June 18, 2014

JAMES TARANTO: Is The Ocean Vet? The VA and the Obama administration’s priorities.

“VA officials were not immediately available for comment Monday,” the Washington Times reported yesterday. “Representatives at the national VA declined to comment on the record for this story,” the Daily Beast informed us late last month. “The VA did not immediately respond to a request for comment,” according to a mid-May NBC News report.

Those are the first three of some 70 no-comments compiled by the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee for a webpage optimistically titled “VA Honesty Project,” whose purpose is “to highlight the Department of Veterans Affairs’ lack of transparency with the press and the public about its operations and activities.”

“Because the Department of Veterans Affairs is a taxpayer funded organization, it has a responsibility to fully explain itself to the press and the public,” the committee’s site declares. “Unfortunately, in many cases VA is failing in this responsibility, as department officials–including 54 full-time public affairs employees–routinely ignore media inquiries.”

To be sure, the VA, both its flacks and its managers, have had their hands full of late dealing with the recent revelations of incompetence and corruption–reported to have proved deadly in some cases–at the department’s network of hospitals.

Or have they? Somehow whoever administers the department’s official Twitter account found time yesterday morning to post this comment: “Our ocean is under threat. Join people all over the world and make a difference. #OurOcean2014 http://thndr.it/1tP7rrQ.”

There’s always time for our political class to talk about global warming, instead of doing its job.

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