Since the 2012 election, it seems like we learn about some sort of possible scandal or misstep quite frequently. Take a moment and think about the various scandals that have occurred in this administration during the past five years and determine if there is any linkage among them. I believe that there is and the heading for this article is a number one contender for that linkage. The latest scandal concerns the treatment received by our veterans. Waiting lists caused veterans to wait for untold periods of time. This is not caused by a lack of money because the budget for the Veterans Administration (VA) has doubled since 2006 to $153 billion. The VA has 152 hospitals and 817 outpatient clinics and they have seen a rise in visits by veterans because of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. I would think that a good leader would establish some type of triage program so that those with minor concerns would be treated by qualified nurses or physician assistants. Hopefully, many of the facilities are doing this, but it is not enough.
We have learned that the facilities throughout the country are “cooking the books” by having two sets of waiting lists. This was caused because the VA established a requirement that patients must have an appointment within 14 days. When they could not do it, they established a false list to report to headquarters.
How can that happen with a good leader; doesn’t he ever walk around and determine what is really happening? Shouldn’t he speak with some of the patients and ask a couple of simple questions? If he did that, he may discover some simple problems that could be fixed rapidly.
Most people are terrified if they receive a notice from the Internal revenue Service (IRS). We have learned that because of ideology, members of that organization targeted certain groups for special attention and most were conservative groups. When this was discovered, the initial response from the IRS was that it was a couple of overly diligent personnel in a distant office. Now E-Mails show that there are mails going directly to the White House. Ideology combined with arrogance is bringing this to light. If you are going to break the law, don’t leave a trail to your own door.
The anti Second Amendment proponents will go to extremes in order to make a case against the Second Amendment and establish more gun control laws. Any time that a mass shooting occurs in the nation there is an immediate cry for more gun control. Our government sold weapons that were expected to be taken across the border into Mexico and used by drug dealers. It was expected that when these weapons were captured and it was discovered that they originated in this country that it would assist in passing more gun control laws. It was not expected that this, “Fast and Furious” scam would come to light. At least one of our own border police was killed by one of these weapons. The following investigation came to nil, but there is no doubt that ideology was one of the causes and incompetence another.
Our ambassador and three other Americans were murdered in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11. The ambassador had requested additional security but it was denied. When the attack on our consulate occurred, help was requested. President Obama, Secretary of Defense Panetta, and Secretary of State Clinton were all notified, but even after numerous congressional hearing, no one seems to know where they were or what they were doing for the next several hours as the attack continued, stopped and resumed. The story presented by our Secretary to the United Nations on five Sunday talk shows said that this was a demonstration caused by an anti Muslim film that got out of hand and had no ties to Al Qaeda. Once again, an email from a key individual in the White House supports the charge that it was involved in the talking points for Secretary Rice. We now have a congressional select committee chaired by Trey Gaudy to look into this event. It will be interesting if additional information is uncovered to point to ideology and incompetence.
There are other events that could be added to this list, but I believe that ideology and incompetence played a part in all of them.
Donald Myers is a retired Marine Colonel and regular contributor to Hernando Today. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.