March 11, 2007
Hearing and reading the latest comments coming from the Democrat party leadership, one would think that our wounded Troops sent to Walter Reed Army Hospital are all receiving grossly substandard and unsanitary medical care. Democrat leaders are wasting no time capitalizing on the Washington Post articles that seem to have initiated this latest scandal.
To listen to the Democrats, they have no share in any responsibility for the poor conditions found at building 18, a former hotel located outside the grounds of the Walter Reed Army Hospital compound.
While I won’t debate that conditions within building 18 are indeed poor, as evidenced by the relief of command of General George W. Weightman and forced resignation of Secretary of the Army Fran Harvey, the Democrats themselves do not have clean hands in this matter.
Recently, Don Imus, a radio host I don’t particularly care for, did a fantastic job at revealing the ineptness of the Democrats portion of blame when he cornered NY Senator Chuck Schumer into an admission that he hadn’t even visited Walter Reed to visit with the wounded Troops since before our invasion of Iraq.
I applaud Imus for showing that the grandstanding currently underway doesn’t help our wounded Troops and that Democrats have done little or nothing either to correct anything there for some time now.
President Bush and the Republican Party can’t say they are clean either. With all the visits by members of the administration, celebrities, Senators and Congresscritters, sports figures and others, surely someone should have noticed the deplorable conditions found in building 18. But, they didn’t.
Nor has NY Senator Hillary Clinton in her November 2003 visit she claimed to have made. Her effort seemed to be pointing out suffering caused by the war, but no mention of any poor conditions.
Rep. John Murtha (D. Pa), one of the more vocal critics of President Bush and the War on Terror in Iraq released the following in a statement on his website: “The recent stories detailing the dilapidated conditions at Building 18 at Walter Reed are disturbing. It is a disservice to those who have bravely sacrificed and it is a dishonor to their brave service to expose them to these conditions. Those who are responsible must be held accountable and immediate rectification must be aggressively pursued.” That is immediately followed by, “I routinely visit our military hospitals, as does Congressman Bill Young and his wife, Beverly, and I am always inspired by those who have sacrificed so much. Over the past few months, I have personally visited with our wounded at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Bethesda Naval Medical Center, Brooke Army Medical Center and Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, Balboa Naval Medical Center in San Diego and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. From my many visits to Walter Reed in particular, I can tell you that the medical staff there is second to none. During these visits I always make sure that I ask the question, “Is there anything you need?”
Well, Mr. Murtha, where is your responsibility? You admit to “several personal visits,” but haven’t ever uttered a word about the “squalor,” yet you call it “disturbing.” Do you not also share in the “accountability?”
During the 2004 campaign, failed candidate John F. Kerry (who did serve in Viet Nam, I’ve heard), while using everything he could to bash Bush and paint his administration as extremely poor, also visited Walter Reed for a “personal” visit with the wounded. No mention of such conditions was issued by his campaign. Surely we are not expected to believe that building 18 degraded that fast, are we?
Hasn’t Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Harry Reid, Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator John McCain and others currently complaining so loud about the “deplorable conditions” visited the Troops either? I would say they have. None of them ever had anything to say until after the news story.
Yet, today they have the temerity to call for Congressional investigations, hearings and aggrandizing to absolve themselves of accountability and responsibility, while blaming the other guys.
Congress has it share of blame, both party’s. This did not happen overnight or only since George W. Bush was elected.
Blaming it on “outsourcing” and “privatization,” as Rep. Henry Waxman (D. Ca) is trying to do, doesn’t solve anything. As was pointed out in a recent Army Times article, buried in the middle of the article, “…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.” You can’t blame only Bush when it started before he was even in office.
As anyone who has used the Military Medical System or the Veterans Healthcare system knows, there are problems there. It is a socialized medical system, a massive bureaucracy with tons of red tape. While I haven’t received any substandard care in my use of the VA Medical system, I have seen others very upset. We deserve better.
What I propose for Congress, especially Democrats, since they are in power currently, STOP WASTING OUR TAX DOLLARS ON USELESS HEARINGS! GET OFF YOUR LAZY ASSES AND DO THE JOB THE COUNTRY ELECTED YOU TO DO! Use the money saved on useless hearings to fully fund the repairs needed at Walter Reed, to fund any additional care needed for our brave Troops and visit the entire Hospital compound, not just the lobby for your photo ops. Republicans, this goes for you too!
But, most of all, STOP THE DAMNED FINGER-POINTING AND EXPLOITING THE TROOPS to gain votes. Democrats, you are as much to blame as Republicans.
FIX THE DAMNED PROBLEM!!!
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Posted by Lew Waters at 3:26 PM