Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley commanded Walter Reed from 2002-2004. Recent reports show that Kiley knew about the neglect and deplorable conditions there for years. In one stunning case, Kiley took no action when personally informed that a soldier was sleeping in his own urine. He continues to skirt responsibility for the neglect, calling the Washington Post’s Walter Reed investigation “yellow journalism at its worst.”
But this scandal isn’t the first time Kiley has tried to play down “allegations of concerns with the Army medical community.” In 2005, his office conducted a review of medical personnel overseas, after multiple reports alleging their roles in detainee abuse.
– A report in the New England Journal of Medicine found that “U.S. Army doctors violated the Geneva Conventions by helping intelligence officers carry out abusive interrogations at military detention centers, perhaps participating in torture.”
– A 2004 study in The Lancet, a prestigious British medical journal, found that medical personnel “collaborated with interrogators or abusive guards and failed to properly report injuries or deaths caused by beatings.”
In a July 7 press conference, Kiley denied these reports and gave the system a positive review:
We found no evidence of systemic problems in detainee medical care. … And so in summary, the assessment results demonstrate that the nation can be proud of our military medical professionals. We have a dedicated team of them working every day to provide quality health care for each patient they treat, whether a U.S. service member, coalition troop or detainee. The assessment clearly demonstrates that military medical professionals reported suspected abuse in the overwhelming majority of cases.
But as the Wasington Post notes, Kiley failed to “mention that his office found serious flaws in detainee health care overseas, and that it had identified dozens of abuse cases.” He also admitted that his office never actually spoke to detainees. The report, released the day after Kiley’s press conference, “showed that there were major gaps in detainee care and that there was little official guidance on how to treat detainees.”
Despite these inexcusable cover-ups, Kiley continues to serve as the Army’s surgeon general.