Downplaying Walter Reed scandal, Caplis claimed nonbinding Iraq resolution is "how you abuse the troops"

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Discussing what 630 KHOW-AM co-host Craig Silverman called "mistreatment" of recuperating war veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, co-host Dan Caplis attempted to downplay the controversy by claiming, "The way you abuse the troops is ... to pass a nonbinding resolution that says to the terrorists and the radical jihadists, 'You're gonna win, and we're gonna lose.' "

During a March 2 discussion about what 630 KHOW-AM co-host Craig Silverman called "mistreatment of the troops" at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, co-host Dan Caplis attempted to deflect criticism aimed at the Bush administration over the controversy. Caplis claimed, "The way you abuse the troops is ... to pass a nonbinding resolution that says to the terrorists and the radical jihadists, 'You're gonna win, and we're gonna lose. And we just want to let you know that.' "

Caplis made his assertion on The Caplis & Silverman Show while noting White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove's March 2 visit to Colorado. Silverman granted that Rove "deserves credit" for getting George W. Bush elected, but stated that President Bush recently has had "a terrible series of events," including the reporting over what Silverman termed "just horrific" treatment of troops injured in Iraq and Afghanistan because of substandard conditions at Walter Reed.

After saying, "Lincoln made his mistakes; FDR made his mistakes; [President Bush] made some mistakes," Caplis claimed that the U.S. House of Representatives' recent nonbinding resolution opposing Bush's troop increase in Iraq -- not the conditions at Walter Reed -- constituted "abuse" of the troops:

But you want to talk about, I think your words were "abusing the troops." No. The way you abuse the troops is, is to say -- at a moment they're going into battle -- in the moment they're going into a battle that may determine outcome, to pass a nonbinding resolution that says to the terrorists and the radical jihadists, "You're gonna win, and we're gonna lose. And we just want to let you know that." That's how you abuse the troops, Nancy Pelosi.

Noting "[s]igns of neglect" everywhere at Walter Reed, The Washington Post reported on February 18 that "black mold," rotted holes in the ceiling, "mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, [and] cheap mattresses" were some of the conditions "hundreds of maimed soldiers recuperating from injuries suffered in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan" were exposed to while being treated at the medical center.

As the Associated Press reported on March 5, Congress has begun hearings over "[s]ubstandard living conditions found at the Army's flagship veterans hospital [Walter Reed Army Medical Center]," which "likely exist throughout the military health care system."

From the March 2 broadcast of 630 KHOW-AM's The Caplis & Silverman Show:

CAPLIS: Hey, if you want heroes, Karl Rove in town --

SILVERMAN: Ah!

CAPLIS: -- one of the true geniuses in American political history -- in town tonight. GOP fundraiser. He and Dick Wadhams together, 'cause Dick Wadhams, I mean, you want to talk about a big brain, he'll be speaking as well, so that a GOP fundraiser tonight.

SILVERMAN: Yeah, Dick Wadhams gave us Wayne Allard. And really, to get Wayne Allard elected, Dick Wadhams deserves a lot of credit, and for George W. Bush to be elected, Karl Rove deserves credit. But look what a terrible series of events for George W. Bush. This mistreatment of the troops. First exposed by Bob Woodruff on that [ABC News] special. Actually, The Washington Post beat him to the punch, Walter Reed hospital -- just horrific. And now heads are rolling, and just another fiasco. And now it turns out the Denver Three, who were kicked out of a public meeting that the president used tax dollars for, they were kicked out by White House staffers, a fact hidden from the public for so long. The White House suppressing free speech. And as Dan and I have discussed, the "N word," we don't disagree at all. We both think it's a vile, hateful word and that blacks shouldn't use it, because it's just diminishing their own self-esteem, and it shouldn't be used. At the same time, neither Dan or I believe it should be a criminal law, because we believe there are First Amendment implications. That's why I bring up the Denver Three, because all they wanted to do was express their First Amendment rights, perhaps by revealing something negative towards George W. Bush on a T-shirt. If they disrupted it, it would have been one thing. I just think it's a bad week for George W. Bush and Karl Rove. I saw in one poll -- CBS/New York Times poll -- 29 percent approval rate.

CAPLIS: Well, you know what, the nice thing about welcoming, really, an iconic figure in political history like Karl Rove to town is, you don't have to defend him, because nobody who knows anything about politics -- Democrat, Republican, independent -- doubts the impact this man has had, and the genius of this man. Now, if you want to get into discussing Bush and pros and cons again, well, hey -- you know, Lincoln made his mistakes; FDR made his mistakes; the president's made some mistakes. But you want to talk about, I think your words were "abusing the troops." No. The way you abuse the troops is, is to say -- at a moment they're going into battle -- in the moment they're going into a battle that may determine outcome, to pass a nonbinding resolution that says to the terrorists and the radical jihadists, "You're gonna win, and we're gonna lose. And we just want to let you know that." That's how you abuse the troops, Nancy Pelosi. So, you know -- my goodness gracious. But, why don't we talk about this topic?

SILVERMAN: I'd love to, but honestly, I can't think of anything more abusive to the troops, to take on a war on our timetable. The war against Saddam Hussein and Iraq was an elective war by George W. Bush. And not to be prepared to treat the troops and, OK -- maybe the first year. But this is four years, four or five years after Afghanistan as well, and to have these people with head injuries and other injuries and getting the substandard care that they've been treated to by the federal government. That's a national outrage.

CAPLIS: Mm. And, and first of all -- and I can't believe we're doing this, but -- everybody hold the line, we'll get to you -- but first of all, if you believe there were weapons of mass destruction -- which every, every intelligence agency in the civilized world did -- then you know what? After 9-11 -- and not linking Saddam to 9-11 -- but after 9-11, if you believe Saddam had those weapons, well, it wasn't so much just your own timetable at that point. But the other issues, listen -- no administration has ever been perfect. No government has ever been perfect. And, and our troops have deserved better treatment under every administration, Republican and Democrat, that's existed. I mean, that's -- that's just the reality of it. But -- but anyway, hey, let's get back to the topic.

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