Military Contingency Plan to Draft Medical Workers

Finally, a little publicized secret document from the Selective Service calling for a contingency plan to draft medical personnel is getting attention - in the New York Times, no less:

The Selective Service has been updating its contingency plans for a draft of doctors, nurses and other health care workers in case of a national emergency that overwhelms the military's medical corps.

In a confidential report this summer, a contractor hired by the agency described how such a draft might work, how to secure compliance and how to mold public opinion and communicate with health care professionals, whose lives could be disrupted.

The Selective Service acknowledged the plan to the Times:

Richard S. Flahavan, a spokesman for the Selective Service System "We have been routinely updating the entire plan for a health care draft. The plan is on the shelf and will remain there unless Congress and the president decide that it's needed and direct us to carry it out."

The Selective Service System plans on delivering about 36,000 health care specialists to the Defense Department if and when a special skills draft were activated," Mr. Flahavan said.

The Selective Service went so far as to conduct focus groups on the draft issue:

The Selective Service and Widmeyer held focus groups this summer to sample public opinion toward registration and a possible draft including medical personnel. People from a variety of professions, including doctors and nurses, were questioned.

The report summarized the findings this way:

  • There was substantial resistance to the notion of a call-up of civilian professionals that would send draftees to foreign soil."
  • draft of civilian professionals was seen as unworkable because "training would be inadequate to transform groups of people who had never worked together into cohesive units."
  • People are apprehensive about the length of service that might be required. The "occupation of Iraq has proved more costly, in terms of dollars and lives, than most Americans expected." Members of the National Guard are "serving tours of duty far longer than many ever anticipated."
  • People believe the government has the ability to "find whomever it needs" in a crisis, by using a "master database" if necessary.

You know the old saying, "Give them an inch and they'll take a mile." How long after a "special skills draft" do you think it will take for the Administration to expand it to a military draft?

We first wrote about the plan back in May. Here's an actual copy the plan (pdf).

< ACLU Rejects $1 Million Plus in Grant Money | Bush May Be Suppressing 9/11 Information >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort: