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What Really Happened at NAS Pensacola, and Why

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

[Note: I received the following over the weekend. It is long, but well worth the read if you want to really understand the program there, how Navy leadership failed those who were injured and killed in this Islamic terror attack, and the real scope of who was involved. Much of this runs contrary to the official government/media narrative, which should come as no surprise to any informed person. I have added some bolding for emphasis.]

From: A Veteran with 20+ years of service, a Naval Aviator who flew combat missions in Iraq, and had 15+ years in counter-terrorism.  Also served as a flight instructor at NAS Pensacola. 

I reported to Building 633 at Naval Air Station Pensacola in October of 2002. Checking in to flight school is a point in time for each future aviator that is never forgotten. Nobody becomes a Naval Aviator by accident.

Setting foot on the quarterdeck and dropping your orders to get stamped at Naval Aviation Schools Command is the culmination of years of applications, college, physical training, aptitude screenings, FBI background checks, and performance well above your peer group who had also been competing for the coveted “pilot spot”. If you get there via the Naval Academy, ROTC, or Officer Candidate School, when you get to Pensacola, you have “made it”, but you are also just starting.

Instructors and staff refer to the entirety of the training program as “The Pipeline”. The start of The Pipeline is the front desk at Building 633 in Pensacola. This is where the first reality check for future aviators sets in, as class and flights don’t start the next day. There are only a certain number of seats for each API (Aviation Preflight Indoctrination) class, and there is a waiting list. “A-Pool” is where you wait (a pool of people, not of water). Building 633 is where A-Pool is administered, and where the weekly Friday morning muster takes place, and where the next week’s “class up” list is announced.

This is where the terrorist attack took place.

The Naval Aviation Training “Pipeline” at a glance:

-A Pool. Pensacola.

-Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), 4 weeks of academic classes and water survival courses. Pensacola.

-Primary Flight Training (150ish hours in a T-6 Texan). Pensacola or Corpus [Christi]

-Advanced Flight Training (Jets, Props, Helicopters). Wings are earned at completion of Advanced. Pensacola (Helicopters), Corpus (Props), Kingsville & Meridian (Jets)

-Fleet Replacement Squadron. (Learning your fleet aircraft). Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard aviators all go through the same training pipeline through Advanced.

It was just after 0700 last Friday when my phone starting ringing. A relative’s best friend called her in a panic because her husband wasn’t responding, and she wanted to know if I knew anything. Luckily, he is a doctor at the hospital at Corry Station, about 3 miles away and nowhere near the shooting and I was able to put them at ease for his safety.

I had a group chat with about 20 officers still in the area. Friends and co-workers were exchanging information, all of them aviators, many still on lock down. Some of them were directly in charge of the response and involved in the investigation. All of this is available now in open media, but this is what I know.

The Saudi terrorist checked in on Monday and seemed “normal”. He held the “dinner party” on Thursday night with more than 10 Royal Saudi Air Force Officers in attendance. At this party, they watched videos of mass shootings, mostly Islamic propaganda. The next morning, Friday, he systematically attacked building 633 while one of his fellow officers followed and filmed, several other Saudis waited and observed the attack from a car.

The attacker started at the Quarterdeck (front desk), and the 3 killed were on duty at the time. Ensign Watson was the duty officer, was shot 5 times and still managed to call first responders and evacuate the building and personally direct them to the location of the shooter prior to dying of his wounds. The other 2 killed were also in the immediate vicinity of the quarterdeck. Many of the wounded were as well, some being wounded as they tried to climb out of windows.

Per Navy policy, none had weapons to defend themselves with.

The first responders that confronted the shooter were from the local sheriff’s department. Two were wounded in the gun battle, and the terrorist was killed. Three active duty Americans were dead, 8 more wounded, 2 deputies wounded. Many of the wounded were shot through the doors of classrooms on multiple floors of building 633. Most of the base remained on lockdown well into the afternoon as the base was systematically searched for the missing Saudi terrorists officers. By day’s end, 6 additional Saudi Arabian officers were in FBI custody, and several were at large in the community and a man-hunt is still underway.

So, over a 5 day span, the terrorist checked in, acquired a handgun with 4 extended magazines and ammunition, posted a manifesto online condemning the US as a “nation of evil” along Islamist and anti-Semitic lines, planned and executed his attack with at least 3 accomplices. At least 10 Saudi Military Officers knew of the plan, and either participated or did nothing to stop it. Each one of these individuals had passed the screening process to come train in the United States. That brief recount of the chain of events begs a series of questions, some of which are easier to answer than others.

Here are some of the most obvious questions, and my best effort to answer them.

  • Was this terrorism?

Absolutely. Much has been made of the lack of a formal declaration by the Military or other Federal Authority, but I understand the delay. Not only is a long term alliance involved (more on that later), but there are several members of the Royal Saudi delegation still at large within the United States. If you declare all of them terrorists, it makes the possibility of an orderly surrender virtually zero. On the off chance that these guys were at Waffle House at the time of the attack and are freaked out and hiding, it’s appropriate to not label them terrorists, yet. Congressman Gaetz has appropriately called this terrorism and called for a review of entire program.

  • Why are we training Saudis in Pensacola?

While the brightest light is on the Saudis in the program, we train aviators from multiple nations in Pensacola. Germany, Sweeden, and Singapore also have a large volume of students train in Pensacola. The obvious comparison to this incident is to the fact that the majority of the 9-11 highjackers trained in Florida. It is an important distinction to note that all of those individuals were civilians and had no interaction with any military training program.

It is equally important to note that 10+ members of the Royal Saudi Air Force knew of a planned mass murder of American military, and either participated in it or agreed in principal to allow it to happen.

Saudi Arabia is currently our strongest ally in the Middle East. We base troops there, we stage equipment there, we get our fuel for operations from there. If we are going to be involved in the Middle East, we need an ally like Saudi Arabia.

We were also allies with Iran, until the Islamic Revolution there resulted in the famous hostage situation.  Then were then allies with Iraq, until Saddam fired on the USS Stark (killing 37 sailors) and subsequently invaded Kuwait. So now we are allied with Saudi Arabia, for now.

  • What is it like training an international student?

Each nation is different, and it was interesting to see some stereotypes play out and interact with different cultures. The Swedish and Norwegians were your typical vikings. The Germans were often humorless, focused, and smart. The Singaporeans were incredibly disciplined, and this group of students policed itself in an impressive manner. Any Sing who did poorly on a flight or test would have the other students ensure they did well the next time around. I’d gladly fight alongside any of these guys any day of the week. I stay in touch with several of my students as their careers advance.

The Saudi students have an entirely different reputation and structure to their training. While all of the other nations employ a form of meritocracy to be in the flight program, the Saudi students are typically the child of a Saudi sheik, politician, or member of a rich/important Saudi family. They all drive luxury vehicles, and flaunt their wealth to the other students and instructors. It isn’t unusual to see a Saudi student wearing designer shoes that cost thousands of dollars in their uniforms instead of their issued shoes or boots.

The Saudis do not stand any of the squadron watches (Like assistant OOD, where the flight schedule is executed), while other nations participate fully in squadron functions. The Saudis also have a cadre of senior officers in Pensacola, ostensibly to monitor and aid the progress of the students. They employ a number of former/retired (US) Navy pilots to serve as tutors to the Saudis, and also to provide instruction on how to properly interact with their US instructors and inside of American society. The retired officers also act as a liaison to the American command structure.

Our instructors are told that we can only instruct the Saudis in flying. Issues regarding disciple, respect, or military bearing, etc all have to be referred to the liaisons. Those issues are rampant among the Saudi contingent, and are well known among the chain of command. While there are certainly some Saudi students who have been respectful and disciplined, the norm is an aloof, arrogant child who seeming feels superior to his instructor.

American and non-Saudi international students are expected to show up to the pre-flight briefs ready to explain all of the concepts required in the flight to the instructor (proof they study and paid attention in class). Saudi students often show to briefs unprepared to meet that standard, and expect the material to be presented to them anew. The norm for the Saudis is to pass the student regardless of performance, unless they are simply a danger to themselves, then they get referred back through the liaisons.

We are paid to move them through the pipeline and deliver them having completed the syllabus. We can’t make them study. One friend had a Saudi student refuse to recover an aircraft from a spin, and simply threw up his hands and stated “If Allah wills it, it will recover.” This was during out-of-control flight, with the aircraft falling several thousand feet per minute. The instructor took controls, recovered from the spin, and returned base. That student eventually graduated.

I have had conversations over the last 3 days with at least a dozen current or former Navy flight instructors. Unanimously, the sentiment is that Saudis should be expelled from training in our program. Not only is there legitimate concern for personal safety and national security, there is a general feeling that they won’t be able to put their feeling aside and provide proper training.

  • Why did the Sheriff Department have to stop the shooting and not active duty watch-standers or military police?

In short, because the Sailors at NAS Pensacola were failed by their leadership.

After the Naval Reserve Center in Chattanooga was attacked by a Muslim terrorist, then Candidate Trump was critical of the policy of military members being disarmed while on duty. The only reason that the Chattanooga body count wasn’t higher, was because the Navy Commanding Officer (an aviator) had disregarded policy and had his personal handgun with him in his office and he confronted the attacker and returned fire. He would later say that he disregarded policy because the safety of his command was his ultimate responsibility. He defended his command that day, and saved lives.

The next ideation of the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) included provisions to allow commanders the discretion to allow CHL holders to bring their personal weapons onto base to defend themselves in similar instances. Tragically, no US commander has had the guts to implement the allowances granted by law.

We didn’t learn our lessons with the Fort Hood shooting, The Navy Yard Shooting, The Chattanooga shooting, so now we have this. Will we finally recognize the threat and allow those who have sworn to defend the constitution of the United States the ability to defend themselves while at work on US soil? I doubt it. Sadly, I think it will take an action similar to what President Trump took with Chief Gallagher to make stubborn and stupid Navy leadership do what is the obvious and correct course of action.

  • Should we have seen this coming?

Absolutely. When I told my father (a retired Naval Aviator) that a foreign student was responsible, he responded “I’ll bet it was a Saudi.”

A brother is a veteran Naval Flight Officer who trained in Pensacola. His response, “It’s probably a Saudi.”
My neighbor from Pensacola who now flies for an airline “Mother F***, you know it was a Saudi!”

For some reason, there is a political push to excuse these attacks as one-off, or that the perpetrator was “radical”. The news is already saying “There is no direct link to a terrorist organization.”…as if ISIS gives out membership IDs and T-Shirts. The Politically Correct folks tell us to not judge an entire religion or culture by the actions of a single individual.

The Factually Correct among us look at this chain of events and see no coincidences. The fact that such a large portion of the Saudi contingent knew of the impending attack and chose to participate, and none chose to stop it show the truth that many have long known but few in leadership will acknowledge. The actions taken by this Royal Saudi Officer were not at all “extremist”. His views and actions were well in line with the mainstream Saudi Officer in the unit.

Defenders of Islam will say that it is a “Religion of Peace” and only “extremists” join the terror groups. With sad irony, many critics of Islamic terrorism have observed the rise of ISIS with their pool of men and resources flowing largely from Sunni Saudi Arabia have said said that it’s the extremist Muslim who is actually fighting, but the peaceful Muslim is the majority….they just write the checks. The example in Pensacola shows us that it’s the minority extremist shooting his classmates, it’s the peaceful Muslim standing alongside filming.

Students of history will know that these terror attacks are not random nor motivated by “extreme” thinking. It is an American tendency to think that history started in 1776, or maybe 1492 at the earliest. Our schools teach world history and battles that took place in Europe as being between empires like the “Romans” and “Ottomans”.

They leave the parts out where it was the HOLY Roman Empire that defeated the ISLAMIC Caliphate in Vienna, September 11th 1683. This military defeat and it’s date is etched into the cultural identity of every Muslim just like the Alamo and San Jacinto are taught to kids in Texas. The only difference is that Texas school children don’t have a religious document telling them that the conquest continues and it is their life-long Jihad to install islam as the law of the entire world.

The events in Pensacola last Friday are minuscule in the scope of world history. It is, however, a perfect illustration of the war of cultures (and yes, religions) that we currently find ourselves as particpants in. While the Politically Correct in Washington will likely downplay the details and work to wipe the event from the headlines to preserve an alliance, the Factually Correct among us are still walking the streets with Saudi terrorists at large.

Those in our military will follow the orders they gave their oaths to follow, though we strongly disagree with them. We will likely continue to risk our lives and work to train people that hate us, and would kill us if given the opportunity. The King of Saudi Arabia can say that the actions don’t reflect those in his Kingdom. The facts make him a liar.

  • Where do we go from here?

1. Immediately allow all Commissioned Officers and senior NCOs (E-7+) who are qualified (military or CHL) to carry a military equivalent or issued weapon while on duty.

2. All Saudi personnel in the US should be restricted to base, and have their quarters searched for weapons. If they had no knowledge, they should be expelled. If they did have knowledge or participated, they should be executed.

3. Suspend training Saudi personnel indefinitely. Only resume the program when the FBI can conduct background checks for each student and officer. Once screened and admitted, Saudi students should be restricted to base and not allowed into the community.

4. Evaluate the “alliance” between the US and Saudi Arabia beyond the fact that they are a client nation buying billions of dollars in weapons and training. Is our strategic relationship with the Saudi government worth the cost inflicted on us by a Saudi population which clearly hates us and continues to do us harm. Do the officers that we train for combat ever actually participate in conflict in a meaningful way that support US interests or relieve demand on US forces. If not, disband the program forever.

5. Be better students of history. Value reality above wishful thinking. Judge cultures and religions by what they do, rather than what they want you to think. Take political blinders off and build and execute policy based on reality rather than wishful thinking.

[End]

That is all.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

Open post

Fired SecNav Spencer Debases Himself in CBS Interview

Today’s Campaign Update, Part III
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Dear Mr. Spencer: Knowing when to shut up is a wonderful life skill. You should acquire it. – In an interview with CBS News released on Tuesday, fired ex-Navy Secretary Richard Spencer took several shots at President Donald Trump, and otherwise basically let the door hit him in the ass on his way out:

“I don’t think he really understands the definition of a warfighter,” Spencer said. “A warfighter is a profession of arms. And a profession of arms has standards that they have to be held to, and they hold themselves to.”

Spencer added that Trump’s intervention “erodes” trust in the U.S. military and the principles, like “good order and discipline,” on which the U.S. military stands. He told CBS News that Trump’s actions also send a dark message to U.S. troops: “That you can get away with things.”

One “standard” that any “warfighter” must learn to hold himself to is a respect for the chain of command. At the top of that chain of command sits the “Commander-in-Chief,” or as he is otherwise known, the President of the United States. That person today happens to be Donald J. Trump.

President Trump issued a pardon to Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher and ordered his rank restored after he had been wrongly convicted – in the President’s view – by a very abusive and corrupt court martial process. Spencer chose to defy that pardon by then convening a review board designed to further persecute Gallagher. He further defied the President by refusing to disband that review board after the Commander-in-Chief had ordered him to do so in a tweet last week, resorting to the utterly laughable claim that a tweet does not amount to a “formal order.”

As for Spencer’s absurd statement that the President’s pardon of Gallagher and restoration of his rank sends a “dark message” to other troops “that you can get away with things,” what exactly is Gallagher supposedly getting away with?

Remember, after that long and abusive court martial process, Gallagher was convicted of the “crime” of posing for a photo with the body of a dead terrorist. He didn’t deface the body, didn’t steal anything from it, just posed for a photo with the body of a terrorist who he was sent to the Middle East by his country to kill.

Rather than being punished for that photo, the Navy should have hung it on the wall in the lobby of the Pentagon with the caption, “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.”

The same sentiment is an appropriate description of the firing of Richard Spencer: Getting jackasses like him out of our government is why Donald Trump was elected in the first place.

That is all.

 

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Guest Piece: The Real John McCain vs. the Current Media Legend

The Evening Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

[Note:  I’ve been criticized quite a bit this week for being too nice in the things I’ve written about John McCain following his death.  That’s fine – I never served in the military and thus am quite reluctant to be overly critical of anyone who did.  Still, the media’s absurd hero-worship of McCain as a tool for beating President Trump about the head has grated on me, as it has many readers.  Earlier today, I received the text below in an email from a friend who has himself served our country in stellar fashion in the U.S. Navy for many years as a Naval Aviator and combat pilot.  I’ll let this man’s words speak for themselves.]

The more you know about the real-life of John McCain, the less likely you are to want to honor him at his funeral.  It seems that his dying wishes of excluding some who knew him best might simply be out of fear that they would speak the truth about him, instead of the more popular mythology.

John S. McCain was born with two silver spoons in his mouth.  His grandfather was a 4-Star Admiral as well as his Father.  He tapped into his family legacy for an appointment to the US Naval Academy where he was a terrible student fraught with poor grades and demerits.  He graduated at the bottom of his class at Annapolis (894 of 899) and again only his family connections can explain that low of a graduate obtaining a coveted slot in flight school.  His flying career validated the Navy’s standard pilot selection criteria, as this family “golden boy” crashed two aircraft and destroyed a third out of negligence and “flat-hatting”. (He flew one into the water, he ran out of gas on the way home from the Army/Navy game, and he clipped power lines in a 3rd).  Your standard pilot would never would have been allowed to keep flying with even one of his incidents of incompetence, but the Admiral’s son got promoted.

Again working his family connections, he worked a transfer from an A-1 unit to an A-4 squadron where he again found himself over his head.  Green in the aircraft, inexperienced in the tactics, and disliked by his squadron-mates, he forced his way to the head of the line to lead the mission of his famous shoot-down.

—-Let’s be clear.  It took giant brass balls to fly these missions.  Everyone who has ever strapped on a military aircraft and taken off from a ship to fly into combat deserves at least a modicum of respect.  Still, the truth about what happened is important.—–

With that said, there is no doubt that John McCain was shot down due largely to his own incompetence as a pilot.  In his own book, he admitted that he didn’t follow proper procedures for a missile warning, and his squadron-mates refute his account of the shoot down.  He claims that he disregarded the missile warning to get his bombs off.  Witnesses and the official report show that he failed to pull out at the proper altitude and was shot down by AAA.  Both accounts add up to pilot error.

While in captivity, John McCain recorded propaganda to be used against the United States, he gave information that endangered (and likely cost) the lives of other Americans, and used his father’s position for preferential treatment while in captivity.  Some of those recordings are available in the National Archives, others remain classified.  Many are used to teach current officers what examples of the US Code of Conduct for POWs would be.  McCain’s conduct in captivity was much closer to that of Bowe Bergdahl than it was Louis Zamperini.

When McCain got home, he used the fame brought about by his father’s position to live a “rock star” life.  Instead of happily reuniting with his wife and three children, he had multiple affairs, abandoned his family and married his wealthy mistress less than a month after his divorce.  His conduct is even more disgusting because it was largely due to the fact that his wife had been in a car accident.  He didn’t just leave a woman who he had grown apart from due to the stress of war.  He abandoned the badly injured mother of his children because a wealthy pretty alternative was available.

McCain then he used his celebrity and dubious “hero” status to get into a political office where he sold his support to the highest bidder for the rest of his life.  The media gave him the nickname of “Maverick”, since he would often go against his party.  The name “Turn Coat” would be much more fitting.  McCain voted against improving the VA, while somehow amassing a $13+ million-dollar fortune as a retired officer on a disability pension plus a senator’s salary.  Pretty neat trick for a “public servant” to be insanely rich, especially when his prenuptial agreement with his wealthy 2nd wife mandated total separation of finances.

It makes me want to vomit that there is discussion about appointing one of McCain’s daughters to his Senate Seat.  Family connections alone got a terrible student (894 out of 899 at the Naval Academy) a pilot slot that he didn’t earn.  Family connections alone propped up John S. McCain when he destroyed three aircraft out of negligence.  Family connections alone kept John S. McCain from being kicked out of the Navy for his personal conduct after he returned from Vietnam (adultery is punishable by the UCMJ, and his conduct would have been career killer in today’s Navy).  The McCain family produced two four star admirals who were outstanding Naval Officers. For goodness sake though, the McCain family has cashed in plenty on those men’s accomplishments.  John McCain’s failures at every position he has ever held are a case study in the dangers of nepotism.  It is time for this family’s influence to end.

John McCain was a fraud when he was alive, and the mythology after his death is even sillier.  The liberal media loves him because his last act in congress was to prevent a milestone accomplishment for President Trump when McCain betrayed Republicans and voted “thumbs down” to the repeal of Obamacare.  Somehow, again, voting against something that you campaigned for made John a “Maverick” and not a “Traitor”.

There are good and honest men with much more modest “accomplishments” due to the simple facts that they didn’t have a powerful father, and they refused to stray from their principles.  You can find them at your local fire station, VFW, Legion Post, School Board, and coaching youth sports.  You find them married to wives they took vows to, and raising children they love and cherish.  You can find them earning honest wages in business or in service.  All of these men have values and character that was NEVER displayed by John McCain.

The more anyone knows about John McCain, the less there is to like.

 

Links to supporting information:

https://rightedition.com/2017/02/18/songbird-mccain-evidence-words-fellow-veterans-captors/

http://www.pythiapress.com/wartales/McCain-Shootdown.htm

https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2016/08/09/mccains-victims-may-be-vindicated-by-hanoi-hilton-songbird-audio/

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymail.co.uk%2Ffemail%2Farticle-1024927%2FThe-wife-John-McCain-callously-left-behind.html&h=AT2QhtQkRX3FrgaTGj6i8krCEpJd0rxsbl1KU6VwmYZy4Z9VBK04e6BaPSqR-e0q04drJ2H_1PkN1r2_4JWtrO5sR2hNX1ntMnvf08DoEzP1qXblM0vVHd3KQw9KrrwkMN4UlhVe9T7wW1fEkPg

 

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

Open post

The President Should, But Won’t, Declare Antifa A Terrorist Organization

Today’s Campaign Update 

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

  • Terrorism comes in many names.  “Antifa” is one of them. – An interesting, though little-noticed, item related to the fascist hate group “Antifa” (which ironically is a contraction for ‘Anti-Fascist’) story is developing as a part of the White House on-line petitioning process that was created by the Obama Administration.  This petition demands that the Trump Administration formally recognize Antifa as a terrorist organization, which it clearly and unambiguously is.  “AntiFa has earned this title due to its violent actions in multiple cities and their influence in the killings of multiple police officers throughout the United States,” the petition reads in part.
  • The process requires that such petitions obtain 100,000 signatures of support from U.S. citizens within 30 days of their filing.  This Antifa-related petition was filed last Thursday, meaning it received the necessary support in less than four days.  So, obviously there is a great deal of interest in and support for this effort, most of it probably concentrated among Donald Trump’s voter base.
  • It will be interesting to observe how the White House responds to this petition – and the rules for this process do require such a response whenever any petition reaches the critical mass of support.  There is no doubt at all that Antifa is indeed a domestic terrorist organization.  Its’ spokespeople, such as they are, bragged about being exactly that in interviews on NBC and CNN this past week, claiming their strategy is to “commit violence in order to create peace,” a statement so laughably nonsensical that only NBC’s Chuck Todd and the peabrain on-air talent at CNN could listen to it without openly laughing.  This group commits violence wherever it shows its ugly, masked face, beating opponents with baseball bats laced with nails, spraying people and police alike with pepper spray and mace and urine, and wantonly burning buildings and destroying public and private property alike.  Committing violence for shock value is the very definition of terrorism.
  • Don’t hold your breath waiting for this to happen. –  President Trump’s team of advisors will no doubt counsel him not to take this step because it would be “divisive” (I can hear H.R. McMaster saying those words as I type this), and out of fear of incurring negative media coverage, as if this President ever gets anything else from the fake news media.
  • Still, if nothing else, this puts the President and his advisors on the spot and at least forces them to focus on the question.  It will also force Mr. Trump to clearly recognize those among his advisors who counsel him to avoid doing what he clearly knows is the right thing to do under the law.  Antifa clearly is a domestic terrorist organization and is quite proud of that fact.  Coddling and placating them will only make them bolder.
  • What in the hell is going on with our Navy? – For the third time since May, a U.S. war ship has collided with a gigantic merchant vessel in open waters off of the Asian continent.  The Navy has announced the collision of the USS John McCain was the result of “poor seamanship”, and that this poor seamanship has resulted in ten sailors being missing at sea.  Rescue operations are underway, and we should all pray for their survival.
  • I never served in the Navy, but it is honestly baffling to me how these events can happen with modern warships.  We are long past the days of ships having to rely on such things as bells and horns to signal ships’ presence at night or in heavy fogs.  These ships are equipped with millions of dollars worth of radars, sonars and global positioning technology.  How they can miss the presence of an oil tanker in their proximity is almost beyond comprehension.
  • The previous two incidents have been followed with the usual perfunctory military inquiry followed by unsatisfying official statements.  This third incident in four months demands an official, formal investigation into the whole series of events.  One such incident can be explained as a simple accident; two as mere coincidence; but three, as they say, is a pattern, and this pattern is getting U.S. Navy personnel killed at a disturbing rate.  Time to find out why.

Just another day in poor seamanship America.

That is all.

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