The Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, will hold a news conference this afternoon detailing a long running scheme involving retired police and firefighters fraudulently receiving Social Security Disability Benefits for mental health problems, many based on 9/11.
The Times reports that the operation actually dates from 1988 and involves over a hundred officers and firefighters who were coached on how to look and act when they appeared before doctors.
They were told to "to appear disheveled and disoriented." If that, coupled with a public safety career is evidence of a crazy diagnosis, then I may qualify.
Ominously, one of the ringleaders is reputed to be an octogenarian pension consultant named Thomas Hale. This episode is reminiscent of the Long Island Railroad pension scandal where seemingly every retiring worker received a phony disability pension. In July of this year 600 of those folks had their benefits rescinded.
Many of the accused were undone by social media where their Facebook pages showed a robust lifestyle belying their crazy person persona. According to Vance, being crazy is a fulltime job.
Does "working" 9/11 cheapen the deaths of the "343" or those legitimately suffering as a result of it?
It would seem so but I'll talk to my shrink about it and get back to you.