This morning on his radio show, Don Imus questioned Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) about his reaction to the conditions at Walter Reed, saying, “If you’re somebody who thought the war was such a wonderful idea, as you did, and continues to support this idiotic exercise…[you] have a special responsibility to know what the hell has happened to these kids.” Lieberman responded, “We all ought to be doing mea culpas. ”
Lieberman also claimed the replacement of Maj. Gen. George Weightman with Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley at Walter Reed was “a good first step.” Imus responded, “It’s an absurd first step. [Weightman] didn’t have anything to do with this. He’s been in charge — that’s a big scapegoat deal and you know that.” Watch it:
IMUS: I had Senator John McCain on — I can’t remember when it was. It was yesterday…
IMUS: … or the day before. And I asked him — and he’s the one who took me and Charles and Bernard over to Walter Reed. He told me he didn’t know what was going on there.
IMUS: And do you think he is telling me the truth?
LIEBERMAN: I do. Of course, I do.
IMUS: It would occur to me, Senator Lieberman…
LIEBERMAN: Yes, sir.
IMUS: … that, particularly if you’re somebody who thought the war was such a wonderful idea, as you did, and continues to support this idiotic exercise that you — and probably you sit on some of these oversight committees…
IMUS: … that you would have a special responsibility to know what the hell has happened to these kids.
IMUS: It’s not enough to say you didn’t know or you didn’t ask the right questions. I mean, that’s why we elected you.
LIEBERMAN: We all have responsibility. And I will tell you very personally, because I have supported the war and continue to believe that we’ve got to do everything we can to have it end successfully, I have a special responsibility. And so, you know, we all ought to be doing mea culpas.
IMUS: How do we get this fixed?
LIEBERMAN: Well, I think the first thing is to hold people accountable. And, you know, General Weightman going is a good first step. The Armed Services Committee…
IMUS: Well, it’s an absurd first step. He didn’t have anything to do with this. He’s been in charge — that’s a big scapegoat deal and you know that.
LIEBERMAN: Your questions about General Kiley are very good questions, and I’m going to ask him. Because this, after all, is the guy that was in charge for a couple years.
IMUS: Well, he’s a lying skunk. He ought to be forced to resign today, Senator.
LIEBERMAN: Of course, I don’t have that exact authority.
But I will tell you that — I’m on the Armed Services Committee. The Armed Services Committee oversees the medical hospitals. And a group of us on the committee are going out there this afternoon. And I am going to ask some of the tough questions that you and a lot of others…
IMUS: See if they’ll let you, Senator Joe Lieberman, walk around without being escorted by four or five of these generals who’ve known about this for years.
IMUS: I mean, did you read Dana Priest and Anne Hull story in The Washington Post yesterday, that General Kiley’s been up there testifying before your committee and lying to you, Senator…
IMUS: … lying to you and these other people. He’s lying to you.
LIEBERMAN: I agree.
Look, this is the guy that was on top of the institution. It is not — it’s a good sized hospital, but it’s not a city. And this was a building that was an important part of that. So, look, he should have known.
LIEBERMAN: Part of this, Don, was that the whole response never lived up to the increasing demand on the Army medical system or the military medical system after Iraq.
IMUS: Well, that’s not a good excuse.
LIEBERMAN: Well, no, it’s not an excuse. It’s an explanation.