By: Marilyn Assenheim
The liberal political and media spin machine has been severely tested of late. Benghazi, Obamacare and an economy not only circling the drain but past the elbow joint of the nation’s porcelain throne; just how much dung can loyal spin-merchants be expected to transform into sanitized manna? The answer, of course, is “all of it.” But even the regime’s most devoted cheerleaders are finding the growing number of scandals, gyrating like a circus performer’s precariously wobbling plates, difficult to manage of late. Now VA mismanagement has joined their number.
Reports of “treatment” veterans receive or never receive at all at the VA have been common knowledge for decades. So well-known are the abuses that a movie was made about it in 1992, Article 99. On Friday the Financial Times released an article about the current scandal. In an obligatory-if-gratuitous stab at negating previous administration failures, they began with the following declaration: “Amid contrived outrage over Benghazi and the improving fortunes of its healthcare reform, the Obama administration could be facing a genuine scandal about its treatment of military veterans that has the potential to attract broad political condemnation of its competence.” Contrived outrage? Improving fortunes? Despite continuous, public fury at obvious failures and lies? Nevertheless, the Financial Times acknowledged that VA mud might soil The Lyin’ King’s administration.
The Financial Times opined that: “The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is facing mounting evidence that some of the hospitals it runs have been keeping two sets of books to make it look as if they were reducing waiting times to see a doctor. More damning, the department is investigating the claims of a whistleblower doctor in Arizona that dozens of patients at one hospital died while they were languishing on a hidden waiting list without ever being given an appointment…as many as 40 patients had died…while officials at the hospital shredded documents and faked evidence to make it seem as if waiting times were under control.” Jay Carney, front man for the regime, pooh-poohed the notion of malfeasance but finally admitted that there might be a “wafer thin” problem. The Washington Examiner quoted Carney on Saturday: “President Obama’s spokesman maintained to reporters that there was ‘just a suggestion’ of a scandal at theVeterans AffairsDepartment…You’re saying there’s a suggestion that something terrible happened in Phoenix, and that’s under investigation; all we know is it’s a suggestion…We should just accept allegations as true without investigating them?’” An argument that never seems to occur to the administration and their apologists when accusing others in order to advance their agendas. The Washington Examiner concluded: “– and then, minutes later, a VA official who testified before Congress on Thursday about employees cooking the books resigned.” Convenient, to say the least.
No time had been lost in securing a scapegoat. Veterans Affairs Undersecretary, Robert Petzel, resigned when the merde hit the fan. This was supposed to get top man, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, off the hook. Shinseki, a former general, became the darling of the uber-liberal left after his contrived disavowal of the Iraq war and overstatement, by hundreds of thousands, troop estimates necessary to succeed in Iraq. Shinseki, described by Politico as “fighting for his political life,” followed The Lyin’ King’s example, deploying the Sgt. Schulz defense during Thursday’s hearings; he knew nothing about rampant abuse in the VA under his command but was only too happy to accept Petzel’s resignation. The only problem with Petzel’s selection as fall-guy was that he was already scheduled to retire in 2014.
According to the Washington Examiner: “The White House announced on May 1 that it intended to nominate Jeffrey Murawsky, director of the VA’s Illinois-based Great Lakes Health Care System, as the new under secretary for health.” In fact, the announcement of Petzel’s retirement was made by the VA last year.
The Financial Times floated an interesting assumption: “If the evidence of mismanagement continues to accumulate, the Obama administration will find itself not in another partisan knife-fight, but under fire from both parties in a Congress where the uniformed military is venerated.” This supposition is a mystery.If one is to judge by actions rather than words, it doesn’t really appear as if any Americans are “venerated” by a majority of the ruling class.This administration has, thus far, avoided any taint despite the virtual and factual destruction of countless American and foreign lives (e.g. reducing Veteran’s benefits, reducing Americans’ incomes and standard of living, escalating hostilities in Afghanistan by unilateral presidential fiat). Much of America’s decline has required acquiescence, either tacit or active, from both parties.
The horror that is the emerging Veterans Administration scandal may be just another brick added to the pile for a prison that will never, to all appearances, be built.