Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bush’s nominee for VA secretary would face a daunting challenge

01:00 AM EST on Monday, November 26, 2007

Retired Army Lt. Gen. James B. Peake, who is President Bush’s nominee to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, would be the first physician and the first general to head the beleaguered agency.

A decorated veteran of Vietnam, Peake, 63, is a 40-year veteran of the military. He retired in 2004 after four years as the Army surgeon general and currently is the chief medical director and chief operating officer of QTC Management, a government contractor that provides occupational health, injury and disability examination services. His nomination is pending before the Senate.

If Peake is confirmed to succeed James Nicholson as VA secretary, he immediately will have to confront a backlog of between 400,000 and 600,000 claims, with processing delays of 177 days. Nicholson vowed last May to cut that delay time to 145 days, but little headway has been made with the thousands of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan returning home with medical problems that must be addressed.

Peake said recently, “There is a lot of work to be done … the disability system is largely a 1945 product, [with] 1945 processes around a 1945 family unit. Everybody that has studied it recently said it is time to do some revisions.”

Some advocates for veterans worry that Peake might not be able to effect those changes. “He’s a gentleman, a professional, and he has dedicated his professional career to caring for active-duty military,” David W. Gorman, executive director of Disabled American Veterans, said recently. “But there is a line drawn between them and veterans, and there needs to be an understanding of that difference.”



I hate to ask the obvious but if there are only about 25,000 injured in the GWOT - where the heck are all the other half million or more in the backlog getting their injuries? State-side?

I think the MSM is really missing the boat on this one. They would have to discuss the actual numbers of injured - why is that not happening?



Gerald said...

Do you ever wonder why I loathe and puke when it comes to the United States of Evil? Here is a good reason!

Gerald said...


The Pentagon must be a place where many assholes come to hide. I puke on the Pentagon.

The issue surfaced earlier this month when a soldier who was partially blinded by a roadside bomb in Iraq told media outlets that the Army asked him to repay $2,800 of his $7,500 enlistment bonus because he had only completed about a year of his three-year service.

Gerald said...

Road to Empire

Gerald said...

So what are the Iraqis getting in return for allowing the wholesale looting of their natural resources? Fifty thousand U.S. troops stationed permanently in the country, mostly in urban areas – the plan is for 14 "enduring bases," as we found out back in 2003. In spite of all the palaver about "foreign" threats, there is no doubt that we are now in the business of protecting the Iraqi "government" from their own people. In return, favored American corporate interests will be allowed to strip the country bare.

This agreement formalizes Iraq's status as a de facto U.S. protectorate, a province of the empire – an American beachhead in a radically destabilized Middle East that could easily be used as a launching pad for future (and even more ambitious) wars of "liberation."

Gerald said...

Oil Costs More Than You Think

Gerald said...

Let's connect the dots. The masses in the Middle East and much of the wider Muslim world are disenfranchised. If the disenfranchised try to overthrow their governments, they are called terrorists by the U.S. There is little opportunity to affect change peacefully. Increasingly, these people see their misery as connected to the U.S. government's policies. I cannot help but repeat something that I have said for many years: the reason the U.S. is surprisingly popular with many in Iran is that the U.S. has not imposed the current regime on the people of Iran. It's that simple.

The Middle East is ready for an explosion like none seen before. At the same time, America's growing control of the region's resources threatens China. China will be increasingly daring in its support of anti-American elements in the region and around the world, as it has little choice but to thwart U.S. domination of the Persian Gulf. Any hostile act against U.S. interests could trigger a massive U.S. response, which could in turn fuel widespread uprisings against American allies and interests. A world war could erupt because the U.S. pursues hegemony through corrupt, unelected proxies at the political, social, and economic expense of millions of innocent people.

How can Americans, whose ancestors fought for their own independence, be accomplices to rulers who deprive millions of people in the Middle East of their rights? How can America not see the folly of its imperial ways? How can America be blind to the catastrophe that is sure to follow?

capt said...

I dunno Gerald, we are doing the same thing to the Iraqis that we did to the native Americans. The formula has worked so far.

Gerald said...

In time Nazi America will feel the pain and suffering of Native Americans and the Iraqis. God's patience is over 400 years with our inhumane treatment of people. God may soon be out of patience with Nazi America's evil ways.