Monday, July 30, 2012

Army Delays Investigation for Political Reasons

Here is a story that I came across recently and I was surprised that the media has not given it more play. It seems US tax dollars (over 150 million so far) have been pouring into a military hospital in Afghanistan which has patients being treated, and mistreated, under appalling conditions. What is worse, the Army knew about it and at least one senior general tried to delay or cover up an investigation called for by Army personnel -for political reasons!

Military officers accused one of the highest-ranking US commanders in Afghanistan, Lieutenant General William Caldwell, of trying to cover up a horrifying scandal at a taxpayer-funded hospital in Kabul to limit bad news in an election year. Colonel Mark Fassl said he was shocked when Lt. Gen. William Caldwell cited the then-upcoming 2010 congressional elections as the reason not to investigate the hospital.

The general reportedly said at the time: “How could we … make this request with elections coming? He calls me Bill.” Col. Fassl said he believed the “he” in that statement was a reference to President Obama.

Two retired colonels who worked with the training command also told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that Caldwell did not want an investigation of the Dawood National Military Hospital, and one described the building as having “Auschwitz-like conditions.”

U.S. taxpayers spent more than $150 million on the hospital in just 18 months.

Caldwell is now head of U.S. Army North Command and senior commander of Fort Sam Houston in Texas. North Command spokesman Col. Wayne Shanks said, “I am sure that Lt. Gen. Caldwell would welcome the opportunity to respond to any inquiry, and I’m confident that once the facts are presented and examined, all allegations will be proven false.” 

If the Colonel's testimony and recollections are true (and I think they are), this General's actions in a military command position are unforgivable and the general needs to be disciplined. We can not allow our military officers (especially those in senior command positions) to be influenced by political considerations. If they want to get involved in politics they should resign or retire first. They should never, never, let how a command decision will effect the election or re-election of a political candidate effect the execution of their duties and responsibilities.

I am also disappointed that the media chose to give all this so little coverage and let us taxpayers know how 150 million of our dollars have gone to finance such a corrupt and ineffective operation.

The video clip below discusses this subject. I could only find a couple of other short 2 minute clips of reporting (one CNN) of the matter.

Live Long and Prosper...

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