A Political Correctness Casualty?

By Roberts, Paul Craig | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 27, 2000 | Go to article overview

A Political Correctness Casualty?


Roberts, Paul Craig, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


The USS Cole is a $1 billion high-tech missile warship. But it was no match for a rubber dinghy manned by two Arabs. The explosive-laden dinghy severely damaged the Cole and inflicted 56 casualties (17 dead, 39 injured) on a once-proud U.S. Navy.

The attack on the Cole showed a "great deal of sophistication," declared Richard Clarke, a top U.S. security official with the grand title of National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counterterrorism. On "60 Minutes" last Sunday, Mr. Clarke said the rubber dinghy attack was so sophisticated the U.S. is absolved of any suspicion of intelligence failure.

Listening to Mr. Clarke, one got the definite impression that an attack on the USS Cole with an Exocet missile would signify sophistication beyond comprehension.

There was nothing sophisticated about the attack on the Cole. Experts have pointed out that if the dinghy had been properly positioned, it would have set off the Cole's warheads and fuel tanks and blown the warship to pieces.

There can be no doubt, however, that the Arab attack was more sophisticated than the U.S. cover-up. Eight years of Clinton-Gore-Reno have proved that bald-faced lies lack consequence. Now everyone is getting in on the act. Mr. Clarke can go on national television and misrepresent an attack on a U.S. warship by a rubber dinghy as a highly sophisticated action outside the boundaries of prediction and defense.

Despite having the Cole's report, the Navy can't decide whether the attack on the Cole occurred earlier while entering port or later while docked. Obviously, a committee is searching for the least damaging explanation for the loss of a warship to a rubber dinghy.

What is being covered up is that the USS Cole and its sailors are victims of political correctness.

When a warship enters a potentially unfriendly port, it must be on alert. Unless the commander and crew are so green that they have never before entered a foreign port, officers and crew are familiar with the operation and capable of knowing that an unidentified rubber dinghy has no business coming alongside. Due diligence mandates the order to the dinghy to "stand off," followed by warning shots. …

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