US Army Secretary Francis Harvey resigns, wounded troops’ hospital scandal


This video from the USA is called Jack Cafferty on the Walter Reed Scandal.

By Bill Van Auken:

Army Secretary resigns, soldiers gagged

Washington tries to quash scandal over neglect of wounded troops

3 March 2007

In an increasingly desperate bid to quell a raging scandal over the gross neglect of severely wounded troops, US Secretary of the Army Francis Harvey resigned Friday, just one day after he himself had fired the commanding officer at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

President Bush, meanwhile, announced that he is forming a bipartisan commission to investigate medical care provided at Walter Reed as well as to wounded soldiers and military veterans in general.

The resignation and firing came a week and a half after the Washington Post published a series of articles detailing the appalling conditions in Walter Reed’s outpatient facilities and the bureaucratic abuse that confronts the war-wounded, many of them recovering from amputations, severe head wounds or psychological disorders resulting from the carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Francis Harvey gone, Rumsfeld gone, Wolfowitz kicked upstairs to the World Bank, John Bolton gone … forward to impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

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2 thoughts on “US Army Secretary Francis Harvey resigns, wounded troops’ hospital scandal

  1. Bush-Cheney KATRINA-IZED our wounded troops…
    Posted by: “G. Myrick” garymyrick@sbcglobal.net garymyrick
    Sat Mar 3, 2007 1:41 am (PST)
    HALLIBURTON. DICK CHENEY. AGAIN. Can we now see what Cheney has been DOING TO US, having made himself Vice-President, while allowing “Junior” Bush to, as John Dean said, “wake up every morning, & think he is President…”?

    Now it turns out the Bush administration has been KATRINA-IZING our wounded soldiers.

    ———————————————————-

    Waxman to Force Walter Reed Ex-Chief to Talk About Problems, Contract

    March 02, 2007

    ABC News.com

    Justin Rood and Anna Schecter Report:

    A powerful Democratic congressman is challenging the Pentagon, which is attempting to BLOCK the former chief of Walter Reed Army Medical Center from testifying before Congress next week.

    House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Henry Waxman, D-Calif., wants to ask Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman about a contract to manage the medical center AWARDED TO A COMPANY THAT HAD DOCUMENTED TROUBLES FULFILLING A GOVERNMENT CONTRACT TO DELIVER ICE TO VICTIMS OF HURRICANE KATRINA. The Pentagon has refused to allow Weightman to testify. Waxman’s staff has confirmed the congressman has issued his first SUBPOENA as a committee chairman this session to legally compel Weightman’s testimony.

    According to a letter from Waxman to Weightman posted today on the committee’s Web site, the chairman believes the Walter Reed contract may have pushed dozens of health care workers to LEAVE jobs at the troubled medical center, which he says in turn THREATENED THE QUALITY OF CARE for hundreds of military personnel receiving treatment there.

    Weightman had been slated to testify before Congress on Monday. The Army has tried to WITHDRAW him from the hearing. Waxman’s office confirmed the congressman plans to force the officer to appear by issuing a subpoena for his testimony.

    The Army did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter. A call to Weightman’s home went unanswered.

    In the letter, Waxman charged that the Army used an UNUSUAL PROCESS to award a five-year, $120 million contract to manage the center to a company owned by a former executive of HALLIBURTON, the scandal-prone government contractor once operated by Vice President DICK CHENEY.

    In 2004, the Army determined that Walter Reed’s FEDERAL employees could operate the medical center MORE EFFICIENTLY than IAP Worldwide Services, which is operated by the former HALLIBURTON executive, Al Neffgen, Waxman wrote. After IAP protested, the Army “UNILATERALLY INCREASED the employees’ estimated costs by $7 million, making IAP APPEAR CHEAPER, Waxman said. Rules barred Walter Reed employees from appealing the decision, Waxman wrote, and in January 2006 the Army gave the contract to IAP.

    According to an internal memo written by a senior Walter Reed administrator and obtained by Waxman, the decision to outsource to IAP led the center’s SKILLED personnel to LEAVE Walter Reed “IN DROVES,” fearing they would be laid off when the contractor took over. In the last year, Waxman found, over 250 of 300 government employees left the center. The lack of staffing put patient care “at risk of MISSION FAILURE,” warned an internal Army memo obtained by the congressman.

    Some of the problems recently revealed at Walter Reed “may be attributable to a LACK OF SKILLED GOVERNMENT TECHNICIANS ON STAFF,” Waxman wrote in the letter.

    A spokeswoman for IAP did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A message left at the home number belonging to Al Neffgen was not immediately returned.

    Read this with LINKS at http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/03/waxman_to_force.html

  2. Committee subpoenas former Walter Reed chief

    by Kelly Kennedy
    The Army Times
    Mar 3, 2007

    The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has subpoenaed Maj.
    Gen. George Weightman, who was fired as head of Walter Reed Army Medical
    Center, after Army officials REFUSED to allow him to testify before the
    committee Monday.

    Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and subcommittee Chairman John Tierney
    asked Weightman to testify about an internal memo that showed
    PRIVATIZATION of services at Walter Reed could put “patient care
    services? at risk of mission failure.”

    But Army officials REFUSED to allow Weightman to appear before the
    committee after he was relieved of command.

    “The Army was unable to provide a satisfactory explanation for the
    decision to prevent General Weightman from testifying,” committee
    members said in a statement today.

    The committee wants to learn more about a letter written in September by
    Garrison Commander Peter Garibaldi to Weightman.

    The memorandum “describes how the Army’s decision to PRIVATIZE support
    services at Walter Reed Army Medical Center was CAUSING an exodus of
    ‘highly skilled and experienced personnel,'” the committee’s letter
    states. “According to multiple sources, the decision to privatize
    support services at Walter Reed led to a precipitous drop in support
    personnel at Walter Reed.”

    The letter said Walter Reed also awarded a five-year, $120-million
    contract to IAP Worldwide Services, which is run by Al Neffgen, a former
    senior HALLIBURTON official.

    [NOTE FROM ME: I have no doubt this “former senior Halliburton
    official” is a close friend and good pal of Dick Cheney.]
    .

    They also found that more than 300 federal employees providing
    facilities management services at Walter Reed had DROPPED to fewer
    than 60 by Feb. 3, 2007, the day before IAP took over facilities
    management. IAP replaced the remaining 60 employees with only 50 private
    workers.

    “The conditions that have been described at Walter Reed are
    disgraceful,” the letter states. “Part of our mission on the Oversight
    Committee is to investigate what led to the breakdown in services.* It
    would be reprehensible if the deplorable conditions were caused or
    aggravated by an ideological commitment to PRIVATIZE government
    services regardless of the costs to taxpayers and the consequences for
    wounded soldiers.”*

    The letter said the Defense Department “systemically” tried to replace
    federal workers at Walter Reed with private companies for facilities
    management, patient care and guard duty — a process that began in 2000.

    “But the push to PRIVATIZE support services there accelerated under
    President Bush’s ‘competitive sourcing’ initiative, which was launched
    in 2002,” the letter states.

    During the year between awarding the contract to IAP and when the
    company started, “skilled government workers apparently began leaving
    Walter Reed in droves,” the letter states. “The memorandum also
    indicates that officials at the highest levels of Walter Reed and the
    U.S. Army Medical Command were informed about the dangers of
    privatization, but appeared to do little to prevent them.”

    The memo signed by Garibaldi requests more federal employees because the
    hospital mission had grown “significantly” during the wars in Iraq and
    Afghanistan. It states that medical command did not concur with their
    request for more people.

    “Without favorable consideration of these requests,” Garibaldi wrote,
    “[Walter Reed Army Medical Center] Base Operations and patient care
    services are at risk of mission failure.”

    Related reading

    Original letter asking Weightman to testify.
    http://www.militarytimes.com/static/projects/pages/070302weightman.pdf

    Read this at: http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/03/Weightmansubpoena/

    Read complete coverage of the Walter Reed controversy.
    http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/03/online_reedarchive_070302/

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