I have no particular doubt that Jim Nicholas, Bush's appointee to run the Department of Veterans Affairs, may well have screwed things up but would it kill The New York Times to make it clear that Walter Reed is not a VA hospital? It's an Army facility where they treat wounded soldiers, and it's administratively distinct. Ann Hull and Dana Preist at The Washington Post, by contrast, go wide with a look at other military medical centers comparably situation to Walter Reed. Suffice it to say that there are further problems here:

Hundreds of soldiers contacted The Washington Post through telephone calls and e-mails, many of them describing their bleak existence in Medhold.

From Fort Campbell in Kentucky: "There were yellow signs on the door stating our barracks had asbestos."

From Fort Bragg in North Carolina: "They are on my [expletive] like a diaper. . . . there are people getting chewed up everyday."

From Fort Dix in New Jersey: "Scare tactics are used against soldiers who will write sworn statement to assist fellow soldiers for their medical needs."

From Fort Irwin in California: "Most of us have had to sign waivers where we understand that the housing we were in failed to meet minimal government standards."



The article does go on to note some veterans problems; in particular great difficulty actually getting benefits people are entitled to because the administration doesn't seem to have actually enhanced the VA's capability to deliver services very much while it's also massively ramped up the supply of wounded veterans in need of service. Chalk the declining conditions at the military hospitals up as another victory in the GOP passion for contracting out government services.