Would you be outraged if I told you the federal government gathered 300,000 of our veterans, marched them onto 200 ocean liners the size of Titanic, dispatched them out into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, then sank every ship and sent all those Americans to their deaths?
You and everyone else would be outraged. It's an unthinkable, obscene act, a crime against humanity, and yet we now know, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general, that's essentially what the federal government may have done.
Revealed in a shocking new report, the inspector general says at least 300,000 veterans died while waiting for their applications for benefits to be approved.
While the impact of a passive-aggressive act is less dramatic than actually setting up a killing center, we get the same result. Regardless if action sent them to a death panel or inaction was the method by simply doing nothing to get them the help they requested, the result is the same - a dead man or woman who served this nation.
Think about that: The incompetence, ineptitude and corruption at the VA killed so many veterans it's the equivalent of 200 Titanics. The number of dead veterans is also more than the 250,000 souls lost in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, appropriately considered one of the most horrific losses of life in human history.
The Civil War's Battle at Gettysburg, the largest battle ever fought in North America, cost 51,000 soldiers their lives. Now our own government, under the guise of "health care" for our heroes, has apparently delivered upon us the death equivalent of six battles at Gettysburg.
I offer these perspectives because those who rely on legacy media wouldn't necessarily know this has happened. They'd know all about football quarterback Tom Brady's suspension being reversed by a judge. They'd know about the county clerk in Kentucky refusing to issue gay marriage licenses. Heck, that's been the No. 1 story on the Google news lineup for days now. According to one news wire server, President Obama apparently "stared down" a glacier in Alaska, because of global warming or something. That was big news, too.
But the undeniable statement about how a massive bureaucracy has turned into a malevolent and corrupt messenger of mass death isn't news. That fact alone reminds us of political theorist Hannah Arendt's introduction of the concept of the "banality of evil," or how evil doesn't exist exclusively in sociopaths or monsters per se, but can manifest in the most ordinary of people, depending on the circumstance.
No one is fired, nothing is shut down. There are more excuses, more pandering, more assurances. How many more need to die before this diseased federal government and its handmaidens admit big government not only doesn't work, but in fact it's a deadly machine, so large it can no longer conceive of the humanity attached to a name, a Social Security number or service record.
Our vets are people who were prepared to give their lives defending the freedom this nation not only represents, but offers all of humanity. They fought for her and came home to a bureaucracy that didn't care and "deleted" them. Or ignored them. These individuals were an extra piece of paper, an application to hide, a number on a sheet to throw away.
According to Fox News, the inspector general's report came in response to a whistleblower warning of the likelihood that 200,000 vets died waiting for the bureaucracy to get to them.
These numbers are staggering, but they're the tip of the iceberg. The 300,000 is part a mindboggling 800,000 records (also known to us regular people as individual vets) stuck in the system, some for decades. On top of that, the inspector general found VA staffers likely deleted an additional 10,000 or more applications in just the last five years.
Want more evidence of the monster big government becomes? Try this from CNN: "The report said an internal VA investigation in 2010 found staffers had hidden veterans' applications in their desks so they could process them at a later time, but human resources later recommended the staffers responsible not be disciplined. Scott Davis, a program specialist at the VA Health Eligibility Center, said thousands more veterans who have returned from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan have not received care because of being erroneously placed in the enrollment system's backlog. He said many of these combat veterans have since lost their five-year eligibility for care due to the delay."
Evil. Banal indeed.
• Tammy Bruce is a radio talk show host.