Accountability missing over death benefits fiasco

info@islandpacket.comOctober 28, 2013 

I see the blame game, finger-pointing and cover-it-up approach for the White House's mess-up of death benefits for our military. It's very reminiscent of their mishandling of the embarrassing mess over Benghazi and the unrelated video.

The White House claims that H.R.3210 didn't permit them to make the payments because of faulty legislation, and the president fixed it as soon as he learned about it.

If it were you, wouldn't you tell those who were responsible for the spotty legislation to fix it?

Here's what has gotten too little attention.

Rep. Joe Wilson wrote on Oct. 4 to the man the president chose to be his Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, saying that there were delays in payments of paying critical allowances and specifically mentioned burial benefits.

Wilson did not receive an answer.

Did the president know? Maybe. Should he have known? I think a competent commander in chief would have known.

I know from my time on staff of a Washington based quasi-military organization, there was a rule: all congressional inquiries would receive a response within 24 hours. I believe that was common practice in dealing with congressional inquiries back in those days.

Today's practice seems to be "never let a crisis go to waste."

By calling Wilson's office, you can get a copy of his letter to Hagel or try the Defense Department. See how fast they answer you.

Richard Geraghty

Hilton Head Island

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