Davis Didn’t Dig Deep Enough Into Walter Reed

The commander of Walter Reed Army Medical Center has been fired and replaced by Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, someone who has received numerous complaints, for several years, about the conditions at the hospital and seemingly ignored them. Some of those lodging complaints were Republicans, including Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.) and his wife. Even the wife of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had been to Walter Reed to hear of unsatisfactory care there.

Then this week, after The Washington Post published the explosive findings about Walter Reed, Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) claimed the series “is in part based on three years of work by our committee’s investigative staff.” Davis made this claim in a letter to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) who now chairs the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Davis of course ran the committee in the GOP majority. Hearings were held in the previous Congress and at one a soldier testified — right beside Kiley — that a “dysfunctional system” results in “massive stress and mental pain causing further harm. It would be very easy to correct the situation if the command element climate supported it,” according to the Post.

Davis deserves credit for digging in to the problems at Walter Reed. But he clearly didn’t dig deep enough. If he had, Congress would have uncovered how veterans are treated at Walter Reed before The Washington Post did.

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