Wade Sanders: Another One Bites the Dust (with emphasis added):
In the United States military there is a tradition called the "hail and farewell" party. It is a joyous occasion where folks gather to bid adieu to a departing commander and welcome his relief. I suspect that in the case of Major General George Weightman, being summarily fired for the conditions at Walter Reed Army Hospital was not what he had in mind as a going-away present. I also suspect that if one were to do an exhaustive investigation into the root causes that led to the abysmal conditions at Walter Reed, and perhaps other military hospitals and Veterans Administration facilities, you would find that in nearly all the cases, the respective administrators or commanding officers did as well as anyone could, given the amount of funds they were provided to do the job.There's more. And it's good.
If that is the case with General Weightman, then they fired the wrong person. The correct person, or persons, that should have been held up for public pillorying, would be the president of the United States who has consistent[ly] failed to demand full funding for military and veterans' facilities and healthcare, and every member of Congress who did not fill that vacuum of leadership and support full funding with appropriate legislation and appropriations. As to Congress, the Disabled Veterans of America, hardly the lapdog of any political party, has consistently reported that the vast majority of Republican members of Congress, and George Bush, have not supported full funding for veterans and military healthcare, while the Democrats have. And this from a President who likes to use uniformed troops to bolster his legitimacy and a Republican party that likes to question the patriotism of its critics.
I have never had the fortune, or misfortune, to visit Walter Reed, so I cannot personally attest to the conditions reported there. What I can say is that knowing the attitude of the Bush appointee directly responsible for overseeing and truly accountable for all such military healthcare facilities, David Chu, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, I am not surprised. It may be a natural consequence of his demonstrated callousness and disregard for the welfare of those who serve, and have served, our country. That was never so clearly demonstrated as when he chided disabled veterans for expecting to receive full compensation for their wounds and disabilities. Secretary Chu chided them for believing that this compensation was an "entitlement." He is also the gentleman who seeks to question the legitimacy of combat related post traumatic stress. I suppose not having served in combat, or being wounded, frames Mr. Chu's point of reference.
As Chris Floyd mentioned the other day, it's remarkable to see a militarist faction that doesn't even take care of its soldiers.
But then we've seen a lot of remarkable things in the past six years, haven't we?