COVID-19: Fallout From a Navy Captain’s Heroism: The Possible Emergence of a New Idea of ‘National Security’

The conflict between the Navy high command, a captain and his threatened crew could underscore a new meaning of national security after the pandemic runs its course, says Gareth Porter.

By Gareth Porter
Special to Consortium News

The United States is experiencing an upheaval from the Coronavirus pandemic that is deeper than anything in modern American history, and military and civilian Pentagon elites have responded to it in a way that seems certain to further magnify the broader corrosive impact of the crisis on their enormous power. 

It has further widened the existing socio-political seam between those elites and their servicemen and women who have faced a threat to their health not only from the pandemic itself but from the decisions made by military bureaucrats directly affecting their safety.

That is the larger significance of the dramatic recent events involving Captain Brett Crozier, the crew of USS Theodore Roosevelt and the hapless, now-cashiered Navy Secretary Thomas Modly.

Modly had made the most embarrassing public appearance of a senior official in recent history on board the stricken aircraft carrier after having relieved Captain Crozier, who had received an unprecedented standing ovation from his crew as he walked to shore.

Modly not only attacked Crozier, suggesting he was “stupid” to circulate his letter urging immediate action to evacuate sailors from the ship but was condescending to the crew as well. (584 TR Roosevelt crew, including Crozier, have tested positive and on Monday the first died.)

Modly’s rambling and profanitylaced talk to the crew clearly conveyed the official view that they had no business cheering their Captain, who had stood up for their interests, because he had embarrassed the “chain of command.”

The USS Theodore Roosevelt. (Flickr)

Modly thus dramatically illustrated the wide gulf that separates military and civilian Pentagon elites from the lives of U.S. servicemen and women. The interests of the senior military and civilian officials in the Pentagon have always focused primarily on their missions and capabilities, which are the tokens of their power and prestige.

The health of soldiers and sailors has inevitably emerged as a secondary consideration, despite official protestations to the contrary. That much is clear from a review of the press briefing given by Modly and Chief of Naval Operation Admiral Michael Gilday on March 24, after the first three cases of Covid-19 had been identified on the Theodore Roosevelt.

Gilday revealed in the briefing that the Navy was only testing when there was evidence of symptoms and not for all sailors on board the ship.

The Navy Surgeon General Rear Admiral Bruce Gillingham further explained the Navy was doing “surveillance testing,” which he described as “cross section” testing, to “give us an idea”, rather testing all the sailors onboard. When another reporter asked how concerned the Navy was about a new cluster of cases emerging onboard, Gillingham didn’t address that question and instead answered another question the reporter had posed.

Even more revealing of the Navy’s priorities, however, were the responses to a journalist’s observation that the Navy did not appear to have a coherent position guiding commanders in regard to maintaining social distance onboard. Modly said it was “almost impossible to try to micromanage these types of decisions,” and Gilday added, “We really do trust the judgment of our commanders, and so we’re giving them authority to do what they think they need to do to remain on mission and take care of people.”

Other Carriers Hit With Virus

Commanding officers could hardly have missed the clear implication that they were to “remain on mission” and do the best they could to deal with the risk of a Covid-19 outbreak that would inevitably be significant. By the time of that press briefing, of course, the virus was already spreading rapidly on the Theodore Roosevelt, and within days, it was a severe emergency demanding radical action.

The full story of what happened during those crucial days is still untold, but Captain Crozier obviously met resistance from the “chain of command” to his call for immediate evacuation of a very large number of the 4,000 sailors from the ship, leaving behind about 1,000 to maintain the nuclear reactors and the billions of dollars of weapons onboard.

The same pattern of Navy treatment of the problem is evident in the case of the USS Nimitz, which is still at its base in Bremerton, Washington. It has had two positive diagnoses, including one sailor who had taken sick while on leave. Fifteen more sailors who had been in contact with him had been taken off the ship and quarantined, but those remaining onboard have not been tested for Covid-19, according to the father of a new member who has stayed in close contact with his son. The father reported last week that the screening included asking some, but not all crew members whether they felt ill.

The father told a reporter that he “feels like they’re not taking it seriously.” The Nimitz is preparing for sea trials this month that will last for weeks, and the Navy and the Pentagon are obviously eager to have it proceed without delay. The responses of Vice-Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff Gen. John Hyten and Deputy Secretary of Defense David L. Norquist, at an April 8 press briefing, revealed unintentionally the way the Pentagon elite prioritizes its institutional interests over the military personnel facing the Covid-19 threat. (Covid-19 cases have also been detected on the  the Ronald Reagan, the Carl Vinson carriers.)

More than one journalist asked how the Pentagon was planning to adjust its operational tempo to take account of outbreaks like the one on the Theodore Roosevelt in the coming coming months. But Hyten and Norquist refused to acknowledge any such necessity.

When one journalist asked how the Theodore Roosevelt could participate in combat if 10 percent of its crew were found to be positive for Covid-19, Norquist incredibly suggested the Navy could take it in stride, explaining, “[A] significant percentage for the military are asymptomatic. Others have mild flu-like symptoms, the sort of things that our fleet is normally used to dealing with.”

Crozier on board the Roosevelt. (Flickr)

Reckoning Awaiting

Captain Crozier’s four-page letter, which had elicited the wrath of those Pentagon and Navy bureaucrats, challenged their deeply engrained habit of pursuing those institutional interests to demonstrate the super power of the U.S. military, while giving minimal weight to the costs imposed on ordinary soldiers and sailors.

“We are not at war,” Crozier had observed. “Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors.”

Taking Crozier down looked like a safe bet for opportunists like Modly, Norquist and Hyten, especially since Donald Trump had publicly scolded Crozier for sending the letter. But the political tide had already shifted against them, as Crozier emerged as a national hero for his defense of the interests of sailors against the wishes of the bureaucrats.

And more important, as Americans begin to come to grips with the enormity of the socio-economic catastrophe caused by a global pandemic for which the United States government was totally unprepared, a reckoning seems inevitable for the political-military institutions represented by these officials.

Retired Army Gen. David Barno, who was head of the combined forces command in Afghanistan 2003-05 and Defense policy analyst Nora Bensahel, have predicted that Americans will not look at “national security” in the same way again. Instead, Barno and Bensahel write that Americans will “conclude that the country has gotten the very idea of security wrong.”

They wrote:

“Americans will look at national security differently than they did before and may no longer be willing – or even able – to give the Department of Defense almost three-quarters of a trillion taxpayer dollars each year to defend against foreign threats.

Americans will look at the biggest single discretionary spending line in the government’s budget and conclude that the country has gotten the very idea of security fundamentally wrong. They will realize that this massive loss of life was inflicted not by a terrorist attack or rampaging enemy armies, but by an unseen and amorphous health threat. And they will recognize that despite spending more than $700 billion each year on the Department of Defense, the Pentagon’s focus on external threats meant that it played only a very small role in protecting the nation against this deadly and life-changing threat, and in responding once it began to spill across the nation.”

A poll taken in February found that 31 percent of those surveyed thought that the United States was spending too much on defense. But that number will likely rise after the pandemic ends as Americans start to ask: How well did all that defense spending protect us? Many are likely to conclude that domestic threats and global health issues imperil their personal security and the American way of life far more than any looming foreign adversary. They may emerge from this crisis with radically different spending priorities (as discussed below) that will pressure the defense budget even further downward.”

The utter failure of the Pentagon bureaucracy to take care of its own soldiers and sailors in the face of the pandemic should combine with this broader shift in political attitudes and priorities to present the biggest threat to the power of the military-industrial-congressional complex in its entire history.

Out of the havoc and ruin of this disaster should emerge the first real opportunity for a popular movement to end the dominance of that complex over American politics, policy and resources once and for all.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and historian and winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. His latest book, with John Kiriakou, is “The CIA Insider’s Guide to the Iran Crisis: From CIA Coup to the Brink of War.”

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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31 comments for “COVID-19: Fallout From a Navy Captain’s Heroism: The Possible Emergence of a New Idea of ‘National Security’

  1. dean 1000
    April 15, 2020 at 23:15

    Here is hoping you are right Gareth – that out of this COVID-19 disaster a popular movement will emerge to end the domination of the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex.
    General Barno and Defense Analyst Bensahel cite an interesting February Gallup poll. Between May 1975 and June 2019 (44 yrs) only once (1991) have a majority of Gallup’s respondents expressed a “Great Deal” of confidence in the military. In the next highest level of confidence “Quite a Lot” never have a majority of Gallup’s respondents expressed “Quite a Lot” of confidence in the Military.

    When the Ministry of Truth (corporate media) informs that the military is the most respected institution in the US it is telling only half the truth. Look at Gallup’s numbers and draw your own conclusions.

    The most interesting question pollsters can ask is “Given that military personal work for a salary, should the defense industry also be non-profit?” Even if the defense industry is was non-profit Congress spends way too much on the military. The US is the third most populous country on the planet. No country is assembling the manpower and weaponry to invade the US. Why the paranoia to defend against a non-threat? The bogyman is not going to get you. A virus might.

  2. DW Bartoo
    April 14, 2020 at 09:46

    The only real security, of a nation, of a people, of a tribe, or of a society is the health and wellbeing of ALL of the members of those groupings.

    Everything and anything else is contention, dominance, extraction and egoism (now euphemistically touted as”ambition”), premised primarily on violence, physical, or mental/emotional (through myth, propaganda or, mostly, fear-mongering).

    Culture superiority, religious cant, or currently fashionable claims of “humanitarian intervention” are simply excuses.

    The U$ has been responsible, since the end of WWII, either directly or through proxies, for more than 20 million killings of human beings.

    Yet, just for perspective, 80 million U$ians are, right now, essentially and effectively, deprived of health CARE , which ought be considered a human right, simply to satisfy the lust of several thousand elite for … profit.

    Service men and women are not really heroes, they are simply expendable pawns in the larger, global profit/political game.

    The elite even refer to it as “The Great Game”.

    Played to its “logical” endpoint, to its Final Solution gambit, most higher life forms will vanish from the planet.

    Some call that “winning”.

  3. Piotr Berman
    April 14, 2020 at 09:39

    Humans, like many other mammals are social creatures which makes group thinking and group conformism natural for us. Yet, adaptability of the species requires some limits on those traits. I am guessing that the Captain and the crew, volunteers and professionals were happy sailing and using huge resources for nothing in particular. But paying for such a mission with their lives was a bit too much.

    Something similar happened in Wisconsin. Primary elections were scheduled during the epidemic, mostly to assure that many more GOP voters would show up than Democrats, assuring the election of a reliable GOP judge. The issue went to courts and the reliable GOP judges of SCOTUS approved. As organized, a Republican majority voted, but they got somehow unappreciative of having reliable GOP judges and voted for a liberal.

  4. Joey B King
    April 14, 2020 at 07:09

    Your article reminded me of a freshman military science class I took in 1980 on my way to becoming a lieutenant in the US Army. The instructor (a Vietnam veteran) asked, “What’s more important, the men or the mission?” I replied quickly, “My men.” He corrected me and said, “The mission is most important, but we should look after our men as we do our mission. “

    • April 14, 2020 at 23:14

      Talk about propaganda–the military invented it.

  5. April 13, 2020 at 17:34

    Modly was sacked for a simple and more urgent reason: there very likely would have been a mutiny on the Roosevelt. Not only would such a mutiny have sent shockwaves through the military and political establishment, especially setting an example for other rank-and-file economic conscripts in the military, but more ‘dangerously’ it would have sent a clear message to the civilian population: the military isn’t some monolithic overwhelming force that will inevitably defeat any uprising. And uprisings and various ‘civil disturbances’ are highly likely in the coming weeks. Crozier for admiral in the future Red Navy!

  6. rosemerry
    April 13, 2020 at 15:31

    As a non-American it has been obvious to me for decades that the US “defense” is aggression and nothing else, and its more recent change to add more economic pressure via illegal and cruel sanctions (to save American lives and money, I would surmise) is cowardly and counterproductive. This certainly makes the two huge aircraft carriers, now useless to provide air power to protect the Pacific of Obama’s “pivot to Asia” from its alleged enemies look pretty stupid. !!!!!!!!!a tiny virus cannot be defeated by the greatest military might the world has ever known. It has taken some people to now to realize what national security is, and now that the USA has no decent public health care, no leaders who have any idea how to cope, no friends since for the Trump régime everyone else is an enemy or a rival, it is stuck in a mess of contradictory behaviors and huge economic costs.
    Notice that most other nations work with the WHO, do not blame China, help those in greater need and share resources. For the USA, the lies are constant, the OSHA is asking businesses not to report at-work deaths as COVID-19 (ie deny benefits to them) and if Russia, China, Cuba offer help to others it is a propaganda trick.

  7. James T. Orrico
    April 13, 2020 at 13:20

    This dastardly behavior of the civilian and uniformed Navy commanders should come as no surprise to the remaining survivors of the attack on the USS Liberty that has been shamefully covered up for more than fifty years by our government, Navy, and media.

    • April 14, 2020 at 00:01

      Yup. The commander of the carrier task force should never have called back the planes sent to defend the Liberty. Didn’t matter that Pres. Johnson ordered him to call them back, thanks to our dear friends, the Israelis. I’m sure someone figured they could totally sink the Liberty and no one would be left to tell. Almost worked. For the most part it is still almost totally working.
      Secrets are mostly to cover the “leaders” and not protect the “troops.”

  8. rgl
    April 13, 2020 at 13:02

    As an aside … as a former (non-American) soldier, there were leaders, not all by any means, and mostly NCO’s, but a few officers also, that I would’ve followed to the proverbial gates.

    I would’ve followed Crozier.

  9. rgl
    April 13, 2020 at 12:57

    I hope that the things written about in this essay come to pass. However, there still remains a huge segment of America hugely invested in the so-called ‘defence’ department.

    It all comes down to money, doesn’t it? From the billions America gets from it’s vassal states for their ‘protection’, to the billions America gets from it’s arms sales to the world, from the billions generated by the defence industry in various states – that senators must support to keep their constituents employed and voting for them …

    Yes, Covid has indeed shown that the disproportionate spending on ‘defence’ – a laughable terminology – has direct, deadly affects on the home team. Yet, as study after study, after election after election has shown, the ‘voter’ does not really have any say whatsoever in the policies of State. Vested interests rule. It would take millions upon millions of deaths (from Covid) to really cause a sea-change in attitudes.

    How many Americans do not believe that Covid is all that serious in the first place? Too many I’d wager. It’s a hoax, they say. It’s tyranny they say. More people die from the ‘common’ flu than from Covid, they say.

    This does not even take into account how polarized American society is. If one side brings up an issue, it is hated on, not due to any basis in fact or reason, but rather simply because it was brought up by the ‘other’.

    If sixty million die from Covid, perhaps this essay will have some relevance. Maybe. Perhaps.

  10. Jared
    April 13, 2020 at 12:49

    Invading, occupying, drone bombing, JSOC raiding and covert regime changing nations on the other side of the world never had anything to do with defense or security. Imperialist war has always been about enriching national elites.

    Marine-Corps General Smedley Butler, 1933:

    “I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.”

    Of course, if the chain of command pushes grunts too far, they won’t always unquestioningly follow the flag. That much become obvious when they retaliated for being sent on suicide missions in Vietnam by fragging their own officers. I guess in this case they might just cough on the officers, however. “Don’t worry about my coughing, sir! Deputy SecDef says you’re trained to handle minor colds like this without it impacting mission readiness.”

    • April 14, 2020 at 23:16

      I just got his book. Thanks for the quote!

  11. April 13, 2020 at 12:33

    Outstanding article Gareth. I hope this gets the attention it deserves.

  12. dfnslblty
    April 13, 2020 at 12:28

    $$$ to military will not stop because more and more Citizen are dissatisfied with dod style;
    The un-representative representatives are fiscally linked with the military, and will give ever more $$$ so that their dividend$ will grow.
    Plutocracy based on oligarchy based on imperialism.
    Protest Loudly!

    • rgl
      April 13, 2020 at 15:20

      “Protest Loudly”

      Remember Occupy? Thousands marched through New York demanding accountability for the ravages of that multi-billion dollar ‘bailout’ for the too-big-to-fail banksters that caused the 2008 Great Financial Crises. A handful of minor figures paid a price in the form of a short prison stay, but outside of that, did *anything* really change?

      Every American will (eventually) receive a 1200 USD pittance from benevolent government, while the big boys, again, get billions.

      Protesting accomplishes squat. You need to make your government fear you. Holding a placard, and chanting on a downtown street corner will not get you what you wish.

      A nationwide strike might though. But for that to occur, you’d need everybody to band together to mainly look after each other while nobody slaves for the Captains of Industry. There is way too much hate, too much polarization, too much ‘me first’ for this to happen.

  13. Bob In Portland
    April 13, 2020 at 12:21

    During the Vietnam War soldiers in crowded barracks situation were susceptible to meningitis outbreaks. This is what happens when you crowd people together when there are contagious diseases. It was the “Spanish Flu”, which seems to have actually emerged in US military camps in the US before exploding in Europe and then the world, essentially ended WWI.

    The entire basis for invading military forces throughout history has involved using concentrated groups of men to defeat other concentrated groups of men. In the 1340s, at the beginning of the Black Plague, a group of Tartar military called the Golden Horde had to call off the siege of a Greek trading city located in current day Crimea because of the bubonic plague spreading in its troops. Before they retreated, though, they used their trebuchets to catapult bodies of plague victims into the besieged city.

  14. Jeff Harrison
    April 13, 2020 at 12:21

    You’re dreaming, Gareth. That’s the way the military has always operated. During Vietnam, it was, among other things, agent orange. When you’re in the military, you’re cannon fodder. I spent 6 years in the AF.

  15. Skip Scott
    April 13, 2020 at 12:13

    It is far worse than just “prioritizing institutional interests over military personnel.” See an article at Global Research published yesterday by Larry Romanoff titled “US Declares War on America” for a history of “dirty deeds” perpetrated on unsuspecting US citizens by the “Defense” Department and the CIA over the decades.

    • rgl
      April 13, 2020 at 15:34

      Skip …

      I don’t think Consortium would allow you the word count to detail all the evil successive American governments has perpetrated on American citizens. The list would be huge.

      Sadly, this doesn’t even account for the millions upon millions who still utterly believe that their own government(s) would not do such things to their own people.

      I do not envy the American. The health and education of your average yank has been denigrated to the point where if you are too … ahem … uninformed – to put a polite spin on it – of the facts, you are too sick to really do anything about it. The American dream has been spent into oblivion, turning into an American nightmare.

  16. Me my self
    April 13, 2020 at 12:03

    The commander protecting our service people against a (viral or adversarial) threat is his sworn duty.
    Maybe the three branches of government and the media can take a cue from Captain Crozier that viruses, cancer, heart disease, etc. are an enemy of the people and should be dealt with the same resources and diligence as the military receive.

  17. April 13, 2020 at 11:28

    “Retired Army Gen. David Barno, who was head of the combined forces command in Afghanistan 2003-05 and Defense policy analyst Nora Bensahel, have predicted that Americans will not look at “national security” in the same way again. Instead, Barno and Bensahel write that Americans will “conclude that the country has gotten the very idea of security wrong.” ”

    A blinding flash of the obvious which should have been apparent to all Americans following Dwight Eisenhower’s famous quote in 1961,

    “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”

  18. padre
    April 13, 2020 at 11:25

    This thing reminds me of Trump bragging, how Israel is prepared to “pay a lot of money” if US Army would protect them!

    • Piotr Berman
      April 14, 2020 at 09:13

      Are you sure he was not talking about the Gulfies?

  19. Hide Behind
    April 13, 2020 at 11:24

    And once again the purpose of US military is avoided, why is it all right to have a military institution that is at War on a global scale.
    Is it that just as long as “We”have little or no casualties, and our economic life styles within US are not affected by our military actions that full time war making has become our National norm?
    That we have a political industrial- financial and scientific/educational leadership that cares little of the cost to peoples lives and destruction outside our borders by their actions why the surprise that those same leaders feel little regard towards those who but follow their orders.
    We talk of numbers of I’ll and now dead from this carrier but no one questioned the #s’ of lives destroyed and the dead of the hundreds who were aboard the USS Ronald Regan caused by ineptitude of Naval Commanders and the political cover-up of During and after the Fukushima Japan nuclear power plant meltdowns?
    No reporting of merit by any mainline media outlets of how those men and families have had to hire private and Corporate lawyers to find they have no recourse with the US legal system and have had all domestic suits for redress In US stopped , and our State Department and Ambassadors not mending aid to their 8 year fight in Japan for damages.
    Not a bit of assistance by US Navy and our government.
    Instead our ‘protectors took the carrier completely off of duty, transferred its crew to other places, and denied those who took no part in original suit, any recourse to medical , disability or deaths benefits relating to Regan/Fukushima incident to be found as a cause.
    Loyal American military men and wo.en have died and led lives of suffering, broken families who were treated as if but collateral damage.
    When has not those in US politics and financials backed military not treated its uniformed troop as mere expendables?
    Let us not forget when duty to uniform overode duty to humanity in the Pueblo Incident,lies of Gulf of Tonki.n of 50,000 + dead and hundreds of thousands wounded and most damning of all Agent Orange that to this day kills and cripples,The Atom bomb tests that sent men into deadly radiation already knowing the final data would be high #s of dead and wounded.
    As for todays all volunteer military, just shut up, stop whining, you signed a contract giving your life into military hands, are paid over what 40+ percent of American non military can earn with benefits they pay for out of own pockets.
    He’ll my Gramps was shot at by US military after WEI demonstrations by vets for benefits unpaid that military had promised them, and the military is first and foremost the largest industrial enterprise in world, and death is its product,
    Now I ask why do I feel an obligation to say, “I am combat vet vietnam”?
    as if some how my opinion should carry more import than any American who was never in military?
    There are hundreds of millions of workers who contributed more to building nations economy, improving lives of all citizens, protecting them from harm on city streets, paid a part of their earnings by a tax that has aided those Americans to gain a fulfilling healthy life, and when old 62+ and retired, compared to avg of under55 years of military pension and retired, why are military voices held in higher esteem than theirs.
    Please stop and remember that over 90% of all military members face less dangers of early deaths than does average American family member no matter working or not.
    Also remember that you are now Warriors, and no self respecting members of Warrior Creed cry.

    • Skip Edwards
      April 13, 2020 at 23:07

      HideBehind, As a Capt and pilot, USAF, 74 years old, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your words. Thank you.

  20. April 13, 2020 at 10:45

    Absolutely shameful. Just like our civilian leaders don’t give a damn about us, our military’s leaders don’t give any more of a damn for our brave armed forces in their care. In my opinion no one is more of a public servant than a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine, and they deserve all the accolades we now have the sense to give our first responders..

  21. Anonymot
    April 13, 2020 at 10:32

    In the year 2000, just 20 years ago, we were not at war. No one was even thinking about it except for a small coterie of highly placed political individuals indebted in one way or another to the oil industry. 9/11 gave them the opportunity to come out from under the rocks. The MIC, with the CIA as both the enforcer and bullhorn, proceeded to take full control of both political parties, an action begun with Bill Clinton and his more or less wife.

    They put down the Democrats’ renegade, Sanders twice by classic contemporary foul means (he WAS less than perfect.) Trump, who began as a renegade, also, has a numberless quantities of weak points that could send him to prison were he not President probably found himself acquiescent to power’s demands – or else! So even he has been brought in line with the wishes of the MIC and he has continued the promotion of whatever he’s been told to do, the Crozier case included.

    Unfortunately, the lame Democrats have allowed their MIC obedient establishment to put in place a player in the MIC game, Biden. Like Hillary, he’s been there, done that already in the ’90s! I believe he will lose to Trump, but should this phony President flounder even more, there’s a possibility. So even if we should get Sleepy Joe, he won’t be in a position to put the military or oil interests onto the level where they should be.

    Anything else is just wishful thinking.

    • Ray Peterson
      April 13, 2020 at 15:26

      Anonymot: Your reality is as depressing as it is true; just to share an analogy with you: The American people are sinking on
      on the Titanic and the Democratic Party has hired a cruise ship to come to their rescue; but it’s a hundred percent filled with those infected with the Coronavirus.

    • Realist
      April 13, 2020 at 17:51

      Well said. The public figures, including the president, are just actors playing roles, reading lines and taking cues from directors skulking offstage in the shadows. The military are simply board pieces like the tokens used in the game of Risk. I might have said chess–the model most national defense ministers fancy themselves to be playing, but that game requires a more disciplined and capable mind than any on exhibit in the Washington regime.

      The American people will never be allowed to have nice things (like public health care or a decent education system) by their rulers as long as the MIC sucks down more than triple the fanciful $700 billion military budget each year, if you count the classified “black budget” and all the wars being fought “off the books.” Well before the Covid-inspired giveaway of over 10 trillion dollars to the banks, the corporations and their billionaire shareholders & CEO’s, it was reported that the REAL federal deficit was at least twice the $20 trillion believed at the time, and most of this was money lost between the cracks by the Pentagon. Money is so easy to misplace and forget, unless it is some pittance YOU owe the bank or the government. Then it’s enough to destroy your life and possibly send you to jail.

    • Skip Edwards
      April 13, 2020 at 23:11

      Anonymity, Yes we were at war 20 years ago. We were silently bullying many people and their governments in South and Central America and other places around the world. Endless wars are the only business of America.

Comments are closed.