I just had to respond to the “Sound Off” article in the Saturday Sept. 28 Whidbey News-Times by Bremerton resident Capt. Larry Salter, USN retired.
From the opening, “Pardon our Noise, It’s the Sound of Freedom” to the close of, “I fully support NAS Whidbey Island and the Growler presence,” we are treated to the same old tired arguments: noise zones around the base; “Hint, hint: It might be noisy around here.”
His comments about NAS Oceana and NAS Lemoore having put up with this sonic abuse for 20 years is justification? “Bottom line — jets are noisy,”and he then goes on with “annual operations” and “landing on an aircraft carrier is hard,” which I don’t doubt, but to intimate that OLF Coupeville is the best place to practice these “night evolutions,” a great euphemism for this sonic abuse at night, is beyond ridiculous. It does get dark in less populated environs.
I think what bothers me most about this whole line of reasoning is the mentality that the military is a sacrosanct organization above any criticism.
The Pentagon is the single biggest consumer of fossil fuels on earth. It ranks 47th as one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters. Look at the history of U.S. military bases all over the earth: They ruin the landscape, pollute the soils and contaminate water and air. Look closely and I think you’ll find that U.S. military bases are strategically located to protect their oil deposits and anything else that may be deemed a “strategic resource of value to the U.S. military.”
Finally, please don’t tell me that the military is here to protect my freedoms in America. Where’s the military when citizens are disenfranchised at the voting booth? Where’s the military when “Water Protectors” are brutalized in Dakota? Where’s the military when citizens are arrested for peaceful demonstrations? Where’s the military when the citizens express their disappointment at being implicitly lied to by the Navy for a factually inaccurate and misleading environmental assessment regarding their “operations?”
You see, Capt. Salter, it’s not just about the noise.