Wednesday, February 28, 2007

And the repercussions begin....

Thank goodness for bloggers. I was unable to locate this story in any of the four major U.S. papers, the NYT, WP, LAT, or USA Today, but several bloggers picked up this followup to the Walter Reed scandal.

It seems that the Army, which made a big show last week of cleaning up its act after the Post exposed its our government's neglect of returning wounded and incapacitated soldiers, has begun paybacks for the embarrassment it suffered.

Who's taking the brunt of the Army's fury? You guessed it, the soldiers.

"Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not speak to the media.
'Some soldiers believe this is a form of punishment for the trouble soldiers caused by talking to the media,' one Medical Hold Unit soldier said, speaking on the condition of anonymity."

One particularly galling piece of information in the story, which is from the Army's own mouthpiece, the Army Times, is this: "The Pentagon also clamped down on media coverage of any and all Defense Department medical facilities, to include suspending planned projects by CNN and the Discovery Channel, saying in an e-mail to spokespeople: “It will be in most cases not appropriate to engage the media while this review takes place,” referring to an investigation of the problems at Walter Reed."

I suppose they have to take this approach, because more coverage of this would lead to increased scrutiny of the plans to send more soldiers into battle underequipped and lacking the proper training, which will only lead to more casualties and neglect of more wounded soldiers.

Everytime I read about this horror, I feel like I need to increase my supply of barf bags. Heck, pretty soon I'm going to need a new computer keyboard.

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