit; three are critical and five are serious. The ninth patient is en route, as of 10:20 p.m. Wednesday night.
In an update early Wednesday night, Glen Couchman, chief medical officer for Baylor Scott & White Memorial Hospital, said patients are receiving treatment for wounds to their chest, abdomen, neck and extremities and range from “stable to quite critical.”
“This is another sad day for Central Texas,” Couchman said. He said the hospital planned to offer another update on the conditions of the victims later in the evening.
Officials at Baylor Scott & White said the blood center closed at 8 p.m., but will be open for donations from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday.
Officials at Fort Hood said Wednesday that there is no indication the mass shooting is related to terrorism.
The investigation by law enforcement is ongoing and post officials were reluctant to reveal any further information about what may have led to the rampage.
Milley said the investigation into the shooting continues and that nothing is being ruled out as a cause at this point. The investigation is being conducted with the support of The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Texas Rangers, The Texas Department of Public Safety, military police, Army CID, the Killeen Police Department and the Harker Heights Police Department.
During the lockdown of the base, officials with the Bell County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Department of Public Safety were called in to help to secure the perimeter of the largest active duty armored post in the U.S. Armed Services.
Obama, Gov. Perry Respond
President Barack Obama addressed the shooting in brief remarks in Chicago, where he was attending a fundraiser Wednesday night.
“We’re following it closely. The situation is fluid right now … I want to just assure all of us we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened,” he said. “We’re heartbroken something like this might have happened again.”
Mom Stuck at Fort Hood With 4-Year-Old During Shooting
Charlotte Spencer was picking up her 4-year-old son from soccer practice on the Fort Hood post when Wednesday’s shooting occurred.
Spencer said her son had just climbed in the car when a woman came over a loudspeaker telling everyone to shelter in place immediately.
“The siren came over and she was like, ‘This is an emergency. Get in your homes, lock your doors, lock your windows, turn off your AC units and turn off your heaters if you have them running. Just stay in place. This is an active emergency,’” Spencer described.
Spencer said she tried to delicately explain the all too familiar situation to her young son.
Antonio Ortiz, 30, who lives a quarter of a mile from the east gate of Fort Hood, told NBC News he heard a commotion and went outside to hear alarms going off and announcements for people to stay inside. He went back in and turned on the TV news, then soon after heard a barrage of gunshots.
“It sounded powerful,” Ortiz said, adding that while it seemed to be coming from the base, he couldn’t rule out the possibility someone in the civilian neighborhood was shooting.
“I’m scared for my son. He’s 7,” Ortiz said. “But I do have a 12-gauge pump shotgun.”
Tayra DeHart, 33, said she had last heard from her husband, a soldier at the post, that he was safe, but that was hours earlier.
“The last two hours have been the most nerve-wracking I’ve ever felt. I know God is here protecting me and all the soldiers, but I have my phone in my hand just hoping it will ring and it will be my husband,” DeHart said.
Brooke Conover, whose husband was on base at the time of the shooting, said she found out about it while checking Facebook. She said she called her husband, Staff Sgt. Sean Conover, immediately to make sure he was OK, but he couldn’t even tell her exactly what was going on, only that the base was locked down.
“I’m still hearing conflicting stories about what happened and where the shooting was exactly,” Conover said in a telephone interview, explaining that she still doesn’t know how close the incident was to her husband.
“I just want him to come home,” said Conover, who moved to Fort Hood with her husband and three daughters two years ago.
Tragic History at Fort Hood
In November 2009, 13 people were killed and more than 30 others injured when Maj. Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, opened fire on dozens of people at the post. Hasan was paralyzed during an exchange of gunfire and, in late 2013, was sentenced to death. He is currently awaiting execution.
Hasan’s rampage isn’t the most recent mass shooting at a U.S. military installation. Last September, a lone gunman with ties to North Texas, Aaron Alexis, killed 12 when he opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard.
Fort Hood covers a total of 340 square miles and supports multiple units, a corps headquarters and a robust mobilization mission. It is home to two full divisions, the 1st Cavalry Division and 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) and 12 additional units.
Around 50,000 soldiers work at Fort Hood, and there are an additional 150,000 civilians who support the base.
The post is about 60 miles north of the capital city of Austin, 50 miles south of Waco, 160 miles south of Dallas and 150 miles north of San Antonio
FBI, military hunt ex-Army recruit suspected of plotting ‘Ft. Hood-inspired jihad’
EXCLUSIVE: The FBI is searching for a recent Army recruit believed to be planning a “Fort Hood-inspired jihad against U.S. soldiers,” FoxNews.com has learned.
The alert, whose legitimacy was confirmed by military and law enforcement officials, stated that a man identified as Booker had told friends of his “intention to commit jihad.” Booker, who is also known as Muhammad Abdullah Hassan, was recruited by the U.S. Army in Kansas City, Mo., in February 2014 and was scheduled to report for basic training on April 7. But he was discharged last week, apparently after law enforcement authorities learned of his alleged plan.
Both the FBI and the 902d Military Intelligence Group at Fort Leavenworth are involved in the hunt.
The alert, a copy of which was obtained by FoxNews.com, was sent out by the FBI’s Kansas City Division on Friday and distributed through the U.S. Marine Corps. The portion obtained by FoxNews.com did not include Hassan’s photo or age. It was also sent to the Kansas City Police Department, which could indicate authorities believe he may have remained in the area where he was recruited.
The alert is titled, “Planned Fort Hood-inspired Jihad against US Soldiers by Army Recruit” and was issued “to inform and protect officers who may encounter this individual or others exhibiting the same aspirations.” The source of the information contained in the alert was listed as “An FBI agent.”
According to the alert:
“On 20 March 2014, the Kansas City Division FBI became aware of an individual named BOOKER aka Muhammad Abdullah Hassan who had publicly stated his intention to commit jihad, bidding farewell to his friends and making comments indicating his jihad was imminent. BOOKER had been recruited by the US Army in Kansas City, Mo., in February 2014 and was scheduled to report for Basic Training on 7 April 2014. Kansas City Division Agents interviewed BOOKER on 20 March 2014.”
Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Ty Balzer confirmed the alert’s legitimacy, but referred questions to the FBI. A spokeswoman with the Kansas City Division of the FBI — the same division responsible for sending out the alert and who, according to the alert, spoke with Booker on March 20 — said she did “not have any information to provide in regards to your inquiry.”
Law enforcement sources familiar with the alert said it appeared to suggest that there may be others in addition to Booker who also might have expressed similar intentions to commit jihad against U.S. military installations.
A military source said it appeared the bulletin was provided by the FBI, then distributed by the Marine Corps under the normal protocol of sharing any information relating to a potential threat to U.S. military installations or personnel.
A spokesman for the Kansas City recruiting station where Booker enlisted referred FoxNews.com’s questions to 902d Military Intelligence Group, which did not immediately return requests for comment.
The Fort Hood shooting, referenced in the alert, took place on Nov. 5, 2009. U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, a psychiatrist who had become a radical Muslim while serving in the military, killed 13 people and injured dozens more inside the Texas Army base. Hasan, who represented himself at a military trial after clashing with his appointed attorneys, was sentenced to death in August.
NBC News reports there may be two shooters, one down, one at-large
Multiple people have been injured and the search for the gunman is underway after a shooting at the Fort Hood Army post Wednesday afternoon.
Reports of an active shooter triggered a lockdown at Fort Hood, with local sheriff’s deputies and the FBI immediately responding.
As many as eight people may be injured, and there may have been two shooters, NBC News reported. One of those was believed to be “down,” while the second was believed to be at-large, according to NBC News.
Fort Hood confirmed that a shooting occurred at the base, though the number of people injured and the severity of their injuries has not been confirmed.
Just after 5 p.m. local time, the base tweeted that all personnel were being asked to shelter in place, close doors and stay away from windows.
The shooting is believed to have taken place at the Medical Brigade Building. Local NBC affiliate KCEN-TV reported there were also reports of victims at the Battle Simulation Center.
Central Texas College’ campus was evacuated due to the shooting, with all personnel and students asked to leave and all classes canceled.
Officials with the Bell County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Department of Public Safety are helping to secure the perimiter of the base.
In November 2009, 13 people were killed and more than 30 others injured when Maj. Nidal Hasan opened fire on dozens of people at the base. Hasan was paralyzed during an exchange of gunfire and, in late 2013, was sentenced to death. He is currently awaiting execution.
Background Articles and Videos
US Soldier Suicides: Congress to increase efforts to curb high rate of military suicides
Vets Rally to Curb Military Suicides
Iraq and Afghanistan veterans express pain and pride of war
According to a new survey, 89 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans say they would join the military again, while also reporting a spike in suicide, reduced physical wellness and feelings of disconnection. Gwen Ifill talks to two veterans, Tom Tarantino of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and Nathan Smith of Hire Heroes USA, as well as Rajiv Chandrasekaran of The Washington Post.
Tens of thousands of Afghan, Iraq war veterans homeless in 2013
Quick Facts: Plight of US veterans
On Afghan War 11th Anniversary, Vets Confront Mental Health Crisis, Suicide, Violence 1 of 3
On the 11th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, we take a look at the invisible wounds of war here at home. Since the war began on Oct. 7, 2001, less than a month after the Sept. 11th attacks, at least 2,000 U.S. soldiers have died. Some 2.4 million U.S. soldiers have served in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the psychological toll of the wars is mounting. Last year, the Veterans Administration treated almost 100,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and soldier suicides reached an all-time high this year.
On Afghan War 11th Anniversary, Vets Confront Mental Health Crisis, Suicide, Violence 2 of 3
On Afghan War 11th Anniversary, Vets Confront Mental Health Crisis, Suicide, Violence 3 of 3
ALEX JONES INFOWARS – US VETERANS – RECORD SUICIDES DUE TO PTSD
Between Iraq and a Hard Place – PTSD and Suicides in Iraq
Veterans of PTSD PBS NOW
The War Within 1 of 4
The War Within 2 of 4
The War Within 3 of 4
The War Within 4 of 4
Marines PTSD Suicide CPL Anthony Clay Ward, USMC, FOX 2/11 Iraq War
PTSD statistics are a moving target that is fuzzy: do you look only at PTSD diagnosed within one year of return from battle? Do you only count PTSD that limits a soldier’s ability to go back into battle or remain employed, but that may have destroyed a marriage or wrecked a family? Do you look at the PTSD statistics for PTSD that comes up at any time in a person’s life: it is possible to have undiagnosed PTSD for 30 years and not realize it–possibly never or until you find a way to get better and then you realize there is another way to live. When you count the PTSD statistic of “what percentage of a population gets PTSD,” is your overall starting group combat veterans, veterans who served in the target country, or all military personnel for the duration of a war?
And veterans PTSD statistics get revised over time. The findings from the NVVR Study (National Vietnam Veterans’ Readjustment Study) commissioned by the government in the 1980s initially found that for “Vietnam theater veterans” 15% of men had PTSD at the time of the study and 30% of men had PTSD at some point in their life. But a 2003 re-analysis found that “contrary to the initial analysis of the NVVRS data, a large majority of Vietnam Veterans struggled with chronic PTSD symptoms, with four out of five reporting recent symptoms when interviewed 20-25 years after Vietnam.” (see also NVVR review)
There is a similar problem with suicide statistics. The DoD and their researchers tend to lose track of military personnel once they retire, and not all suicides will be counted as a military suicide (plus, is a person who drinks themselves to death committing suicide?). A recent study found U.S. veteran suicide rates to be be as high as 5,000 a year. See suicide statistics (bottom of page).
Summary of Veterans Statistics for PTSD, TBI, Depression and Suicide.
there are over 2.3 million American veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (compared to 2.6 million Vietnam veterans who fought in Vietnam; there are 8.2 million “Vietnam Era Veterans” (personnel who served anywhere during any time of the Vietnam War)
at least 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have PTSD and/or Depression. (Military counselors I have interviewed state that, in their opinion, the percentage of veterans with PTSD is much higher; the number climbs higher when combined with TBI.) Other accepted studies have found a PTSD prevalence of 14%; see a complete review of PTSD prevalence studies, which quotes studies with findings ranging from 4 -17% of Iraq War veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder)
50% of those with PTSD do not seek treatment
out of the half that seek treatment, only half of them get “minimally adequate” treatment (RAND study)
19% of veterans may have traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Over 260,000 veterans from OIF and OEF so far have been diagnosed with TBI. Traumatic brain injury is much more common in the general population than previously thought: according to the CDC, over 1,700,000 Americans have a traumatic brain injury each year; in Canada 20% of teens had TBI resulting in hospital admission or that involved over 5 minutes of unconsciousness (VA surgeon reporting in BBC News)
7% of veterans have both post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury
rates of post-traumatic stress are greater for these wars than prior conflicts
in times of peace, in any given year, about 4% (actually 3.6%) of the general population have PTSD (caused by natural disasters, car accidents, abuse, etc.)
recent statistical studies show that rates of veteran suicide are much higher than previously thought (see suicide prevention page).
PTSD distribution between services for OND, OIF, and OEF: Army 67% of cases, Air Force 9%, Navy 11%, and Marines 13%. (Congressional Research Service, Sept. 2010)
Oddly, statistics for veteran tobacco use are never reported alongside PTSD statistics, even though increases in rates of smoking are strongly correlated with the stress of deployment and combat, and smoking statistics show that tobacco use is tremendously damaging and costly for soldiers.
More active duty personnel die by own hand than combat in 2012 (New York Times)
Other veterans PTSD statistics references and sources:
Prevalence and Characteristics of Suicide Ideation and Attempts Among Active Military and Veteran Participants in a National Health Survey. Robert M. Bossarte, PhD, Kerry L. Knox, PhD, Rebecca Piegari, MS, John Altieri, BS, Janet PDF MILITARY MEDICINE, 175. 10:703, 2010
Evaluating Evidence of Risk for Suicide Among Veterans
Robert M. Bossarte, PhD; Cynthia A. Claassen, PhD; Kerry L Knox, PhD PDF
U.S. Suicide Rate Surged Among Veterans Eli Clifton
Suicides among United States military veterans ballooned by 26 percent from 2005 to 2007, according to new statistics released by the Veterans Affairs (VA) department.
“Of the more than 30,000 suicides in this country each year, fully 20 percent of them are acts by veterans,” said VA Secretary Eric Shinseki at a VA-sponsored suicide prevention conference on Monday. “That means on average 18 veterans commit suicide each day. Five of those veterans are under our care at VA.”
The spike in the suicide rate can most clearly be attributed to the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the high number of veterans returning to the U.S. with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
”We have now nearly two million vets of Iraq and Afghanistan and we still haven’t seen the type of mobilisation of resources necessary to handle an epidemic of veteran suicides,” Aaron Glantz, an editor at New America Media editor and author of “The War Comes Home”, told IPS.
”With [President Barack] Obama surging in Afghanistan coupled with his unwillingness to withdraw speedily from Iraq, it means we have more veterans who have served more and more tours and as a result we have an escalating number of people coming home with PTSD, depression and other mental health issues,” Glantz continued.
Health officials have pointed to the multiple tours of duty served by many U.S. soldiers deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq as one of the stresses placed on military personnel that differs from previous wars fought by the U.S.
“The unfortunate truth is that the real challenge begins when these service men and women return home and readjust to day-to-day life,” said Rep. Michael McMahon, co-founder of the Congressional Invisible Wounds Caucus.
“The Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs must be prepared with the appropriate staff and funding to conduct post-deployment psychological screenings with a mental health professional for all service men and women,” he said. “Evidently, the paper questionnaires currently in use simply do not suffice. How many more young men and women must die before we provide the necessary mental health care?”
The VA estimated that in 2005, the suicide rate per 100,000 veterans among men ages 18-29 was 44.99, but jumped to 56.77 in 2007.
A Rand Corporation report last year found that as many as 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans exhibited symptoms of PTSD or depression.
”As I’ve often asked, mostly of myself, but also of others from time to time, why do we know so much about suicides but so little about how to prevent them?” said Shinseki.
The VA came under attack by veterans’ groups in April 2008, when internal emails sent by the VA’s head of mental health, Dr. Ira Katz, showed that the VA was attempting to conceal the number of suicides committed by veterans.
Under the Obama administration, the approach to handling the increasing number of suicides appears to have shifted, with a greater focus on transparency – the VA is holding a three-day conference on suicide this week. Last year, Obama announced a 25-billion-dollar increase in the VA’s budget over the next five years.
While the emphasis on greater transparency, particularly with regards to PTSD and mental health issues, and increased funding for the VA has been welcomed, many are still concerned that the troop surge in Afghanistan and the ongoing U.S. role in Iraq will put ever greater strains on the VA and its ability to deal with soldiers returning from multiple tours of duty.
”The first Gulf War was over in a matter of months. This war has gone on for nine years in Afghanistan and seven years in Iraq. There are two million vets, most of whom have served multiple tours,” said Glantz.
”What this means is that the military has never faced the stress it faces now. Not even in Vietnam where we had a draft and most soldiers only served one tour. In Iraq and Afghanistan everyone’s on the frontlines all the time. Even being in a vehicle going from one military base to another is extremely dangerous,” he said.
Shinseki cited the fact that of the 18 veterans who commit suicide each day, five are under the care of the VA, as evidence that both the VA’s efforts to prevent suicides are falling short and that the VA is failing to bring enough veterans under its care.
Suicides among active duty personnel have also risen, with 147 reported suicides in the Army from January through November 2009 – an increase from 127 in the same period of 2008.
Among non-active duty reserve soldiers, 50 suicides were reported in 2008 but the number had risen to 71 during the first 11 months of 2009.
Suicide rates in all four services of the military are significantly higher than in the general population, with 52 Marines, 48 sailors, and 41 members of the Air force committing suicide in 2009.
The final figures for suicides in the Army during 2009 will be released Thursday.
Segment 3: Where is the National Media When Two Teenage Blacks Killed a 12 Year Old Autumn Pasquale For Bicycle Parts! — Videos
R.I.P. Autumn Pasquale
Black Teen Boys Strangle 12 yr old White Girl to Steal Bike & Dump Her Body in a Recycling Bin
Murder in Clayton New Jersey, 12 year old Autumn Pasquale murdered by 2 black teenagers
Teenage Brothers Arrested In Murder Of Missing Clayton Girl Autumn Pasquale
Donte and Justin Robinson
BREAKING NEWS: New Jersey Teen Killed for Bike Parts: Police
Teenage Brothers Charged With Killing NJ Girl
New Jersey Teens Charged With Murder of Missing Girl
12 Year Old Autumn Pasquale Murdered By Two Black Sociopaths For Bike Parts
Autumn Pasquale murder and trial
On Saturday, October 20, 2012, 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale was reported missing. After a brief, intense search, police found her body in a recycling container early Tuesday morning. Her death sent shockwaves through Clayton, the small town where she was from. Two teenage brothers were charged with her murder.
This is her story. Below you will find the South Jersey Times’ complete coverage, with supplemental stories from The Star-Ledger, of Autumn Pasquale’s disappearance, the discovery of her body, the resulting fallout, and the trial. You can also see all stories here.
Current status: The two young brothers accused of killing Autumn Pasquale are awaiting trial.
Initially, authorities asked for help for anyone who had any information on the disappearance of missing Clayton girl Autumn Pasquale. She went missing on Saturday, October 20, 2012. She was last seen around 12:30 p.m., according to police, and relatives reported her missing at 9:30 p.m. that night.
FINDING THE BODY:
After an exhaustive two day search, authorities announced that they had found the body of Autumn Pasquale in a recycling container in Clayton. Just hours earlier, family and friends had gathered for a vigil to pray for her safe return. She was just one week away from her 13th birthday.
URDER AND MOTIVE:
Two teenage boys, Donte and Justin Robinson, were charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, disposing of a body, tampering with evidence and theft. An autopsy revealed that Pasquale likely died of blunt force trauma, consistent with strangulation, and that there was no evidence of sexual assault. Authorities said that they believed the teenage boys wanted Pasquale’s bicycle and its parts.
It was also revealed that a Facebook post by one of the suspects invited Pasquale to his home when she expressed interest in a bike. Residents also said that one of the suspects attended a vigil where people prayed for her safe return, and that he “liked” her memorial page.
REACTION BY FAMILY, COMMUNITY:
The news of the death sent shockwaves through the town. The family mourned the loss of the young girl; her uncle said that “out of evil will come goodness.” They were left with despair and frustration, and questions: how would they be able to rebuild their lives? Why wasn’t there an AMBER alert? Months after Pasquale’s death, her father was still searching for answers.
FUNERALS, MEMORIALS, AND MORE:
Autumn Pasquale was laid to rest on Saturday, October 27, one week after she was reported missing. Thousands turned out to mourn the death of the 12-year-old girl.
After her death, benefits and memorials took place to commemorate her life. A bike trail, for example, was named after her.
Before the trial, the teenage suspects, Donte Robinson, 17, and his brother Justin Robinson, 15, were kept in juvenile detention, but the prosecutor sought to try them as adults.
The issue whether the court should be opened to the public was raised, but the judge denied media access. The judge also ruled against hair sampling to be used during the trial as evidence.
The Gloucester County prosecutor handed off the murder case to Camden County to prevent a potential conflict of interest mistrial from occurring, since the family intended to file suit against the county.
PASQUALE FAMILY VS. THE COUNTY; FAMILY INFIGHTING:
Grief turned to anger as Autumn Pasquale’s family turned their ire on Gloucester County officials for what they perceived to be a sluggish response to her disappearance. They particularly had issue with Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton, who oversaw the rescue and recovery effort.
Additionally, there was infighting within the family over the memorial fund, when their parents engaged in a litigation battle. The mother sued the father, saying she was cut out of the memorial fund established in her daughter’s name. It was ultimately settled out of court.