RUSH: Here’s Bill in Cincinnati. Thank you for your patience, sir. Welcome to the show.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, mega retired firefighter dittos.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Hey, I was seriously hurt on the job and your three hours provided me more pain relief than my morphine pump will ever do.
RUSH: Well, I appreciate that. Thank you for saying that, sir.
CALLER: I’m serious. You really do. This is the best three hours of my day. But what I called about, Rush, was, I got a problem with the politicians like Chuck Schumer that are up in arms over the conditions at Walter Reed over the last couple years. Schumer sends a letter to Robert Gates to investigate everything that’s going on, but my feeling is, if he had gone there over the years to visit all the patients rather than the occasional photo-op, he would have known that there was a lot of problems long ago.
RUSH: You know, Bill, this is an excellent point. I’ve been watching this hearing a little bit today. Congress went on the road to have a committee hearing. They had a hearing at Walter Reed. Last November, I was at Walter Reed, and this is not in the big scheme of things indicative of anything. I spent an hour in one of the amputee rehab centers. I talked to 25 people in there, and I had an entourage with me — and there were some uniforms there, but I said, ?Do you have everything you need here?? They were happy. These guys, it blew me away. I’ve told the story countless times. These people were ebullient and it was sobering. These are people missing one or both legs, an arm, going through rehabilitation, and they were incredibly upbeat. They were young, as you would expect. In fact, I went in there five minutes after John Kerry left. I asked one of the soldiers, ?Did Kerry say anything??
?No. He just comes in here for his photo-op every now and then,? and the soldier said to me, ?I wish he would have said something, because I would have said, ?Senator, I’m too dumb to understand you. I went Iraq and got stuck there.??
About this Walter Reed, don’t misunderstand. I don’t expect them to start unloading on me about whatever lack of great care they’re getting or circumstances, but somebody in the place did, and here’s the thing about this Walter Reed thing that offends my sensibilities. I’m watching this hearing today. In fact, grab sound bite 18, because we got Schumer, Bill, reacting to this and talking about it. Here we have these pontificating congressmen once again acting as mere spectators. They failed their own base closure responsibilities and oversight. You know, Walter Reed is being shut down. The base closure committee is shutting it down and whatever’s contained there has gotta move, I think, over to Bethesda. So Congress didn’t have the guts to deal with it. They had a blue-ribbon panel do it — and now they complain? What about congressional oversight here? These guys act like things are going on in the country and they don’t know anything about it! They’re sitting up there pointing fingers of blame at everybody else, as though they’re the giant fixers?
These people are our congressmen. They write the laws. They have committee after committee after committee and can do oversight on virtually anything that they want. You know, what the hell good are they and their staffs and their supposed oversight responsibilities? They can’t deal with this stuff before it appears in the Washington Post! In hearing after hearing after hearing, they get all kinds of reports from the General Accounting Office and the inspector generals at various research services. They conduct investigations and hearings. They act like they’re surprised over all this. Some of these committee chairmen have been in Congress for 20, 30, or 40 years. Here’s another thing. I want to know this. How many congressmen…? I don’t know that the answer is any, but I have to believe some congressmen have heard from their constituents.
If the circumstances at Walter Reed are as bad as they are reported to be, I have to think that some military families have sent letters to their congressmen complaining about the conditions. I don’t know it, but strikes me people write their congressman all the time for a whole bunch of reasons. Why would they not about this? Yet these guys run around and act like they’re totally shocked and stunned. They can’t believe what happened. Here’s what Schumer said about it yesterday on ABC. He wants an investigation. He wants another blue-ribbon panel on this. Stephanopoulos said, ?It will be a bipartisan effort??
SCHUMER: Well, I hope it’s a bipartisan effort, and it should be. I’m worried about if it’s this bad at the outpatient facilities at Walter Reed, how is it in the rest of the country? Because Walter Reed is our crown jewel, so I’m actually sending the — I’m sending the secretary of defense a letter today asking that there be an independent commission, an independent group maybe headed by someone like Colin Powell to look all of these facilities where the soldiers who are on their way to some other destination.
RUSH: So, Bill, you have a point. It’s this spectator pontification, like these guys don’t know anything that’s going on and they have no say-so. Now they’re going to have a blue-ribbon panel, a bunch of outsiders come in and look at it. Gutless, is what it is.