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21 February 2007

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coelecanth
The present sociology of the enlisted force of the US Army and Marine Corps is such that there are a lot of people in the ranks who have no home but the Army or Marines.

This is at once sad and threatening.

Sad because it allows these people to be treated like crap by cowardly and cynical pols without a family to react, and vote, accordingly.

Threatening because with no one to give them feedback on what the country is coming to, and nothing in American civilian society to value, or to lose, they will be the fingers of the iron hand of the corporate/Christian Dominion (if it comes to that).

W. Patrick Lang

All

Anyone who saw the Surgeon General of the Army on the Newshour last night got a glimpse of the problem. LTG whathisname was CG of WRAMC before he attained his present godhood. Get the hook! pl

jonst

I got a special kick out of LTG whathisname blaming the rodents and cockroaches on wounded soldiers "leaving food around". And you know, perhaps it is true that that was indeed one of the factors. It just takes a special man to point that out on National TV given all the circumstances involved.

N=1

Thank you for distinguishing WRAMC as a facility for active military as opposed to that of a facility in the VA system cring for veterans. What has been missing in all of the investigations is the role of the Army Nurse Corps. The ANC has a strong and long history of providing top-notch nursing care for its soldier patients. Professional nursing care is the most critical in minimizing morbity and mortality rates (complications and death), and in assuring full recovery and rehabilitation of patients with traumatic brain injuries, burns, fractures and amputations, and mental illness/PTSD - the most common types of injuriesand illnesses treated at WRAMC. Nurse case managers are absolutely essential to manage and coordinate the care and services for these patients. It is being under-reported and under-corrected for the most vulnerable patients having to manage, direct and coordinatre their own care when they by virtue of the nature of their injuries and illness - are least able to do so.
And my other concern- what is "under the rugs" and under the radar of the other military healthcare facilities across the country? If Walter Reed is considered the Crown Jewel, what of the other less-precious and valued facilities and care?

Haralambos

There are more culprits than those people refer to here, and I refer our elected Representatives and Senators. With few glaring exceptions (Murtha being the most prominent), I do not get the sense that they care much about those who serve in the Armed Forces or their families, especially those who have sacrificed "life and limb" or loved ones.

LeaM

I have seen an analysis (can't remember who performed itof vet assistance organizations where DisabledAmericanVets.org came out on top as far as the % of donated $$ reaching the affected, and the type of assistance provided. Does this square with anyone else's perception?

linda

i saw that clip of cody's comments that he'd never been to bldg 18 and was blissfully unaware of the treatment of the soldiers there. what a disgraceful, shameful statement -- two qualities that cody is clearly unfamiliar with. HE should be on the damned detail to strip the mold from the walls and pick up the accumulated mouse shit from the rooms. then he should be stripped of his rank and sent on his merry way to the war profiteering corporate boards he is likely lining up right now.

my god, how many times have i thought i'd reached the limit of outrage when these bastards manage to one-up their previous failure.

ali

No 10 has solved the problem of military hospitals by closing them.
http://dfn.dnmediagroup.com/story.php?F=2500963&C=europe

Lovely chap Tony Blair.

Steve Jones

I thought I was angry. Joe Galloway is livid:

"How can they look at themselves in the mirror every morning? How dare they ever utter the words: Support Our Troops? How dare they pretend to give a damn about those they order to war?

They've hidden the flag-draped coffins of the fallen from the public and the press. They've averted their eyes from the suffering that their orders have visited upon an Army that they've ground down by misuse and over-use and just plain incompetence.

This shabby, sorry episode of political and institutional cruelty to those who deserve the best their nation can provide is the last straw. How can they spin this one to blame the generals or the media or the Democrats? How can you do that, Karl?

If the American people are not sickened and disgusted by this then, by God, we don't deserve to be defended from the wolves of this world."

http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/news/special_packages/galloway/16758255.htm

paraporker

There are only 3 references to the word "contractor" in this page as I type this message. As a truly ashamed ex-contractor bandit, IT, not medical, I can testify this system of providing support for our soldiers is a failure. Parsons employed me for 3 years from 2002-2005, I saw firsthand how they "care" for the troops. Once upon a time I was a soldier, that gave my managers wet dreams of pimping me out to the Army at several times my rate of pay. We all know what's going on, what can we do to stop it? Heck I've joined MoveOn, I've voted against all the republicans I can, I still think Barbarella is hot. Sorry Colonel ;)

Anyway, this shit has to end.

Douglas Watts

Thanks Col. Lang. My brother Tim USMC-retired was here at the house yesterday expressing extreme dismay over this. This goes beyond disillusionment.

Brian Hart

Use the VA Now to Supplement Walter Reed

Hundreds of wounded soldiers and marines are living in rodent infested rooms in dilapidated buildings on the Walter Reed campus. Hundreds more who overflow the facilities are moved to regional hotels and apartments while they wait months on end for care from the understaffed, overworked hospital administration, which often loses records confounding the problems.

In Bedford, Mass. where I live, is a 500 bed Veterans Hospital with approximately 150 current residents leaving ample space. It is on a beautiful campus with a golf course and full physical therapy facilities in an historic New England town. During WWII it held as many as 1500 patients.

Why isn’t the Bedford VA Hospital used to house hundreds of wounded solders AND their families who come to visit or stay? There is room; the community is willing, and the facilities available. If suitable healthcare could not be found in Boston, home of several world renowned hospitals, Hanscom AFB is 2 miles away and air shuttles could easily run between Bedford, MA and Walter Reed.

Surely this would be a better use of the tax payer’s money to treat our wounded, who average 10 months and often longer in rehabilitation, than forcing them into moldy and vermin infested buildings at Walter Reed beyond the public eye.

ps. JL, until a general is brought up on charges or civilian DOD leaders are fired, they aren't going to take these problems seriously. The bureaucracy and its leadership is simply not held to account. This is 2007 not 2001 for God's sake!

Chris Marlowe

America's fighting men and women are victims of a scam; Smedley Butler had it exactly right.

From the politicians' POV, American exceptionalism, patriotism, the Constitution, human rights, etc. are just something used to whip up the American people into a froth, to generate meat for the meat grinder. When some of the meat has not been completely ground, and comes back in the form of injured vets, then they are to be fobbed off with a minimum amount of care. I guess Halliburton has not figured out a way to make money off their injuries yet...

Now, Cheney wants to get the American people set up for the next war; this time, it's with China. (They are a state enemy, so those $2B each B2s, F-22s and F-35s come in handy. Come to think of it, wouldn't that make a great reason to step up production so that the defense contractors can make more money?). You can read about what Cheney said here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17273020/

You can also read about how the US is setting up an African command (AFRICOM), again, there is a big Chinese angle to all this:
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2007/02/understanding_a_3.html

It's coincidental how the US is fighting wars in regions which are rich in hydrocarbon resources, isn't it?

Most in the military have high morals and are decent people who are willing to sacrifice their lives for their comrades. But unless you understand that you are being played for stooges by the US politicians, then this nonsense will continue.

Stop being played as pawns in their game. And don't let your loved ones become their pawns either. It's a criminal waste of human lives and talent.

Green Zone Cafe

This is a travesty, of a piece with the abuse of the troops which has pushed them into repeated lengthy deployments.

The Palace is full of sailors and airmen now, because the Army and USMC are so tapped out that they are reaching into the active and reserve sea and air services to fill staff and functionary positions on the ground in Iraq.

While individuals are doing heroic and effective things in Iraq, the niggardliness of approach and bureaucratic infighting remains, and time is running out. Military and civilian are either biding their time, panicking, or in some cases calmly doing a good job for the USA and Iraq. Tragedy, farce and epic all in one.

This quote from a column by William Pfaff sums up the deficit of honor among today's officers and bureaucrats:

[The Army's] officer corps has proven disinclined to assume responsibility for mistakes and crimes. There and in the lower ranks, the evidence in official dealing with scandalous incidents has been of lies, denial of responsibility, and scapegoated inferiors. No regular field grade officer appears to have been inconvenienced as a consequence of prison and torture scandals.
This is perhaps to be expected in an army serving an elected administration in which no high official has been held publicly responsible, or assumed responsibility, for any of the disastrous consequences of administration foreign policies of the past six years, and the president himself seems ready to defy the electoral judgement of the American public on his Iraq policies.
It is to the honor of the military that the main objections to abusive or illegal prisoner treatment, and appeals to higher courts for legal redress in such matters, have not come from administration civilians but from the professional legal officers of the services themselves. On the other hand there are accounts of assistance by military doctors at torture sessions and in prisoner abuse, undoubtedly demanded of them in the line of duty, but in contravention of their professional oaths.
Reports on the new army’s excellent material and personnel development do not outweigh evidence of a different failure in the military services, a deficit of honor. This seems the result, not only of individual failures, but of a corruption in the military system. As honor has always been held the quality redeeming the “servitude” of military life, and the violence of the military vocation, this is a serious matter.

Woe to the troops and to the Iraqis who paid for all of this.

Chris Marlowe

In today's America, if you are big enough, you can get away with anything.

If you are CEO of a Fortune 500 company, laid off thousands, lost hundreds of millions in shareholder equity, you will still get a golden parachute of 20-100M.

If you were big in the White House, you can join Halliburton as CEO, even though you had no P&L before. And if you didn't help Halliburton (asbestos lawsuits and all that), then you can become "tada" Vice President of the USA!

Then you can send Americans off to war to kill brown people who want to do things their way (as opposed to the American way) and give speeches about yellow people who have the temerity to want some of the world's oil, and have the cheek to test an anti-missile system. Never mind that they tested only once, and that the US is the nation which started this space weapons race. It means that we will have to spend several hundred billion dollars to build a space defense system, money which America doesn't have.

Never mind, we will borrow money from the Chinese (treasury bonds) so that we can pay the defense contractors to defend us from our biggest creditors, the Chinese.

The lesson which modern America is teaching its young is that it doesn't matter how stupid you are, how incompetent and arrogant you are, and how many Americans and foreigners you send to death, as long as you have friends in the right places, that's all that matters.

If you don't, and you get injured, you end up in Building 18.

Anyhow, James Fallows tells Cheney what to do:http://jamesfallows.com/test/2007/02/23/dear-vice-president-cheney-shut-up/

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