A fight is brewing inside the Department of Veterans Affairs between acting VA secretary Peter O’Rourke and the IG head Michael Missal over access to complaints about the criminal behavior of agency leadership.

At the center of the brewing fight is a thinly veiled conflict of interest claim against the acting secretary that needs to be leveled.

How can the former head of the agency’s Accountability Office who just left that role a couple months ago, without conflict, be allowed to make obstructionist decisions about access to records by the agency watchdog?

Given the extreme game of musical chairs at the agency following the successful internal coup against former secretary Shulkin, few at the agency seem to have the chops to intervene and make a choice that is in the best interest of veterans. These veterans need accountability now, and they need the agency move forward with the promised purpose of the Accountability Act – – prosecute bad VA leadership.

So what is the problem unless the office is not following its mandate? Is O’Rourke not far enough removed from his former staff and his former ex-CALIBRE colleague who took over the helm of the Accountability Office?

Background On The Recent Conflict

In lengthy exchanges covered by Military Times, O’Rourke treats Missal like a petulant child over demands from IG to have full access to criminal complaints about agency leaders. Rather than help enforce accountability in the spirit of transparency, O’Rourke ordered a refusal to provide access while blasting Missal for being disobedient to his new boss.

Bad boy. O’Rourke is calling out the IG for allegedly overstepping its mandate and making assertions that “recklessly cast the VA and its employees in an unfavorable light.”

Unfavorable light? What happened to O’Rourke and the Trump Administration supporting exposure of wrongdoing and prosecution of corrupt VA leadership? They certainly made hay of the Obama Administration’s repeated failures to address corruption and prosecute wrongdoers, and it looks like Trump is unable to make a dent at the top, either.

Swamp 1 – Trump 0

The internal pushback has gone from contentious to ugly in the past week.

O’Rourke, an ex-CALIBRE executive who assumed the helm at VA after an alleged coup against former VA secretary David Shulkin, last week denied complaint access to documents asserting the request is too broad and impractical.

The acting secretary also blasted Missal’s office for repeated failure to “demonstrate due professional care” and “not performing its responsibilities in a fair and objective manner” in a series of reports in recent months.

This is curious.

So, O’Rourke, a former Trump campaign insider who then ran the new Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection, is angry at how aggressive recent IG reports have portrayed agency wrongdoing?

Last I checked, O’Rourke and those colleagues of his involved in the Shulkin coup were just fine blasting away at the former secretary, especially after IG published its reports slamming Shulkin over the Europe trip. Now, the deep dive reports are apparently discouraged.

Is he nervous IG will find that O’Rourke was working on something other than what his mandate was at the Accountability Office? Bingo!

An IG audit into how O’Rourke managed the Accountability Office may reveal information that could undermine his present role as acting VA secretary. And, since there is no timeline presently for the Trump Administration to submit nominee Robert Wilkie’s application to the Senate for confirmation, O’Rourke could be the secretary for good long while, especially if Wilkie is not confirmed.

Perhaps that is the plan? So which government contractors or vendors might benefit from O’Rourke enjoying a lengthy tenure as head of the agency?

Firing Veteran Employees Fetish

AFGE and low-level VA employees are presently upset with the agency’s fetish of removing veteran employees after they seek reasonable accommodations or file EEO complaints of retaliation.

Perhaps the real data might reveal the agency is little worried about its corrupt leaders as evidenced by its numbers. Less than 20 leaders have been terminated following passage of the Accountability Act while over 3000 low-level employees were removed.

Some including AFGE leadership believe the discrepancy belies a bait-and-switch by the Trump Administration. The promise with the new law was it would help fire bad VA leaders like Diana Rubens after being exposed for certain fraudulent moving claims and bad dealing.

RELATED: Shamed VA Execs Appeal Demotions

Outrage about the agency’s inability to hold Rubens accountable led to massive support in passing a new law to allow easier firing. But those like Rubens are still holding their positions of authority with no noteworthy terminations to speak of.

Again, what American taxpayers now have is a new repeat story coming out of VA. If you are a veteran with disabilities who needs reasonable accommodations or who is the victim of harassment, you better keep your mouth shut or else.

Yet, O’Rourke acts as if there is nothing all that important for IG to see despite calls from Congress to review how the Accountability Office is doing.

Does O’Rourke and the Trump Administration expect Americans to believe that within one year the agency somehow rooted out all criminal leaders and corruption? Are we that foolish with such a short memory?

Swamp 2 – Trump 0

Peter O’Rourke Demands IG Obedience

“You also appear to misunderstand the independent nature of your role and operate as a completely unfettered autonomous agency,” O’Rourke’s letter stated. “You are reminded that (the IG) is loosely tethered to VA and in your specific case as the VA inspector general, I am your immediate supervisor. You are directed to act accordingly.”

Swamp 3 – Trump 0

This is the money quote in my mind as it proves what everyone suspected during the investigation and subsequent whitewash of the wait times scandal investigated in 2014. There, veterans were outraged by an IG report that soft-shoed its investigation and failed to fully address the extent of the wait list fraud or the trail of dead veterans that resulted.

Back then, VA executives were caught profiting via higher bonuses by encouraging a fraudulent wait list scheme that made performance numbers and wait times look better than they did. Veterans who needed urgent care did not get it. Some died.

RELATED: VA Chief Of Staff Orchestrated Wait Time Investigation Stonewall

Once the scandal broke, first at Phoenix VA, the agency disbanded its Office of Medical Inspector within IG. The effect of this decision was each medical center was responsible for its own investigation.

And you can imagine what happened. I can almost hear VA leaders yelling, “Fire up the shredders, boys!”

That is almost what happened after former General Counsel Tommy Gunn broadcast to all local offices that it needed to get ready for a litigation hold, which basically allowed local offices to shred documents under the false assertion they were not relevant to the investigation without parameters previously being set to retain evidence.

Following a disappointing delay, VA OIG issued a poor report that whitewashed the scandal. Americans were promised an FBI investigation which turned into little more than a prelude to the Hillary Clinton bogus email server investigation we see playing out still, after many years.

RELATED: IG Quietly Releases 70+ Reports Into Wait Times Scandal

As for the current pushback that is now spewing into the headlines, Missal is not taking O’Rourke’s demands lying down.

“Denying the IG access, or selectively providing access to certain records, is also antithetical to the fundamental purpose of (the whistleblower office) and its stated commitment to transparency,” he wrote in a letter to O’Rourke.

“It deprives veterans and the public of the ability to ensure that (the whistleblower office) is in fact holding department officials accountable consistent with its mandate.”

What do you think of the lack of information sharing with IG?

O’Rourke says IG does not need unfettered access to conduct its audit. But IG maintains they need the access to verify the Accountability Office is fulfilling its mandate.

Swamp 5 – Trump 0

I can tell you insiders I know are unhappy with the actions of the Accountability Office. Many of them believe the office is more of a data gathering investigations office that reinforces diminishing internal dissent and the impact of whistleblowers.

If you invert the name of the office with how it is allegedly functioning, some insiders believe you get a better idea of what is going on: Office for Corruption and Whistleblower Prosecution.

Mission accomplished boys, mission accomplished.

What Is The Real Story?

There obviously is a reason O’Rourke is obstructing the investigation, but perhaps his reasoning behind the decision is irrelevant given his past involvement in standing up the office following Trump’s signing of the Accountability Act.

O’Rourke certainly has a conflict of interest given IG would investigate his role and the role of his immediate and recent subordinates. Let’s not forget he ran the office being audited just three months ago. The office is now run by another ex-CALIBRE executive who replaced O’Rourke leading me to wonder, ‘What is it about CALIBRE and accountability?”

Think about that question when you ponder why the numbers of terminations related to corrupt executives are so tragically low compared to what President Trump promised.

The acting secretary’s refusal to allow the unfettered audit certainly appears tainted.

Would Shulkin have allowed the audit? O’Rourke’s career clearly benefited from the orchestrated coup to take Shulkin out. It seems ironic he is not critiquing the same watchdog organization credited with hitting against Shulkin to initiate his removal.

That leads me to believe the pushback against Missal is not just because he is another Obama holdover. His IG did help push out Shulkin with two reports that seemed to include a fair amount of zeal.

With all other options removed, it looks like O’Rourke does not want the watchdog or Congress to know what is going on. And, his conflict of interest in making the determination is likewise obvious.

Will Trump need to intervene to save his Accountability Act legacy by telling O’Rourke to back down and get to work removing bad leaders?

VA’S Reality TV Drama

What I am about to describe might seem more like a boring version of MTV Road Rules, but trust me, the drama and high stakes tension was no doubt even more interesting behind the scenes than anything you’d see on MTV.

FIRING DRAMA

In February, reports surfaced that Tom Bowman would be fired to knock Shulkin down a peg or two. This turned out to not quite be accurate as a coup to unravel Shulkin was revealed in emails.

EUROPE DRAMA

Then more reports surfaced including an IG report confirming that former VA secretary David Shulkin took inappropriate gifts and misused federal resources to take his wife on a trip to Europe summer 2017.

COUP DRAMA

Once the reports surfaced, Curt Cashour and John Ullyot cut off Shulkin’s contact channels with the press to effectively prevent Shulkin from defending himself at the direction of the White House. Shulkin went on a public relations blitz to counter allegations, in turn, claiming he was set up as part of some internal coup by individuals attempting to privatize VA at the expense of his career and good reputation.

RELATED: Ullyot On Vacation After Failed Coup Of Shulkin

HACKING DRAMA

President Trump saw to it Shulkin’s trusted chief of staff retired / resigned quickly after it surfaced that she may have altered some emails concerning ethics advisements. Shulkin claimed the emails were altered through a hack, but no one has confirmed the allegation.

RELATED: Coup Attempt Allegedly Behind Chief Of Staff Retirement

BABYSITTING DRAMA

Former head of accountability Peter O’Rourke was named as the replacement for Shulkin’s chief of staff on a permanent basis. The stated reason was to keep an eye on Shulkin to make sure he implemented the policies the Trump Administration wanted (i.e. Cerner HER deal to replace VistA).

FIRING DRAMA

President Trump complained about the negative press surrounding the substantiated allegations and ultimately fired Shulkin asserting the mess was a distraction to the agency.

RELATED: VSOs Snub Trump, Hold Party For Fired Secretary

What has occurred since is arguably even worse as far as drama goes.

HIRE, SIGN, RETIRE DRAMA

Shulkin put DOD official Robert Wilkie in charge as acting VA secretary, which was a move in violation of standard succession stipulations indicating the new acting VA secretary should have been Thomas Bowman. However, Bowman was noted as skeptical of the Cerner deal. Wilkie obviously was not and signed the contract two weeks ago ahead of schedule.

WITHDRAW DRAMA

The previously nominated replacement for Shulkin, Rear Admiral Ronnie Jackson, MD, withdrew his name from the running after allegations of unprofessional behavior surfaced from Senator Tester’s office.

LAWSUIT DRAMA

A group of advocacy groups also lodged a lawsuit against the Trump Administration alleging Bowman was the proper individual to run VA in the interim, and that Trump lacked the authority to selecting his own acting secretary because Shulkin was fired instead of resigning.

That lawsuit could still have massive effect despite Bowman retiring because it could unravel all decisions made by Wilkie since he should not have been in the role to begin with.

RESIGNATION DRAMA

During the interim, Scott Blackburn resigned, likely as a result of the Cerner deal being pushed through, which many VA officials allegedly opposed and some officials from DOD.

KUNG FU CHESS DRAMA

Now, in a final chess move, likely in light of the lawsuit concerning Wilkie’s move into the lead spot at VA, Bowman announced his retirement and Trump then selected O’Rourke to serve as acting VA secretary while Wilkie works on preparing for his confirmation hearing.

Trump was able to select O’Rourke for the top slot only because Bowman retired. Had Bowman not retired, he may have taken the top slot and canceled the Cerner deal.

Now, if Wilkie is confirmed, O’Rourke will revert to Bowman’s role as deputy secretary of the agency meaning he will likely gain active management over the agency in much the same way Sloan Gibson did under former VA secretary Robert McDonald.

Shulkin claimed his staff and Trump insiders coordinated a coup against him, and it seems likely, if he was right, that the coup is playing out exactly as planned with the exception of the Bowman appointment lawsuit that could undo the Cerner deal.

The Cerner deal will cost taxpayers at least $10 billion but VistA experts believe the real cost will run closer to $30 billion given the massive size of changing the entire platform.

IG Monkey Wrench

Given the present timing of the IG investigation into accountability, I can almost guarantee another element. Some lawmakers are probably aware embarrassing problems exist within the Accountability Office.

The timing coincides with the coming mid-term elections. Blowing holes in how the agency is handling corrupt leaders would undermine the accountability talking point for Republicans this coming November.

That said, I bet it’s safe to say problems exist, and that O’Rourke will push back hard to preclude a full audit for political and protectionist reasons.

Swamp Wins – Veterans Lose

Source: https://www.militarytimes.com/veterans/2018/06/19/va-watchdog-accuses-leadership-of-withholding-access-to-employee-complaints/

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26 Comments

  1. cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿

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    ———————————╱┃┈┈╰╮COW╮┈╰┳┻╯
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    The VA Cash Cow, Shitting dollars again. Right O’Rourke?????????
    Too large of budget, for there not to be rabid, teet sucking, and corruption.
    Inquiring minds wanna know, give up the damn documents, or be fired.
    Fucking criminals…..

  2. Classic VA, tell there’s a problem, what it is and they will correct and erase everything, acting dumb when they come back fix and say oh you wanted right away? My bad

  3. Just another example of a VA that is more crooked than a barrel of broke- back snakes . . .

  4. All the Veterans who lost care outside the VA due to non payment from Health Net, Health Net was supposed to be audited, but instead they took over for Tricare. Nothing like being rewarded for doing what you were told to do. They can’t have transparency, the cash cow would end.
    They gave they more Billions for this outside care, why am I having to drive 2 hrs to Denver to see a orthopedic doctor and a neurologist? Because they destroyed my veterans choice care, forcing me back into VA care, and forced into a 2 hr drive.

  5. agin @ agin va dc hq one big big big federal rico crime racket run [email protected] va dc hq but vets can eat va dc hq crap @ die perfect plan to kill @ vets big thanks potus trumper !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! not !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. The very best thing any of us vets can do is to push back with this shit! By this I mean peaceably make a VA appointment, go to the bathroom and shit in the trashcan in symbolic First Amendment statement sending the message, “We do not want this shit anymore!”

    Optionally make ssure you eat a large helping of curry lamb and cabbages the day before. It REALLY makes the point. Then, afterwards, go to the front desk and say, “My God somebody crapped in the trash can!!!” Look disgusted. I propose a new organization; VA Lies, Veterans Shit.

    It could go nationwide…

    • Liquid fart spray at walmart for 14.99, for those of us who can’t straddle the VA tall trash cans. And since smell is closely linked to memory, everyone will always equate the VA with shit. Gotta go.

  7. Here’s the scoop on the poop, Ben.

    Been posting out here more than playing on my FB page for all to see locally. Although I am fully aware of my local attacks dogs and fans of corruption followed me out here too. Follow, spread the word to their evil networks for retaliation and attack. Always have always will since info and corruption news are not to be spread or shared. It’s been a very played out old game. After all, I am or must be according to some the only person in the state or town with grievances. One councilman here claims that to be a fact and always points me out anytime, anywhere, someone dares question anything locally, dares question the corruption, or complains. Kinda tells the story too.

    Recently I have spent full days and countless hours on the phone over the complaints about the VA, censoring, patient rights, corruption, HIPPA/Disability Act of 1990 violations, to how a corporate, privately owned health clinics/hospital can keep a patient from attaining copies of our med files or reasons why they can easily get by with it. Plus all the threats, harassment, being shunned, med file info spread around including VA files.. in my happy little 3 university global socialist/Marx village, claiming to be a “Level Above.” Nothing much about being supposedly a Constitutional Republic but everything to do about “Democrat Socialism” which is nothing more than mob rule, this Democracy thing really is. No individual rights or protections. That’s all we hear today isn’t it? Being a “Democracy.” “Socialism projects like with Medicare, VA, Medicaid, etc?

    The list of contacts are senators, congress people, the many agencies and groups that are supposedly there to help people ie, Human Rights offices, med boards, medical complaint agencies, state agencies, state’s AGeneral, state’s human services or health agency over-seers, civil rights, etc. In the past many plus the American BAR to the states’ Supreme Court. NADA full protection modes. Anything locally or by “Democrats” are a lost cause… oh and the Repubs too but mainly the game is controlled and played by anything or anyone in particularly ‘deep state’ or corrupt networks.

    Staff, all females, secretaries, (so far) etc., are clueless about the many VA issues. ALL, mind you, ALL think everything is peachy and running smoothly. Blown away by my reports and what I have recorded and living with. Most keep interrupting and not letting a person get a sentence out with their common questioning distractions… Gas lighting tactics knowingly , training or by ignorance. I told one gal about us being told about never to use the Choice card and difficulties trying to use it. She kept repeating ‘well notify the VA and use the card, etc. I had to say ‘you are not listening to what I am saying’ we were told in a group to never use civilain care at all.’ And on the foolishness went along with the excuses for non-involvement. Too many ‘professinals’ or dodgy secretaries in place with lacks in hearing/listneing skills or comprehension abilities.

    Break-down:

    Local politicians, boards, communities, political parties, medical people, et al, can do whatever they desire including what is happening with me. Physical damages and from whom must be proven. They can’t use the word ‘hate.’ LEOs do not have to protect me or investigate threats. If any one feels a “conflict of interest’ they can do as they please.

    Any level of government can not enforce rules/laws against a civilian hospital unless I have been damaged in some way while being in-patient. Everything else is fair game and they are legally not bound to surrender my files to me. As for clinics under any hospital’s umbrella can claim to be part of the hospital or not using flip-flopping registrations according to the state. If the ‘clinic’ claims to be separate from the hospital nothing can be done because they are privately owned. Hospital claims they bought the clinic but state records show either way can be used or claimed… nothing can be legally done against them. Like crooks and others using two sets of book/records or more to justify or defend against anything they encounter that may blemish their facade or games.

    The branches:

    Legislative branches of gubbermint “cannot enforce” law and regulations (congress/state reps). They make them. But can take complaints and pass them along to so-called proper agencies to see like with VA issues. They have no power to change things or investigate. And do not want citizens wanting each level of representation to open files or get involved in matters. Causes too much confusion they claim and waste of resources. Say like using a state senator, rep, and congress at the same time even over those separate and ‘distinct’ issues locally, state or fed levels. Everything needs to be kicked around to enforcement agencies like the executive or judicial branches or federal LEOs. “branches has a distinct and essential role in gubbermint.” Crickets. Thanks for your time.

    Severe censoring of vets and civilians. Nothing the feds, state, locals can or will do.

    Identity politics, racism/hate/attacks against white men/vets … nada, nothing to be done. Prove it and prove it well. “Isn’t such a thing as hatred towards white people.’

    Nepotism and complete local corruption… public accepts it… they chose it, voted for it, accept it. Locals apparently at any level can do or say whatever they desire as long as they seem nice, no hate language like I hate vets or white people, etc. Nothing to be done about any networks of retaliation either by the VA.. on to the civvy world. Constitutional rights, protections, others… may not or will not apply. Damn, I am going to have to check into Admiralty laws too I reckon, and much more deep-state BS. Or about us being slaves to “Corporations of America” not citizens of the United States of America with a Constitution but owned by the likes of Wall St, Federal Reserve plue the deep-state and shadow goverment crap…. the minute we are born.

    There are supposedly laws on the books about polticians not keeping any oath of office and can be punishable by the senate/gov. The fancy word escapes me now but basicaly lying and unbecoming actions/deceit/tyranny/treason by so-called oath keeping elected officials. Perjury I believe it is. Like insider trading, attacking private civilians/constituents for different beliefs/whistle-blowing, and self-serving practices/monetary gain, mafia/union thuggery styled actions. Crickets. And people think others are going to depend and hope for any real protections under a stupid Whistle-blowers protections act???? Get fricken real here folks.

    Media: Can lie, propagandize, twist, neglect, ignore, cover-up all they want. Freedom of the press and under corporate controls/restraints by laws.

    “U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) does not enforce the ADA, it does offer publications and other technical assistance on the basic requirements.” blah blah.

    So far: Nothing much to do, or can be done over the VA and others manipulating or destroying files/communications like from Healthy E-vet Secure Messaging even. Again, prove it and prove it well. Those are internal issues to be investigated by all the VA over-seers and those “at the top.” Including the POTUS, DHS, DoD, IG, etc. Not one office contacted cared to hear some of my recordings of harassment or put me on a requested lie detector test so many believe functions at 100% accuracy.

    So now after all that I am supposed to wait months and years for phone calls, hire a high dollar attorney, trust one in the state or town to do something against it ALL. Or try one that will bow to our states wealthy and connected cliques. No local lawyers want to get involved in any form of corruption, or to blemish any other local or state wide professionals.’ Indiana already proven it’s self to be the most, or one of, the most corrupted states in the union hands down. With those high salaries meaning justice is kept out of the hands of us low life serfs struggling to survive minus access to proper health care don’t ya know. Can’t trust them nor judges, LEOs, etc. Rather Draconian, tyrannical, fascist, treasonous. low life, game playing, totally anti-American, parasitical, baby molesting cruel, don’t ya think?

    Sorry for the length but it’s a rather deep multi-layered issue that is difficult to make brief.

  8. “What’s really happening?” Follow the money. Lobbyists. If the VA becomes functional in distributing benefits the military industrial complex will lose a portion of the budget pie. Their argument is better hardware and logistics will save lives and injuries in the field. Vets that can walk and talk don’t need compensation. The money should go to the hardware and logistics providers. And perhaps a little under the table encouragement to help VA corrupt officials to side with the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about.

  9. Here’s another fake veteran who was involved with the American Legion paying the price for LYING about his military service!

    From: “military.com”
    Titled;
    “Wisconsin Legion Officer Resigns Over Military Service Claim”

    Dated: 19 Jun 2018

    “MADISON, Wis. — A historian for the Wisconsin American Legion resigned after the organization said he embellished his military service.”

    “Howard “Gordy” Clewell stepped down last week from the Wisconsin American Legion.”

    “Clewell’s wife, Laurel Clewell, is state commander of Wisconsin’s American Legion. She told WISC-TV her husband lied to her about his service and that she had no idea he did not serve in Vietnam.”

    “In a statement, she told the station her husband “had built a stellar veteran career on a foundation of lies — that he had not only fought in Vietnam in Special Forces but that he had received medals for his heroics.”

    “Gordy Clewell served in the U.S. Army but not in Vietnam. His wife said he was a caseworker in Germany.”

    “He has dishonored so many veterans. To me, that’s just despicable,” Laurel Clewell told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel . She said her husband moved out of their home and that she plans to initiate divorce proceedings.”

    (“Pictures submitted to Legion officials showed him wearing a hat displaying a Special Forces pin, a Ranger tab and other pins. A 2015 Wisconsin law makes it a misdemeanor to claim military service or honors for personal gain.”)

    “Gordy Clewell did not immediately reply to a phone message from The Associated Press on Monday.”

    “Amber Nikolai, state adjutant of the Wisconsin American Legion, said Gordy Clewell admitted “his misrepresentations and apologized” when he submitted his resignation as historian and canceled his Legion membership last week. Nikolai also said his military service met the eligibility requirements for American Legion membership.”

    “Unfortunately, Mr. Clewell embellished his military service and was caught,” Nikolai said.”

    (Here’s the comments section. I left it on because the first one says something very interesting! )

    840048613 minutes ago She is a retired Sgt Major, how could she not figure this out. Hmmmm
    Every VFW, American Legion and all other Veterans Organizations should have a DD 214 for all members and review it by some solid honest veterans that can smell bs and don’t embellish their records.

    William Weedman1 hour ago I don’t get it. I was a medic, served in Korea during the Cold War after the low intensity war still be fought on the DMZ died down, those two things allow me to join several veterans organizations, but since I don’t drink much and since I don’t tell stories that begin with “There I was, all alone 100 miles behind enemy lines” I’ll keep my money and smile when the drunk guy at some bar tells me about taking out 1000 NVA with his bayonet, trying to con me into buying a round for him. Met a guy in a bar who told me he was so “wild & crazy” the SEALs took away his trident…

    Jeff Smith1 hour ago Stolen valor is a terrible thing. Even worse is lying to your spouse about it. Totally loathsome.

    James Austin13 hours ago Sad that some think they have to say they were something they were not. Folks like that have no honor. None. I am glad he got caught and feel sorry for the wife. I like to tell folks “I was no hero or anything special. Just a soldier who was proud to serve this country.”

    35316601James Austin1 hour ago I too say the same thing. If you were a cook, be proud of your support role! If you were admin, be proud that you supported your fellow service members. I can’t stand the the scumbags who lie about their service.

    John Depope15 hours ago What a penis head.

    michaelprescottmacarthur18 hours ago Yuup, he had to go to the SF in “insert war here” route. Freaking Jack hole. If he had just been true to what he’d actually done no one would have looked down on him at all. Now I think that he can go fornicate himself with a 2×4.

    Sam S19 hours ago what a dope. I once knew a guy who told me and others he was a PJ in Nam. He even had a bogus Silver Star citation in his home. Once he was found out to be a liar he ceased to exist to me and the group I was part of.

    • I can tell you as a woman Marine, other veterans will absolutely look down on you for not being hardcore moto or as good as them. There’s that whole stupid grunt & POG thing. That’s how these people get caught up in this stolen valor shit.

      • Molly,
        Sorry, I’m going to have to disagree with you on this!
        There’s absolutely no “excuse” for anyone to “embellish” their military service record, PERIOD!

  10. Ben,

    Surely you didn’t trust DT? He’s not even 2 years in yet & has told nearly 4,000 verified lies & that’s not including “misspeaking”. DT lied on the campaign trail about raising money for veterans. Then when he was caught he said he’d give the money to Vet Orgs & still didn’t. He only “cares” about veterans when they’ll help him get elected. DT is a straight up conman. He’ll lie cheat & steal to get what he wants. He or anyone like him should NEVER be trusted or believed. All roads lead back to what we have except it’s worse the second & third time around. I hope you’ll adjust your vote accordingly.

    • @Molly
      you hit the proverbial nail right on the proverbial head. We have a New York fast talking sheister who told americans what they wanted to hear and then convinced enough americans to believe him. He is like the con man who sells fake Rolexes in New York by convincing marks that he ‘knows how to get it done’…… great post

  11. Molly, I voted for DT to shake thing up. Never trusted him but placed false trust in the Congress and the Court to keep him reigned. DT knows where he is with his scam. Go back and listen to his acceptance speech. “…for two years, maybe 4, maybe even 8.” The “…for 2 years,” is telling. He expected even then to be thrown out after the midterms. With that expectation what do you expect? Even ripping babies out of their nursing mother’s arms to take the press off the investigation of his Presidency for profit, including Pruit.

  12. Fascinating. The acting VA secretary is acting like a petulant child, and it just so happens that he was appointed by a president who frequently acts like a petulant child. His fucking cabinet meetings must sound like a day-care center.

    I haven’t puked yet today. I guess now would be a good time.

  13. Of topic a bit but…….. I wager claims filed by Space Force rocketeers will be approved by BVA sooner than my claim now in appeal for 7 years!!! LOFUCKINGL!!!!

    FUCK VA
    FUCK AFGE

  14. Like most of your perspectives, but this is a little anti Trump for me. I enjoy non bais reporting of facts. Not beat on the Trump day, I get enough of that on Facebook. Trump did not create all these problems, he is trying to solve them. We will see in the end if he is full of it. But so far I am still waiting to judge, as VA is the most screwed up organization in History of man. The entire contamination thing has happened because nobody at VA happen to read any of the articles from EPA, CDC, and OSHA for last 30 years. Even when Reagan spent 19 billion dollars to clean up Superfund sites the VA still failed to read the memo and help any Veterans. I was disapointed that Trump did not clean house at VA, and start over as fixing it takes more money and time that he don’t have, if I have one bad thing to say about Trump it is that I would rather spend wall money helping all the Veterans that have been damaged by Chemicals. Guns can gaurd the border better than a wall, and we have many of them, much cheaper.

  15. As much as I have read, researched, and learned about the VA nationwide over the last few years, it has really opened my eyes as to the depths of corruption this agency whose mission it is to care for veterans is entwined in.

    Also that they love to play the “off me, on you” game at a level that keeps the cash cow flowing into the hands of the upper level management. According to current VA think, it is the veterans fault that we all collectively suffer from (insert serious combat-related trauma) and that we should never be compensated in a fair, just, efficient manner.

    What I do not hear from them is that the VA is the root cause of (officially) 22 veteran final musters daily. THAT is the net result of all this taxpayer-funded care for veterans. WE ALL know this to be true.

    The VA upper level management is full of “experts” who do not know, and could not tell whether they have been Shot, F*cked, Powder-Burnt, or Snake Bit.

    What a proud legacy . . .

  16. VA Hospital Stops Investigation Against Whistle-Blower
    2:13 AM 06/21/2018
    Michael Volpe
    Daily Caller News Foundation

    “A Veterans Affairs hospital opened an investigation against a whistle-blower but then did an about face after inquiries from The Daily Caller.

    Greg Chiles is a VA police officer who works at the Fort Harrison, Montana VA Medical Center; he was one of four VA whistle-blowing cops featured in an April article from TheDC, where each described facing systemic corruption and retaliation.”

    “https://dailycaller.com/2018/06/20/va-hospital-investigation-whistle-blower/”

  17. OMG – I’m thankful for the people who keep on top of issues of corruption in our government! It is just overwhelming, the level of manipulation and deceit, will we ever reach our potential and become the fair and just society in which we all desire. I suppose, it’s a work in progress. Keep up the good work and expose those dirty rascals!

  18. @Timothy Lee Coffey
    Sir, I do not believe that the analysis that Ben presented was, or is biased towards DT, rather I thought it to be pretty forgiving of his traits, words and his obvious plethora of lies and distortions.

    The primary problem with the both the VBA and VHA is management incompetence. What DT has done with his accountability act and promotion of his cronies and campaign staffers is to legitimize the short comings, graft and profiteering of executive management and upper management. DT has made it much easier to fire AFGE employees……… and guess what? these VA employees are the primary source of negative information. The whistleblowers, for the most part, are our eyes and ears inside the system.

    What O’Rourke is doing with the IG is systemic in the Trump administration. O rourke knows the many misdeeds that the IG will discover, blocking access to these records and statistics should be a firing offense ….. but, oh wait, he is the man chosen to carry out the Trump agenda, so he has become sacrosanct to accountability. O’Rourke will soon be competing with the EPA administrator for the title of the most egregious cabinet appointee. Soon, O’Rourke and his supporters will claim that the IG is on a ‘witch hunt’ …….. just as Putin’s plaything calls the Special Counsel investigation a ‘witch hunt’, just as Pruitt and his supporters claim that he is the object of a witch hunt. It is time for the Inspector General to take a hard look at the practices of VA executive management, after reading Ben’s site for many years, it appears to me that he, and several others like him are the only people who look to executive level management as a problem. We veterans have been brainwashed into believing that those ‘rascals’ from the union are the problem!! Sure you will find a-hole employees everywhere and I am sure the VA has their fair share, but all of us need to remember that shit rolls down hill. My bet is that those a-hole employees have a-hole management above them. When you have a problem with a bottom of the ladder employee, find out who his manager is, take your complaint to his manager, if you don’t get satisfaction take it to his manager. That is how I solved my problem with the VA. Now, I haven’t had much success with the VBA because of the black hole that exists, but as far as health care goes, there is no anominity
    for the person serving you …… don’t lose your temper, just start going up the chain of command.

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