Levin: Last Congress Didn’t Investigate Walter Reed Because ‘They Did Not Want To Embarrass’ Bush

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"Levin: Last Congress Didn’t Investigate Walter Reed Because ‘They Did Not Want To Embarrass’ Bush"

On NBC’s Meet the Press today, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) argued that the Senate Armed Services Committee did not conduct oversight of the treatment at military facilities in recent years because “they did not want to embarrass the President.” As the new chairman of the committee, Levin said he will be visiting Walter Reed this week and holding a hearing on March 6.

Levin decried the deplorable conditions at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. “Where we need a surge is not in Iraq. We need a surge of concern for our troops, for the veterans, for the injured, for the wounded, for the families of those who have lost loved ones. That’s the surge of concern and that’s the surge that we need,” Levin said. Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/02/levinwalterreed.320.240.flv]

070305_cover_standard_120—159shkl.jpgIn its cover story, “Failing Our Wounded,” Newsweek reports that the government is struggling to care for an increasing number of injured soldiers. Newsweek’s investigation of the VA system “paints a grim portrait of an overloaded bureaucracy cluttered with red tape; veterans having to wait weeks or months for mental-health care and other appointments; families sliding into debt as VA case managers study disability claims over many months, and the seriously wounded requiring help from outside experts just to understand the VA’s arcane system of rights and benefits.”

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