March 02, 2007

Sweeping Weightman (and Walter Reed) Under the Rug

So you have probably heard that the Army has relieved Major General George Weightman of his at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. And it apparently is now also asking him not to be a witness at Monday's subcommittee hearing on how US troops are being treated at that facility. Rep. Tierny (D-MA) who'll be chairing that hearing had this to say in response:

I think it is very curious that the Army, on the eve of our hearing, has not only relieved Major General George Weightman of his command but is also asking him to no longer be a witness.

Hmmm, yeah, it's "curious" all right - but it's also so incredibly predictable that it makes you want to cry.

Posted by armand at March 2, 2007 12:46 PM | TrackBack | Posted to Military Affairs | Politics


And then there is this.

Posted by: binky at March 2, 2007 01:01 PM | PERMALINK

Well Weightman is the target of Congressman Waxman's first ever subpoena - so I guess he will be at the hearing on Monday after all.

Posted by: Armand at March 2, 2007 04:58 PM | PERMALINK

Well well well... via C&L comes this from the Army Times:

"The Army was unable to provide a satisfactory explanation for the decision to prevent General Weightman from testifying," committee members said in a statement today.

The committee wants to learn more about a letter written in September by Garrison Commander Peter Garibaldi to Weightman.

The memorandum "describes how the Army's decision to privatize support services at Walter Reed Army Medical Center was causing an exodus of 'highly skilled and experienced personnel,'" the committee's letter states. "According to multiple sources, the decision to privatize support services at Walter Reed led to a precipitous drop in support personnel at Walter Reed."

The letter said Walter Reed also awarded a five-year, $120-million contract to IAP Worldwide Services, which is run by Al Neffgen, a former senior Halliburton official.

They also found that more than 300 federal employees providing facilities management services at Walter Reed had drooped to fewer than 60 by Feb. 3, 2007, the day before IAP took over facilities management. IAP replaced the remaining 60 employees with only 50 private workers.

"The conditions that have been described at Walter Reed are disgraceful," the letter states. "Part of our mission on the Oversight Committee is to investigate what led to the breakdown in services. It would be reprehensible if the deplorable conditions were caused or aggravated by an ideological commitment to privatize government services regardless of the costs to taxpayers and the consequences for wounded soldiers."

Posted by: binky at March 2, 2007 07:27 PM | PERMALINK
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