N.H. State Senator: Mentally Ill Should Be “Shipped To Siberia”

It is one of those reports that seems so ludicrous that you have to read the article a few times in order to be sure it’s true. A Republican State Senator in New Hampshire told a constituent that he believes mentally ill people should be shipped to Siberia.

And when questioned, he defended his statement.

Via Think Progress:

Sharon Omand, a community health care center manager and resident of Stafford, New Hampshire, called her state senator Martin Harty (R) recently to request more funding for community mental health programs and for the homeless. Omand was shocked by Harty’s response. The state senator told her “the world is too populated” and that there are too many “defective people.” When Omand asked what should be done with these “defective people” that are mentally ill, Harty suggested sending them to Siberia, something that he said Hitler was “right” to do:

Barrington Republican Martin Harty told Sharon Omand, a Strafford resident who manages a community mental health program, that “the world is too populated” and there are “too many defective people,” according to an e-mail account of the conversation by Omand. [...]

Harty confirmed to the Monitor that he made the comments to Omand. [...]

Omand says Harty then stated, “I wish we had a Siberia so we could ship them all off to freeze to death and die and clean up the population.” Omand said Harty appeared to be serious. After Omand responded that his idea sounded like what Adolf Hitler did in World War II, Omand said Harty responded, “Hitler did something right, and I agree with (it).”


The statements, of course, are indefensible to most people.  They are utterly disturbing views to be represented by a lawmaker.  But frankly, there’s something more disturbing to the story than even that.

Rep. Harty, a newly elected politician, is over 90 years old, and serving his first term as a representative. His colleagues, who aren’t defending his actual statements, are brushing them off and saying that at his age and with his war experience he has earned the right to say them. But they also paint him as a doddering, confused old man, too.

Harty, a retired peddler and market vendor, served as a quarter master in Gen. George Patton’s Army in North Africa and Italy during World War II. Colleagues say he is hard of hearing and has appeared confused in recent House sessions.

“He’s shown signs of great confusion in committee in terms of House process and content,” said Rep. Marilinda Garcia, a Salem Republican who serves with Harty on the House Legislative Administration Committee.

Rep. Jon Richardson, an Allenstown Republican on the Legislative Administration Committee, said he does not condone Harty’s comments on any level, but he takes into account the fact that Harty is a World War II veteran in his 90s.

“In our committee . . . he is constantly confused, easily swayed, hard of hearing, and prone to offer up unrelated commentary or go off on unrelated tangents,” Richardson said.

Harty, a first-term representative, wrote a letter to Foster’s Daily Democrat last month stating, “So far I really don’t know what I’m doing. . . . A new Rep really needs a coach along with him at first but there is no room for anyone to sit with him, and no way they could holler at him in a committee meeting.

“The few votes I’ve made so far I really didn’t know what I was voting for or against,” his letter said. “Just looked at the people around me and went along with them.”

That New Hampshire is having the course of its state set by a politician who apparently advocates for eugenics is disturbing. But even more disturbing is that decisions are being made by a politician who is confused, easily swayed, and unsure of what is even occurring in his legislative hearings, and that his colleagues seem intent on keeping him in place exactly for those every reasons.

Photo courtesy of wikimedia commons


Juliet D.
judith sanders6 years ago

I'm glad to see that there are Republicans who recognize that the Earth is overpopulated, but they're going about population reduction the wrong way.

Am I the only person who wonders if anti-vaccine disinformation is being spread so that an influenza epidemic will 'take out' millions of people?

jane richmond
jane richmond6 years ago

Ship him to Siberia! No, why punish the people there. Ship him off to an unpopulated part of the moon.

Jami Winn
Jami Winn6 years ago


Karilyn K.
Karilyn K6 years ago

either he is senile or a bigot - either way, get him out!

and Larissa M, this has nothing to do with Ayn Rand (Randian philosophy) where the the rights of each individual are valued.

It is actually more characteristic of the opposite "progressive" or utilitarian philosophy that the rights of the majority out weigh the rights of the few and disadvantaged.

Jay J.
JayJay W6 years ago

you can not blame old age and confusion for a comment like that, or say because he was in ww2 that he has earned the right to say it. Its time he was put out to pasture lets say in maybe siberia? just a thought. lol

Donna M.
Donna M6 years ago

I can feel some sympathy for representative Harty, but certainly not for those who manipulated him into running for office and not for those who voted for him.

Brenda P.
Brenda P7 years ago

He need to be made to retired..

Beverly Lynn
Beverly hamilton7 years ago

In the manner we judge, we are only are passing judgement on ourself. for it is written in the manner that we judge others we judge ourself. so his judgement was only for himself. may the lord forgive him foe he knows not that he do! Beautiful Land of Beautiful Ladies may we stand hand in hand for the Kingdom is at hand andif the Kingdim is ti come, Why is everone going?

John Hunter
John Hunter7 years ago

What do we do with senile old women?
Euthanasia is till a crime in most countries.
Suicide is still frowned on Too!!!!

Judith Howard
Judith Howard7 years ago

He shouldn't be serving. End of story.