Moving Healthcare and Hospitals/Clinics from the Veterans Administration to the Department of Defense Medical Services

Moving Healthcare and Hospitals/Clinics from the Veterans Administration to the Department of Defense Medical Services

 

 

by Paul Vallely, MG U.S. Army (ret.)

As one of the oldest and most expensive government agencies, the VA is constrained by unions, continuing lack of oversight and failed stewardship. It is time to change the course of the discussion, reportability, and accountability and move the Healthcare and hospital facilities/administration of the Veterans Administration to and under the Department of Defense. The current VA then should be one of sole administration of Veterans issues and benefits administration.

The justifications are endless to reposition the VA under the Department of Defense, those most notable and listed below.

  • The VA services process system was created during the FDR years and since has had an almost manual custom coded software upgrades where no cutting edge technology exists. The VA process and procedure platform is perhaps one level above a paper and pencil system. The hardware is up to date but the software systems are archaic. Making full use of more advanced computer structure would be a giant leap forward.
  • At the VA, there is no integrated database integrated system connecting the VA’s to each other, or to the Social Security Administration, or the Pentagon or to locations where vital service records are stored. At issue, when a vet seeks medical service from a different VA facility, he/she must have their own complete records with them, when burial services are requested, the VA does not recognize death notices/certificates from the SSA or the Pentagon. Under the Department of Defense, connectivity and approvals and sped-up considerably.
  • Vets today are allowed a 30-minute appointment with the doctor, 20 minutes of that the doctor is working the input process into the computer, paperwork too cumbersome. Having a feature like Dragon, voice to text is required, an inexpensive and forward-leaning solution managed by dedicated active military software personnel.
  • The VA personnel has no empathy, compassion or recognition of the veterans, there is no respect, no honor, no appreciation, hence no customer service. Brothers keeping watch over brothers will immediately cure this condition.
  • 30% of medical cases are for hearing loss, the veteran must prove military service where hearing loss was probable, 50 mm howitzers, cannons, artillery etc. Research and development under which the medical community as DoD contractors can address this condition on veteran case files while being assertive in curing and addressing hearing loss prognosis that would relieve medical case backlogs.
  • At the VA, there is no peer support staff, meaning VA ambassadors that promote and market the services offered by the VA, items like housing, education, loans, job searches benefits go unknown to those former active duty uniformed personnel. Incorporation of other current Department of Defense benefits for active personnel is prudent and pro-active.

Doctors at the Veterans Administration have no structure or set schedule or term. VA doctors see about 2-3 patients a day, in the civilian world, doctors see 6-10. If a doctor does not show up for a workday and veterans have scheduled appointments, there is no call made to the veteran and to reschedule appointments go out another 3-4 months. Using automated scheduling and an active outward call program is the solution and the DOD currently applies these technologies.

 

  • Veterans are forced to be self-advocates such that they have to navigate a labyrinth and bureaucracy that is not understood and leads to erroneous ratings and alters benefits. Words have meanings, where clarity and protocols within the Department of Defense offers an immediate change to the culture and attitude.
  • The VA is union heavy, where up to 5 unions exist in some locations, where the worst is SEIU, the most corrupt and felonious of all labor organizations, hence no one can be fired for dereliction of duty, altering paperwork, malfeasance, drug abuse, etc. Under the UCMJ, this behavior would be eliminated immediately.
  • Phone numbers for assistance to VA locations are voice mail and push #’s hell only to receive countless recordings, having the Department of Defense apply the existing telecom structure would eliminate this condition.
  • Veterans cannot seek simple medical procedures from civilian locations like a’ doc in the box’, dentist or even a closer military base for items like stitches, x-rays and even prescriptions like an antibiotic. The vets should have a choice card, demonstrating military service that is accepted at any local medical facility and could even have a modest co-pay. Under the Department of Defense, oversight of this process would be expedient.
  • The VA has no process to educate or seminars to aid in advancement for jobs for existing employees or for returning vets to gain an education and work at the VA in R&D, IT, the medical field, vets should work for vets due to the fraternity/sorority and military ethos. This issue is readily adaptable within existing programs at the DOD.
  • All VA locations should have random polygraphs or voice testing to determine honesty, work ethic (not selling narcotics or theft). These systems are currently in use at thousands of Defense and military posts domestically and globally.
  • Privatize a select group of existing VA hospitals by transferring them to the local communities and counties.

 

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Brennan covers for the Deep State’s Trax.

The POS: John Brennan.

Trump’s full statement on revoking John Brennan’s security clearance

On Wednesday, President Trump announced he would revoke former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance. Below is the president’s full statement.

As the head of the executive branch and Commander in Chief, I have a unique, Constitutional responsibility to protect the Nation’s classified information, including by controlling access to it.  Today, in fulfilling that responsibility, I have decided to revoke the security clearance of John Brennan, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Historically, former heads of intelligence and law enforcement agencies have been allowed to retain access to classified information after their Government service so that they can consult with their successors regarding matters about which they may have special insights and as a professional courtesy.

Neither of these justifications supports Mr. Brennan’s continued access to classified information.  First, at this point in my Administration, any benefits that senior officials might glean from consultations with Mr. Brennan are now outweighed by the risks posed by his erratic conduct and behavior.  Second, that conduct and behavior has tested and far exceeded the limits of any professional courtesy that may have been due to him.

Mr. Brennan has a history that calls into question his objectivity and credibility.  In 2014, for example, he denied to Congress that CIA officials under his supervision had improperly accessed the computer files of congressional staffers.  He told the Council of Foreign Relations that the CIA would never do such a thing.  The CIA’s Inspector General, however, contradicted Mr. Brennan directly, concluding unequivocally that agency officials had indeed improperly accessed congressional staffers’ files.  More recently, Mr. Brennan told Congress that the intelligence community did not make use of the so-called Steele Dossier in an assessment regarding the 2016 election, an assertion contradicted by at least two other senior officials in the intelligence community and all of the facts.

Additionally, Mr. Brennan has recently leveraged his status as a former high-ranking official with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations – wild outbursts on the internet and television – about this Administration.  Mr. Brennan’s lying and recent conduct, characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary, is wholly inconsistent with access to the Nation’s most closely held secrets and facilitates the very aim of our adversaries, which is to sow division and chaos.

More broadly, the issue of Mr. Brennan’s security clearance raises larger questions about the practice of former officials maintaining access to our Nation’s most sensitive secrets long after their time in Government has ended.  Such access is particularly inappropriate when former officials have transitioned into highly partisan positions and seek to use real or perceived access to sensitive information to validate their political attacks.  Any access granted to our Nation’s secrets should be in furtherance of national, not personal, interests.  For this reason, I have also begun to review the more general question of the access to classified information by former Government officials.

As part of this review, I am evaluating action with respect to the following individuals:  James Clapper, James Comey, Michael Hayden, Sally Yates, Susan Rice, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr.  Security clearances for those who still have them may be revoked, and those who have already their lost their security clearance may not be able to have it reinstated.

It is for the foregoing reasons that I have exercised my Constitutional authority to deny Mr. Brennan access to classified information, and I will direct appropriate staff of the National Security Council to make the necessary arrangements with the appropriate agencies to implement this determination.

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“You mean there is more…”
Is that a printout in your hand?


“How come the lights went on before he clapped.”


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The Deep State Covers for Feinstein…because there is more…Imagine if U will…


What are the FBI and the DOJ covering up?

 

You mean there is more…”
Is that a printout in your hand?


That Girl.


Explain the Chinese spy, Sen. Feinstein

By Marc Thiesen

Imagine if it emerged that the Republican chairman of the House or Senate intelligence committee had a Russian spy working on their staff. Think it would cause a political firestorm? Well, this month we learned that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) had a Chinese spy on her staff who worked for her for about 20 years, was listed as an “office director” on payroll records and served as her driver when she was in San Francisco, all while reporting to China’s Ministry of State Security through China’s San Francisco Consulate. The reaction of the mainstream media? Barely a peep.

Feinstein acknowledged the infiltration but played down its significance. “Five years ago the FBI informed me it had concerns that an administrative member of my California staff was potentially being sought out by the Chinese government to provide information,” Feinstein said in a statement — which means the breach took place while Feinstein was heading the Intelligence Committee. But, Feinstein insisted, “he never had access to classified or sensitive information or legislative matters” and was immediately fired. In other words: junior staffer, no policy role, no access to secrets, quickly fired — no big deal.

But it is a big deal. I asked several former senior intelligence and law enforcement officials how serious this breach might have been. “It’s plenty serious,” one former top Justice Department official told me. “Focusing on his driver function alone, in Mafia families, the boss’s driver was among the most trusted men in the crew, because among other things he heard everything that was discussed in the car.”

A former top CIA clandestine officer explained to me what the agency would do if it had recruited the driver of a senior official such as Feinstein. “We would have the driver record on his phone all conversations that Feinstein would have with passengers and phone calls in her car. If she left her phone, iPad or laptop in the car while she went to meetings, social events, dinners, etc., we would have the driver download all her devices. If the driver drove for her for 20 years, he would probably would have had access to her office and homes. We would have had the source put down an audio device in her office or homes if the opportunity presented itself. Depending on the take from all of what the source reported, we would use the info to target others that were close to her and exhibited some type of vulnerability.”

“In short,” this officer said, “we would have had a field day.”

It seems improbable that Feinstein never once discussed anything sensitive in her car over a period of years. But let’s assume that Feinstein was extraordinarily careful and never discussed any classified information in front of her driver or on any devices to which he had access. Even so, one former top intelligence official told me, “someone in that position could give an adversary a whole bunch on atmospherics and trends and attitudes which are from time to time far more important than the things we call secrets.” He added, “It’s like [having access to her] unclassified emails.” (And we all know no one everexposes classified information on unclassified emails).

Washington is understandably focused on the threat from Russia. But according to FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, “China from a counterintelligence perspective represents the broadest, most pervasive, most threatening challenge we face as a country.” It was China, after all, that hacked the Office of Personnel Management in 2015, stealing the SF-86 security clearance forms of many thousands of executive-branch employees in the most devastating cyberattack in the history of our country. Beijing has successfully recruited FBI agents and State Department employees as spies, and has used information from U.S. informants to kill more than a dozen CIA sources inside the regime. And now, we know China recruited a high-value Senate staffer who worked in immediate proximity to the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Feinstein owes the country a detailed explanation of how she let a Chinese spy into her inner sanctum. And the media should give this security breach the same attention they would if it involved Russia and the Republicans.

Marc Thiessen writes a twice-weekly column for The Post on foreign and domestic policy and contributes to the PostPartisan blog. He is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and the former chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush.

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How The FBI Let A Chinese Spy Skate To Protect This Powerful Democrat

“For 20 years, California Senator Dianne Feinstein had a Chinese spy on her office payroll.”

“The Prime Directive was obviously to do nothing to embarrass Feinstein and that is exactly how the FBI handled the situation. Compare and contrast it with the scorched earth policy the FBI has used in regards to the Trump campaign and administration.”

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Feinstein’s Ties to China Extend Beyond Chinese Spy

“According to the article, “For many years, Ms. Feinstein has tried to promote friendship and trade with China, and she has countered critics of the Chinese human-rights record by emphasizing what she described in a Senate speech last year as ‘major improvements in human rights’ there.”

“One of Feinstein’s first acts on becoming mayor of San Francisco in January 1979, was to visit Shanghai to establish sister-city relations.

The next apparent priority was re-establishing passenger airline service between China and the United States. Service was restored on Jan. 8, 1981, after a “32-year hiatus when a Boeing 747 with 139 Chinese passengers arrived exactly on time at San Francisco International Airport,” according to The New York Times.”

“According to the San Jose Mercury: “He [Jiang] once invited her and her husband to see Mao Tse-tung’s bedroom in his old residence, the first foreigners to do so. Feinstein had entertained Jiang in San Francisco, dancing with him as he sang ‘When We Were Young.’”

“This relationship proved fruitful in 1999, when President Bill Clinton was pushing to bring China into the World Trade Organization.”

Interuptus…

“A visit to Washington that year by Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji, which many had hoped would seal the deal, produced nothing. Relations got even worse after U.S. bombers accidentally destroyed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade that May.”


Beverly Hills 90210. GO figure.

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“How come the lights went on before he clapped.”

“What do you mean that you don’t remember the exact count?”

 

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Freedom of Navigation Doctrine Challenged by James A. Lyons, Adm. USN (ret.)

 

Freedom of Navigation Doctrine Challenged

By: James A. Lyons, Admiral, United States Navy (ret.)

With all the media focus on President Trump’s recent meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, a major event took place last week in the strategic Bab al-Mandab Strait, which received little notice.  The Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have acknowledged that they fired a missile supplied by Iran from the vicinity of the port city of Hodeida that hit a Saudi Aramco tanker.  In response, even though there was little damage, Saudi Arabia has suspended all its shipping from transiting the Bab al-Mandab Strait.

Clearly, the Houthi rebels have seriously challenged the internationally-recognized “Freedom of Navigation” doctrine.  The concept is that the internationally-recognized open waters of the world, including all strategic straits, should remain open and free for all commercial shipping.  By extension, this includes the peaceful transit of naval forces as well.

The Bab al-Mandab Strait, which connects the Indian Ocean/Gulf of Aden with the Red Sea, is one of the world’s key strategic straits.  Others include the Strait of Hormuz, which controls the flow of all oil and gas shipborne traffic in and out of the Persian Gulf.  Next are the Suez Canal and the Strait of Gibraltar, which connect the flow of all shipping in and out of the Mediterranean Sea.  The Strait of Malacca connects the Indian Ocean with the South China Sea.

“Freedom of Navigation” is under attack in the South China Sea, however, because China claims that almost all of the South China Sea is its territorial waters despite a ruling by an international tribunal in The Hague that China’s claim is illegal.  Of course there is also the Panama Canal, which we used to control until President Carter gave it away to Panama.  Today, it is actually under the control of China.  These key strategic choke points must remain open and free to the world’s commercial shipping traffic.

With the current war of words between the Iranian theocracy and the Trump administration, plus Iran’s recent threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, much larger issues are at stake in enforcing the “freedom of navigation” doctrine.  Iran’s role in supporting the Houthi rebels is very transparent.  It is all part of a plan to expand the Iranian Shi’ite crescent to where it becomes the dominant force in the Middle East.

Iran’s clear strategy is to physically surround the Arabian Peninsula with proxy forces supported with its own forces and materiel.  This classic Iranian ploy extends its geo-strategic reach and positions it to attack its arch-enemy, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, indirectly, with the ultimate objective of seizing control of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.  Further, by backing the Houthi rebels in Yemen, it gives Iran the means to gain control of the strategic Bab al-Mandab Strait and threaten not just Saudi shipping but all international shipping.  It cannot be overlooked that more than one-third of the world’s oil in transit passes through this Strait on a daily basis.  Success would give Iran direct control of two of the world’s strategic straits and de facto control of a third, the Suez Canal.  This cannot be allowed to happen.

We cannot forget President Trump’s historic visit to Riyadh in May 2017, nor the links he forged with Sunni partners during that visit.  As a result, we have a Saudi Arabia-led coalition consisting of Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with US assistance, confronting the Houthi rebels and Iran.  With this impressive alliance, the question becomes, why is it taking so long for the alliance to take back control of the port city of Hodeida?  Such action would isolate the Houthi rebels in the south, and keep them from their bases in the Yemeni highlands.  It would also facilitate the recapture of the capital Sanaa and its airport.  Further, it would be a tremendous psychological blow to the rebels and Iran, and a major step in cutting off a key access point for Iranian support to the rebels.

Preventing Iran’s hegemonic objectives throughout the Middle East and beyond, which include encircling the entire Arabian Peninsula with its oil and gas resources, as well as the ultimate seizure of Islam’s two most holy cities, Mecca and Medina, must be a top Trump administration objective.  It appears that the administration has initiated a staged take-down of the Iranian regime.  Our withdrawal from the nuclear weapons agreement with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was the first step.  Re-imposing economic sanctions is having a drastic effect on the Iranian regime’s ability to operate.  The Iranian currency, the rial, is in total free fall—even a full week before even more stringent sanctions are scheduled to take hold.  Revamping our Voice of America Farsi language broadcast would be another positive signal to the Iranian freedom fighters.   We must continue other covert support to the Iranian people who are taking to the streets day after day.  And to further complicate matters for the criminal Iranian theocracy we should support an independent Kurdistan.

If, as increasingly seems apparent, the Trump administration has decided on a gradual ratcheting up of measures intended to bring maximum pressure to bear on the Tehran regime, then such steps are necessary parts of the mix.  But even above and beyond these coercive means aimed at collapsing the mullahs’ rule, with the most powerful blue water navy in the world, the U.S. has a unique responsibility to ensure freedom of the seas when threatened by Iran or any other hostile actor.  The de facto threat to shipping through the Bab al-Mandab must not be allowed to stand.

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James A. Lyons, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.

 


 

Iran deploys 50 small boats to Strait of Hormuz for large-scale ‘swarming’ exercise

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