"Command is a sacred trust, that’s the nugget of it. Regardless of any other considerations or challenges he may have faced Walter Reed’s commander had a duty to serve those placed in his care. No excuses. You don’t get to blow that off because it’s hard work. You don’t get to blow it off because actions in the furtherance of that duty might upset someone above you in the chain of command or damage your career. You don’t get to blow it off because some decision made by some yo-ho in the executive branch or congress has made the job more challenging. Those people who have been entrusted to you come first. Period.
The failure at Walter Reed was a failure to grasp and act on this fundamental-as-breathing concept.
That we are not hearing similar stories out of Bethesda is telling.
I’d also like to add that personally, I’ve had just about enough of "accepting responsibility." Those are weasel words, nothing more and they screech in my ears like nails on a blackboard. If things have reached the point where you are forced to accept responsibility you no longer should be allowed the privilege of holding it. At that point the only thing you ought to be allowed to accept is the consequences.
But having said all that, I do think that a concern about privatization is not wholly fueled by the dreaded Bush Derangement Syndrome. I’m trying wicked hard, Col. Lang, to be objective in this. To me the issue is one of exacerbation. Privatization appears to have been, from the information generally available, a multiplier. It may have made the results of failed leadership worse even as failed leadership may have worsened the results of privatization. Each fed on the other to the detriment of vulnerable people. Proper leadership would have prevented or swiftly corrected the situation. That’s what should have happened, ideally that’s what should happen in the future. But in the event that it may not, I can’t help but to want to look closely and carefully at all the factors which may have led to the mess at Walter Reed.
I hope that’s reasonable. I hope that’s fair.
Amen brother. pl