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Truthdiggers of the Week: Dana Priest and Anne Hull

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Posted on Mar 2, 2007
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Dana Priest (left) and Anne Hull

Truthdig tips its hat this week to Dana Priest and Anne Hull, the Washington Post reporters who revealed the shameful treatment of wounded military veterans and shoddy conditions at Washington’s Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  Priest and Hull spent months working on the story, talking with vets and employees without making their presence known to hospital officials until their two-part exposé blew the scandal wide open.

In their exemplary exercise in investigative reporting, the Post reporters discovered that nearly 700 soldiers and Marines who had been wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan were facing unexpected new crises at “the other Walter Reed” as they struggled to piece their lives back together.


On the worst days, soldiers say they feel like they are living a chapter of “Catch-22.” The wounded manage other wounded. Soldiers dealing with psychological disorders of their own have been put in charge of others at risk of suicide.
Disengaged clerks, unqualified platoon sergeants and overworked case managers fumble with simple needs: feeding soldiers’ families who are close to poverty, replacing a uniform ripped off by medics in the desert sand or helping a brain-damaged soldier remember his next appointment.

Tales of missing service records, overflow issues and unclean living quarters don’t paint a very healthy picture of Walter Reed, and the institutional illness exposed by the Post has had effects in the medical center’s upper ranks.  On Thursday, Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman was relieved of his post as head of the hospital, and on Friday the man who fired him, Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey, left his own job in a “surprise move.”


Hull and Priest’s exceptional and daring account provided a much-needed public voice for wounded vets and sent a message to the administration that, instead of committing more troops and dollars to the war overseas, we might do well to focus on caring for fallen warriors at home. 

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RobertBennett's avatar

By RobertBennett, May 2, 2007 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

The Walter Reed Military Hospital Tragedy


The Washington Post discovered some Iraq War Veterans were living in bad conditions at the Walter Reed Military Hospital,

....and thus began another Progressive Rush to Slaughter.

It was very successful.  The Washington Post managed to destroy the careers of some good people, and they are very pleased with themselves.  You see, nobody loves getting Press more than the Press.

But unfortunately for The Post,  former Secretary of the Army, Dr. Francis J. Harvey, (in a abrupt surprise), resigned, and the story died.

The Army bureaucracy is beyond enormous, and Dr. Harvey was in no way responsible for the problems at Walter Reed.  In fact, he had discovered similar problems in other areas of the Army and had corrected them.

He resigned only to save the careers of others.  He resigned to stop the Slaughter, and, as is his habit,

...he succeeded.

As a Progressive American, I would like to recognize Dr. Francis J. Harvey for his valor.

Thank you, Dr. Francis Harvey, for rising above and beyond the call of Duty in your Nation’s time of need.

Thank you for stopping the Slaughter.  You served your Nation well, and with Honorable Distinction.

Thank you for your Gift to us.

Love,
Bob
http://thespiritandthestone.squarespace.com/display/ShowJournal?moduleId=1240661&currentPage=5&categoryId=107877

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By Thea, March 7, 2007 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Eleanore Kjellberg, I’m not sure whether you were agreeing with me or simply misunderstood my message. However, whichever it was, I agree, life works in mysterious ways and that was my point. Sometimes from something bad, FINALLY comes something good.

And yes, one must search for good sources of news. But since we are all on this site, I assume we all know that.

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By Margaret Currey, March 7, 2007 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush said when the leak about Plame was in the air “we will get to the bottom of this and whomever is responsible will be fired” (something like that) now after the Walter Reed Hospital thing, he says the same thing, getting to the bottom of something he should know exists is really something.

The person responsible for the leak is of course Chaney and he should resign from ofice. 

These two leaders of our country never served their country in a war, and of course the biggest Hawks are those who never had to go to war.

And because they wanted to run this war on the cheap, and they also wanted to reward their political friends we have the present administration.

I am really glad that Dana Priest followed up on the fact that was out there but things have to be put in black and white, written down, brought to the attention of the public who do not use computers and rely on the News Networks and the biggest neocon network Fox News.

I mean it is really something when you see the coverup that happened, the officials talked like it was the only the conditions of Bldg. 18 when it was the condition of things like outsourcing help, the friends of Chaney really cleaned up on this war, the only bad thing is the war is not winnable.

I say the word IMPEACHMENT SHOULD BE SAID OVER AND OVER AGAIN ESPECIALLY SINCE THE LIBBY TRIAL IS OVER, HE MIGHT NEVER SEE A DAY IN JAIL, BUT HIS JOB IS OVER, HE MIGHT JUST HAVE TO GO BACK TO WORKING FOR SOME CORPORATION WHERE HIS TALENTS WOULD BE PUT TO USE THERE.

Margaret from Vancouver, Washington

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By Eleanore Kjellberg, March 6, 2007 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thea,
Life works in mysterious ways—-what difference does it make as long as MSM FINALLY covers the story, a story I might add, that repeatedly should have been covered by the MSM for many, many years.  We still need to talk about the 500,000 veterans from past wars, who can be found HOMELESS on any given night throughout the U.S. 

My feeling is that the job of the media is to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”—-a job which has been inadequately performed, ever since the “independent presses” were taken over by conglomerates, and allowed government officials to plant stories and reporters within their ranks.

I’m sorry to say that if you are looking for progressive news stories, you’ll need to do some independent research—-something that 95 percent of Americans don’t have time to do, or the where-with-all to tackle; and that is EXACTLY what insidious governments count on.

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By Rodney, March 5, 2007 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Georgr Bush treats the soldiers as if they were Katrina victims.

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By Thea, March 5, 2007 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Talking about the timing of this exposure, I haven’t seen anyone on this comments list link the timing to Bob Woodruff’s recovery and ability to speak out, which he did. If not for the serious wounds and final recovery of one of their own, we may never have heard about what all the nameless servicemen have been going through for four years now, and earlier veterans have been going through for much longer. It makes one wonder at times if there isn’t some higher power pulling a few strings. Consider these fact for inspiration :

The first Megan’s Law was passed in New Jersey in 1994 after the rape and murder of Megan Kanka by Jesse Timmendequas, a convicted sex offender who was living across the street from her. Megan’s parents refused to give up until they helped pass a new law.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was founded in 1980, in the state of California. A thirteen year old girl, named Cari Lightner was killed while walking on a sidewalk, in a hit-and-run accident. The mother of the thirteen year old girl was outraged at the leniency of the DWI Laws, it was this outrage that fueled the growth of MADD. MADD now consists of more than 1,100,000 supporters and it continues to persue the goal of ending alcohol and drug impaired driving accidents that result in the senseless and tragic deaths of innocent people. -taken from Lifetime Online.

In 1981, a health administrator and hockey coach in Wayland, Massachusetts responded to the deaths of two of his athletes by starting a high school program called Students Against Driving Drunk (SADD). Today SADD has approximately seven million members and there are over twenty five thousand SADD chapters located in public, private, junior, and senior high schools and colleges. SADD originator Mr. Robert Anastas, believed that young people could combat the number one killer of their age group, which is death due to drinking and driving. Since that day in 1981, the death rate for teens due to drinking and driving has taken a significant decrease. -taken from Students Against Destructive Decisions.

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By Gordon Soderberg, March 5, 2007 at 9:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This story only scratches a the surface of the VA and organizations that say they are in support of veterans. American Legion spent all morning tossing softball questions to VA officials. Not one question about VA hospital closures. Not one question about healthcare for veterans in New Orleans, LA or Gulf Port Mississippi who lost both their VA hospitals because of the other failure of our government, Katrina response.

I would love to see Truthdig do a story on this issue. Talk to veterans on the gulf coast. Listen to the story of Iraq Veterans Against the war who have come to New Orleans and gutted houses for vets who lost their homes to Katrina. Hear what they say about how helping their fellow vets reciver from the hurricane and how helping their country recover from national disaster helps them recover from the mental scares of war. Your readers will learn from what these heroes.

Here are videos I made of IVAW members volunteering on the Gulf Coast.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=126417426967841494&hl=en
http://www.neworleansvfp.org/node/2865
http://www.neworleansvfp.org/node/2820
http://www.neworleansvfp.org/node/1585

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By kate, March 5, 2007 at 8:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I applaud the reporters for their courage to investigate a horrific situation without the permission of those in charge.  However, why were our members of congress so unaware of the deplorable conditions and improper medical care our wounded and mamed soldiers are experiencing? Didn’t anyone ever visit the hospital and talk to these soldiers?  Where are our Eleanor Rossevelts of today? She was a woman born in extreme comfort,  who wouldn’t have allowed such conditions to exist.  Shame on our self-serving congress, shame on our president and shame on our first lady. Another sad commentary on our mercenary society.

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By Eleanore Kjellberg, March 5, 2007 at 8:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What Walter Reed Hospital represents, is the condition of the entire U.S. healthcare
system—-one that is deteriorated, and morally bankrupt.  VA hospitals and outpatient services are horrendous but so, are the emergency clinics in most of the U.S.; not to mention the homeless shelters which predominantly house the mentally ill, who walk around aimlessly during the day receiving no help or therapy.

So when it is asked, how the government can correct the problems at Walter Reed—-what they really need to ask, is how can they improve the ENTIRE healthcare system.  And if that is the case, the only response that can be given—-is to NATIONALIZE MEDICINE—-to eliminate the HMO’S and mega pharmaceutical companies that have made billions at the expense of the weak, ill, and aged. 

To our misfortune, little band aid remedies will continually be applied to each medical problem while the crisis continues to metastasize—because to truly address the issue of our erosive medical system, would require purging insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists from “inside the pants and skirts” of all the unethical men and women serving in the Congress and Senate.

As long as these companies are safely ensconced, pleasing politicians and footing the bill for reelection campaigns—-be assured that there will be NO CHANGE—-U.S. industrialism, can take little pride in knowing that they possess a Third World medical system.

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By 127001, March 4, 2007 at 10:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For those who commented on the timing of this story (as late), have any considered the fact that it is the editors of the major publications, and the television media, who actually control what is fed the public as news.

Remember, they look at advertising dollars and local (and national) political opinion to support their “news.”

Thanks to the Internet, blogging, and sites like Truthdig that reach the masses.

It wasn’t the story itself that brought attention and may make change. It was the readership of the Internet sites that published it BEYOND the Post. It was the outcry on the Internet that put a great deal of pressure to the Administration.

These stories are a good example of “focused outrage.”

Now let’s do some more, bigger issues as well.

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By Robert Ryan, March 4, 2007 at 10:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m a Vietnam Vet, and I would like to thank these two reporters for bringing this light.  This administrations’ track record for the way it has treated Veterans, and also the service members who have been wounded in this war on terroism reeks of pure neglect.  As it is in the military we used to have a saying that stuff rolls down hill has come to light.  The CG of the hospital has been relived, the secretary of the army has resigned, and few of the senior NCO’s have been relieved.  Walter Reed Hospital is on the BRAC list so I’m just wondering if this had anything to do with the way the conditions in some of the buildings was allowed to deteroaite so.

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By Dale Headley, March 4, 2007 at 10:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is there the slightest doubt as to who should receive the next Pulitzer Prize for journalism?

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By Paul, March 4, 2007 at 9:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes indeed, a huge Thank You for a good job! Please do not stop there though, as a disabled veteran, I can say from what I have seen and experienced, that we have been low balled on our compensation and care for decades! When the veteran has to climb the fortress known as the VA bureaucracy it is a horrendous experience and many simply surrender to the torture of the review process.

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By Mary K hunt, March 3, 2007 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When I first read this article I was angry anew at the Administration that has put a couple of hundred thousand of our young at risk to promote an empire, but deeply grateful that there are still real investigative reporters in the print media that are doing the job without expecting to get anything but satisfaction that they had exposed the ugly underside of the Iraq war and that the result might be a correction. Put them beside the Judith Millers and the Maureen Dowds and you see their real value. We need more like them!

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By moni, March 3, 2007 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Remember all the apalling HYPE about “embedded journalists” during the weeks before the bombing and invasion of Iraq ? That grandiose “Shock & Awe” campaign?  Perhaps now the “Profession” will be somewhat vindicated . . .

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By Chaseme, March 3, 2007 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have to admit that I am disappointed, yet happy that these two reporters finally did their job.

The events at Walter Reed didn’t just happen. Where were these reporters’ years ago as the level of care began deteriorating?

Where were these reporters in 2000 when bush stole the first election?

Where were they when we needed reporters to probe deeper into the 9/11 attacks?

Where were they to question rhetoric from the bush administration, which eventually led the US into war?

Where were they to report on the true aftermath of Katrina?

Do you get my point? This type of reporting is on the level of John Amaechi coming out as being gay, after he retires from basketball. You’re happy they finally got the courage, but you question the timing when you consider the impact it would have had only a few years ago.

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By Eleanore Kjellberg, March 3, 2007 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s hear it for—DISINGENOUS OUTRAGE—how is it possible to supervise a facility and not be aware that outpatient facilities are maintained like “welfare motels”—“Building 18, the dilapidated 50-room former hotel across the street from Walter Reed where outpatients are housed. Before rushed renovations last month, the building had moldy walls, stained carpets and infestations of rats.”

How is it possible for General Kiley, the commander of Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 2002 to 2004, not to be aware of these conditions; and if he was aware, why did he not express outrage and demand change?  Probably, because he was NOT outraged by the conditions, and this is reflected in his most recent comment: “While we have some issues here, this is not a horrific, catastrophic failure at Walter Reed. I mean these are not good, but you saw rooms that look perfectly acceptable, you saw the day rooms with the pool tables and plasma screen TVs, and we’re working every day to make those rooms better.”

In 2006 a congressional analysis showed that the Iraq war is costing taxpayers almost
$2 billion a week or more than $255 million per day; and we all are aware of the billions that are missing in Iraq.  How is it possible that we can squander billions of tax dollars, and have even more stolen, but allow the wounded veterans to live in roach motels?

Who represents the interests of the wounded, the armless, the legless, and those suffering from mental disorders?  Have we become so callous, that we view these young patriotic men and women, as disposables—-something to be used, abused and discarded?

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By gryphyn, March 3, 2007 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kudos to the authors of the piece, but after the hooplah wears down, things will just go back to the way they were.  The truth is the VA has been providing substandard care at most of its medical facilities for a very, very long time now.  The government has relied on the short attention span of its citizens as a way to spend the shortest dollar for those soldiers injured in the line of duty.
    Now that the issue of the conditions at one of its facilities has been brought to air, a few heads may role, a new coat of paint may go on the walls, a building or two may be built.  But I’d bet you my last dollar that the VA will remain entrenched in its ineptitude and intransigence in perpetuity.  The bureaucracy it has become will go on unscathed and unchanged unless an outscaled and plentifully funded campaign to straighten the mess that is the Veterans’ Affairs is waged.
    As a veteran of the armed forces I’ve thankfully never had to partake of the VA’s particular concept of healthcare.  VA hospitals were something my fellow medics and I would joke about.  We’d shake our heads and laugh that laugh that came from the sick feeling in the pits of our stomachs whenever the subject came up and hoped to God we’d never end up in one.  Nothing ever happened to change our minds about the VA, and we didn’t expect it to.  We accepted the situation as a given.  There are simply too many things that need to be fixed within that particular bureaucracy and with the current level of competency within the VA being in question- they’d not even know where to start.

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By dick, March 3, 2007 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Only after these two genuine patriots exposed the abuses of wounded veterans did our Comandeer-in-chief attempt damage control by having two underlings canned for what was clearly his irresponsibility.

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By rbrooks, March 3, 2007 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

http://dir.salon.com/topics/walter_reed_army_medical_center/

Why pretend this horrific scandal was suddenly discovered this week? The real story is, WHY WASN’T IT NEWS THREE YEARS AGO? This, remember, is the administration that sneaks the stretchers and caskets home in the middle of the night. This is the administration that converted a war into a private cash cow for Halliburton. How is it a surprise to anyone that the prissing, sneering administration that ignored the destruction of New Orleans would ignore any other wounded and helpless victims of our government’s incompetence? Well ... however overcautious and limited they may be, the Dems can still investigate this. With any luck at all this could be the last straw that finally, at long last, propels the country, with the Democrats trailing overcautiously behind, into the streets to demand that members of both parties do their duty to the country and to the generations that follow us, impeach Bush and Cheney, and see them and their entire circle of draft dodging war criminals convicted of treason.

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By Bonnie Russell, March 3, 2007 at 11:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Are you kidding?  No hat tip from me.  Salon did the same piece a couple of years ago.

Mainstream media is sometimes the last to know.  Which explains why media avoids the one court most often use, and for the longest period of time, by the populace. 

Parental Alienation Awareness Day is April 25, 2007.
Details at http://www.FamilyLawCourts.com

Got a bad judge?  Pay it forward.  Make a report for others, (including reporters researching judges for articles) can buy at at http://www.USAjudges.com

The site has already made attorneys excited and judges nervous.  It’s also helped one judge, on the bench for eight year, not be returned to office.  As the attorney submitting the report wrote:

“It felt so good you could have charged me double!”

What media misses Bush friendly non-profits,   

Bush friend, Casey Hoffman
Washington Post
http://fact.on.ca/news/news0005/wp000518.htm

Time Magazine
http://fact.on.ca/news/news0209/tm020902.htm

Austin Business Journal - Millions to Bush friend, “Support Kids”
http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2000/07/31/story4.html

This explains why parents freak out and kill their children, and each other. Dead kids, listed alphabetically by state at; http://www.FamilyLawCourts.com/kids.html

Dead spouses at,
http://www.FamilyLawCourts.com/domestic.html
(which also features the President’s Family Justice Center- funneling grant money to police for bullet-proof vests, from the Office On Violence Against Women, rather than, well, women.)

1.  In California, the Association of Marriage and Family Therapists hired lobbyists to introduce legislation Mandating six hours of “educational” counseling in any divorce involving children; or the divorce Cannot proceed.

2.  Most State Bar organizations are circumventing the criminal justice system.  These organizations are fully aware of individuals practicing law without a license, having suspended or disbarred them from the practice of law.  However, no State Bar routes these former attorneys turned criminals to local DA’s.

3.  The police benefit from domestic violence programs;  but are not legally bound to answer calls from women for restraining order enforcement.  Largely though the President’s Familiy Justice Center.  Links and details reveal,it’s all about making the Police safer.  Follow the money trail on bullet-proof vests at http://www.FamilyLawCourts.com/domestic.html; although the short version:

Working through various private non-profit “Family Justice Centers”  grants are funneled to the police in very large amounts.  The kicker?

The grants are from the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women.  Women received mostly, squat.

Especially because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Castle Rock vs. Gonzales, that police aren’t Required to enforce restraining or protection orders. 

Yes, Thanks to our Supreme Court, and the DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women police officers are now better equipped to answer the calls of their choosing wearing bullet-proof vests; but women calling for help, remain largely unaware the police are legally not required to respond.

Also largely unreported?  Anger management programs aren’t working.  Except of course for the people employed by non-profits offering these programs.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/10/13/MNGPF8VQE160.DTL

4.  Parental Alienation Awareness Day is April 25, 2007.  It’s the latest in custody costs; both for attorneys and “experts.”
Details at: http://www.ereleases.com/pr/20061227001.html and so far, Canada is doing a better job of informing their readers, than the U.S.

nationally, family court judges continue treating child abuse in family court, as crime lite to keep control of the case and further promote the divorce and custody industry. They ignore Supreme Court case; Crawford vs. Washington, to appoint Guardian Ad Litems to filter what the child might say.

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By mite, March 3, 2007 at 10:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This story isn’t new. This is normal behavior from the VA, Congress, and the Pentagon since WW1.

The Washington Post ran a small story- titled “Veterans” Gripe Is Loud and Clear on Tuesday August 3, 2000 on the Federal Page.

If truthdig, alternet, washington post, and other so called news agency’s would research history they would find the open abuse to veterans for years and the denial of it.

On October 17, 2000 an ‘Open Letter’ was sent by a couple of veteran groups- http://www.NVO.org and http://www.VDPI.org to a number of presidential candidates. Vice President Albert Gore Jr., Governor George W. Bush Jr. and Pat Buchanan to name only a few.

This ‘Open Letter’ primary issue was the longstanding policy of the united States Veterans Administration (VA), to ignore the Rule of Law, and thereby break the promises that this country has made to those who served and sacrificed for it.

One Unhappy veteran launched an ad campaign to spread the word to future enlisted personnel.
One sign (available at http://www.NVO.org) says the following: “Thinking About A Military Career? THINK AGAIN, The Government Does Not Honor Its Promises To Veterans”

Under existing federal law, veterans injured in the military cannot appeal the wrongful denial of meritorious VA claims to united States District Courts, nor do they have the right to hire attorneys to represent them before VA Regional Offices or initially at the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) even at their own expense.
(Open Letter-page 1:par:2: http://www.NVO.org http://www.VDPI.org)

For almost 100 years our leaders with influences from the bankers, military complex (see Pres: Eisenhowers final address to the nation) lie to our young women and men about fighting for their country. It has nothing to do with freedom or our country, it is all about conquest of other countries for their resources and money-period.

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By Quy Tran, March 3, 2007 at 10:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The best way of treatment for wounded soldiers made by Bush/Cheney administration.

Congratulations to both of them !

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By Allen, March 3, 2007 at 10:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes, hats off for them. They did do their jobs in this matter. Now if they would just continue to do their jobs and bring the other misdoings to the forefront, things maybe would change for the better.

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By rod ruger, March 3, 2007 at 9:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Conditions at Walter Reed should be no surprise given that Rumsfeld, Cheney, & Co. wanted to fight this war on the cheap by saving money on anything directly related to the troops.  Their vision is robot war and long distance bombing.  Troops?  Not required.  With that philosophy and the stunning incompetence of this administration and congress, how can anyone be surprised that we went in with little or no armor, that after 4 years our primary troop hospital is in shambles, that our troop strength is stretched, etc.?  The bumper sticker on Cheney’s limo says, “Ignore our Troops.”

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By AnnaCatherine, March 3, 2007 at 9:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Our government is failing us. There is no more important time to be able to rely on good reporting and journalism. Dana Priest and Ann Hull, thank you for a job well done. It must feel good to know that you are personally responsible for righting the wrongs. Seems worth a Pulitzer Prize. But, the gratitude of the American people is no small thing. Congratulations.

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By Joe, March 3, 2007 at 8:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Journalism at its best. Congratulations to these two courageous women - and to the editors and publishers. If the story hadn’t been published the abuse of our soldiers would have continued. Unless it is revealed - it isn’t happening! As soon as there is a new story the action will likely stop - hope not, but that’s the usual result.

Quick response - a couple of heads rolling.  A presidentially appointed by-partisan commission to study abuse of wounded military in other sites - another report to be ignored by this administration! Another commission report - another cover-up. Hate to be so cynical, but let’s face facts.

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By Steve Hammons, March 3, 2007 at 8:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These reporters have uncovered not only a specific problem that needed the light of day—they also are bringing the issue of seriously injured troops and veterans to the forefront.

The many Iraq vets with lost limbs, terrible burns, devastating head injuries and all of the above are a very uncomfortable aspect of the invasion and occuaption of Iraq by Bush, Cheney, the neocons and the war profiteers.

When the invasion was launched, Americans did not think too much about these injuries. But, slowly, and then at a faster pace, US troops were getting blown to bits.

Finally, the press and media is dealing with these difficult topics more directly and adequately.

For more on this, the two articles referenced below may be of interest:

“Are the U.S. media and public ready to deal with the troops severely wounded in the Iraq war?”

Steve Hammons
American Chronicle
October 30, 2005

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=3349

-  -  -

“U.S. defense research agency sponsors ‘mind-blowing’ studies to regrow human limbs”

Steve Hammons
American Chronicle
October 10, 2006

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=14652

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By Thea, March 3, 2007 at 7:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is the Bik Generation. Is there any doubt left that war smells like money to Bush and his neocons? Why do we not have a draft? Because they don’t want the rich kids running off to Canada and making a fuss like many did during Viet Nam. Promise the poor kids an education, opportunities they may never get otherwise, then send them off to do the fighting, without even the proper armor to protect them. And when they come back in pieces, both mentally and physically, they have no big daddies to shout loud enough for them for anyone to hear. For four years these conditions went on at Walter Reed. Four years!! And only now we hear about it. And what about all those soldiers whose homes were repossessed, or their families were kicked out of their apartments because they couldn’t pay the bills, and now those soldiers come home to live on the streets with their families. Yes. War smells like money, and these poor troops are just fodder for the money machine. They’re like Bik lighters to these neocons. They use them until they’re out of fuel, then they toss them in the trash.

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By lh, March 3, 2007 at 7:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

iv’e over 40yrs dealing w/vets health care sys.
the people doing the daily care are some of the greatest people iv’e known its the very top
administrators in the sys. that suck.

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By Charley James, March 3, 2007 at 6:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A hearty Bravo! While politicians were running around spouting meaningless slogans about “support the troops,” these two women actually did something actionable.

While not taking away anything from their valued and valuable reporting, the reporter at Salon.com who had been writing about this same story since late 2003 should at least get an honourable mention. Ironic, isn’t it, that Salon is owned by The Washington Post.

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By pat, March 3, 2007 at 6:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is great.  Keep up the good work and go get ‘em.

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By Verne Arnold, March 3, 2007 at 12:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gee, didn’t our government do this to the Vietnam Vets?

When, oh when, will Americans wake up to the realities of the wars we now fight?

These wars are for corporatism and our soldiers are expendable cannon fodder.

The last refuge of a scoundrel is patriotism.
AKA, the shrub and his neo-cons.

Lip service, masters of illusion, smoke and mirrors. 
After Vietnam my government has never fooled me again!

Beyond shameful, dare I say criminal?

Merlin

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By 127001, March 2, 2007 at 9:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree and tip my own cap (bald head exposed) to the work of this team.

They did their jobs, stood up, spoke out and made a difference to many.

A credit to what the profession should be.

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