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While we were distracted with the Bergdahl rescue

Posted: June 7, 2014 at 12:03 pm   /   by

Given the Obama administration fascination with “never let a serious crisis go to waste”, the Bergdahl rescue and ensuing controversy has distracted a Nation and the world from a wider ranging National shame.  The Veteran’s Administration Scandal has been shelved, almost no media coverage offered for a solid week. ‘Patients are still dying’

After laboring in relative obscurity as a doctor in the Phoenix VA Health Care System, Dr. Sam Foote just wanted to put a stop to deaths and delayed care at the Phoenix hospital.

He had no idea that when he filed a complaint with the VA Office of the Inspector General late last year it would lead to nationwide investigations, congressional hearings, presidential speeches and the resignation of a Cabinet secretary.

But all of that transpired in just seven weeks, and the fallout continues this weekend as Foote makes the rounds of network news shows in the aftermath of President Barack Obama’s announcement Friday that he accepted VA Secretary Eric Shinseki’s resignation.

“I’d rather not be in the media spotlight,” the 61-year-old Paradise Valley resident said in an interview with The Arizona Republic on Friday. “I wish it was just 15 minutes of fame. I’m praying now it’s not 15 months.”

Foote, a doctor of internal medicine, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from UCLA and earned his medical degree at Hahnemann Medical College, now part of Drexel University, in Philadelphia.

The story of his transformation into a news figure began in late 2012, when he started to suspect that Arizona veterans werebeing short-changed on medical care. As more patients enrolled in the VA system, physicians worked overtime to address the increased workload and backlog.

The stress caused an exodus of medical practitioners, which magnified the caseloads. New patients were forced to wait more than a year for initial appointments, and those seeking specialist care also faced prolonged delays.

Just as troubling, Foote said, doctors and nurses were under such a strain that medical mistakes became more likely.

At the same time, Foote said, VA administrators were earning promotions and bonus pay by issuing reports that said patient access had improved dramatically. He said he realized the data on wait times was falsified.

In August of last year, a colleague told him that scheduling clerks who made calls for appointment reminders had been informed at least 10 times that the patients already were dead.

Put aside what the favorable reviews in MSM are telling you about the “origins” of this crisis, the Obama administration has known about this crisis for a very long time, have made it central issues of TWO campaigns for the Presidency.  As I detailed in an earlier article, the outgoing President Bush administration briefed the incoming Obama administration transition team on the severity of the crisis. In fairness Obama has made good on some of his promises, at least on the surface, but deep underneath where it truly matters on a daily basis, revelations of corruption, falsifying records pertaining to treatment and benefits determination dates nearly nullify these gains, at least in the mind of THIS Vet.

“Keeping faith with those who serve must always be a core American value and a cornerstone of American patriotism. Because America’s commitment to its servicemen and women begins at enlistment, and it must never end.”

Barack Obama, Speech in Kansas City, MO
August 21, 2007

President Obama has “attacked deplorable VA conditions and treatment” since mid 2007 with his announced National Veterans Advisory Committee

Records and memos indicate that the Obama administration and the VA has known about record manipulation since as early as 2010 and apparently did nothing.

This memo shows that the VA knew of records manipulation in 2010
May 20 at 5:24 pm
Robert Petzel resigned last week as the top health official for the Department of Veterans Affairs, just one day after testifying before a Senate committee that he knew VA health clinics were using inappropriate scheduling practices as early as 2010.

Whistleblowers claim the schemes continued until this year, leading to a recent wave of outrage that sent the VA and White House scrambling to correct the alleged problems and restore confidence in the department.

Petzel admitted that he knew of the issue after Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) questioned him about the 2010 memo below, in which a top VA executive warned all VA health networks that questionable scheduling practices would “not be tolerated.”

The message summarized at least 17 tactics that VA hospitals were known to have used to hide treatment delays and give the impression they were meeting the department’s goal of seeing patients within 14 to 30 days.

Obama has actually cut many Veterans crucial benefits.

While President Obama talked about many initiatives to help veterans during his State of the Union address Tuesday night, veterans’ groups criticized him Wednesday for not demanding a full repeal of cuts to military retirement benefits.

Last month’s budget deal included a provision to reduce working-age military retirees cost-of-living adjustment to one percent below inflation until a retiree reaches age 62. Veteran’s groups and many lawmakers have united in calling for a fix, with many members of Congress introducing plans to pay for a $6 billion repeal.

“The American Legion is disappointed that President Obama did not show more leadership in dealing with the COLA issue,” Daniel M. Dellinger, the American Legion’s national commander, said Wednesday in a statement.

“He promised us, back in August 2011 at our national convention, that he would not balance the federal budget on the backs of America’s veterans. But that is exactly what he is allowing Congress to do,” he said.

The omnibus appropriations bill completed earlier this month repealed the cuts for disabled veterans and surviving families of deceased veterans, but the cuts are still scheduled to take effect for other retirees in December 2015.

Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America, also said he was frustrated that the president was silent on the issue of military retirement cuts.
“Veterans across the country are reeling from the surprise attack to their earned benefits. We need immediate action from the president and Congress to restore the promises our country made to them and their families,” Mr. Rieckhoff said in a statement.

“Veterans don’t want any more excuses and won’t take no for an answer. It’s time to restore the retirement cuts,” he concluded.

Time and again Obama has ridden a wave of respect earned BY Vets, promised us improvements in every area the Veteran’s Administration presides over, time and again he has failed to deliver, in fact making life itself either worse or allowed to cease, for favorable numbers.  I will offer nor honor any quarter in this fight.  The deplorable way in which this Republic has treated the men and women who gave ALL to deliver and protect her MUST END.  We must break this abominable record which gave us such events as the Bonus Army to prevent it ever happening again.  Our government is still killing her own …

Robert Rowe

Robert Rowe is a Layman Patriot.  Robert served proudly in the United States Air Force under the USAFE and SAC commands and worked on B-1B, KC-135, RF-4C, F-5E aircraft. Robert was stationed at RAF Alconbury UK with the 527th Aggressor Squadron and the 96th Bombardment Group Heavy at Dyess, AFB TX during the last years of the Cold War Era.

Robert is a rabid patriot, and identifies as a Liberal in the Classic Liberal sense and subscribes very strongly with John Locke, Frédéric Bastiat, Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams for what America should be.  Robert is very active in social media and several web-base forum efforts seeking to discover and chronicle the Truth about the Fukushima Disaster and seeks to reacquaint Patriots with their birthright(s) and the ideology which established a system of governance which recognized them
and protects/defends those rights.

I think we need to take back the term(s) Liberal and Liberalism from the usurpers. We need to wade strongly into their midst, identify ourselves as Liberals (the rightful masters of such a philosophy), identify their absolute and deliberate FRAUD and force them to come up with a term more fitting of their philosophy (my suggestion is Progressive Socialist). Then we must start dictating to them the terms of their capitulation and let them devote their time to the defense of an immoral system they've almost succeeded in pawning off on the  American people.  It's time we drove the debate/discourse and narrative in America once again, and let them react for a change ... I'm frankly sick of it!  They've systematically destroyed the intent of the Founding Fathers over the course of about 1 1/2 centuries of infiltration into every aspect of American life, turned our LIBERTIES  into living by government's leave, and the public disease of entitlement and class/wealth envy, and institutionalized racism ... and this must end.


  1. NudaWayaNudaWaya says:

    Well said, the irony apparent is the whole Bergdahl boondoggle was about giving Barrier the Derriere a free pass on his failures in these areas. Once again Camp Barry, in there lust for exploiting the individual story to set as positive, failed to look beyond the surface. I instead they have exacerbated their situation into another yet another scandal. One has to wonder which of these straws are going to break the back of this Teflon Camel? Then again as none have yet, perhaps we have truly entered into a state of lawless injustice so that; “What difference does it make.” is a valid defense for incompetence.

    1. NudaWayaNudaWaya Any one of his scandals would have brought down a Republican, quickly and dramatically. The media have fallen to a new low. They’re worse than Pravda in the old USSR. At least there, everyone knew they were lying. Here, the patina of a “free press” lets them get away with being worse than state-run. They’re state-run, but only for one side, and against some people, but not others.

      1. rrowe1961 says:

        WesternFreePress NudaWayaNudaWaya I actually read Pravda fairly regularly, not for “accuracy’ or “objectivity” I expect neither, but for perspective.

        1. rrowe1961 NudaWayaNudaWaya Pravda is not what it used to be, though. It may actually be more legit now.

  2. RatchellRichter says:

    I commend you for your efforts to keep this issue at the forefront of awareness. This is an AWFUL state of affairs when those who are called to serve are not served after the call has been answered.

    1. rrowe1961 says:

      RatchellRichter Thank you Ratchell, Godspeed your son now serving proudly in MY United States Air Force !
      I’ve always held that a Nation which abandons her protectors of Freedom, deserves NONE !

  3. rrowe1961 says:

    Please note my other HARD HITTING articles here:

    1. rrowe1961 Our best new writer!

While we were distracted with the Bergdahl rescue