Friday, February 04, 2022

Turley takes on the goons and bullies calling for censorship

Jonathan Turley addresses the nonsense from Neil Young, Joe Biden and others regarding Joe Rogan:

Rogan’s popularity is precisely due to the fact that he is uncensored in what he says. As many networks and newspapers have become more of an echo chamber, viewers and readers have fled en masse. Trust in the media has fallen to just 46 percent and as low as 40 percent in recent polling.

Where are people going for information? It seems many have gone to podcasts — and specifically to Joe Rogan, at least 11 million of them.

While Young reportedly relies on Spotify for 60 percent of his royalty income, Spotify does not rely on Young or other rock stars for its primary profits. It is the reverse of market conditions from just a couple years ago.

The problem with controlling speech is that it has to be complete; it doesn’t work if there are alternatives to echo-chambered media. Rogan’s podcast is one of the biggest. With 11 million listeners, he surpassed cable and network audiences as well as the readership of the largest papers. His program allows people across the political spectrum to speak freely, including those who question official positions on vaccines and treatments.

While Rogan has promised to be more careful in how information is presented on his show (and Spotify will add “advisories” on podcasts), his podcast survived the celebrity onslaught. As various investors seek to create free speech alternatives to Twitter and YouTube, there may be an emerging market for free speech products.

This is not the first failed effort to eliminate alternatives to mainstream media. Democratic Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney of California were widely criticized for a letter to cable carriers like AT&T asking why they are still allowing people to watch Fox News. (For the record, I appear as a Fox legal analyst). The two members of Congress stressed that “not all TV news sources are the same” and called the companies to account for their role in allowing such “dissemination.” Fox News has remained the most watched cable channel, topping even ESPN. That includes more primetime Democratic viewers of Fox than CNN.

Likewise, the effort of politicians like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to protect readers from what she considers to be poor book choices has failed. Warren wants companies like Amazon to change algorithms to steer readers away from books that she deems unhealthy or untrue. The problem is that people are still finding sources for uncensored authors. Former New York Times author Alex Berenson hit the top of Amazon’s Kindle Store with his recent book critical of COVID science and policies.

Neil Young goes out in life as a hateful, bitter old maid screaming for censorship.  He's disgusting.  So are the ones who joined him on his ill thought out crusade.  (Sadly, that includes Graham Nash.  Graham, you are so much better than that.)  Ava and C.I. have a performance piece they've done all week about this and I'm trying to convince them to write it up and publish it at THIRD.  It's very funny and they've done it for all the groups they've spoken to this week.  They say the delivery is part of what makes it funny and I'm sure that's true but even with some of it not coming across in print, it would still be worth reading and still be funny.  It's a letter of 'support' to Neil Young from a famous person -- I won't say who -- but it's a dithering idiot who, yes, probably would support Neil's hideous position.  

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

 Thursday, February 3, 2022.  Is Joe Biden bound and dtermined to go down as one of the worst presidents in history?

Tucker Carlson.

The above.  Jen Psaki is not to blame for being a whore.  The role of White House spokesperson is a whore position that's only ogtten more whorish with each administration.

That said, she needs to grasp that it is her not her job -- or anyone in the White House t-- to police podcasts.  They need to shut the f**k up.  I get it, she doesn't want to talk about real issues.  If she prefers nonsense, should we discuss other topcis?  Abortions paid for by married men in the administrations by women who were not their wives -- never their wives.  They had wives.  At the time.  And then they said, for example, "I'm in Congress, if you have this baby, it's not just my marriage that's over, it's my political career."

Do we want to have those conversations, Jen?

I shrug at most of the nonsense out of Jen's mouth because it's her position.  The spoikesperson isn't honest.  And, especially under Jay Carney, they became attack dogs on the press.  They're kown liars.  I don't know the damage that does to your soul but I imagine it's intense.

But Jen's now ready to violate the First Amendment.  That's too far -- even for a whore position.

Joe Rogan can say whatever he wants and anyone who wants to listen can listen.  Jen Psaki needs to either move on treal issues -- and spin and lie about them -- or we can give her  'trivia' to talk about. 

This is another example of the attacks on the press.  At its most extreme, it finds Joe Biden persecuting Julian Assange.  

As for Harry . . .

You don't know our country, you odn't know our history.  We didn't beg you to come here and we don't need your ugly ass telling us what's what.

Some in the UK may be impressed with you.  We're not. You've done nothing with your life, Harry.  You're semi-famous because of your birth.  Stop thinking anyone needs your uneducated thoughts.  Want to boss people around?  Go back to England.  Stay there.  In the US, we don't need you and we know you're a spoiled brat who never lived a real life and who doesn't know anything about even the most basic events of life.  So be grateful that you were born into money and call that a win.  

Or, bettter yet, if you must speak publicly, tell us about your uncle the pedophile.  

We're interested in your thoughts on that, Harry.  

An American Revolution did not take plae so that a little princess named Harry could escape to the US and lecture us.  Princess can go back home if the US makes him so uncomfortable.  Can go back home and should go back home.  In the meantime, you're a guest, show the manners you were supposedly raised with.

Princess Harry -- a failure in the UK and now failing in the US as well.

Back to Joe Biden, the enemy of a free press.  He continues his persecution of Julian Assange.  The world is watching.  The whole world sees Julian being targeted for telling the truth.  The whole world watches as Democratic Joe Biden persecutes.  He mars not just his own image throughout the world but that of the Democratic Party's as well.  This is lasting damage and it is global.  Exactly what does Joe think he's accomplishing?

THEN 24 reports:

 A motion supported by around 60 members of all parties in the French parliament calls for asylum to be granted to the journalist Julian Assange, who has been imprisoned in Great Britain. The National Assembly will vote on the motion on Friday.

On Friday, France’s National Assembly will debate and vote on a motion to grant asylum to journalist Julian Assange, who is being held in Britain. Launched at the end of October 2021, the motion is supported by around 60 French MEPs from all political parties. The proposal is supported by Cédric Villani (Groupe Écologie démocratie solidarité), Jean Lassalle (Groupe Libertés et territoires), François Ruffin (La France insoumise) and Jennifer de Temmerman from Macron’s La République en Marche party.

The world is watching and Joe Biden is going down in history as we speak.  It won't be a historical entry of praise.  He's the man who persecuted journalist Julian Assange.  That will not be forgotten.  Joe could order all charges dropped and save his own image -- maybe even be seen as a hero.  But he appears to want to be despised for hundreds of years to come.  He wants the name "Joe Biden" to be met with curses and hoots of laughter.  

At Swathmore's PHOENIX, Tarang Saluja notes:

On Dec. 10, 2021 (which was ironically international human rights day), the U.K.’s high court ruled that Julian Assange may be extradited to face trial in the U.S. and on Jan. 24, Assange won the right to appeal against the extradition. Assange’s team will now appeal to the Supreme Court in early February to see if he can be saved from the talons of the US government. The case against Julian Assange began when Wikileaks published information provided by U.S. Army Intelligence Analyst and whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Documents from Manning, including the Afghanistan War Diary and Guantanamo Files, revealed embarrassing and atrocious details of misconduct and deception by US military officials. One of the most horrific leaks was the extremely disturbing Collateral Murder video which uncloaked how U.S. military pilots murdered two journalists when they opened fire without provocation and further fired at unarmed adults and children who came to help the wounded. This humiliating and shameful experience for the U.S. national security state triggered a thirst for revenge which has made the crude destruction of one man’s life an instrument for assaulting the freedom of our press. If Assange, after being systematically abused by many so-called democratic countries and misrepresented by media stenographers for national security ghouls, is prosecuted with an indictment that criminalizes typical journalist activities based on the ill-defined term “national defense information,” it will deeply chill investigative reporting on the most secretive, unaccountable institutions in the U.S. and set a precedent for the violation of press freedom. 

[. . .]

A shocking report also revealed that the CIA, unable to tolerate the leak of Vault 7 in 2017, had plotted to murder Assange by abducting and then assassinating him in a London shootout. This plot complemented the 2020 revelations that the CIA had a Spanish security firm spy on Assange and his fiance, Stella Morris, extensively. They went as far as using cameras and microphones to spy on meetings Assange had with his lawyers, tracking both Morris and her mother, and trying to steal their baby’s pacifier and diaper to do a DNA test.

Even though these shameful details reveal the danger U.S. officials pose to Assange, the U.S. has continued the extradition process, providing a flimsy assurance that they would not apply Special Administrative Measures or place Assange in a supermax prison unless Assange gives them a reason to decide otherwise. This is a condition that can be easily abused. However, the high court responded by ruling that Assange may be extradited, paving the path for his prosecution in the U.S. Eastern District Court of Virginia. As the Eastern District Court is near the Pentagon and CIA, the jury pool is far more sympathetic towards intelligence agents, and therefore it is unlikely that Assange will be acquitted if he is extradited to the U.S. Shortly after the ruling, it was revealed Assange had a stroke on Oct. 27, which was the first day of the high court appeal hearing, and Morris attributes this to his poor treatment and stressful experience during the extradition battle. Even if the CIA couldn’t personally kill Assange, he has been systematically abused to the point where there are legitimate fears he could die by illness or suicide. (It is noted on the Useful Idiots (42:30 – 43:30) podcast that Assange himself has clearly expressed he will not come back to the US alive because of what he expects to face here.) Recently, he has been given permission to appeal the decision that he can be extradited, and his legal team is currently working on that. 

The astonishing part of this twisted political saga is the behavior of many mainstream media outlets. As Assange is being indicted on uncorroborated charges for the very activities which investigative journalists engage with all the time, this trial has massive implications for the freedom of the press. However, mainstream media has mainly focused on contributing to the smear campaign against Assange. When Assange’s asylum was revoked, plenty of mainstream outlets, with an almost sick glee, reported extensively on allegations of “dirty,” unhygienic behavior. These same outlets never bothered to examine the change in Ecuadorian political leadership and the political motivations of Ecuadorian officials making these claims. Furthermore, they parrotted alarmist claims from national security officials about how Assange’s actions were irresponsible and dangerous, despite the fact that the government cannot prove that any harm was done to its sources and that their favored whistleblower of the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsburg, also argued that Assange’s actions are in the public interest.

Joe Biden is speeding on his way to being considered one of the worst presidents ever.  He could have stayed 'retired.'  Most people would have ignored Hunter Biden if that had happened.  They would have ignored how 'working class Joe' became a millionaire on the taxpayer's dime.  He would have been the drunk uncle that you wanted to believe was basically a good guy at heart.

Instead, he's now someone who threatnes journalists, who can't handle the economy, who can't respond to COVID  . . .

In fact, maybe Jen and Joe need to use that anger and malice they keep aiming at Joe Rogan and focus it instead on actually addressing COVID.  That would mean firing Fauci, of course, something Joe was told to do the first week after he was sworn in.  Wasn't smart enough to do it that week.  Hasn't been smart enough since.

The dottering old fool.  

I have no idea if Donald Trump plans to run for president again or, if he does plan to run, whether he could get a nomination (from the GOP or any other party).  But Joe's certainly worked hard to build a case for Donald.  Where are the stimulus checks, Joe?  What the hell have you done for the American people?  Gifted them with inflation?

He's an abject failure.  Ray McGovern (ANTIWAR.COM) notes:

The leaked text (to Spain’s El Pais) of Washington’s response to Russia’s December security proposals augurs well for an eventual peaceful denouement on Ukraine. The U.S. response may still seem to be only half a loaf, but includes an appetizing sweetener – verification.

Washington’s "non-paper" response directly addresses Putin’s chief concern. (Spoiler for any new readers of It is not what you are probably thinking; it is not Putin’s reportedly insatiable lust to get NATO to sign a piece of paper banning membership for Ukraine; that’s the other half-loaf, and it has become rather stale – as well as moot.)

Rather, Putin’s primary worry has long been that missile launchers now deployed in Romania and soon, if not already, in Poland (ostensibly for anti-missile defense) can accommodate Tomahawk cruise missiles with ranges that put Russia’s strategic forces in jeopardy. Putin has voiced that concern loudly for years.

For example, after the US-orchestrated coup in Kiev in Feb. 2014, Putin explained publicly that US/NATO plans to deploy ABM systems around Russia’s western periphery were an "even more important factor" in Moscow’s decision to annex Crimea than the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO. (For one particularly telling example, readers are invited to view a short clip showing Putin’s frustration six years ago at his inability to impress upon Western reporters the urgency of the "ABM" missile emplacements.)

At Tuesday’s press conference, Putin began with a reminder that Russia had been "conned" when the West promised in 1990 not to move NATO one inch eastward. Putin then pointed out that, after the US withdrew from the AMB Treaty:

"Now anti-ballistic missiles are deployed in Romania and are being set up in Poland. … These are MK-41 launchers that can launch Tomahawks. In other words, they are no longer just counter-missiles, and these assault weapons can cover thousands of kilometers of our territory. Isn’t that a threat to us?"

What about similar deployment to Ukraine? The U.S. has already agreed not to do that. Western media largely missed this, but Russia’s readout of the Dec. 30 telephone conversation between Biden and Putin included this:

“… Joseph Biden emphasized that Russia and the US shared a special responsibility for ensuring stability in Europe and the whole world and that Washington had no intention of deploying offensive strike weapons in Ukraine.” [Emphasis added.]

Smoke That Peace Pipe Bury Those Tomahawks

The US "non-paper" revealed yesterday by El Pais, was labeled "confidential", and small wonder. Clearly, the Biden administration did not want its concession on inspection, for example, to leak. It will come as a shock for those predicting (some of them actually hoping for) the worst. Washington’s non-paper expresses willingness to discuss "a transparency mechanism to confirm the absences of Tomahawk cruise missiles at … sites in Romania and Poland." In other words, verification; which has worked well in the past – with the INF Treaty, for example, which saw the entire class of intermediate- and short-range missiles destroyed.

Nor is it surprising that the US asked the Russians (and everyone else) to keep its "non-paper" secret. The Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank (MICIMATT) complex will be up in arms, so to speak. Not to mention Raytheon, which makes and sells the Tomahawks (at $2 million each). See, for example: Top Weapons Companies Boast Ukraine-Russia Tensions Are a Boon for Business.  

In Iraq, no political news.  Still no government.  October 10th was election day.   If you really wanted to stop ISIS, you wouldn't drag your feet about foriming a government.

We'll wind down with this from Senator Bill Cassidy's office:

WASHINGTON – Today, the United States Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee (SVAC) unanimously passed legislation to offer Post-9/11 combat veterans, including those suffering from conditions caused by toxic exposures, such as burn pits, access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care.


U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Jon Tester (D-MT) led the committee in introducing the Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act yesterday.


“Veterans should not be denied health care because of federal bureaucracy. We made a commitment to these men and women,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Our bipartisan bill honors veterans’ service and expands VA health care for those exposed to toxic substance. Today is a step forward in fulfilling that commitment.”


“Post-9/11 veterans are the newest generation of American heroes to suffer from toxic exposures encountered during military service,” said Senator Moran. “The Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act is an important first step to make certain our veterans receive the care they need as a result of their service. I’m urging my colleagues to read our bill, to grow their understanding of this complex challenge, and to join our committee—every single member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee—in passing this bill to get one step closer to providing care and relief on one of the most pressing challenges facing veterans today.”


“Today, we took a critical step toward fulfilling our obligations to toxic-exposed veterans with our bipartisan Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act,” said Senator Tester. “This bill will connect more Post-9/11 veterans with the VA care they’ve earned to treat seen and unseen wounds of war, while moving the ball forward on addressing toxic exposure in the comprehensive way our veterans deserve. This is a necessary step in doing right by our nation’s veterans, and I urge my Senate colleagues from both sides of the aisle to join us in passing this critical legislation that’ll help us deliver on that promise.”


This bill will now go to the full Senate for consideration.


The following sites updated:

Thursday, February 03, 2022

No one deserves it more

"So Many Stars" is a great song from Carly Simon's classic album THE BEDROOM TAPES.

Carly has finally gotten nominated for induction into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  Hopefully, she'll get in on her first try. 

She is long overdue.  There are many worthy nominees for this year but she's the one that I'm pulling for the most.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Wednesday, Feburary 2, 2022.  The Turksih government continues to terrorize Kurdistan, the political stalemate continues in Iraq . . . 

At THIRD this week, Ava and I weighed in on FOX's new hour long drama THE CLEANING LADY:


The world can be very ugly and THE CLEANING LADY captures that -- a mother has to travel to the US to get her child treatment, she has to bust her ass to make money, she has to fear being deported and the person being kindest to her is gangster Arman, not FBI agent Garrett.  We see a lot of reality in the drama, including that some times there are no good choices..  

Oliver Hudson plays FBI agent Garrett.  He should be the good guy and we should root for him and not want Elodie Young's Dr Thony De La Rosa to have anything to do with the gun running gangster Arman (Adan Canto).  But watching the show, it's obvious that some are not what they should be or what they're supposed to do.

I have a similar reaction when I read this from the AP:

A Turkish defense ministry statement said the strikes hit targets on Sinjar Mountain and in the Karacak region in northern Iraq, and the Derik region in northern Syria.


Early on Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan retweeted a post from Turkey’s Defence Ministry featuring a photo of a jet taking off with a caption reading “the dens of the terrorists are caving in on their heads!”

Who's the terrorist Recep?

Emboldened by a US President (Donald Trump) who let him get away with attacking Americans on American soil, Recep just gets more and more thuggish and he is the terrorist at this point.  YPG International Tweets:

BREAKING #Turkey tries to continue what #ISIS started a massive attack against #Rojava and the people that defeated ISIS. Right now airstrikes in Derik, Sinjar, Maxmur, attacks on Shehba etc. Everyone has to take action against this attack now. #TwitterKurds #Kurdistan #YPG #YPJ

Recep and his goons should be standing before a tribunal.  Kamaran Osmzn Tweets:

Twenty minutes ago, the Turkish war planes bombed Makhmur refugee camps seven times in Iraqi Kurdistan. There is still not any information about the casualty numbers. #KRG #Iraq #Turkey

These bombins are a violation of national sovereignty and are a part of the Turkish government's longstanding attack on the Kurdish people -- an attack that recalls the Turkish government's earlier attacks on the Armenian people -- a genocide that the Turkish government denies to this dayl.

PRESS TV notes:

The secretary general of Iraq's Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq movement, which is a part of Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Sha’abi, says resistance fighters will give an adequate response to the latest Turkish military aggression on the Arab country.

Qais al-Khazali, in a tweet published on his Twitter page on Wednesday, condemned Turkey's repeated violations of Iraqi sovereignty, warning that the Ankara government “is going too far with targeting civilians."

“Amid the government’s deplorable silence, flagrant violation of the Iraqi sovereignty continues by Turkish occupation forces, after they established military bases in northern Iraq. The situation has exacerbated and ordinary citizens are now being targeted under flimsy claims and pretexts,” Qazali wrote.

The Turkish government is very fond of claiming to have killed terrorists.  On the  rare occassions when the press bothers to look, the Turkish government has killed animals and farmers with their bombs.  

Just as appalling as these bombs, as the forests Turkey's burning in Kurdistan (rightly labeled an ecocide), as the military bases Turkey has established in northern Iraq, is the silence so much of the world has fallen back to in response.  

As many as 1.5 million Armenians were killed in the first half of the last century and that's due in part to the desire of so many to be silent and look the other way.

Recep has moved beyond thug.  He is a terrorist.

Meanwhile stocky Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr insists he's going to form a majority government.  Keeps insisting.  Over and over.  Week after week.  It's starting to look like he's got a better chance of losing some of those pounds by going on Jenny Craig than he does of forming a government.

For those who've forgotten, Iraq held elections October 10th.  Still waiting on the formation of the government all these months later.  

The Speaker of Parliament has been decided.  At least?  Corruption and inaction are the hallmarks of the Iraqi government so it may not be surprising to learn that the same person who was Speaker of Parliament got reinstalled for a second term.

In his efforts to carry out his grudge match wtih thug Nouri al-Maliki, Moqtada's talking of allowing the prime minister to remain the same and, of course, Barhim Saleh wants a second term as president of Iraq as well.

FAIR OBSERVER carries a laughable article by Pshtiwan Faraj Mohammed who argues that AAaleh deserves a second term.


Because his political party did so great in the October 10th elections?

Nope.  They bombed.  In fact, the president should come from the KDP because that is the political party that the Kurdish people overwhelmingly backed this election cycle, not Saleh and his loser PUK party.

Because Saleh's done such a great job?

Nope.  Saleh, despite four years as president, has nothing to show for it, no accomplishments to praise.

We all grasp, don't we?, that Iraq is one of the most corrupt governments in the world on any index.  Exactly what was the point of elections if the same unpopular figures are to be reinstalled into posts where they will continue to fail the Iraqi people?

Corruption remains rampant in Iraq.

In addition, there is climate change which is anticiapted to attack Iraq more harshly than other countries.  Saleh and company haven't done a damn thing to address that either.

They're very good at pocketing money, at getting jobs for tehir families and at looking the other ways as Iraq's national wealth is repeatedly robbed.  They're not so good at governance.

His nomination has raised tension between the country’s two main Kurdish parties. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan nominated Mr Salih, a decision which was rejected by its rival, the Kurdistan Democratic Party. The KDP instead nominated former foreign and finance minister Hoshyar Zebari for the post.


His nomination has raised tension between the country’s two main Kurdish parties. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan nominated Mr Salih, a decision which was rejected by its rival, the Kurdistan Democratic Party. The KDP instead nominated former foreign and finance minister Hoshyar Zebari for the post.

A long-standing agreement among the Kurds usually sees a PUK nominee installed as president, while the KDP is left to run Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.

But the KDP is seeking more control after securing 31 seats in the 329-seat parliament in October's election, while the Kurdistan Alliance — led by the PUK — won only 17 seats.

Mr Salih has been among the long-standing members of Iraq’s political class over the past 18 years. He was also a leading figure in the Iraqi opposition before 2003.

He assumed a number of senior posts after the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. He served as deputy prime minister for two terms and as minister of planning, as well as prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Iraq suffers from the same problem as the US government: Old dottering fools who should bein nursing homes, not elected office -- Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi . . . 

We'll wind down with this press release about veterans from Senator Bill Cassidy's office:

Cassidy, Moran, Tester, Senate VA Committee Introduce Bill to Provide Health Care for Post-9/11 Toxic-Exposed Veterans


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Jon Tester (D-MT), and members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee introduced the Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act—landmark legislation to offer Post-9/11 combat veterans, including those suffering from conditions caused by toxic exposures, access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care.


“Veterans should not be denied health care because of federal bureaucracy. We made a commitment to these men and women,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Our bipartisan bill honors veterans’ service and expands VA health care for those exposed to toxic substance.”


“Post-9/11 veterans are the newest generation of American heroes to suffer from toxic exposures incurred during military service,” said Senator Moran. “The Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act is an important first step to make certain our veterans receive the care they need as a result of their service. I appreciate the entire Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee for working together to craft this consequential legislation to care for our servicemembers who put their life and health on line for their country.”


“Today, we took a critical step in our bipartisan effort to do right by all toxic-exposed veterans across the country with the introduction of our Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act,” said Senator Tester. “This landmark bill will allow us to connect a generation of burn pit veterans with the care they’ve earned, while moving the ball forward on addressing toxic exposure in the comprehensive way our veterans deserve. Our work here is just beginning, and together we will keep fighting to deliver quality care and benefits to the men and women who stood in harm’s way to protect our country.”


Approximately 3.5 million Post-9/11 combat veterans may have experienced some level of exposure to burn pits during their service—many of whom are living with undiagnosed illnesses linked to military toxic exposures—and nearly one-third of those veterans are currently unable to access VA care. Among its many provisions, the Senators’ bipartisan Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act would:


  • Expand the period of health care eligibility for combat veterans who served after September 11, 2001 from five years following discharge to ten years;
  • Provide a one-year open enrollment period for any Post-9/11 combat veterans who are outside their 10-year window;
  • Establish an outreach plan to contact veterans who did not enroll during their initial period of enhanced eligibility;
  • Direct VA to incorporate a clinical screening regarding a veteran’s potential exposures and symptoms commonly associated with toxic substances;
  • Mandate toxic exposure related education and training for healthcare and benefits personnel at VA; and
  • Strengthen federal research on toxic exposures.


This bipartisan legislation is unanimously supported by the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, which includes Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL).


It also has strong backing from the nation’s leading Veterans Service Organizations, including Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Wounded Warrior Project, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, The American Legion, and Military Officers Association of America.


The following sites updated: