January 17, 2008

At PJM: The New York Times Hits Veterans Yet Again

Did you read the article at the New York Times this past Sunday about the astronomical homicide rates among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan?

If you didn't, Samantha Sault captured a nice roundup of earlier blog reaction, which discovered that the Times left out key statistics in order to complete their smear.

It only gets worse from there.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at January 17, 2008 08:31 AM

In Cincinnati, Ohio, an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran Jason Roach is being excessively charged with voluntary manslaughter and murder for the death of Kelly Douglass. At this time, he is being held in jail on $500k bond. Kelly was a friend and a co-worker of both Jason and his wife Misty. There were allegations of an affair between Kelly and Misty, which are still unclear at this time. Kelly wanted to come to their home to discuss the situation with Jason. Jason and Misty told Kelly not to come to the house but refused and came to the house, which is when an argument broke out and Jason told him to leave. A scuffle ensued and while they were fighting, Kelly slipped on a patch of ice causing him to fall and hit his head on the ground, which is when Kelly went unconscious. Immediately Jason started screaming for help and called 911.

The media has made Jason appear as a deranged veteran who savagely beat Kelly to death. Some reporters want to know more than just what they have to print. Others could not care less and as long as they make their deadline, they do not have to worry about what the rest of the story is. In this case, if it was a savage beating then why did Jason attempt to drag Kelly out of the road in order to avoid getting hit by a car? Secondly, he tried to get Kelly in to his vehicle to take him to the hospital because the ambulance was taking too long. Does that sound like Jason savagely beat him to death?

What has been left out in the media is the fact that Kelly came to the house with a cache of weapons that included a loaded gun bought the day prior, which he was not registered to carry and conceal. If the he had not died, I am sure the tables would be turned and it would be Kelly in jail for felony weapon possession along with aggravated assault and battery.

No one is saying a crime should go unpunished, but what is right, what is just, is to know what justice is. We will not do the right thing unless and until we actually look beyond what is right in front of our face and we stop treating combat veterans like they are uncaged animals that will attack at any given moment.

They are not like anyone else you know. They are rare in this nation and they are not "normal" which we should thank God for. Normal people are not willing to lay down their lives for someone else. Normal people are not willing to do what they do. Normal people do not have to see what they see on their own street because they are willing to go beyond normal. There is nothing normal about combat and it is high time the rest of us stopped thinking they are just like the rest of us. It is time that we stop the media from attacking the integrity of our nation's heroes.

Posted by: Johnny Waltz at January 17, 2008 08:49 AM

Johnny Waltz' story is not the only distortion in the NYT 121 killings.

(NB: These are not murders they are deaths.)

The lead off case is Matthew Sepi, who was attacked and fired on by two armed men in an alley behind a convience store. Young Matthew pulled out an AK47, killed one and wounded the other.

Another vet found an armed man breaking into his car. In the confrontation, the robber was killed.

Another vet developed a taste for ether and had a fatal auto accident.

These incidents, tragic as they are, fall well short of murder.

This NYT article is just a rehash of the crazed Vietnam vet smears so popular in the 1970s. They were lies too.

Posted by: arch at January 17, 2008 09:41 AM

If anyone is interested in apples to apples, the data are available on line. One error that many of the commenters are making is that 121 is over six years while murder rates are annual.

Since 2002, the US has averaged about 16,500 homicides per year for a rate of 6.5 to 5.5 per 100,000.

90% of all murders are committed by males who constitute only 49% of the population.

If these returning military vets are in the age range 20 to 34, that population commits 53.5% of all murders where offender's age is known.

The US Census estimates the 20 to 34 population at 20.9% of the total. (Males 10.24%.) The rate for 20-34 American males is 26 per 100,000.

I have found varying numbers of returned vets from 800,000 to 2,000,000. To build an accurate model, these data would need to be time phased from 2002 forward.

If we use the NYT numbers the rate would be 1 to 2.5 per 100,000, well below the 26 per 100,000 in the same demographic nationally.

The Times did another military hit piece

Posted by: arch at January 17, 2008 10:19 AM