Shinseki is due to appear before Congress at 10:00 AM Thursday to answer questions about the poor performance and deception on his watch.
Reports recently have focused on problems in the scheduling process at Waco, San Antonio, and Austin in Texas, as well as offices in North Carolina, Phoenix, and Wyoming.
“We asked for Secretary Shinseki to go over a year ago,” Duff said.
“There’s a fundamental trait in the military, it’s ‘Know your men and know your mission.’ How can the Secretary claim that he wasn’t even aware of the scandal back in Wyoming? We’ve had scandal after scandal over this past year, let alone a backlog of over a year that increased by over 2000% over this Secretary.”
So yes, I believe he should resign, because simply, leadership means you know what’s going on. And the failure of leadership is demonstrated by what’s been going on with these scandals.
The scandal is ongoing according Duff, who has charged the VA with having a “culture of corruption,” a phrase that fits well given the widespread nature of the bad behavior.
“In my opinion it’s not a money problem,” Duff said. “It’s a management problem. Let’s go to Dorn medical facility,” in Columbia, South Carolina, “where there were 5 men who died from lack of care due to not being able to get in for a colonoscopy. That was reported last summer. We’ve had deaths in Augusta,” said Duff, as well as Atlanta. “Go up to Ohio, and we’ve got deaths due to Legionnaire’s Disease that was not being reported and 700 veterans sick.”
“Let’s go on now and look at the Government Accountability Office,” continued Duff. “Just last week they reported 1.5 million veteran appointment records had been deleted. We don’t even know if those veterans exist any more. We don’t even know if they got care.”
“It is systemic,” concluded Duff. “It’s across the nation.”
Duff went on to urge passage of Senate Bill 2013, the VA Management and Accountability Act.