4/24/12, "Where Are the Rolling Heads from NOAA?" Mike Johnson, American Thinker
"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 here 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....
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.
Why? Because the NOAA outrages are based on cronyism and fully condoned by our current brand of Big Government. Dr. Jane Lubchenco (pictured) the person who decides on reward or punishment at NOAA, is an environmental superstar and Obama's favorite eco-zealot. Dr. Lubchenco, with the cognizance and support of the president, has filled the upper management of NOAA with like-minded eco-zealots. They are knowingly and purposefully shrinking the fishing fleet, driving hardworking Americans out of business and out of work to consolidate the industry. Their goal, echoing the Environmental Defense Fund, is to turn fish and fishing into a commodity-based enterprise for the gain of their cronies.
Nils E. Stolpe has written extensively on this subject. I highly recommend his "The Big Green Money Machine - how anti-fishing activists are taking over NOAA." His article includes a link to a database that documents the astounding funding that the Green Money Machine has poured into its war on the fishing industry.
Now we know why nobody gets punished at NOAA. What about it, Senator Grassley? You said, "I want to make sure heads roll" on the CBS News show previously linked. Are you just another empty suit named Chuck?
Where are the heads rolling out of NOAA?"