Rich Galen

"There is only one place for the veterans of America, in the Cabinet Room, at the table with the President of the United States of America."

Now we are told that at least one Medical Center in the VA system has been maintaining secret scheduling lists of when Veterans would be called to be able to schedule a first meeting with a medical professional within the hospital.

The Arizona Republic quoted a program analyst as explaining:

"When their appointment was created, (it) can be 14 days out, but we're making them wait 6-20 weeks to create that appointment."

As many as 40 veterans may have died waiting for their first appointment with a primary care professional.

It should not come as a surprise to the Department of Veterans Affairs that a hospital in Arizona would have a large number of veterans asking for services. Arizona is, I think it is fair to say, well known as a major center for retired civilians and military.

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, told CBS news that the scandal in Phoenix, "makes me angry."

Makes him angry? It should make him gone.

Maybe this level of disengagement by Cabinet Secretaries has been the norm throughout both Republican and Democratic Administrations. But, Shinseki's being wholly unaware of this situation - in spite of numerous complaints to the VA's Office of Inspector General - hints at willful ignorance, not just dreadful management.

Sort of like HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' never having thought to ask whether the Obamacare computer systems would be ready to go once the switch was thrown last October.

We owe the Mike Ceroli's and all of the retired service members a great deal. At a minimum we owe them access to the basic medical care they have been promised for, in his case, his 30 years in uniform.

If what we have been told about the level of service at the Phoenix, Arizona Veterans Affairs Medical Center is true, then America is failing all of its Veterans.

On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to a discussion of PsyOps, to the 89th Air Wing, and to the timeline of the Arizona VA hospital mess.

Also, a Mother's Day Mullfoto.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at