The report compiles more than 70 pictures and 120 documents submitted as part of an investigation into conditions at Dawood National Military Hospital, part of National Training Mission Afghanistan (NTM-A). The Associated Press reported that two retired Army colonels told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last month that in 2010, NTM-A commander Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell called for an investigation request to be retracted because of the congressional elections that year.
Caldwell asked how they could make that kind of request with elections coming, Col. Mark Fassl testified, adding that Caldwell said, “He calls me Bill,” a reference to President Barack Obama.
Fassl’s testimony backs up a letter Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) sent Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in June mentioning that boast. Chaffetz chaired Tuesday’s committee meeting, and introduced a memo ordering “unofficial” audio and video records of Dawood’s patients and conditions be destroyed or deleted.
“Under no circumstances will they be shared outside of this command, transmitted via email, posted to the internet, or duplicated in any way without prior approval of the Command Surgeon …” the memo said.
The pictures Buzzfeed released show the contrast between the “dog and pony show” visiting officials got when touring the hospital and the actual lack of care received by patients, many of whom were actually suffering from malnutrition or mistreatment, often with expired medical supplies.