The Daily Rundown | June 13, 2012
>>> military suicides are surging. 154 active-duty troops have been killed -- have killed themselves, rather, this year, nearly one a day. up 18% from a year ago. later this morning defense secretary leon panetta and joint chiefs of staff chairman martin dempsey will face questions on those shocking numbers when they head to capitol hill to testify on the 2013 pentagon budget. she is in charge of the democratic senatorial campaign committee . senator murray, thank you very much for being on the program. the first question i have to ask you, do you think the department of defense , specifically secretary panetta, understands how serious this problem is and has dod put in the means to fix it?
>> i think we all should be very concerned about the impact and our accurate diagnosis of our troops that have gone to war multiple times and coming home and showing the stresses of these wars, but we owe them an accurate diagnosis. we owe them a timely diagnosis and treatment, and i want to make sure that all of the way to the top of the pentagon they are focused on getting this right and i will be asking secretary panetta very directly that today.
>> senator, soldiers at mat gan army medical center have charged they are not diagnosed with ptsd when they should have been and that was to save army money. army hospital folks there needed to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and that a ptsd diagnoses could cost $1.5 million over a soldier's lifetime. do you think the arm sent diagnosing soldiers properly in order to save money?
>> we've uncovered serious items. soldiers diagnosed with ptsd and then as they were leaving the military, we were told they were lying and they were costing this country money and that is wrong. we owe them an accurate diagnosis and we need to make sure they're getting the treatment and the army is going back and reviewing all cases to make sure we are accurately diagnosing our troops. we have a long ways to go. this is not just a mat gan problem. it is not just an army problem and a system-wide problem and that's why it is so important that the pentagon from the top down look at all of the military and make sure that we are getting this done correctly.
>> for our veterans watching right now, what are you going to ask of mr. panetta today?
>> i want to make sure secretary panetta understands how serious this issue is and to make sure he understands that we have got to get this right and that he is not just looking at the army, but looking at all areas of the military to make sure we're correctly treating these men and women.
>> john cornyn , your colleague in terms of getting his party elected to the senate has choice words from attorney general eric holder . we'll take a listen.
>> you've violated the public trust , in my view, and my failing and refusing to perform the duties of your office and you leave me no alternative, but to call upon you to resign your office.
>> what's your response to senator cornyn? we all have concerns about the leaks. everyone should, but the u.s. attorney to his credit has appointed two very excellent u.s. attorneys to investigate this matter. i think it's really important that we allow this investigation to go forward and reach its conclusion and then decide what we need to do. that process is extremely important. it should not be involved in politics and we need to focus on the issues that need to be accomplished in this country today and getting our economy back on track.
>> crossroads, the super pac by karl rove is launching a $4.6 million ad buy. the theme is attacking democrats by tying them to the president. are you worried that the president's unpopularity could lose democrats and senate?
>> no, absolutely not. every one of our campaigns across the country they know their state and they know their people and they're focused on getting their economy, woing o gen and getting their constituents on the job and feel people feeling secure on sending their kids to college and getting their mortgages and these are issues we all know. what i am concerned about is the fact that one organization run by a few people can spend that much money and influence politics in this country. that should frighten all of us.
>> last, but not least, in maine , a possible opportunity, mr. king is an independent. will you go on the air in favor of mr. king after he becomes the nominee -- or, sorry, after the democratic primary is over?
>> we're working very closely to the democrats in maine . i am confident that we will have a very strong senator out of maine and we will see what happens in the coming days.
>> senator patty murray , and thank you so much for being on the program.