Smear a doctor for reporting that veterans are being badly treated for PTSD? Unbelievable: Internal documents and e-mails show that Navy officials
February 1, 2010

Smear a doctor for reporting that veterans are being badly treated for PTSD? Unbelievable:


Internal documents and e-mails show that Navy officials unfavorably doctored a psychiatrist’s performance record after he blew the whistle on what he said was dangerously inept management of care for Marines suffering combat stress at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The internal correspondence, obtained by Salon, also includes an order to delete earlier records praising the work of the psychiatrist, Dr. Kernan Manion, who was fired last September after lodging his complaints.

Now top Navy officials are tangled up in the blackball campaign. Soon after Manion was fired, Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., asked the Pentagon about Manion’s concerns about healthcare at Camp Lejeune. In a Dec. 17 letter to Jones, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus panned Manion’s ethics and professionalism, presumably based on information Mabus received about Manion from Camp Lejeune.

But Salon has obtained internal Navy documents and correspondence that suggest officials at Camp Lejeune altered Manion’s favorable personnel records after he went public with his concerns, adding new, derogatory remarks similar to some of the information in Mabus’ letter to Jones.

[...] O'Byrne, head of mental health at the Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital, of "immediate concerns of physical safety" due to mistreated Marines teetering on the edge of violence. “There was -- and continues to be -- no means of discussion of high-intensity/dangerous cases,” he wrote. Later that month, Manion quoted to O’Byrne some Marine superiors who were calling troubled Marines “worthless pieces of shit” if they sought help.

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