To use a sports analogy, if since 9/11 Washington has been the globe's cleanup hitter, it not only hasn't managed to knock a single ball out of the park, it's struck out enough times to make those watching dizzy, and it's batting .000. You;d think that someone in D.C. might have drawn a lesson or two from such a record, something simple like: Don't do it!
The Obama presidency has seen the U.S. military's elite tactical forces increasingly used in an attempt to achieve strategic goals. But with Special Operations missions kept under tight wraps, Americans have little understanding of where their troops are deployed, what exactly they are doing, or what the consequences might be down the road.
The ambitiousness of the creeping decision to bring every inch of the planet under the watchful eyes of U.S. military commanders should take anyone's breath away. It's the sort of thing that once might only have been imaginable in movies where some truly malign and evil force planned to "conquer the world" and dominate Planet Earth for an eternity.
For more than a month, I waited for answers. I called. I left messages. I emailed. I waited some more. I started to get the feeling that Special Operations Command didn't want me to know what its Green Berets and Rangers, Navy SEALs and Delta Force commandos -- the men who operate in the hottest of hotspots and most remote locales around the world -- were doing.
Far too many state and local governments fail chronically and miserably at addressing the mental health concerns of their citizens. The federal government needs to consider the serious consequences of underestimating the mental health crises facing our military and prison system today, and step it up.