Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Snow Is Way Off Base

It is sadly ironic this morning that on the same day the signor of the Navy's "Record of Decision" on Laurelwood housing insultingly spin-doctored (in an Asbury Park Press editorial) his decision to open Weapons Station Earle to civilian housing, we also learn of a great tragedy in Little Rock, Arkansas, where, according to Associated Press, "a man upset with the U.S. military drove to a recruiting center and opened fire on two soldiers, fatally wounding one."

Monday's shooting at the Arkansas military recruiting center only backs NOPE's thesis all along that domestic terrorism is here to stay, and underscores one of the more overshadowed concerns of our argument: the safety of the personnel at NWS Earle.

Notwithstanding the cyberattack on Earle's computer system around the time of 9/11, to our knowledge there hasn't been a "major catastrophic event" at Earle. This seems to be the view of naysayers to NOPE's security concern and seems to be the lynchpin of the Honorable Mr. Snow's argument that the Navy will responsibly meet its "mission readiness and capability, which includes the safety of its personnel, their families and our installations."

(In other words, nothing has happened at Earle since the 1940s, so nothing will ever happen here...how quickly have we forgetten 9/11, Fort Dix Six, Oklahoma City bombings, recently planned attack on NY temple by domestic terrorists, etc.)

NOPE argues that civilian housing at NWS Earle would expose the base's MPs and Myers contract security guards to unnecessary harm. All it takes, as the Little Rock incident would attest, is one malcontent to kill soldiers. In a perfect world the Navy's Environmental Impact Statement would have included candid interviews with base personnel, whom we suggest would be adamently opposed to policing base civilian houses but are realistically rendered silent and unwilling participants to this Laurelwood mess.

Let Earle's security forces do their job (to protect the Earle base) without worrying about someone shooting at them or attempting to cause bodily harm. As NOPE has argued all along, Earle's mission is to replenish ammunition and supplies to the Atlantic fleet, not to serve as a de facto police force to 300 homes full of civilians.

Mr. Snow should reverse his poor decision before introducing worlds of harm to Earle and us.

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