Is Toyota Guilty or Victim of Justice Department Shakedown?

It’s all over the news today:  Attorney General Eric Holder announced Wednesday the U.S. government has reached a $1.2 billion settlement with Toyota that ends a four-year criminal investigation into the automaker’s response to safety issues.  But is the Japanese automaker really guilty of wrongdoing?

Click image above to read more articles about the Toyota recalls.

Click image above to read more articles about the Toyota recalls.

I ask that question after today’s headlines prompted me to take a trip back into the Bob McCarty Writes archives.  There, I found several articles worth sharing again.

In a Feb. 5, 2010, piece, Obama Administration Sending Wrong Signals, I opened by stating that no one could blame Toyota Motor Company officials for feeling as if they’ve been on the “hot seat” for an inordinately-long period of time.  Then I listed four noteworthy incidents to back up my opinion:

• On Sept. 29, the company issued a recall related to floor mats interfering with accelerator pedals of seven Toyota models;

• On Jan. 21, the company issued another recall, this time related to issues with the accelerator pedals of eight Toyota and Lexus models;

• On Feb. 4, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood offered inaccurate off-the-cuff advice to drivers of Toyota vehicles; and

Today, Toyota President Akio Toyoda issued an apology on behalf of his company amidst news the company is reportedly considering a recall of its Toyota Prius model over issues related to its braking system.

I went on to cite an AFP article, Is US bullying Toyota on recall?, before asking and answering the question, “Why would the Obama Administration want to bully Toyota?”

I explained that two primary reasons existed for Obama’s actions:

• President Obama wants to hurt sales at Toyota and increase sales at General Motors and Chrysler, the companies in which the federal government has an ownership stake; and

President Obama wants to help the United Auto Workers employees who work at GM and Chrysler plants, many of which have shuttered in recent years.

UAW "Ready for the Next Course" by My Personal LitmusAlso on Feb. 5, 2010, I asked the question, Is Toyota Paying Price for Not Supporting Obama?, before highlighting Federal Election Commission records that revealed only two of the 151 executives whose biographies appeared on the Toyota web site at the time made contributions to Obama’s presidential campaign between Jan. 1, 2007, and Feb. 4, 2010.

Three days later, I pointed out how federal government officials had failed to issue a recall for the GM-produced Chevy Cobalt despite the fact it had received more complaints per vehicle than Toyota.  Going a step farther, I used one paragraph to ask and answer an important question:

So why hasn’t the federal government issued a recall on the Cobalt? Probably because Chevrolet is owned by General Motors (a.k.a. “Government Motors”), a taxpayer-owned company that stands to benefit greatly from having its foreign-owned competitors struggle with the public relations nightmares related to product recalls.

On Feb. 15, 2010, I offered a few thoughts as to why Japanese automakers should expect more recalls — namely, because executives at Honda, Nissan and Suzuki had, like their colleagues at Toyota, failed to contribute much to Obama’s campaign coffers.

On May 5, 2010, I shared news about Toyota passing the three-million recall remedies mark.

Nine months would pass before I shared news I thought might signal the end of the federal government’s harassment of the Japanese automaker.  But I was wrong.

Despite the fact that NASA engineers found no electronic flaws in Toyota vehicles, Toyota will, according to Attorney General Holder, have to pay a $1.2 billion financial penalty under a “deferred prosecution agreement.

Translation:  “Pay up or we continue our shakedown.”

Oh, what a feeling, Toyota!

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Attorney General Asked by Seven GOP Congressmen to Investigate Nation’s Top Intelligence Official

In a letter today, seven Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives called upon Attorney General Eric Holder to launch an investigation of Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. for lying to Congress.

Calls for Clapper to Resign 12-19-13The letter began with a recap of the sequence of events that occurred March 12 when Clapper was asked by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) if the National Security Agency collects any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans and Clapper responded with, “No,sir.”

Further into the letter, the representatives — Reps. Darrell Issa (Calif.), James Sensenbrenner Jr. (Wisc.), Trent Franks (Ariz.), Blake Farenthold (Texas), Trey Gowdy (S.C.), Raúl Labrador (Idaho) and Ted Poe (Texas) — said Clapper “was asked a question and he was obligated to answer truthfully. He could have declined to answer. He could have offered to answer in a classified setting. He could have corrected himself immediately following the hearing. He did none of these things despite advance warning that the question was coming.

“The country’s interests are best served when its leaders deal truthfully with its citizens,” the letter continued. “The mutual sense of good faith it fosters permits compromise and concessions in those cases that warrant it. Director Clapper’s willful lie under oath fuels the unhealthy cynicism and distrust that citizens feel toward their government and undermines Congress’s ability to perform its Constitutional function.”

TheClapperMemoFrontCoverLR 6-5-13At the end of the letter, the representatives set Jan. 10, 2014, as the date by which they requested a response from Holder to the matter they described as being of “the highest priority.”

I find it humorous that members of Congress are demanding an investigation of Clapper only months after the release of my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, which is based on my own exhaustive four-year investigation of a scandal in which Clapper, as the nation’s top intelligence official, was discovered to play a major role.

So troubling is what I discovered that one retired Navy SEAL training program commander described it as “an unconscionable cover-up.” Others endorsed it as well.

Find out what all of the fuss is about Order a copy of THE CLAPPER MEMO, available in paperback and ebook versions.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Obama Administration Officials ‘Danced’ With One of Forbes’ ‘Top 10 Most-Corrupt Mexicans’

I think we can all agree that recently-departed Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and current Attorney General Eric Holder have done very little to secure the nation’s southern border and prevent illegal immigrants, drugs and all manner of trouble from entering the country.  One day soon, I predict they might try to pin the blame on someone most Americans won’t recognize — and it’s not George W. Bush.  His name is Genaro García Luna, and Obama Administration officials have been “dancing” with him for years.

James_Cole_and_Genaro_Garcia_Luna_OPDAT_Mexico_City

In this March 1, 2012, photo, Deputy U.S. Attorney General James M. Cole (right) is shown with then-Mexican Secretary of Public Security Genaro Garcia Luna.

Who is García Luna?  According to a Forbes article published yesterday, Mexico’s one-time Secretary of Public Security (SSP), García Luna ranks among the Top 10 Most-Corrupt Mexicans of 2013.  Excerpts from the magazine article appear below:

…García Luna was the most feared cabinet member. His tenure was marked by an excess of spending for self-promotion and abuse of power scandals exposed by the Mexican press.

In 2012, convicted drug kingpin Edgar “La Barbie” Valdez Villareal claimed that García Luna had been on the payroll of drug trafficking groups for ten years.

García Luna has not been seen since he left office in 2012.  He is believed to be living in Miami but reporters have not been able to find him. There is no known investigation against him in Mexico or the U.S.

The Obama Administration began dancing with García Luna during the early days of President Obama’s first term, according to documents found online.

A Department of Justice news release July 20, 2009, reveals how then-Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer said, “We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our brave Mexican colleagues in the fight against these destructive cartels,” immediately after mentioning García Luna by name.

A DHS news release Feb. 18, 2010, began with then-Secretary Napolitano gushing about the “Declaration of Principles on Cooperative Efforts to Secure the U.S.-Mexico Border and Combat Transnational Threats” before affording García Luna the opportunity to return the favor as follows:

“This agreement is an example of the cooperation and mutual understanding regarding security issues between both countries, and between DHS and SSP,” said Secretary García Luna. “The working visit of Secretary Napolitano is a consequence of the strong relationship between both institutions, and of their commitment with the rule of law, and the fight against organized crime and violence.”

Finally, a Drug Enforcement Agency news release July 21, 2011, included tough-sounding words attributed to García Luna:

“Through the Secretariat of Public Security, the Government of Mexico has seen increased results in their fight against the drug trafficking organizations,” said Mexico’s Secretary of Public Security Genaro García Luna.  “Due to increased information sharing and collaboration with the DEA, these efforts have resulted in successful and significant arrests and seizures of drugs and money.”

After considering the items above, I’m left wondering just how closely Obama Administration officials might have danced with García Luna and if they’re dancing with any other corrupt Mexican officials today.

I suppose we’ll just have to turn on our television sets and watch the nightly news to find out.  <sarc>

SEE ALSO:

Congressman Demands Answers About Gun Ops

Do ‘Green-on-Blue’ Attackers in Afghanistan Share Link With Corrupt Cops in Mexico?

Texas Bill Would Ban Use of Non-Polygraph Technologies

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

SANDY HOOK: Report Not Expected to be Objective

Officials at the Danbury (Conn.) State’s Attorney’s office are set to release a summary of their official investigation report about the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, according to a local source.  Will the report be accurate, objective and thorough?  I hope so, but expect it will not.

Remington Model 1148 .410 ShotgunExpected to contain thousands of pages, according to another source, the report will likely be constructed so as to serve as a clarion call for more-strict gun control measures.

At the same time, it will probably ignore the fact that Adam Lanza, the person responsible for the deaths of 26 people plus himself, had serious mental health issues and was not a legal owner or firearms.

Perhaps most damning, I expect the report will not include the release of audio recordings of 911 calls made on the day of the shootings.  As a result, conspiracy theories will continue to flourish.

Again, I certainly hope things turn out differently, but won’t be surprised if my predictions prove accurate.  After all, Connecticut state officials are, no doubt, under pressure from Attorney General Eric Holder and his staff to produce a report that aligns with the Obama Administration‘s anti-gun agenda.  And flawed reports are nothing new to this Administration.

They’ve withheld information and/or whitewashed details related to the attack on the U.S. Consulate at Benghazi, the gun-running scandal known as “Fast and Furious” and the Oklahoma City Bombing, to name a few.  [FYI:  May 5, 2014, has been set as the date for another Oklahoma City Bombing trial that will take place in Salt Lake City and, if justice prevails, forces the FBI to release copies of videotapes, the contents of which could further erode Americans' trust in their government.]

Stay tuned to see how this develops.

UPDATE 11/25/2013 at 4:28 pm. Central:  The investigation report was released, but featured only 48 pages.  As many predicted, however, audio from the 911 calls is remaining sealed for now.

UPDATE 11/25/2013 at 10:50 a.m. Central:  Published today, a Washington Times headline seems to confirm my suspicions:  Sandy Hook investigators under fire for keeping some findings secret.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  This article has been updated and will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Barack Obama’s Issues Are America’s Issues

Because Americans need to know more about the many scandals to which President Barack Obama and members of his administration are connected, I decided to share this slightly-modified version of a believable conversation that’s been floating around the web.  Please read and share!

Barack Obama Caricature by Political GraffitiBob: “Hey Jim, did you hear about the Obama administration scandal?”
Jim: “You Mean the Mexican gun running?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean SEAL Team 6?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Obama saying ObamaCare would save the average family $2,500 on their premiums?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Forcing business owners to violate their religious beliefs by making them pay for drugs that abort the unborn?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Violating the rights and sanctity of our churches?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Spending $634 million on the ObamaCare website that doesn’t work?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Obama calling for an increase in the debt ceiling after he lambasted President Bush for the very same thing?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Obama having NSA spy on 124 billion phone calls in one month?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Saddling our kids with $17 trillion in debt which they can never get out of?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Bailing out Detroit after decades of corrupt Democratic management?”

Justice for ChristopherBob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the State Department lying about Benghazi?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean voter fraud?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Intentionally trying to hurt Americans during the sequester?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Blocking veterans who secured our freedoms from their monuments but giving the ‘green light’ for illegals to use National Mall?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Denying school kids the ability to tour the White House but still spending lavishly on his parties?”

"Healthscare" by Political GraffitiBob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean Obama saying we can keep our doctors and insurance if we want to?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the military not getting their votes counted?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The NSA monitoring foreign diplomats?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the use of drones in our own country without the benefit of the law?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Giving A123 Systems $300 million right after it declared bankruptcy and was sold to the Chinese?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the president arming the Muslim Brotherhood?”

Bob: “No the other one.”
Jim: “The IRS targeting conservatives?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The DOJ spying on the press?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Sebelius shaking down health insurance executives?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean Obama spending $3.7 trillion on welfare during the past five years?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Giving Solyndra $500 million dollars three months before they declared bankruptcy and then the Chinese bought the company?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The NSA monitoring our phone calls, emails and everything else?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Millions of Americans losing their health care coverage?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Forcing Americans to include coverage in their insurance policies of items they do not want?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Ordering the release of nearly 10,000 illegal immigrants from jails and prisons, and falsely blaming the sequester?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Denying Arizona the right to protect its borders?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Providing weapons to Syrian rebels, many of whom apparently are al-Queda”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The president’s repeated violation of the law requiring him to submit a budget no later than the first Monday in February?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The 2012 vote where 115% of all registered voters in some counties voted 100% for Obama?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The president’s unconstitutional recess appointments in an attempt to circumvent the Senate’s advise-and-consent role?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The State Department interfering with an Inspector General investigation on departmental sexual misconduct?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Clinton, the IRS, Clapper and Holder all lying to Congress?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The President using nearly $1 trillion dollars of stimulus money to fund his cronies?”

Judge Fast and Furious Holder 9-30-13Bob: “No, the other one”
Jim: “You mean ‘Fast & Furious?’”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “I give up! … Oh wait, I think I got it! You mean that 65 million low-information voters who don’t pay taxes and get free stuff from taxpayers and stuck us again with the most pandering, corrupt administration in American history?”

Bob: “THAT’S THE ONE!”

Hat tip:  2 Million Bikers to DC on Facebook

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Judge Says Eric Holder Must Produce ‘Fast and Furious’ Docs

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled Monday against Eric Holder, saying the U.S. attorney general could no longer hide behind executive privilege and refuse to produce a portion of the records called for in a subpoena issued by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the United States House of Representatives.

Judge Fast and Furious Holder 9-30-13In short, this likely means that a fierce battle will take place soon in the Republican-controlled House to get at the truth about the “Fast and Furious” scandal involving supplying criminals and Mexican drug cartel members with guns that were later used to kill Americans along the nation’s southern border.

Judge Jackson’s 44-page Memorandum Opinion begins as follows:

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the United States House of Representatives has filed this action to enforce a subpoena it issued to the Attorney General of the United States, Eric H. Holder, Jr.  The Attorney General refused to produce a portion of the records called for by the subpoena on the grounds that they are covered by the executive privilege, and the Committee seeks a declaration that the invocation of the privilege is invalid in this instance and that the documents must be produced.  The matter is before the Court on defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6):  the Attorney General takes the position that a dispute between the legislative and executive branches must be resolved through negotiation and accommodation, and that the judiciary may not, or at least, should not, get involved.

The motion to dismiss will be denied.  The fact that this case arises out of a dispute between two branches of government does not make it non-justiciable; Supreme Court precedent establishes that the third branch has an equally fundamental role to play, and that judges not only may, but sometimes must, exercise their responsibility to interpret the Constitution and determine whether another branch has exceeded its power.  In the Court’s view, endorsing the proposition that the executive may assert an unreviewable right to withhold materials from the legislature would offend the Constitution more than undertaking to resolve the specific dispute that has been presented here.  After all, the Constitution contemplates not only a separation, but a balance, of powers.

Click here to read the rest of the opinion.

Also, be sure to read other pieces I’ve written about Holder, including one about his previous involvement in a case involving the murder of an American citizen.

Hopefully, this time, justice will finally be served.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

CIA Director’s Resignation Raises Several Troubling Questions

The timing of CIA Director (Gen.) David Petraeus’ resignation Friday raises several troubling questions the American people deserve to have answered.

Gen. David Petraeus

Did the timing of General Petraeus’ resignation have something to do with the Nov. 6 election?

Knowing President Barack Obama‘s propensity to do anything to save his own hide, one has to believe it played a part in the saga.  According to a report by Ronald Kessler, it came months after the FBI began investigating his relationship with Paula Broadwell, the author of his biography, “All In,” and it left some FBI agents fuming.

Did it have something to do with the House Intelligence Committee’s upcoming hearing about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya?

General Petraeus’ resignation came only days before he was — and, some say, still is — expected to testify Nov. 15 at a closed-door hearing during which members of the committee are expected to ask tough questions and demand truthful answers about the CIA‘s role in events before, during and after the attack which left Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others dead.  One has to believe it played a part as well.

Did it have anything to do with the fact that, by virtue of his position atop the CIA, he knew he would be subjected to periodic, in-depth polygraph examinations and face questions regarding, among other things, his personal conduct?

As a high-ranking government employee privy to classified information of the highest order, General Petraeus falls into the category of people who expected to be subjected to polygraph examinations on an annual basis.  As a retired Army four-star general with more than three decades in uniform, he also knows that a host of countermeasures are available to anyone wanting to defeat the polygraph; therefore, I doubt he had any concerns about undergoing such an examination.

Did it have anything to do with General Petraeus believing foreign intelligence agents might try to compromise him if they became aware of his clandestine activities with Mrs. Broadwell, the married mother of two is not his wife?

Well-schooled in all manner of intelligence-gathering operations, General Petraeus knows that foreign intelligence agents keep watchful eyes on people like him with the hope of finding information they might use in attempts to compromise him at some future date; therefore, I’m sure he limited his reckless behavior with his mistress to environments where none of the “bad guys” could catch him in the act.  Likewise, he probably trusted his extramarital lover.

Unfortunately, General Petraeus must have known he could not hide his affair from FBI agents able to install wiretaps and conduct surveillance activities not available to foreign agents.  In knowing those agents’ chain of command leads to Attorney General Eric Holder, the general also knew that the information would likely be seen by President Obama and held over his head as a bargaining chip of sorts for use at some point in the future when the president was in trouble and needed his CIA director to be his “fall guy.”

Understandably, General Petraeus decided he would rather face the wrath of his wife now than end up “under the bus” at some time in the future on trumped-up circumstances.

Though I don’t condone the general’s pre-resignation actions in any way and despise him for the role he’s played in shaping DoD’s severely-flawed “catch-and-release” policies which have turned many battlefields into untenable environments for warfighters, I can’t say I blame him from protecting himself from his boss.

Hopefully, the whole truth will come out during this week’s hearings and beyond.

Bob McCarty is the author of “Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice, a nonfiction book that’s available in paperback and ebook via most online booksellers, including Amazon.com. His second book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, is set for release this fall was released in May..