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Monday, March 12, 2007

Army Surgeon General, Walter Reed Chief Resigns

From Financial Times via MSNBC:

The scandal over the conditions at Walter Reed, an army medical facility for wounded US soldiers from Iraq, claimed a third army casualty on Monday when Lieutenant General Kevin Kiley, the US army surgeon general, was asked to resign.

His resignation, demanded by senior Defence Department officials, follows the dismissals of Francis Harvey, army secretary, and Major General George Weightman, a commander at the army centre. The three departures mark a notable shift by the Bush administration towards holding officials accountable for mistakes made under their command.

The swift departure of three of the most senior officials connected with Walter Reed also underlines how damaging the revelations by the Washington Post of conditions there have been to the administration, reviving an image of incompetent governance associated with its handling of Hurricane Katrina.

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Pete Geren, who assumed the role of acting secretary of the army on Friday, on Monday said: "Events of late – failures by some, failures in our system – have tarnished the reputation of us all. The American people expect us to fulfil our obligation to those who have borne the battle.

"Our disability system, built over generations in the spirit of Lincoln's commitment, has become a maze, overly bureaucratic; in some cases, unresponsive and needlessly complex. It is a system that frustrates and often stymies the best intentions of dedicated public servants and compromises the army values we pledged to uphold."

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