Tag Archives: Freedom of Information Act

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.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

 

 

Bob McCarty Weekly Recap: Oct. 25-31, 2015

A lot of folks will be wearing costumes and masks tonight, but, God willing, I’ll continue to be who I am and do what I do best. The latest examples of my work can be found below in my weekly recap for Oct. 25-31, 2015.

Editorial cartoon courtesy David Donar at http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com.

Editorial cartoon courtesy David Donar at http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com.

Sunday, Oct. 25

On the heels of Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, I decided to share a piece Sunday that I had published for the first time Oct. 24, 2012. It appears under the headline, FLASHBACK: Emails Prove Obama Lied About Libya Attacks.

Monday, Oct. 26

I began sharing news about former Army Sgt. Todd Knight and his conviction on bogus sexual assault allegations. I published the first piece Monday under the headline, Another Soldier Tries to Clear His Name Following Conviction.

Tuesday, Oct. 27

Two weeks after I submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to Army officials at Fort Campbell, Ky., I received a response that showed how officials at the home of the vaunted 101st Airborne Division had lived up to my negative expectations. Read about it and see if you agree. Published Tuesday, the story appears under the headline, Fort Campbell Officials Live Up to Negative Expectations in Response to Freedom of Information Act Request.

Thursday, Oct. 29

On Thursday, I learned the military trials of some Soldiers, including the aforementioned Sergeant Knight, on sexual assault charges were likely tainted by the fact military members serving on court-martial panels — the military equivalent of a jury — had watched the Oscar-nominated documentary, “The Invisible War,” as part of their Army sexual assault awareness and prevention training. My troubling findings appear under the headline, Defense Attorney Says Sexual Assault ‘Victim’ Who Appears in Oscar-Nominated Documentary Lied on Witness Stand.

Also on Thursday, I published a piece under the headline, a GROUNDHOG DAY: Missouri Health Department Official Tight-Lipped About Cancer Report Due for 2016 Release. The “Groundhog Day” reference has to do with the fact that my recent experience of trying to obtain apparently “radioactive” information from state health agency officials closely mirrors my experience five years ago. Still confused? Read it, and you won’t be.

Friday, Oct. 30

On Friday, I addressed my frustration with a recent Air Force Times article about the acquittal of Senior Airman Brandon Wright on a charge of aggravated sexual assault. Read Air Force Times Newspaper Report About Airman’s Acquittal on Sexual Assault Charge Reveals Extreme Bias in Coverage, and I suspect you’ll find the headline is the least-biased part of the article. Also, pay attention to the update I added at the end.

Also on Friday, I shared the words of Sergeant Knight’s mother, Teresa McQueen, in a piece that speaks volumes as it appears under the headline, Mom Pens Heartfelt Message About Son’s Bogus Conviction.

Saturday, Oct. 31

Today, I plan to watch some football, run some stairs at my favorite lake and hand out sugar pills to kids too young to care about getting fat from eating them.

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.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Fort Campbell Officials Live Up to Negative Expectations in Response to Freedom of Information Act Request

Two weeks after I submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to Army officials at Fort Campbell, Ky., I received a response today that shows officials at the home of the vaunted 101st Airborne Division lived up to my negative expectations.

The reply to my FOIA request lived up to my low expectations for the Army.

The reply to my FOIA request lived up to my low expectations for the Army.

Shown above, the response letter from Freedom of Information and Privacy Act Officer Valerie M. Florez contained the following paragraph:

The US Army does not have jurisdiction and does not control prosecutions in Hopkinsville or Christian County, Kentucky Courts where [name of Major Martin’s accuser redacted] is facing charges. Perhaps Hopkinsville or Christian County courts may be able to assist you in contacting the correct party or [name of Major Martin’s accuser redacted]‘s attorneys. Any documents or correspondence from or between the military attorneys mentioned are part of an ongoing case involving Major Martin (US vs Martin). Any of this correspondence is exempt from release and would be withheld under Freedom of Information Act Exemption Five, attorney-work product and/or attorney-client privilege.

The letter from Ms. Florez — and particularly the paragraph above — runs 180 degrees counter to what I included in my Oct. 12 FOIA request, the “meat” of which appears below:

To Whom It May Concern:

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (5 USC, and Public Law 106-554), I would like to request copies of the following documents from the Staff Judge Advocate at Fort Campbell, Ky:

Any and all print and/or electronic communications — including, but not limited to handwritten and computer-generated notes, letters, email messages and text messages — between any individual(s) assigned to the Staff Judge Advocate staff at Fort Campbell, Kentucky — including but not limited to Major Jacob D. Bashore, Captain James P. Garrett, Major Jenny S. Whyte-Schlack — and any civilian attorney(s) and/or their associates representing accused bigamist [name of Major Martin’s accuser redacted] in legal matters in Christian County, Ky.


Please do not attempt to avoid fulfillment of this request by contending that the items requested are not releasable because they concern ongoing legal matters and/or investigations. I know the U.S. Army has no standing or authority to intervene in Christian County’s civilian prosecution of Ms. [name of Major Martin’s accuser redacted].

Though I made no mention of Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin in my FOIA request, Ms. Florez avoided fulfillment of my request — just as I predicted she might in the third paragraph of my letter — by falsely claiming communications the Army attorneys had with a third party about a case completely unrelated to the prosecution of Major Martin is “exempt from release and would be withheld under Freedom of Information Act Exemption Five, attorney-work product and/or attorney-client privilege.”

In reality, Ms. Florez and her bosses realize that fulfillment of my request will expose the Army lawyers named in the same as having tampered with a civilian legal matter.

Stay tuned for updates on this case and other military justice cases I’m following. Likewise, 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.

UPDATE 10-27-2015 at 9:48 a.m. Central: After I add postage, I will place two envelopes in the U.S. Postal System. The envelopes contain letters in which I call for Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley to straighten out this FOIA mess.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Bob McCarty Weekly Recap: Oct. 11-17, 2015

My campaign to expose the military injustice surrounding the Army’s prosecution of Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin on sexual assault charges increased in intensity Wednesday after his ex-“spouse” accuser pleaded guilty to a felony charge of bigamy — that is, marrying one person while you are still legally married to another. As a result, my weekly recap for Oct. 11-17, 2015, is chock full of details about this case.

Click on image above to read Bob McCarty's letter to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley.

Click on image above to read Bob McCarty’s letter to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley.

The earth-shaking news came as something of a surprise one day after I had published an article in which I cited sources close to the case who told me about the accuser’s civilian attorney trying not only to get a local prosecutor disqualified from her client’s case before it went to trial Oct. 22, but also trying to get her client’s trial date pushed back until after Dec. 1, the date Major Martin’s military trial is set to begin at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Likewise, the guilty plea by Major Martin’s accuser came less than 48 hours after I had submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Staff Judge Advocate’s office at Fort Campbell. In my request, I asked for copies of “any and all print and/or electronic communications, including, but not limited to handwritten and computer-generated notes, letters, email messages and text messages, between any individual(s) assigned to the Staff Judge Advocate staff at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, including but not limited to Major Bashore, Captain Garrett, Major Jenny S. Whyte-Schlack and any civilian attorney(s) and/or their associates representing Major Martin’s accuser, an alleged bigamist known by several different names, in legal matters in Christian County.”

While the information I might receive as a result of the FOIA request should prove interesting, it became much less important and/or valuable following the admission of guilt by Major Martin’s accuser. Still, I’m interested in receiving it, since it might show more of the prosecutorial misconduct Major Martin’s defense attorneys had cited as a reason to dismiss charges against their client.

I’m also interested in the subject of a piece I published a piece under the headline, Attorneys Who Win Small Battles Might Win Legal War, 24 hours after submitting the FOIA request. The piece contains two attorneys’ opinions about Major Martin’s case — which involves false sexual assault allegations as well as Army prosecutors and commanders under political pressure to win a conviction at all cost — and about how the attorneys who win the small battles might win the legal war. It will be interesting to see how their thoughts pan out in comparison to what actually takes place as the prosecution of Major Martin moves forward.

Perhaps most important among my efforts this week is something I did one day after Major Martin’s accuser entered her guilty plea. On Thursday, I married my online and offline efforts into a single effort aimed at putting pressure on senior government officials and military leaders to drop this kangaroo court-martial effort that could land Major Martin behind bars for 58 years* if allowed to go to trial. As outlined in my piece, Letter Warns Army Chief of Staff About ‘Rat’ at Fort Campbell, I wrote a letter to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley and let him know about the “rat” I smelled at Fort Campbell. On top of that, I forwarded copies of the letter to four United States Senators, the Secretary of Defense, the DoD Inspector General and a handful of Army generals — including Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, the man behind the boneheaded decision to prosecute Major Martin.

As things stand now, Major Martin — a prior-enlisted Ranger-turned Regular Army officer who went from serving as a cavalry scout to flying combat missions as an attack helicopter pilot during three tours in Iraq during a distinguished military career — is scheduled to stand trial Dec. 1 and faces the possibility of 58 years in prison if convicted. Meanwhile, his accuser — the woman to whom he believed he had been legally married for most of a decade — is set to be sentenced by Christian County (Ky.) Judge Andrew Self Feb. 17, 2016, and faces only 5 years with very little chance of any time behind bars.

After reading all of my pieces about the case, I think you’ll agree the prosecution of Major Martin needs to end immediately. In turn, I trust you’ll make your voice heard by contacting the people listed near the end of this article.

Stay tuned for more as this drama plays out.

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.

*UPDATE: After publishing this article, I learned Army prosecutors agreed to limit any possible punishment in this case to 10 years. A sign they have a weak case?”

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Secretary of Defense Invites Me to Ask Questions

Today, I found myself unable to pass up the opportunity to respond to the offer made in a status update on Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s Facebook page:  “Have a question for Secretary of Defense Ash Carter? Ask it on his Facebook page at http://facebook.com/SecDef, and he might just answer it during his Worldwide Troop Talk on Sept. 1.”

Click on image above to see the Facebook page containing SECDEF Ash Carter's invitation to submit questions.

Click on image above to see the Facebook page containing SECDEF Ash Carter’s invitation to submit questions.

Okay, so maybe he didn’t invite me personally, but I decided to take it that way. Furthermore, though I didn’t ask SecDef Carter a direct question, I think my request below — which I sent via email to AskSecDef@mail.mil and posted here on the SecDef’s Facebook page — qualifies as a question, because it demands answers:

Dear Secretary of Defense Carter:

For months, beginning July 19, 2012, I tried unsuccessfully to use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a copy of the Army 15-6 Investigation Report prepared after then-Army Ranger 1st Lt. Michael C. Behenna shot and killed Ali Mansur, a known Al-Qaeda operative, in Albu Toma, Iraq (near Baghdad) on May 16, 2008.

First, I contacted officials at the Army Criminal Investigation Command Crime Records Center at Quantico, Va. Next, I contacted officials at the Army’s primary FOIA office at Fort Belvoir, Va. After that, I contacted officials at Fort Campbell, Ky., home to the Army’s 101st Airborne Infantry Division, parent command of the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment to which Lieutenant Behenna and his fellow members in Delta Company, 5th Platoon, belonged.

After realizing no success with any of the agencies listed above, I contacted an official at the Crime Records Center and asked her to review the estimated 874 pages of the Report of Investigation that her agency was willing to provide me and see if the 15-6 report was among the documents included.  She told me it was not and suggested I contact FOIA officials at Army Central Command (USARCENT), located at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.

On Dec. 10, 2012, I forwarded a FOIA request to USARCENT, seeking a copy of the 15-6 report.  Thirty-five  days later, I received a reply from then-Col. Rodney L. Lightfoot, then-Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff at Third Army/United States Army Central Command.  He wrote: “This letter is the final response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated December 10, 2012.  Your request was for a copy of the Army Regulation 15-6 investigation report that was prepared following a shooting incident that took place May 16, 2008 in Iraq.  The shooting incident involved Army 1LT Michael C. Behenna and the person who was killed, an Iraqi citizen by the name of Ali Mansur. In response to your FOIA request, our agency conducted an extensive search for records. No records were found in search of the information being requested. No fees have been assessed for this action.”

As an Air Force veteran, I’m asking you, Secretary Carter, to cut through this red tape of bureaucracy and get me a copy of the Army 15-6 Investigation Report concerning the incident involving Lieutenant Behenna.

Please forward the report to me via email at bobmccartywrites@gmail.com or via postal mail to this address:  Bob McCarty, PO Box 1423, St. Charles, MO 63302-1423.

Thanks in advance for your prompt fulfillment of this request.

Sincerely,

Bob McCarty

The “Worldwide Troop Talk” mentioned at the top of this piece will stream live from 9-10 a.m. Eastern/8-9 a.m. Central on Defense.gov, and you can count on me watching and providing an update as to how he will respond. Just in case he limits his questions to active-duty military members, I would appreciate anyone in uniform helping me out by duplicating my effort shown above. You can do that in the comments section of this SECDEF status update or via email to AskSecDef@mail.mil.

Thanks in advance for assisting me in this effort. I’ll let you know if it produces any results.

UPDATE 9/09/2015 at 9:29 a.m. Central:  Because 19 days have passed without any reply to the inquiry highlighted above, I resubmitted the request via the Ask a Question online tool at Defense.gov. Not going to hold my breath as I await a reply.

UPDATE 9/11/2015 at 10:29 a.m. Central:  Almost 48 hours have passed since I followed up with SecDef Carter by sending the email message referenced in the UPDATE 9/09/2015 above. In response, I’ve heard only crickets. So much for government accountability and transparency.

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. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.