House Subpoenas VA Chief, Alleged 'Cover-Up' Emails
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki subpoenaed, too
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2014 9:52 AM CDT
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

(Newser) – Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has remained defiant amid calls for his resignation in the wake of a report on a "secret waiting list" and veterans dying over delays at some of its hospitals, particularly one in Phoenix. But as the fever pitch grows, the House Veterans Affairs Committee today voted to subpoena Shinseki, and as CNN reports, the subpoena extends to emails that allegedly mention destroying the secret list. This as the Austin American Statesmen yesterday reported that a whistleblower has talked to investigators about allegations of orders to fudge veterans' requested appointment dates at San Antonio and Austin VA clinics.

  • Who thinks he should resign: The American Legion, which the New York Times points out is not just the oldest but is also the "most influential" veterans group. It marks the first time the Legion has called for a public official to step down since 1978. It's been joined by Concerned Veterans for America, another veterans organization, which wants President Obama to fire Shinseki, the Arizona Republic reports.
  • Who doesn't: As of Tuesday, Jay Carney told reporters "the president remains confident in Secretary Shinseki's ability to lead the department and take appropriate action."

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May 11, 2014 7:24 PM CDT
We join up we sacrifice after words we get screwed. VA rules concerning discharges are not the same as DOD rules for discharges and each service department has a different set of rules for thoses discharges. The VA regional office is excallant for looking at those rules in favor of them but not the veteran.That's what needs to be changed as for privatizing the VA don't your just opening things up for further fraud. just like with social security and medicare programs who would be held accountable when the money is gone if its privatized? Get people in there who can do the job and get rid of the good ol boy system.Sure the Service branch explains life after discharge esp if you get a bad one. They fail to explain what the VA regional offices can do when you apply for benefits. It should also be noted the VA regional offices have their own discharges they can issue and i quoat "For VA purposes" They can change someones discharge to suit them as they please even though the DOD discharge says different. And they can do it without notifying the veteran until they please to do so. This happened to me.
May 9, 2014 4:52 PM CDT
We need to forget the politics here and focus on the problem. Many of my recent ancestors are former military and/or DOD employees. I worked as a private contractor for DOD. I have a great-uncle who survived the Bataan death march. When I was 10, my dad was left completely disabled as a result of an accident while he was working for a "certain intelligence agency". Many years later, I was left disabled while working as a private contractor involved in getting a former military facility revamped, in an effort to turn it over to "civilian" local gov't use. I am extremely proud of my family's service to country. I believe strongly in, to the point of financially giving to, such GREAT organizations as the "Wounded Warrior Project". I say all of the above as a precedent to this....WWP and other great organizations with similar goals, would NOT be so greatly needed if the VA actually did what its' name implies. Our vets have sacrificed their health and well-being (mentally, physically, and emotionally), not to mention the heartache many experience when losing buddies on the battlefield. Our current CIC does not seem to understand the concept of "no one left behind". He has even gone so far as to suggest that vets should be willing to pick up the tab for their own medical treatment (after all, we "allowed" them the privilege to fight our wars). I recently heard a radio ad in which a lawyer was trying to drum up business. Not that this is news to anyone. But what made me puke was that his sales pitch implied, somewhat prophetic in nature we now know, VETS NEED A LEGAL ADVOCATE IN ORDER TO GET THROUGH THE VA's RED TAPE AND GET ALL THE BENEFITS TO WHICH THEY ARE ENTITLED. Is this crazy or is it just me?! If there is any single group who should get all possible benefits, it's our nation's vets. If there is any single gov't agency that should have NO REDTAPE, it is the VA! There are very few things that I feel this passionate about. Contrary to what many liberals would have us believe, the United States is the GREATEST country on the planet. Those who have served under the Stars & Stripes need to receive every possible benefit we can provide. And those benefits should be VERY EASILY accessed, without having to involve attorneys and "advocates". Remember, we live in the land of the free, BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE!
May 9, 2014 10:15 AM CDT
Unfortunately for General Shinseki, the VA is an out of control Government agency unable to be "tamed" by any one individual. It is noted for it's vast bureaucracy that spends billions without accountability. Through the Military, I recommended many years ago that the VA be done away with. Individual VA Medical Centers could be taken over by private (preferably not-for-profit) healthcare facilities. Military and former military could be enrolled in a program similar to Medicare, paid for by the Government. Those receiving benefits could expect to receive better, quicker, and less expensive care. Of course, the VA's Lobby, and some Veterans, strongly oppose such an action. Until the American people, AND Veterans, look at the "black hole" every Government Agency is, and demands significant changes, the Government employees working for these Agencies will simply yell and scream while awaiting to retire because with our Government, no one demands and receives change or accountability!