Thursday, March 01, 2007

Walter Reed scandal - an annotated bibliography

Dana Priest at the Washington Post has an excellent series describing the problems faced by wounded soldiers and Marines who are assigned to the holding company at Walter Reed Hospital and are outpatients. I am providing an annotated bibliography of the stories so that readers who want to know what is going on can go back to the first report published February 18, 2007, and have continued to report what is happening after that initial report. Most of the reports I have found on the internet have been from the Washington post. I am not ignoring other news organizations unless they are republishing what the Washington Post already reported.

Any suggestions and additional reports would be appreciated. Email me or post a comment after the article here. Thanks.

  • US Army denies 'gag orders,' but says patients can 'go to Starbucks' to talk to media
    Raw Story by Josh Catone
    The Chief Press guy at Walter Reed claims their instructions to the troops were misunderstood. Patients have to get permission to speak to reporters on the Walter Reed campus, but if they don't want to get permission they can always go to Starbucks to talk.
    [In my opinon this is just an adequate save after some idiot commander put out a stupid order, which was the first half of the above. He was surprised when the Press got all uppity about the Right of free speech, so he then talked to the PR guy (who he should have spoken to before putting out the order) and Army spokesman Paul Boyce told the reporters that the Right to Free Speech had not been taken away, just moved to Starbucks. Decent save in a situation the Army should not have been in the first place.

    Oh, and Dana Priest has previously pointed out that Building 18 is NOT on the Walter Reed campus.]

  • Live Discussion with Dana Priest
    Washington Post by Dana Priest
    Dana Priest answers questions about her Walter Reed series.

  • Hospital Officials Knew of Neglect
    Washington Post by Anne Hull and Dana Priest.
    The top Army medical officers both at Walter Reed and in the Army Medical Command up to the Army Surgeon General knew of the poor conditions of outpatients at Walter Reed since 2003.

  • Walter Reed General Relieved of Command
    Washington Post by William Branigin
    The Army, finding that blaming a few low-level enlisted persons has not been enough to satisfy the mob Press, relieves the Commanding General of Walter Reed Hospital.
    [Responsibility goes even higher in my opinion. It's a shame the Army and DoD didn't move this rapidly with Abu Ghraib. There is another similarity to Abu Ghraib, however. At Abu Ghraib it was low-level enlisteds blamed first, then mostly low-ranking and Reserve Officers at higher levels. Here it is low-ranking enlisted first, and now Surgeons. When it comes down to it, a General who is a Surgeon is not in the military "flag officers club" really. He is a real surgeon who is considered sort of an honorary General. Surgeons are thown off the sleigh to the wolves before "real" Generals, just like Reserve Officers. They don't belong to the club of "Ring Knockers." [Refers to West Point graduation rings.]

  • Military Press Crackdown Extends Further Than Walter Reed
    Editor & Publisher by Joe Strupp.
    The military is now preventing reporters from talking to military people on a number of military posts if the stories show bad news.

  • Walter Reed patients told to keep quiet
    Army Times by Kelly Kennedy - Staff writer
    The soldiers and Marines in the Army's Walther Reed Holding Unit have been told that they will get up at 6:00 AM every morning and have a room inspection at 7:00 AM. This is something not normally done after a soldier has graduated from Basic Training. Sure sounds punitive to me. I wonder why? Oh, and they are also forbidden to speak to the Media.

  • Administrative Issues Cited at Walter Reed
    Washington Post by Steve Vogel
    An unfinished Army study of problems in Army Health systems that began in April provides some description of the problems at Walter Reed and other Army medical facilities. The initial problem, surfaced by a GAO study report, were about difficulties with the Army's system for evaluating the fitness of wounded soldiers to stay in the service. The Army's study also surfaced problems in training of workers who assist patients, information-management databases are inadequate and are "policy disconnects" between Army regulations and Defense Department instructions.

  • Panel to probe conditions at Walter Reed
    Houston Chronicle [from AP] by Robert Burns AP Military Writer
    Sec. Def. Gates told reporters that people would be held accountable for the problems at Walter Reed Hospital, and that senior leaders were not immune to accountability.

  • Review At Walter Reed Is Ordered - Defense Secretary Vows accountability
    Washington Post by Steve Vogel
    Sec. Def. Bob Gates appointed an independent Review Panel to investigate the reported conditions at Walter Reed Hospital. Also:
    "The Senate Armed Services Committee has tentatively scheduled hearings on the facility for March 6, said a spokeswoman for the panel's chairman, Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.). Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), the ranking minority member of the committee, toured the facility yesterday."
    Pressure on the Army is building. It's about time.

  • The Army's Preemptive News Briefing
    Washington Post by Howard Kurtz
    Dana Priest spent four months interviewing soldiers and Marines at Walther Reed Hospital about their story, then contacted the Commanding General, Maj. Gen. George Weightman, to get his responses to the findings. Maj. Gen. Weightman asked for time before the story was published to get a response, and Dana Priest gave him six days. Then, before the six days were up, the Press Officer of Walther Reed called in the Washington Post's competitors for a briefing. This was breaking the agreement that Walter Reed had made to get the six days grace period. Kurtz says that Priest let the Walter Reed Press Officer know that she was quite unhappy, and not going to extend such courtesies in the future.

  • Painting Over the Problems at Walter Reed's Building 18
    Washington Post by Dana Milbank
    A quick cleaning, a series of hasty repairs covered by a quick coat of paint, and the Army officials invited the Press in to see the improvement to Building 18. The difficulty is that the problems that are impeding the recovery of wounded soldiers and Marines who were waiting for administrative decisions regarding their futures are in the bureaucracy and are a lot more than just unpainted walls, rats, mnice and cockroaches.

  • Walter Reed Stories Factual But Unfair, Medical Chief Says
    Washington Post
    02/23/2007 by Steve Vogel
    Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, chief of the Army Medical Command said that the stories were factual but one-sided.

  • Walter Reed Continues Quality Care, Concern for Recovering Wounded
    Army Press Release
    This is the Army's first response to the Press about the Walter Reed Hospital articles in the Washington Post starting 02/18/2007

  • At Walter Reed, 'We're Going to Fix It'
    Washington Post
    02/22/2007 by Ann Scott Tyson
    Gen. Richard A. Cody, the Army vice chief of staff, promises to repair the facilities for outpatients at Walter Reed.

  • Live discussion with Post Staff Writer Dana Priest
    Washington Post by Dana Priest
    This covers a lot of comments on the Walter Reed series, as well as other things that Dana Priest has covered.

  • Swift Action Promised at Walter Reed
    Washington Post by Dana Priest and Anne Hull
    "The White House and congressional leaders called yesterday for swift investigation and repair of the problems plaguing outpatient care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, as veterans groups and members of Congress in both parties expressed outrage over substandard housing and the slow, dysfunctional bureaucracy there."

  • The Hotel Aftermath
    Washington Post.
    02/19/2007 by Anne Hull and Dana Priest
    This is a continuation of the story from 02/18/2007. Instead of Building 18 it features Mologne House, a military hotel originally intended as a short-term lodging facility for military personnel, retirees and their family members. Now it is used for some of the outpatients from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army's Top Medical Facility
    Washington Post.
    02/18/2007 by Dana Priest and Anne Hull.
    The first in the WaPo's series of stories on the neglect and mismanagement of wounded outpatient soldiers at Walter Reed Army Hospital. There are almost 700 military wounded, mostly soldiers, some Marines, no longer in hospital beds but still in need of either treatment of administrative decisions before being discharged or returned to active duty. Many are living in old and battered buildings with cockroaches, mice, with old, stained, cheap and battered furnishings. Building 18 is featured in this story.


democommie said...


I've put away my nifty mechanics coveralls and Darla found me a pretty much clean suit at the Salvation Army (the guy was a little bigger than me, but, what the hey). So, now, I'm Professor Democommie--but just when I'm on TDY away from the General's blog.

Boy, that General Surgeon General got buttfucked by "Badass Bobby" Gates. He's on the job a few months and it's his fault? What about the dickwad he replaced. Oh, that's right he's prolly working for some prosthetics manufacturer that just got bought up by Halliburton. Giving doctors military rank is pretty silly. They're already gods, or, they are not interested in becoming same. If it was about the Benjamins most of these guys could make double or triple what they get paid in the military. The majority of the medical people I met in the military were decent, hard working and dedicated people. The majority of staff officers I met were absolute dicks. Some heads need to roll over this but they should be those of the people who thought all of this was okay until the WaPo exposed it.

Okay this fucking bow tie is driving me nuts, I'm going back to the motor pool. Signed, Professor Democommie

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you're interested in this, but Salon began covering this problem 2 years ago. Here's a link to a good starting place for further exploration.

Richard said...

Thanks, anonymous.

I dug into the Salon files and I think I have the Walther Reed=related stories, and a few that just cover treatment for wounded vet. They are posted above in an article entitled "Salon stories on Walter Reed and wounded Vets."

Because to the need most of us have to get a "Day Pass" to access Salon, a totally separate article seems to me to be the most efficient way to handle thier reports.

Your comment was extremely useful to me.

mrShop said...

Very interesting!