7:59 PM, Feb 23, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Veterans Affairs secretary lied about serving in the special forces, a report in the Huffington Post alleges.
"Robert McDonald, the secretary of veterans affairs, wrongly claimed in a videotaped comment earlier this year that he served in special operations forces, the most elite units in the armed forces, when his military service of five years was spent almost entirely with the 82nd Airborne Division during the late 1970s," the report reads.
U.S. special operations forces (SOF) are composed of exhaustively trained and highly capable troops from each military service, including the Green Berets, Army Rangers, Delta Force and Navy SEALs -- but not the 82nd Airborne. They are certified to undertake the most dangerous and delicate missions, including, famously, the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011. Special operators are a close-knit community deeply hostile to outsiders who try to claim the coveted mantle of special operations.
McDonald, a retired corporate executive who took over the VA last June as the agency was sinking in scandal, made the claim in late January as he was touring a rundown Los Angeles neighborhood during a nationwide count of homeless veterans. He was accompanied by a CBS-TV news crew, which recorded an exchange between McDonald and a homeless man who told McDonald he had served in special forces.
“Special forces? What years? I was in special forces!” McDonald told the homeless man. That exchange was broadcast in a Jan. 30 CBS News story about the VA’s efforts to find and house homeless veterans.
In fact, McDonald never served in special forces. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1975, completed Army Ranger training and took courses in jungle, arctic and desert warfare. He qualified as a senior parachutist and airborne jumpmaster, and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division until he retired from military service in 1980. While he earned a Ranger tab designating him as a graduate of Ranger School, he never served in a Ranger battalion or any other special operations unit.
Whole thing here.
4:29 PM, Oct 27, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
If you work for the government and you don’t stay on the straight and narrow, then you risk being told to go home and take some time off … with pay and benefits. Might be for three months to a year – time enough to catch up on those overdue home improvement project. Could be for one to three years. Long enough to write that novel you’ve been thinking about.
11:29 AM, Sep 29, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Problems at the VA were largely – but not entirely – in the realm of scheduling. No one argued in favor the current system, which had veterans waiting in line for medical attention for months and even years. Even if the supervisors who cooked the books and paid themselves bonuses were all shown the door, the system would not be working as it should until the scheduling SNAFUs had been dealt with.
11:29 AM, Aug 28, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The VA has created a small public relations problem for itself. Which, to say the least, is something it did not need.
9:34 AM, Aug 18, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The legislative fix has been passed and signed into law, along with a generous appropriation of new money. Also, a new top person has been named and confirmed. So time to move on from the VA and its woes. But before doing so, consider the magnitude of the problems and their duration.
11:20 AM, Aug 13, 2014 • By PETE HEGSETH
With the overwhelmingly bipartisan vote for the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, Congress passed the most significant reforms to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in decades. And, right on cue, here come the grumblings from the second-guessers.
3:34 PM, Aug 6, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The big bill to reform Veterans Affairs will be signed tomorrow. With, no doubt, much ceremony and patting of backs. Washington has done it again. Rescued the rest of us from … Washington.
9:23 AM, Jul 28, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Agreement has been reached on the particulars of a bill that supporters say will fix the VA’s problem and as Matthew Daly of the AP reports:
Jul 28, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 43 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
The twilight of the scandal-plagued Obama administration is upon us, and voters are faced with a real conundrum. Which of the failures of progressive governance should be confronted first? The Mideast is an even more blood-drenched goat rodeo than pessimists predicted. There are 50,000 illegal immigrant children warehoused at the border. The IRS is starting to bear a resemblance to the Stasi. Then there’s the roiling Obamacare disaster, and the related politically driven crusade against religious liberty. The Bergdahl swap. Benghazi. Fast and Furious. One could go on.
4:38 PM, Jul 16, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Bureaucrats at the Veterans Affairs are working hard … to keep stonewalling investigations into the slovenly, corrupt, and criminal performance of it responsibilities. As Mark Flatten of the Washington Examiner reports: