When the media was taken on a tour of Walter Reed Hospital after it received a fresh coat of paint in an effort to whitewash the whole scandal away, Lt. General Kevin Kiley explained to the media "We needed to do a better job on some of those rooms, and those of you that got in today saw that we frankly have fixed all of those problems. They weren't serious, and there weren't a lot of them."
Of course, while the reporters were waiting in the lobby, people were walking around in Hazmat suits. On the "signs of a major problem" scale, I would place "people are wearing Hazmat suits" quite high.
Circumstances never really merited the wearing of hazmat suits on the battlefield in Iraq. But once inside the hallowed halls of Walter Reed, they're apparently a good idea.
Now I'm reading about the VIP suites at Walter Reed. I wouldn't say they're quite up to the level of a four star hotel, but I certainly have a tough time believing that the residents of these rooms were expected to breathe in mold and mouse droppings. Infections die in such rooms--- Not cockroaches lying belly up on the floor.
It is simply an outrage that a general can recover from hemorrhoids in a place like this while a wounded soldier recovers in a room where the wallpaper collapses under the weight of the mold.
President Bush routinely brags of visiting the wounded at Walter Reed, as though stopping by to say hi absolves him of any blame in sending them there. Did he not visit the soldiers in Building 18?
It's hard not to think of the utterly forgettable movie Article 99. Its characters have a motto that they often repeat in the halls of a VA hospital: "What you need, you don't get. What you get ain't worth shit."
Really, if our soldiers are to be used as a political shield ("You just don't support the troops"), can we not get them better treatment than this?