This is one of those stories that you actually hope to God never happened, because of course you’d prefer that somebody lied to you about a veteran getting beaten by cops than for it to actually have happened. But it’s being reported in local news, too: the short version is that the widow and family of Jonathan Montano claim that Veterans Affairs Police essentially beat Mr. Montano into having a eventually-fatal stroke as part of their restraining of the man during an argument over treatment. The VA did its own investigation, which concluded that the man fell and hit his head; the problem for the VA here is that the percentage of the populace that are ready to trust anything that the VA says these days has significantly dropped.
I mean, under normal circumstances I might not have even written about this – but this was before I had it ground into my face that the federal government has spent the last five years covering up fatal service delays in VA hospitals. Exactly how am I supposed to give them the benefit of the doubt, here? Not just why: how? For all I know, VA cops get extra overbearing whenever they think that they can get away with it. …And that is one major, often under-emphasized, problem with things like the VA scandals; to wit, those scandals erode basic trust in the institutions that are caught up in them.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: I don’t think that there’s an answer besides firing people* – starting with the Cabinet Secretary – for cause en masse. Which includes killing their pensions. And destroying the travel budgets of the survivors.
PPS: Turns out that Megan McArdle also thinks that mass firings at the VA would be salubrious, although she (I think) finds the idea more painful than I would.
*Putting some of them in jail would be great… if you can do that. It’s not as easy as it looks.