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‘Ousted’ Top VA Official Already Scheduled To Retire

From Roll Call:

VA’s Top Health Official Resigns Amid Scandal, Shinseki Announces

By Niels Lesniewski | May 16, 2014

The chief health official at the Department of Veterans Affairs resigned Friday, amid an ongoing scandal about wait times and deaths within the VA health system.

“Today, I accepted the resignation of Dr. Robert Petzel, Under Secretary for Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs,” Secretary Eric Shinseki said in a statement. “As we know from the Veteran community, most Veterans are satisfied with the quality of their VA health care, but we must do more to improve timely access to that care.”

But one top congressional overseer called Shinseki’s announcement the “pinnacle of disingenuous political doublespeak.” … House Veterans Affairs’ Chairman Jeff Miller dismissed Shinseki’s characterization of Petzel’s departure as a “resignation.”

“Today’s announcement from VA regarding Undersecretary for Health Robert Petzel’s ‘resignation’ is the pinnacle of disingenuous political doublespeak. Petzel was already scheduled to retire in 2014 and President Obama has already announced his intention to nominate Petzel’s replacement, so characterizing this as a ‘resignation’ just doesn’t pass the smell test,” the Florida Republican said in a statement.

“Desperate to get ahead of a delays in care crisis that is growing by the day, yet apparently unwilling to take substantive actions to hold any of its leaders accountable for negligence that harms veterans, VA has resorted to what it does best: splitting semantic hairs to create the illusion of accountability and progress,” Miller added…

Petzel had in fact already been on his way out of the VA health post. On May 1, the White House announced President Barack Obama planned to nominate Jeffrey A. Murawsky for the position. Murawsky has been the network director of the Veterans Integrated Service Network since 2009.

How many times has the Obama administration pulled this stunt of trying to tamp down a scandal by having someone appear to resign who was headed out the door anyway?

Not to mention the irony of Shinseki doing this, after he let Kerry lie abut his own resignation during the 2004 Presidential campaign. Back then, Kerry repeatedly claimed Bush had forced Shinseki to resign as Chief Of The Army for his anti-Iraq invasion comments. (Which turned out to be wrong.) When, in fact, General Shinseki had already announced his retirement in 2002, long before his comments in 2003, and Bush had already announced his replacement.

The White House has come under increasing, bipartisan pressure to take further steps to rectify the failings at the VA, but White House spokesman Jay Carney on Friday reasserted President Barack Obama’s support for Shinseki, who has pledged not to resign from his post unless the president tells him it is time to go…

The same old song and dance.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, May 19th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “‘Ousted’ Top VA Official Already Scheduled To Retire”

  1. captstubby says:

    and Gen. Carter Ham “resigned and retired” ,
    “Four Star Generals must be confirmed by the Senate. To fire such an individual, and while there is no requirement to go through the Senate as well, its is completely rare for a Commander-in-Chief to conduct such action without notifying Senate personnel. General Ham is not getting fired nor is he in any trouble for the accusation of disobeying a lawful order.”


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