Saturday, March 03, 2007

It Takes Your Breath Away

Joe Lieberman To Deliver The Democratic Response To Bush's Saturday Radio Address

I know just how Lewis Black feels:

What the hell is Harry Reid thinking?

Lieberman will urge accountability for `neglect' of the wounded. It's about time we got some of that 'accountability' from the Democratic leadership. To be chosen to respond to a presidential address is an honor reserved for those party loyalists whose profile the party wishes to elevate.

Joe Lieberman is no longer a Democrat and just this week threatened again to leave the Democratic Caucus. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gave the chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which oversees FEMA, to Lieberman who is now a registered Independent and shouldn't be chairing any committees. No sooner had Lieberman taken over as Chair did he retreat on a campaign promise to investigate and hold hearings on the Bush administration's response to hurricane Katrina.

The Hartford Courant reports:
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman plans to deliver the Democrats' radio response to President Bush today, urging that the president and Congress "hold the Pentagon and Army chain of command accountable for the neglect of our soldiers at Walter Reed" Army Medical Center.

A Washington Post report recently about the neglect and poor conditions faced by wounded service members who had served in Iraq has prompted a call for investigations and a shakeup among top personnel. On Friday, Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey resigned, a day after Harvey fired Army Major Gen. George W. Weightman, who was in charge of the facility.

Congress has moved quickly to investigate the reports of problems. On Monday, the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, on which Rep. Christopher Shays, R-4th District, is the top Republican, plans to hold a hearing at the hospital. Witnesses will include Weightman as well as soldiers and their families.

Lieberman, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, plans to say in his brief talk today, scheduled to air shortly after 11 a.m., that the reports in the Post "have uncovered completely unacceptable living conditions and inadequate services."

He listed some points: "Soldiers with brain injuries have gone weeks without being able to get doctors' appointments. There is not enough staff with the right skills to treat and care for the severely injured troops. And rooms where some soldiers lived were found to be moldy and infested with rodents."

He talked about how the White House and Congress "have an urgent obligation now to fix the neglect at Walter Reed and the longer term issues that affect our wounded veterans."

Among his solutions: Bringing the buildings up to standards that make them reliably clean, safe and comfortable, and making sure no injured soldier has to spend an inordinate amount of time waiting to learn if he or she will be reassigned or discharged from the Army as disabled.

"We must prevent this from ever happening again," he said.

Just when I think that Democrats couldn't be more spineless . . .

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