Tag Archives: CBS

Bob McCarty Weekly Recap: Nov. 1-7, 2015

After reading several new articles and dozens of status updates, you know a little about what I’ve been doing this week. In order to provide you a more-thorough look at what I’ve bee up to, I offer this weekly recap for the first seven days of November 2015.

Is it just me or does Butters, my office assistant, have hair like Donald Trump?

Is it just me or does Butters, my office assistant, have hair like Donald Trump?

Sunday, Nov. 1

I began the week at BobMcCarty.com by resharing a four-year-old piece in which I describe how, on Day Two of the Army’s court-martial of Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, a prosecution attorney cited Wikipedia as a source while questioning Sergeant Stewart about his training. As one of the Army’s finest Green Berets, he deserved better. Read about it under the headline, SHOCK: Army Prosecutor Cited Wikipedia as Source During Green Beret’s Court-Martial on Sexual Assault Charges.

I began the week on my Facebook page by sharing a link to a McClatchy News article, The Buzz with Buzz: Benghazi & Hillary’s emails are history repeating itself, and offering this comment: “Speaker Paul Ryan will make sure Hillary goes to jail! Oh yeah! No doubt about it! She’s going down!” < NOT >

In addition, I shook my head in wonder while watching the CBS Sunday Morning segment about a gay black painter said to be doing “revolutionary” work that commands as much as $400,000 per piece, and I shared a video to honor some fallen warriors few people ever hear about.

On a lighter note nestled among several football- and cat-related items, I asked readers to take a look at a photo (top of page above) and answer a question — “Is it just me or does Butters, my office assistant, have hair like Donald Trump?”

Monday, Nov. 2

On Monday, I was engaged in research and, as a result, posted no new articles. I did, however, share several items on my Facebook page. For instance, I recalled how, on that day three years earlier, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction had issued two new reports about the situation in that country and how, in 2012, I had reached one conclusion about the contents of those reports: “A quick review of the two reports seems to indicate things are not only going downhill in this war-torn country, but they’re going downhill fast.” I closed my Facebook update by writing, “I don’t do this often, but I’ll do it today: ‘I told you so!'”

Tuesday, Nov. 3

Under the Tuesday headline, Help Find World War II Hero by Veterans Day, I shared details about an effort to locate a World War II Soldier whose likeness was captured in a portrait drawn by one of his German prisoners of war. Click here or on the portrait to read the article, realizing we now have only four days remaining to find him by Veterans Day.

Do you know the name of the American World War II Soldier shown in this sketch drawn by one of the German prisoners of war for whom he was responsible? If so, contact me.

Do you know the name of the American World War II Soldier shown in this sketch drawn by one of the German prisoners of war for whom he was responsible? If so, contact me.

On my Facebook page Tuesday, I lamented the loss of daylight hours and how I had decided to tackle it by changing up my exercise routine by adding a pre-breakfast workout in case I didn’t make it to my favorite lake before darkness fell. I explained how the “change” began at 5:30 a.m. and involved walking one mile and running one mile while listening to Twenty-One Pilots. “Who?” you say. My youngest son went to their concert over the weekend, so I decided I should find out the answer to that question, too. While their music is better than their photo, their songs are probably not gonna be among my first jukebox choices.

Also on my Facebook page, I noted an ABC News report about Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. speculating that ISIS might have brought down the Russian passenger jet Saturday. In response, I wrote, “I’m sure they did not,” before explaining that my opinion was based on why I uncovered during the four years I spent investigating things with Clapper’s “fingerprints” all over them — things you can read about in my second nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo.

“Very interesting. Answers? I have none.” I used those words to describe the content of a NASA video (above) captured by astronauts on the International Space Station Oct. 29. What do you think about this item I shared on my Facebook page?

Of course, I could ask the same thing about this video.

Wednesday, Nov. 4

On Wednesday, I shared a Washington Free Beacon video on my Facebook page. Posted below, it requires no explanation.

i offered a sarcastic call for “KNIFE CONTROL NOW!” after coming across this CNN report about a stabbing incident at the University of California-Merced. FYI: The perpetrator involved in the stabbings was Faisal Mohammad, an 18-year-old who wrote a two-page manifesto, according to another CNN report. Sadly, Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke was reluctant to describe the incident as anything but “a teenage boy that got upset with fellow classmates and took it to the extreme.” Really?

Thursday, Nov. 5

On Thursday, I shared a message received from the wife of a military man who was wrongly accused and convicted of sexual assault by a woman, whom I later discovered had made similar allegations against two other ex-husbands. Read her chilling message under the headline, Wife Offers Details About Wrongly-Accused Husband’s Case.

Click on image above to read about military justice gone wrong.

Click on image above to read about military justice gone wrong.

I also noted how I was still waiting for two top Army officials to respond to the letters I had mailed nine days earlier regarding the subject of Fort Campbell officials failing to fulfill my recent Freedom of Information Act request.

On my Facebook page, I shared another political jab — this one aimed at Hillary Clinton. “I think Hillary Clinton should apply to become the first female former first lady to fly in space,” I wrote while introducing a link to the NASA webpage where she could apply. “She can run for president after she returns from Mars with an accomplishment on her resume.”

In another status update that day, I shared details about Haitians lambasting the American Red Cross for spending so little out of the half-billion dollars in donations it has received since earthquakes ravaged the island nation in 2010. Not surprised by the claim, I went to the ARC website for the “Haiti Assistance Program” and looked at the numbers ARC is touting:

$448,000,000 Donated minus $173,000,000 Used equals $275,000,000 Unused

In other words, many dirt-poor Haitians have waited 5 years for help while ARC sits on a “nest egg” of $275,000. That prompted me to ask, “Can anyone say special prosecutor?”

Friday, Nov. 6

The most important thing I did Friday involved mailing a letter to the National Archives at St. Louis. In it, I requested information about a former Army Soldier who, I’ve been told, lives an active life and works full time despite receiving benefits while categorized as “100 percent disabled.” His wife, a basic training washout, also reportedly collects benefits after being diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of something that happened during her three days in the military. What might have caused her issues? Stay tuned for updates.

FOIA Letter 11-5-15

Saturday, Nov. 7

Today, I will enjoy the sunshine and exercise a bit before settling in to watch my Oklahoma State Cowboys, #10 in the coaches poll, defeat Texas Christian University, #3 in the same poll. They play at 2:30 p.m. Central on Lewis Field, inside the confines of T. Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla. GO POKES!

Thanks in advance for reading and sharing the articles above and those to follow. You can show your support and help keep these articles coming by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

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GROUNDHOG DAY: Missouri Health Department Official Tight-Lipped About Cancer Report Due for 2016 Release

“Bob, I am unable to speculate on any potential further updates at this time. As you may be aware, all information released for the department is available here. Thanks, Ryan.” When I read those words from Ryan Hobart, spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, in an email message Tuesday afternoon, I felt like I was in the middle of a serious remake of “Groundhog Day.”

Click on image above to visit page Ryan Hobart, spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services, suggested I visit in lieu of providing me with answers.

Click on image above to visit page Ryan Hobart, spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services, suggested I visit in lieu of providing me with answers.

I call it a “serious remake” of the 1993 Bill Murray film, but not because it has something to do with the public health dangers associated with the long-term storage of radioactive waste at a place known as the Weldon Spring Site, located in a once-rural area about 30 miles west of St. Louis. Instead, his message reminds me of “Groundhog Day” because it’s so similar to the correspondence I had received from Hobart’s predecessor two spokespersons removed, Jacqueline Lapine.

When I tried, during a nine-month period in 2011, to find out from Lapine when the long-overdue five-year update to the 2005 Weldon Spring Cancer Report would be released by officials at the state agency responsible for keeping citizens in the Show-Me State informed about monitoring efforts at Weldon Spring, she gave me nothing useful.

It wasn’t until shortly after 5 p.m. Dec. 29, 2011, that I finally received a copy of the 2011 report, known officially as the Analysis of Leukemia Incidence and Mortality Data for St. Charles County, Weldon Spring and Surrounding Areas December 2011 (Update to April 2005 Report) and unofficially as the “Weldon Spring Update” or “2011 Weldon Spring Cancer Inquiry Report.” It came as an attachment to an email message from Gena Terlizzi, the woman who replaced Lapine who, presumably, moved on to new challenges.

To fully understand the issues at Weldon Spring, read this article before continuing.

Read about my "Uphill Battle for Answers" at http://bobmccarty.com/?p=1949.

The investigation that led to my first article about Weldon Springs in January 2012 (see screenshot above) began with state health department officials being very tight-lipped about the 2011 Weldon Spring Cancer Report. Read about it at http://bobmccarty.com/?p=1949.

Now, back to Hobart’s message highlighted at the top of this piece. It wasn’t our first exchange.

Our online conversation dates back to the morning of Oct. 21 and an email message I sent to Hobart:

Dear Ryan:

Five years ago, I communicated with your predecessors, Jaqueline Lapine and Gena Terlizzi, regarding the Weldon Spring Site where radioactive waste is stored in St. Charles County, Mo.

Because I had read in your agency’s 2005 Weldon Spring Cancer Report that the authors recommended “the Cancer Inquiry Program should continue to monitor the cancer incidence and mortality rates in Weldon Spring and its surrounding areas,” I asked for — and eventually obtained — a copy of the 2011 Weldon Spring Cancer Inquiry Report.

Today, I’m repeating the process in hopes of obtaining an update about your agency’s forthcoming release of a 2016 Weldon Spring Cancer Report.

With several national news media outlets, including CBS Evening News and the The Los Angeles Times, reporting recently about the inherent dangers of radioactive waste in the St. Louis County neighborhoods along Coldwater Creek colliding with an underground fire at the nearby Westlake Landfill, it’s imperative that your agency be transparent when it comes to testing and monitoring at the Weldon Spring Site.

At your earliest opportunity, I would like you to provide answers to the following questions:

1. When do officials at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services expect to release another five-year follow-up report (a.k.a., “2016 Weldon Spring Cancer Report”)? and

2. Who, within the agency, is in charge of producing the five-year follow-up report?

Please let me know ASAP if you have questions or anticipate any delay beyond 48 hours in responding to my questions. Thanks in advance for your prompt reply.

Sincerely,

Bob McCarty

After five days passed without an answer, I left a phone message with Hobart Monday morning and followed up by sending another email message: “Are you ignoring me on purpose? I’ve emailed — twice now — and I left a phone message three hours ago.”

“Sorry for the delay,” he replied two hours later. “I will be back in touch as soon as I have responsive information to share.”

Almost 24 hours later, I responded: “Ryan, As a long-time veteran of public affairs work, I must say that six days is an unacceptably-slow response time and that delaying the release of bad information — if that is, indeed, the reason for your delay — never works out well for the organization behind the delay.”

Two more days passed, and I received a mid-Tuesday afternoon message from Hobart: “Bob, I am unable to speculate on any potential further updates at this time. As you may be aware, all information released for the department is available here: http://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/chronic/cancerinquiry/reports.php#weldon. Thanks, Ryan.”

I responded two hours later: “Well, that’s a lame answer, because I’m not asking you to speculate. I’m asking you to tell me whether the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will be releasing an update on the 2005 Weldon Spring Cancer Report and the 2011 Weldon Spring Update. If public funds are being spent on preparing such a report, it is your agency’s obligation to inform the public as to how that money is being spent and when they might expect to see any official update.”

I ended my message by asking Hobart a question and sounding something like a game show host: “Is this your final answer, because it is about to go national. I’ll give you one more chance — 24 hours, to come clean — before the gloves come off.”

At 9:24 a.m. today, I asked Hobart one last time if he was going to provide me with genuine answers. He didn’t reply, so the gloves are off.

Stay tuned for more developments.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

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NBC Anchor ‘Clarifies’ Fact He’s Been Lying for 12 Years

On Wednesday night’s edition of NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams offered what his network would later describe as “clarification” about an incident that had allegedly taken place more than a decade earlier. In reality, the network anchor recanted his claim that he had been aboard a military helicopter as it was shot down while he was covering the 2003 invasion of Iraq by U.S. and coalition forces. He admitted he had been lying for 12 years.

Unlike some people, I wasnt’ surprised to learn about this news. Why? Because I had dealt with him before — almost 14 years ago — while serving my country in uniform at Moody Air Force Base near Valdosta, Ga. Yes, it’s only about 30 minutes downwind from the site where they filmed the swamp scenes in the 1972 movie, Deliverance.

In the spring of 1991, Williams was a rising star, then working as evening anchor for WCBS-TV, CBS’s flagship TV station in New York City. At the same time, I was an Air Force captain serving as chief of public affairs for the 347th Tactical Fighter Wing, then the host unit at Moody.

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Boitz

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Boitz

Operation Desert Shield was about to turn into Operation Desert Storm (a.k.a., “the first Persian Gulf War”), and Williams wanted to do an up-close-and-personal story about the folks who would soon be flying their F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft into harms way over the skies of Iraq. The folks at the Pentagon sent him to our base deep in the heart of South Georgia.

In addition to arranging interviews with fighter pilots and others at the base, we were told to provide Williams with a ride in the backseat of an F-16. Before anyone rides in the back of a fighter jet, however, he has to have a physical exam and complete pre-flight training that includes learning how to get out of the jet in the event of an emergency. Part of that training was something called “hang and harness” training.

Hang and harness training is just like it sounds. A person hangs from a harness to get an idea of what it feels like to use a parachute. Standing on a platform several feet off the ground, Williams had a parachute pack strapped on his back and was connected by cables to a mechanical rigging device suspended from the ceiling.

The gear worn by Williams included two main straps, each of which extended from his shoulder area, down across his chest and under his crotch where they passed by his “family jewels” –- one strap on each side –- and continued up his back side where they connected with the bottom of the parachute sack.

Despite being told more than once by his Air Force instructors that he should tighten those straps until they were very snug, the anchorman ignored the advice. When the time came for him to jump from the platform to the ground below, simulating the feel of a real jump, the anchorman’s less-than-snug straps suddenly became snug –- and in an oh-so-painful way.

Though tempted to describe his appearance as 50 shades of gray, that wouldn’t describe how he looked. More accurately, his skin color had taken on a strange blend of greens and purples as he gasped.

These days, I can’t even watch him on the NBC Nightly News without thinking back to that painful moment which, by the way, he failed to mention when the story aired. Thanks for the memories, Williams. Thanks for the memories.

UPDATE 2/5/2015 at 6:47 a.m. Central: Below is Williams shamefully recalling his big lie on Late Night with David Letterman in 2013.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.