Jan 14, 2015

A Vietnam Veteran with PTSD is the First US Execution of 2015

Andrew Brannan - Killed by the
state of Georgia last night
Southern U.S. Republicans love killing people.

So it is that Georgia beat Texas to the kill in 2015 executing in cold blood a Vietnam Veteran, Andrew Brannan, suffering from PTSD, an affliction that Karl Rove, the American Enterprise Institute and most Republicans either deny or minimize.

Taylor Barnes reports in The Intercept.

Writes Barnes:
Numerous veterans spoke out in an attempt to stay his execution. "What does putting a man like Andrew Brannan to death say to my generation of veterans? To me, it says that this country can exploit our youth to its gain and then, when it comes time, this country, and the State of Georgia, will discard you like yesterday’s forgotten garbage," Sion New, a veteran of the Iraq and the Afghanistan wars and law student at Emory University, wrote to the state’s Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Barnes has it right, and it gets worse.

Under the Bush-Cheney administration, veterans' advocates tell me Karl Rove sent down the word to the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) that Vietnam veterans should be denied coverage for PTSD, an order effectively reversed in 2010 by President Obama who expanded disability benefits for veterans with PTSD to Republican and bureaucratic howls.

In February 2010, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts questioned Assistant to the Solicitor General Anthony Yang in a federal benefits-related case, Astrue v. Ratliff (2009). (Leon, Wisconsin State Journal)

Asked Justice Roberts, "In litigating with veterans, the government more often than not takes a position that is substantially unjustified?"

Yes, he was told.

Roberts found this "really startling."

Wisconsin's U.S. Navy Vietnam-era veteran, Keith Roberts, went to federal prison for this startling, unjustified attitude (persecuted by Scott Walker's current campaign attorney, Stephen Biskupic who was serving as U.S. attorney at the time) in a sham prosecution. (Horton, Harper's Magazine)

Vietnam-era veteran Andrew Brannan was killed in cold blood by the state of Georgia last night.

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