Washington, DC – During sworn Congressional testimony on May 15, Eric Shinseki, the O-Team Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, told the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee he was “mad as hell” when he learned that veterans were dying from inadequate care in a Phoenix, AZ Veterans Administration hospital. Three days later, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough went on the CBS Sunday morning talking head show, “Face the Nation,” and proclaimed the president was “madder than hell,” about deadly delays in treating vets. Apparently in the Obama regime, “Madder” trumps “mad” on the way to hell. Thankfully we now know our commander-in-chief recovers quickly from his fury.
When Mr. Obama entered the White House Press Room on May 21 for a hastily-convened press conference about the VA scandal his anger had clearly dissipated. Instead of calling in the FBI to investigate allegations of criminal acts and a long-running, massive cover-up, or announcing VA Secretary “Rick” Shinseki’s resignation, POTUS pulled a page out of his well-worn O-Team Scandal playbook. We’ve heard it all before: in the “Fast and Furious” Mexican gun-running fiasco; in revelations about the IRS “enemies list” and in the aftermath of the Benghazi terror attacks on 9-11-12.
The only anomaly in the “Top Four Obama Scandals” is the IRS. To my knowledge the tax collectors haven’t recently killed any Americans. That of course could well change with the IRS now responsible for administering Obama-care.
As he did in each previous disgrace and does now, Mr.Obama appears detached, disinterested, disengaged – and by now, increasingly disingenuous. When he tells us once again that misdeeds at the VA will be “fully investigated,” that miscreants will “be held accountable” and that “as Commander-in-Chief” he is “ultimately responsible” he doesn’t sound like he’s “madder than hell.” He should be. Instead he comes off like a bored civics teacher talking to 8th grade students who won’t do their homework – especially when he warns this matter shouldn’t become a “political football.”
Sadly, we now know Mr. Obama’s promises of bringing perpetrators of bad acts to justice are hollow. No one has ever been prosecuted for running the guns into Mexico that resulted in American deaths. No one has ever been “apprehended” for the deaths of a U.S. Ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi. Nor has anyone been found “answerable” for what the IRS did to people and organizations perceived to be political opponents of the Obama regime.
The president’s admonition about the VA scandal becoming “political” during his May 21 press conference prompted calls and e-mails from many of the scores of doctors, nurses and veteran-patients who have contacted me since we first addressed this topic a month ago on FOX News. One of the VA doctors – who sought “whistleblower” protection – actually agreed with the president – to a point: “Obama is right,” he said. “The morbidity rate for American veterans entrusted to the care of the VA shouldn’t be a political issue. It’s a national catastrophe that ought to be a criminal-negligence investigation.” He went on, “The Phoenix VA hospital ‘Drop Dead List’ is just the tip of the iceberg. Anyone who thinks otherwise isn’t a veteran or one of us in the system who really do care. The administrators just don’t give a damn.” He’s spot on. By my count, there are at least 25 other VA medical facilities now under investigation.
A fellow Marine, missing both legs and 100 percent disabled from a land-mine in Vietnam – his story is in my latest “American Heroes” book – called to describe the appalling treatment he received at the Dallas, TX VA hospital where he went for an incredibly painful malady. What he endured should never happen to anyone – least of all an American hero. Thanks to the prayers of his wife Connie and help from his friends, he escaped the clutches of the VA medical center and made his way to the Baylor University Hospital where he was promptly treated and quickly recovered. With his permission, his full e-mail is at FreedomAlliance.org.
Another close friend, whose son is a decorated West Point graduate and a “Dust-Off” (Med-Evac) helicopter pilot in the long war we have been fighting since 9-11-01, described what happened in the Georgia “VA system” to a Vietnam War vet: “Mr. (X), 60, suffering from a stroke, died on January 31, 2013.” At the time of his demise this veteran was “malnourished, dehydrated, and improperly medicated’ for ‘untreated, infected septic pressure wounds’ that developed from “lying in his own waste.”
An even more graphic description of this veteran’s horrific demise – and too many others like him – is available in court records. Somehow these horror stories – and thousands like them have escaped the attention of those who purport to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs where the motto appears to be: “Nothing is too good for the troops and that’s just what we give ‘em: Nothing!”
The President says he must wait for the results of ongoing “investigations” to determine what he’s going to do about the problems of medical care in our VA system. This is an altogether too familiar refrain from a “commander in chief” who uses “Executive Orders” more often than any of his predecessors. He can act today if he wants to start repairing the damage being done to our veterans. A phone call to pal Eric Holder would bring in the FBI to investigate. With the stroke of a pen he could order every person hired by the VA from this day forward must be a veteran – because “we take care of our own.” And, since health care is his specialty, he could order that every veteran with a service-connected disability be given an ID card allowing treatment for his or her disability in any U.S. medical facility.
When he was campaigning for president Mr. Obama promised to “fix the problems at the VA.” He threw money at the problems and the bureaucracy used a half billion dollars to buy new office furniture and continued a “system” in which appointments are refused and treatment is denied; in which bureaucrats make decisions that are best made by patients and competent doctors. America’s heroes deserve better.