The Department of Veterans Affairs doled out more than $142 million in bonuses to executives and employees for performance in 2014 even as scandals over veterans’ health care and other issues racked the agency.
The agency paid more than $380,000 in 2013 performance bonuses to top officials at hospitals where veterans faced long delays in receiving treatment, including those under investigation for wait-time manipulation.
In Tomah, Wis., the former chief of staff of the VA medical center there, Dr. David Houlihan — whom veterans nicknamed the “Candy Man” because of his prolific prescribing of narcotics — received a $4,000 bonus in December. That was nine months after an inspector general investigation report concluded he was prescribing alarmingly high amounts of opiates. And it was four months after Marine Corps veteran Jason Simcakoski, 35, died of “mixed-drug toxicity” as an inpatient at Tomah after he was prescribed a fatal cocktail of medications, including opiates. The inpatient pharmacist supervisor also received a $1,050 bonus in December. A spokesman for the Tomah VA declined to comment. The VA moved last month to fire Houlihan. A lawyer who represented him did not respond to a message Tuesday seeking comment.
In Augusta, Ga., VA financial manager Jed Fillingim was awarded a $900 performance bonus. He drew scrutiny from Congress last year after news reports revealed he admitted drinking and driving a government truck to a VA meeting in 2010 and a co-worker fell from the truck and was killed.
– From the excellent USA Today article: Veterans Affairs Pays $142 Million in Bonuses Amid Scandals
For several months in 2014, one of the biggest stories in America revolved around revelations of incompetence and death at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Specifically, an internal VA investigation admitted at least 23 veterans died while waiting for care, and that 120,000 were being affected by delinquent care. The FBI subsequently launched a criminal probe into the VA, and here’s what the White House had to say about the entire affair: Continue reading »
– Leaked Document: Nearly One-Third Of 847,000 Vets With Pending Applications For VA Health Care Already Died (Huffington Post, July 15, 2015):
WASHINGTON — More than 238,000 of the 847,000 veterans with pending applications for health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs have already died, according to an internal VA document provided to The Huffington Post.
Scott Davis, a program specialist at the VA’s Health Eligibility Center in Atlanta and a past whistleblower on the VA’s failings, provided HuffPost with an April 2015 report titled “Analysis of Death Services,” which reviews the accuracy of the VA’s veteran death records. The report was conducted by staffers in the VA Health Eligibility Center and the VA Office of Analytics.
Flip to page 13 and you’ll see some stark numbers. As of April, there were 847,822 veterans listed as pending for enrollment in VA health care. Of those, 238,657 are now deceased, meaning they died after they applied for, but never got, health care.
– George W. Bush Charged $100,000 to Speak at Charity for Wounded Veterans (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 9, 2015):
Former President George W. Bush billed a charity for wounded military veterans $100,000 in speaking fees three years ago, a new report says.
The organization also provided Bush with private jet travel to Houston at a cost of $20,000.
Laura Bush, the former president’s wife, additionally pocketed $50,000 after appearing for the group in 2011, ABC reported.
Helping a Hero fundraises for homes that are specifically adapted for military veterans with lost limbs and other severe injuries, it said.
The group specifically helps those who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq.
– From the Hill article: George W. Bush Charged $100K for Speech at Wounded Veterans Event
Only in America could it been seen as acceptable for the man most directly responsible for causing young veterans their wounds, to turn around and charge $100,000 to speak in front of a charity for those same veterans.
While one could argue (though it’s becoming increasingly hard these days with evidence of Saudi Arabia’s role in 9/11), that the invasion of Afghanistan seemed justified at the time, the invasion of Iraq was nothing short of a horrific war crime. Iraq had nothing to do with September 11th, and everyone with half a brain knew that. The Iraq war continues to be a gigantic crime scene. One in which thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed. For absolutely no reason. Continue reading »
– VA turns U.S. military vets into suicidal drug addicts while Big Pharma rakes in profits (Natural News, June 11, 2015):
A year ago, as the summer of 2013 dawned, the Obama Administration was hit with yet another scandal, one that would resonate with Democrat and Republican voters: VA Hospitals around the country were falsifying appointment records in order to satisfy treatment quotas, leaving scores of veterans without care which led to the deaths of perhaps 1,000 men and women who had honorably served their country.
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Reported about this here:
– Cops Asked to Check In on 74 Year Old Man – Break In and Kill Him Instead (Activist Post, Feb 10, 2015):
A North Carolina family asked Gastonia police to check in on a family member who was recovering from surgery. In an ideal world, this would be a wonderful service to be performed by police with a grateful community that would offer them thanks.
Unfortunately, these notions have nothing to do with the business model of modern day policing, which does not serve those it views as its enemy. Indeed, although it might be the public that helps keep the coffers full by various means, it is a public still viewed as the number one threat by the police who benefit from them – by various means.
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– 1000s Of Veterans Busted For Massive Benefits Fraud (ZeroHedge, Nov 1, 2014):
When work is punished and grift is not, is it any surprise that, as The Washington Times reports, nearly 60,000 triple dipping Veterans picked up $3.5 billion in benefits (collecting their military retirement pay; and disability benefits from both the Veterans Administration and Social Security too). The arrangement is legal, but since everyone else is abusing the system, from crony banks to deadbeat dads to squatting slummers, it was only a matter of time before even veterans decided to dip, then dip again and dip some more. Sen. Tom Coburn, noted it was “hard to understand,” but perhaps the hardest thing to understand is why it took veterans so long to realize we live in a world without consequences.
As The Washington Times reports, tens of thousands of veterans collect their military retirement pay and disability benefits from the Veterans Administration and disability checks from Social Security too, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. All told, nearly 60,000 triple dippers collected $3.5 billion in benefits. Continue reading »
– Pick for V.A. Is Former Corporate Chief (The New York Times, June 29, 2014):
WASHINGTON — President Obama on Monday intends to nominate Robert A. McDonald, a former chief executive of Procter & Gamble, to be the next secretary of Veterans Affairs, a White House official said Sunday, betting that a global corporate officer can turn around a government health system that has been rocked by allegations of mismanagement and cover-ups of long patient waiting times.
– Dear US Soldiers And Veterans: Avoid The Following Hospitals Like The Plague (ZeroHedge, June 29. 2014):
The VA scandal was just the beginning.
According to Internal documents obtained by New York Times, US military healthcare is “a system in which scrutiny is sporadic and avoidable errors are chronic.” As the NYT reports In Military Care, a Pattern of Errors but Not Scrutiny, “the military system has consistently had higher than expected rates of harm and complications in two central parts of its business — maternity care and surgery.”
Among the findings: Continue reading »
Virtual Suicide Factory
– VA Death Toll Higher Than All Wars (Veterans Today, June 16, 2014):
American military veterans are dying in numbers unimagined. The numbers themselves are hidden from the public just like the waiting lists from the Department of Veterans Affairs. There is a reason for this, the two are related. Waiting lists, weeks or months for treatment for devastating and debilitating illnesses and conditions, destroyed records, “wiped” computers, SWAT teams with automatic weapons prowling the hallways of clinics, these are the real reasons vets kill themselves.
Most veterans who have chosen suicide have been abused and mistreated by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Some have been told that their illnesses or wounds are imaginary, others are shuffled into endless bureaucratic loops and most are subjected to the Kafkaesque disability compensation system where literally anything can happen and does. Continue reading »
People across America are getting arrested for posting non-violent criticisms of Barack Obama. In the case you’re about to see, one Marine veteran was sent to psychiatric training and diagnosed with ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) for his criticism of the way government is being run.
– Texas VA Run Like a “Crime Syndicate” Claims Whistleblower (Liberty Blitzkrieg, May 28, 2014):
“For lack of a better term, you’ve got an organized crime syndicate,” a whistleblower who works in the Texas VA told The Daily Beast. “People up on top are suddenly afraid they may actually be prosecuted and they’re pressuring the little guys down below to cover it all up.”
What’s worse, the documents show the wrongdoing going unpunished for years, even after it was repeatedly reported to local and national VA authorities. That indicates a new troubling angle to the VA scandal: that the much touted investigations may be incapable of finding violations that are hiding in plain sight.
– From the excellent Daily Beast article published yesterday: Exclusive: Texas VA Run Like a ‘Crime Syndicate,’ Whistleblower Says
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week or so, you are probably well aware of the latest in a consistent stream of scandals that have rocked the Obama Administration since he took office over five years ago. Yes, I am referring to the Veterans Affairs (VA) scandal, and while you might think you have read enough on the topic, the following article is very important.
It tells the tale of a VA hospital in Texas that had institutionalized the practice of manipulating hospital wait lists many years ago. For example, all the way back in 2011, the VA’s inspector general investigated the Central Texas health-care system in response to complaints received. Despite finding that such manipulation was rampant, not a single VA official was disciplined. As you might expect, the practice continued and the hospital highlighted in this article actually received an award in the face of an OIG investigation! Continue reading »
– Veterangate: VA ‘cooked the books’ for over six years (RT, May 28, 2014):
It took at least 23 deaths for America to wake up to what’s been known since 2010: Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals have been cooking the books for six years to hide that they were delaying and denying care to the country’s veterans.
The growing scandal began in early May, when a Veterans Affairs (VA) employee alleged that at least 40 patients died waiting for an appointment at a VA hospital in Phoenix, Ariz. US lawmakers then launched an investigation into the Department of Veterans Affairs after multiple whistleblowers came forward to say that veteran’s hospitals systematically manipulate waiting lists, resulting in the deaths of dozens of patients. An agency report linked 23 of the reported 40 deaths in multiple states to delayed treatment. Continue reading »
– Obama Should Apologize For Treating Military Veterans Like Garbage For The Past 5 Years (Economic Collapse, May 25, 2014):
This Memorial Day, Barack Obama and members of Congress will honor our veterans by wearing ribbons and laying wreaths, but what they should really do is apologize to the entire nation for treating them like human trash for the past five years. You see, the truth is that this VA scandal is nothing new. The problems at the VA hospitals have been documented over and over again for years. When Barack Obama was a U.S. senator, he served on the Veterans Affairs Committee. So as he entered the White House, he was supposed to be an expert in this area. And back in 2008, he pledged to “make the VA a leader of national health care reform so that veterans get the best care possible“. But of course that never happened. And now Obama is claiming that he only learned of the “secret waiting lists” at VA hospitals by “watching television“, and his staff says that he is “madder than hell” about it. So now that he has been publicly shamed, will Obama actually do something about it? Because our military veterans deserve far better care than what they have been getting. Continue reading »
– 27% of US veterans from Iraq, Afghan wars going hungry: Study (PressTV, May 9, 2014):
More than a quarter of US veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have difficulty getting enough food, almost double the food insecurity rate in the general population, according to new research.
Researchers from the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis Department of Veterans Affairs surveyed 922 US veterans and found that 27 percent reported not having access to enough food for three meals a day.
Continue reading »
– Making A Killing: The Untold Story Of Psychotropic Drugging (Full Documentary)
– Fort Hood shooter was Iraq vet being treated for mental health issues (CNN, April 3, 2014):
The man who opened fire at the Fort Hood military post in Texas was a veteran who served four months in Iraq and was undergoing treatment for mental health issues.
Spc. Ivan Lopez, married with children, moved to the post in Killeen in February from another military installation.
Authorities don’t know what prompted the shooting spree Wednesday, where Lopez, 34, killed three people, wounded 16 — before fatally shooting himself.
H/t reader squodgy:
“If news of this filters through to young potential recruits, the poor US may start suffering from mass awols.”
– Commemorating Suicides, Vets Plant 1,892 Flags on National Mall (ABC News, March 27, 2014):
On average, 22 veterans commit suicide each day, according to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).To commemorate them and raise awareness, 32 veterans from the group flew to Washington, D.C., to plant 1,892 flags on the National Mall today, one for each of the veterans that the group says took his or her own life in 2014. IAVA extrapolated that number from a 2012 Veterans Administration report finding that 22 veterans took their lives each day in 2009 and 2010, only a slight increase from years past, and a number that includes all veterans, not just those who served in America’s more recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
When did serving your country become a crime?
– Feds Drop Bombshell On Veterans! (Daily Mashup, Jan 16, 2014):
(by Tim King and Jerry Freeman Salem-news.com)
(MYRTLE CREEK, OR) – If Pat Kirby has his guns taken away by the federal government, then everyone else is probably going to eventually face the same thing. The clock is ticking. Pat Kirby is a decorated Oregon Vietnam Veteran with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). He never imagined he would receive a letter telling him he will have to turn over his guns, or face imprisonment.
– Report: Suicide Rate Soars Among Young Vets (TIME, Jan 10, 2014):
The number of male veterans under 30 ending their own lives jumps by 44 percent in two years
The number of male veterans under the age of 30 who commit suicide jumped by 44 percent between 2009 and 2011, the most recent year for which data was available, according to numbers released Thursday by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Roughly two young veterans a day commit suicide.
Suicide rates for female vets also increased by 11 percent between 2009 and 2011. The suicide rate among veterans remains well above that for the general population, with roughly 22 former servicemen and women committing suicide every day.
– How the U.S. Government Lobotomized 2,000 Veterans During and After World War II (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Dec 13, 2013):
I’m sure if you informed people that the Veterans Administration (VA) had lobotomized thousands of decorated World War II vets you’d quickly be labeled a quack, or even worse, some crazy conspiracy theorist. Unfortunately, it’s just another hard-to-believe but true fact about how government operates. How they always have and always will. Global connectivity but political decentralization is one of the main ways out of the mess we are in.
From the Army Times:
The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans — and likely hundreds more — during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal.
“They got the notion they were going to come to give me a lobotomy,” Roman Tritz, a World War II bomber pilot, told the newspaper in a report published Wednesday. “To hell with them.”
Tritz said the orderlies at the veterans hospital pinned him to the floor, and he initially fought them off. A few weeks later, just before his 30th birthday, he was lobotomized.
Tritz by the way flew a B-17 Flying Fortress on 34 combat missions over Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe. That’s how we thanked him for his service. Continue reading »
– NYC Food Bank Head: 40% Of Veterans Need Food Assistance (CBS News, Nov 10, 2013):
95,000 Former Service Members In NYC Eating At Soup Kitchens, Pantries
Veterans are returning to New York City from their service only to be faced with going hungry, the head a city food bank said.As WCBS 880′s Monica Miller reported, Margarette Purvis, president and CEO of the Food Bank for New York City, tried to raise awareness about the plight of former service members during a speech in the Bronx on Sunday.
Veterans Day is Monday.
“On this Veterans Day, when we’re waving our flags — I need every New Yorker to know — 40 percent of New York City veterans are relying on soup kitchens and pantries,” Purvis said.That amounts to 95,000 people.
“That is not a guesstimate; that is a fact,” she said.
Mike Hutmacher | The Wichita Eagle Jerrod Hays of Wellington had nearly one half of his face blown away in Iraq when the armored Humvee he was riding in with three fellow soldiers got hit by explosions in an attack by the enemy, killing one and critically injuring the others in 2009. (Oct. 23, 2013)
– Iraq vet: Losing home ‘worse than getting blown up’ (The Kansas City Star, Oct 27, 2013):
WELLINGTON — In 2007, Staff Sgt. Jerrod Hays lost nearly half of his face to a roadside bomb in Iraq.
Now, the 44-year-old Wellington man could lose his home to foreclosure.
“This,” Hays said of the prospect of losing his home, “is worse than getting blown up.”
In the attack south of Baghdad, he lost much of his lower jawbone, 22 teeth, a third of his tongue and one and a half fingers. He nearly lost his right arm and lost movement in a wrist. He lost the ability to see normally: He has to wear sunglasses outside and he has trouble seeing at night. Shrapnel remains peppered into his body. He suffers chronic pain.
– Homeless Vets: Fed Court Smack’s Down UCLA Land Grab (Veterans Today, Oct 23, 2013):
Federal Court Denies UCLA Motion
When the US District Court for Central California kicked UCLA in the pants for using veteran land for its baseball practice, they decided to fight back. It didn’t work.
The document is clear, UCLA’s actions were despicable and they have failed to learn their lesson.
– Video of the Day: Veterans Arrested at Vietnam Memorial in NYC (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Oct 8, 2013):
The following is a powerful, touching and very well done video that includes veterans of various wars, ranging from World War II to Vietnam as well as some of our recent imperial adventures. It is entirely clear that this is no stunt, but rather a heartfelt and genuine expression of grief and disillusionment from Americans who have seen the pain and suffering of war up close, and who clearly continue to experience much sadness many years later.
As expected, Mayor Bloomberg’s storm-troopers did as told and arrested these folks (many of whom are elderly) shortly after the 10pm curfew.
No Victim. No Crime. This is fucking ridiculous.
– VA Low Balling Vets Daily Suicide Rate (Veterans Today, Oct 1, 2013):
A recent VA study revealed that nearly one in five suicides nationally is a veteran even though veterans only make up 10% of the population but the reporting states only represented about 40% of the U.S. population ~and did not include the two largest states California and Texas as well as Illinois
Supposedly every day in the United States at least 22 veterans commit suicide but this stark figure is obviously a low ball number because three of the largest states did not make data available to the VA for this report, according to Mori Basu of CNN.com. Excerpt: ” Luana Ritch, the veterans and military families coordinator in Nevada, helped publish an extensive report on that state’s veteran suicides. Part of the problem, she says, is that there is no uniform reporting system for deaths in America. It’s usually up to a funeral director or a coroner to enter veteran status and suicide on a death certificate. Veteran status is a single question on the death report, and there is no verification of it from the Defense Department or the VA. “Birth and death certificates are only as good as the information that is entered,” Ritch says. “There is underreporting. How much, I don’t know.”
At least 30% of all veterans have considered suicide ~ another low ball figure which would most certainly be supported by my own extensive heart centered work with combat veterans with PTSD whereas the vast majority have considered suicide particularly when racism issues were involved or psychotropic drugs. Remember, It is estimated that at least half of all Americans who commit suicide or commit violent acts were on psychiatric drugs and there are more than 3000 deaths a month attributed to psychiatric or psychotropic drugs. Read my report ~
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