Fort Carson Psychologist Told Soldier of Pressure to Not Diagnose PTSD

April 9 2009, 9:44 AM

"Sgt. X," so dubbed to protect his identity, had an appointment with his psychologist, Douglas McNinch, last year and asked about treatment for his post-traumatic stress disorder. But McNinch told Sgt. X that he was being pressured to not diagnose PTSD, one of the signature hidden wounds of the war in Iraq. That's according to a series of stories running this week at Salon by yours truly and Mark Benjamin. Sgt. X had tucked a recording device into his pocket, capturing what McNinch told him about PTSD, a condition that obligates the military to provide expensive, intensive long-term care, including the possibility of lifetime disability payments. In a second story today at Salon, we report that the Senate Armed Services Committee declined to investigate its implications of the recording and that the Army conducted its own internal investigation, clearing itself of any wrongdoing. Benjamin will appear on "Hardball with Chris Matthews" tonight to talk about the series, and I've been invited to appear soon on Colorado Public Radio. Meanwhile, Fort Carson might not get another 3,500-soldier brigade by 2013, as expected, writes The Denver Post, noting Pentagon budget cutting.