Reports about long wait times and other problems at Veterans’ Affairs hospitals in the United States have revealed that there is a trend in how the Obama Administration’s propaganda arm handles scandals. The plan: say that the President is very angry and insist that he only learned the problems existed when they were reported to the general public in the media.
According to reports, it’s clear that the White House has been aware that wait times in the Nation’s veterans’ hospitals are excessively long since at least 2008. Obama even campaigned on the issue while running for President in 2007.
“When a veteran is denied health care, we are all dishonored,” Obama said in October, 2007. “When 400,000 veterans are stuck on a waiting list for claims, we need a new sense of urgency in this country.”
Furthermore, The Washington Times reported Sunday that the President and his transition team were warned by Veterans’ Affairs officials not trust wait time data being reported by VA medical facilities.
“This is not only a data integrity issue in which [Veterans Health Administration] reports unreliable performance data; it affects quality of care by delaying — and potentially denying — deserving veterans timely care,” the officials wrote in briefing materials obtained by the newspaper.
But with recent reports of secret waiting lists and accusations that VA officials with at least one facility in Phoenix attempted to cover up the long wait times by fudging the books, the White House is claiming that President Obama was unaware that there was a veterans’ care issue.
During a White House press briefing on Monday, Obama spokesman Jay Carney was asked when the President was first made aware that the Nation’s veterans were not receiving the care they deserve.
“When was [the President] first made aware of these problems?” CNN’s Jim Acosta asked. “And when did other … top White House officials become aware of these problems?”
The delays have been known for some time Acosta continued, but questioned when the President learned that there was a possible VA cover-up afoot.
“You mean the specific allegations that were first reported by your network out of Phoenix, I believe, we learned about them through reports,” Carney replied. “That’s when, as I understand, Sec. [Eric] Shinseki learned about them.”
Even though the President and his transition team were aware of inaccuracies in reported VA wait times when he first took office after campaigning in 2007 on problems in the VA, it took a CNN report years later for Obama to publically address the problems once in the White House.
In other words, there are two possibilities: 1) As the White House claims, Obama’s aides are utterly incompetent and he couldn’t remember to follow through on promises he made the Nation’s veterans in 2007. Or 2) Obama really doesn’t give a rat’s ass about veterans’ care unless he can use it as a campaign prop or it becomes yet another in his litany of public failures.
Whatever the case, if the Obama Administration assertion that the President of the United States has access to only about as much information as the average CNN viewer at any given time sounds familiar, it’s because America has heard it before.
There was that time the Obama Administration spied on Associated Press journalists and Carney said this: “We don’t have any independent knowledge … [Obama] found out about the news reports yesterday on the road.”
Or remember that time the Federal government gave all those guns to Mexican narco-terrorists and Obama said this: “There have been problems, you know. I heard on the news about this story that fast and furious, where allegedly guns were being run into Mexico and ATF knew about it but didn’t apprehend those who had sent it. Eric Holder has — the attorney general has been very clear that he knew nothing about this. We had assigned an IG, inspector general, to investigate it.”
And then there was that time the IRS targeted conservative groups and the President explained: ”I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this. I think it was on Friday.”
And back in 2009 a “furious” Obama recounted how he learned that a Boeing 747 terrified New Yorkers after buzzing the Manhattan skyline on the orders of Louis Caldera, then director of the White House Military Office (which is in the White House… where Obama lives and works): “It was a mistake. It was something we found out about along with all of you. And it will not happen again.”
Reason’s Nick Gillespie is, like many Americans, calling bullshit on Obama’s feigned ignorance:
And it took him a few days to realize that the Obamacare website was tripping balls but he finally started to get news reports about it after a few days. …
I ‘m guessing that he still doesn’t really know that his Justice Department keeps deporting immigrants and raiding medical marijuana dispensaries in California either. At record rates. Because, you know, he said he wasn’t going to pull that shit. Can somebody slip him a newspaper story about those things so he can finally get cracking?
Even MSNBC has noticed that the President evidently gets his daily briefing from the media: