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Friday, April 4, 2014

  • "The War Comes Home": Deadly Fort Hood Shooting Raises Questions About Treatment of Returning Vets

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    We begin today’s show at Fort Hood, Texas, where flags are flying at half-mast following Wednesday’s shooting that left four dead, including the gunman. Sixteen people were wounded in the attack. Authorities identified the shooter as 34-year-old Army Specialist Ivan Lopez, who was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder. Lopez served in Iraq, but officials say he never saw combat. We speak with two Iraq War veterans: Ryan Holleran and Malachi Muncy, manager of the Under the Hood Café, a GI coffee shop near Fort Hood. Both are members of Iraq Veterans Against the War. "I had trouble getting help when I came back from Iraq, as well, when I was at Fort Hood. The access to healthcare is limited — it is available, but it’s not necessarily accessible," Holleran explains. "The amount of stigma associated with seeking any kind of mental health, it makes it extremely challenging to try to take care of ourselves." We also talk to Aaron Glantz, who covers veterans and domestic military issues for The Center for Investigative Reporting. His most recent book is "The War Comes Home: Washington’s Battle Against America’s Veterans."

  • Drugging America’s Veterans: Painkiller Abuse Spreads as VA Becomes Vets’ "Drug Dealer of Choice"

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    We look at challenges faced by U.S. soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan with investigative reporter Aaron Glantz, who has spent more than a decade covering the Iraq War and the treatment veterans receive when they come home. This week, The Center for Investigative Reporting won a prestigious Peabody Award for his report that exposes how the Department of Veterans Affairs has become the drug dealer of choice for many veterans who are now addicted to prescription painkillers, which were prescribed to treat a myriad of mental health and other physical injuries. According to the investigation, VA prescriptions for four opiates — hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone and morphine — have surged by 270 percent in the past 12 years.

  • Is USAID the New CIA? Agency Secretly Built Cuban Twitter Program to Fuel Anti-Castro Protests

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    "U.S. Secretly Created 'Cuban Twitter' to Stir Unrest." That is the name of an explosive new article by the Associated Press detailing how the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) created a fake Twitter program to undermine the Cuban government. The communications network was called "ZunZuneo" — slang for a Cuban hummingbird’s tweet. It was reportedly built with secret shell companies financed through foreign banks. According to AP, the United States planned to use the platform to spread political content that might trigger a Cuban Spring, or, as one USAID document put it, "renegotiate the balance of power between the state and society." We speak to Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive. He recently wrote an article in Foreign Policy called "Our Man in Havana: Was USAID Planning to Overthrow Castro?"