The Veterans Administration scandal has put unjust pressure on Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign, says Ralph Peters, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and Fox News strategic analyst.
"The lynch mob going after Gen. Shinseki is outrageous and wrong-headed. Some of them have their hearts in the right place, some of them have their heads up their butts," Peters told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"The Veterans Administration is never going to get a better, more selfless, and more dedicated boss than Gen. Eric Shinseki. I always challenge people, OK, you want to get rid of Shinseki, who are you going to put in there? Give me a name," Peters said Tuesday.
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Shinseki has been under fire since reports emerged that at least 40 veterans died while awaiting care at a Phoenix VA hospital after being placed on a secret waiting list. The VA's Albuquerque hospital is also under investigation for allegedly hiding the length of time patients were made to wait for treatment.
Last week, Shinseki accepted the resignation of Dr. Robert Petzel, undersecretary for health in the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Peters said there is no reason for Shinseki to fall on his sword and that there are many good things about the Veterans Administration.
"Quality people aren't lining up to take that job. It's the most thankless job in Washington,'' said Peters, author of the Civil War novel "Hell or Richmond,''
published by Forge Books.
"Eric Shinseki [is] a wounded veteran himself, lost half his foot to a landmine in Vietnam. He was a retired four-star general, former Army chief of staff.
"Shinseki could have gone out and prostituted himself to the defense industry the way so many generals and admirals do. He could have been making millions of dollars every year doing just about nothing. Instead, he passed on that, took a thankless job, and he has been making things better.''
Peters acknowledged there are problems within the VA, but added: "Every one of my friends who relies on the VA is actually pretty happy with their care. They feel it's better than most civilian healthcare.''
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