Monday, March 05, 2007

Enough with the "Walter Reed" B.S. already

Just received this email from my US Representative:
Dear Fellow Iowan,
As you may know, stories of neglect and substandard care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center were first reported by the Washington Post almost two weeks ago. Like most people, I was appalled to hear of the conditions.

The treatment and living conditions for wounded soldiers at Walter Reed and other VA and military medical facilities around the country is simply unacceptable.

This week, House Democrats will hold a series of hearings to examine conditions at Walter Reed and other facilities and the challenges facing wounded soldiers. Hearings scheduled include:

Oversight: Monday, 10:00 am
Veterans Affairs: Tuesday, 2:00 pm
Armed Services: Thursday, 10:00 am
Veterans Affairs: Thursday, 3:30 pm

I’m also pleased that the president will name a bipartisan commission to assess whether the problems at Walter Reed also exist at other facilities (emphasis mine).

Please be assured that I will work with my colleagues in the House to ensure our troops have the tools, resources, care, and support they need – both on the battlefield and when they return home.


Leonard L. Boswell
Member of Congress
Gee, ain't this sump'in. Congressman Boswell had no idea conditions at Walter Reed Army Hospital...oops...Medical Center were bad until he read Dana Priest's Washington Post stories. I suppose I shouldn't be too hard on Leonard, he is a nice guy after all and being Chair of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry must take up most of his waking hours. As a retired career US Army veteran, I'm sure Congressman Boswell is truly concerned that our boys and girls in uniform aren't getting the best possible medical care. But it's still all bullshit.

How could he not be aware of the 2005 federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission's recomendations? That was a bipartisan commission too. And, fuck, if a congressman or a senator wants to see if conditions at other military medical facilities are as bad as Walter Reed's, all he has to do is make a surprize visit. What the fuck's so hard about that? By setting up a "bipartisan" commission, and with Def Sec Gates firing Walter Reed's head honcho, that signals all the other roach-hotel commanders to tidy up their particular dump before the VIPs and TeeVee cameras show up. Nothing like telegraphing your punches, is there?

Look, these Republican fucks in the White House and Congress want any and all federal facilities, from the Postal Service to the VA, to fail, miserably. They'd like nothing better than to say, "The private sector can do it better," which we know it can't. The only function of the federal government these assholes want to keep intact is the military-industrial complex. And that's because they hold large shares of stock in defense-aerospace-secuity companies, not out of any sense of patriotism.

As for well-intentioned Democrats who want our boys and girls in uniform to have the best possible medical care and all the body armor and ammunition they could ever want at taxpayer expense, how will that hasten the end to our current engagement in Iraq? Shouldn't we be making the option of a military career so unappealing, so distasteful, that no one in his right mind would ever want to enlist in the All Volunteer Force?

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