Oops! We Did It Again.
By Dana Milbank
Wednesday, July 23, 2008; A03
The generals were nervous.
Lt. Gen. Robert Wilson moved his index finger across the page as he read his statement with a halting delivery. Maj. Gen. David Rubenstein, holding a discolored washcloth under the witness table to dry his perspiration, accidentally dropped the cloth and felt for it with his shoe.
The anxiety, even for men with two or three stars on each shoulder, was to be expected. They had come before a House Armed Services subcommittee to explain why, 16 months and at least eight fact-finding investigations after the Walter Reed scandal, the Army still hadn't fixed the health-care system for soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dana Milbank's tag-team follow up of Dana Priest's excellent expose of the disaster at Walter Reed Hospital establishes the fact that the military--no surprise--can't find it's medical rear-end with both hands.
I have a solution. One that cuts through the problems of chain-of-command.
All findings of the eight investigations will be implemented in the next four months--or--each of the four generals in attendance before the committee will lose a star. That would reduce at least one of them to Colonel. They will then be given another four months.
Voila! No completion? Another star.
There are few things as dear to the military as their retiring rank. It sets not only their position among their peers, but the larger issue of retirement pay.
You want action? It's in the stars.