The Wacko-Vet Myth
3:38 PM, Jan 14, 2008 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
This weekend the New York Times published a troubling report chronicling what appears to be an epidemic of violent crime by soldiers returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The paper "found 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after their return from war." I was actually wondering about the rates of violent crime among veterans earlier this week when I saw yet another Law & Order episode featuring a U.S. soldier returning from Iraq to sow chaos and bloodshed on our own shores (in this case he actually killed a fellow soldier in an attempt to cover-up a massacre in Iraq--ripped from the headlines, right?). Well, it turns out that despite the anecdotal evidence collected by the Times, and the fictional incidents portrayed on Law & Order, there is absolutely no indication that violent crime is more pervasive among veterans of the war on terror than it is among the population at large. From a piece by John J. DiIulio Jr. just posted at THE DAILY STANDARD:
Over at Power Line, John Hinderaker does his own math:
Just recently CBS was caught playing the same game with regard to the rate of suicides for soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Bill Sweetman, who was one of the first to point out the problems with that story, writes of the Times piece: "one look at the statistics is enough to blow the cause-and-effect that the story implies out of the water." Which makes you wonder why they ran the piece at all. Well, actually, we know why--Bush lied and people died, or came home and murdered other people. At least that's the story the Times is peddling.