THE BLOG
03/22/2013 05:05 pm ET | Updated May 22, 2013

Exclusive: Tomas Young Reads in Full His Letter to Bush & Cheney, "A Message From a Dying Veteran"

Paralyzed in a 2004 attack in Sadr City, Iraq War veteran Tomas Young recently announced that he will stop his medicine and nourishment, which comes in the form of liquid through a feeding tube -- a decision which will hasten his death.

In a Democracy Now! live TV broadcast from his home in Kansas City, Young reads in full his letter, "A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran."

Young writes: "My day of reckoning is upon me," Young says. "Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness."

Click here to read the complete letter and to watch his extended interview on Democracy Now! about why he has chosen to end his life.

Democracy Now! also speaks with Phil Donahue, the legendary TV talk show host, whose 2007 documentary, "Body of War," follows Tomas' rehabilitation and his political awakening to become one of the most prominent antiwar U.S. veterans speaking out against the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Donahue calls Tomas' announcement "a very unusual act of moral courage. He wants people to see this, because he came home from the most sanitized war of my lifetime. We don't see this. But less than 5 percent of us, maybe 1 percent ... have made a personal sacrifice for this war. And Tomas is one of them."

In 2003, Donahue was fired from his prime-time MSNBC talk show during the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The problem was not Donahue's ratings, but rather his views: An internal MSNBC memo warned Donahue was a "difficult public face for NBC in a time of war," providing "a home for the liberal antiwar agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity." Donahue is interviewed on Democracy Now! and asked to reflect back on his firing 10 years later. "They were terrified of the antiwar voice," Donahue says.

Check out the Democracy Now! Interactive Timeline of the Iraq War, featuring more than 10 years of reports.

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