USA: Walter Reed squalid veterans’ hospital, and other scandals

Rumsfeld and US war wounded, cartoon by Tom TolesFrom Art Levine’s blog in the USA:

The Army Surgeon General, Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley, may be the next person fired or forced to resign in the wake of the Walter Reed outpatient care scandal that has already cost the jobs of the Secretary of the Army, Francis Harvey, and Walter Reed’s commander, Maj. Gen. George Weightman.

It was Harvey’s appointment of Kiley, who essentially brushed off for years concerns about the squalor and degrading care facing Walter Reed’s outpatients, to replace the fired Weightman that help[ed] trigger Harvey’s forced resignation on Friday…

But the Walter Reed scandal isn’t the first time that Kiley has covered up abuses.

He was a point person for the Army’s coverup of the torture and degrading treatment of detainees by health professionals, including psychologists, at Guantanamo and other unaccountable military detention sites.

He commissioned whitewashed “studies” of the problem that concluded that there wasn’t any abuse abetted by health professionals — even though his investigators never talked to any detainees or their attorneys.

The US Right and the Walter Reed scandal: here.

US trade union federation AFL-CIO: privatization contributed to Walter Reed scandal.

Bad conditions in other US veterans’ hospitals: here.

Walter Reed Army Medical Center to Close After 102 Years: here.

Los Angeles hospitals and the homeless: here.

Ideas for Iraq war memorial: here.

18 thoughts on “USA: Walter Reed squalid veterans’ hospital, and other scandals

  1. *my solution*
    Posted by: “hapi22” robinsegg
    Mon Mar 5, 2007 6:40 pm (PST)
    Okay, anyone with any sense can see what is about to happen with regard
    to the scandals being unearthed at Walter Reed about the soldiers
    retuning with severe mental and physical wounds …

    The Bush gang is going to throw heaps of money at the problem and then
    start moaning about having to cut social programs in order to come up
    with the money for the veterans … in other words, they will pit one
    group of Americans against another — ALL of which groups need financial
    help from the government.

    So, here’s the solution: They should ROLL BACK ALL of the tax cuts and
    tax breaks Bush gave to the rich. That should MORE than pay for lifetime
    care for the men and women who will need lifetime help.

    And, if there is not enough room in the veterans hospitals, put the
    wounded men and women up in the extra rooms in the castles the rich have
    been erecting near me (and, probably, near you). Those people have
    built homes that would make Marie Antoinette green with envy. They built
    those monstrosities with tax dollars that you and I and our
    grandchildren will be making up the difference for.

    So, put those spare bedrooms in those castles to good use … and let
    the veterans — especially the growing numbers of HOMELESS VETERANS —
    live in those rooms.


  2. *the blame is on Rumsfeld*
    Posted by: “hapi22” robinsegg
    Wed Mar 7, 2007 11:49 am (PST)
    I don’t know how many times I have to write and/or say this before
    someone starts putting the blame for the mess at Walter Reed right where
    it belongs — on the desk and in the lap of DONALD RUMSFELD.

    Last October, Joyce Rumsfeld, the wife of then-Defense Secretary
    Donald H. Rumsfeld, was taken to Walter Reed by a friend concerned
    about outpatient treatment. She attended a weekly meeting, called
    Girls Time Out, at which wives, girlfriends and mothers of soldiers
    exchange stories and offer support.

    According to three people who attended the gathering, [Mrs.]
    Rumsfeld listened quietly. Some of the women did not know who she
    was. At the end of the meeting, [Mrs.] Rumsfeld asked one of the
    staff members whether she thought that the soldiers her husband was
    meeting on his visits had been handpicked to paint a rosy picture of
    their time there. The answer was yes.

    [NOTE FROM ME: And yet, NOTHING was done even then. Did
    Rumsfeld’s wife not tell her husband? … or, more likely, she
    did but Don didn’t give a damn.]

    When Walter Reed officials found out that Rumsfeld had visited, they
    told the friend who brought her — a woman who had volunteered there
    many times — that she was no longer welcome on the grounds.

    And I want you all to know that Donald Rumsfeld is STILL enjoying an
    office at the Pentagon with a staff of seven — even though he was fired.

    The money being spent on keeping Rumsfeld in the style to which he has
    been accustomed would be better spent on the wounded soldiers at the
    various military hospitals and VA hospitals, all of which have had their
    budgets slashed by the Bush gang.

    Maybe if Bush’s lovely wife and Cheney’s lovely wife spent more time
    visiting the wounded soldiers — as Mary Todd Lincoln regularly did,
    during the Civil War — this mess might have been corrected sooner.

    But those lovely wives do not like to trouble themselves with images of
    the damage their husbands have done to human beings.


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