From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
Clinton issued a sharp critique of a U.S. Army policy in a letter from her Senate office, requesting "the immediate reversal of an Army policy that requires repayment of enlistment bonuses by medically discharged wounded soldiers."
The letter is in response to a local TV news report in Pittsburgh yesterday. She calls the policy "outrageous," that "soldiers have earned their bonuses" and "it shocks the conscience that the Army could demand that wounded soldiers return their enlistment bonuses." The letter continues, and touts her work on the Armed Services Committee.
But NBC's Jim Miklaszewski explains to First Read that it is actually already "against Army policy to require repayment for enlistment bonuses from soldiers wounded in service," said Miklaszewski, NBC News' Pentagon correspondent. "The incident that popped up in a local news story in Pittsburgh, on FOX and on MSNBC last night was the result of bureaucratic confusion over the soldier's wounded status and an incorrect determination of his discharge. The decision to request repayment was in error and has since been reversed.
"The local report from KDKA in Pittsburgh that claimed thousands of medically discharged soldiers are being forced to repay their enlistment bonus is wrong. The KDKA reporter said he got his information from a local congressman, who confused an earlier issue in which 2,005 wounded soldiers did not receive their full pay for a brief period of time. Another typical bureaucratic bungle, which was also corrected. The KDKA reporter never sought any clarification or reaction from either the Army or Pentagon before running the story, according to Army officials."