Thursday, March 01, 2007

Top Brass Knew and Did Nothing for the Troops

posted by Bill Arnett @ 9:49 AM Permalink

Yesterday I posted my take on the mistreatment and abuse, yes abuse, of our wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital. By now most bloggers at least and some MSM press, such as the WaPo, know several things that are disheartening at best, criminally negligent at worst, and the exposing of military leadership that not only allowed our wounded heroes to languish in squalor in Building 18, but when the troops, in desperation, turned to the press to attempt prodding action from their superiors they found themselves in trouble instead.

Now the wounded will be required to arise at 6 a.m. and stand inspection at 7 a.m., something even healthy soldiers are not usually required to do after basic training – unless it is for purposes of punishment. Their platoon leaders have been reassigned, the army is bring in new staff, and the troops have been ordered not to speak to the press.

Today, in this article from the WaPo written by Anne Hull and Dana Priest we learn that Building 18 has been the subject of complaints for years, that top army brass were advised many times of the deplorable conditions in Building 18, that they did absolutely nothing but try to keep the situation covered-up, and that at least one U.S. Representative and his wife knew of this, also complained about it to top brass, and when nothing was done the congressman and his spouse quit visiting the wounded in Building 18 in favor of visiting wounded housed in better conditions.

How sick, twisted, and perverted can army brass and congressmen be to not bring this to the attention of the full congress, both bodies, and press for solutions? How sick is it that the squalid conditions would so disgust a congressman and his wife that after their meager, ineffectual, and un-pursued complaints failed to effectuate a change, they would simply change which facility in which they visit the wounded so that their delicate sensibilities would not be offended? How sick have we become as a society when this is not only known, but allowed to exist? How sick? How twisted? How perverse?

I don't want this post to go on forever, so now it is time to name names. From the article:
Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, who is now the Army's top medical officer, was told.…Retired Maj. Gen. Kenneth L. Farmer Jr., who commanded Walter Reed for two years until last August, said that he was aware of outpatient problems…he turned over command to Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman…In 2004, Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.) and his wife stopped visiting the wounded at Walter Reed out of frustrationBeverly Young said she complained to Kiley several times.…Chief Warrant Officer Jayson Kendrick, an outpatient, attended a sensing session, the Army's version of a town hall meeting where concerns are raised in front of the chain of command.…An inspector general attending the meeting "chuckled and said, 'What do you want, pool tables and Ping-Pong tables in there?' " Kendrick recalled… Joyce Rumsfeld, the wife of then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, was taken to Walter Reed by a friend concerned about outpatient treatment.… 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.…

So there it is in all its ugliness and standing as proof that even top army brass, as well as a Republican congressman, and the former Secretary of Defense do not and have not "support[ed] the troops" for years now. Please read the full article, it is so rich in detail and really highlights the depth of the immorality displayed here.

If this does not abolish forever the myth that Republicans care about the troops then our society has degenerated to the point where as a people we may never again regain what used to be the best traits of Americans.

Mothers, don't let your children grow up to be military men and women, for they will be used, abused, pushed past the breaking point and then, if wounded, provided substandard care in conditions that would embarrass a third-world banana republic.

They knew. They knew and did nothing. They knew and betrayed and abused the troops anyway. They knew and cannot deny it. They knew.

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At 12:00 AM, Anonymous the son of a mother said...

I appreciate your blog trying to bring to light the treatment of some Soldiers by their commanders. Yes, it is a wide spread problem that should be addressed and taken care. Many of the issues facing the Soldiers in today's military do need to be changed. But To say what you said "Mothers, don't let your children grow up to be military men and women......" does nothing to address the issue. Every group, entity, organization, school, and social institution has problems. No institution is perfect. Whether Republican Democrat or monkey, evil people will exist and abuse those they are supervising. These misfits will disgrace and plunder but they do not represent the majority or the whole.

I am the son of a mother who grew up to be a "military man" and am in Iraq while politicians and "expert" bloggers tell the whole would how they would do things better. Don't we all love the perfect Monday morning quarterbacks? Anyway, as a military man I have obtained a Bachelor's Degree from a public university, I have $36,000 to finish a Masters Degree. I have traveled the world. I have been privileged to carry out every boy’s dream of playing "Soldier" as a child. I am in the best shape of my life. I can say that I participated in a world historical event. In 50 years when all the stories come out of our greatness and how many people we helped, it will be looked upon as a great achievement in human history. And then I will still be proud that I was a "military man" protected my country, and would be honored if my grandchildren served too. Instead of trying to dissolving the military as you desire, you should thank one or two veterans who gave you the freedoms you now enjoy. Be thankful we have protected the United States from China invading your home state; the Soviets were prevented from spreading communism and appalling gruesome torturous gulags to the Midwest

Corrupt leaders will come and go. Unfortunate events will plague us. 45,000 people will continue to die every year on America’s highways. Millions will die from disease. But the democracy protected and enforced by American people will not die. The military will protect you from all threats foreign and domestic. Ask any man in uniform, when the bullets are flying, if a truck is headed right for you, they will step out to protect you and give their life in order that you might live. Be thankful for that courage. We need more mothers to teach their children this kind of heart, desire, courage, strength and leadership.

I am a proud military man and will continue to drive on even if some leaders are treating me wrong at times. What goes around comes around. Those leaders treating those Soldiers like crap should be punished severely. It is not right to treat Soldiers who have sacrificed their time, physical body and almost their life the way they are being treated. It has to stop. Please voice your concern. Publicize it from the mountain top. But you do not treat the Soldiers who have sacrificed as though they have served in vain.


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