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General Eisenhower warns of the risk of “shell shock”

General Eisenhower warns of the risk of “shell shock”

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On October 4, 1944, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower distributes to his combat units a report by the U.S. Surgeon General that reveals the hazards of prolonged exposure to combat. “[T]he danger of being killed or maimed imposes a strain so great that it causes men to break down. One look at the shrunken, apathetic faces of psychiatric patients…sobbing, trembling, referring shudderingly to ‘them shells’ and to buddies mutilated or dead, is enough to convince most observers of this fact.”

On the basis of this evaluation, as well as firsthand experience, American commanders judged that the average soldier could last about 200 days in combat before suffering serious psychiatric damage. British commanders used a rotation method, pulling soldiers out of combat every 12 days for a four-day rest period. This enabled British soldiers to put in 400 days of combat before being deleteriously affected. The Surgeon General’s report went on to lament the fact that a “wound or injury is regarded, not as a misfortune, but a blessing.” The war was clearly taking a toll on more than just men’s bodies.

American Experience

The former World War II general and soon to be retired commander-in-chief uses this opportunity to caution the American public "against the acquisition of unwarranted influence. by the military industrial complex."

Farewell Address
January 17, 1961

This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen.

Like every other citizen, I wish the new President, and all who will labor with him, Godspeed. I pray that the coming years will be blessed with peace and prosperity for all.

We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.

Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle -- with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in labaratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present -- and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system-ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we -- you and I, and our government -- must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without asking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mututal trust and respect.

Eisenhower’s Second Farewell Warning

President Dwight Eisenhower’s 1961 Farewell Address includes one of the most quoted phrases in political rhetoric. He warned “against the acquisition of influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial-complex, whose growing influence could have “grave implications … [to] the very structure of our society.” Ike’s warning remains relevant today, but much less heeded has been the speech’s second warning. Ike noted that the government’s need for ever more advanced defense technologies would mean a growing reliance on science and scientific advisors, noting:

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. . . . A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

That trend, he noted, might change the nature of the “free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery.” Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.” Economic and power considerations might influence scientific research and the reporting of its findings, leading to the “domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money” – a trend that should be “gravely … regarded.” Thus, while we should continue to hold “scientific research and discovery in respect . . . we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” [emphases added]

Today, the clearest example of the risks arising from the scientific-technocratic elite is the global warming debate. Consider the career trajectory of one of the leading climate alarmists, Penn State climatologist Michael Mann, who was implicated in the 2009 “ClimateGate” scandal, when leaked emails from a British university showed some of the world’s leading climatologists discussing how to manipulate data and suppress studies that contradicted their work. Far from being a rogue actor outside the scientific mainstream, Dr. Mann has served as principal or co-principal investigator on research projects funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Office of Naval Research.

Indeed, much research has been suppressed. Science does suggest that the Earth is slowly warming, but arguing that the sky isn’t falling is not much of strategy for securing research grants. As a result, research funding requests increasingly are justified on the Chicken Little paradigm. But, as our understanding of the complexities of our planet’s climate have improved, we have learned that other factors – the variability of the energy reaching us from the sun and the feedback effects, both positive and negative, resulting from additional warming and the clouding and other changes that produces – bring the picture painted by climate alarmists into question. Moreover, a warmer climate has positive effects as well as negative ones. To view change as always a bad thing is strange. This elite bias toward stasis can take rather strange forms, as noted in the recent Washington Post headline, “Spring Flowers Seen Earlier this Year: Climate Change Feared.”

Instead of adopting the attitude of Candide’s Dr. Pangloss that this is the best of all possible worlds and that any change is detrimental, we should reexamine ways in which our fears of the future impede our developing the resiliency we need to meet the challenges that the future may bring. If the world does become, say, warmer and wetter, agriculture would need to adapt. Seen in that light, the environmentalist’s war against biotechnology – justified by the anti-scientific precautionary principle – is not only misguided, but deadly. As the late political scientist Aaron Wildavsky noted, the greatest risk is the attempt to make the world risk-free.

Green alarmists’ fervent efforts to demonize fossil fuels and impose carbon taxes or cap-and-trade have little to do with science. Affordable energy, the automobile, and the entrepreneurial ability to provide those innovations on a large scale have given us the freedom to live and work over much larger regions than in the past – and have democratized privileges once reserved to the wealthy. Europe invented the automobile, but Henry Ford put the world on wheels!

Much of the developing world is, at last, moving out of poverty. Higher energy prices would slow or even reverse that progress. Not surprisingly, many of these nations, including China and India, have signaled that they will reject such policies. They seek a brighter world, not one greened into perpetual poverty.

Eisenhower’s warning dovetails well with one made some years earlier by the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter in his essay, “Can Capitalism Survive?” He warned that intellectual elites, driven by resentment of the market and their economic self-interest, would push for the expansion of the state and the increased regulation of the economy. A casual observer need only look around today to see how far they have succeeded.

Mitch did us all a service by calling attention to this most significant Farewell Address by that underappreciated “dull, non-intellectual General.” His first warning has done much to restore an understanding of our Founders’ skepticism toward centralized power and crusades to remake the world. Here Ike’s words recall those of an earlier American president, John Quincy Adams, who, in 1821, while still serving as Secretary of State, said in a speech to the House of Representatives: “America does goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”

America is now engaged in a significant reappraisal of foreign policy, true to Ike’s first warning. Our challenge now is to take to heart, to defend ourselves against the utopian quest to remake the world – not only abroad, but at home as well. With equal fervor, we need to heed Ike’s second warning, to gird ourselves for the fight against the equally utopian crusade led by that other complex – the scientific-technocratic elite – to forcibly create Heaven on Earth.

Eisenhower’s Farewell Address reminds us that the risks to our future stem from the fatal conceit to which too many intellectuals are prone. Ike may not have been an intellectual, but he had seen firsthand the destruction that efforts to make the world anew could engender. He recognized the risks of seeking to do too much. Considering all this, like Mitch, I reach a similar conclusion: “I too, like Ike!”


The Allied invasion of Sicily began on 10 July 1943, with Lieutenant General George S. Patton leading 90,000 men of the Seventh United States Army in a landing near Gela, Scoglitti, and Licata to support Bernard Montgomery's British 8th Army landings to the north. [1] Initially ordered to protect the British forces' flank, Patton took Palermo after Montgomery's forces were slowed by heavy resistance from troops of Nazi Germany and the Kingdom of Italy. Patton then set his sights on Messina. [2] He sought an amphibious assault, but it was delayed by lack of landing craft and his troops did not land in Santo Stefano until 8 August, by which time the Germans and Italians had already evacuated the bulk of their troops to mainland Italy. Throughout the campaign, Patton's troops were heavily engaged by German and Italian forces as they pushed across the island. [3]

Patton had already developed a reputation in the U.S. Army as an effective, successful, and hard-driving commander, punishing subordinates for the slightest infractions but also rewarding them when they performed well. [4] As a way to promote an image that inspired his troops, Patton created a larger-than-life personality. He became known for his flashy dress, highly polished helmet and boots, and no-nonsense demeanor. [5] General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the commander of the Sicily operation and Patton's friend and commanding officer, had long known of Patton's colorful leadership style, and also knew that Patton was prone to impulsiveness and a lack of self-restraint. [6]

Battle fatigue Edit

Prior to World War I, the U.S. Army considered the symptoms of battle fatigue to be cowardice or attempts to avoid combat duty. Soldiers who reported these symptoms received harsh treatment. [7] “Shell shock” had been diagnosed as a medical condition during World War I. But even before the conflict ended, what constituted shell shock was changing. This included the idea that it was caused by the shock of exploding shells. By World War II soldiers were usually diagnosed with “psychoneurosis” or “combat fatigue.” Despite this, “shell shock” remained in the popular vocabulary. But the symptoms of what constituted combat fatigue were broader than what had constituted shell shock in World War I. By the time of the invasion of Sicily, the U.S. Army was initially classifying all psychological casualties as “exhaustion” which many still called shell shock. [8] While the causes, symptoms, and effects of the condition were familiar to physicians by the time of the two incidents, it was generally less understood in military circles. [7]

An important lesson from the Tunisia Campaign was that neuropsychiatric casualties had to be treated as soon as possible and not evacuated from the combat zone. This was not done in the early stages of the Sicilian Campaign, and large numbers of neuropsychiatric casualties were evacuated to North Africa, with the result that treatment became complicated and only 15 percent of them were returned to duty. As the campaign wore on, the system became better organized and nearly 50 percent were restored to combat duty. [9]

Some time before what would become known as the "slapping incident," Patton spoke with Major General Clarence R. Huebner, the newly appointed commander of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division, in which both men served. Patton had asked Huebner for a status report Huebner replied: "The front lines seem to be thinning out. There seems to be a very large number of 'malingerers' at the hospitals, feigning illness in order to avoid combat duty." [10] For his part, Patton did not believe the condition was real. In a directive issued to commanders on 5 August, he forbade "battle fatigue" in the Seventh Army: [11]

It has come to my attention that a very small number of soldiers are going to the hospital on the pretext that they are nervously incapable of combat. Such men are cowards and bring discredit on the army and disgrace to their comrades, whom they heartlessly leave to endure the dangers of battle while they, themselves, use the hospital as a means of escape. You will take measures to see that such cases are not sent to the hospital but dealt with in their units. Those who are not willing to fight will be tried by court-martial for cowardice in the face of the enemy.

3 August Edit

Private Charles H. Kuhl, of L Company, U.S. 26th Infantry Regiment, reported to an aid station of C Company, 1st Medical Battalion, on 2 August 1943. Kuhl, who had been in the U.S. Army for eight months, had been attached to the 1st Infantry Division since 2 June 1943. [12] He was diagnosed with "exhaustion," a diagnosis he had been given three times since the start of the campaign. From the aid station, he was evacuated to a medical company and given sodium amytal. Notes in his medical chart indicated "psychoneurosis anxiety state, moderately severe (soldier has been twice before in hospital within ten days. He can't take it at the front, evidently. He is repeatedly returned.)" [13] Kuhl was transferred from the aid station to the 15th Evacuation Hospital near Nicosia for further evaluation. [13]

Patton arrived at the hospital the same day, accompanied by a number of medical officers, as part of his tour of the U.S. II Corps troops. He spoke to some patients in the hospital, commending the physically wounded. [13] He then approached Kuhl, who did not appear to be physically injured. [14] Kuhl was sitting slouched on a stool midway through a tent ward filled with injured soldiers. When Patton asked Kuhl where he was hurt, Kuhl reportedly shrugged and replied that he was "nervous" rather than wounded, adding, "I guess I can't take it." [15] Patton "immediately flared up," [13] slapped Kuhl across the chin with his gloves, then grabbed him by the collar and dragged him to the tent entrance. He shoved him out of the tent with a kick to his backside. Yelling "Don't admit this son of a bitch," [15] Patton demanded that Kuhl be sent back to the front, adding, "You hear me, you gutless bastard? You're going back to the front." [15]

Corpsmen picked up Kuhl and brought him to a ward tent, where it was discovered he had a temperature of 102.2 °F (39.0 °C) [14] and was later diagnosed with malarial parasites. Speaking later of the incident, Kuhl noted "at the time it happened, [Patton] was pretty well worn out . I think he was suffering a little battle fatigue himself." [16] Kuhl wrote to his parents about the incident, but asked them to "just forget about it." [17] That night, Patton recorded the incident in his diary: "[I met] the only errant coward I have ever seen in this Army. Companies should deal with such men, and if they shirk their duty, they should be tried for cowardice and shot." [16]

Patton was accompanied in this visit by Major General John P. Lucas, who saw nothing remarkable about the incident. After the war he wrote:

There are always a certain number of such weaklings in any Army, and I suppose the modern doctor is correct in classifying them as ill and treating them as such. However, the man with malaria doesn't pass his condition on to his comrades as rapidly as does the man with cold feet nor does malaria have the lethal effect that the latter has. [18]

Patton was further heard by a war correspondent, angrily claiming that shell shock is "an invention of the Jews." [19] [20] [21] [22]

10 August Edit

Private Paul G. Bennett, 21, of C Battery, U.S. 17th Field Artillery Regiment, was a four-year veteran of the U.S. Army, and had served in the division since March 1943. Records show he had no medical history until 6 August 1943, when a friend was wounded in combat. According to a report, he "could not sleep and was nervous." [12] Bennett was brought to the 93rd Evacuation Hospital. In addition to having a fever, he exhibited symptoms of dehydration, including fatigue, confusion, and listlessness. His request to return to his unit was turned down by medical officers. [12] A medical officer describing Bennett's condition [11]

The shells going over him bothered him. The next day he was worried about his buddy and became more nervous. He was sent down to the rear echelon by a battery aid man and there the medical aid man gave him some tranquilizers that made him sleep, but still he was nervous and disturbed. On the next day the medical officer ordered him to be evacuated, although the boy begged not to be evacuated because he did not want to leave his unit.

On 10 August, Patton entered the receiving tent of the hospital, speaking to the injured there. Patton approached Bennett, who was huddled and shivering, and asked what the trouble was. "It's my nerves," Bennett responded. "I can't stand the shelling anymore." [12] Patton reportedly became enraged at him, slapping him across the face. He began yelling: "Your nerves, hell, you are just a goddamned coward. Shut up that goddamned crying. I won't have these brave men who have been shot at seeing this yellow bastard sitting here crying." [12] Patton then reportedly slapped Bennett again, knocking his helmet liner off, and ordered the receiving officer, Major Charles B. Etter, [23] not to admit him. [12] Patton then threatened Bennett, "You're going back to the front lines and you may get shot and killed, but you're going to fight. If you don't, I'll stand you up against a wall and have a firing squad kill you on purpose. In fact, I ought to shoot you myself, you goddamned whimpering coward." [24] Upon saying this, Patton pulled out his pistol threateningly, prompting the hospital's commander, Colonel Donald E. Currier, to physically separate the two. Patton left the tent, yelling to medical officers to send Bennett back to the front lines. [24]

As he toured the remainder of the hospital, Patton continued discussing Bennett's condition with Currier. Patton stated, "I can't help it, it makes my blood boil to think of a yellow bastard being babied," [24] and "I won't have those cowardly bastards hanging around our hospitals. We'll probably have to shoot them some time anyway, or we'll raise a breed of morons." [24]

Private reprimand and apologies Edit

The 10 August incident—particularly the sight of Patton threatening a subordinate with a pistol—upset many of the medical staff present. The II Corps surgeon, Colonel Richard T. Arnest, submitted a report on the incident to Brigadier General William B. Kean, chief of staff of II Corps, who submitted it to Lieutenant General Omar Bradley, commander of II Corps. Bradley, out of loyalty to Patton, did nothing more than lock the report in his safe. [24] Arnest also sent the report through medical channels to Brigadier General Frederick A. Blesse, General Surgeon of Allied Force Headquarters, who then submitted it to Eisenhower, who received it on 16 August. [25] Eisenhower ordered Blesse to proceed immediately to Patton's command to ascertain the truth of the allegations. [23] Eisenhower also formulated a delegation to investigate the incidents from the soldiers' points of view, including Major General John P. Lucas, two colonels from the Inspector General's office, and a theater medical consultant, Lieutenant Colonel Perrin H. Long, to investigate the incident and interview those involved. [26] Long interviewed medical personnel who witnessed each incident, then filed a report entitled "Mistreatment of Patients in Receiving Tents of the 15th and 93rd Evacuation Hospitals" [24] which extensively detailed Patton's actions at both hospitals. [14]

By 18 August, Eisenhower had ordered that Patton's Seventh Army be broken up, with a few of its units remaining garrisoned in Sicily. The majority of its combat forces would be transferred to the Fifth United States Army under Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark. This had already been planned by Eisenhower, who had previously told Patton that his Seventh Army would not be part of the upcoming Allied invasion of Italy, scheduled for September. [27] On 20 August, Patton received a cable from Eisenhower regarding the arrival of Lucas at Palermo. Eisenhower told Patton it was "highly important" that he personally meet with Lucas as soon as possible, as Lucas would be carrying an important message. [28] Before Lucas arrived, Blesse arrived from Algiers to look into the health of the troops in Sicily. He was also ordered by Eisenhower to deliver a secret letter to Patton and investigate its allegations. In the letter, Eisenhower told Patton he had been informed of the slapping incidents. He said he would not be opening a formal investigation into the matter, but his criticism of Patton was sharp. [29]

Eisenhower's letter to Patton, dated 17 August 1943: [29]

I clearly understand that firm and drastic measures are at times necessary in order to secure the desired objectives. But this does not excuse brutality, abuse of the sick, nor exhibition of uncontrollable temper in front of subordinates. . I feel that the personal services you have rendered the United States and the Allied cause during the past weeks are of incalculable value but nevertheless if there is a very considerable element of truth in the allegations accompanying this letter, I must so seriously question your good judgment and your self-discipline as to raise serious doubts in my mind as to your future usefulness.

Eisenhower noted that no formal record of the incidents would be retained at Allied Headquarters, save in his own secret files. Still, he strongly suggested Patton apologize to all involved. [13] [25] On 21 August, Patton brought Bennett into his office he apologized and the men shook hands. [30] On 22 August, he met with Currier as well as the medical staff who had witnessed the events in each unit and expressed regret for his "impulsive actions." Patton related to the medical staff a story of a friend from World War I who had committed suicide after "skulking" he stated he sought to prevent any recurrence of such an event. On 23 August, he brought Kuhl into his office, apologized, and shook hands with him as well. [31] After the apology, Kuhl said he thought Patton was "a great general," and that "at the time, he didn't know how sick I was." [31] Currier later said Patton's remarks sounded like "no apology at all [but rather like] an attempt to justify what he had done." [31] Patton wrote in his diary that he loathed making the apologies, particularly when he was told by Bennett's brigade commander, Brigadier General John A. Crane, that Bennett had gone absent without leave (AWOL) and arrived at the hospital by "falsely representing his condition." [30] Patton wrote, "It is rather a commentary on justice when an Army commander has to soft-soap a skulker to placate the timidity of those above." [30] As word of the actions had spread informally among troops of the Seventh Army, Patton drove to each division under his command between 24 and 30 August and gave a 15-minute speech in which he praised their behavior and apologized for any instances where he had been too harsh on soldiers, making only vague reference to the two slapping incidents. [32] In his final apology speech to the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division, Patton was overcome with emotion when the soldiers supportively began to chant "No, general, no, no," to prevent him from having to apologize. [33]

In a letter to General George Marshall on 24 August, Eisenhower praised Patton's exploits as commander of the Seventh Army and his conduct of the Sicily campaign, particularly his ability to take initiative as a commander. Still, Eisenhower noted Patton continued "to exhibit some of those unfortunate traits of which you and I have always known." [34] He informed Marshall of the two incidents and his requirement that Patton apologize. Eisenhower stated he believed Patton would cease his behavior "because fundamentally, he is so avid for recognition as a great military commander that he will ruthlessly suppress any habit of his that will tend to jeopardize it." [32] When Eisenhower arrived in Sicily to award Montgomery the Legion of Merit on 29 August, Patton gave Eisenhower a letter expressing his remorse about the incidents. [35]

Media attention Edit

Word of the slapping incidents spread informally among soldiers before eventually circulating to war correspondents. One of the nurses who witnessed the 10 August incident apparently told her boyfriend, a captain in the Seventh Army public affairs detachment. Through him, a group of four journalists covering the Sicily operation heard of the incident: Demaree Bess of the Saturday Evening Post, Merrill Mueller of NBC News, Al Newman of Newsweek, and John Charles Daly of CBS News. The four journalists interviewed Etter and other witnesses, but decided to bring the matter to Eisenhower instead of filing the story with their editors. Bess, Mueller, and Quentin Reynolds of Collier's Magazine flew from Sicily to Algiers, and on 19 August Bess gave a summary on the slapping incidents to Eisenhower's chief of staff, Major General Walter Bedell Smith. [23] The reporters asked Eisenhower directly about the incident, and Eisenhower requested that the story be suppressed because the war effort could not afford to lose Patton. Bess and other journalists initially complied. [25] However, the news reporters then demanded Eisenhower fire Patton in exchange for them not reporting the story, a demand which Eisenhower refused. [23]

The story of Kuhl's slapping broke in the U.S. when newspaper columnist Drew Pearson revealed it on his 21 November radio program. [36] Pearson received details of the Kuhl incident and other material on Patton from his friend Ernest Cuneo, an official with the Office of Strategic Services, who obtained the information from War Department files and correspondence. [37] Pearson's version not only conflated details of both slapping incidents but falsely reported that the private in question was visibly "out of his head," telling Patton to "duck down or the shells would hit him" and that in response "Patton struck the soldier, knocking him down." [38] Pearson punctuated his broadcast by twice stating that Patton would never again be used in combat, despite the fact that Pearson had no factual basis for this prediction. [38] [39] In response, Allied Headquarters denied that Patton had received an official reprimand, but confirmed that Patton had slapped at least one soldier. [40]

Patton's wife, Beatrice Patton, spoke to the media to defend him. She appeared in True Confessions, a women's confession magazine, where she characterized Patton as "the toughest, most hard boiled General in the U.S. Army . but he's quite sweet, really." [41] She was featured in a Washington Post article on 26 November. While she did not attempt to justify Patton's action, she characterized him as a "tough perfectionist," stating that he cared deeply about the men under his command and would not ask them to do something he would not do himself: [42]

He had been known to weep at men's graves—as well as tear their hides off. The deed is done and the mistake made, and I'm sure Georgie is sorrier and has punished himself more than anyone could possibly realize. I've known George Patton for 31 years and I've never known him to be deliberately unfair. He's made mistakes—and he's paid for them. This was a big mistake, and he's paying a big price for it.

Public response Edit

Demands for Patton to be relieved of duty and sent home were made in Congress and in newspapers across the country. [36] [40] U.S. Representative Jed Johnson of Oklahoma's 6th district described Patton's actions as a "despicable incident" and was "amazed and chagrined" Patton was still in command. He called for the general's immediate dismissal on the grounds that his actions rendered him no longer useful to the war effort. [43] Representative Charles B. Hoeven of Iowa's 9th district said on the House floor that parents of soldiers need no longer worry of their children being abused by "hard boiled officers." He wondered whether the Army had "too much blood and guts." [41] Eisenhower submitted a report to Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, who presented it to Senator Robert R. Reynolds, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs. The report laid out Eisenhower's response to the incident and gave details of Patton's decades of military service. Eisenhower concluded that Patton was invaluable to the war effort and that he was confident the corrective actions taken would be adequate. Investigators Eisenhower sent to Patton's command found the general remained overwhelmingly popular with his troops. [44]

By mid-December, the government had received around 1,500 letters related to Patton, with many calling for his dismissal and others defending him or calling for his promotion. [43] Kuhl's father, Herman F. Kuhl, wrote to his own congressman, stating that he forgave Patton for the incident and requesting that he not be disciplined. [45] Retired generals also weighed in on the matter. Former Army Chief of Staff Charles P. Summerall wrote to Patton that he was "indignant about the publicity given a trifling incident," adding that "whatever [Patton] did" he was sure it was "justified by the provocation. Such cowards used to be shot, now they are only encouraged." [46] Major General Kenyon A. Joyce, another combat commander and one of Patton's friends, attacked Pearson as a "sensation mongerer," stating that "niceties" should be left for "softer times of peace." [47] In one notable dissension, Patton's friend, former mentor and General of the Armies John J. Pershing publicly condemned his actions, an act that left Patton "deeply hurt" and caused him to never speak to Pershing again. [42]

After consulting with Marshall, Stimson, and Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy, [48] Eisenhower retained Patton in the European theater, though his Seventh Army saw no further combat. Patton remained in Sicily for the rest of the year. Marshall and Stimson not only supported Eisenhower's decision, but defended it. In a letter to the U.S. Senate, Stimson stated that Patton must be retained because of the need for his "aggressive, winning leadership in the bitter battles which are to come before final victory." [49] Stimson acknowledged retaining Patton was a poor move for public relations but remained confident it was the right decision militarily. [43]

Contrary to his statements to Patton, Eisenhower never seriously considered removing the general from duty in the European Theater. Writing of the incident before the media attention, he said, "If this thing ever gets out, they'll be howling for Patton's scalp, and that will be the end of Georgie's service in this war. I simply cannot let that happen. Patton is indispensable to the war effort – one of the guarantors of our victory." [23] Still, following the capture of Messina in August 1943, Patton did not command a force in combat for 11 months. [50]

Patton was passed over to lead the invasion in northern Europe. In September, Bradley — Patton's junior in both rank and experience — was selected to command the First United States Army that was forming in England to prepare for Operation Overlord. [51] According to Eisenhower, this decision had been made months before the slapping incidents became public knowledge, but Patton felt they were the reason he was denied the command. [52] Eisenhower had already decided on Bradley because he felt the invasion of Europe was too important to risk any uncertainty. While Eisenhower and Marshall both considered Patton to be a superb corps-level combat commander, Bradley possessed two of the traits that a theater-level strategic command required, and that Patton conspicuously lacked: a calm, reasoned demeanor, and a meticulously consistent nature. The slapping incidents had only further confirmed to Eisenhower that Patton lacked the ability to exercise discipline and self-control at such a command level. [6] Still, Eisenhower re-emphasized his confidence in Patton's skill as a ground combat commander by recommending him for promotion to four-star general in a private letter to Marshall on 8 September, noting his previous combat exploits and admitting that he had a "driving power" that Bradley lacked. [53]

By mid-December, Eisenhower had been appointed Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and moved to England. As media attention surrounding the incident began to subside, McCloy told Patton he would indeed be eventually returning to combat command. [54] Patton was briefly considered to lead the Seventh Army in Operation Dragoon, but Eisenhower felt his experience would be more useful in the Normandy campaign. [55] Eisenhower and Marshall privately agreed that Patton would command a follow-on field army after Bradley's army conducted the initial invasion of Normandy Bradley would then command the resulting army group. Patton was told on 1 January 1944 only that he would be relieved of command of the Seventh Army and moved to Europe. In his diary, he wrote that he would resign if he was not given command of a field army. [56] On 26 January 1944, formally given command of a newly arrived unit, the Third United States Army, he went to the United Kingdom to prepare the unit's inexperienced soldiers for combat. [57] [58] This duty occupied Patton throughout early 1944. [59]

Exploiting Patton's situation, Eisenhower sent him on several high-profile trips throughout the Mediterranean in late 1943. [60] He traveled to Algiers, Tunis, Corsica, Cairo, Jerusalem, and Malta in an effort to confuse German commanders as to where the Allied forces might next attack. [36] By the next year, the German High Command still had more respect for Patton than for any other Allied commander and considered him central to any plan to invade Europe from the north. [61] Because of this, Patton was made a central figure in Operation Fortitude in early 1944. [62] The Allies fed the German intelligence organizations, through double agents, a steady stream of false intelligence that Patton had been named commander of the First United States Army Group (FUSAG) and was preparing for an invasion of Pas de Calais. The FUSAG command was actually an intricately constructed "phantom" army of decoys, props and radio signals based around southeast England to mislead German aircraft and to make Axis leaders believe a large force was massing there. Patton was ordered to keep a low profile to deceive the Germans into thinking he was in Dover throughout early 1944, when he was actually training the Third Army. [61] As a result of Operation Fortitude, the German 15th Army remained at Pas de Calais to defend against the expected attack. [63] The formation remained there even after the invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944.

It was during the following month of July 1944 that Patton and the Third Army finally did travel to Europe, and entered into combat. [64]

Eisenhower's speech isn't strictly about the military-industrial complex, I at least read it as a general warning of how great concentrations of wealth/power in a construct (in this case, he uses the military industrial complex as an example, but it also mentions academia infused with government directed research funds) can lead to that construct having unintended impacts on democracy. At its core, he appears to be pointing out the precarious balancing act that a government has to make, or rather a well functioning one has to make. The balance between security vs liberty, desires vs necessity, short-term gain vs long-term gain, etc etc.

Unless Eisenhower had a follow up explanation for his speech (which I'm unaware of), a definitive 'what did he mean' probably doesn't exist. Outside of reading his speech, and interpreting it.

In his farewell speech of 1961, Eisenhower warned of growth of the 'military-industrial complex' and the 'potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power.' It was a speech he began working on two years earlier and went through 21 drafts - which perhaps indicated the importance he placed upon this. Originally the phrase was 'military-industrial-congressional complex' but the word 'congressional' was crossed out and did not make it into the final speech.

The dangers that Eisenhower spoke of are not new, George Washington in 1796 warned of 'overgrown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty.'

Times were different back then - there was a Cold War - and Einsenhower would have been worried about the cost of an arms race with the then Soviet Union and given that it at one point it spent a third of its GDP on its military this was a significant worry. The NPR point out that

Before the late 1950s, companies such as Ford built everything from jeeps to bombers but then went back to building cars. But that changed after the Korean War . it kept a large standing army . [and began] a technology race with the Soviets.

And this was also echoed by former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, who in a speech in 2011 in the Eisenhower library said:

Does the number of warships we have, and are building really put America at risk when the US battle fleet is larger than the next 13 fleets combined - 11 of whom are our allies and partners?

This, then is an argument for cutting military spending. However, going back to Eisenhower's speech, as a warning it appears stronger than this. Perhaps more in line with his warning were the revelations by Edward Snowden on the extent and range of the surveillance by the NSA on its own domestic population. In a sense, everyone was now a suspect. The amount of information that the FBI had on Martin Luther King pales in significance compared to the kind of information that the NSA has on each and every citizen. Laws that were intended to protect citizens from unnecessary, intrusive and illegal surveillance were outpaced by technologies that were pushed through by a political will that believed in 'total information awareness' and 'full-spectrum dominance'. It's probably apposite to note that the NSA did not go to congress to gain sanction for this because more than likely, they knew they had a vanishing chance of getting it.

It's these kinds of abuses of the power invested in the 'military-industrial complex' that Eisenhower was warning of.

President Dwight Eisenhower Warned Of Becoming ‘Captive Of A Scientific-Technological Elite’

Posted By: Patrick Wood December 20, 2017

James Corbett provides an accurate analogy between the Military-Industrial Complex and the modern Information-Industrial Complex. President Dwight Eisenhower warned of both in his 1961 farewell address to the nation:

In holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

Indeed, the American people are captive to such a scientific-technological elite that has been building since at least the 1930s under the guise of Technocracy.

Eisenhower did not specifically use the word Technocrat or Technocracy in his farewell address, but he certainly would have understood the historical significance of the movement from the 1930s and 1940s. Neither was Technocracy a mainstream policy when he spoke, rather, he viewed it as a future threat. Either way, America was clearly warned by its former President and yet has failed to respond to the warning.

It is well worth the time to listen to this video presentation by Corbett.

After 50 Years, Eisenhower’s Warnings Against a Scientific Elite Still Cause Consternation

At the dawn of the scientific revolution ushered in by the Space Age, was President Dwight D. Eisenhower wary of growing government influence over science and technology, seeing a potential danger this posed to future innovation?

On the 50th anniversary of his farewell address to the nation, science policy experts attending a 18 January seminar held at AAAS headquarters said Eisenhower rattled the scientific community with his unexpected comments.

Steven Lagerfeld | Photos by Carla Schaeffer

Steven Lagerfeld, editor of the Wilson Quarterly journal and moderator of the panel sponsored by the Washington Science Policy Alliance, said just three lines in Eisenhower’s address have caused consternation and discussion among scientists for decades. There is reason to wonder how concerned the former president was about the issue since he did not even mention his warning about the overall direction of science in the United States in his memoirs, Lagerfeld said.

During the 1961 address, in which the president famously warned of the danger to the nation of a growing armaments industry referred to as a “military-industrial complex,” he included a few sentences about risks posed by a scientific-technological elite. He noted that the technological revolution of previous decades had been fed by more costly and centralized research, increasingly sponsored by the federal government.

“Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields… ,” Eisenhower warned. “Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.”

While continuing to respect discovery and scientific research, he said, “We must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

Daniel S. Greenberg

Daniel S. Greenberg, a veteran journalist and author of several books on science policy, said the warning “was regarded as a kick in the teeth by the science establishment of the day.”

“The remarks were also seen as a threat to government support of academic research,” Greenberg continued, with the U.S. National Science Foundation in its infancy and other available government funding limited.

Greenberg said one reason scientists were surprised and bothered by the remarks is that Eisenhower had been very friendly with scientists (including Isidor Rabi, a Nobel laureate in physics), appeared to value their advice on many issues, and was the first president to appoint a full-time science adviser. The science adviser at the time, eminent chemist George Kistiakowsky, said in a later interview with Greenberg that when he questioned Eisenhower about the remarks, the president tried to distinguish between academic research, which he supported, and expanding research by industry and others with military implications that he felt was dangerous.

“I have no doubt that Eisenhower feared the ‘military-industrial complex,’” Greenberg said, “But I’m not sure that he intended a blanket indictment of science in his reference to the ‘scientific-technological elite’ or that he feared that federal research money would contaminate academic science.”

Gregg Pascal Zachary

Gregg Pascal Zachary, a journalist and author of an authoritative biography of Vannevar Bush, the organizer of the Manhattan Project who orchestrated the partnership between the military and science during World War II, said he thinks Eisenhower’s anxieties were genuine.

In the late 1950s, people were skeptical about science when some scientists told them not to worry about such environmental concerns as DDT use and above-ground nuclear tests, he said. This fed concerns that a science elite was driving political decisions without concern for the feelings of ordinary people.

Eisenhower was someone concerned about the conflict between the people in general and specialists, Zachary said. In his farewell address, Zachary said, the president meant that every American be alert to balance the needs of science and the public.

Zachary noted that the word “elite” has become a pejorative term and that Eisenhower’s use of it made it safe for anyone to invoke it to question those with influence and their motives.

William Lanouette

William Lanouette, a journalist and former senior analyst on science issues for the U.S. Government Accountability Office, said that by the time Eisenhower made his speech, the shift had already been made to the government setting science policy. But scientists found they could influence policy by testifying in Washington and forming societies that could promote certain agenda.

An example of this approach is the Pugwash Conferences, first held in1957, that bring together scholars and public figures in a private setting to discuss scientific issues, exchange views, and brainstorm alternative approaches before returning to their normal jobs as advocates of certain positions, Lanouette said. The model was not marching in the streets about issues, but engaging in private conversations about them, he said.

Daniel Sarewitz

Daniel Sarewitz, co-director of the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University, said Eisenhower’s statement about science in his farewell speech emphasized a concern he raised in his first inaugural address.

Reflecting on modern humanity’s power to achieve great good or inflict unprecedented evil, the new president said: “Nations amass wealth. Labor sweats to create, and turns out devices to level not only mountains but also cities. Science seems ready to confer upon us, as its final gift, the power to erase human life from this planet.”

Eisenhower was concerned about a dilemma scientific and technological advances present modern society, Sarewitz said. The influence of these advances forces democratic societies to increasingly depend on a rarified elite to understand and manage the very complexity that they help to create and accelerate, he said. This is not only a problem of managing modern warfare, he said, but applies to other key technology-driven systems such as energy, agriculture and food, transportation, and communications.

“This deepening dependence on scientific-technological elites is an inescapable condition, one that knows no party or ideology,” Sarewitz said. If Eisenhower foresaw the possibility of public policy becoming the captive of an elite, Sarewitz continued, “what he appeared not to anticipate was that ‘elite’ should be plural, that there were elites to be mobilized on behalf of competing or even contradictory ideological and political goals.”

TIL that General Eisenhower, horrified by the concentration camps discovered as allied troops rolled into Nazi territory, ordered camera crews to document the grisly scenes. He also forced local government officials to tour the camps. Warning: This video is extremely graphic!

There are still so many holocaust deniers, and the number is increasing steadily the more that people deny facts and conjure up their own "alternate" realities.

There are some people who make the claim that every or almost every German knew and was therefore directly approving of what happened, and there certainly were more than enough people around who would have supported it whether they knew or not, it’s not like anyone was under the impression that the Nazis didn’t have it out for the Jews, but I just don’t buy that narrative that the vast majority of the civilian population was complicit.

I think most of the people who would have denied it then would have in the well-meaning but still harmful way that a mother of a serial killer sometimes refuses to believe it, just being unable to comprehend that kind of total evil happening in their back yard. It’s a pretty sobering thought that something like this can happen under your nose like that, but part of preventing a repeat in the future is accepting how this was possible. If you say “Oh, well that population was just evil, that couldn’t possibly happen now and where I live”, that’s the first step toward history repeating itself in the worst possible way.

The Day the U.S. Army Attacked WWI Veterans & their Kids

(SALEM) - The police attacks on U.S. War Veterans taking part in the Occupy protests, are not a new phenomenon in America in fact there is quite a history of both police and military waging attacks on unarmed U.S. citizens in this country.

The beginning wasn't the Democratic Convention of '68 or the Kent State or Jackson State police and military massacres on civilians that opened this wound at first.

In the 20th Century, violence was first carried out against World War One Vets and their families and supporters, during the Depression, in 1932.

It is an ugly period in history and the players were then President Herbert Hoover, U.S. Attorney General William D. Mitchell, and senior Army officers Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower and George Patton. When later discussing the military operation against U.S. World War One Vets at the U.S. capitol, Major Dwight D. Eisenhower, later President of the United States, it was "wrong for the Army's highest-ranking officer to lead an action against fellow American war veterans".

All races- All American- were represented.

"I told that dumb son-of-a-bitch not to go down there," Dwight D. Eisenhower would later say of General Douglas MacArthur's decision to launch a deadly attack on protesting U.S. World War One Veterans and their families.

Eisenhower was one of MacArthur's junior aides at the time, and while he said he strongly advised the future World War Two military leader against the attack, it is also true that he officially endorsed MacArthur's conduct the day the U.S. Army attacked what came to be known as the 'Bonus Army', approximately 43,000 strong, among them families and supporters of the military, and those 17,000 Vets who were seeking an immediate cash payment.

Donation for the Bonus Army

Wikipedia explains that a large number of the war veterans were living in poverty and unable to find work as was the fate of so many Americans surviving during the Great Depression.

The World War Adjusted Compensation Act of 1924 awarded the veterans bonuses in the form of certificates, however those were not redeemable until 1945 and many of the Vets knew they would likely not live to see 1945. The certificates, issued to war veteran who qualified, had a face value equal to the soldier's promised payment plus compound interest.

The Bonus Army's primary demand, was the immediate cash payment of their certificates. Wright Patman, who was elected to the House of Representatives in Texas's 1st congressional district in 1928, introduced a bill that would have mandated the immediate payment of the bonus to World War I veterans in 1932.

This bill is the reason that the Bonus Army came to Washington.

Patman had a specific reason for offering this support he was a machine gunner in WWI and served in both enlisted and officer ranks.

Occupy Washington 1933

Most of the Bonus Army camped in a Hooverville on the Anacostia Flats, a swampy, muddy area across the Anacostia River from the federal core of Washington, just south of the 11th Street Bridges (now Section C of Anacostia Park). The camps, built from materials scavenged from a nearby rubbish dump, were tightly controlled by the veterans who laid out streets, built sanitation facilities, and held daily parades. To live in the camps, veterans were required to register and prove they had been honorably discharged.
- Wikipedia page on the Bonus Army

Marine Gen Smedley Butler

Retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler is the two-time Congressional Medal of Honor winner who criticized what we today call the military, industrial complex and he is known in popular culture for the famous speech, 'War is a Racket'.

He encouraged the demonstrators to hold their ground and publicly backed the effort, in person.

The Bonus Army represented the entire country.

You could not find a more loyal officer in Smedley Butler, or in MacArthur, a more disloyal paranoid murderer. That is my opinion, but it was the opinion of millions in the 1930's sadly they're mostly all if not completely gone now to add their voices to mine.

The Wright Patman Bonus Bill passed in the House of Representatives on 15 June 1932. Two days later, the Bonus Army moved en mass to the U.S. Capitol to await a decision from the U.S. Senate, which defeated the Bonus Bill and a lot of hope for veterans, by a vote of 62-18.

The demonstrators were mostly destitute and had no homes to return to, they held their ground until 28 July, when they were ordered to be removed from government property by William D. Mitchell.

The Washington police encountered resistance, and opened fire on the veterans and their supporters, leaving two former World War One soldiers, William Hushka and Eric Carlson, with mortal wounds that they would soon succumb to.

Upon hearing of this shooting, U.S. President Herbert Hoover sent in the U.S. Army to clear the veterans' campsite. Commanding infantry and cavalry units and a half dozen tanks, soldiers under the command of Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur, attacked the Bonus Army marchers, driving them out along with their wives and children.

The family shelters and all of the personal belongings of the families participating in the Bonus Army were burned and destroyed. In eerie retrospect, the event was like an early warning or even a premonition, into what would come in future wars, particularly Vietnam where fire was frequently used as an all-consuming tool of war, swallowing up entire villages suspected of having relations with Communist guerrillas.

Attacking American WWI Veterans

It happened at 4:45 p.m. Wikipedia states that thousands of civil service employees left work early that day, lining the street to watch the confrontation. The Bonus Marchers apparently thought at first, that the troops were marching in their honor. They cheered the troops until Patton ordered the cavalry to charge them—an action which prompted the spectators to yell, "Shame! Shame!"

After the cavalry charged, the infantry, with fixed bayonets and adamsite gas, an arsenical vomiting agent, entered the camps, evicting veterans, families, and camp followers. The veterans fled across the Anacostia River to their largest camp and President Hoover ordered the assault stopped.

However Gen. MacArthur, feeling the Bonus March was a "Communist" attempt to overthrow the U.S. government, ignored the President and ordered a new attack.

Fifty-five veterans were injured and 135 arrested. A veteran's wife miscarried. When 12-week-old Bernard Myers died in the hospital after being caught in the tear gas attack, a government investigation reported he died of enteritis, while a hospital spokesman said the tear gas "didn't do it any good."

Psychological Nightmare

The camp prior to destruction

After MacArthur's attack

Today we know that those who serve in brutal wars suffer serious invisible wounds known as Post Traumatic Stress (PTS)* It seems clear that those injuries that didn't show physically, then often described only as 'shell shock' - a reference for injuries sustained by often constant bombings during trench warfare, were no aid in helping men find work.

It's hard to imagine what it must have done to the psyches of those who fought the Germans under terrible conditions in a war of human attrition, yet saved France, at least for a couple of decades.

It was revealed that McArthur had been ordered at one point to stand his soldiers down, but he ignored the order because he believed these Americans were "Communists". He would be known as a general who failed to follow orders at will and only paid for it at the end.

The United States is again in economic upheaval but these vets were the first in recent history to feel the violent, deadly wrath from their government that those in Iran, China, Libya, Bahrain, Serbia and so many other places have felt from their governments.

The United States in this case, is exactly the same as those it so strongly criticizes.

* I am using the term PTS instead of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) because a growing number of people closely involved in working with sufferers, are increasingly discovering that PTS is not necessarily a 'disorder'. I believe invisible wound sounds vague but it is an appropriate description. The other injury similar in nature seen in large numbers of Veterans from the current wars, is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) which is a result of contact with roadside bombs.

Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim is a former U.S. Marine.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991) and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 91 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address: [email protected]

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

I am never amazed at the reaction of our citizens when it comes to a crazy person shooting and killing crowds of people. They always shout for more fun laws and restrictions, having never studied our history not our Constitution, specifically our Bill of Rights. Congress made a, "promise" to all those WW1 Vets, at the time of their greatest need, then broke it! The only way possible to have a peaceful civilization is for all people to be armed. This has nothing to do with our 2nd Amendment, as that like the other 9 of our Bill of Rights, was created as a condition of the Original 13 States signing the Constitution to protect the People from the Government! All people must study our history and forget the deal about political parties, and vote for the, "Individual" and you will have someone who only owes allegiance to you!

Eileen Jones June 27, 2016 5:20 pm (Pacific time)

Today is almost parallel to then , I think we are on the verge of the same thing happening now. The elections are being corrupted by those who don' want Trump and this will open the door for Hillary..NOT GOOD ! This time it will be millions and I will be one of them. We have to stand strong for America.

C Ramsey March 10, 2016 4:56 am (Pacific time)

This made me want to vomit. Can't wait to bring this up next time my teacher says how great America was during the 20's.

Anonymous June 3, 2014 5:46 pm (Pacific time)

"All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied." except for the obviously biased opinion about FDR from the editor.

Mario February 5, 2014 6:32 am (Pacific time)

And still vets get treated in a similar fashion by politicians that are nothing more than armchair generals.

WILBUR JAY COOK January 29, 2013 10:40 am (Pacific time)

The promise of health benefits to retired military personel is now being broken by obama. He is cutting the medical payments breaking the enlistment contract. shame on him but he does not care about the military.

Anonymous December 1, 2011 8:27 am (Pacific time)

I imagine Japanese-Americans then and now, do not regard FDR as a "great man," nor Harry Truman.

Editor: I don't imagine they do, however FDR was far better that Truman, the interment camps are a matter of national shame.

COLLI November 30, 2011 3:37 pm (Pacific time)

I can remember my grandparents telling me about the bonus army and what happened to it while I was studying it in Grade School history. Neither of them thought much of Douglas MacArthur or Herbert Hoover from that time on.

Politicians never hesitate to ask young men and women to risk their lives but lying is their stock and trade . . . especially when it comes to veterans. It appears that hasn't changed one iota since the Bonus Army.
This is an excellent article Tim and contains facts well worth remembering and communicating.

Tim King: Thanks so much Colli!

Charlene Young November 30, 2011 12:59 pm (Pacific time)

FDR proved early in his administration that he was an unfit leader, and no friend of veterans, nor active-duty military. History clearly reflects that this incompetent prolonged the depression and allowed marxists to establish a strong foothold in America. A dreadful man, who now is being eclipsed.

Editor: FDR made mistakes but he was a great man and outshined Hoover, and a similar event happened the next year under FDR - he was wrong for not assisting the veterans, but talk about a member of the 1%, it's hard to expect any good decisions from the rich, you should know that by now..

Eisenhower's Less Famous Warning: Government-Controlled Science

A few times per year we have a meeting of the Trustees of the American Council on Science and Health, to discuss issues like finances (1), to discuss nominees for our Board of Scientific Advisors, and our general direction.

Among our Trustees is Fred Smith, the founder of Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), which promotes the benefits of free markets. I certainly agree with them on that (2). At our November meeting Fred asked for a spot on the agenda to talk about how we can better talk about science policy without getting into politics.

That is obviously tricky. Science is both corporate and political, when it comes to basic research the private sector and government fund about half each, so if you defend science you are implicitly defending corporations and engaging in politics.

It wasn't always that way. Ernest Lawrence, whose name is now on both Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and Lawrence Livermore National Lab, ushered in the era of academic Big Science. He found that if you did what government wanted, they would throw money at you. And then you could use some of that money to do what you wanted. It really caught on after the Manhattan Project, which was the ultimate use of government guiding academic research to create applied science. People whose entire labs were funded with less than $20,000 per year saw Lawrence getting hundreds of thousands, and then millions, from Uncle Sam and the race was on: Government was firmly in the science business and academics wanted to be in business with politicians. (3)

Not everyone was pleased by that. Most famous of the concerned about this new control of basic research by the government was President Dwight David Eisenhower - "Ike." Ike was someone so concerned about keeping politics out of strategic resources he refused to vote while he was a military officer. To him, it was a conflict of interest because he was paid by the government. His concern only grew while he was president during the bulk of the 1950s and government took more and more control of science funding. As politicians funded more of it, he believed, academia was going to self-select for those who also believed in big government and it would no longer be non-partisan. And corporations were going to control academic science by controlling politicians. Academics who "play the game" were going to get more funding and head up grant committees and panels. (4)

The concern about the growing "military-industrial complex" from Ike's 1961 farewell address - most alarming because he was a career military man who won War World II in Europe before he became President partly thanks to the military-industrial complex - became part of the cultural lexicon. But less well known is his second warning, about manipulation of academia by political interests, which Fred discussed in 2011 and passed around at our meeting.

President Eisenhower surrounded himself with brilliant academics, he knew that science ended World War II without costing another million American lives, but by 1961 he also knew "we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

He worried about that government control over funding would change the nature of the “free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery.” And it has. If you want to find happiness in academia, find a humanities professor at a small college. If you want to find pressure, go to a biology lab at Johns Hopkins, which needs $300 million a year from the NIH if it's going to put up new buildings and recruit key names who can then raise more money from NIH.

Ike was right about culture as well. A decade after his speech, academia was still politically balanced and conservatives had the most trust in academic science, but by the 1980s they had begun to self-select for people who liked government funding. They even began to suggest that corporate science - the companies who put men on the moon and develop the vaccines and antibiotics and the GMO insulin that have saved hundreds of millions of lives - meant less independence. Academia meant freedom. And then it became that to be an academic you had to be a liberal because liberals are just smarter. (5) That lurch into partisan politics has had repercussions. It's reality that when people know you are partisan, they trust your objectivity less even if you are on their side. Today, only liberals retain historical high levels of trust in the impartial nature of academic science. Conservatives, libertarians, and progressives do not. And so even the people on the political side of academics don't trust them on food, energy, medicine and chemicals any more than they trust corporate scientists or the government.

As a result of seeing science subtly manipulated by government and trust among the public declining, that tide is turning again. A new generation of science academics, who are starting on their third post-doc position and questioning the Old Guard's claims that corporate funding is wrong and only government is right, are critical of the claim that you can't be a scientist unless you are a liberal. And that corporate funding is bad. They realize that taxes are finite and that billions of dollars in federal government marketing about STEM careers in academia have led to a glut in Ph.D. supply, there are academic jobs for just 16 percent of graduating scientists. They have become pawns for scientific-technological elites with little chance of getting a seat at the table, just as President Eisenhower warned.

Given that milieu, how can we discuss policy without getting into partisan politics? It isn't easy. Virtually 100 percent of health and two-thirds of science policy are dictated by politicians. And it shows. For example, Syngenta makes an herbicide known as atrazine and when the Obama administration came into office, they convened two separate assessments on it to see if it was an endocrine disruptor in frogs. That was not based on science concern, the EPA during the Bush administration had already checked that claim in 2002 and debunked it. Yet EPA was again forced to revisit the same product twice in just President Obama's first term, which certainly smacked of politicization of science. In early 2016, our CDC began promoting a condition termed "prediabetes", which other countries claim is ridiculous, especially at the arbitrary blood sugar level our government chose. The CDC also declared that nicotine replacement won't stop smoking - unless it's in a patch or gum sold by pharmaceutical giants - and that the opioid epidemic was caused by the medical community and pain patients rather than recreational users. EPA declared that small micron particulate matter was causing acute deaths even though there were none, not even during the entire history of EPA. US Fish and Wildlife Service told a landowner in Louisiana to tear down their forest and build a new one for a frog they declared endangered - in Mississippi. We have to talk about those bad policy decisions if we are going to honor our mandate to be trusted guides for the American public on complex science and health issues.

Government-controlled science may be here to stay but that doesn't mean we have to accept rule by a scientific-technological elite that thrives on social authoritarianism. Standing in its way are 300 members of the American Council on Science and Health Board of Scientific Advisors, and a scientist or doctor who wants to put politics first is not participating in our work exposing merchants of doubt who manufacture fears about trace chemicals, food, energy, and medicine.

So you can trust them, and going into our 40th year of separating health scares from health threats, you can be certain we'll continue to earn your trust as well.

(1) Never good - environmentalism is 1000X more lucrative because people send money when they are petrified, but 'your food is safe' is a terrible call to action.

(2) I was in the nascent physics software business when Japan was heavily subsidizing the semiconductor industry. Academics insisted our government needed to also subsidize it or we would "lose leadership" to Japan. I argued that the moment government got involved, RAM was going to cost $1 a MB because historically that was true. In that same vein, delivering a brutal hit against the government mentality at the National Institutes of Health, Samuel Broder, former Director of the National Cancer Institute, once said, "If it was up to the NIH to cure polio through a centrally directed program instead of independent investigator driven discovery, you'd have the best iron lung in the world, but not a polio vaccine."

It has gotten no better today. We are funding a ridiculous "cancer moonshot" without using what made the Apollo program successful - corporations who competed to create the lowest price. The federal government had little to do with it. If you look at the spec for the original Mercury program from the government, it was laughable. Companies made it happen.

(3) And the private sector happily gave way where they could. Why fund expensive basic research, where only 1 in 1,000 things may work out, and put your shareholders at risk when you can get hundreds of millions of taxpayers to do it? Bonus: academics will believe they are more independent if we get government to approve the grant lobbyists said should be the direction of science funding.

(4) He seems to have been right. Look at the outrage when EPA declared that EPA-funded scholars could not be on panels determining EPA policy. Outraged academics did not see it as mitigating an obvious conflict of interest, they ridiculed that EPA did not even want research it funded. Do these same academics also insist corporate scientists be on government committees approving their drugs and chemicals?

(5) At SUNY-Albany Ron McClamrock summed up the common belief, which reached its apex in the mid-2000s. "We outnumber them because academic institutions select for smart people who think their views through and if you're smart, open-minded, and look into it carefully, you're just more likely to end up with views in the left half of contemporary America. Which is just to say: Lefties are overrepresented in academia because on average, we're just f-ing smarter."

That sentiment is now considered laughable because "lefties" deny the science behind medicine, food, energy and chemicals so reliably you can predict someone's voting habits based on if they buy organic food, supplements, think fracking will cause the earth to deflate, and that BPA is an endocrine disruptor.

Hank Campbell is an award-winning science writer and bestselling author. He became the second President of the American Council on Science and Health in June of 2015 and prior to that began the 2006 Science 2.0 movement. He has written for USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Wired, and in many more places. He is on the Board of Trustees at Science 2.0 and serves on the Advisory Council of Atlantic Legal Foundation.

Hank's Amazon Author page
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Hank's listing in Wikipedia (BONUS: Deleted by an activist politically partisan attorney who works with the science denial front group known as Sourcewatch! So this is an archive. He also trashed the ACSH entry.)

A few reviews of Science Left Behind:

Wall Street Journal - “usefully revealing how pervasive scientific misinformation is in progressive arguments on organic and genetically modified foods, clean energy, nuclear waste and other matters.”

Scientific American - “. the left's sacred values seem fixated on the environment, leading to an almost religious fervor over the purity and sanctity of air, water and especially food. Try having a conversation with a liberal progressive about GMOs — genetically modified organisms — in which the words “Monsanto” and “profit” are not dropped like syllogistic bombs.”

Forbes - “on many of the most critical issues of our time, the “progressive” perspective is often rooted in out-dated, anti-empirical, junk science paradigms that threaten innovation—and are beginning to unnerve the most scientifically minded thinkers on the left."

Huntington News - "Groundbreaking…If I were teaching journalism, this is a book that I would require my students to read and absorb -- and keep for reference.”

Science Based Medicine - "pure music to the ears of science-based medicine. They agree that the anti-vaccine movement is based on outright lies, they call the Huffington Post a laughingstock of the scientific community for its endorsement of CAM, they call for the NCCAM to be abolished, [and] they explain why presenting data about relative risks rather than absolute risks is misleading."