Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Role of Captain Renault Will Be Played by Walter Reed Commander Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley

Captain Renault, memorably played by Claude Rains in Casablanca, says during a gambling raid: "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!" Lt. Gen. Kiley has gone on all the TV shows this week claiming not only that he did not know about the problems unearthed by the Washington Post investigation, but that they did not exist or were being exaggerated by the media. Here are your winnings, sir.

WaPo: Hospital Officials Knew of Neglect
Complaints About Walter Reed Were Voiced for Years

Top officials at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, including the Army's surgeon general, have heard complaints about outpatient neglect from family members, veterans groups and members of Congress for more than three years.

A procession of Pentagon and Walter Reed officials expressed surprise last week about the living conditions and bureaucratic nightmares faced by wounded soldiers staying at the D.C. medical facility. But as far back as 2003, the commander of Walter Reed, Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, who is now the Army's top medical officer, was told that soldiers who were wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan were languishing and lost on the grounds, according to interviews.


Kiley lives across the street from Building 18. From his quarters, he can see the scrappy building and busy traffic the soldiers must cross to get to the 113-acre post. At a news conference last week, Kiley, who declined several requests for interviews for this article, said that the problems of Building 18 "weren't serious and there weren't a lot of them." He also said they were not "emblematic of a process of Walter Reed that has abandoned soldiers and their families."

But according to interviews, Kiley, his successive commanders at Walter Reed and various top noncommissioned officers in charge of soldiers' lives have heard a stream of complaints about outpatient treatment over the past several years. The complaints have surfaced at town hall meetings for staff and soldiers, at commanders' "sensing sessions" in which soldiers or officers are encouraged to speak freely, and in several inspector general's reports detailing building conditions, safety issues and other matters.

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Mike said...
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