Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Walter Reed Disgrace

Any government that asks its young men and women in the military to put themselves into harm's way owes them, at the very least, decent dignified medical care in the event they are injured in the line of duty.

You'd think that the hawks of the George W. Bush administration would know this, with all their calls to "support the troops," etc. - and you'd also think that with defense spending through the roof that the administration would make sure that military medicine would get at least its fair share.

But you'd think wrong. As with all too many other domestic and foreign affairs, it turns out that Bush & the Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight is mismanaging this one as well. As reported recently in the Washington Post, turns out that there's been a massive failure to provide money and resources to provide for the care of injured soldiers, leading to squalid conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and elsewhere.

As usual, the Bush administration has tried to brush it off, but its performance over the years has been so abysmal that its denials and statements - on any matter - are simply no longer entitled to any presumption of credibility. The Walter Reed scandal is, as Paul Krugman of the NY Times suggests, (yet) another Hurricane Katrina: "the moment when the administration's misgovernment became obvious to everyone.... The Bush administration has treated veterans' medical care the same way it treats everything else: nickel-and-diming the needy, protecting the incompetent and privatizing everything it can."

Oh, and did I say, as reported by Krugman and chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Henry Waxman, that the private company that received a large contract to run Walter Reed under suspicious circumstances (the Army reversed the results of an audit concluding that government employees could do the job more cheaply) is run by two former Halliburton executives (Cheney's old firm)? Gee, what a surprise....

This apple is rotten to the core.

By: Michael Anthony Lawrence