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Sunday, March 18, 2007

This Administration should never again be able to get away with accusing ANYONE of "not supporting the troops"
Posted by Jill | 9:47 AM
The situation at Walter Reed is even worse than what we've known up to this point:

Washington, DC (WUSA) -- A major 9NEWS NOW EXCLUSIVE -- allegations from a former inspector at Walter Reed of widespread and dangerous problems in nearly all the buildings at the Army's premier hospital.

Burst steam pipes near electrical cables, rats, mold, and holes in floors and walls -- all of that extends far beyond the well-publicized problems at the notorious Building 18.

And 9NEWS NOW has learned managers may have been slow to respond.

A worried quality control inspector, Mark Cordell, finally quit last week in frustration, and brought his fears to 9NEWS NOW.

"I won't sit back and watch someone get killed," he says while running through 81 pictures of the problems on a laptop computer.

Cordell says the worst of it may be Building 40. The old research institute has been condemned, but last week, the private contractor now responsible for maintaining Walter Reed sent workers in to fix a leak.

Cordell points to a picture showing the terrible decay inside the building and says, "The water is actually on the ground floor here. There is water halfway across the ground floor. And there's electricity too. There's high voltage that goes to this building. Two thirteen thousand volt transformers. Through the basement filled with water."

Cordell took more pictures in Building 1, the old hospital, that's now the main administration building. Water damage in the walls; holes in the ceilings next to electric cables and computer servers; hazardous waste stored between occupied floors; and leaking pipes that are rotting floor joists.

"The steam pipes below these buildings have burst, and it's making the rafters on the basement floor wet. People work on those floors," says Cordell.

When the Washington Post exposed the black mold in Building 18, where wounded soldiers recover, the contractor sent Cordell in to coordinate repairs. He says he did 250 to 300 work orders in two weeks.

The Army moved many of the injured soldiers to Building 14 -- and Cordell says as soon as they arrived the troops found more problems.

"So the building the soldiers moved to is just as messed up as Building 18?" asked 9NEWS NOW Reporter Bruce Leshan.

"Yes. Every one of the buildings at Walter Reed is the same way, or worse."

If you needed further proof that to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and the entire neocon cabal that got us into this mess in Iraq, these young men and women are nothing but cannon fodder -- meat puppets to be deposited into a war zone and then forgotten -- here it is. They give lip service to supporting the troops, but then outsource the maintenance of the facility to -- wait for it -- a subsidiary of Halliburton. It's all about the money to this bunch -- money stuffed into Cheney's pockets, money stuffed into the pocket of the other Bush cronies who have been feeding at the federal trough ever since this bunch of criminals took office in 2001.

In Bush's weekly radio address yesterday, he said, "Congress needs to approve emergency funding for our troops, without strings and without delays...Many in Congress say they support the troops, and I believe them. Now they have a chance to show that support in deed, as well as in word."

And so does the Bush Administration, by cleaning up Walter Reed or getting the American kids wounded in his war of choice, his unnecessary war based on lies, this war he was determined to have no matter how many careers he had to destroy to get it, the hell out of there.

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