The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

June 12, 2014

VA scandal requires more forceful action

At Veterans Affairs medical centers throughout the country, lying, cheating bureaucrats are hoping the buck stops with former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. It should not.

Dozens of veterans died while on waiting lists for VA health care, even as agency officials — including Shinseki — were being assured wait times were minimal. Because some VA managers were so good at covering up their misdeeds, the actual toll may have been higher.

Shinseki stepped down from his post after apologizing for what happened on his watch. The Vietnam veteran and former Army chief of staff’s record suggests he was sincere in his regret.

That is not so in the cases of VA officials who forced veterans to wait many months for critical health care, then falsified records to indicate delays never occurred. At the same time some of them were pleading they needed more money, the lies they fed to Congress seemed to indicate everything was fine at VA medical centers.

If history is any guide, Shinseki will be the sacrificial lamb who saves the real culprits from paying any meaningful price for their crimes. Most scandals in government end with a few retirements, some expressions of outrage by members of Congress and pledges by presidents of both parties to clean up the mess.

Then it is back to business as usual.

That simply will not do when our nation’s veterans are the victims.

Members of Congress who were told years ago of lying about VA wait lists have some explaining to do. So does President Barack Obama, whose aides heard about the scandal before he took office.

Why was nothing done about it?

More important, why should veterans and their fellow Americans who mean it when we say the nation owes them a debt believe assurances the deadly scandal will be cleaned up — when we have heard nothing of plans to prosecute VA bureaucrats who committed fraud regarding wait lists?

Americans ought to be mad as hell about that.

If reports to date are true, some veterans went to their graves prematurely because of the abuses.

Then, those responsible should be going to unemployment lines and in some cases, prison cells.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Off and on the record Let us now praise anonymous sources.The new White House press secretary got into a familiar old spat with the White House press corps the other day over the use of anonymous sources.Josh Earnest — has there ever been a more perfectly named White Hous

    July 25, 2014

  • Be more informed

    Blame the city.That is a favorite pastime of many, including me at times. Driving over that pesky pothole or paying that annual property tax bill can lead to some choice words referencing the city. Nobody takes the brunt of being the scapegoat more t

    July 25, 2014

  • CCC thanks community, collaborators for successful movie night Clinton Community College would like to thank those who participated in the free outdoor movie showing of “Captain America – Winter Soldier” on the evening of Friday, July 18.We are grateful to have such wonderful community collaborators in the Erick

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todd Akin's back again to talk of rape So, Todd Akin is back and he’s talking rape again.You remember what happened last time. The would-be Missouri senator torpedoed his campaign two years ago after suggesting in a TV interview that if a woman is a victim of “legitimate rape,” she is unl

    July 22, 2014

  • Sadness remains as two-year mark passes in cousins' case As most citizens of the Cedar Valley are well aware, July 13 marked two years since the disappearance of cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey of Evansdale.The passage of time provides some semblance of healing, but the sadness, particul

    July 22, 2014

  • UI needs to keep its admission standards high There’s been a lot of talk lately — most of it coming from the leadership of the Iowa state Board of Regents — about the University of Iowa not being passionate enough about its recruitment of in-state undergraduates. Regent president Bruce Rastetter

    July 21, 2014

  • Vote fraud myths meet voting rights reality Before she was allowed to register and vote for the first time in Franklin County, North Carolina, Rosanell Eaton had to read the entire preamble to the U.S. Constitution out loud in front of three men in the county courthouse.Eaton is black. The thr

    July 21, 2014 1 Story

  • 7-21-14 David Helscher mug Prepare for possible effects of Fed's decisions It has been more than 5 years since the Federal Reserve has taken unprecedented steps to support the economy through purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed debt securities. This has generally been called quantitative easing and has not been withou

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook