Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Jim Nicholson in trouble?

The recent press coverage of problems in the military hospitals (e.g., Walter Reed) and the Veterans' Administration have focused attention on VA Secretary Jim Nicholson. This week's Newsweek has a cover story on the plight of Iraq/Afghanistan vets, a "senior VA manager who did not want to be named criticizing superiors" said the following of Nicholson: "He's a political appointee and he needs to respond to the White House's direction."

More pointedly, Steve Robinson of Veterans for America says, in the same article:
"Why doesn't the VA have a projection of casualties for the wars? Because it would be a political bombshell for Nicholson to estimate so many casualties."

Nicholson did not help himself in last night's report by ABC Anchor Bob Woodruff (blogged earlier here). Confronted with reports that more than 200,000 vets have sought VA medical treatment, Nicholson said:
"A lot of them come in for, for dental problems, others come in for a lot of the, you know, the normal things that people have."

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