November 5, 2009 - 4:28 PM | by: Dan Springer
The U.S. Navy is reviewing its security policies following an embarrassing breach this week in Washington State. Five anti-war protesters were able to cut through a perimeter fence around Naval Base Kitsap and walk around the base undetected for four and a half hours. The group included three people in the 60's and three in their 80's.
The group was protesting the nuclear weapons kept at the base and hoped to get as close to them as possible. Members claim when they cut through a second and then a third fence they were within fifty yards of a bunker where nuclear warheads are stored. The Navy dismisses that but will not divulge how close the group got to weapons. It only released a statement saying that 'at no time was the safety of Navy personnel, property or the public threatened in any way.'
The group was swarmed by Marines and arrested shortly after cutting through the third fence. They were charged with trespassing and destruction of military property, both misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail.
Naval Base Kitsap is home to a fleet of 11 submarines. Eight of those subs are equipped to fire the trident nuclear missiles. Also, the base reportedly is the storage facility for more than 23-hundred nuclear warheads representing about one-quarter of the nation's nuclear arsenal.
The protestors have all been released and are awaiting an initial appearance in federal court.
What the article does not say is that this is another base that has outsourced security to an independent contractor because of severe budget cuts leading to base closures and a lowered homeland presence. I would think that congress would let the service protect at least our submarine bases themselves, especially under these circumstances. I know a higher number of subs were stationed there since it is also a training facility.
My main beef is the fact that they are only being charged with misdemeanors, especially since others have been charged with felonys for planning(unproven) a possible civilian attack under the Patriot act. They should also whether they were anywhere near the nukes or not.
It is time for the US government to protect our homeland and our citizens instead of bowing to the freaking treehuggers and antiamerican radicals. If they can do this who else could?
Read some of the comments if you are so inclined.
Just a small note.
I hope that the survivors of the attack of military personel and civilians at Fort Hood by a disgruntled or unhinged Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan will be ok. This makes me sick.
Please Mr. Obama, let our military protect us and themselves and not have to count on independent contractors who apparently are not up to the job.