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Service to those who have served

After allowing the Department of Veterans Affairs to go for months without a permanent inspector general, President Barack Obama finally is nominating someone for the post. He is Michael J. Missal, a Washington lawyer in private practice.

Clearly, the VA needs a no-holds-barred inspector general to root out waste and misdeeds that harm veterans. So Obama’s action is to be welcomed.

But the VA also lacks accountability. Despite many well-known failures, some probably involving criminal behavior, punishment for those responsible has been of the slap-on-the-wrist variety.

Obama’s action represents no more than a good start, then. What the public – and Congress, which has the power to enforce reforms – should be demanding is service to those who have served.

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