(Thanks to the thursday night dinner radicals for filling me in on this...)
(Lets face it this administration and the military-industrial system do not care about the welfare of the soldiers when they are serving or when they come back from fighting.)
The original Washington Post report: Dana Priest and Anne Hull: Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army's Top Medical Facility
Editorial: Facility robs soldiers of their hope, dignity
San Antonio Express-News
They come back bruised and battered, scarred by a war that has left some without arms and legs, others without hope and dignity.
It is not within the power of medical technology to give these men and women their limbs back.
It is, however, the responsibility of the government to preserve their hope and dignity — to treat them with the respect and compassion they deserve.
The government has not done that for all of them.
In a shocking series of recent articles, two Washington Post reporters exposed deplorable conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
With almost 700 patients recuperating from their wounds in Iraq and Afghanistan, the facility has been stretched, but neglect and incompetence have exacerbated the problem.
Here are some of the findings:
Mountains of paperwork prevent veterans from receiving proper care. One veteran, recuperating from debilitating injuries, was told he was being sent back to Iraq. Officials discovered the error before he could be redeployed.
Outpatient rooms are filthy, sometimes teeming with mice and cockroaches. One patient could see into the room above him because mold had rotted the drywall. His room was filled with mouse droppings.
Some patients leave the hospital without the compensation they deserve. One soldier suffered a head injury in Iraq, but doctors said test results from his school days indicate he was slow as a child. If he was so slow, his family countered, why did the Army accept him for duty?
The series has shaken up the Beltway. Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman told the Post that conditions would improve rapidly. And White House press secretary Tony Snow said he spoke with President Bush, who told him, "Find out what the problem is and fix it."
U.S. military personnel suffer enough on the battlefields. They should not have to return to more turmoil at home. The real tragedy is that it took a newspaper series to alert the military — and the government — to something it should have known already.
"We need to bring the Army people in and say, 'What the hell is going on?'" Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, told the House.
But outrage is not enough. It must lead to action.
Democrats Admit It: We're Idiots
by Scott Thill
The Huffington Post
Every morning we get up and hear the same news over and over again, usually centering on one of two things: The Bush administration's could-give-a-fuck economic campaign to destroy civil liberties at home and abroad, and the Democrats utter inability to do anything of substance about it.
And while it has been a terrorizing streak, it has been easy to nail down, mostly because the too-white Republicans, the vice-president who runs the country and the puppet president who runs the liquor cabinet could care less about being accused of sheer hypocrisy. This is, after all, an administration that can't stop crowing about how much they support the maimed troops rotting away at Walter Reed, even as they send more off to die. An administration that warns us daily about the threat of Middle East terrorism while they sell our ports off to Dubai and inflame sectarian wars across the Iraq, Iran and, well, everywhere. An administration who says they'll fire anyone for compromising the national security of the nation, unless of course it's one of their own that does it, in which case they'll do nothing at all, so go fuck yourselves.
But then there are the sad-sack Democrats, who voters across the country in a fit of rage gave the keys to Congress and were rewarded with half-assed nonbinding resolutions that couldn't even make it past the Senate. And that's after they crowed about all they were going to do in 100 hours. After that? You're on your own suckers!
Why? Well for starters, Clinton and Obama have another whiny bitchfest on the docket, an election to plan for, and other non-essential extracurricular activities to attend to, all while those same soldiers rot away inside Walter Reed because of the war their sorry ilk rubber-stamped. Meanwhile, the jackass Joe Lieberman they thought would help Gore win the 2000 election ended up turning heel and finally becoming the worthless Republican we all knew he was. And they say Nader cost us the 2000 election. The fucking gall.
Is it any wonder the Bush administration steamrolled right over these pussies while implementing a PNAC plan for energy domination disguised as a urgent need to disarm a country we already knew had no WMD? Is it any wonder that these same losers now look back in anger at their 2002 War Authorization red carpet, not because it was wrong or stupid or easily damned, but because it might cost them an election in 2008?
And so it is without a hint of irony whatsoever that John Kerry, a grandfather clock on its last pendulum swing, recently complained in the Washington Post that he has "had enough of nonbinding" resolutions, or that the Democrats next chowderheaded chess move is to repeal that 2002 megablunder, five years and thousands of corpses too late. And sure, better late than never, but never is really what you get with the Democrats in this barely born new millennium. All it takes is one scan near the bottom of the Post's piece on the repeal to smack the optimists upside the head with a hyperreality check:
"More important, the legislation may include a waiver that the president or defense secretary could invoke to deploy troops who are not fully combat-ready, Democratic aides said. That way, the commander in chief's hands would not be tied."
Well, I feel better already. I'm sure the voters who turned out en masse to collectively call bullshit on the reign of Cheney and Bush the crashing buffoon want nothing more than their hands to be free to wreak even more havoc on the world, at the nation's expense. And what an expense: According to McClatchy, "The percentage of poor Americans who are living in severe poverty has reached a 32-year high, millions of working Americans are falling closer to the poverty line and the gulf between the nation's 'haves' and 'have-nots' continues to widen."
Think about that: A 32-year high. At the beginning of this administration's reign, we had an economic surplus. Ever since the Democrats enabled this thieving band of corporate criminals, we've moved it into Exxon and Halliburton's pockets and screwed everyone else in the process. Look, the comb-licking Paul Wolfowitz is on his way back to Iraq right now, coming back into the fold like the neocon prodigal son we all knew he was. And just what do you think he's going to do when he gets there? What else? Ask the Government Accountability Project:
"'This is exactly what he shouldn't be doing and what the [World Bank] board was initially afraid that he would do, which is to use the financial resources of the World Bank to take some of the heat off the U.S. Treasury and U.S. policy,' Bea Edwards of the Washington-based watchdog group Government Accountability Project told IPS. In a previous statement, Edwards argued that 'Wolfowitz's apparent determination to use the World Bank to further questionable American military goals in the Middle East is a fundamental distortion of the Bank's mission, a violation of its founding Articles of Agreement, and a reckless waste of donor resources.'"
And so another day passes, and the sea levels rise higher than expected. Exponology goes into overdrive, and the grift goes on. Meanwhile, the Democrats decide to use what precious time we have left on this planet to revisit a monumental fuck-up that happened years ago, in another lifetime practially, when they decided to rely on the national intelligence rather than their own.
I may be relatively young, but I've been a political animal since I could talk. And I have never been as ashamed of my country, my party or my politicians in my entire life. And you should be too, whether you're in on the grift or not. So I'm asking you to do something about it. Go Howard Beale on these mutherfuckers. Prank them, spank them, Sherman tank them, but do not sit idly by anymore while they ruin what wondrous possibility is left in this country as climate change encroaches and liars breed like roaches. This country talks the talk, but will it walk the walk? Is it truly for the people, by the people? Or is it another Rome, whose spectacular fall is mere seconds away, lost in a soup of hyperreal distraction? You decide.