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They Knew

Update: NPR is reporting that the commander of Walter Reed, presumably Major General George W. Weightman, has been replaced.  He is late to the show.  The current Army surgeon general, Lieutenant General Kevin C. Kiley, was the commander during most of the current Gulf War.  He was in charge when the deterioration started.

Anne Hull and Dana Priest of the Washington Post are not going to let the brass bury the problem: Top officials knew of neglect at Walter Reed.

They detail that the complaints go back years and were coming from soldiers, their families, people in Congress, and medical professionals. There was nothing surprising about what was going on, beyond the fact that it was allowed to continue.

The military is now attempting to cut off sources from the media, but that isn’t going to work. GIs complain; it’s grafted onto your soul in basic training. They will complain to each other over small things, but this is affecting their lives in a very basic way, so they are going to complain to the media.

The Army Times was reporting on the personnel changes and the order not to talk to the media almost as soon as it was sent out from headquarters. That was an incredibly stupid idea that is going to cost someone. Everyone in the chain of command can forget about future promotions, because there is no way the Senate will confirm them, just ask the guys at the infamous Tailhook convention.

I would say that the reporters know they have a great story, and they are not going to forget about it. I would bet that they have an archive of information that is going to be mined for a while.

The only way this is going to go away is if the Army actually fixes the problem.


1 Jack K. { 03.01.07 at 9:48 am }

…the “Countdown” interview last night with the Army Times reporter was fascinating. You would think that an Army that struggles to meet its recruitment quota would have enough sense to do everything possible to make it plain that they are trying to fix the problem rather than harass, punish, and muzzle wounded soldiers who object to such deplorable living conditions…

2 Bryan { 03.01.07 at 12:20 pm }

The people in charge have nothing but contempt for workers. Rumsfeld felt that people were fungible and could be used wherever needed. They don’t understand the training and skills required. When you view the military as “cannon fodder,” and don’t respect them, this is the response you get.

They have never had to recruit people, so the concept of doing it is foreign to them.

Those who might enlist are looking at the treatment of those who have served, and realize the money and benefits you “might” get are not worth the risk.

They have broken the military again.

3 Karen { 03.01.07 at 5:25 pm }

*Fungible Cannon Fodder* is about the long and short of how this bAdmin and Military big-shots view these folks at the highest level. Also – i can’t tell you how many time I listened to House & Senate debates to increase the funding for the anticipated injured and wounded from these wars and how the GOP consistently underfunded these “known” costs (though slightly increased some funding – but never enough to meet the actual needs) year after year after year! And they want to claim they Support the Troops? Despicable! Each and every one of them!

4 Bryan { 03.01.07 at 7:40 pm }

Congress knew for years, and did nothing. They are just as complicit as the Army.