Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Background checks and counterterrorism

It is impossible for NOPE to sift through the thousands of news articles, commentary and opinions about the senseless Fort Hood massacre for something objective, but this article from the November 14 Houston Chronicle touches upon two topics relevant to our objection to the Department of Navy's plan to rent the Laurelwood homes on Naval Weapons Station Earle to civilians by next year: background checks (i.e. military readiness) and coordination between U.S. intelligence services.

Those new to NOPE's case may be shocked to find that the Navy is willing to create an unimpeded (i.e. no main gate, no background checks to residents and any visitors) access road to the 300 Laurelwood homes within NWS Earle's fenceline, simply as an out to a bad "privatized" housing contract from the 1980s. This not only comes as an unfunded mandate to New Jersey's taxpayers and local citizenry, but also will severely compromise the base's mission and the quality of life for active military and contractors residing in other homes inside NWS Earle.

The point being...no matter where you stand in the aftermath of Fort Hood, it is clear to the humble constituents of NOPE (and in the Houston Chronicle's piece about the U.S. Army) that, somehow, the security of the U.S. Military's own bases appears secondary to military decision-makers, and that our nation's counterterrorism efforts may need a fresh perspective. For, how else could you explain the preposterous notion of opening underutilized military housing on an active, secure and strategically significant Naval munitions storage facility to anyone that can merely pay the rent?

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