Sunday, March 04, 2007

Gates calls for greater accountability

Washington Post broke the story of revelations about problems at the US top medical hospital, where wounded veterans get long-term care, and heads have started rolling on. Soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered neglect, bureaucratic intransigence and infestations of rats, cockroaches and mould, it emerged.

Robert Gates, Mr Bush's new Defence Secretary, won considerable praise for the swiftness with which he demanded accountability - and a resignation letter Secretary of the Army Francis Harvey has abruptly resigned on Friday, the latest fallout from the Walter Reed outpatient housing scandal.

In the past, when scandals broke out such as the torture in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Mr. Gates' predecessor Donald Rumsfeld's Defense Department did its best to stop potentially incriminating information from coming out and only low level officers paid the price. Although the problems with the medical facility have been insidious, Robert Gates determined leadership will help to restore the shaken public confidence.

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