ABC made President Bush's twelfth trip to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center its lead--because this was his first since The Washington Post exposed the squalid conditions for disabled out-patients at the hospital six weeks ago. ABC's Jonathan Karl (subscription required) emphasized the "rare public apology" by the President: "The system failed you and it failed our troops. I apologize for what they went through and we are going to fix the problem." NBC's John Yang noted that an apology does not fix the problem: veterans' activists told him "the system is overwhelmed by more wounded than anticipated from a war that is lasting longer than anticipated."
On a related note, CBS' Sharyl Attkisson profiled Sean Knudsen, a National Guard sergeant, who is disabled from shrapnel wounds suffered in Tikrit in Iraq. On the battlefield he had been told his head wounds had earned him a Purple Heart medal--with its attendant superior healthcare benefits--but that citation was later disapproved by his commanding general. Knudsen is now on Capitol Hill lobbying for the honor he believes he won and on behalf of comrades he believes have been similarly shortchanged, "nobody knows how many more," Attkisson commented. "The Pentagon says it does not track how many Purple Hearts are disapproved."
Who let the dogs loose? If I've been following this story correctly, the army had numerous chances to correct this and wouldn't. So now that he went forward, more cases like his are being found. Now, the pentagon is investigating even though they knew about this all along.
I think maybe the wolves should've been let out, not the dogs and perhaps American's should get out some long ropes and find some trees in Washington D.C. to hang some senior army leaders. Getting a scratch or bump is one thing, letting a soldier be denied a Purple Heart even though their disabled is disgracefull and sickening. Is anyone on Capitol Hill going to hold these generals accountable folks?
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