Veteran Affairs Colonel Lied to the Senateby testvetSun Jun 04, 2006 at 01:51:41 PM EST
On May 28th 2006 Secretary Nicholson told the Senate Committee that the veterans data that was lost only was from veterans discharged after 1975 and veterans getting VA compensation.
He lied and here is the case to show it:
it is also posted on KOS and my website outsidethebeltway http://www.outsidethebeltway.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=45
Commentary :: ::
From this article we learn that on May 3rd 2006 the VA lost the data on 26.5 million veterans,
The VA declared it was the data on veterans who were discharged after 1975. Were they telling the truth?
"The data was stolen on May 3 and included names, Social Security numbers, date of birth and numerical disability ratings. No medical records or financial information had been compromised, Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson said.
At a press conference, neither Nicholson nor Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez would provide additional details about the theft. "We are working hard with local authorities and with the investigator general of the Veterans Administration to try to find out what has happened here," Gonzalez said. "For law enforcement purposes, it would be helpful not to get into specifics about what happened."
Under intense bipartisan fire from Capitol Hill, Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson said Wednesday he was outraged by his agency's decision to keep the theft of veterans' personal data quiet for two weeks."
The problem with this testimony to Congress on Wednesday May 28th Secretary Nicholson stated that the information was on veterans discharged after 1975. http://www.qgazette.com/news/2006/0531/Senior_page/009.html as shown in this quote from this article: "The 26.7 million veterans whose financial security may be compromised served in the armed forces from the mid-1970s and forward, Nicholson said.
In response to the data theft, which Crowley thinks may be the largest data theft affecting the federal government in history, he is a co-sponsor of a bill that would authorize the federal government to take a series of actions to protect the 26.7 million veterans."
However, this data from the 2000 U.S. Census shows that in 2000 that out of the 208.1 million Americans 18 or older, there was 26.4 million veterans, this is all veterans WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam and all veterans discharged since 1975.
This does not begin to be the testimony that the VA Colonel gave on May 28th 2006. I thought is was a crime to lie to Congress, what about lying to the American public? If he can't be trusted to tell us the truth about whose data was lost, why should we believe anything else he states?
Now we are hearing that 50,000 active duty Navy and Guard members data was also on the computer, why was active duty information on a VA database?
This also makes us question, exactly what project was this man working on that he felt the need to work on it at home, off the clock? At the Postal Service it was against the rules to work off the clock and you could be suspended, why would this government agency encourage it? Who was this man's boss and what was his function?
The White House 2005 Conference on Aging gave Mr. McLendon a special place on the President's web sites. The description below would indicate that Mr. McLendon is an "insider" neoconservative Republican who has climbed from agency to agency without any real expertise or accomplishment. He appears to be another "heckava job, Brownie" crony who was intimately involved in ways to "trim" rightful veterans' benefits.
Mr. McLendon is the founder of McLendon & Associates, a management consulting and public policy firm that provides a range of services to a diverse portfolio of state and local government, Federal agency, and private sector clients engaged in the health services, long term care, disability, aging and social service delivery, and information technology arenas. Mr. McLendon has also worked extensively in the international environment for the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Department of Defense on a number of social service, pension and unemployment, resource and financial management, and strategic planning reform projects. Mr. McLendon has also served as a consultant and advisor for the National Academy of Public Administration, Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia, the Institute for Defense Analyses, and other organizations.
In December 2003, Mr. McLendon was appointed as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in the Department of Veterans Affairs. In this position, Mr. McLendon exercises broad responsibilities including policy analysis of disability, long term care, the aging veteran population, and service delivery strategies.
Mr. McLendon was to be the featured VA speaker for Memorial Day in Wisconsin as announced on May 2, 2006. See: http://dva.state.wi.us/News_Releases/NA050206a.asp
A press release from Rep Steve Buyer (R-IN) gives even more insight into Mr. McLendon's VA concerns. See: http://veterans.house.gov/news/109/4-20-05e.html where the testimony was about "ways to achieve closer integration between the Department's VR&E program and the Department of Labor's Veterans Employment and Training Service". That translates into "vets get make-work jobs, not benefits."
Mr. McLendon's position in the VA "organization is found at http://www1.va.gov/op3/page.cfm?pg=10 and at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/plumbook/2004/p144-152_va.pdf.
A 2004 VA study in which Mr. McLendon was involved as a task force member was entitled "VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Task Force". Page 170 (numbered page 162) says it all: "Twenty-first Century views of disabilities have shifted from the negative aspects of disabilities to a focus on the abilities of persons with disabilities with a rapid return-to-work strategy" or more accurately "vets get make-work jobs, not benefits." See http://www1.va.gov/op3/docss/VRE_Report.pdf
A Google search of "Michael H. McLendon" shows that he is a charter sponsor of the Air Force Memorial Foundation with a rank of Lieuntenant Colonel. See: http://www.airforcememorial.org/ch_sponsors/index_results.asp?last_name=m . Members of his family may also be listed as sponsors.
Thanks to the Washington Post, (see: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/25/AR2006052501237.html ) we know the individual who had the hard drive stolen from his home with data about approximately 19 to 26 million veterans was a 60 year old GS-14 working as an IT specialist at VA. It is quite odd that McLendon was forced to resign before the IT specialist who had illegal possession of the data outside of the VA. Whoever heard of a 60 year old, GS-14 IT specialist? This GS-14 is probably playing some powerful cards on some powerful VA personalities.
my thank to Hugh Cox a veterans attorney and advocate who contributed this to the VA Watchdog.org.
So we had another political appointee at the VA, whose specialty it is to reduce costs, in otherwords find a way to reduce disabled veterans compensation payments, by creating them positions somewhere to make them employable, and with no guarantee the job would pay the equivalent of the VA compensation they would be losing by becoming employable under the proposed revamping. Nothing good comes out of sneaky stuff like this and the IOM PTSD review, and the Veterans Disability Reveiw Commission, all I see is a picture of the Republican agenda to reduce disabled veterans benefits, this during a time when they have us in a war of their making and choice. Tax cute for the ultra rich and compensation cuts for disabled veterans, Mr President your priorities are all wrong sir, and I hope the new Democratic Congress in 2007 stops all these fine plans you have crafting right now, you and your brain need to go back where you came from and take all of Turdblossoms friends with you.
PS Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. Take the VA Colonel with you, he has no honor left like the rest of you, somehow when you get inside the Beltway, you lose all common sense._______