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Pensacola Terror Attack Exposes Navy Failures

Laurence Jarvik

Posted on December 9, 2019 15:02

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If the Navy can't protect a Navy base, how can it protect America?

(CBS)

The Naval Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) appears on TV as an effective team of special agents. Mark Harmon and his cast are treated as reverentially as Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.'s FBI agents in the 1960s and 70s

However, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani's December 6th terror attack reveals that something is seriously wrong at NCIS Resident Agency Pensacola, whose website lists its mission as:"Preventing terrorism and related hostile acts against DON forces and installations."

Sadly, this tragedy did not come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the base. Pensacola NAS is the home of Naval Aviation, and a symbol of American military power. It hosts the National Aviation Museum, Barrancas National Cemetery and historic Fort Barrancas.

Nevertheless, it has been badly mismanaged. I experienced my own set of Pensacola SNAFUs last year, complained on the base commander's website, and wrote about it on my blog.

Base management was unresponsive, so Congress passed amendment 2489 to the National Defense Authorization Act ordering the Navy to be nicer to American citizens trying to visit graves of their loved ones, or the museum, at Pensacola NAS.

Now we learn that while patriotic Americans were being hassled by base security, Saudi Islamic terrorists were provided with government I.D., apparently un-hassled enough to host "snuff parties," and tweet anti-American, pro-Al Qaeda propaganda only hours before shooting began.

That's a scandal any way you look at it, as well as damaging to American prestige, military posture, and deterrence against Islamic terrorism.

If NCIS Pensacola didn't have Alshamrani on its radar, that's a scandal. And if NCIS did know there was a radical Islamic terrorist cell at Pensacola NAS, but did nothing--that's worse.

If NCIS Director Omar Lopez did not know there was an Islamic terror cell among Saudi pilots in training, that's bad. If he did know but did nothing--he should be disciplined, ASAP.

Interestingly, NCIS reports to the Acting Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly, a former executive with the accounting firm PriceWaterhouse Coopers. If he didn't know that Saudi pilots posed a potential threat after 9/11, that's simply inexcusable. And if he did know, he should be fired immediately.

Interestingly, the gunman's attack at Pensacola NAS was not stopped by NCIS officers, nor Naval officers, nor NAS police, nor Navy Shore Patrol. Instead, Escambia County Sheriff's deputies stopped the gunman. Two heroic Escambia officers were wounded in the shootout. That makes me proud of the Escambia County Sheriff--but not the US Navy.

For his failure to either prevent the attack or to stop the attacker, Pensacola NAS base commander Thomas F. Kinsella, Jr. must be court-martialed, in order to restore confidence in Naval leadership. By permitting this terrorist attack to occur, and requiring deputy county sheriffs to protect American sailors from terrorists, he has brought disgrace to the United States Navy, to Naval Aviation, and to the United States of America.

For if the Navy can't protect a Navy base, how can it protect America?

Laurence Jarvik

Posted on December 9, 2019 15:02

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Source: RT

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