Thursday, March 15, 2007


More on Scandal at Walter Reed - TV interview

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CNN -- Anderson Cooper 360

CNN 03/02/07 01:19:42:
...gunshots, blindness, warehoused and waiting for the army to wade through its red tape Left in limbo struggling not only with what happened to them over there in the middle east but also with what was happening to them back home. >>

I served in iraq, you know, it doesn't matter what my beliefs were, you know, I held up my end of the commitment and when I came back as a wounded veteran, this isn't the type of thing that you would expect. >>

reporter: Brady Van Engelen was an army lieutenant shot in the head, sent back to walter reed, a lot of the outrage is about the conditions there, but Van Engelen says it's not the real issue. >>

...the mold and the mice and that's what's going to make the headlines but what you don't see is the bureaucratic backlog we're being faced with and that's unfair to these guys. >>

reporter: for Van Engelen, it was seven months after his rehab was completed before the army told him what was obvious, that he would be discharged. he said for others the wait could be as long as 2 1/2 years and now that the recriminations have begun, the issue has suddenly become accountability, keeping them honest. who knew what and when?

Major General George Weightman, the man in charge of walter reed was relieved of command after telling cnn earlier this year that the buck stopped with him. >> "100% of it falls on me. I'm responsible for everything that does happen or does not happen here at walter reed." >> [NS: as opposed to Kiley who blamed everyone else but himself]

reporter: that's neat and tidy and unfortunately it's not nearly that simple. A former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee says Weightman's not solely to blame. Congressman Bill Young said Young along with his wife tried to intervene several times on behalf of soldiers with problems at the hospital but didn't get anywhere. Young told cnn tonight that he was ""brushed off after officials at the hospital made it clear they didn't care for our input.""

The army issued a statement saying it is aggressively addressing the issues regarding outpatient care at Walter Reed but as for the ouster of General Weightman, Congressman Young and others were saying he was nothing more than a scapegoat for a system that policymakers at higher levels had a duty to fix. Joe Johns, cnn, Washington. >>

That's the thing. it does seem like people in power knew what was going on at Walter Reed. that's what a former army ranger tells us. he says he saw the bad conditions himself.


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