Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

SecDef Walter Reed Status Raises 5100.77 Issues For POWs

DoD Officer Abuse of US Military Personnel At Walter Reed Raise Questions About Like Treatment Against POWs in Violation of Geneva.

American military personnel have been abused for reporting truthful problems using procedures the public affairs personnel approved. The course of conduct raises some serious questions about the officer corps overseeing enlisted personnel.

* * *

Ref SASC Hearing, 6 Mar 2007

Ref Major General George W. Weightman, former Commander of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, subpoena [Waxman]

Ref Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman loses command of North Atlantic Regional Medical Command and Walter Reed hospital. [ 1 Mar 2007 ]

Ref Secretary of the Army Resigns. [Send him a subpoena]

Ref Rep. SLaughter calls for Kiley resignation

Ref: House Hearing: Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley has some explaining.

Ref US Army Surgeon General, Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley photo; brings discredit upon himself and the United States Army. He should resign.

ref US Questionable treatment of prisoners.

Ref Why is evidence of incompetence being illegally classified in violation of ORCON requirements? [ Section 1.8: Inefficiency, incopmetence, adminisrative errors ]

Ref Army Times: Bad conditions, bad relalation

Ref Member of Congress concerns ignored; where is their Title 28 and/or Title 50 exception reporting?

Ref Hand picked -- to paint a rosy picture. What happens when the handpicked don't cooperate with the ruse: They get targeted. So much for "change".

The trends are disturbing. However, the lessons need to be applied to the 5100.77 Laws of War Program as they related to prisoner management. DoD's Attorney Stimson has reported that he's not interested in fully enforcing Geneva; and that counsel provide legal defense for non-charged prisoners should be retaliated against.

It would be appropriate for Congress to review the retaliation US DoD leaders are imposing on contractors, military personnel, and prisoners; and how these trends she light on the effectives of the 5100.77 program implementation.

translation: When you attempt to hide this problem, we can easily turn this issue into an alleged war crimes preliminary inquiry. Don’t mess with the troops or Geneva.

* * *

Secretary of Defense Gates,

During your confirmation hearings you were candid in your promise to cooperate with Congress. The Walter Reed Scandal shows that you are responsive to Congressional concerns.

However, it is important to review how this scandal came to light: Your troops were unable to get your military commanders to do their job. The public, media, and Members of Congress brought this to light.

* * *

The easy way to move forward is to rely on the communication your troops provide and solve problems. The hard way is what We the People are fully capable of dong: Independent audits. Your job as SecDef is to provide leadership.

People working for the Federal Government may have gag orders. But this does not apply to civilians who are able to enter your facility, and discuss issues with contractors.

The Uniform services also have inspector generals. The public is able to forward information through the IGS to NAVY NSCIS, ARMY CID< and Air Force OSI.

* * *

It is disturbing to read despite these many options to solve problems, your nostril commanders were not responsive. I don't care why. They are not doing their job.

The way forward is for the troops in your command -- including the officers -- to appear for inspection. If your offices at the Hospital are not going to appear for inspection, then this is a reckless leadership problem of the officers.

If the troops who are under their care have to have an inspection, Inspect your officers -- at all levels of the Hospital -- to also appear, conduct a pre-inspection visit with the officers, and conduct themselves with professionalism.

I also expect your Joint staff Commanders to make a random visit to the Hospital to visit the officers, and guide them how to conduct a military inspection.

Once the hospital staff have shown they can pass an inspection, then perhaps you can impose that inspection requirement on the enlisted.

* * *

When troops are in a hospital under your care, the are not to be harassed. However, if you are going to harass the troops, then you and your staff shall also appear for that inspection.

Time to start leading by example. If you troops want to have respect for you and the officers, then I expert the officers to show by example that the officer corps is willing to inspect the Hospital Administration; and the personnel assigned.

Then we can talk about harassing troops who have been put in harms way.

* * *

We the People also reserve the right to join any of the Inspector Generals; and may ask that Members of Congress join the IG teams. Title 28 and Title 50 are the means by which Members of Congress may personally visit and review whether the IGs are or are not doing their job. Members of Congress may, at their discretion, invite anyone they choose to provide them with assistance or support.

Translation: IF you want to punish people who are doing their job, then We the People can reciprocate: Stop playing games with the troops; do you job, and suck it up.

* * *

Your Sergeant Major at Walter Reed is setting a bad example. He should not whine to his troops about why he is or isn't doing his inspections. The troops don't need to hear it; and We the People could care less. Tell your Sergeant Major to stop bringing discredit upon their unit, leadership, and the Untied States armed services.

All personnel may directly communicate with Members of congress, the IG, and Senior Commanders. I epact your troops to get the support they need. If they have to go to the media, and your officers are not responsive, that is your problem. Your Sergeant major is in hot water. He can be redlined, and not given very nice assignments. Contractors assigned to the hospital – if the working conditions are not safe -- can also be rotated; and go on strike. You can blame this on your Sergeant Major.

* * *

It's a leadership problem when your Sergeant Major has to "tell" the troops to use the Chain of Command. People working in a hospital, when they are treated poorly, may not view their incompetent supervisors as being in any position to do anything.

I’d like to hear some straight comments what the personnel were told; and why they were not provided with a solution to the problems they well documented. This should not have required, which it did, outside review.

* * *

I would like your staff to explain why, despite allowable press access, suddenly that press access was a problem.

___ Where were the public affairs personnel?

___ Why are the troops, who were around public affairs personnel, being punished?

___ Was there a reason that troops were discussing issues with public affairs that your civilian and military leadership didn't know about?

I expect your troops to be given support. If you have public affairs personnel in the area, then the troops are reasonably expecting to be able to say what they want; if the commanders have concerns -- which they do now -- then the right answer was for your officers to have conducted a dry run, resolve issues, and ensure problems were taken care of in house. They were not.

* * *

It's good news that the first sergeant has been relieved of duty. The conditions there re despicable.

I would like to know why the officers assigned have not been relieved of their command. I expect some straight answers. This is nonsense. This is a stateside unit. No telling what kind of non-sense is going on overseas or at POW camps which shall comply with Geneva. Poor conditions for US troops in now excuses similar abusive treatment of POWs. If you need help, require equipment, or want assistance, then you need to speak out.

___ How many other hospitals are in the same condition?

___ Are reserve units unable to run a hospital?

* * *

Not acceptable that your Public affairs person is not responding to calls. We can make adverse inferences:

A. The personnel changes have been imbalanced. the Senior medical doctors and Administrative officers assigned have not been immediately removed as required;

B. the reports of abuse against enlisted troops are valid.

C. The public affairs personnel is not being responsive because they didn't correctly follow their procedures;

D. The officers assigned knew they should have been doing something -- inspections -- but didn't. This reflects poorly on the Officer training; and their apparent incompetence in failing to translate clearly promulgated legal requirements into policies, plans, and work schedules.

* * *

Overall, it appears your hospital isn't getting the required changes it needs There have been changes, but you're going after the wrong people: Those who correctly reported the information; and were told hey could provide information to the media.

If your officers do not want the public affairs personnel giving troops permission to talk, then you need to retrain your public affairs officers; or you need to replace them. Not appropriate to blame the troops who were correctly doing what the officers, by their recklessness, were not doing: Solving problems, answering questions, and reporting conditions.

* * *

As to the DOD "clam down" on medical facilities; This is too late.

I would like for you to provide the House and Senate Armed Services Committee a detailed list of all 3020 construction projects you have frozen; and all facilitate upgrade plans that have been put on hold.

Please identify in your report to Congress the following:

A. Descript summary reference page

B. Appropriation

C. Project Manager for that work effort; and DoD military liaison for the contracting effort

D. The size of the contracting amount

E. The name of the contractor

F. The status of any closed investigations by the IG or law enforcement into audit related issues

G. The progress, percent complete, and status of the schedule reviews your program managers have of these facility upgrade, maintenance, and operating funds.

H. Identify the expenditures on each facility, include the required funds to conduct operations; and include the percent expended as of today; and compare with the last three fiscal years showing:

[1] How much money as a percent of total expenditures is normally spent;

[2] The funds required to operate each facility using 100% manning; and 80% manning;

[3] Identify the date when, at current expenditure levels, the facilities will be shut down because of lack of O&M funds; or problems with the revolving funds.

* * *

Contrary to claims to the media that there are normally no comments during an inspection or an investigation, we'll make an exception.

I expect you and your Joist Staff inspect at the hospitals personally. If the troops are getting inspected at 6AM I expect a Flag Officer to attended and conduct that inspection of the facility. If there is n flag office, the inspections end.

I expect your Joint Staff Commanders to be involved in the Walter Reed Facility, not so much as an Army issue, but in understanding why an important facility stateside would fall into disrepair; and share with Congress the lessons learned:

[1] Which lessons, as extrapolated and applied to POW hospitals, need attention; and what is the compliance program to meet 5100.77 and Geneva

[2] What funding issues need to be highlighted they relate to combat zones;

[3] What is the status of morale, as you have seen it, as measured by Officer involvement with inspections, reviews, feedback, and informal workarounds with the troop-airman-sailor-marine of the day.

[4] Identify the funding provided to civilian contractors; and discuss offsets to the civilian contracts which can be used to plus up the known requirements in the existing active duty contracts.

Translation: Money has been stripped out of the Active duty, but the sots in the civilian contracts have gone up. There are ways to go to Congress, reprogram those funds, and request in the supplemental a recoloring of the money [OMNIBUS is premature in that the GOP didn't pass the FY07, and we're now working FY08]. Funds assigned to civilian contractors who have abused the public trust or committed fraud can be earmarked for these critical mission purposes. When contractors are part of the problem, those contract funds can raided; and Congress can appropriate funds through the reprogramming action.

* * *


This is an opportunity to learn. The public needs to get a sense of whether your officers are or are not gong to do their job; or whether they have to be independently supervised by personnel outside their chain of command.

It is not appropriate for your public affairs personnel to be giving access to the media; but then punish the troops for responding to questions in the presence of public affairs personnel. The right answer was to have ensured the personnel assigned were responding to problems, which they were not; and ensuring your officers had the information first, they did not.

I do not care whether you or your commanders are embarrassed. They should be, but is irrelevant. This nonsense at a high profile faculty needs attention, not to mention the other facilities experiencing the same conditions. Flag Officers are expected to lead. If there are inspections, then your flag officers shall personally supervised the Field Grade officers in preparing for these inspections. When enlisted personnel are not given the example of leadership, they can reasonably expect that the Congress needs a direct call.

All Members of the Military may at any time directly contact the Inspect General. The IG has a job to do and I expect you to fully support them. If you are not willing to work with the Congress on the Title 28 and Title 50 exception reports as they related to military statues and reporting requirements, then we need to have a discussion about other legal issues.

I use this response as a test to evaluate how serious you and your commanders are with legal requirements. I could care less that the facility does or does have problems. The way this situation has been handled suggests that the 5100.77 program needs attention:

___ Scope of commander involvement;

___ No-notice audits

___ Proper chain of command reporting for war crimes; and whether the troops, left to their own, will know the proper steps if they, as was the hospital, not responsive to their truthful, solicited reports.

___ IG involvement

___ Use of administrative punishment to stifle reports of 5100.77 problems.

* * *

Once you submit your report, I expect you, as key 5100.77 point of contract, to show how the lessons of this hospital have or have not shed light on 5100.77 issues; and then you outline your plan to remedy those common problems:

A. Communication

B> Auditing

C. Oversight

D. Officer training

G. Inspection plans: Robustness, focus on key areas

H. Budget review adequacy: Problem areas, and get well plans with reprogramming

I. Reports to Congress: Completeness in re Title 28 and Title 50

J. Officer training: Example, inspections

K. Media relations ground rules between Public affairs, military personnel, unit officers, and media.

* * *

Your job as SecDef is to provide the leadership. If you allow your officers to abuse the enlisted personnel for truthful reports, it is more likely than not that US military personnel are abusing prisoners for like reports. This is A Geneva issue.

We need some straight answers. these are serious issues not only because of the human lives involved, but this course of conduct raises questions about the effectives of your implementation of the 5100.77 Laws of War program as it relates to prisoner detention, care, and management.

If there is n problem with the 5100.77 program, this is a freebie to apply the lesson and modernize the US military compliance program, and fully meet standards. However, if there are, as it appears, a problem with officer discipline in professional treating all people regardless their military, civilian, or prisoner of war status, then we have a separate issue to discuss: Alleged violations of the laws of war, and refusals to conduct audit to ensure requirements are fully met.