About Scott Olsen

I've been thinking. This is not necessarily a good thing.

Those who read the news or who follow what's going on via Twitter will probably have heard about Scott Olsen, the Iraq veteran who was hit in the head with a tear gas canister at Occupy Oakland. He has a skull fracture and brain swelling, and the part of his brain dealing with speech was affected; though he can communicate with his family, he cannot speak and his spelling is "not near what it used to be", according to Keith Shannon, who served with him in Iraq. He is currently under observation to see if he needs surgery.

Right...update over for those who hadn't heard the news. Now, Occupy supporter or not, one would expect people to rally round him and condemn the actions of the Oakland Police Department - which went far and beyond what is legal and ethical.

Stupid idealist that I am, I expected that to happen. Apparently not. For example, there have been right-wingers claiming that he started a site critical of the Marines and/or is anti-Semitic, the implications being that it doesn't matter so much that he was injured because of these things.

There is some indication that what they are saying isn't true, and it disappoints and disgusts me that anyone would lie or twist the truth to save their prized political ideology. That's standard, though...I wanted to talk about something else.

It doesn't matter if Scott Olsen is a proud veteran, or if he hates the Marines, or if he's anti-Semitic. I'm willing to say that most of it was made up by right-wingers, but that's irrelevant. The fact remains: he was exercising his right to protest. He was hit in the head by a tear gas canister. He was on a respirator. He did not deserve that, and no attempt to smear his name will ever change the fact.