Well, it's in the New York Times: "a series of articles" – that's right, a whole series – "about veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who have committed killings, or been charged with them, after coming home." It's an epidemic, folks. As the Times put it:
"Town by town across the country, headlines have been telling similar stories. Lakewood, Wash.: 'Family Blames Iraq After Son Kills Wife.' Pierre, S.D.: 'Soldier Charged With Murder Testifies About Postwar Stress.' Colorado Springs: 'Iraq War Vets Suspected in Two Slayings, Crime Ring.'"
Obviously, as America's "newspaper of record," the Times would resent any suggestion that it's anti-military. I'm sure if you were one of these crazed military stalker whackjobs following the reporters home you'd find their cars sporting the patriotic bumper sticker "We Support Our Troops, Even After They've Been Convicted." As usual, the Times stories are written in the fey, more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger tone that's a shoo-in come Pulitzer time:
"Individually, these are stories of local crimes, gut-wrenching postscripts to the war for the military men, their victims and their communities. Taken together, they paint the patchwork picture of a quiet phenomenon, tracing a cross-country trail of death and heartbreak."
"Patchwork picture," "quiet phenomenon."… Yes, yes, but exactly how quiet is the phenomenon? How patchy is the picture? The New York Times found 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan either "committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one." The "committed a killing" formulation includes car accidents.
Thus, with declining deaths in the war zones, the media narrative evolves. Old story: "America's soldiers are being cut down by violent irrational insurgents we can never hope to understand." New story: "Americans are being cut down by violent irrational soldiers we can never hope to understand." In the quagmire of these veterans' minds, every leafy Connecticut subdivision is Fallujah and every Dunkin' Donuts clerk an Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
It was the work of minutes for the Powerline Web site's John Hinderaker to discover that the "quiet phenomenon" is entirely unphenomenal: It didn't seem to occur to the Times to check whether the murder rate among recent veterans is higher than that of the general population of young men. It's not.
Au contraire, the columnist Ralph Peters calculated that Iraq and Afghanistan vets are about one-fifth as likely to murder you as the average 18-to-34-year-old American male. Better yet, the blogger Iowahawk meticulously drew his own "patchwork picture" of another "quiet phenomenon": the Denver newspaper columnist arrested for stalking, the Cincinnati TV reporter facing child-molestation charges, the Philadelphia anchorwoman who went on a violent drunken rampage. As Iowahawk's one-man investigative unit wondered:
"Unrelated incidents, or mounting evidence that America's newsrooms have become a breeding ground for murderous, drunk, gun-wielding child molesters?"
Iowahawk's parody is here. It's much more amusing than anything the New York Times sees fit to print.
Update: Bob Owens at Pajamas Media has more.