tv [untitled] September 10, 2012 1:30pm-2:00pm EDT
this is our to international it's kevin owen here with our top stories for you this evening. failed to finish. the. caught redhanded texas police infiltrate the occupy movement charging activists crimes them to cover offices set up from the start. cuts for the disabled and low income pensioners foreign creditors project savings and. look at life some of the unexpected dangers that american soldiers face in
shower toilet everything was the same but different petition this guy is a new guy you don't know anything about two years ago or because he really u.s. government two months ago. oh i see i took a pig to noise side of the toilet when my son is died. before i think you know it was small or something toilet but now i see real real is a big guys pay for five six thousand people or more. and now in my my head is something more and more sure you know somebody shot their way most on the side and they shot. back i go back to. everything you know. different in my head special i will talk to my family what i see inside the base oh i see this all this old you know.
because one was updating his family about his trip we were meeting with friends a canned writing expert. whose findings were about to change the course of our investigation. ok and what specifically like you. know john for it's very. well the dynamics of the writing are very consistent he has a print script we can see it in his samples we have some. looks like school no it's or chapter notes it's called chapter twelve so i don't know what he was doing but there are there are notes that he wrote and then we have some other. government looks like government related. documents to compare and i have a significant number of events so i was able to nail down some of the key ingredients in his known handwriting to compare so these are some of the
characteristics there were two which is not as important as the because him's are clearly. his kind of identifier. and so we've got the word doctors if we take his known writing we've got big word doctors in his known writing and they're right on the money. we've got the word me and is known right and. the two which are connected. and we've got pain. which i can find and find. here's this pain here. you know so we have it here and here and we have it here as well we always have to keep in mind the idea that writing is never exact every time you write there's a little variation your writing evolves over time but it always has variation
within it and so unless you're understanding the dynamics of the writing you might see something as being not exact and think it's different and it's not within the context of the writing. and so these are just a few of the characteristics that stand out as being. the highlights of his writing and the identifiers. for the printed with no definitive proof of why john was suffering and only veiled references the lariam in his unit's taking of the drug we decided to request all of his medical records to the freedom of information act but in the two years since his death his records at all disappeared they've not been sent to the appropriate storage facility by his unit when contacted a representative from his unit said they had nothing to send according to witnesses weeks after john's death men in suits came to the unit's office and cleared of all
personnel when they left there was no paperwork left with the name john taurus the main failed to sign a receipt is required and witnesses were unsure who they were the most believe they were from the sea id i contacted the c. id and asked if they had taken the records from the unit in a written response they simply stated you will have your sources to confirm their allegations i have addressed your questions as they pertain to see id good luck with your production. as a last resort we requested what few documents may still be on file with army medical command to manage the medical records of active duty soldiers they informed us that they would send a packet containing the few documents they still had the pointed out that what they were sending had been included in the criminal investigation report we had received when the packet arrived and included the mental health evaluation cited but missing from the c. id report it was redaction free and at first glance it became clear white had been
purged from the copy sent to the family the mental health evaluation was written by major robert ns lee m.d. an army psychiatrist who serving with the two fifty fourth medical detachment at baghran when john died the c. id report stated that john committed suicide is the result of anxiety and unresolved sematic pain but according to major n's lee's evaluation his sematic anxiety symptoms are not sufficiently severe based on objective findings to precipitate such an extreme response his psychological stressors are likewise mild especially in contrast to the very promising future that would have begun in earnest in just two months with relatively minimal psycho social factors present a biological basis may be the primary precipitant if toxicology reveals the presence of meth specialist tours this case should be viewed in light of other suicides suspected to be associated with the drug that document is the first military document i have ever seen that seems to suggest that the army was aware
that lariam may be causing suicides in the field and they were tracking and i've never seen that before i've only seen the army say that there's absolutely nothing to this that linus is safe as aspirin in his two thousand and four congressional testimony general pete testified that normally suicides had been linked to lariam but acknowledged the drug was received poorly by army personnel. you know if you look back at history whether it was combat during world war two whether it was agent orange in vietnam the military has been always slow to react to negative things and they did things that could affect the soldiers for instance agent orange for a while that we didn't believe agent orange caused the cancer and we later learned of that did so then now we have lariam which the military created and the army invented lariam walls known as meth when then army invented it sold it to
pharmaceuticals roche pharmaceutical sales of the military so it's kind of hard for then at least my perspective it's hard for the military to acknowledge we have a problem with this drug. until it finally takes years of people unfortunately dying like in the case that you have dying from larry in talks this city. the thing about lariam that you have to remember is that it's from a class of drugs called quinolones quinolones actually are relatively unusual in that they cross the blood brain barrier so in other words if i take tylenol that goes into my blood it goes through my body it passes through this goes to the brain it is absorbed into the brain like fat and that is why the russian officials have told me it gets in there and for certain people want to it's done is damage inside the brain the damage is done inside the brain. when medication is taken in pill form like
a method when we look at how much is absorbed and that's it's got very good gastrointestinal absorption and it turns out that it's really heavily concentrated in tissues throughout the body liver kidneys pancreas and that includes the brain so when we're talking about neuro psychiatric symptoms or go so far as even talk about brain toxicity then the brain has some protection from what's in the plasma with regards to the blood brain barrier and obviously if a medication doesn't cross that blood brain barrier then it can't get into the brain and cause damage but meth like when obviously does concentrate in the brain as a dozen other tissues. concentrates you know very much. according to
roche only one in ten thousand users suffer side effects from the drug but a study published in one nine hundred ninety six by the british medical journal found that one in one hundred forty travelers taking mefloquine can expect to have a neuro psychiatric adverse event unpleasant enough to temporarily prevent them from carrying out their day to day activities. in march of two thousand and eight the malaria journal published a study conducted by the armed forces medical surveillance center. study examine the medical records of over eleven thousand active duty military personnel deployed to afghanistan in two thousand and seven of that sample the report states that almost ten percent showed evidence of a contraindication to lariam with females more than twice as likely as males to suffer significant side effects yet the military continued to use the drug. the mental health evaluation also questions the care afforded john before his death
ensley notes that john's medical records indicate he sought help for his symptoms and that after repeated doctor visits failed to find anything physically wrong with him john asked to be sent to germany for further testing his request was denied and he was sent to see a psychiatrist. after repeated trips to the bases hospital and multiple meetings with the psychiatrist the medical staff still missed the warning signs of lariam toxicity according to report specialist tours complaints apparently dated back to the beginning of his deployment possibly coinciding with his treatment course of lariam but in his medical visits no link was made between this medication and his sematic symptoms even when he was diagnosed with some form of anxiety there is no mention of lariam is potentially causing or exacerbating the problem. military medicine does of things wonderfully well i mean they get people off the battlefield very very quickly you know if you get your legs blown off god forbid in iraq they do wonderful job one of the things that military medicine is i think many critics
would agree on is they are just bad at side effects whether it's lariam side effects or the anthrax shot side effects it is just not information that gets out in the field it is not emphasized it's not something that people are made aware of and it's a it's a it's a real problem because a lot of these soldiers are totally full of drugs and vaccines and they have problems and some of the problems are deadly. remember when you join the military you give up certain rights and certain rights that you give up as sort of free choice you are required to follow your community's orders and that's what the military is based upon and that's why we can send soldiers into combat we can say go take that hill go face enemy fire because they're following orders and that training begins very early when you enter the military you are trained to follow your commanders orders and commanders orders can be not only go ahead take the the hill charge the enemy but you'll take this pill because at the time you know
they're concerned with the soldiers getting malaria and so if the soldiers get sick with malaria that reduces combat efficiency so as a result they say take this medication we don't want you getting malaria so the soldier has no choice whatsoever he takes the medication. well i think that individuals listen to what they need to listen to so if you put if you put an individual in harm's way they're going to be a cootie listen to what they need to know to keep them alive so you can bet that when somebody goes through basic training there they're paying attention to the kinds of things they need to know like how to maintain their rifle how to how to handle a rocket launcher how to throw a grenade. those are things that people need to learn to stay alive if you told a soldier that they're taking your medication which could also potentially result in their death they would pay attention to you sadly john's case and his parents'
experience is not unique my son's. death has devastated my life i. have moments where i'm happy i don't think i've realized a joyful moment in six years i really believed in a very naive way that if i never gave up and that if i was diligent and vigilant enough and that i could succeed in having the military acknowledge that this is a toxic drug that should not be used to date i have not. been sexed successful in doing so i continue in my efforts and as many people who know me my friends and my family know i have said to them i'm more than one occasion that if christopher had lost his life in combat. that i would not miss him any less but i could except that i could understand that. it would be
a real event. we knew it was always possible. maureen palmer son christopher sherry a lieutenant in the united states marine corps and a member of its elite special forces committed suicide aboard a navy transport ship he was returning home after an eight month the point to the middle east his mother's investigation into his death including an autopsy and other testing would lead to a finding that chris had been suffering from lariam toxicity. but six years ago when i sent my son to the marine corps an event that would never been possible was that he would take his life and so in answer to your question it continues to be a huge open wound in my life. by an intellectual level i understand what happened to christopher that he had evolved because the drug was in psychotic state and psychotic break he was not in possession of his good mind when
he took his life. but there is a part of me that as his mother of twenty eight years still doesn't understand how such a sound stable it's. a vital happy young man could have devolved that fast and that far three days before his death chris could bathing stop shaving and his behavior became erratic he also confided in a fellow officer that he wanted to kill himself yet no one intervened. christopher was very concerned with other people he picked up the moniker nine one one when he was in prep school and continue to follow him through college and through the marines nine one one shay any time anywhere for anybody one of the things that's hurtful the most to me is that when i continue to review
and review in my mind the days that led up to the instance of chris death no one was there for him it's one of the pieces of this i find. hightest except after his death the marine corps would claim there had been no warning signs chris was suffering as a cut at break or was in danger yet when his mother received a copy of the eulogy delivered aboard the ship it was clear his condition was known good afternoon this with a sad and heavy heart that i speak with you today as the commanding officer of india company i would like to think those of you outside the company for joining us on our official day of mourning for lieutenant chris shays we are not here today to memorialize or condone the way lieutenant shay took his life rather we are here to memorialize the man we knew and worked with this last year i would ask that you not judge second lieutenant shays final act and act so completely uncharacteristic of the man we knew i feel confident the pending investigations into his death will
reveal that some chemical imbalance in lieutenant shea took over his mind and caused him to make the ultimate irrational decision a decision that has left all of us who knew him stunned the highest compliment a marine can receive is to be told that you would want them on your flank in a fight chris shays was the kind of man you would want on your flank in any fight that is the man we will remember and nothing that lieutenant shay had done in the last seventy two hours will change that fact i do have a concern whether or not the highest reaches of the command structure have some degree of a conflict of interest. because it took the united states army a long long time to acknowledge the toxicity of agent orange i mean i remember working in a v.a. as a medical student where it was not a rate of all disability whereas it is now routinely. so i think that
there there may be a worry. about opening up pandora's box and i think there's no question that. the medical military command structure is subordinate to the command to the line command so i don't think that you know surgeon generals of the army or navy or air force. you know speak out of turn i think they're there they have a clear. obligation to their superiors. as far as the army is concerned not sure about the navy or the air force but far as the army is concerned they've moved to what's called combat teams brigade combat teams with a never gate combat team you'll have a brigade surgeon never forgave certain commute captain or major well the battalion commander is a lieutenant colonel the brigade commander is a colonel all out rank the brigade surgeon brigade surgeon will make
recommendations to the battalion commander or brigade commander but that's all the our recommendations the brigade commander doesn't have to follow the recommendations or the battalion commanders not to follow the recommendations i know from my personal experience i was a trial counsel for several years meaning that as a military prosecutor i was in charge of prosecuting crimes that occurred within a particular brigade and as a result i would have direct contact the brigade commanders the battalion commanders the company commanders. i also would attend staff meetings and i saw the interaction between the brigade commanders battalion commanders and the staff and i think there is a on i want to say a bias well maybe there's a bias that the support staff the attorneys the doctors make their recommendations but the line officers they'll take that recommendation and whether they agree with it or not they'll consider the recommendation but ultimately it's their own decision and what they will do and i guess as it should be whoever the problem is
that there's a bias against what the what the lawyer the doctor is recommending and for instance his other commanders are saying we don't believe that lariam stuff or we don't think it's a medical risk or the research is really not completed then they discount there's a warning discount that warning the other thing is to remember is the hierarchy in the medical command in some jurisdiction some military post will fall under the division commander so you think about in the belly of the division commanders the big umbrella underneath that is all the units and if they're in there if they're in the reporting. cheney so for instance if they're in the lead the chain in which they're being evaluated in any which way by the division commander there's always a concern about what you do what you report the chain of command and how it affects you as your own job do you could receive a negative rating if you receive negative comments from your own command as a result of what you reported up. no it's making the four years.
thing get him out of the army. to laying out. the mental health evaluation also put to rest the rumors surrounding john's death. row due to the unexpected nature of his suicide special stores this case attracted a number of rumors suggesting a cover up most of which were dispelled in the course of the investigation. rumors that leads had sent him a dear john letter were unfounded and surfaced as a means of explaining his suicide. allegations of rampant drug trafficking with the theory that specialist tours was murder because he knew too much were dramatic over
embellish ment's who sources included individuals associated with the two females who actually were sent back for alyssa drug use. somebody you know they don't know they don't know what they do. they come and say you lost your son in them a week or two weeks later they say oh you know once your son killed himself. you know what they this. was i work in some pain to your sixteen eighteen hours because we need to support my family support the futile make kids other finally i think. we're you know we go the future and make you've made the. beautiful girls you know she's professor you know she is. architect my son he was accounting and very smart boys say ok we are latino i go for the other current true
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