Sigh, long day, I had so much more I wanted to share, but now, I’m going to be relegated to perhaps sharing something people may have already known. I didn’t, and I think this is important enough to be kept alive and given new life if possible. I’ll mostly be quoting or paraphrasing from the American Thinker. To recap a couple of recent scandals from the administration…. there’s been so many I can barely recall the tax dodgers they wanted to run our economy for us. But, that’s not what I’m really writing about. I’ve written about both of them already. I’m including it for context. So the reader can get a sense of the inequity of the responses. For the more avid reader here, you can skip down to the bold capped !!!!!
Scandals are shaking the Obama administration. Personnel with the highest of security clearances are being intimate, in the most basic definition of the word, with foreign nationals. Pillow talk, anyone?
Last week, a dozen or so Secret Service agents, including a couple of supervisors, did what boys do. Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am! Problem was, they were on duty in a foreign country, protecting the president. Not a good thing.
The first cut made for three heads: one supervisor gone, allowed to retire; another supervisor being discharged, with 30 days to mount a defense; a third non-supervisory person resigned. Three more were announced on 20 April, and there are probably more to come.
Six and counting! Secret Service behavior will be better in the future.
A couple of weeks earlier, we were told of some hijinks at the GSA. That’s the GSA that is chartered with overseeing the spending of our money. The following is from the Washington Post on 2 April:
The chief of the General Services Administration resigned, two of her top deputies were fired and four managers were placed on leave Monday amid reports of lavish spending at a conference off the Las Vegas Strip[.]
That’s three GSA heads gone and four other heads hovering above the block. A very definite message in the behavioral department.
Two scandals, two forceful responses, and two problems fixed.
BUT HERE IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!!!!!
In the meantime, a human tragedy is occurring driven by a much more expensive if equally sordid scandal at NOAA that goes on under the radar of media attention. Steve Urbon of the New Bedford Standard-Times asks, “What about our scandal?”
Back in February 2011, CBS News did an exposé on the NOAA law enforcement scandal. As far as I know, this has been the only national coverage of the outrage other than what’s appeared at American Thinker (AT). AT has been reporting on the NOAA scandal for the past two years. Many of the citations and links in this essay are from AT’s coverage. CBS showed a clip of Senator Grassley, who said, “I want to make sure that heads roll … because in a bureaucracy, if heads don’t roll, you don’t change behavior.”
NOAA law enforcement was running essentially unsupervised for years, inflicting huge fines on fishermen for small infractions and putting the collected monies in a slush fund used for lavish trips and booze-cruise luxury boats.
NOAA law enforcement collected close to $100,000,000 in fines and seized goods from fishermen over the past several years. The Department of Commerce IG investigated and found that only about $60M could be accounted for, while some $40M is just plain gone. This is not taxpayer money, but money taken in huge chunks from fishermen for infractions, some very minor. Claims by the fishermen of coercion and extortion were validated by the IG. See the IG reports here, here, and here.
One single fisherman, Larry Yacobian, ended up paying $450,000 in fines and owing $250,000 in legal fees. He was forced to sell his boats, his gear, and the farm that had been in his wife’s family since the days of the Pilgrims. A special master appointed by the IG found that Mr. Yacobian had been treated unfairly. The government returned $400,000 to Mr. Yacobian, and the Secretary of Commerce, Gary Locke, apologized personally.
But nobody has ever been punished.
I’m more than appalled at this behavior. This is truly criminal. People don’t need to be fired, they need to go to prison.