Bush calls Reed conditions 'unacceptable'

March 6, 2007 at 12:39 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 6 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush called the mistreatment of U.S. soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center "unacceptable."

Bush named Democrat Donna Shalala, the former secretary of Health and Human Services, and former Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., to head a commission to investigate problems at Walter Reed.

Conditions at Walter Reed, being described during testimony before lawmakers in Washington this week, are "unacceptable to me; it's unacceptable to you; it's unacceptable to our country and it's not going to continue," Bush said in a speech to the American Legion in Washington.

Bush said U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates confirmed "real problems" at Walter Reed and the investigation will expand to include all U.S. military and veterans hospitals.

"My decisions have put our kids in harm's way, and I'm concerned about the fact that when they come back they don't get the full treatment they deserve," he said.

The presidential commission will conduct a comprehensive review of the treatment and services provided to all U.S. soldiers returning from war, Bush said.

"We have an obligation -- we have a moral obligation to provide the best possible care and treatment to the men and women who have served our country. They deserve it, and they're going to get it."

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