A Washington Post reporter who co-wrote the recent stories about mistreatment of vets at the Walter Reed Hospital told an audience of journalists today that she and a colleague spent months at the hospital without ever drawing suspicion.
Anne Hull said the Post stories began when her colleague Dana Priest received a simple tip from a source. After an initial visit to the hospital to observe the conditions and speak with patients, Hull and Priest launched their investigation, which had them on the hospital grounds for "hundreds and hundreds of hours" over four months without ever getting official permission to be there.
"We worked very stealthly and sort of under the radar," Hull said, noting that nobody ever asked who they were.
"It was an amazing, messed-up world," she said.
Hull, speaking to an audience at the American Society of Newspaper Editors conference in Washington, DC, also said that after the Post approached military officials for comment to the stories days before they published, the Pentagon responded by holding a press conference about the hospital without telling the Post reporters about it.
"It was essentially a pre-emptive strike to what we were doing," Hull said.