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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Top Officials Knew Of V.A. Woes, Before The Scandal

Obama's newest N. Korea "threat" lasts only one diversionary week at best in delaying VA Gate scandal; newest White House propaganda "crisis" due to make it's debut - what will it be this time around?

NEW YORK TIMES
By Richard A. Oppel Jr.
12/25/2014

Long before revelations in the spring that the Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix had manipulated waiting lists to hide that veterans were facing long delays to see doctors, senior department officials in Washington had been made aware of serious problems at the hospital, according to filings before a federal administrative board.


The documents in the case of the Phoenix hospital director Sharon Helman, who had been contesting her Nov. 24 firing, provided new details of how much officials knew about the medical center, including patient backlogs, shortages of medical personnel and clinic space, and long waiting lists.

The filings included the sworn statement of Susan Bowers, the executive in charge of dozens of hospitals and clinics from West Texas to Arizona, that she had warned her superiors in Washington that if any V.A. medical center was going to “implode,” it would be Phoenix.


Ms. Bowers, who retired one month ahead of schedule in May as the scandal emerged, said that before Ms. Helman became the head of the Phoenix facility in 2012, an audit showed the hospital was out of compliance with a directive requiring patients to be placed on an official electronic waiting list. There was, in fact, no such active list for primary-care patients in Phoenix, even though a previous hospital director had certified compliance, she said.


In addition to death lists, Helman accepted illegal bribes and gifts from corporate criminals

Ms. Bowers said that when she submitted a report stating that the Phoenix hospital was out of compliance, she was pressured by other officials to say that it was compliant.

Ms. Bowers said that when she submitted a report stating that the Phoenix hospital was out of compliance, she was pressured by other officials to say that it was compliant.


She also said that beginning in 2009, she briefed Eric K. Shinseki, then theDepartment of Veterans Affairs secretary, and other top officials several times a year about the patient backlog and other problems in Phoenix. She said that projects she pushed — like improving the scheduling system or adding clinic space in Phoenix so more patients could be seen — were defunded or delayed because, she was told, there was no money, or no legal mechanism to lease space. Ms. Bowers’s testimony added a dimension to a scandal that shook the confidence of millions of veterans who use the department’s hospitals and clinics and led to the ouster of Mr. Shinseki in May. After a whistle-blower charged that there were secret waiting lists for care at Phoenix, an investigation by the department’s inspector general found that 1,700 patients there had not been placed on proper waiting lists and may never have received medical care. 


A top official in the inspector general’s office also testified that delays for care had contributed to some patient deaths.




The inspector general’s report faulted Ms. Helman for efforts that “resulted in a misleading portrayal of veterans’ access to patient care.” Before she was placed on leave in May, Ms. Helman denied instructing staff members to create or maintain “secret” waiting lists, telling CNN, “It’s never come from me.”


This week, a federal administrative judge, Stephen C. Mish, found that it was “more likely than not that at least some senior agency leaders were aware, or should have been, of nationwide problems getting veterans scheduled for timely appointments” and that the Phoenix hospital, “as a part of the nationwide system also had those problems.”

He ruled that the department failed to provide sufficient evidence that Ms. Helman should have been fired over the conditions at Phoenix. 


Still, he upheld her dismissal on separate charges of taking favors from a health care industry consultant.

A V.A. spokeswoman declined to comment on the litigation. Earlier, the department said it removed Ms. Helman “based on the available evidence.”




In filings in Ms. Helman’s case, the department also acknowledged that before April 2014, three high-ranking officials, including a deputy under secretary for health and the associate director for scheduling and access, were aware of issues at Phoenix related to wait times, the electronic waiting list or patient appointment backlogs.


A sworn statement by the former under secretary for health, Dr. Robert Petzel, also stated that before Ms. Helman arrived, the “V.A. was aware of access issues” in Phoenix. Mr. Shinseki, however, according to the filings, said that he was “unable to recall the contents of the briefings” from Ms. Bowers and “did not recall any of the allegations regarding Phoenix being raised during any budget presentation.” One crucial question remains: Why did senior officials not do more to fix the underlying problem, which was a shortage of doctors and other clinicians while demand for care was soaring? 


After the appointment of a new secretary this summer, the department abruptly disclosed that it was short 28,000 doctors, nurses and other staff and that some places, including Phoenix, acutely lacked clinic space. It has not been said whether these shortfalls were previously discussed at high levels inside the department or the Obama administration.


Judge Mish’s ruling suggests Ms. Helman was scapegoated, her lawyers say. Seeking to convince people of “its preferred story line” that blamed her and others in Phoenix instead of senior officials, the department purposely made them “bear the brunt of the contrived political outrage,” one of her law firms, Shaw Bransford & Roth, said in a statement, though it did not say whether she planned to appeal. Her lawyers say they believe the department moved to fire her only after federal criminal investigators discovered emails between Ms. Helman and the consultant and turned them over to the V.A.


The documents are not the first indication that senior officials knew of the Phoenix problems. In 2008, the inspector general found that it was “an accepted past practice” there to alter appointments to avoid waits over 30 days.




Two years later, a deputy under secretary warned regional directors in a memo to eliminate improper practices being used to “improve scores on assorted access measures.” In a telephone interview after the judge’s ruling in the case, Ms. Bowers said that 2010 memo was written after she told the official of scheduling problems in Phoenix.

When she briefed Mr. Shinseki about problems, she added, he would say, “There’s a process, and we need to follow through on the process.”



This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Three S. Korea Workers Die After Inhaling Gas At Nuclear Plant Site

Nuclear industry criminals, South Korean government try to spin deaths

AP VIA THE TORONTO STAR
12/26/2014

SEOUL, KOREA — 
Three South Korean workers died Friday after apparently inhaling toxic gas at a construction site for a nuclear plant being built by South Korea’s monopoly nuclear power company, which has come under recent threats by hackers, a company official said.


"If Abe is getting away with the Fukushima cover-up
this should be a snap!"
The accident at the construction site in the southeastern city of Ulsan came as the state-run Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. was on high alert over a series of threats by hackers who claim they can disable the control systems of its plants. Choi Hee-ye, a company spokeswoman, said there was no reason to believe that Friday’s accident was linked to the cyberattack threats.

The victims were working at the construction site when they fell unconscious and were taken to a hospital, where they later died, Choi said.


The company has yet to determine the cause of the accident, although the leaking of nitrogen was suspected, she said.

Nitrogen is used at nuclear plants to reduce the oxygen levels in the cooling water to slow the oxidation of the equipment or to control pressure levels in tanks, according to Kim Sang-gyeong, a Korea Hydro spokesman. Kim couldn’t confirm whether the plant under construction, which was undergoing test runs, was using nitrogen in such ways.

Construction of the plant is scheduled to be completed in June.


Following Fukushima ongoing cover-up, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. along with government liars now face intense scrutiny by journalists who won't be fooled again - or silenced

Last week, documents including layouts of nuclear facilities and personal information of nuclear workers were published online. Local media said the unidentified people who posted images of the stolen nuclear documents imprinted with “WHO AM I?” on a South Korean blog were hackers. The company said that the safety of the country’s nuclear power plants was not affected.

Korea Hydro ran drills on Monday and Tuesday to prepare workers in the event of hacking attacks.




This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

New NSA Reports Show Spy Agency Routinely Collected Intel On Americans

Despite Obama smear campaign Ed Snowden vindicated; NSA must be disbanded along with the CIA, it's domestic spies all prosecuted, convicted, imprisoned - Christmas release to tamp down impact old as the hills and Americans have long been hip to trickery of Obama's MSM lapdogs  

RT
12/26/2014

Hundreds of pages of reports previously classified top-secret were released by the National Security Agency on Christmas Eve. They reveal dozens of instances of the NSA unlawfully spying on United States citizens over the last decade.


The cache of files — a collection of quarterly and annual reports sent from the NSA’s inspector general to the president’s Intelligence Oversight Board dating back to 2001— were published on Wednesday this week, pursuant to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union that has compelled the agency to provide public copies, albeit highly redacted ones, of the IG’s past findings. A cursory glance though the documents shows NSA analysts wrongfully targeted US citizens for surveillance many times a year, and regularly collected signals intelligence, or SIGINT, on innocent Americans. One document [PDF], a quarterly report compiled for the president’s Intelligence Oversight Board in early 2012, reveals that an NSA agent even routinely spied on her spouse for upwards of three years.


“In an interview,” the report reads in part, “…the analyst reported that, during the past two or three years, she had searched her spouse’s personal telephone directory without his knowledge to obtain names and telephone numbers for targeting.”


Deer in the headlights:  NSA traitor Alexander tries, fails to pull off  Nixonian "limited hangout" over Christmas in the false hope Americans will be too preoccupied to notice

“Although the investigation is ongoing, the analyst has been advised to cease her activities,” the report continues.

Wednesday’s document dump was first spotted by Bloomberg News’ David Lerman, who wrote that the data suggests the NSA has violated either federal law or US policy for more than a decade.


Vindicated:  Ed Snowden, NSA whistleblower
“Because of the extensive redactions, the publicly available documents don’t make clear how many violations occurred and how many were unlawful. While the reports contain no names or details of specific cases, they show how intelligence analysts sometimes have violated policy to conduct unauthorized surveillance work,” Lerman wrote.


According to the information in the unredacted documents, human error, software flaws and ill-trained agents have all been blamed for policy breaches, in which American citizens were illegally subjected to NSA surveillance. These programs aimed to put foreigners’ internet records and phone logs in the hands of US intelligence for counterintelligence.


“NSA goes to great lengths to ensure compliance with the Constitution, laws and regulations,” the agency said in a statement accompanying Wednesday’s release. “As conveyed in the released materials, an array of technical and human-based checks attempt to identify and correct errors, some amount of which occur naturally in any large, complex system.


Nevertheless, as the IOB reports make clear, NSA takes even unintentional errors seriously and institutes corrective action, typically involving at a minimum a combination of training and technical measures designed to prevent recurrences. Data incorrectly acquired is almost always deleted, referred to as the ‘purge’ process.”




The hundreds of pages published this week reveal that, in instances where the NSA admitted to wrongfully targeting US persons, data was destroyed. On some occasions, however, the issues at hand involved the dissemination of wrongfully collected material by and to persons unauthorized to access that information.

The reports show “how the NSA has misused the information it collects [sic] over the past decade,”Patrick Toomey, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, told the Wall Street Journal, and “…show an urgent need for greater oversight by all three branches of government.”




This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Jordan Denies ISIS Shot Down Its Warplane

Obama poodle Abdullah operating under the fantasy that the world is as gullible and easily terrorised into silence as his "subjects"  

AFP VIA AL ARABIYA
12/26/2014

“But since the wreckage of the plane cannot be reached and since its pilot is not present, we cannot at this moment determine the exact cause of the crash.”

Jordan’s military Friday denied claims by ISIS to have shot down one of its warplanes which crashed in Syria, after the pilot was captured by the jihadists.


"No shit, we don't know exactly what caused 
the crash but we DO know it wasn't a U.S.
Stinger missile fired by a CIA/ISIS jihadist."
“First indications show that the crash of the Jordanian military plane in the area of the Syrian city of Raqa was not caused by Daesh fire,” a military official said using another name for ISIS.

“But since the wreckage of the plane cannot be reached and since its pilot is not present, we cannot at this moment determine the exact cause of the crash,” the official said in remarks published on the army’s website.

Muath al-Kassasbeh, a 26-year-old first lieutenant in the Jordanian air force, was captured by ISIS on Wednesday after his F-16 jet crashed while on a mission against the jihadists over northern Syria.


The U.S. military has also dismissed the jihadists’ claim to have hit the jet with an anti-aircraft missile, saying “evidence clearly suggests that ISIL (ISIS) did not down the aircraft.”

The crash was the first warplane from the U.S.-led coalition lost since air strikes on ISIS began in Syria in September, and marks a major propaganda victory for the Sunni extremist group.




Jordan is among a number of countries that have joined the air raids against ISIS.

Coalition warplanes have carried out regular strikes around Raqa, which ISIS has used as its de facto capital since declaring a “caliphate” in June straddling large parts of Iraq and Syria.




This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

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ANDREW KREIG: EXPERTS REJECT FIRE AS CAUSE FOR 9/11 WTC COLLAPSES

The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

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Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of

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The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

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STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States.

READ MORE >>

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Geopolitics Of The United States Part 2: American Identity And The Threats of Tomorrow

A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

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We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.

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By Robert S. Finnegan

This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...

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UPDATED 01/07/2015 : New Analysis Challenges Tamiflu Efficacy; Hong Kong Corona Virus Outbreak

UPDATED 01/07/2015 : FOX NEWS CORPORATE PHARMA SHILL MEGAN KELLY AND FOX NEWS QUACK DOCTOR NOW PUSHING TAMIFLU FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN;

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THE 5TH ESTATE UNEQUIVOCALLY WARNS THE PUBLIC NOT TO TAKE OR GIVE THIS PROVEN DANGEROUS, INEFFECTIVE DRUG TO ANYONE

Obama criminals now resulting to biowarfare in quest to destroy Chinese and ASEAN economy; "novel virus substrain" points directly to a Kawaoka / Fouchier / Ernala-Ginting Kobe lab virus weaponized and genetically altered to specifically target and infect the Asian population: Ribavirin...

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The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .

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By Robert S. Finnegan

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.

READ MORE >>