Earlier this week, Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman circulated a petition demanding that Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki resign following appalling news of treatment delays at VA hospitals, some of which may have led to the deaths of veterans. After the pressure exerted by Coffman and veterans organizations, news broke today that Shinseki had accepted the resignation of undersecretary, Dr. Robert Petzel. Here’s what Shinseki said, according to NPR:
“Today, I accepted the resignation of , undersecretary for health in the Department of Veterans Affairs,” Shinseki said in a statement cited by Reuters.
“As we know from the veteran community, most veterans are satisfied with the quality of their VA health care, but we must do more to improve timely access to that care,” Shinseki said.
LIAR. If Shinseki thought this entire VA hospital scandal would just disappear because someone resigned, he’s a fool. The buck stops with Shinseki. Period. But, it’s actually worse than that. Initially, we though that Shinseki was exhibiting terrible leadership by throwing his subordinate under the bus with Petzel’s retirement. But, the real story here is that Petzel announced his retirement, scheduled for this year, back in September 2013. Here’s the press release:
So, perhaps Shinseki thought he could just use Petzel’s retirement to take the heat off of his own abject failure in leadership at the VA? Pathetic. The American Legion noted that the resignation is inconsequential and is maintaining focus on Shinseki:
Legion on Robert Petzel resigning from #VA: Petzel already scheduled to retire this year, so resignation now won’t make much of a difference
— The American Legion (@AmericanLegion) May 16, 2014
This is just dishonest dealing on the part of the Obama administration. So much for the most transparent administration ever. Claims of transparency? Yeah, that was a lie, too.