Rich Galen

To be fair, every Member of the House and Senate cannot possibly know about every ill which is befalling every segment of society but it is impossible to believe that complaints from soldiers' families weren't coming into the offices of their Congressmen and Senators - so SOMEONE in the US Capitol Complex knew about the problems at Walter Reed.

As with all things in Washington, there will be a virulent overreaction to this abysmal situation leading to innocent people and organizations being splashed in the process.

For instance, the Department of Veterans Affairs (which does not operate Walter Reed) manages, according to its website, 1,264 facilities. It is likely that at some, perhaps many, of these facilities there are repairs which need to be made and Vets who have gotten lost in the system.

Be wary, as the Congress cranks up its highly-developed and well-practiced sense of outrage, of Representatives and Senators looking for publicity by highlighting the kinds of day-to-day issues which confront every hospital - military or civilian - and many patients - military or civilian.

The Congress should, of course, look into this and similar situations, but it would interesting for the Leadership to ask every Member to question every staffer to find out if any had been contacted about the situation at Walter Reed and what had been done in response.

On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A link to a summary of the activity surrounding Walter Reed over the past five days, a link to the VA page showing all facilities by state, and the official bio of Defense Secretary Bob Gates. Also another Galen/Lincoln Mullfoto and a Catchy Caption of the Day.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at