What if I told you that the requests for information from a Congressional Oversight committee were being repeatedly ignored by a member of Obama’s administration?
What if I told you that this has been going on for months on an almost daily routine, and that the head of this congressional committee had to resort to a subpoena to get any responses to his questions?
What if I told you that millions of dollars had been spent wastefully by this department for lavish conventions, where the attendees celebrated as if they were on a vacation, with gifts, helicopter rides, and services paid for with taxpayer money?
What if I told you that this department has ignored Congressional investigations into the deaths of Americans in the care of this department?
What if I told you that those responsible for the waste of millions of dollars of taxpayer money and deaths of Americans in their care were given bonuses and allowed to retire on lavish pensions instead of answering the hard questions before Congress?
If you are thinking that it should be a scandal of epic proportions, you’d be right.
Except that it isn’t because you aren’t really being told about it until now.
The Department, of course, if you haven’t guessed it already, is the Veterans Affairs Department.
There is truly nothing sadder in my eyes than having to resort to British Newspapers to get news about our VA:
A former assistant secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs pleaded the Fifth on Wednesday, refusing to testify about a pair of taxpayer-funded human resources conferences in 2011 that cost a scandalous $6.1 million or more.
John Sepulveda oversaw the conferences, which included the screening of a parody video based on ‘Patton,’ whose production cost the Treasury more than $52,000.
But in front of the House Oversight Committee, he chose to remain silent; taking advantage of a clause in the U.S. Constitution intended to protect citizens from incriminating themselves.
‘You are not excused,’ committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa ultimately told Sepulveda before sending him away. ‘You are dismissed.’
Sadly, it gets worse. This was just the loss of a whole lot of money by the VA on what was nothing more than paid vacations to Orlando for VA human resources staff complete with Karaoke, Massages, and a pathetic and insulting imitation of General George S. Patton, which can only be seen to be believed:
There is still the deaths of veterans from wretched care to be discussed.
Examples of the department’s lack of accountability are numerous. But almost as plentiful — and even more shameful — are the many cases where VA employees and executives are being rewarded rather than punished for their incompetence.
Officials with the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System have botched the handling of a deadly Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at nearly every turn. Five veterans are now dead from the pneumonia-like disease. But instead of giving those who failed to prevent the outbreak pink slips, VA gave them glowing performance reviews and huge bonuses.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 21 veterans were sickened between February 2011 and November 2012, but that didn’t stop VA Pittsburgh Director Terry Gerigk Wolf from receiving the highest possible score on a VA performance review covering the bulk of the outbreak period.
Shockingly, Wolf’s review makes no mention of the outbreak, and instead praises her for leading a “groundbreaking Civility Initiative” and helping improve her employees’ resume-writing skills.
Memories of the outbreak seem to have eluded VA officials again when they nominated Wolf’s boss, VA regional director Michael Moreland, for the Presidential Rank Award, America’s highest civil-service accolade. For Moreland, the honor included a whopping $62,895 bonus, which he formally accepted just three days after VA’s inspector general reported VA Pittsburgh’s response to the outbreak was plagued by persistent mismanagement.
Most people would find VA’s celebration of Wolf and Moreland in the aftermath of a deadly outbreak they were too incompetent to stop hard to believe.
Amazingly, this expose of the VA didn’t come from a “trained Journalist,” but instead came directly from the pen of Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida, who is the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
Click here to read just one of the many letters that Rep. Miller has sent to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. This particular one is asking why The VA spent a million dollars on TV commercials in and around the DC area during the World Series.
Here is the video in question:
And click here to read Rep. Miller’s letter to President Obama on the lack of responses from the VA.
“Grave concerns” is a term not used lightly in government; it is political speech for “Hey Dummy, you are screwing the pooch on this, and there will be an investigation.”
Even the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has become involved, and yet it takes an actual subpoena before The VA responds to any request for information from Committees of Congress.
There is something seriously wrong with the VA these days, even more than the usual obstacle course our Vets have to endure to get treatment. It is almost as if Obama wants to force vets into Obamacare.
Actually, he does and is willing to triple healthcare fees Vets pay to do it.