Well, it was to be expected, sooner or later, and many people brought this story to my attention (thanks to all of you). And since this is a story we've been following here, it's only appropriate to throw in my two cents' worth of high octane speculation. The story? Commander Bryce Benson, captain of the USS Fitzgerald, and Commander Alfredo Sanchez, captain of the USS John McCain, are facing courts martial, and rather stiff charges of negligent homicide, dereliction of duty, and hazarding a vessel:
In other words, the US Navy is going for the "incompetence and dereliction" explanation of the McCain and Fitzgerald incidents.
But there are problems, as anyone following these stories will recall, and I have blogged about them previously on this site. In the Fitzgerald incident, there are indications that there were systems failures, and perhaps even crew confusion (mind manipulation?). More recently, as I have blogged before, there have been ship collisions between a Russian and a Sierra Leonese ship, and a Chinese and Iranian ship, and these stories came after articles about global positioning "spoofing" cyber warfare technologies emerged. And then, of course, there was the story of the missing seaman Mims, who was reported missing, and then subsequently discovered on his ship.
If one adds all these things together, an intriguing speculative picture emerges, encompassing not only incompetence, but much more sinister possibilities behind these events. Now, I don't for a moment rule out the incompetence explanation as at least part of the possible explanation for some of these events. After all, American culture is in a downward spiral of narcissism and galloping stupidity, and this can only effect operational readiness and efficiency of the American military negatively, as the Mims incident indicates.
But this does not, in my opinion, explain the odd details that emerged during the Fitzgerald incident. Missing from virtually all "explanations" of that incident are what, precisely, was happening on the bridges of the commercial ships doing the ramming? About this we've been told exactly nothing. One can, for example, go on YouTube and watch videos of ship collisions, and in some cases, these are clearly deliberate acts as one ship will turn suddenly and inexplicably, and literally ram another. Yet, with these incidents, we're told nothing. It's as if the US Navy is in a rush to repeat the scapegoating of the captains Admiral Kimmel-style, who was blamed for the Pearl Harbor disaster, when he had tried repeatedly to warn Washington about the dangers to the fleetand the lack of adequate long-range reconnaissance.
Or... is the Navy really doing that? I suspect not, since courts martial will allow the captains to present evidence in court that could mitigate the circumstances or exonerate them. And for that, information about the ramming ships, and the states of their own systems and crews, will be crucial.
Why do I mention that? Because the possibility exists, given the strange details that surrounded the first reporting of the Fitzgerald incident, that some of those courts martial might have to take place in closed session, for reasons of "national security." If that happens, then the possibilities of exotic electromagnetic warfare, or mind manipulation technologies, as I first speculated on these incidents, cannot be ruled out, and as I reported subsequently, neither can global positioning spoofing cyber warfare capabilities. Only incompetence will remain as a public explanation. And a lot will be said by what sorts of punishments, if any, are meted out on specific charges.
In short, the story isn't over, and if my high octane speculation about all of these incidents is correct, that we are watching some sort of covert war at sea, then the story is only beginning.
See you on the flips side...