By Ronald L. Ray —
The United States Navy is commandeering for war games use almost the entire Washington state coastline, lands in national and state parks, and other public and even private property, as far inland as Seattle and Tacoma. This has been ongoing for some years, but it is now more egregious and appears to involve multiple violations of federal and state laws.
The controversial activity has taken place in relative secrecy and in duplicitous defiance of both the rule of law and rights of U.S. citizens. Of concern is that it also desensitizes military personnel to attacks on fellow countrymen, while making those private individuals potential unwitting proxies for enemy combatants.
The U.S. Armed Forces have millions of acres of federal land set aside specifically for war games and training exercises, so why the massive, unconstitutional expansion of territory and efforts to circumvent requirements for public comment and environmental impact studies?
Dahr Jamail at Truthout.org and the West Coast Action Alliance have led the efforts to expose this latest example of stunning federal governmental overreach and militarization of the domestic U.S.
It is a matter that alarms even some naval personnel. Leaked emails from last November detail concerns about the legality of the Navy’s efforts to take effective control of access to a good part of Washington, including the beautiful, pristine Olympic peninsula, for up to five years.
Two years of U.S. Navy SEALs training exercises are planned already, which were scheduled to begin in the middle of January 2016 and continue every month or two, night and day, for up to 72 hours at a time, at 68 or more locations throughout western Washington. While aspects of the Navy’s program—including electromagnetic warfare dangerous to humans and the environment—have been publicly known for a year or more, descriptions of the SEALs operation could be fully published only about the time it was scheduled to begin.
Although unclassified, the Navy’s documentation was categorized in such a way as to evade Freedom of Information Act requests and keep the plan from public view, Jamail reported. The Navy also failed to consult numerous federal and state agencies and officials, from whom they are legally required to obtain permission for their exercises. Apparently, even the governor of Washington was uninformed.
Dr. Allison Brooks, Washington’s state historic preservation officer, sent a scathing letter last November to naval officials, objecting to the Navy’s refusal to complete required consultations and agreements prior to initiating the training exercises. The Navy seems unconcerned about potential damage to state historical sites it will be invading.
The revelations caused massive outrage, according to Jamail, “across the better part of Washington state. And it has fortunately forced most of the local media outlets . . . to start covering the story.”
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Since then, it seems the Navy has been forced to schedule at least a few public hearings, apparently for damage control, but there is no indication it intends to rethink its outrageous plans.
The extent of the training operations and efforts to keep them hidden from public view or approval allegedly has violated so many laws that some people say the Navy has “gone rogue.”
One way the Department of the Navy has maintained secrecy about what should be public knowledge is through abuse of what is called a “categorical exclusion.” This allows the agency to avoid a required full environmental impact study of proposed exercises, if they “do not have a significant impact on any natural, cultural, recreational, historic or other resource; do not involve significant air, noise, or water quality impacts; do not have significant impacts on travel patterns; or do not otherwise, either individually or cumulatively, have any significant environmental impacts.”
This is hardly the case. First, there is real risk of serious harm to the environment and marine life. Use of 235-decibel mid-frequency active sonar, for example, as has already happened, can be deadly to whales and other sea creatures. Then there is the serious danger of injury or death to U.S. citizens or the Navy’s trainees if a surprised property owner reacts defensively, since the SEALs will also invade private residential property and marinas at night to simulate actual combat situations.
Back to the larger question: Why all this?
Jamail reports that according to the Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), it is to simulate potential war environments. Given U.S. bellicosity, Russia, China, and the Arctic come to mind. But government lands set aside for war games are more than sufficient for the purpose, so again, why?
The QDR then points to training for potential domestic unrest due to economic or climatic factors. Clearly, this is the reason for the Navy to seize effective control of large portions of a state and invade them. The Posse Comitatus law is a dead letter.
It is easy to foresee a “wag the dog” scenario, like 9-11 and many others, in which training just happens to occur near what is presented as a “real” domestic insurrection but is a government-run false-flag operation to subjugate citizens. Indeed, that seems all too likely the real reason.
Contact Congress and the president, and tell them to stop the Navy’s evil operations.
Ronald L. Ray is a freelance author and an assistant editor of THE BARNES REVIEW. He is a descendant of several patriots of the American War for Independence.
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