Friday, July 28, 2017

The psychological wounds of war and misconduct

Honolulu Civil Beat tells us that:
The mental health of alleged terrorist sympathizer Ikaika Kang, a U.S. army sergeant from Waimanalo, is under scrutiny at a time when the deep psychological wounds of war are getting more attention across the country.
During a preliminary hearing at the federal courthouse in Honolulu on Monday, Kang pleaded not guilty to charges that he attempted to provide material support to the Islamic State.
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Kang is charged with four counts of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group based on events that occurred in Hawaii between June 21 and July 8, they said.
Federal officials say Kang met with undercover FBI agents he thought were with the terror group and provided classified military documents to the agents.
The FBI said in their criminal complaint that Kang wanted to commit a mass shooting after pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group.
From Time.

I bring this to your attention because this would not be the first case involving military personnel where the psychological strains and injuries from the battlefield affect them at home in all kinds of ways.  Some states in the U. S. have established Veterans Courts which are set up to handle injured veterans involved in the criminal justice system for minor crimes.  We are a long way from the days of Craiglockhart.  But I think we are still a long way from addressing the mental health issues for returning combatants.

I do have on my bookshelf Hunter & Else, eds., The Attorney's Guide to Defending Veterans in Criminal Court, VDP (2014) which is an excellent resource.

My sense is that the U.S. is not the only country and military dealing with the problem of mentally injured personnel--thus the posting.

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