Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
Carlos Del Toro, the newly confirmed Secretary of the Navy, issued a letter stating that the Navy’s four missions would be the 4C’s of China, Culture, Climate, and COVID.
By “culture”, the Biden appointee who has been a long time Democrat fundraiser, hosting an event for Hillary Clinton, and donating to Biden and the DNC, meant political correctness.
Of the 4C’s for the Navy, three were domestic Democrat policy priorities, and only one involved deterring a foreign enemy.
“I have a bias for action,” Del Toro wrote. But most of the action seems to be political.
That’s not surprising for Del Toro, a failed candidate who had signed on to an anti-second amendment letter and defended illegal aliens. As a member of the Board of Visitors for the University of Mary – Washington, he had led an attack on coal jobs over global warming.
The Biden administration took great care to note that Del Toro had been appointed to the Naval Academy Alumni Association’s Special Commission on Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion.
The Commission had been created in 2020 when a member of the Naval Academy Alumni’s Board of Trustees accidentally broadcast a private conversation on Facebook in which he criticised the racist hate group, Black Lives Matter, while using racial slurs.
Despite his apology and resignation, he was expelled from the alumni association.
“Silence on these matters is not an option,” the association had declared using CRT language.
The purge was another shot in a struggle within the service branch academy alumni association between patriotic alumni who want an end to critical race theory in the institution over those who support it and are determined to humiliate, silence, and destroy those who stand in their way.
Last year a midshipman had sued the Naval Academy over his expulsion for tweeting that Breonna Taylor, the girlfriend of a drug dealer, had gotten what was coming to her when she was shot after her boyfriend opened fire on police, and suggested that rioters should be shot.
While Naval Academy leadership targeted him, others who broadcast hatred for police and support of the Black Lives Matter race riots on social media were not disciplined in any way.
The lawsuit charged that Black Lives Matter and its radical tenets “have been embraced by the Naval Academy’s senior leadership and have made their pernicious assault on the First Amendment manifest”.
The Naval Academy’s superintendent, Vice Admiral Sean Buck, complained that “the manner in which he was publicly commenting on sensitive topics would be perceived as offensive and inflammatory.” The midshipman’s parents alleged in a fundraiser for their son’s successful legal case that Buck “unconditionally embraces the structural and institutional racism tenets of the BLM and Anti-Racist movements and that those tenets will be drilled into the minds of every member of the Brigade of Midshipmen through mandatory training.”
Choosing a member of the Commission on Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion as Navy Secretary sends a pretty clear message in the culture war between free speech and critical race theory.
But Biden’s choice of Carlos Del Toro also opened up a whole other can of worms because the immigrant is not only a Biden donor, he’s the founder, owner, and CEO of SBG Technology Solutions, a defense industry contractor that has done plenty of business with the Navy.
Del Toro was introduced by Senator Mark Warner, another beneficiary of his donations, who called the fellow Virginia resident a “longtime friend”. After a brief hearing in which Senate members failed to ask Del Toro any meaningful questions, and instead delivered short speeches disguised as questions, he was quickly confirmed. There was little interest in the propriety of having the owner of a defense industry company heading up the Department of the Navy.
SBG has apparently won Navy contracts including a multi-year contract worth between tens of millions to over one hundred million dollars. This year its site featured more boasts about winning contracts with the Navy. One site tracking government contracts estimates that 2021 was already SBG’s best year with $44 million. That’s a sharp increase from previous years.
Del Toro’s successful business was likely aided by his past role as a Military Assistant to the Director of Defense Programs Analysis at DOD, and with the Naval Warfare Information Systems Command. Vic Blanco, SBG’s Director of Contracts, had been a commander at the Defense Contract Management Agency.
That sort of revolving door is not uncommon at defense contractors, but it’s nothing to celebrate when people keep gaming the system on both ends.
The details of SBG’s actual ownership is unclear. Del Toro has announced that he won’t be involved with the company, but his wife, Betty Del Toro, is also SBG’s Chief Financial Officer based on a BA from the University of Phoenix. There’s no clear sign that she will be stepping down or what changes SBG or Del Toro will be making to avoid any conflicts of interest.
The media was too busy gushing over Del Toro’s immigrant status and ethnicity to bother taking a look at his company because identity politics trumps journalism. While Del Toro would be the second Hispanic Secretary of the Navy, second doesn’t really count as much of a glass ceiling smashing moment. However being a minority likely helped Del Toro’s business. SBG is listed as a minority-owned business and a service disabled veteran owned small business.
The federal government is legally obligated to direct at least 3% of federal contract spending to SDVOSB’s and 5% of a quarter of its contracts to minority businesses.
SBG conveniently qualifies on both counts. Whatever the details of its ownership, if that were to significantly change with Del Toro’s departure, SBG might no longer qualify for any advantages.
Curiously, we’ve never been told what the nature of Del Toro’s disability might be.
“We remain the preeminent force in the world because of leaders like Carlos,” Lloyd Austin, Biden’s Secretary of Defense claimed, calling him, “an immigrant who has dedicated his life to public service”.
Considering that Del Toro took what he learned in the Navy and built a very successful business around it, that’s not exactly the noble act of public service that Austin, who has profited by his own military past, is making it out to be. Biden’s new Secretary of the Navy has done very well for himself while championing the leftist politics that have done very badly by America.
In 2009, Carlos Del Toro had appeared at Obama’s town hall and asked him about making it easier for businesses like his to get government contracts.
“The more Carloses there are who are out there scratching and striving to get some business, ultimately the better deal we’ll get as taxpayers,” Obama had gushed.
Now that Del Toro is the Secretary of the Navy, taxpayers should ask how good that deal is.