“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” – Thomas Jefferson. This expression of reliance upon a free and independent press as a necessary component of liberty not only found its way into our Constitution but has been a bulwark of our culture ever since. Yet today the freedom of the free press is faced with unprecedented challenges.
Presidential contender John Edwards is introducing a $400 million plan Monday to help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, including those recently returned from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Under Edwards’ plan, veterans could seek counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder outside the Veterans Health Administration system; the number of counselors would increase; and family members would be employed to identify cases of PTSD.
Edwards, a North Carolina Democrat, was scheduled to introduce the five-point plan during a speech at New Hampshire’s Plymouth State University.
President George W. Bush snubbed America’s 20 million veterans Sunday, hiding out at his Texas ranch on yet another vacation while sending Vice President Dick Cheney, a draft-dodger during the Vietnam War, to Arlington National Cometary for Veterans Day ceremonies.
Bush, who has spent more time on “vacation” than any President in history, made a brief trip to a local American Legion Hall near his Crawford, Texas, ranch for a ceremony honoring four Lone Star vets who have died in Iraq but skipped the traditional Presidential appearance at Arlington.
Mercenaries working for another American “security contractor” in Iraq murdered a Baghdad taxi driver Saturday, adding to the death toll compiled by hired killers working for the U.S. government in that occupied country.
Witnesses said a mercenary working for DynCorp killed the taxi driver as an American diplomatic convoy rolled past traffic on an exit ramp.
“They just killed a man and drove away,” Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, told The New York Times Sunday. “We have opened an investigation, and we have contacted the company and told them about a accusations, and we are still waiting for their response.”
The blatant murder is just the latest atrocity by the out-of-control mercenaries hired by the American government to supplement U.S. troops in Iraq. The country still wants mercs working for Blackwater Worldwide, a mercenary firm with strong ties to President George W. Bush, punished and expelled from the county for the Step. 16 massacre that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead at at least 24 wounded.