View Full Version : Bible study was more important than doing his job

Greg P H
03-01-2008, 05:46 PM
Now he's got all the time he needs...

Maybe the veterans can get some some Health care

Embattled Veterans Official Resigns Post
By Aaron Glantz
Inter Press Service Friday 29 February 2008

San Francisco - Another high-ranking George W. Bush administration official has resigned. The Department of Veterans Affairs Undersecretary for Benefits Daniel Cooper quit Thursday amid mounting criticism over a backlog of disability claims for injured veterans that runs six months long and an appearance he made in a fundraising video for an evangelical Christian organisation where he said Bible study was more important than doing his job.
Cooper has been under fire for using his office to proselytise for evangelical Christianity ever since he appeared in a 2004 fundraising video for Christian Embassy, which carries out missionary work among the Washington elite as part of the Campus Crusade for Christ.
In the video, Cooper says of his Bible study, "It's not really about carving out time, it really is a matter of saying what is important. And since that's more important than doing the job - the job's going to be there, whether I'm there or not."
Cooper's declaration inflamed veterans who saw the number of veterans waiting for the Veterans Administration (VA) to decide their disability claims balloon to 400,000 on his watch, with the average veteran waiting six months for a decision from the government.
"He was clearly a fundamentalist Christian first and essentially a government paid missionary for his particular world view of the gospel of Jesus Christ," said Mike Weinstein, who runs the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. "The fact that he's gone obviously is good."
Spokespersons for the Department of Veterans Affairs refused to grant an interview for this story.
In a statement, Bush's Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Peake praised Cooper, saying, "Dan Cooper's leadership, management savvy and personable touch were indispensable in guiding VA benefits programmes into the Internet era and adapting the department to the needs of service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan."
Most veterans groups disagree.
"Cooper was in charge of and responsible for massive injustice for hundreds of thousands of veterans who slipped through the cracks waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for disability benefits," said Paul Sullivan, executive director of the group Veterans for Common Sense.
"He was fully aware that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were putting a burden on VA in 2004 and he did nothing," Sullivan added. "In 2005, he was told again. He did nothing. In 2006, he was told again. He did nothing. In 2007, when the Walter Reed scandal broke, all Cooper could do was say that he would make some marginal changes."
Cooper's resignation - for "personal reasons" - comes two on the heels of President Bush's signing two months ago of the Dignity for Wounded Warriors Act, which has numerous provisions designed to lessen the bureaucracy that wounded veterans face when they return home from Iraq or Afghanistan. Veterans' advocates say they hope Daniel Cooper's resignation will lead to serious changes in the way the VA does its job.
But Matt Cary, the president of Veterans and Military Families for Progress, says the Bush administration has been slow to implement key reforms.
"I'm concerned that agencies that are this large and have been institutionalised for a long time will have difficulty in streamlining this and moving it quick enough to alleviate the needs of veterans and their families," Cary told IPS.
More than 263,000 veterans have received treatment from the VA after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Close to 250,000 have filed disability claims. A new book released this week co-authored by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz estimates that 700,000 U.S. war veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan will eventually file for disability.
"They need to have this income," Cary said. "If it's a disabled veteran, then the spouse needs to stay home and take care of that veteran and the faster that they can move this process along, the easier it will be for that spouse to be able to go to work and provide additional income for their family."
Pentagon studies show about 20 percent of returning veterans (320,000 people) suffer from physical brain damage called traumatic brain injury. Government studies also show that as many 50 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans (800,000 people) suffer from the psychological injury post-traumatic stress disorder.
Daniel Cooper's resignation is effective Apr. 1. Under federal law, a search commission will be put together to present recommendations for Cooper's successor to the secretary to propose to the president for appointment. The VA's under-secretary for benefits is subject to Senate confirmation and serves at the pleasure of the president.
Aaron Glantz has reported extensively from Iraq and on the treatment of US soldiers when they return home. He is editor of the website www.warcomeshome.org (http://www.warcomeshome.org/) and will be co-hosting Pacifica Radio's live broadcast of the Winter Soldier hearings from March 14-16.

Greg P H
03-01-2008, 07:00 PM
I'm thinking a list of the competent ones would be easier :D

We should applaud the few that served the country rather than the party.

03-01-2008, 07:50 PM
I'd like to see a sumary of George Bush's appointees.... it seems that every time I turn around, yet another is shown to be incompetent, of idealogy-bound, or in some other way a really bad selection......
This one resigned Friday after admitting that he had repeatedly plagiarized from other writers.

The aide, Tim Goeglein, had worked for Bush since 2001 as a liaison aide to social and religious conservatives, an important component of the president's political base. Goeglein was influential in decisions on a range of questions important to that constituency, including stem cell research, abortion and faith-based initiatives.

Vince Brennan
03-01-2008, 08:14 PM
Just in the interest of fairness to political gerbils, I can remember a bunch of Clinton's appointees being bounced from their offices as well, and I'm sure that if we snoop backwards, we'll find as many from Reagan, Johnson and quite a few from Kennedy. Strangely, I don't remember that many (if any) from Bush41's Admin selections, nor from Jimmy's, but that may be "blindsight" on my part.

The long and the short of it is that you can't exclusively nail any one Presidential administration for appointing "gerbils" to the jobs.... these gerbils we have always amongst us and a lot of them get these jobs for long and loyal service to the party, with minor personal knowledge of their attributes by the apponter.

Upshot? They're all crooks. Every feckin' one of 'em. So why are we bemused when one bolts from cover and becomes the "target du jour"? More appropriately, we should be bemused by the number that can retain their cover and remain unnoticed.

03-02-2008, 06:26 AM
According to a study the other day, 80% (?) of Americans believe that on a scale of one to ten, Gods daily influence on their lives rates at 8.5.
That's getting scary.

bob winter
03-02-2008, 08:04 AM
Its beyond scary. Who did the study?

03-02-2008, 08:21 AM
Vince, the emphasis this administration placed on loyalty and ideological purity cultivated the gerbils.

03-03-2008, 07:03 PM
Bob, I'm not sure and I can't remember which radio program I heard it on either. This is annoying as I like to be able to backup my comments with a source. I may have the % wrong, 80% seems extremely high even for the US. It would make the US one of the most fundamentalist non- Muslim countries on the Planet.

CK 17
03-04-2008, 04:17 PM
According to a study the other day, 80% (?) of Americans believe that on a scale of one to ten, Gods daily influence on their lives rates at 8.5.
That's getting scary.

That seems kind of high in the circles i spend my time in. I'll bet it's just as high or higher in places like mexico or india. . . .