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American Legion calls for Shinseki to quit

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 08:33 a.m. HST, May 06, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS >> The American Legion called Monday for the resignations of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and two of his top aides amid an investigation into allegations of corruption and unnecessary deaths at the veterans' hospital in Phoenix.

Legion National Commander Daniel Dellinger accused Shinseki, Under Secretary of Health Robert Petzel and Under Secretary of Benefits Allison Hickey of poor oversight and leadership failures.

"The existing leadership has exhibited a pattern of bureaucratic incompetence and failed leadership that has been amplified in recent weeks," Dellinger said during a news conference at the organization's Indianapolis headquarters.

The Phoenix hospital has been under fire over allegations that up to 40 patients may have died because of delays in care and that the hospital kept a secret list of patients waiting for appointments to hide the treatment delays. Shinseki announced Thursday that three officials there have been placed on leave.

Dellinger also cited VA's acknowledgement that 23 have died as a result of delayed care in recent years and the findings of an investigation by VA's Office of Medical Inspector that clerks at the Fort Collins, Colorado, clinic were instructed last year how to falsify appointment records. Other problems have occurred in Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia, he said.

"There needs to be a change, and that change needs to occur at the top," Dellinger said.

The VA didn't immediately respond Monday to a message from The Associated Press seeking comment.

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Mythman wrote:
on May 5,2014 | 01:54PM
OldDiver wrote:
Republicans underfunded the VA during Bush's two invasions and continue to oppose properly funding the VA in and attempt to win the 2016 Presidential election. This is politics at it's worse.
on May 5,2014 | 02:59PM
Hawaii5OhOh wrote:
Look at the states where there are the VA problems: Texas, Arizona, South Carolina, Georgia. These are States that are heavily Republican, and like Fox News, they hate Obama and will do anything to make him look bad. Something terrible is happening in those States, and Shinseki better find out fast, and get rid of the people who are doing it.
on May 5,2014 | 05:32PM
pcman wrote:
IRT Hawaii on Repubs. Bottom line, Repub or Dem, Shinseki has to demand from Obama to allocate the funds that Congress has passed to take care of Vets. Congress is providing the funds to the VA but Obama is diverting them to welfare to win votes for Dems. That's just politics of Obama. Shinseki has to resign if he cannot control his subordinates to follow the law rather than follow Obama's policies.
on May 5,2014 | 05:47PM
OldDiver wrote:
on May 5,2014 | 06:52PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Corrected version: Hawaii5OhOh, you do not seem to understand that states do not administer or run VA hospitals, clinics or other facilities in their states. VA is administered and run by the Federal government which has been in Democrat hands for the past five years. It is wrong to blame the political party in power in the states where the problems have occurred.
on May 5,2014 | 08:55PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Hawaii5OhOh, you do not seem to understand that states do not administer or run VA hospitals, clinics or other facilities within their borders. VA is run by the Federal government, which has been in Democrat hands for the past five years. It is a bit sophomoric to blame the political party in power in the states where the problems have occurred.
on May 5,2014 | 06:46PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Hawaii5OhOh, you do not seem to understand that states do not administer or run VA hospitals, clinics at effects Democrat hands for the past five years. You are wrong for blaming the political party in power in the states where the problems have occurred.
on May 5,2014 | 08:45PM
Ronin006 wrote:
OldDiver, your attempt to rewrite history will not work. The VA originally was established to provide medical care for veterans with service-connected injuries and diseases. Simply having served in one of our armed services did not entitle any one to VA health care; the injury or disease had to have been a direct result of a veteran’s active duty. Congress changed the rules back in the 1980s to allow any honorably discharged veteran to obtain free health care from VA. It opened the flood gates and overwhelmed VA hospitals and clinics all over the country. Costs to administer VA also skyrocketed. Congress subsequently tinkered with changing eligibility back to service-connected injuries and diseases only, but political reality set in. A benefit, once bestowed, can never be changed. It has nothing to do with Bush.
on May 5,2014 | 06:28PM
pcman wrote:
IRT Ronin. VA does not provide care to vets without service connected problems (illness or injuries). I am a retired vet with over 20 years active duty, without any service connected problems. I get no VA support. After I retired I had to buy my own health care insurance. After age 65, I had to go on MEDICARE, which I had paid for in my pay checks and I pay for monthly through a Social Security deduction.
on May 5,2014 | 09:15PM
ryan02 wrote:
Same here, I'm a vet with no VA benefits. I was told they won't cover anything unless it's more than 50% service-related.
on May 6,2014 | 07:18AM
loio wrote:
wow, man, you have Bush Derangement Syndrome and Republican Derangement Syndrome. don't assume, even to yourself, that you're objective or wise. it's the Dems who have done most of the screwing up of this Country. go read HuffPo and DailyKos, make yourself feel good.
on May 5,2014 | 06:55PM
kolohepalu wrote:
Haha- project much? Hurry, Fox is on.
on May 5,2014 | 08:21PM
mokebla wrote:
Unless you're a vet and treated by the VA, you have no idea what's going on. It's not about Demo's or Repub's, it's the system. It's broken and yes it start from the top. The whole system needs to be revamp and us vet's need the attention of our medical needs.
on May 6,2014 | 12:01PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
Is this the guy some were wanting for UH president?
on May 5,2014 | 01:57PM
Skyler wrote:
No- different guy.... Wiercinsky or something like that.
on May 5,2014 | 02:02PM
Nevadan wrote:
sick comment
on May 5,2014 | 04:44PM
keawe wrote:
Why drag the American Legion into this? Who is this guy speaking up for all of us? General Shinseki is one of America's Finest.
on May 5,2014 | 02:01PM
WestSideTory wrote:
keawe...The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow servicemembers and veterans. Now the General maybe a great guy, but this is not an isolated incident that just happened. There have been continuing systemic issues in the VA and its rooted in a leadership failure, and the General has done little to correct it. Unlike alot of Civil Servants who have never served in the military, and have no clue what it means to be held accountable, they see this as a minor issue. Those that have served like the General, understand that when your in charge the buck stops with you, both the good and the bad.
on May 5,2014 | 02:59PM
juke wrote:
i dont care about us vets.and thats a fact
on May 5,2014 | 05:24PM
South76 wrote:
Aaaah, the freedom of speech. Buddy, guess who gave you that freedom to speak you mind.
on May 6,2014 | 12:19AM
ryan02 wrote:
The politicians did, in the federal and various state constitutions.
on May 6,2014 | 07:20AM
pcman wrote:
IRT keawe on Shinseki. Shinseki was an honorable soldier and Democrat. But he displayed incompetence even as the Army's highest position. The law required all military services to be able to fight in two major wars when he was Army Chief. The Army couldn't even support the war in Iraq in 2003. Either he wanted Bush to fail or he was incompetent. As an honorable soldier, it must have been the latter. This is reflected again by trying to be a good Democrat rather than a good Secretary of the VA. The facts speak for themselves.
on May 5,2014 | 05:54PM
kolohepalu wrote:
How short and selective right-wing memories can be. Anybody recall the clip of Cheney telling a soldier inquiring about under-armored vehicles: "we fight wars with the army we have, not the one we wish we had." Bush and his crew started a war on false pretenses and then didn't supply his troops.
on May 5,2014 | 08:30PM
loio wrote:
Shinseki's a flat tire, and has been for a long time.
on May 5,2014 | 06:56PM
Skyler wrote:
Well that's a bummer. He was supposed to be top-notch.
on May 5,2014 | 02:01PM
pcman wrote:
on May 5,2014 | 06:01PM
kuroiwaj wrote:
As a personal friend, I suggest Sec. Shinseki tender his resignation. Working under Pres. Obama is a lost cause. Now, how do you turn the American Legion around to change their position, it's impossible.
on May 5,2014 | 02:03PM
pcman wrote:
IRT Skyler. True, but he is a Democrat first and a top-notch American second. He'd rather be an Obama "yes man" and serve the people who support Obama rather than serve the US military veterans who earned their health care in the military
on May 5,2014 | 06:02PM
kuroiwaj wrote:
Pcman, when did Sec. Shinseki tell you he was a Democrat? Over dinner he served in the military and never declared a political choice, but said he was a conservative. The Secretary of VA is a non-partisan position supported by Democrats and Republicans. He is a top -notch American and I know for I grew up with him on Kauai in the same classroom, church, little league, boy scouts, tri-hiY, school government, etc. I believe Pres. Obama appointments made the VA political, too bad.
on May 5,2014 | 06:18PM
pcman wrote:
IRT Kuroiwa. Read my comment again, I did not say he is "not" a top notch American. He need not tell me he is a Democrat. His Democrat friends wanted him to run for office. He chose to work for Obama, knowing very well he had to be a "yes man." Obama made Shinseki a Democrat whether he would admit it or not. He is in charge, and he is responsible for all the wrongs as well as the rights. If he wants to redeem himself he has to tell Congress that the Obama proposed 2015 budget for the VA is too low and that Congress has to override Obama's VA budget request. The problem is Shinseki probably submitted the VA's budget based on Obama's direction. Only Shinseki can decide if he wants to be a Democrat or American first. Not us.
on May 5,2014 | 09:32PM
kolohepalu wrote:
You can't, because they're mostly composed of old, white, right-wingers who hate Obama, period. Doesn't matter what he says, who he appoints, or what he does. They hate him. Period. You can't do much with that- they're dimwitted and prejudiced.
on May 5,2014 | 08:33PM
kolohepalu wrote:
The Obama-haters, that is. There are plenty of non-prejudiced members, that think about the good of their country and their fellow citizens rather than obsess about the fact their commander-in-chief is black
on May 5,2014 | 09:02PM
South76 wrote:
Here we go again, the race card.... I am a very conservative person and my skin is as brown as the dirt you walk on. Just accept it this president does not have the balls to lead.
on May 6,2014 | 12:25AM
FLIPTOP2 wrote:
As fine as gentleman is Gen Shinseki he stirred up the masses early on with his historic presidence in changing the "rights of passage" for the honor of wearing a beret. This was a significant mistake and I truly don't think he's recovered since which is witnessed by successing Army COS who negated his not-to-smart change
on May 5,2014 | 02:17PM
GWakai02 wrote:
Encountered no problems with my dealings with VA.
on May 5,2014 | 02:51PM
juke wrote:
your a joke
on May 5,2014 | 05:25PM
Skyler wrote:
Be civil!
on May 5,2014 | 08:18PM
Locokane wrote:
Shinseki served his country well, but his leadership of VA including Hawaii's is lacking oversight and attention to detail. I wonder if he has ever signed up to his VA website and tried to navigate the cumbersome website? It is much worst than the Obama Care website which has since been cleaned up!
on May 5,2014 | 05:29PM
roadsterred wrote:
In private industry, the buck stops at the top. Unfortunately, Shinseki is at the top and although it involves the Federal Government where you can get away with almost anything, he should resign because he's from Hawaii and it's the honorable thing to do as a retired military officer. I do not hold him personally responsible but he's working for an administration fraught with incompetence and lacking integrity. It's a sinking and corrupt ship of state.
on May 5,2014 | 05:43PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
I'm disappointed to hear such things about a man I thought was very honorable. I don't think the Legion would be taking such action unless it was warranted.
on May 5,2014 | 07:56PM
HAW715 wrote:
I believe the man is honorable and has taken action. While under investigation, he has suspended the top dogs at the facility. Just because the Legion says so does not make it a foregone conclusion. The Veterans of Foreign Wars do not agree with the Legion. It is best to await the outcome of the investigation.
on May 5,2014 | 10:01PM
kolohepalu wrote:
Tiresome. Another right-winger looking to pin an unrelated problem on Obama or his administration. They connect dots that aren't there.
on May 5,2014 | 08:24PM
Maweke wrote:
Where was the AL when 911, Iraq, Torture of prisoners, ill-equipt soldiers into war zones, renditions, Afghanistan....? The is no more American Legion only a republican legion now part of the republitard party.
on May 5,2014 | 09:32PM
joeglick wrote:
It's even more aggravating that he's not returning calls to the people that pay his salary, the tax payers.
on May 6,2014 | 01:03AM
AniMatsuri wrote:
All I know is Shinseki came in promising better and things have either gotten worst or stayed the same so far.
on May 6,2014 | 09:39AM
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