Saturday, March 03, 2007

Army secretary resigns in scandal's wake

Is anyone capable of chronicling all the failures of the Bush administration? Most of us would probably be allowed a couple serious failures in performance before being kicked out the door, but Bush makes a career out of failure.
Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey abruptly stepped down Friday as the Bush administration struggled to cope with the fallout from a scandal over substandard conditions for wounded Iraq soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Harvey's sudden departure was the most dramatic move yet in an escalating removal of commanders with responsibilities over one of the military's highest-profile and busiest medical facilities.

Hours earlier, President Bush ordered a comprehensive review of conditions at the nation's network of military and veteran hospitals in the wake of the Walter Reed disclosures.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Harvey had resigned, but senior defense officials speaking on condition of anonymity said Gates had asked Harvey to leave. Gates was displeased that the officer Harvey had chosen as interim commander of Walter Reed — Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley, a former commander of Walter Reed — has been accused by critics of long knowing about the problems there and not improving outpatient care.

"I am disappointed that some in the Army have not adequately appreciated the seriousness of the situation pertaining to outpatient care at Walter Reed," Gates said in the Pentagon briefing room. He took no questions from reporters.

On Thursday, Harvey fired the medical center's previous commander, Maj. Gen. George Weightman, for failures linked to the outpatient treatment controversy. Many had speculated that Weightman would be relieved of command, but Harvey's departure was a major surprise.

The Army announced Friday that Maj. Gen. Eric R. Schoomaker will be the new commander of Walter Reed.

"From what I have learned, the problems at Walter Reed appear to be problems of leadership," Gates said. "The Walter Reed doctors, nurses and other staff are among the best and most caring in the world. They deserve our continued deepest thanks and strongest support."

And does it bother you and hearten you to know the press is uncovering these failures instead of those in charge who should be preventing them? Just asking.

I won't honor Harvey with a photo. He doesn't deserve it in spite of any former brilliance, courage and performance in his earlier military career.

(read more)

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Eli said...

And does it bother you and hearten you to know the press is uncovering these failures instead of those in charge who should be preventing them? Just asking.

I'm pleasantly surprised that *someone* is.

3/03/2007 09:30:00 AM  

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