Friday, June 6, 2014

President Obama evidently was caught by surprise by the scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs. 
So, apparently, was VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, who evidently took at face value the corrupt VA statistics -- and who, after a distinguished military career, resigned last week.

One who was probably not taken by surprise is longtime Yale Law Professor Peter Schuck, who identified the problems at the VA before the scandal broke in his recently published book, "Why Government Fails So Often and How It Can Do Better."

Schuck is no libertarian who wants to do away with government altogether. He says he has voted for every Democratic presidential candidate but one since 1964.

The federal government, he notes, does more things than ever and gets less respect than ever from the people it purports to serve. There is, he argues, a connection between these two trends.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is a case in point. Writing well before the current scandal, Schuck notes that the VA's budget has more than doubled in real terms over a dozen years, from $45 billion in 2000 to $154 billion in 2012, and that it hired many more claims processors.

"Yet as Congress keeps authorizing new benefits and makes eligibility easier, the backlog (now 900,000 claims) grows steadily worse due to the agency's continued reliance on paper records, its perversely designed production quotas that encourage employees to reach for the thin folders first, the numerous refilled and appealed claims after denials, and its lax definition of disability to include common age-related conditions."

Reaching for the thin folders first, it turns out, was not the worst of it. The waiting list scandal uncovered at the Phoenix VA hospital was not just the product of a few miscreants.

As the VA inspector general's report makes clear, there was a widespread conspiracy to keep veterans off the official waiting lists. Dozens if not hundreds of VA employees must have cooperated and colluded.

Each of them knew what was going on. Each knew that they were cheating and violating the rules. And many understood that bonuses and promotions hinged on the success of their conspiracy.

So the Phoenix VA hospital reported that the average waiting time for medical appointments was 24 days -- short of the Obama administration's 2011 goal of 14 days but within ballpark range.

But the actual waiting time, according to the inspector general's report, was 115 days. That is orders of magnitude greater than the 14-day goal.

When Obamacare was under consideration in Congress, liberal bloggers like Ezra Klein, then at the Washington Post, called the VA health system "one of the most remarkable success stories in American public policy." It was an example of "when socialism works in America."

True, in some respects the VA system performs admirably. Its work on prosthetics has helped many severely wounded veterans live productive and satisfying lives.

And it's also true that some VA units perform better than others. Death rates and IV-line bloodstream infections are far better at the top-rated Boston VA than in Phoenix, for example.

But, as the Ethics and Public Policy Center's Yuval Levin points out, "centrally run, highly bureaucratic public health care systems that do not permit meaningful pricing and do not allow for competition among providers of care can really only respond to supply and demand pressures through waiting lines." Long queues are the price of free care.

It's easy to call for eliminating waste, fraud and abuse, and sometimes an administrative change can improve performance. Levin, who worked in the George W. Bush administration, credits the Clinton administration for some "very well executed" modernization efforts at the VA.

But policy failure and mismanagement, Schuck argues, are the result of "the deep structures of our policy system -- perverse incentives, collective irrationality, lack of credibility with necessary stakeholders, the superior speed, flexibility and incentives of private markets, obstacles to implementation, the inherent limits of law as a policy instrument and a mediocre and degraded bureaucracy."

It doesn't help when you have a president uninterested in the actual operations of government and a VA secretary unduly trusting of subordinates.

Barack Obama came to office determined to expand government and confident that Americans would like it. Instead, Obamacare, the sluggish economy and now the VA scandal have tended to discredit big government more than any abstract argument could.

First it was that he was seriously it's that they threatened to kill him...bottom line...both LIES

WH: We Couldn't Follow the Law Because Bergdahl's Captors Threatened to Kill Him  
Guy Benson | Jun 06, 2014

The Taliban Five/Bergdahl news cycle continues churning at a dizzying speed, with a number of important developments breaking late yesterday. You've already seen James Rosen's report on classified intelligence documents assessing that Bowe Bergdahl converted to Islam and joined the Jihad some time in 2010. (US officials told Rosen that the information -- collected by a private intelligence firm subcontracted by the government -- was credible, while others denied having any such evidence). The intel also said that Bergdahl made at least one escape attempt relatively early in his captivity, and that his relationship with his captors wasn't always as cozy as it apparently became. Two thoughts on those wrinkles: It's entirely possible that he "converted" to Islam as a means of avoiding being beheaded, then grew into his new ideology as Stockholm Syndrome set in. It's hard to imagine what one might do to survive in such a setting. Still, excerpts like this are tough to read:

If the process of transforming Bergdahl into a laughing, armed, soccer-playing mujadhedeen was gradual -- and the early days were rocky -- what to make of the statements from fellow soldiers that intercepted radio transmissions indicated that he'd sought out the Taliban in the first place, and that attacks on US convoys became more sophisticated and effective in the aftermath of his Bergdahl's disappearance? Hmm. Meanwhile, a New York Times report quotes sources who say Bergdahl wandered away from his assigned post on two previous occasions, once State-side, and the other in Afghanistan. He returned both times. Some say this erratic behavior may suggest that he didn't deliberately desert in 2009, but that's contradicted by the statements he made in emails, to fellow soldiers, and in the supposed desertion note -- the existence of which has been reported by the Times and Fox, with another source confirming it separately. Nevertheless, Bergdahl's status as a deserter and possible collaborator is an interesting subplot to this story, with powerful political and optical implications, but it's still just that: A sub-plot.

The bigger picture involves an administration that negotiated with terrorists (more on that in a moment), caved to their demands, released five high-risk jihadist commanders, and failed to adhere to the law by notifying Congress in advance. On that last point, the White House has careened from one excuse to another. First, it was an "oversight," a risible claim on its face. Next, they said securing Bergdahl's freedom was incredibly urgent because a video showed him in terrible health. But that video was obtained five months before the deal was struck, and Bergdahl looked relatively healthy when he was handed over. He has reportedly been in stable condition for days. Finally, they told Senators on Wednesday evening that they didn't inform Congress ahead of time because Bergdahl's captors threatened to kill him if details of the deal leaked out. This explanation amounts to, we couldn't follow the law because the Taliban told us not to. It also makes little sense, for two reasons.

First, why would the Taliban/Haqqanis kill their biggest bargaining chip? Second, and more compellingly, details of the proposed swap had percolated in the media for years. The AP reported in April that a deal might have been in the works, and that Bergdahl's captors were "anxious to release him." The Times published a story about proposed deal-making in 2012. And the Huffington Post reported that the Taliban explicitly introduced the idea of the trade on a phone call with reporters last year:

That blows a gaping hole through the story the administration peddled to Senators. But let's pretend for a moment that it's true, since that what Team Obama was obviously hoping people would believe.

The White House has adamantly claimed that they did not negotiate with terrorists (I explain that technicality here) to arrange this exchange, swearing up and down that this was a prisoner swap (which has plenty of precedent). Time's Michael Crowley has a useful explainer on the players and dynamics in this scenario that casts doubt on the first claim. Bergdahl was being held by the Haqqani network, which the US has formally designated as a terrorist organization, so any deal for his release necessarily involved them. They can dress it up all they want. The United States made concessions to terrorists. On the second claim, the administration is now saying that it had to rush the plan through because the radicals holding Bergdahl threatened to kill him. That's...not how "prisoner exchanges" work. That's how hostage-takers and terrorists operate. Add in the detail that the US also considered paying a cash ransom as recently as December, and the "prisoner swap" facade crumbles. In this case, the White House's most recent excuse (they were going to kill him!) thoroughly undermines one of the central premises they've employed to defend themselves (it wasn't a terrorist/hostage situation).

Finally, when I said that the White House "caved" to the Taliban's demands, I meant it. The Washington Post, on how things went down:
When the talks began as part of what U.S. officials hoped would be a broader Afghan peace effort, U.S. envoys were forbidden to offer any detainees held in the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as part of a trade for Bergdahl. According to people familiar with the process, negotiators were allowed to include only Taliban fighters held at the detention center at Bagram air base, outside Kabul. Those restrictions put Taliban moderates open to peace talks — including Tayeb Agha, who was appointed by Taliban leader Mohammad Omar to represent him in the negotiations — in a difficult position with the movement’s more hard-line elements...The Taliban countered with a list of six senior Taliban officials being held at Guantanamo Bay. The list included the five Taliban commanders released as part of the Bergdahl agreement, as well as a sixth who died during the talks, which stretched from February 2011 until June 2012...In Washington, initial resistance from many of those in Obama’s war cabinet faded into support in principle for a five-to-one swap.
Nobody takes our "red lines" seriously. We began by insisting, "no Gitmo prisoners, the people we release must come from somewhere else." The Taliban/Haqqanis obstinately stuck to their list, and we acceded on all five. Then US negotiators proposed releasing two of the five initially, then the other three a few months later. Not good enough, said the Taliban/Haqqanis, so we dropped that idea.

The administration also decided against trying to win the release of other US citizens being held captive by the Taliban as part of the agreement, to make it less lopsided. Remarkably, a State Department spokesperson defended that decision by citing "longstanding U.S. policy not to make concessions to hostage-takers." It almost takes your breath away, doesn't it?
Ten years ago this month, U.S. Marine Wassef Ali Hassoun disappeared from Camp Fallujah in Iraq. After a five-month military investigation, he was charged with desertion and theft, brought back to Virginia's Quantico Marine base and then transferred to North Carolina's Camp Lejeune for trial.
Yet, a full decade later, Hassoun is as free as a bird.

The accused deserter's whereabouts are unknown. No trial ever began. No punishment ensued. And our leaders in Washington don't seem to be doing a thing about this.

Hassoun was born in Lebanon and immigrated with his family to Utah in 1999. A few years later, he joined the Marines as an Arabic translator. On June 20, 2004, Hassoun bailed on guard duty at his base in Fallujah. He took his military-issued gun and his Muslim prayer rug. Military records obtained by the Salt Lake Tribune showed that he was "torn between military loyalty and his Muslim beliefs."

According to the internal probe, he undermined intelligence-gathering operations by refusing to translate questions about Islam. He balked at raising his voice to suspected jihadi imams and sheiks. He openly threatened to "walk out the front gate and leave."

The Muslim Marine told his colleagues he supported Hezbollah terrorist attacks on Israel. Members of his unit told investigators he was "anti-American" and listened to jihad sermons on propaganda CDs. Hassoun had received spiritual counseling from Navy Lt. Cmdr. Abuhena Saifulislam, a Muslim military chaplain tied to a radical Wahhabist outfit under federal investigation, according to Hoover Institution fellow and journalist Paul Sperry.

A bizarre video by Hassoun's Islamist "kidnappers" showed him blindfolded with a sword above his head. But his fellow Marines suspected it was all staged and the "abduction" a collaborative fake.

What did the purported hostage-takers want in return for the shady, disgruntled American serviceman? The release of jihadists in "U.S.-led occupation prisons." Translation: Gitmo detainees. (Americans would never negotiate such a reckless trade, right? Oh, wait.)

In an even weirder twist, Hassoun somehow resurfaced at the U.S. embassy in Lebanon a few weeks after he walked away from his base. His family was rumored to have enlisted the aid of an Islamist group associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Hassoun denied desertion charges, came back to the U.S. for trial and then deserted a second time after failing to return to Camp Lejeune after visiting family in Utah. In 2011, Hassoun's family sought a $1 million book and movie deal in Hollywood. One of his brothers said the fugitive Marine was with family in Lebanon.

Ten summers after he abandoned his post, double-deserting Hassoun is still on the run and has yet to be held accountable.

It's worth reminding Americans about Hassoun's story in light of President Obama's exploding Bowe Bergdahl scandal. By all appearances, this administration has no intention of taking action on longstanding allegations that Bergdahl, like Hassoun before him, deliberately abandoned his post in 2009. Defiant Obama said he makes "no apologies" for the treacherous deal, even as reports of Bergdahl's renunciation of U.S. citizenship and conversion to Islam have surfaced in the past 48 hours.

Soldiers on the ground have described how Bergdahl's disappearance catalyzed deadly coordinated attacks by the Taliban on numerous U.S. outposts in Afghanistan. The response has been breathtaking. One of Obama's minions, former Veterans Affairs bureaucrat and now Housing and Urban Development flack Brandon Friedman defended his boss by suggesting that Bergdahl's colleagues were "psychopaths."

Nancy Pelosi's daughter, Alexandra, sneered that Bergdahl's critics inside the military are "dysfunctional." Harry Reid invoked Hillary Clinton's "What difference does it make?" retort. The president himself sniffed that swelling anger among the families of the fallen was "whipped up."

Islamist sympathizers inside our military walk away, and the Obama White House turns a blind eye.

The Fort Hood jihad attack by Nidal Hasan, who invoked Hassoun in PowerPoint presentations to his military supervisors, is "workplace violence." Gitmo recidivist Abu Sufian bin Qumu, lead suspect in the Benghazi attack, roams free despite the president's promise to make "justice" his "biggest priority."

Our commander in chief empties Gitmo of the worst of the worst jihadists and shrugs at the recidivists targeting American soldiers and civilians. And in a desperate attempt to deflect from the rising death toll of the Veterans Affairs book-cooking scandal, Obama gave Bob Bergdahl a Rose Garden stage to invoke Allah in Arabic.

If you're not "whipped up" into Category 5 disgust, you're not paying attention.

Obama Advisers Repeatedly Told President Not to Deal

By Melanie Batley / Newsmax

Image: Obama Advisers Repeatedly Told President Not to DealPresident Barack Obama was repeatedly advised by several of the nation's top military and intelligence officials not to engage in the prisoner swap to secure the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, which freed five senior Taliban leaders from Guantanamo prison, according to reports.

When the White House first began considering an exchange in 2011 and 2012, James Clapper, then director of National Intelligence, flat out rejected the release of the five detainees, according to The Daily Beast.

Leon Panetta, former defense secretary and CIA director, also confirmed Wednesday that he was opposed to a possible Bergdahl prisoner swap during his tenure and questioned the deal Obama reached last week.

Panetta recalled that at the time discussions of a Bergdahl prisoner swap took place, "I said, 'Wait, I have an obligation under the law. If I send prisoners from Guantanamo, they have to guarantee they don't go back to the battlefield.' I had serious concerns."

He added he "just assumed it was never going to happen."

Clapper had a similar rationale, according to the Beast, and said the risk was too high that the Taliban leaders would return to the battlefield.

Intelligence and defense officials told the Beast that the deal that was arranged was hastily done, and in a manner that suggested it was designed to squelch dissent and impose the will of the White House.

"This was an example of forcing consensus," one military official told the Beast. "The White House knew the answer they wanted, and they ended up getting it."

Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has been vocal in her criticism of the deal and the White House's failure to inform Congress. She told the Beast that lawmakers also signaled opposition to a deal when it was discussed a few years ago.

"Should we have gotten advance warning? I actually think so," she said, adding, "We had participated in a number of briefings some time ago [on a possible future deal] and there was considerable concern."

In an opinion piece Wednesday in The Washington Post, political commentator George Will said Obama's behavior is reminiscent of former President Richard Nixon's attitude toward governing: "When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."

Will wrote, "This episode will be examined by congressional committees, if they can pierce the administration's coming cover-up, which has been foreshadowed by the response to congressional attempts to scrutinize the politicization of the Internal Revenue Service. If the military stalls on turning over files to Congress pertaining to the five years of Bergdahl's absence, we will at least know that there is no national institution remaining to be corrupted."

White House press secretary Jay Carney came close to admitting that the decision ultimately came down to the president and his inner circle.

"It was the judgment of the team and the president that there was enough urgency here to ensure that Sgt. Bergdahl was safely recovered that a 30-day window of hoping that that opportunity remained open was not an option," Carney said Monday, according to Politico. "Ultimately, as commander in chief, the president had the responsibility to take the action he did."

Politico noted that the decision by the White House to pursue the deal "sends a clear message: As liberals and some conservatives have long argued, Obama is now willing to wield his executive powers to get the job done."

For a second time this week, Obama on Thursday defended the deal and insisted he "absolutely makes no apologies" for seeking the release of Bergdahl.

When it comes to getting soldiers back from war, Obama said, "We don't condition whether we make the effort to get them back."

He reinforced the administration's justification that Bergdahl's declining health was the driving justification for the decision.

"We saw an opportunity, and we seized it. And I make no apologies for that," he said.

What a true American hero looks like
By: Diane Sori
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel went on national television and said NO one was killed or injured when looking for a word LIAR. This man is one of those permanently injured when the first units were sent out to look for Bergdahl. He's Master Sgt. Mark Allen and he's from Georgia...a true American Hero.

Please see his facebook page at  
to see his story and to help in anyway you can.

June 6, 1944...remember and honor them always because 
if NOT for them and their sacrifices that day 
none of us might be here.

Treason, sedition, and Barack HUSSEIN Obama
By: Diane Sori

So now it seems the U.S. military will pick-up all the medical bills for Bowe Bergdahl (too bad they do NOT do that for all our honorably serving veterans). So now it seems that the only thing Bowe is suffering from is some 'cognitive issues' after five years of captivity, and that physically he is quite stable NOT on the verge of imminent death as claimed by the White House. So now it seems that when search-and-rescue teams first went out to look for Bergdahl after he went missing that they were given orders NOT to bring him back alive, but were to shoot him on sight, because command knew he was NOT only working with the Taliban but that he would kill our people if given the chance.

And so now it seems that even as more information comes to light everyday supporting the fact that Bowe Bergdahl did in indeed go AWOL...did indeed desert...this administration...this president...  continues to stand by its claim that they did the right thing by making a deal with terrorists but claiming the deal was made to bring peace to Afghanistan.

And if you believe put it as kindly as I are simply clueless or suffering from kool-ade overload.

And negotiating with terrorists...caving to terrorist demands us got us a traitor back as the enemy got to welcome back into their fold five of the world's most cold-blooded hard- core murdering terrorists...terrorists listed by the U(seless) N(ations) as perpetrators of war crimes ...terrorists now biding their time in Qatar until they can freely kill more of our troops yet again.

And Obama still claims we got the better part of the deal because he left NO man behind...I say this was more like a deal made in hell...and one for which we'll be paying the price in American blood for many years to come.

And now out comes the devil's minions...ooops...I mean Obama's spew out the words they've been instructed to say...minions led off by an Obama puppet in the guise of Susan 'It Was A YouTube Video' Rice.

The day after Bergdahl's release, and once again making the rounds of the Sunday talk-show circuits...NOT learning a lesson after her Benghazi fiasco I guess...Rice was asked if Obama's deal of trading terrorists to get back one of own back meant that the U.S. could NO longer say that it does NOT negotiate with terrorists...and her response, "I wouldn't put it that way."

Excuse me, but how would you put it for that is exactly what was fact, negotiating is NOT the right word...selling us out to the enemy's demands is more precise.

And in an official statement, muslim supporting Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, in defense and in support of Rice's words...had the audacity to say, "We didn't negotiate with terrorists," totally ignoring the simple fact that this lopsided 5-for-1 exchange could start the ball rolling for future kidnappings of American soldiers... future kidnappings and beheadings of American soldiers if we do NOT acquiesce to their demands is more like it.

Continuing on with the words, "In war, things are always dangerous and there are vulnerabilities... but our record, the United States of America, in dealing with terrorists and hunting down and finding terrorists, is pretty good," Chuck Hagel refuses to accept the simple fact that when our troops lives are at stake 'pretty good' just does NOT cut it.

And just two days ago, in a heated discussion with a Fox News reporter, U.S. State Department spokesperson Marie Harf had the unmitigated gall to claim that Bergdahl's fellow soldiers...those who were in his unit and who knew him and his mind-set well...were NOT reliable sources in their accusations that Bergdahl deserted his post of his own free will.

When directly asked, “Does the State Department consider Sergeant Bergdahl to be a deserter?” Harf's answer was an unequivocal "NO." Saying that, "... we are going to learn the facts about what happened here,” Harf's regurgitating of the very set-in-stone 'party loyal' words set in motion...yet again...the act of diverting and deflecting attention off Obama...on whose shoulders this very act of acquiescing to the enemy's demands truly lies.

And treason is what Barack HUSSEIN Obama must be charged with as this man... this President of the United States...committed treason by the act of knowingly and willfully releasing known terrorists...known killers of American treason encompasses sedition as per 18 U.S.C. § 2388 : US Code - Section 2388: Activities affecting armed forces during per (a) "Whoever, when the United States is at war, willfully makes or conveys false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies..." And that is exactly what this man has done...he has promoted the success of America's enemies by releasing their leaders back into the fold to kill Americans again.

Sedition as per 18 U.S.C. § 2381 : US Code - Section 2381: Treason. "Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States."

And while we know Barack HUSSEIN Obama's allegiance is NOT to the United States, he did take an oath of office to “...faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

But how can one protect and defend the Constitution when one has given 'aid and comfort' to the enemy...when one has 'aided and abetted' the simply cannot, therefore, one is in direct violation of the very oath one took in full public view.

So those in this administration and those who are helping to circle the wagons around this most miserable of presidents...those folks need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and accept the fact that this Barack HUSSEIN guilty of acts of treason against the United States of America...most specifically concerning acts 'aiding and abetting' the enemy in a time of war.

And that is something 'We the People' must demand that he be charged with... demand he be tried for...and demand when found guilty that he be punished for...period.


As many of you know my RIGHT SIDE PATRIOT partner and friend, Craig Andresen, is in face book jail until June 26th, so I have been posting his articles for him.  To read his Friday Fume...and rest assured this one will have you LOL...please click this link: to go directly to his blog The National Patriot.