Our troops have been treated disgracefully at Walter Reed

In the case of American troops killed in action in what the Marine Corps pathologist calls preventable casualties, our government is charged with the moral equivalent of negligent homicide.

In the case of wounded American troops who are disrespected, abused or mistreated in military hospitals our government is charged with the moral equivalent of criminal negligence. On this count I take responsibility and plead guilty for not knowing about this and acting to stop it. Shame on me.

In the case of politicians who let these wrongs persist while accusing opponents of not supporting our troops, you are charged with the moral equivalent of perjury.

In the case of politicians who walk by homeless veterans living on grates and hungry with pain, and don’t wage a historic battle to end this harvest of shame, you are charged with ignoring the Golden Rule, Sermon on the Mount and our national anthem.

For government that increases our troops in Iraq while allowing some to continue to be killed by preventable deaths, you are charged with the moral equivalent of murder.

For those who claim this is “over the top” you might consider this:

When the Marine Corps pathologist said up to 70 percent of American casualties in Iraq were preventable, this means they were not killed or wounded only by enemy attack, but by negligence in Washington that could have prevented these wounds and deaths, but did not.

Even today, approaching the fifth year of this war, the preventable casualties continue. It deserves no pardon for politicians that only 50 percent, or 30 percent, or 10 percent of casualties are caused by neglect from Washington. It deserves no commutation of sentence that finally, a great reporter uncovers a great scandal in the treatment of wounded heroes, which remained unnoticed only miles from the gala fundraising, pork barrel gouging and endless spinmeistering by the powers to whom this note is addressed.

What is the legal culpability of the drunken driver who gets tanked and kills five innocent victims? And is released, gets drunk again, and kills five hundred more? And does it again, gets drunk, drives, and kills a thousand more?

Have we lost all sense of decency and honor that even after the Marine Corps pathologist shames us by quantifying our negligence, this continues? We are a nation to whom God has given much, with heroes who give all in service.

We are a nation where markets are awash in cash. Millionaires proliferate in record number. Our news is obsessed with Britney’s hair and Anna Nicole’s corpse. Some dance to their iPods. Others count their stock options and worry about their housing bubbles.

Yet our heroes give their lives in Arabia or come to be treated like dirt only miles from the Capitol while politicians proclaim their love for the troops. Shame, shame, shame.

I propose the president, congressional leaders and the armed services committees join in extraordinary legislative and executive public hearings.

Bring the best minds in the country together. Shine the light on every issue that involves the lives and health of our troops.

Take responsiblity. Write a program. Pass it by the 4th of July. Go to the country. Tell our people the cost, and a grateful nation will proudly pay it, to stand with those who keep us free.

Brent Budowsky is a contributing editor to Fighting Democrats News Service. He is a former aide to ex-Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and to the House Democratic Leadership with then-Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.) as chief deputy whip.