To the editor:
The NOAA/NMFS fiasco continues to grow larger with each unsavory revelation.
The latest news that NOAA Chief of Enforcement Dale Jones approved a document shredding spree within days of being visited by Inspector General Zinser, is just the latest of now documented abuses by an out of control government agency.
Is this just the tip of the iceberg? The investigation has already shown that the Northeast region has been a victim of outrageous persecution, unlawful break-ins, and fines 2 to 5 times higher than any other region in the country.
From a law enforcement officer's (or an administrative judge's, for that matter) standpoint, there is absolutely no reason to selectively persecute fishermen from one region of the country more than any other. It just makes no sense.
Therefore, the question should be raised: "Was Jones ordered to go after Northeast fishermen more than any other region? If so, who ordered it? Someone higher up in NMFS, NOAA, or right to the top of the Commerce Department?"
I think this is a very valid point to be raised, in light of Jones' document shredding. Was he just protecting himself, or those above him who issued the orders?
The American people deserve answers to these questions, and Dale Jones needs to be immediately fired and prosecuted to the full extent of the law for destroying evidence, and tampering with a federal investigation.
His jail time should be five times more than normal so he can see how it feels to be selectively prosecuted.
Furthermore, since federal crimes have now been uncovered by a top U.S. government law enforcement officer, the FBI should be called in to assist in a complete investigation of the Commerce Department from top to bottom, to uncover just what exactly has been going on, and on who's orders.
Inspector Zinser deserves the admiration of all Americans for his unbiased investigation and unwavering devotion to the law that this country is supposed to stand for.
He now needs the help of the FBI to make sure his bosses don't just use Jones as a scapegoat, and whitewash over the fact that he was just following orders from someone above.
Point Judith, R.I.