Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Texas Church Shooting Exposes Cover-up of Military Domestic Violence Problems

The media made a big issue of the fact that the Air force didn't appropriately inform civilian law enforcement agents of his domestic violence conviction which should have made it more difficult if not impossible to buy the guns used in the attack.

No doubt, there is good reason to be outraged by this, but it will also make it more difficult to track how much problems the military has with domestic violence since this data can also be used for research purposes. This is the latest of many high profile shootings by veterans that may have had PTSD, and for every high profile one there are many more lower profile shootings, murders, assaults or other violent incidents by veterans with emotional problems some of which may have been a result of combat stress or pressure from the military environment, including boot camp where they intentionally put them under a lot of stress as part of their training to see how they handle it, and to teach them to obey orders without question.

Numerous statistical studies have been done over the years about violence in the military compared to non-veterans, but they often rely on the information that is entered into one of these databases or another, and this is one of many indications that they're not always reported as accurately as they could be.

They're also often slow to report if an active shooter is a veteran, including the reporting on this shooter, which waited about seven hours after the shooting, or at least four or five hours after they identified the suspect as Devin Patrick Kelley, for the cable news to report that the suspect was an Air Force veteran even though ABC news reported this at 6:30 on the evening news, CNN and MSNBC didn't report it until almost two hours later. This is minor compared to some efforts in the past to downplay military shooters, possibly because they must have realized that this big of a shooting would be exposed anyway.

About a year ago there were two other high profile veteran shootings as I reported previously in Veteran Murders Brings Wars Based on Lies Home! they immediately reported on Esteban Santiago's military status in a high profile airport shooting; however, another airport shooting that didn't get as much coverage where Lloyd Dean Buie killed Michael Winchester the father of an NFL player the national media coverage didn't mention his veteran status for a few days and it fell from the news, as they briefly reported that he was a decorated veteran, before on local media outlets or on the internet.

For every high profile veteran shooting there are many more lower profile ones that hardly ever get any attention, except at the local level. In many cases the victims are often other military veterans or families of veterans; and these are often the people most inclined to recognize and try to solve this problem, although the political and media establishment rarely help them much. The best studies on this are often the lowest profile ones, and if the media does mention them they're often demonized, without fact checking, or with distorted fact checking.

I went into more studies in several previous articles including States with high murder rates have larger veteran populations; which reviewed a Bureau of Justice Statistics study that I found selectively reported some of the facts, and a more recent one from the same bureau is even worse, and raises obvious problems once it's compared with the first one, which I'll get back to below and Teach a soldier to kill and he just might which reviewed several more including a New York Times series that reported on over a hundred veterans that came back from war and were arrested for murder and perhaps the best study that I found was by David Philips author Casualties of War, Part I: The hell of war comes home July 24, 2009 which includes a statistical study that covers a relatively small area and compares murder rates for the same area which is better than what the Bureau of Justice Statistics did; and he also goes into much more detail into the murders and the training that contributed to their violent behavior so that readers can understand how boot camp indoctrinates people to blindly obey orders.

The failure to report that they exposed is far more common than the media indicates which the next two articles indicate; and so is problems with domestic violence as the first article below shows:

FBI data indicate military rarely reports domestic violence 11/07/2017

The U.S. Department of Defense — under scrutiny for failing to report a domestic violence conviction that might have stopped Devin P. Kelley from buying the guns he carried to the Sutherland Springs church shooting — had only one such case listed on a national FBI database published at the end of 2016.

Along with that single misdemeanor, an FBI report of active records on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, from December 2016 shows the military service branches and the Pentagon had just a handful of “adjudicated mental health” reports, one felony, and 10,958 dishonorable discharges.

The end-of-year report did not list any records at all from the Department of Defense regarding soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines barred from buying guns because of domestic violence restraining orders. ......

Kelley’s attack on his stepson, described as a baby, was part of a rise in the rate of child abuse across the military over the past decade. The Pentagon substantiated 6,998 claims of child abuse in fiscal year 2016, a rate of 7.2 per 1,000 children. That compared to 5,434 claims in 2007, a rate of 4.9. Substantiated claims hit a peak of 7,676 in 2014.

The rate of spousal abuse in the military also has increased since 2007, when 7,257 claims were substantiated, a rate of 10.2 per 1,000 couples. Last year, there were 7,651 substantiated claims, a rate of 11.8. During the past decade, substantiated claims of spousal abuse reached a high of 8,386 in 2011. Complete article

High rates of domestic violence have been reported repeatedly in numerous studies, some of which I have listed in past articles, although the media almost never reports the most reliable studies where a large percentage of the public can see them. And as the following article indicates at least 12.7% of discharges are “uncharacterized or unknown due to data entry error," assuming the ones that are entered are recorded accurately, which is higher than the 9% of discharges that are under questionable terms for one reason or another:

Minor infractions in uniform can keep vets on the street and away from VA 09/15/2015

Hundreds of thousands of service members leave the military each year — some with a black mark on their records that'll prevent them from getting the benefits veterans usually receive.

According to data obtained by KPCC, about 207,000 military members were discharged in the last fiscal year, nearly 9 percent of them under conditions that didn't meet the standard for "honorable discharge."


For those with "bad paper," as it's called, life can be difficult. Discharge status determine's a veteran's access to benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found veterans who aren't honorably discharged are seven times more likely to be homeless.

Typical administrative infractions could be anything from insulting a senior officer, to getting into a fistfight, or testing positive for narcotics on a urinalysis.

The burden of proof for an administrative "non-judicial" proceeding is based on a "preponderance of evidence" — meaning if 51 percent of the evidence points to your guilt, that's enough.

While the burden of proof is much lower than for a criminal court proceeding, the amount and types of punishment that can be awarded are also less harsh. An administrative punishment could include "reduction in rank" (i.e. a demotion) and withholding half of a person's pay for two months.

If the offender is a low-ranking enlistee and receives administrative punishment several times in his or her first enlistment contract, a commanding officer may decide that the enlistee just isn't cut out for military service. Often, getting kicked out this way results in a "general" or "other than honorable" discharge.

According to data from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the discharges from the 2014-2015 fiscal year break down as: Honorable: 78.29 percent
General – Under Honorable Conditions: 6.36 percent
Under Other Than Honorable Conditions: 2.09 percent
Bad Conduct: 0.49 percent
Dishonorable: 0.07 percent

The remaining 12.7 percent were either “uncharacterized” or unknown due to data entry error.
Complete article

Discharges in the military can be politically motivated and they're not subject to accountability in most cases, or at least not easily. It's virtually impossible to know how often veterans are discharged for something as trivial as "insulting a senior officer," especially since if it does happen they almost certainly pile on additional charges to confuse the issue, and the records are not easily available for the vast majority of discharges; however there are enough that have been made public to raise major doubts about their priorities.

The military has a long history of sweeping domestic abuse and rape under the rug as reported in many relatively low profile, compared to more positive propaganda, articles including Military’s response to rapes, domestic abuse falls short 05/13/2005 "After a naval aviation convention in 1991 where more than 100 officers sexually assaulted and harassed dozens of women, investigations were undermined and no one was convicted. Experts called for more aggressive punishment of offenders. But today, leniency is still the rule, as military leaders continue to choose administrative punishments twice as often as criminal prosecution for those accused of sexual assault and domestic violence."

Administrative punishments may often not be reported as well and may not be taken into consideration when doing studies to find out how common this happens. There have been plenty more of these reports since this one, including a brief report on Fox News that said that the Army fails to report 90% of domestic violence incidences, the Navy fails to report 74% of incidences, and the Air Force fails to report 50% of incidence.

It is routine in the military to hold lower ranks to the highest standards, as decided by the higher ranks, while there is often little or no accountability for the higher ranks. Obedience to authority is something that is taught starting at boot camp to convince cadets to blindly obey orders without question, even when the commanding officers are often not held accountable or when politicians send them to war based on lies. This indoctrination process is part of how they teach cadets to blindly believe these lies under intimidating circumstances, and it also escalates violent tendencies that often begin with early child abuse that escalates to bullying and hazing later in life.

I went into this more in Philip Zimbardo, Lucifer Effect, Stanford Prison Experiment and Eli Roth’s Milgram/Obedience experiment much more extensive than most people realize where I reviewed the research that was allegedly designed to learn why the Nazi's blindly obeyed orders so that they could prevent it from happening again; however this research was supported or directly financed by the military and the Office of Naval Research, which isn't in the habit of teaching their cadets to question orders. This research could be used either to learn how to prevent blind obedience or to obtain it, which is most cases is what it actually was used for. Additional examples from other sources include Two police officers under investigation after video emerges of them 'bullying children at their own military-style boot camp' 08/01/2012 Caught on camera: Shocking abuse at California boot camp under 'sergeant' who 'posed as police officer to kidnap children' 10/29/2011 where either real police using boot camp indoctrination tactics or former military veterans pretending to be police were caught abusing children.

The instructors that ran these boot camps are just a few of the people that came to think of boot camp indoctrination as a way of life, and part of a domination process controlling those with less power. There are plenty more examples where veterans, some who were also police officers, brought this home to their own families and eventually went on violent shooting sprees including Eulalio “Leo” Tordil, a former police officer and veteran, who allegedly put his own children through boot camp indoctrination and went on a shooting spree killing his wife and two others as I explained in Media Downplaying Two Police Killing Sprees Ignoring Solutions and there's more like this in the list of veteran shootings below.

While they provided an enormous amount of coverage for the shootings spree in Texas there were many more lower profile murders including a murder under investigation from the supposedly heroic Navy Seal Team 6 that took out Osama bin Laden according to 2 Navy SEALs Under Suspicion in Strangling of Staff Sgt. Logan J. Melgar a Green Beret in Mali 10/29/2017 and Green Beret Discovered SEALs’ Illicit Cash. Then He Was Killed. 11/12/2017 This isn't nearly as uncommon as the media, political establishment or the military implies with all their propaganda about heroic veterans, often coming home to surprise their happy families.

As I previously explained in States with high murder rates have larger veteran populations and Teach a soldier to kill and he just might the Bureau of Justice Statistics provided selective statistics which were often used to portray veterans as having much less legal trouble than non-veterans, implying that they're less likely to be involved in criminal activity; however even at that, time once you got past the headline which said that Male veterans less than half as likely as male non-veterans to be in prison in 2004 it quickly becomes clear that there were many problems with this claim including that those that are in jail are more violent and they tend to be much older, among other things. The closer you look at the study the less it looks like veterans are that much less likely to be involved in criminal activity than non-veterans; however, if you rely solely on the information in this study, it still appeared as if they were less involved in criminal activity.

But if you look closer at the prison build up of non-violent people, mostly minorities, for drug related crimes that have been put in jail in the past twenty to thirty years the reason for this major advantage ins't because veterans have become less violent; it's because they haven't increased their rates of imprisonment as much as minorities as a result of the "War on Drugs" which is filling the prisons with non-violent offenders. If you compare the veteran rate of incarceration to other countries it is still much higher, in most cases more than two or three times the incarceration rates of other countries, especially the developed world, and clearly nothing to brag about.

That was in 2004 (this study didn't come out until 2007, however it was based on the 2004 prison population), when the rate they were reporting was half that of non-veterans was "630 prisoners per 100,000 veterans, compared to 1,390 prisoners per 100,000 non-veteran U.S. residents"

The latest study Veterans In Prison And Jail, 2011–2012 12/07/2015 was accompanied by a headline, to the press release, that said Fewer veterans in prison and jail in 2011-12 than 2004 12/07/2015; which once again, sounds very good for veterans but if you look a little closer this starts to have problems as well, although there is no link in this press release directly to the previous study, the rate of incarceration his risen a lot from 630 to 855 and the rate for non-veterans has dropped from 1,390 to 968. They still have a lower rate than non-veterans but the advantage ins't nearly as big as it was in 2004; however unless people are familiar with these studies they probably won't even notice it.

Why did the gap between veterans and non-veterans close so quickly?

The study doesn't even acknowledge this change, so they certainly don't provide an answer to that question or many others; however if you go to the study itself it does provide an enormous amount of raw data, and given enough time this data might provide a partial explanation. The release of this study says, "Data from previous BJS surveys of inmates in prison and jail are used to establish historical trends regarding incarcerated veterans;" which is a good scientific way to research it so they can find out what needs to be changed but in practice they only report the changes that seem to improve the image of veterans and the military.

Without further research I can't tell what the full explanation for this dramatic change however the studies that I have looked at clearly indicate that a large portion of this is the dramatic change in veteran rates based on age. In 2012 24% of Men were Veterans but among men aged 25 to 34 it is only 12% and among those over 65 it is over 50%. (In U.S., 24% of Men, 2% of Women Are Veterans 11/12/2012) recruitment rates have been dropping steadily since World War II, when they were at their peak. The reason for the enormous difference between veterans and non-veterans in 2004 was largely because there were much more WWII and Korean War veterans alive then than there were in 2011-2 when the second study was done. Recruitment rates during the Vietnam War weren't as high as the Korean War or WWII; however they were much higher than current recruitment rates so that is a major part of the reason why there is still a major advantage in incarceration rates now; but this will almost certainly continue to drop as Vietnam veterans get older and die, no longer driving up the rates, especially for those out of jail.

What about violent offences? Are veterans more likely to be charged with murder than non-veterans? In 2004 there were 15% of state inmates that were incarcerated for homicide compared to 12% of non-veterans. That study was released in 2007 and starting about a year later through 2010 there were a series of articles, including the ones previously mentioned from the Colorado Gazette and the New York Times which reported on high rates of violence from veterans returning from the war. No doubt the statistics from that study were used in the debate about whether or not veterans were more violent at that time and they would have known that if they compared the murder rates between that study and the new one that it would help explain it; however the new study doesn't even report on the new rates for incarceration for murder.

If they wanted to compare the murder rates to find out whether they're going up or down "to establish historical trends," as they said in the second report, they would have used consistent methods in the two studies, it's hard to imagine why they wouldn't have collected and reported this data!

However by reporting on the decrease in the prison population without reporting on the larger increase in incarceration rates they've established a pattern of behavior of providing the best possible image for veterans, which has been repeated elsewhere including the lack of reporting of domestic violence incidences.

There's a strong possibility, if not a virtual guarantee, that they declined to report this because it will indicate a problem with rising murder rates from returning veterans. As I reported in the previous article about the first report the press release for that one said that "Only 4 percent of the veterans in state prison had served since operations began in Afghanistan and Iraq;" however, this was based on the 2004 prison population and active duty veterans probably wouldn't be in state prisons unless they were released from military service. There weren't large numbers of veterans in the Afghanistan war, which relied much more on local militias and American air power than they did on ground troops. The number of troops was much higher for the Iraq War but that didn't begin until Spring of 2003.

This means that no more than a year or two after being discharged over five thousand veterans were in state prisons! When you consider that for major crimes they're often held in pretrial at local jails it may be even worse; state prisons are supposed to be for people that are already sentenced and some of the biggest crimes often take years to go to trial.

Once again, buried in the second report, where few people will notice might provide a partial explanation. According to Veterans In Prison And Jail, 2011–2012 PDF 12/07/2015 "Of those who saw combat in at least one conflict zone, 42% of veterans in prison and 24% in jail served in Vietnam. Among combat veterans serving prison terms in 2011–12, 27% (8,500 inmates) fought in the Persian Gulf. Thirty-nine percent (12,000 inmates) saw combat in some other action. A higher percentage of veterans in jail saw combat in Afghanistan (23%) or Iraq (42%) than veterans in prison (16% in Afghanistan and 26% in Iraq). Fifty-one percent of veterans in jail reported serving in other conflict zones while in the military."

There was little discussion about age in the second study; but the first one said that a higher percentage of veterans in prison were older. Now there is a much higher percentage from both the Iraq and Afghanistan War in prison and even more in the local jails, which the first study didn't focus on. Presumably, in addition to the five thousand in prison during 2004 there were more in local jails.

Since I'm relying on data provided by the Bureau of Justice Statistics study, which is clearly flawed, using inconsistent methods of collecting data, and haven't had a thorough peer review I can't guarantee that all my conclusions are correct, but there's enough reason to doubt their conclusions and determine that they're selectively presenting their facts. After all the reports of high violence problems from many veterans that came out since the first study they must have known that compiling the data on homicide rates would have helped understand it better; and the drastic increase in the incarceration rates between the two studies was reported yet they buried it where few people would see it. On top of that it should be clear that there are many more contributing factors including dramatic changes in percentages of citizens serving in the military and the recruitment mostly from rural areas with lower crime rates would have a major impact on the results, yet they didn't mention any of this or many other contributing factors.

If they wanted to do a better job with a statistical study they could have sorted out many of the variables and focused on veterans in similar demographics comparing them to non veterans with the same characteristics. But the statistics of these studies aren't the only thing that they could have researched; they could have also researched some of the specific cases, which many other researchers have done.

One thing that might make these prison incarceration rates even less relevant is leniency towards veterans who served their country as a result of bad publicity about them being abandoned. While searching though many of the murder stories about veterans I noticed a lot of them that were given very light sentences, although I didn't list them. One of the most extreme cases appears to be David Edward Maust who doesn't appear to have been released for any rational reason, and it may not have anything to do with his veteran service. However there have been other examples both recent and from the Vietnam era including Richard Ramirez's cousin Miguel or "Mike," who was found mentally ill and released early as a result of his veteran status. He later had a major impact on Richard who became one of the worst serial killers in history and, according to Philip Carlo's description of him, he continued to be ruthless. His problems, along with many other veterans resulted as much from an abusive childhood if not more; however military boot camp does nothing to treat people with early problems and escalates them making them worse, especially without treatment.

The problems with veterans coming home and reacting violently was as bad if not worse during the Vietnam era and the same patriotic calls to take care of veterans took place back then, although the quality of treatment is difficult to measure, especially with poor reporting on the subject. According to VA and Defense Chiefs Confront Reality of 700,000 Incarcerated Veterans 12/03/2013 (BJS figures put this number at 181,500, although the higher number might include those under supervision) efforts are being made to divert nonviolent offenders to treatment programs, which would help keep the total rate of incarceration down. There are also many reports where mental illnesses are taken into consideration in stories about those that were involved in violent crimes like Mike, Richard Ramirez's cousin or even if it wasn't related to his veteran status, David Edward Maust. There are also many stories from veterans themselves in their own memoirs, including Chris Kyle, who claim that they've gotten out of trouble as a result of their veteran status, either because police have respect for them and are more lenient or because their commanders get them out of trouble. This claim is consistent with complaints that veterans domestic violence reports aren't being reported or prevented adequately.

David Philips author Casualties of War, Part I: The hell of war comes home July 24, 2009 did a far more diverse research project into the details of many of the veterans in Colorado Springs, although he didn't focus as much on statistics he did report that "The Colorado Springs Police Department doesn’t track the crime statistics of individual units, but according to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, jail bookings of military personnel as a whole increased 66 percent in the 12 months after the brigade returned."

David Philips explains how their military boot camp indoctrination contributes to this problem when he cites a veteran who says, “The Army trains you to be this way. In bayonet training, the sergeant would yell, ‘What makes the grass grow?’ and we would yell, ‘Blood! Blood! Blood!’ as we stabbed the dummy. The Army pounds it into your head until it is instinct: Kill everybody, kill everybody. And you do. Then they just think you can just come home and turn it off. ... If they don’t figure out how to take care of the soldiers they trained to kill, this is just going to keep happening.”

His reports clearly indicate that the local people in the Colorado Springs area must have recognized there was a major problem, although many of them were patriotic and wanted to support the troops. This might have led to a certain amount of denial or additional disagreements about how to handle the situation. This couldn't have happened only in Colorado Springs; while looking through previous articles about many veterans that had problems with PTSD there were family members all around the country that complained that the military was slow to help including areas that had low veteran rates like Vermont, and those that also had higher rates like Killeen Texas, which when searching through veteran murders I found a much larger number than the traditional media reports, on top of the two high profile shootings that they had at their base years ago. A quick search turns up even more since then. The murder rate for Killeen Texas is almost always above average for the nation or for Texas. Since this is a small city, just under 100,000 people and a large military presence, it is virtually guaranteed that a large percentage of the murders there involve veterans.

Like the veterans in Colorado Springs those at Abu Ghraib were taught to blindly obey orders, and of course they did even when they were illegal orders; however only the low ranking veterans were held accountable when it became a major scandal; and this is one of the examples that indicates that solidarity in the military is based on blind obedience, and it isn't unconditional. Those that question orders are often intimidated until they go along with the program, which is why they were in this trouble in the first place.

When they disobey orders like, even when they might be illegal orders, Bowe Bergdahl or Bradley Manning, on the other hand they're also prosecuted, while the commanders or politicians aren't held accountable at all, even when they fight one war after another based on lies. There have been reports of intimation tactics used against veterans that refuse to take experimental drugs as well. In both Bergdahl's and Manning's case there were indications that they were the victims of bullying and hazing in the military before they deserted or released information exposing atrocities by veterans. The details of their cases are more complicated than that, but clearly the environment in the military created a lot more conflict than the image of the unified "Band of brothers" indicates.

Those that question orders are often intimidated and as Chris Kyle's book indicates some veterans consider it rational and advisable to use force to intimidate them whether it was the soldier he referred to as "runaway" or the celebrity that questioned the legitimacy of the war, which he claimed that he blackened his eye, although after revealing his name Jesse Ventura claimed that this was a lie, and won in court. But the point is that many of these veterans clearly believe it is justified to use violence to settle disagreements, even with other veterans who question the legitimacy of the war, which was based on lies!

Like Mike, Richard Ramirez's cousin, David Edward Maust, and many other veterans who were involved in violent incidents, almost certainly including Devin Kelley, Bergdahl and Manning both came from abusive upbringings and may have needed mental health treatment, yet if they're discharged under dishonorable conditions this may be used as an excuse to deprive them of the treatment they need, which in some cases could make things even worse. It should also raise doubts about whether or not they're screening their veterans well enough.

However it should be easy to recognize that if they're fighting one war after another based on lies they need as many recruits as they can get and if they start eliminating them for these reasons it will be much harder to recruit enough. They also need people that are going to obey orders without question, and kille when they're told to and they're often the people that come from these troubled backgrounds.

Amazingly VA secretary David Shulkin said about the Texas shooter: 'I do not consider him a veteran' 11/06/2017 and used this to justify denying him the care that might ahve made this shooting less likely. The article indicates Shulkin's beleifs:

“He is a criminal and I think that he was convicted and with a dishonorable discharge does not deserve to have the same title as the men and women who have served this country and have honorably been discharged,” Shulkin said during remarks at the National Press Club in Washington. ....

Shulkin said there is a distinction between those who have received an other than honorable discharge and those who have received a dishonorable discharge. Those with the former, he said, “we do believe are in need of our assistance and help, particularly with mental illness.”

“Those dishonorable discharged have violated the law, have violated our morals and ethics, and I do not believe deserve the types of services and benefits and VA would not be providing those benefits,” Shulkin explained.

“This is not a person who has ever been treated in the VA system and would not be eligible for those benefits,” he said.

President Trump said after the shooting that the issue was a mental health issue and not “a guns situation.” Complete article

The hypocrisy of both Trump and Shulkin, neither of whom ever served in the military is mind boggling. It should be incredibly obvious that if it is a "mental Health issue" as Trump claims then it should be even more important that he get the treatment that he needs. Shulkin is apparently the son of an Army psychiatrist, you might think that if he was any good that he might know better; however these are both politicians or political appointees that don't base their views on reliable science.

Before they found out many details a pundit on TV said something along the lines of "We'll find out whether he's a veteran or not or has a history of domestic abuse then we'll conclude that this is senseless and it doesn't make any sense!" This quote isn't exact since it was out of memory but the basic idea was accurate. At first this seems like an absurd comment to make, concluding that we won't figure out what caused it even before investigating. However, even though this is absurd, it is an accurate description of their pattern of behavior after every shooting. I've gone into this one time after another explaining that if they did review how early child abuse leads to escalating violence and other contributing causes of violence that they could help reduce it but they refuse to do this.

A close review of how they respond to disasters might be worthwhile, to understand how bad the traditional media is and how it can be improved assuming more sincere people were running it. The following is additional details that I jotted down the day after the shooting, while it was fresh in my memory. This can be confirmed with recorded video that they keep on hand at the news outlets; however unless people are willing to record them the majority wouldn't be able to study how they distort the news in the immediate aftermath of disasters:

At about 6:35 ABC News first reported that Devin Patrick Kelley was a veteran of the Air Force, he had been identified at least an hour before, probably by 5:00, by both CNN and MSNBC. CNN and MSNBC didn't report this until about two hours later. They repeatedly speculated about the possibility that this was a veteran trained by the military and mentioned that the Sheriff's office was being tight lipped about the details. Ana Cabrera had an extended interview with Sheriff Joe Tackett asking several questions, however even though she had been involved in discussion about whether or not he was in the military she didn't ask for his status. At this point they already began telling the public that if he was dishonorably discharged he wouldn't have been able to legally buy this type of gun. They later explained that a "bad conduct" discharge is less severe, and doesn't prohibit him from buying this kind of gun.

At about 8:15-20 Kasie Hunt had Angus King on and he casually mentioned that in this case, he was discharged under questionable circumstances and that he was also involved in a domestic violence incident. Kasie Hunt didn't ask about either of these comments or how he knew. About five or ten minutes later, approximately 8:25 CNN came out with breaking news saying that they had just found out that he was a former member of the Air Force and that he was discharged although at that time they didn't know under what circumstances. MSNBC came out with an almost identical report about 8:40 clearly implying neither of them knew about the veteran status until this point even though ABC and Angus King both disclosed information that turned out to be accurate.

They repeatedly interviewed people that said they had a lot of veterans around here in the hours before they disclosed that he was a veteran. At one point one pundit had a witness on the phone live, and he said that he had just been informed by the police that the shooter had posted something online before the shooting. The pundit excitedly asked what it was with a leading comment asking if he had announced that he was going to do this ahead of time. The witness quickly denied this and said that they didn't give him more information than that. Later reports coming out the next day indicate that he posted a picture of the gun saying, "she's a bad b***h," with little or no additional detail.

They were surprisingly quick to bring up the subject of whether he should have been eligible to buy a gun after receiving a dishonorable discharge even before they found out that he was a veteran almost as if they planned it ahead of time. When they found out he was discharged under bad conduct which would have allowed him to buy guns under most circumstances, but that if they had reported as they were supposed to he probably shouldn't have been able to buy the guns that he used. Conspiracy theorists from gun rights groups could easily have cited this as evidence of an effort to deprive them of their guns; however, since they've been doing similar things for decades arguing around in circles, and doing nothing, that would imply that it is extremely unlikely, or that it was among the most incompetent conspiracy you can imagine.

After checking Killeen Texas for more stories of veterans involved in murders and finding so many I checked to see if they had above average murder rates in that town and compared it to other cities in Texas to find out if they had higher murder rates near bases. Eighteen of twenty-six military bases (List of military installations in Texas) that I was able to find statistics for in Texas were in cities that had above average murder rates. Fifteen of these bases were in small towns where you would normally expect lower murder rates, yet nine of them had above average rates sometimes much higher. Several of those below average were only a little below average while some of those above were much higher. Two of the large cities, Austin and El Paso, had fairly low murder rates which is unusual for big cities, but they only had one base each which wouldn't have had a big impact. The three large cities, San Antonio, Houston, and Fort Worth with higher murder rates were much higher, and San Antonio had seven military bases.

A closer look would be needed to see how big of a difference it is; however clearly the murder rates near most Texas bases are above average. I glanced at a few military cities in Oregon and California and suspect they might have lower rates; however, since they were small cities and the rates, that I looked at, fluctuated wildly it is speculative. The following are the cities that I checked:

When it comes to some of the smallest towns that typically have no murders at all, and the rates jump dramatically on the years that they do have one or two I used the average over a fifteen year period to determine if they were above average or below. Military bases in Texas cities with above average murder rates between 2002 and 2016:

Crime rate in Killeen, Texas: murder rates per 100,000: 2002, 3.3, 6.4,5.1,8.1,7.8, 2007: 11.5,8.6,4.1,9.0,11.5, 2012: 9.1,4.4,7.2,12.1,11.2

Wichita Falls 2002 10.1 2009 10.9 2015 1.0 2016 8.6 / 9 out of 15 above average

Bastrop seven murders in fifteen years with only about eight thousand people above average

Fort Worth 2003 9.9 2012 5.7 all above average about 600,000 people

Corpus Christi 2004 8.8 2005 2.8 ten out of fifteen above average about 270,000 people

San Antonio seven bases 2007 9.3 2013 5.1 all above average about 7.0 on average about 1,200,000 people

Houston 2006 18.2 2011 9.2 all well above average about two million people

CG Surfside Beach one murder on fifteen years with only 500 people above average

CG Galveston 2003 13.9 2010 1.8 2014 2.3 only three below average about 60,000 people

Port Aransas four murders in fifteen years with only about 4,000 people above average

Port Arthur 2006 3.4 2008 16.4 fourteen out of fifteen above average about 70,000 people

South Padre Island four murders in fifteen years with only about 2,500 people average rate about 10 well above average

Military bases in Texas cities with below average murder rates between 2002 and 2016:

Austin 2010 4.8 2015 2.5 all below average over 700,000 people

Grand Prairie two bases 2004 6.5 2006 2.0 2013 6.0 12 out of fifteen below average about 170,000 people

Kingsville eleven murders in fifteen years below average about 26,000 people

El Paso 2003 3.6 2010 0.8 all below average about 600,000 people

Del Rio twelve murders in fifteen years about 40,000 people below average

Abilene 2007 7.9 2015 0.8 2016 5.8 slightly below average overall about 120,000 people

San Angelo 34 murders in fifteen years about 90,000 people average rate about 2.1 below average

Murder rates Texas 2016: 5.3, 2013: 4.3, 2003: 6.4

The following are additional sources for related material:

U.S. Mass Shooters Are Disproportionately Veterans 11/13/2017

Understanding Mass Killings And Military Service 07/18/2016

Is Military Service a Factor in Creating Mass Shooters? 11/09/2017 by David A. Love

Hazing and Bullying in the Police Academy 12/16/2013

What is the logic behind making military boot camps so intensive? Is it primarily skill building, or is it the team building that comes from having to go through “hell” together? 08/05/2016

Two police officers under investigation after video emerges of them 'bullying children at their own military-style boot camp' 08/01/2012

Caught on camera: Shocking abuse at California boot camp under 'sergeant' who 'posed as police officer to kidnap children' 10/29/2011 McFarland served in the military before leaving to set up the Family First Growth Camp in Pasadena.

Marine Corps Recruits Report Bullying at Boot Camp 11/22/2013

Texas church gunman escaped mental health facility in 2012 after threatening military superiors 11/07/2017 NEW BRAUNFELS, Tex. — The gunman who killed more than two dozen people in a small church outside San Antonio on Sunday had a string of troubling episodes in recent years, including an escape from a mental health facility in 2012 after he was caught sneaking guns onto an Air Force base “attempting to carry out death threats” against military superiors, according to a police report.

Texas church shooter Devin Patrick Kelley's troubled past emerges 11/08/2017

Suspected Texas mass shooter identified - posted picture of gun to Facebook 11/06/2017

The Texas church shooter should not have been legally able to buy a gun 11/06/2017

Chelsea Manning to Remain in Army, Receive Health Care Benefits 05/15/2017 Manning will be an unpaid soldier and will be eligible for health care and other benefits, USA Today reported. Army spokesman Dave Foster told the paper that she will remain a private in the Army.

Bowe Bergdahl gets dishonorable discharge, avoids prison time 11/04/2017 Bergdahl's attorneys asked the judge for leniency during sentencing hearings, arguing he had a previously undiagnosed mental illness when he left his post. "Hypothetically, he probably should not have been in the Army," said Capt. Nina Banks, one of his military defense attorneys, in her closing argument. Bergdahl suffered from numerous mental illnesses, including schizotypal personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, according to Dr. Charles Morgan, a forensic psychiatrist and professor at the University of New Haven and Yale University. He testified for the defense Wednesday. Morgan said Bergdahl was raised in a tense and sometimes scary household that contributed to social anxiety and cognitive defects that he was suffering from before he enlisted in the Army.

Bowe Bergdahl, the former hostage who pleaded guilty to desertion, avoids prison 11/03/2017 As a consequence of his dishonorable discharge, Bergdahl will lose all benefits, including medical care, afforded to military veterans. ...... But the former soldier also noted a central issue in the case: Bergdahl’s mental health at the time of his enlistment, evident when he washed out of the Coast Guard.

List of Dishonorable Discharges 06/05/2017

Quora: How many people are dishonorably discharged from the US armed forces every year? 2015

On average, how many Dishonorable Discharges per year are given out to United States military personnel? 06/?/2004

Prosecutions and convictions for Abu Ghraib 03/14/2006 Three dishonorable discharge and Five bad-conduct discharges all for low ranking veteran no higher than Staff Sgt. No commanding officers that gave the orders were held accountable.

10 Years After Abu Ghraib, Ex-Prisoners Seek Justice in Torture Lawsuit Against U.S. Contractor CACI 05/05/2014

What Happens When You Propagandize A Nation Into Supporting Mass Murder 11/08/2017

Margaret E. Noonan statistician contact information

NBC New York Has Identified The Real Mass Shooting Threat in America: Veterans 01/08/2017

Are military veterans more likely for shooting sprees? 01/11/2017

States with right-to-carry concealed handgun laws experience increases in violent crime, according to Stanford scholar 06/21/2017

The following are additional reports of veterans becoming violent, whether its' because of their training or lack of treatment in the military or not:

Days before police killed him, Dillan Tabares, a homeless veteran fatally beat 80-year-old friend, authorities say 10/31/2017

Wash. Combat veteran accused of mass shooting threat, I-5 high-speed chase faces judge 10/17/2017 Christopher James Bleavins, 35, is accused of first threatening a Las Vegas-style shooting at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma and then leading law enforcement in several counties on an 80-mile-long chase, sometimes reaching speeds greater than 120 mph.

Veteran cited after firing shots outside Tenn. VA hospital 11/05/2017 According to Metro police, the man fired a dozen shots in the air before putting his gun down and walking inside the hospital. He then told the staff he was suicidal.

Fla. Police officer shoots, wounds Steven Smith, an armed veteran after rampage 11/03/2017 An armed veteran who has had previous run-ins with the law was shot and wounded by a Jacksonville police officer after a series of hit-and-runs that ended with a crash Friday afternoon on the Wonderwood Bridge in the Mayport area, authorities said.

Veteran who killed himself and son in Foxborough Mass. stole gun used in attack, official says 11/11/2017

The Iraq War veteran who fatally shot his 6-year-old son and then committed suicide nearly two months ago in Foxborough stole a handgun from a friend to commit the attack, the Norfolk district attorney’s office said Friday.

Investigators used the serial number on the .45 caliber handgun to confirm that it had been taken from the home of William F. Scaccia Jr.’s friend, said David Traub, the district attorney’s spokesman.

“We are satisfied that was the gun taken from that box,” said Traub, referring to the locked box used to store the firearm.

William Scaccia, 49, fatally shot his son, Anthony at 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 21 before shooting himself, authorities said. The murder-suicide occurred at the home where Anthony lived with his mother, Laurie Tolliver. Scaccia also lit gasoline inside the house in an attempt to burn it down. Complete article

Trial begins for Robert J. Vega, a veteran accused of killing off-duty Richmond police officer who was the father of his ex-girlfriend 10/19/2017

Veteran's death outside Phoenix VA hospital investigated as possible suicide 10/20/2017

Suspect identified as Mason Johnson II a U.S. Army veteran in Owen County Ind. standoff 11/03/2017 Two women and two kids are safe after police shot and killed the man they say was holding them hostage.

Ft. Hood soldier and wife killed in apparent murder-suicide 09/27/2010 FORT HOOD - Fort Hood officials are investigating a rash of suicides in recent days, including the apparent murder-suicide of a soldier and his wife.

Soldier’s Family Found Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide 01/23/2014 Army investigators said on Thursday that the civilian in the suspected murder-suicide, Rouhad Ahamd Ezzeddine, 43, the husband of Pfc. Carla Santisteban, 33, appeared to have killed the couple’s two children before committing suicide.

52 Deaths at Fort Hood Since January 2016 ~ 14 Since January 2017…Normal Or HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS? 04/23/2017 On February 27, 2017 Chief Warrant Officer 2 Andre George Nance; On March 28, 2017 Sgt. Jonathan Garrett Garcia; On April 07, 2017 40-year-old Sgt. Daniel William Wildeman; On April 16, 2017 Spc. David Folly Ananou

Maine Army veteran fatally shot in Texas 05/18/2017

Pvt. Justin Lewis's Family seeks answers after NC soldier slain in Texas 04/22/2017

Four of five sentenced for Killeen murder-for-hire scheme 11/21/2003 Tyshee Manik Prokop, the wife of a Fort Hood soldier Gary Prokop, who was killed in a June 1998 murder-for-hire shooting death, was one of four Killeen residents sentenced for their involvement in his killing Thursday. Co-defendants in the case said they were to be paid from a $100,000 life insurance policy Ms. Prokop stood to benefit from after her husband's death.

Army Spc. Ata-se Giffa, Fort Hood Soldier Suspected Of Killing 4, Injuring 1 In Murder-Suicide 02/25/2015

Newington marine charged in wife's murder 10/12/2017

Navy SEAL accused of deadly stabbing tried 'to do the right thing,' attorney says 06/16/2016

Ex-SEAL with CIA ties on way to Italy when arrested, on drug charges, sources say 06/22/2017

Murder charge reportedly filed in Jordan in death of Houston Green Beret 11/0/2017

'Ballad of the Green Berets' singer’s biographer talks about Barry Sadler’s meteoric rise, murder charge, violent death 14/27/2017

2 Navy SEALs Under Suspicion in Strangling of Staff Sgt. Logan J. Melgar a Green Beret in Mali 10/29/2017

Green Beret Discovered SEALs’ Illicit Cash. Then He Was Killed. 11/12/2017 The Intercept reported that one of the SEALs, Petty Officer Anthony E. DeDolph, was a mixed-martial arts pro.

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