As the old advertisement for Morton Salt use to go, “When it rains, it pours.” Barack Obama may know how the little girl with the umbrella feels. Just days ago it was made public that the White House had rock-solid evidence that Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorists were essentially the godfathers for the Boko Haram Islamists, but Obama’s administration still fought at every step against designating Boko Haram a foreign terrorist organization.
Now in the wake of the ever-burgeoning Veterans Affairs “death list” scandal, The Washington Times is reporting that the Obama-Biden transition team was warned in 2008 that there were problems with the VA’s outpatient scheduling and the administrative procedures for setting waiting times.
In legal briefs presented to Congress from the Acting Inspector General of the VA, Richard J. Griffin, it was finally brought to the public eye that “audits of outpatient scheduling and patient waiting times completed since 2005 have identified noncompliance with the policies and procedures for scheduling, inaccurate reporting of patient waiting times and errors in [electronic waiting lists].”
Briefing papers are normally compiled for submission by each agency prior to a presidential change of power to give the incoming administration “detailed looks at agency operations.” The report from the VA did cite that “little was done to address the problems surrounding scheduling and wait time accuracy during the George W. Bush administration.”
As Washington Times reporter Jim McElhatton correctly pointed out, the Obama-Biden transition team briefing materials “do not reveal any concerns about outright fraud in manipulating waiting times, but they make repeated references in summarizing past audits and reviews about data accuracy.”
According to the evidence given to Congress, the status reports submitted to the incoming Obama Administration stressed the “problems and causes associated with scheduling, waiting times and wait lists are systemic throughout the VHA (Veterans Health Administration).”
From bad to worse…
In recent weeks, there have been accusations made against the VA of deliberate moves to “cook the books,” as one whistle blower termed it to CNN, to manipulate appointment schedules and wait times which may resulted in treatment being unnecessarily delayed or withheld altogether. In a separate CNN report, accusations surfaced that due to VA “secret lists,” upwards of 40 patients at the VA Hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., died due to the purposeful and fraudulent changing of their scheduled medical treatment.
What started as a singular complaint in Phoenix has since blossomed to include VA hospitals and clinics in at least a dozen states where whistle blowers have stepped forward with examples of administrative chicanery that may have resulted in patient deaths.
Did she know, too?
If the need arises, staffers at the VA may choose to commiserate with employees at the Department of State. The Daily Beast recently broke the story that the Obama Administration has been in possession of hard evidence taken during the bin Laden raid in 2011 proving the al Qaeda terrorist network both bankrolled and pulled more than a few of the operational strings for the West African jihadists Boko Haram.
Yet then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton steadfastly refused to designate Boko Haram officially as terrorists. As reporter Eli Lake wrote:
One senior intelligence official said that by 2012, White House officials like then-counterterrorism coordinator John Brennan downplayed these documents, saying that they only represented the vague aspirations of al Qaeda’s central leadership and Boko Haram’s chiefs to work together. Another U.S. intelligence official said, ‘Boko Haram is really on the periphery of the al Qaeda universe.’
Drop a drone bomb on you…
In what could prove to be more than a little embarrassing to the Obama White House, Lake also wrote:
Both the Guardian [of London UK] and The Washington Post reported in 2012 that documents regarding Boko Haram would be included in the small batch of declassified documents related to the raid on bin Laden’s lair. But those documents were not included among the 17 documents out of hundreds of thousands that were declassified by the Obama administration in 2012.