Tuesday, March 06, 2007
A fish rots from the head.......
Read for yourself:
The Honorable Robert M. Gates
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20301-1000
Dear Secretary Gates:
You are to be commended for accepting the resignation of Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey in the wake of the scandalous and deplorable treatment of patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I now respectfully request you solicit the resignation of Dr. David S. C. Chu, Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness).
Since taking his current Department of Defense post, Dr. Chu has testified before Congress, given speeches and written articles for the media on numerous occasions. If the topic relates to veterans' issues, retired military personnel or military dependents benefits his approach has repeatedly been negative. In fact, some of his public comments have actually displayed disdain for those who, in the past, served their country with honor. He has been particularly vicious in arguing against expenditures for veteran and retiree health care.
I do not need to chronicle all the reasons why Dr. Chu is viewed as the designated "attack dog" fighting against apparently anything that will benefit active duty, veteran and retired military personnel. Following are just a few of the items Dr. Chu has opposed:
-Reduced Reserve retirement age
-Health Care improvements for veterans
-Hikes in Imminent Danger pay and family separation allowance
That's just the begining of a long list of sins. In his position Dr Chu has oversight on Military Healthcare. In fact the now departed Assistant Secretary of Defense for Healthcare issues worked for Dr Chu. Few people know who he is. However just about every verterans group has had issues with Dr Chu-ever since he came into office he has been the voice of non-compassion. Having a visibile and public firing of Dr Chu would send a message that the new SECDEF gets it. Even if it did nothing to solve Walter Reed, it would be welcomed by the military coalition. Having their support will be critical in the months and years to come.
Because in the end, as Rep Waxman stated, the scandal at Walter Reed is just the tip of the iceberg. Take a stroll around the milblogs and you will see that DOD has big problems and it all comes down to one thing: requirements are outstripping resources. Its not just healthcare, its equipment, its people, its so many things that are not being resourced properly. As I have said repeatedly, that was the primary responsibilty of Donald Rumsfeld. It was a task that he failed miserably at.
It's important for Secretary Gates to distance himself from any trace of the old regime. Firing Dr Chu advances that cause. Many of the other villians are gone: Wolfwitz, Feith, even Rumsfeld himself. This would simply be completing the circle.
And if nothing else-it sure would make me happy.