Better And Better

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Thwarted

Apparently 5 "Islamic Radicals" were just arrested before they could storm Fort Dix, and a 6th guy helping obtain weapons was also busted.

"'The group's intention "was to conduct an armed assault on the army base and to kill as many soldiers as possible,' the U.S. Attorney's Office for New Jersey said."

If half the stuff being submitted is true, they're legit bad guys.

Hm.

Are we sure these guys don't take to strong drink?



But then again, military bases are turning into zones where personal weapons are strictly prohibited, and those not actively employing arms do not have them, or ammunition. According to the old models I learned in the Terrorism graduate studies seminar I took last year, this would be right up the alley of the terrorists: attack symbols of power and show that the protectors cannot protect. Then try to create such havoc that the crackdown by government creates strong public grassroots backlash against the government, essentially recruiting the proletariat to become Marxist guerillas, themselves.

Sound crazy? Check out Latin America over the last 50 years.

If these guys had made a successful run at it (say, each man killed a US soldier on a US base), unfortunately, the media would have crowned them and their ilk "The New Menace From Within." After the Virginia Tech shooting, Tamara put it best: "To think that they are not taking notes on our response to Monday's events is willful ignorance at best, if not criminally naive."

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5 Comments:

At Tuesday, May 08, 2007 7:58:00 PM, Blogger BellaLinda said...

There are nonetheless many, many armed men on your average military base.

In the early days of our relationship, my husband (stationed that time at NAVSUBSUPFACNLON; God I love those acronyms) & I used to joke with one another about the fact that he sat desk watch armed with a 9mm.

I have long been dissatisfied with gate security on the bases I've been to. It is far too easy to obtain a vehicle with DoD tags even if you're a civilian--the folks who sold us the station wagon I'm driving didn't scrape theirs as they should have.

Still, there are more armed men on any military base than it seems. A time or two on Hickam AFB in Honolulu, armed guards magically appeared at the doors to the BX without anyone realizing.

I did, however, find it quite objectionable that we were forbidden from having weapons in base housing. I'm not certain what exactly it was to guard against, as I know my husband among others could easily obtain the key to the small-arms locker on the sub.

 
At Wednesday, May 09, 2007 1:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a bit different on Army bases. Think "VT" without the police. No CWP folks can carry on a Federal Base, no ammo in the arms room. Bad Juju. Several ('94 or so?) years back, there was an attack on the guys doing PT at Ft. Bragg. A nearby SF team tackeled the nutcase, but it was a close thing. Here at Ft. Jackson, it would have been horrible.

 
At Wednesday, May 09, 2007 2:54:00 PM, Blogger Memphis Steve said...

Years ago when I worked on a U.S. Arsenal in Alabama I was amazed at how many unmanned gates there were leading onto the base. I haven't tried to gain access since 911, so I'm assuming that has all changed, but at the time it always struck me that we seemed dramatically unprepared. Then again, Clinton was president at the time and I know his administration's attitude toward the military was dramatically different. Anyway, I don't know how deep and meaningful this observation is. It's just what came out as I read this.

 
At Wednesday, May 09, 2007 11:47:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Steve, you're really just kind of a stream-of-thought kind of typist, aren'tcha?

 
At Friday, May 11, 2007 4:06:00 AM, Blogger Ted Martin said...

The Fort Dix situation made me consider why it was such a hassle to get my initial badge for accessing Navy bases.

After 9/11 the Navy bases in San Diego made taxis off limits altogether (well before I started driving). Since then seamen and brass alike were complaining to no end. Some of the bases are very large, like the 32nd St Amphib Base and North Island Naval Air Station. Nobody liked walking.

Finally, earlier this year, we were allowed access to the bases. The Navy reviewed existing background checks on file with the city (required for our hack licenses), reviewed our driving records, and issued badges.

A lot of cab drivers complained about lengthy stops at the gates, while guards checked under the hood and in the trunk.

After hearing that one of the "Fort Dix six" got on base claiming to be a pizza delivery guy, I can see why security is important, even on a "safe" stateside military base.

My only concern out here is that the Navy police seem to have no direction. Our cabs get pulled over every day, for varying reasons -- all invalid. We received a strict set of written rules prior to getting our badges, and it seems nobody showed the list to the police. We've been given warnings that we're not allowed on base (false), that we can only come on base if somebody calls first (false), and that only drivers who are American citizens can come on base (also false).

The only consolation is that they err on the side of detaining too often. The reverse would be worse, I suppose.

 

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