Thursday, March 01, 2007

Military Brass Knew About Walter Reed Problems For Years

Top officials at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, including the Army's surgeon general, have heard complaints about outpatient neglect from family members, veterans groups and members of Congress for more than three years.

A procession of Pentagon and Walter Reed officials expressed surprise last week about the living conditions and bureaucratic nightmares faced by wounded soldiers staying at the D.C. medical facility. But as far back as 2003, the commander of Walter Reed, Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, who is now the Army's top medical officer, was told that soldiers who were wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan were languishing and lost on the grounds, according to interviews.

Dana Priest is still all over this story. This and the rendition story have turned Priest into a cut above the rest in my mind. Yesterday, there were reports that soldiers had been punished by getting an early wake-up time in response to talking to the media.

This story is not going to go away. Soldiers were sleeping in their own urine, and even an inquiry from a congress member and his wife led to nothing being done. It's time for this congress to take action.