Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.
The VA Scandal began at the Phoenix VA Health Care Systemwhere administrators earned promotions and bonuses by shunting patients who needed treatment into fake waiting lists.
As many as 40 veterans had died while waiting for care and 1,715 veterans in the Phoenix VA Health Care System had waited more than 90 days for an appointment. A retired Navy serviceman died of bladder cancer after being put on a 7-month waiting list after blood was found in his urine. He finally received an appointment a week after his death.
But each and every year, from 2009 to 2011, the Phoenix VA Health Care System put in solar panels. The solar panels at the Carl T. Hayden VA in Phoenix cost $20 million.
That $20 million could have saved the lives of dying veterans. Instead it went to Green Energy.
The situation at the Phoenix VA wasn’t unique. In 2009, Obama had signed a Green Energy executive order. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki announced that “in order to continue providing Veterans with the best health care and benefit services, VA must adapt to climate change.”
Not only did Global Warming have nothing to do with serving veterans, but it got in the way of the VA’s central mission. While Shinseki was focused on building solar panels so the sky wouldn’t fall, veterans were waiting months to see a doctor.
At some South Texas facilities vets had to wait 85 days for a primary care appointment and 55 days for a mental health appointment with “a worst-in-the-nation, 145-day average wait for new patients seeking specialist care.”
One of the vets waiting for a mental health appointment, who suffered from waiting list cheating, committed suicide.
Meanwhile the South Texas Veterans Health Care System installed a 1.7 MW solar PV system.
The Amarillo VA Health Care System had the third longest wait times for mental health appointments in the country. Its Thomas E. Creek office complained of a lack of resources. Meanwhile $10 million was spent on solar panels for a facility that sees 25,000 patients a year.
Hawaii has the longest waiting list for veterans with an average of 145 days for an appointment at the Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center.
Meanwhile it was spending between $1 and $2 million on a 119 KW Solar PV System.
Veterans at Kansas VAs had to wait more than 90 days. 977 never had appointments scheduled. There were 104 vets on the waiting list at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita.
But while the Dole Center may not have had time for vets, it did have time to set up solar panels.
Three mental health administrators at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville, Florida were suspended for keeping a waiting list for over 200 vets. Meanwhile the facility had blown between $5 and $10 million on a solarpanel system.
The Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center put 3,000 vets on a phantomwaiting list to see a doctor who doesn’t see patients.
Unfortunately its $20.3 million solar setup was all too real.
The average wait time for new patients at the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center was about 57 days to see a primary care doctor. But that just gave vets more time to admire its new $1.1 million solar setup.
The Bay Pines VA Health Care System didn’t schedule appointments for 1,000 vets. But it did find the time and money to put in solar panels. The Cheyenne VA Medical Center, which was caught removing vets from the waiting list, had not one, but two, million-dollar solar setups.
The Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center, which was one of three flagged facilities, was part of a $50 million VA solar panel contract.
In life the vets couldn’t get an appointment while resources were being squandered on Green Energy and when they died, they still couldn’t escape Green Energy.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, who had ignored the abuse of veterans, turned his attention to something truly important. He began seeing to it that all the cemeteries had wind or solar power.
The Massachusetts National Cemetery got a 50 kW wind turbine so the dead veterans would have all the sustainable energy they needed.
A VA press release about the cemetery turbine boasted that “under the leadership of Secretary Eric K. Shinseki… VA is transitioning into a 21st century organization that better serves America’s Veterans.”
Shinseki arrived in person at the dedication ceremony to flip the switch on the cemetery wind turbine. Resting in their graves were men who had died because of his policies.
“Nationally, VA continues to expand its investment in renewable sources of energy to promote our Nation’s energy independence, save taxpayer dollars, and improve care for our Veterans and their families,” he said.
The cemetery turbine cost $533,000. Veterans were dying to save the VA a few hundred dollars. Shinseki had made his order of priorities clear. Green energy boondoggles came first. Improving veteran care came last.
Acting Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Steve Muro told the audience, “With one of VA’s first wind turbine projects, the Massachusetts National Cemetery is leading the way in the use of renewable energy while providing the burial benefits that New England Veterans and their families have earned.”
With those words, Muro made the entire horrifying spectacle worthy of a Joseph Heller novel.
The wind turbine of the dead was only an aberration because the VA was more focused on installing solar panels at cemeteries to better serve dead veterans.
The Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery’s solar panels cost $787,308. According to the press release, the solar panels in the cemetery would “reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
$742,034 worth of solar panels was put in at the Calverton National Cemetery. The San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery got an $800,000 solar panel system. The Riverside National Cemetery got a $1.3 million solar setup.
“We are investing in clean energy and renewable energy projects at our national cemeteries to reduce our environmental footprint,” Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki declared.
“The transition toward these renewable energy sources helps VA continue to be a leading example of going green in the federal government.”
Vets might be dying at VA facilities, but they would have solar panels and wind turbines over their graves so that Shineski could provide Obama with a leading example of “greenness.”
Meanwhile in Southeast Texas, the former associate chief of staff at the VA said that a cost-cutting policy had been implemented under which colonoscopies would only be approved if the patient tested positive in three successive screenings for bloody stools.
“By the time that you do the colonoscopies on these patients, you went from a stage 1 to a stage 4, which is basically inoperable,” Dr. Richard Krugman said.”That was done because of dollars and cents. For the VA, they have to be bleeding out of their rectum before they would authorize a colonoscopy.”
Everyone has their priorities. Benghazi and the VA scandal happened because the men who died were a low priority compared to solar panels and buying bad art for embassies. The State Department spent millions on art for embassies and mansion renovations, but begrudged the security that would have saved four American lives. Fortunes were spent on solar panels and wind turbines for VA facilities, but veterans died of cancer to save money on a colonoscopy.
The corrupt obsession with Green Energy doesn’t just waste money, it costs lives. The fanaticism of the Global Warmists in the White House led them to disregard the lives of vets because they thought that saving the world with solar panels and wind turbines was more important.
While they were putting in wind and solar at VA facilities and cemeteries, they forgot about the veterans who had served their country and deserved better than to be sacrificed for a solar panel.
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