We can't count on the VA to investigate itself

Talk about the fox guarding the hen house!

In this case the fox is the Department of Veterans Affairs’ inspector general’s office.

A recent report by that watchdog office for the VA department basically says said that 40 vets who died while waiting for treatment at the VA hospital in Phoenix would have died anyway.

The fact that they were turned away when they desperately needed help didn’t kill them, the report concluded.

The VA hospital scandal, that started unfolding in the news back at the end of May, was enough to get former VA secretary Eric Shinseki booted out. It also has the director of the Phoenix hospital on leave, and “in the process” of being fired.

But it wasn’t enough to have the VA department stand up and take responsibility for the death of these brave veterans.

And what was going on certainly wasn’t a big surprise to those in charge.

Over 5 years ago, the Obama administration got full notice that VA hospitals were fudging records and stating fake wait times for vets to see a doctor.

And nothing was done.

So this so-called investigation that found no fault in these deaths shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

But no matter how many investigations go on, we’ll never learn the entire truth about this disgraceful chapter in our history.

Because as the horror went way beyond the Phoenix hospital, a whistleblower came forward saying that VA officials were likely shredding records to “cover their tracks.”

Deputy VA Secretary Sloan Gibson tried to soften the “verdict” by saying, “It’s still patently clear that the fundamental issue here is that veterans were waiting too long for care.”

Gibson added that there was “misbehavior masking how long veterans were waiting for care.”

I’d say it goes way beyond “misbehavior,” Deputy Secretary.

Way beyond.

Sources:
“No link found for deaths and veterans’ care delays” Richard A. Oppel Jr., August 25, 2014, The New York Times, nytimes.com