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VA’s 80-bed mental health facility opened June 21, 2012, in Palo Alto, Calif., at a time when 2.4 million service members have deployed to war zones since 2001. The rate psychiatric injury among returning veterans is nearly 40 percent according to a 2009
I had an anonymous  email from a Kossack who saw this story and wanted it posted.
I just don't know why it is so hard for the VA to honor and listen to the whistleblowers rather than make their lives totally miserable.  Sen. Bernie Sanders, Patty Murray and a few others come to mind regarding this story.  I have not answered the email yet but I will post the excerpts and some of the story first reported at the Daily Beast.

This is outrageous and we must demand answers to keep these people in the system to look out for the vulnerable.

here is the link to the story
VA and whistleblower

The Department of Veterans Affairs routinely disseminated false information about the health of America’s veterans, withheld research showing a link between nerve gas and Gulf War syndrome, rushed studies out the door without taking recommended fixes by an independent board, and failed to offer crucial care to veterans who came forward as suicidal.

OPH never released any data from the study, or even the fact that it exists, Coughlin says. The VA’s official position on pyridostigmine-bromide pills, which the Department of Defense says Gulf War veterans took as protection against nerve gas, did not cause Gulf War illness. But a 2008 study by Beatrice Golomb at the University of California, San Diego, “thoroughly, conclusively shows that this class of chemicals actually are a cause of illness in Gulf War veterans.”
A former Veterans Affairs researcher turned whistleblower tells Congress the department repeatedly withheld data on Gulf War syndrome and neglected suicidal vets. Jamie Reno reports.
I never know where to start anymore with all of what is happening.  We have so much and if every single one of us posted and kept up with all the wrong that is happening we would not have time to even go to the bathroom.  

I want to thank the Kossack for sending me this info and I ask for you all to start calling your congresscritters and find out why this is happening and why the  media coverage is nonstop on  a puff of smoke coming from a chimney (black or white) is more important than these people who are dying at the mercy of neglect.   I guess we need someone to give last rites...That might explain why the never ending story of the Vatican instead of the mistreatment of veterans.  This is not to take away from the importance of selecting the Pope, but just a little info about whistleblowers would be nice.  Bottom line....We cannot count on the media to tell us anything but things that we will find out on any of the channels.  The truth of the state of affairs is somewhere between here and anonymous  emails and whisteblowers.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:18:47 PM PDT

  •  What in world are we to do with our Federal (8+ / 0-)

    Government, anymore?

    Wealthy bankers don't get prosecuted for heinous criminal activity, even though their actions contributed to a years-long Lesser Depression, the likes of which was not seen for close to 70 years. Because the Dept of Justice (DOJ) seems to think that even charging someone with a crime in some of these banks could wreck the entire economy.

    Not like we've had any experience with anything like that recently, huh?

    2nd Amendment supporters are more concerned with the ability to sell guns to lunatics and malcontents than with the safety and lives of small children. Some of them say the cure to gun violence in schools is, can you believe it, more guns in schools.

    Even though a number of situations have been reported, where armed guards were already in place and did not prevent a school massacre or mass shooting. Including Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

    Now we see a Veteran's Administration not just ignoring, but actively repressing information which may well have saved lives of Veterans affected during their Service?

    Unconscionable behavior.


    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization" -- me

    by Angie in WA State on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:42:03 PM PDT

  •  Just finished reading that myself (9+ / 0-)

    Like most whistleblowers, this man has topnotch qualifications that includes a PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, the number one public health school in the nation.  Fortunately for veterans, he was the Director of the Program in Public Health Ethics at Tulane University.

    His description of the federal government's action-- manipulated data, biased specialists hired under contract, unconscionable secrecy, intimidation of truthtellers, etc., etc., could as well as been describing my experience and those of dozens of others I've known at other federal agencies.

    The federal government has no reluctance to spend vast sums to stop the occasional attack on a US embassy or internet hackers, but is miserly and disinterested with regard to eliminating corruption and retaliation against those who who expose it.  Yet, corruption undermines EVERY important program in the government, from defense to food safety to healthcare to education. It undermines the economy,  the integrity of the voting and democratic process. Corruption has destroyed more than one country and it will destroy ours too if nothing is done.

    Bless this man for his integrity.  Veterans, their families, and taxpayers should write him a letter of appreciation.

  •  Here's the big divide at Veterans Health Admin. : (8+ / 0-)

    The VBA attracks the best doctors in the country for the range of problems and diseases we as veterans contract. Even experienced research doctors associated with major universities like Dr.Coughlin are attracted to VBA for the experience. They believe it makes them better doctors.

    The Great Divide:
    The administrators are faced with two problems both generated by budget restraints:
    1. The moment a new disease is identified as one common to soldiers routinely exposed to a probable cause, the patient load increases - or sometimes explodes.
    2. The Veterans Benefit Administration will see a spurt in claims arising from those with the newly identified disease. That means more veterans will be getting disability and the VBA's budget will grow even larger.

    What the people of the United States need is a brutally frank explanation from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs of what is needed to provide adequate care and disability pay for all the veterans who must depend on the VA.

    The next thing to face is that the Inspector General's office needs to report someone apart from the Secretary's office. We need to think about who that should be.

    Those who fought the war in Afghanistan won it. Get them out of Afghanistan NOW . . . It's long past time. Those who want to wage the next war in Afghanistan are condemned to lose it.

    by llbear on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:15:07 PM PDT

  •  Ashamed of my government (6+ / 0-)

    If anyone deserves honesty and comprehensive treatment, it's our vets.  I hope this rolls into a bigger story and attracts more coverage than its current small blurb in the mainstream media.

    I'd say it's almost unbelievable.  But sadly, it is all too believable.

    "You don't summit Bullshit Mountain unless you know your way around a turd or two." --Jon Stewart describing Fox News

    by JAM11 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:27:26 PM PDT

  •  Let Me Point Out Something (3+ / 0-)

    And it was brought up in a congressional hearing today but on a host of issues.

    The People Served Ignored the Desert Storm 'Gulf War Syndrome' and the political hacks, except for in my life time Cleland who tried to do much of what Shinseki is doing but at the time was blocked by tepubs in congress as Shinseki is with obstruction but Shinseki has the Cabinet and those around the President pushing back and accomplishing, and they liked what the previous VA administrations did, saved them money after the wars were done, did so as some of them were ongoing like these past two and now one!! It's easier to join the tepubs who've sought to privatize the agency and continuing doing so as they lay blame on the VA personal and don't look in the mirror, they're participation in hearings is one bad joke after another after another!!

    This is what I placed at that article earlier and at the Daily Beast, who ran another bashing the VA piece a few days back:

    Military and Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, Administration and it's Cabinet, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011", and plenty more of similar since Joyce spoke and also will continue, as will the obstruction as the tepubs continue seeking to privatize the Veterans Administration, the peoples responsibility to those that serve them!

    Iraq War 10-Year Anniversary: 19 March - Done 'In Our Names'!!
    After abandoning the main missions, and world help, for why we even sent the military into that region!!

    “We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —General Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the Veterans Administration

    "If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too — not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    "You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." - Abraham Lincoln

    No Revenues = Still No Sacrifice = That's Called 'Support' For The Troops = DeJa-Vu all over again!!
    Neither war nor especially the results of, decades to come added to previous decades and wars of, have been paid for as the abandoned, and now forgotten, continues as those sent want in a drawdown to accomplish at least a very small portion of those main missions sent to accomplish!!

    USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71

    It isn't the VA, except if the whistle blower was attempting to bring reality to the forefront during Principi's reign and while two more wars of choice were waged, abandoning the main missions to wage another with cheers from the masses, It's The Country!!!!!!

    I constantly see replying saying "we should be doing these to our veterans" etc. etc. etc., yet I never see anyone but myself, on this board and in other sites, calling for the Sacrifice the Country should have done a decade plus back as they cheered the war drums of the bushco, even after they left the pro-peace groups started carrying the tea buckets and everything became Obama's fault, never a mention about the veterans except like the country using the bad reports of to Slam the VA!!

    It's You People, All Of Us, the Veterans Administration is our Responsibility Especially Related To Our Wars Whether You're For Or Against!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    “We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —Gen Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the VA

    by jimstaro on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:31:04 PM PDT

    •  Desert Storm Veterans (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, Militarytracy, WakeUpNeo

      Had a big ticker tape parade, just ask Maddow she loves to bring that up when demanding we have one for the veterans of these two While One Is Still Ongoing, the One that had the reasons to send our military into that region, ask anyone veteran of that conflict, still living and with Gulf War Syndrome problems, how that Helped Them, Didn't, but the folks wavin their flags etc. got their 'patriotism' on and went home all aglow!!!!!!

      “We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —Gen Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the VA

      by jimstaro on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:35:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No one said this was Obama's fault (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Militarytracy, WakeUpNeo

      but everyone agrees that we create more veterans than we should.   Yes we call out the VA when it is getting caught up in past doings.  Yes we do and I think we finally have a lot of good things happening but the issue is still Mission before man.  The DOD and MIC will make sure of that.  The veterans of the Gulf War are in some ways like the VN vets who are just now getting some age and feeling the price...You are not the only one on the site pointing out the bad bad situation from the other wars.   Many of us here have mentioned how the upscale of ratings have been in place of the categories from Bush years.  We know and call out people to contact their legislators to speak up for veterans of all wars.   No ...this is not a blame game at all...It is a call out to right wrongs and stop with  or at least take care of those who borne the battle and I do not know one advocate here personally who does not do that....You included.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:13:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well the VA is messed up plenty in certain VISN (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Militarytracy, WakeUpNeo

    areas still.  Maybe too big for any one person to correct.
    Hal Donahue and others speak out against the wrong done in any beauracracy but they do speak up as we all must do.  tommyfocus, backlogged and treated unfairly, llbear and me trying to help the vet in Ohio, the treatment my husband got, and countless others in bad VISN groups.   This mess Bush left us in is too big to Hail !  People need some repricussions .....now this is where I fault the Obama administration.  I know it is a small club but Holder IMO is just not doing his job.  He is not sending holding people accountable for their actions.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:00:09 PM PDT

    •  I have very conflicted feelings about the VA (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife

      Vetwife.  You know my story to a great degree.  It took me five years and going all the way to the Veterans' Appeals Court in Washington D.C. (with a Pro Bono attorney) to win my first 30% disability award.  It has been in appeal for about sixteen months, along with a newer claim as I have been diagnosed with heart disease (an Agent Orange Presumed connection).  No matter, that claim has also been at the Regional Office for sixteen months.

      I saw the Channel 8 Reports recently.  The numbers in the backlog are astonishing.  Since I have complained recently that it is past time for my cases (claim & appeal) to be decided, I have received frank and informative calls from VA Reps in St. Pete and Salt Lake City.  One told me that when the backlog becomes so bad the VA no long can update their website as to the status of one's claim.  He said "Don't go there.  Don't pay attention to what it says.  There is and never was a Fast Track for Vietnam Agent Orange cases.  You are 6,000 out of 70,000.  We are doing the best we can.  We have fewer workers than we used to and the caseloads are overwhelming."  He went on and on.  I thanked him for his honesty.  Bottom line, though, is that I cannot expect decisions on the Appeal & the newer Claim anytime soon.  He said something about the average being two years to decide.  

      For now, I do receive medical care.  I  have some good doctors and nurses at James A. Haley in Tampa.  I made a decision to opt out of Medicare as the VA provides my medical care.  I did not forsee that perhaps some of the care would be sub par and that it would be good to have the option of going outside the VA for a second opinion or for other reasons.  

      As always, Vetwife, your work for and dedication to veterans are admirable and wonderful.  Having someone on your side is so important to veterans.  Thank you for helping my sisters and brothers.

      Peace & Love

  •  A similar tale from another VISN (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, ladybug53

    Several acquaintances worked at Stratton VA in Albany, NY while that center was embroiled in scandal involving a cancer drug trial. I'll not discuss any particular roles, except to share that one is a physician and others worked in pharmacy. Suffice to say the lives of the whistleblower(s) in that case were also made a living hell, personally and as it impacted their careers, and the saga seems to never end.

    Oh, and carefully note that moving people around, rather than prosecuting --- much like with some pedophile priests --- is a common tactic.

    (As are various other attempts to silence the truth.)

    You can read more at these links:

    Former Albany VA doctor sentenced in cancer scandal

    Published: Saturday, March 28, 2009

    A former doctor at the Stratton Veterans Affairs hospital in Albany was sentenced to five years probation and must pay $502,925 in restitution for the misdemeanor of failing to keep accurate records during drug studies which led to the death of a patient.

    James Holland, 51, now residing in Thomasville, Ga., a doctor at the VA from 1989 to 2003, became head of the Oncology Department in 2000. His duties included supervising the oncology research program and making sure it adhered to system standards and research requirements.

    He was fired in 2003 and pleaded guilty in 2007.

    Family to be awarded $500,000 in VA case

    Widow wins settlement in corrupt cancer study, but 6 others kept waiting

    By BRENDAN J. LYONS, Senior writer

    First published: Tuesday, December 5, 2006

    ALBANY -- The federal government agreed to pay $500,000 to settle the first of seven federal lawsuits brought by the widows of veterans who died in a corrupt cancer research program at Stratton VA Medical Center Hospital, the Times Union has learned.

    The six other widows, who still have lawsuits pending against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, are finding the government less willing to admit their husbands were used as guinea pigs in the tainted drug studies.

    The Justice Department has not agreed to settle the remaining cases, in part because it's never been determined -- or publicly disclosed -- that more than one veteran died as a result of the corruption. The government's position has been that the men had advanced stages of cancer, so it is impossible to determine what killed them, attorneys in the case said.

  •  Thank you for the info (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53

    This is exactly the kind of crap that needs to be called out.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 08:00:39 AM PDT

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