Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Defense Secretary Gates: “Shocked” at Treatment of Wounded Soldiers

“Oh shit, what are those whiny gimp-ass veterans bitching about now? OOPS, there's a TV camera. Uh, ahem, I, I want you to know that I’m just shocked — shocked! — by these horrible revelations from Walter Reed Hospital.”

Nice try Asshole. There's nothing new about the inhuman treatment of disabled veterans and wounded soldiers. But whenever a new horror story leaks out, it’s time for the VIP of the month to start preening in front of the cameras and act horrified and concerned, and promise to "look into it."

This situation shows the huge disconnect between millions of “Support Our Troops!” bumperstickers and yellow ribbons, and the true priorities of our armchair warriors. Once our soldiers come home wounded or disabled, they just get thrown away like an empty bottle. This is a generalization, but most of the people in Congress who keep reducing funds for veterans’ care are the same rightwing chickenhawk bitches who slander and smear anyone who disagrees with the Iraqi invasion. And the legislators who fight for veterans’ benefits are mostly those leftwing moonbats who “don’t support the troops.”

Some soldiers at Walter Reed have been punished for speaking to the media, and they’ve been warned to keep quiet. The Pentagon is now clamping down on media coverage of any and all Defense Department medical facilities. Everything was going just fine until that damn media started nosing around.

If you really think the Defense Department gives a flying fuck about any of our wounded soldiers, check this out. It’s a report about “military out-patients warehoused in quarters unfit for human habitation…They’ve been living in rat and roach-infested rooms, some of which are coated in black mold.”

And now that these sickening conditions have been revealed: “Within 24 hours, construction crews were working overtime, slapping over the moldy drywall, patching the sagging ceilings and putting out traps and poison for the critters that infest the place.”

Yup, things are gonna change now.

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Blogger Mike V. said...

Man, this whole thing stinks to high heaven and really pisses me off.
For the war, against the war, whatever; no one can argue that we need to fucking take care of these people no matter the cost.

March 1, 2007 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mike: Yup, it's a pisser. I'm surprised anyone is enlisting, knowing what awaits them in Iraq and what they can look forward to when/if they come home.

March 1, 2007 at 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Kurt said...

This is the most pathetic thing this administration has done, so far...

March 1, 2007 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Kurt: Yeah, that's pretty pathetic. If we're gonna send people off to fight in a war, the absolute least we can do is take care of them if they come home injured or disabled.

March 1, 2007 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

This is such an amazingly abusive administration. And it doesn't matter whether you're friend or foe.

March 1, 2007 at 4:45 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

J. Marquis: You've gotta hand it to this administration; they're an equal opportunity abuser, friend or foe.

March 1, 2007 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Lizzy said...

This admin only "supports the troops" while they have their boots on the ground in Iraq. As soon as one of their limbs are blown off, or worse, fuck 'em.

We, on the other hand, truly support the troops. We want them to come home from this nightmare and take care of them once they get here.

March 1, 2007 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Mile High Pixie said...

I saw images of these hospitals on TV last night, and as an architect who designs hospitals for a living, appalled does not begin to cover what I saw. A hospital that looked like this in the private sector or even the non-profit sector would have been shut down so fast it would make W's head spin.

George Carlin once described conservatives thus: "Conservatives are pro-abortion because they need live babies so they can make them into dead soldiers." Evidently, they also like sick, infected soldiers. We can only hope that one of the many boards that certify and license healthcare facilities will step in where the Defense Department fears to tread.

March 1, 2007 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

I think that to our administration the American people are nothing but faceless pawns to be used for achieving devious political ends. While Bu$hCo loves to butt-trumpet its "support the troops" schtick, they just don't seem to give a shit about how what they do affects the lives of people, as long as the use of those people helps Bu$hCo achieve it's goals.

There is a veterans' hospital not far from here that is continually facing being shut down by the administration. When it comes to things like this, to the administration I say "Fuck you!" These people (hey Dubya, they are people, not toy soldiers!) enlisted in our military, willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and you aren't willing to fully reward them by caring adequately for them, for treating their traumatic brain injuries, giving the prosthetic devices for their body parts that have been blown away, or providing continuing treatment for chronic conditions they endure as a result of being placed in harm's way by YOU? Well, fuck you! Raise my taxes a few bucks a month if you want. Maybe YOU don't want to help these veterans but I DO.

Considering the extent of his "military service", I can see how Dumbya is totally missing the boat on this problem.

March 1, 2007 at 8:20 PM  
Blogger spaceneedl said...

this home-grown atrocity is occurring at the "crown jewel" of the VA system.

just imagine what the "average" VA facility is like.

March 1, 2007 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Lizzy: You’ve got it. As soon as our soldiers are wounded or disabled, they're just thrown away like a broken tool. Those wimpy leftists who “hate America” are the ones who support the troops when the troops are really in need.

Mile High Pixie: Those pictures must have been pretty appalling. I didn’t see any pictures, just articles about it. But this kind of treatment is inexcusable. And it’s really telling that the Pentagon didn’t seem too bothered by the God-awful conditions at the hospital; they were mostly just pissed off that the news got leaked to the press.

George Carlin’s joke reminds me of a picture I saw on a comedy site. Dubya was holding a baby, and he was saying “in another 18 years we’re gonna need you to go kill us some Ay-rabs.”

March 1, 2007 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: I think Bush has been so sheltered and isolated all his life that he really thinks people outside of his inner circle (if he thinks of them at all) are just pawns, just props. For that matter, the entire rightwing pro-war community seems to think that way. I don’t remember ever seeing any rightwing blogger or columnist talking about the horrible conditions at VA hospitals, or the tragedy of Iraqi war veterans becoming unemployed or homeless. It seems like the only people who care about soldiers after they’ve returned, are those traitorous moonbats who “hate the troops.”

If Dumbya hadn’t gotten that cushy gig with the Texas Air Guard (which he didn’t even finish) and if Cheney had served at all, those 2 assholes might have some tiny inkling of what is like for soldiers (or for real people in general). Medical care, benefits, financial assistance — these things should be available to any veteran who needs them. This shouldn’t even be argued about; it’s just inconceivable to not provide the necessities for soldiers and veterans.

Spaceneedl: I hadn’t even thought of that, than an “average” VA facility would be even worse than Walter Reed. Yikes!

March 1, 2007 at 8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's like you said Tom, this is very old. Until Clinton Veteran's care had been reduced in budget since Nixon. Ask any Veteran, the system is a famous joke (would make you Kaiser members envious.

I was a little suprised about Walter Reed because that is supposed to a primo hospital that takes care of the President and the Cabinet.

People should know that right wing hawk usually means more weopans, more wars and bigger contracts. It has rarely meant more troop pay, care and benefits


March 2, 2007 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: Yup, there seems to be a correlation. The more gung ho somebody is about "supporting our troops" (i.e. attacking other countries), the less interested they are in the soldiers who come home injured.

March 2, 2007 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger Mile High Pixie said...

The video I saw on "Scarborough Country" of the facility showed chunks of plaster missing from the ceiling in bathrooms, huge sections of walls covered in mold, paint peeling in sheets, severely cracked tiles on the building's exterior.... Absolutely filthy. Even if the mold turns out to be the "non-lethal" kind, it's still a very bad sign. That means you've got water getting into the building, and it's feeding things inside. You don't want *anything* growing in a hospital unless it's in a petri dish in a lab.

But frankly, Tom, why should we be surprised about this, what with the state of health care for the rest of America? Why shouldn't the government screw the bravest and most generous among us if it's also willing to refuse guaranteed healthcare to children and the elderly?

March 2, 2007 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mile High Pixie: Sounds like a pretty grim video. And you're right, it's not surprising. I'm surprised anyone is still enlisting, knowing what they have to look forward to if they come home wounded or disabled.

March 2, 2007 at 9:34 PM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...


They fucking knew. There is less than no doubt about it. They knew for YEARS.

March 3, 2007 at 12:08 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jolly Roger: The more this thing unravels, the worse it gets. This is Katrinagate all over again.

March 3, 2007 at 12:38 AM  
Blogger Candace said...

This shit's been going on since Vietnam that I know of, and probably before that, and everyone knew it. Yeah, they were all "shocked."

Just as sickening are those visits that Bush makes to those same hospitals to speak with the wounded vets. Can't you just see him talking in somber tones to these guys as their "Commander in Chief," telling them how proud he is of their heroic sacrifice? Makes me want to puke. I really think in his own mind, Bush believes this shit. Tom, when you said that outside of his own circle, Bush probably sees people as objects, as not real beings - that's one sign of a sociopath. They are the center of the universe, and everyone and everything else are just props orbiting around them. Ghastly. I doubt that Bush even sees the people IN his own circle as anything more than that.

March 3, 2007 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Candace: You're right, this went on during Vietnam too; and probably before that too. And everyone is "shocked" when it gets reported.

I really do think Bush sees himself as the center of the world and everyone else (including his inner circle, like you said) as just props. That just seems to be his viewpoint, the way he goes about everything.

March 3, 2007 at 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Eileen Parker said...

I saw your post about wounded soldiers and wondered if you had seen this Sunday's Washington Post story on the wounded :



April 10, 2007 at 4:20 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Eileen: No, I hadn't seen that article. That's pretty gruesome. Thanks for the link.

April 10, 2007 at 8:54 AM  

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