theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

VA secretary admits he lied about Army service

By Joe Tacopino
President Obama’s secretary of Veterans Affairs lied about his military career when he claimed he served in the Army’s Special Forces.
Robert McDon­ald — who took charge of the agency amid a scandal over veterans dying while awaiting treatment at VA facilities — made the comment in a conversation with a homeless vet in LA.
“Special Forces? What years? I was in Special Forces!” McDonald, 61, tells the man.
The conversation was recorded by a CBS News crew.
McDonald graduated from West Point, completed Army Ranger training and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, the Huffington Post said.
But he never served in the Special Forces.
After his fabrication was revealed, McDonald released an apology Monday in which he admitted the lie.
“I incorrectly stated that I had been in Special Forces,” his statement read. “That was inaccurate and I apologize to anyone that was offended by my misstatement.”
Real Special Forces members were baffled by the secretary’s dishonesty.
“What a boneheaded statement,” former senior Special Forces Commander Col. Gary Bloomberg told the Huffington Post.
“Is this what we want from our senior government officials?”
Obama appointed McDonald to the position last year after then-Secretary Eric Shinseki was forced out over the scandal.
As many as 40 veterans died while waiting to be treated at a VA hospital in Phoenix. Other facilities soon vecame embroiled in the scandal.
The White House told ABC Monday that it was satisfied with McDonald’s explanation.
“We take him at his word and expect that this will not impact the important work he’s doing to promote the health and well-being of our nation’s veterans,” a spokesperson said.

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