Army Surgeon General Forced to Retire

the other shoe drops

By streiff Posted in Comments (4) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

A few days ago I expressed amazement that the Walter Reed Army Medical Center imbroglio had allowed Army Surgeon General LTG Kevin Kiley to survive.

Kiley was MG George Weightman's predecessor at WRAMC and had commanded the installation while the problems that cost Weightman his job existed.

The rumor around the firing of Army Secretary Francis Harvey was that he was upset that Kiley survived both his direct involvment in the mess and his Colonel-Blimpesque performance on Capitol Hill.

That oversight has been rectified.

Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley has lost his job as Army surgeon general, another casualty of the care scandal at Walter Reed Medical Center.

Acting Army Secretary Pete Geren asked for Kiley's resignation, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates approved the action, a senior Pentagon official said.

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Army Surgeon General Forced to Retire 4 Comments (0 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

Sorry for the pun (no I'm not).

I'm as outraged as anyone about this, but to tell the truth, I'm not surprised. Anyone who's had aging relative (i.e., vets from "dubya dubya two, da big one") dealing with the VA hospital system has known about the state of THOSE hospitals for years.

All of the histrionics coming out of congress, and in particular from the Dems about this puts me in mind of Claude Raines in "Casablanca" in the scene where he shuts down Ricks:

Louis: "I'm shocked, SHOCKED I say, to learn that gambling has been going on in this establishment"

Croupier: (walking into camera from the gambling room) "Here are your winnings, Monseur."

Louis: (casually pocketing the large wad of bills) "Oh, thank you very much"

Here's the deal: we have the Army hospitals, which are frankly a scandal, we have the VA hospitals, which treat geriatric patients pretty much like cordwood, the French have a government health system that allowed 3,000 preventable deaths of elderly patients to happen due to a simple heat wave, the Bahamas have a government health system where people die waiting to see doctors, the Canadians have a system that people regularly cross the border to escape, the English have a system that's decaying...

Look folks, it's not the Army, and it's not the VA, and it's not the fact that these people are veterans. Just like every socialist system ever set up on the planet has eventually degraded into a totalitarian state, every health care system administered by a government has degenerated into glorified hospice care. And yet the same people screaming the loudest over the situation at Walter Reed are the ones that want to see government take over the entire health care system in this country.

Lord knows we need to fix the probblems in the Army hospital system, and we need to fix the VA hospital system, but for cryin' out loud, can we at least learn something from this debacle?

it is an active duty/retired members hospital.

The VA doesn't fall under the leadership of the Generals, it is a different bureaucracy. I would agree though that VA care is terrible in a lot of places, and very hit or miss.

Walter Reed was under the command of Kiley when the problems and complaints started, of course part of the problem is that Walter Reed was on the last round of BRAC closures, and is set to shut down withing the next few years-I am betting the Army wasn't willing to sink too much cash into the hospital given it wasn't going to be around in a few years.

But there is no excuse for not doing something about the complaints-especially things like mold and uncleanliness. I can understand maybe passing on new floors or paint jobs, but cleanliness and quality of care are two things that should have been provided period. Somebody dropped the ball, and in the military the guy at the top is ultimately responsible.

The point is, we have two separate government agencies in this country that are already running hospitals, and the fact that one is taking care of vets and the other is taking care of active duty (and the occasional VIP) is a coincidence; the real similarity is that they're both run by the government, or more to the point, by government bureaucrats operating under a set of motivating factors that don't include customer satisfaction.

If Rove was still on top of his game, he'd be using the press storm to undermine the idea of government health care in general.

MG Kenneth Farmer was MG Weightman's predecessor in command at WRAMC, not LTG Kiley. Kiley lives on post, however, and has been in his position significantly longer than MG Weightman was in his. Thus the plausible deniability is lacking.

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