Wednesday, June 11, 2008

VA=No Science and Less Credibility

The Department of Veterans Affairs sends out press releases by the handful all touting the great and wonderful things they do on a daily basis. The facts, and the science say otherwise.

As a Cabinet Level Department, they lie through their teeth. For all we know they lie to their boss, President Bush. Most evident is the lies they tell in their press releases.

How can we say that? Ask any veteran. Most will tell you their own horror stories of dealing with the VA, and a half dozen more of buddies who have been shafted by the agency created to care for the nation's veterans.

Ask a Blue Water Navy veteran.

We say,

"It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield." --VNVets
This is the relationship that the past two presidents have fostered through the Department of Veterans Affairs with the Veterans of this nation over the past 15 years. The President will not address the matter unless it hits the Washington Post, or the New York Times, and the credibility of the NY Times has suffered over the past five years of Bush-bashing.

Senator Akaka does practically nothing without the approval of the President, and he's a Democrat! Congressman Filner talks a good game about Blue Water Navy Veterans and their plight, but we have yet to see action from him after several years of maintaining contact of good relations. Lip service. Blue Water Navy has no friends in politics. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch.

While other countries are apologizing to their Vietnam Veterans for their treatment during and since the war, and for refusing to acknowledge the effects of Agent Orange on those Veterans, the United States is fighting tooth and nail in Federal Court to keep almost half of the remaining Vietnam Veterans from claiming Agent Orange benefits by claiming they "did not serve in Vietnam". They cling to a black and white line drawn literally in the sand of the beachs of Vietnam that claims if you didn't set foot inside the line, you did not serve in Vietnam, and are not eligible for Presumptive exposure benefits under the Agent Orange Act of 1991.

But they have not a single shred of scientific evidence to back up this assertion that unless you set foot on land, you could not be exposed to Agent Orange. That's right, no scientific evidence to prove their assertion. None, Zero Zip. Zilch.

We say,

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Bush Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?" --VNVets
How can we say this?

Because there is ample proof to the contrary. The so called "Australian Study" which proved the concentration of dioxins when seawater containing dioxin laced runoff from land was processed through ship's evaporators when making fresh water, is a prime example, and that study was done because the Australian mortality studies showed a higher mortality rate among naval veterans of Vietnam than those who served on the ground! As far as the Australian and New Zealand governments are concerned it doesn't need to go any farther than that. Science has proven to their satisfaction that their sailors were poisoned off Vietnam, regardless of whether they set foot on the ground or not!

And Mr. Hughes, the attorney for the Department of Veterans Affairs during oral arguments on the Haas case last November dismissed the Australian Study as being of "questionable science"! Hello, Bubba! Where's YOUR science? Who died and made you judge of what is science and what is not, and as a spokesman for the DVA IN FEDERAL COURT, you have nothing to back up that statement since the DVA won't allow the Institute of Medicine to investigate the Australian Study! So Mr. Hughes at best made an assertion without any justification, or simply flat out lied to the panel.

The closest the VA comes to scientific evidence against a Blue Water exposure claim is in the origimal CDC studies referenced in our post,
The CDC, The DVA, NHL, and Hodgkins Disease, where we cited a section of the CDC studies on which the Agent Orange VA policy is based. The following quotation is the ONLY [semi]scientific evidence on which the VA bases its discrimitory practice of excluding Blue Water Navy Veterans from agent Orange presumption:
"...In addition, compared with other Vietnam Veterans, the risk for Hodgkins Disease did not significantly differ between those in the Navy [most of whom were stationed on ocean-going vessels with little potential for exposure to Agent Orange] and men in other service branches...."

Source:
Selected Cancers Study at the CDC website.

Also see
Agent Orange Brief - August 2002.
"...Navy [most of whom were stationed on ocean-going vessels with little potential for exposure to Agent Orange...". This is nothing more than an assertion. In the face of the Australian Study alone it is repudiatied.

Mr. Hughes was well aware of this when he lied to the court. If he wasn't then he sucks as an attorney.

We are shocked that the court ignored this blatant fabrication and allowed the VA to continue its dishonest charade of pretend science that simply does not exist.

We pray that the court will see through this conspiracy against Wartime Veterans of the United States, and grant an en banc review of the May decision in Haas vs. Peake. And in the process, we pray that Mr. Hughes is brought before the court to answer these charges in full, and defend himself from being disbarred for unethical practice of law.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has no science behind its foot on the ground ruling, and no credibility with anyone outside of the administration -- that is, anyone who counts.

As we said before, the gloves are off now.

This post is being entered as a comment on the proposed rule change.

Dare they allow it?

VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Bush Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"Without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2008: VNVets Blog; All Rights Reserved.

7 comments:

  1. Apparently there is something wrong with the comment posting system. We have filed a trouble ticket with the Regulations.gov site administrators.

    Keep checking back on this development.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The comment went through this morning. We have a receipt for it.

    Now we'll see if they address these issues.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous10:51

    I believe VA has been directed to keep their budjet cost down. This includes the cost of the Blue Water Navy Issue and Iraq war Veterans. Reason, the billions being spent on Bush's war. This administration has put the U.S. Government so far in debt that we are now spending our great, great grandchildren's future. Plus, we are selling assets to foreign holders on a wholesale basis real cheap. The reason, is because the dollar is not worth the paper it is printed on. This is the real cost of Bush's war. America needs to wakeup and realize large corporations and the top 10% richest people are running this country. This is the new difinition of "we the people".

    ReplyDelete
  4. Frankly, I disagree with most of what you have said here.

    The Blue Water Navy issue began in the first days of the Clinton Administration which began carving veterans out of eligibility for Agent Orange benefits, starting with the Air Force in 1993. So don't start preaching partisan politics to me about the Bush administration. This is simply a continuation of a program started under the Clinton Administration. If anything, Bush has perfected it. But this is Clinton's brainchild. It has all the earmarks of a president with a Vietnam Record that included avoiding the draft, anti-war demonstrations, and travel to and from Communist countries during the war. What better way to stick it to those of us who fought than to creat an atmosphere in the VA that simply places Vietnam Vets in a vacuum? They can't do it to us all, but the got every body who wasn't a Marine or an Army trooper in country.

    As for costs...Congress controls that. And Congress contains a lot of the old hard line Anti-Vietnam War Democrats and others who were a part of the anti-war movement as a youth. Hard to get them to do anything for anyone who was involved with the Vietnam War.

    That's why it was so shamefully painful to watch the Prime Minister of New Zealand make that public apology. The PM made it quite clear that it was wrong to mistreat the troops.

    As for your last comment, that is redistribution of wealth, a fully socialist idea. Socialism is a failed ideolgy. The only current socialist governments today either have dictatorships, a some other forms of socialism-light. Socialism is alive and well in the US Democratic Party and holds a death grip on it, until enough Democrats realize that it is indeed a failed ideal.

    Now we've both had our say, and I will permit no more ideological comments.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous16:20

    I agree with this much of that post:

    >I believe VA has been directed to >keep their budjet cost down. This >includes the cost of the Blue >Water Navy Issue and Iraq war >Veterans.

    After that......he's lost me.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous11:28

    I have a question that is puzzling me and I can only feel I don't understand everything I know....or think I know. Hopefully you, or one of the other readers will be able to clear it up for me.

    The VA has a long list of things such as diabetes, etc that are on the list as presumptive for Agent Orange.

    Their position is that we Blue Water veterans who didn't have "boots on the ground" don't qualify.

    At the same time, and this is what I feel I'm missing something about, one (1) thing on the presumptive list is Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and I've read in a few places that the VA DOES make an exception for Blue Water vets who have come down with this and do treat them as Agent Orange "victims". Is there any truth to this or do I just misunderstand what I've read??

    ReplyDelete
  7. There is truth to it. The VA simply does not recognize Agent Orange as the cause NHL in Blue Water Navy Veterans, just that there is a higher mortality rate and incidence rate among Blue Water Navy Veterans...no cause "known" or required. It is handled this way in the regulations in a separate paragraph than the Agent Orange diseases.

    Of course, this makes no sense whatsoever, and begs the question I keep asking, "The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Bush Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?" --VNVets

    Hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete