Appearing on “The Alex Jones Show” Tuesday, rocker and National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent claimed the epidemic of soldier suicides that’s baffled some of the nation’s brightest psychologists is much easier to understand if you just blame President Barack Obama.
“I’m sure the leftist blogs are gonna attack me, misquote me,” he began. “But I’ll tell you why more and more warrior heroes of the military are killing themselves: because they are in absolute frustration and heartbreak that their boss, their commander in chief violates the Constitution that he has made an oath to, while their hero warrior blood brothers are being blown to smithereens and blown up while executing their oath to the same Constitution that the president, the vice president and the attorney general violate.”
At the National Center for Veterans Studies, recent interviews with soldiers whose suicide attempts failed found that each individual has a complex set of reasons for wanting to end their life, with many listing more than 10 different stress factors in their personal lives. The suicide rate was highest among soldiers who were divorced or separated.
Other recent research points to a potential link between suicide and traumatic brain injuries caused by explosions on the battlefield. “Evidence has suggested that blast injuries, including but not limited to those causing damage to vision or hearing, can have a severe psychological impact… that can play a major contributing role in suicides,” 53 members of Congress wrote in a letter sent to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in March.
Reacting to Nugent, conspiracy talk host Alex Jones urged soldiers to turn their anger and frustration into “fighting corruption” at home, rather than turning it into violence against themselves. “I know it’s got to be confusing, Obama is a hijacker of this country,” he said. “We were talking during the break about how they are funding radical Muslims, funding al Qaeda, and I believe letting them attack to then take our liberties. They now say the tea party is the main focus, not al Qaeda, and you agreed with me. Uncle Ted, what do you think is happening with the funding of terrorists?”
“When we look the other way — all we have to do is go back and really examine 9/11,” Nugent said, insisting that government agencies “weren’t even allowed to communicate” because of a “Bill Clinton law,” but everyone somehow knew an attack was coming and did nothing about it.
“Alex, you just gotta be kidding me!” Nugent concluded. “And the point is, here in 2013, that kind of anti-Americanism, that kind of manipulation still goes on with the welfare scams and largess that go to these organizations that try to tell us that Islam suicide bombers are a religion of peace. I mean, it’s just all so offensive, intellectually bankrupt and ultimately treasonous. I used the word treasonous because it’s accurate.”
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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