Army secretary pushed out over Walter Reed

Defense Secretary Gates was reportedly unhappy that he'd put a tainted general back in charge of the facility.

Published March 2, 2007 9:53PM (EST)

Army Secretary Francis Harvey resigned today, and sources tell the Associated Press that he was pushed out. Senior defense officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, tell the AP's Robert Burns that Defense Secretary Robert Gates asked Harvey to step down because he was upset that Harvey had named Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley as the acting commander of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

As Salon and the Washington Post have reported, Kiley was informed of problems with patient care at Walter Reed months if not years ago and apparently did nothing to address them. Gates didn't criticize Harvey by name in announcing his departure today, but his displeasure was pretty plain to see. "I am disappointed that some in the Army have not adequately appreciated the seriousness of the situation pertaining to outpatient care at Walter Reed," he told reporters at the Pentagon.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill called Thursday for Kiley's resignation, but it seems that won't be necessary, at least so far as his temporary command of Walter Reed is concerned: Gates said a permanent replacement for Maj. Gen. George Weightman will be announced later today.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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